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.
Fun fact: About two-thirds of Peeps lovers start devouring the sugar-coated creatures by biting off their heads. Monsters! Peeps — now available as chicks and bunnies at Easter time — are made by the Just Born candy company in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It’s named for its founder Sam Born, a Russian immigrant who started the company in 1917. As his candy empire grew, he acquired the Rodda Candy Company, although Just Born was ‘primarily interested in that company for the jelly bean technology.’ Jelly Bean Technology! Today, Just Born makes about 5.5 million peeps in various colors and shapes. But back in the day, it took about 27 hours to make one tray of Peeps. They were made by hand, squeezed through a fluted steel tip in chick shapes, then left to air-dry. Hungry for more? Take a bite of this sweet history of Peeps, or watch a few of the cuties being blown up in a microwave.
In case you somehow missed the news we’ve been trumpeting all over social media this week: Ron Charles, book critic for The Washington Post and my personal writing hero, wrote a lovely mention of Strong Sense of Place in his newsletter last Friday. If you’re not already signed up, I urge you to treat yourself to his weekly newsletter; it’s free and you don’t need to be a WaPo subscriber. He writes about books, poetry, publishing news, and lots of other wonderful bookish things with humor, insight, and just the right amount of snark when it’s required. Sign up here.
I’m attracted to this Arctic Rail Odyssey like a magpie likes shiny things. NBD, it’s just a 3-week train journey from London to the Arctic and back again.
The Edward Gorey House in Massachusetts announced their exhibit for the season. It’s Dressed to Kill: Edward Gorey and the Social Fabric. ‘Dressed to Kill explores the sartorial world in which Gorey’s illustrations and books live, and the rapidly changing world in which he lived in — and how he dressed for it.’
We saw the new Dungeons & Dragons movie recently, and it was a ridiculously good time. If you, too, have D&D fever, here are 14 fun facts about Dungeons & Dragons.
8 Lovely Swear Words and Insults We Should Never Have Stopped Using. I mean, GRUMBLETONIAN? Yes, please.
Rick Steves shares his best tips for finding great restaurants when you’re traveling. ‘It’s being part of the party, rather than just part of the economy.’
Sort of related: The Fug Girls (such good writing about fashions, books, and life) asked the question What’s the Most Memorable Meal You Ever Ate? and got fantastic responses.
This made me laugh: Who Said It, Tom Holland the Writer or Tom Holland the Actor?
This is a fascinating piece of writing: A Syrian journalist went deep into the belly of Syrian bureaucracy to replace his national ID card. ‘To help me navigate this labyrinth, including the delicate protocols of handing out bribes (which is partly science but mostly an art), a cousin of mine graciously accompanied me, his leather jacket filled with wads of cash tucked and hidden inside secret pockets.’
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: Jane & Edward by Melodie Edwards and Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto. Then Dave invites us all to get delightfully nerdy about punctuation. [transcript]
An Admirable Point: A Brief History of the Exclamation Mark! by Florence Hazrat
Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark by Cecelia Watson
Video of LL Cool J on The Electric Company, rapping about punctuation.
Top image courtesy of Matt Benoit/Shutterstock.
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