Every Friday, we celebrate the weekend — and all the reading and relaxing and daydreaming time ahead — with Melissa's favorite book- and travel-related links of the week. Why work when you can read fun stuff?!
This post is part of our Endnotes series.
That dramatic mountain view above is found by looking out the windows of the Eismeer train station built into the mountain Eiger in Switzerland. It’s the second-highest railway station in Europe. (The Jungfraujoch, also in Switzerland, is the first.) The Eiger is a notorious mountain face, a vertical mile made of black ice and unwelcoming limestone. It’s called Mordwand in German, the ‘murderous wall,’ and it inspired the 1975 film The Eiger Sanction starring Clint Eastwood, who, BTW, did all of his own climbing and stuntwork. Adventurers climb Eiger’s perilous North Face to take in the view of the Bernese Alps, but the rest of us can enjoy this hiking trail instead — or ride the train in real life or on video.
Yes, please, I would love to be a better reader and a better person. Here are 6 strategies to help with both. ‘To be a great reader, it is not enough that you read, it’s also how you read.’
This is fun: You can vote for the new name of the trophy awarded to Booker Prize winners. I chose Minerva, but all the options are pretty great.
The Best, Creepiest Old Houses in Fiction. Locked doors, secret passages, decrepit roofs, weird families, and so, so much more.
The Czech Republic’s representative for Eurovision is an all-girl group called Vesna. Their music combines folklore with modern musical styles. Each of the four members represents a Slav goddess: Vesna, Živa, Mokoš, and Morana.
This story has everything: Iceland, pufflings, happy rescues, and a bird in a knitted cozy.
7 World Cities With Distinct Smells. Chocolate! Garlic! Cheerios!
Related: Beautiful maps of what cities smell like. ‘Smell is hard to record, analyze and depict visually. So to make these maps, the researchers first created what they call a smell dictionary with the help of volunteers around the world.’
News you can use: How to Make More Time to Read. ‘Before you can make time to read, you need to understand why you want to read more… Once you have reflected on why you want to read more, you can implement some simple strategies to ensure you reserve enough time to enjoy reading and its benefits.’
How Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day changed the way I think about England.
Ancient Egyptian record of work absences, 1250 BCE. Currently in The British Museum. pic.twitter.com/PZeQvNz5jH— History Defined (@historydefined) February 12, 2023
We were thrilled with this lovely article about Strong Sense of Place in the (excellent) The Feminist Kitchen. That’s a Substack about love, loss, food, family, and life.
Dave recommended a beautifully written book about Trieste in our podcast episode about Italy. This essay is a fascinating look at the city through the lens of the languages spoken there.
You probably learned about Erik the Red and Leif Erikson in history class. But now you need to meet Gudrid the Far-Traveled, ‘the greatest female explorer of all time.’
This is a fun way to kill some time: Wonders of Street View.
16 stunning Victorian textiles from The Dress Diary of Mrs. Anne Sykes. ‘What the pages from one woman’s fabric scrapbook tell us about the Victorian era.’
In each mini-podcast episode, we discuss two books at the top of our TBR, then share a fun book- or travel-related distraction. Get all the episodes and books galore here.
In this episode, we get excited about two books: Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson and All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me by Patrick Bringley. Then Dave tells a (true) tall tale about an extraordinary map of the New World. [transcript]
Take a tour of the Met with author Patrick Bringley.
The Map of Juan de la Cosa on Wikipedia.
The Map of Juan de la Cosa on Google Arts & Culture.
The Madrid Naval Museum where you can now see the map.
Top image courtesy of Patrick Robert Doyle/Unsplash.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is ©2023 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.