Charlotte Brontë,, Mauritania Libraries, Mirror Writing & More: Endnotes 21 April

Charlotte Brontë,, Mauritania Libraries, Mirror Writing & More: Endnotes 21 April

Friday, 21 April, 2023

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 stalwart brick building above is the Brontë Parsonage Museum in West Yorkshire, England. It was Charlotte Brontë’s home for most of her life, along with her literary sisters Emily and Anne, her flibbertigibbet brother Branwell, and their clergyman father Patrick. The museum’s collection includes clothing (Charlotte’s dresses are so tiny), the miniature books the children wrote to entertain themselves, and original furniture, including the dining table where the three girls wrote together in the evening, reading aloud to each other and strolling laps around the room. Today is Charlotte’s 207th birthday! If all you know of her is that she wrote the classic novel Jane Eyre, here are 20 more things to know about this remarkable author — and another 11 with entertaining gifs (!).

  • The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles hosted a sleepover. According to this story, things got spooky.

  • Grab a cup of coffee and pick a fight: LitHub has 22 (More) Adaptations Better Than the Books They’re Based On.

  • We are so happy to be affiliated with This piece in Wired explains how this relatively new online bookseller holds its own against Amazon. ‘Technically, Bookshop doesn’t need independent stores to join its platform. If the goal were merely to sell books online, it could do just that, like Barnes & Noble or an early-days Amazon. But then, of course, it wouldn’t be special… Helping the indies is the whole point, something he feels an almost spiritual drive to do.’

  • Love to see a superbloom!

  • BRB, I gotta go to St. Thomas for a pepperoni pizza. Daydream fodder: 11 of the World’s Wildest Pizza Places.

  • Whoa. Here’s What Cruise Ships Could Look Like in the Year 2100. ‘There’s little space for dining, since designers believe humans will get their nutrients from pills by that time.’

  • Treat yourself to this amusing short story from Salman Rushdie that combines job interview drama and murder.

  • 7 Novels Overgrown with Plants. ‘Katy Simpson Smith, author of The Weeds, recommends books where botany is part of the plot device.’

  • The Dracula Daily starts up again on 03 May. The story of Dracula by Bram Stoker is told through letters and diaries, and all the action happens between 03 May and 07 November. The Dracula Daily mails a snippet of the book each day on the corresponding date, so you can experience the story on the same timeline as the characters. Sign up here.

  • This is a very cool tale of friendship and art-making — click through to read the whole story:

  • Read about what happened when someone let ChatGPT plan their vacation. ‘What are the best things to do with a baby in the Faroe Islands? I ask. ChatGPT tells me to take a scenic drive (okay, where?), hop on a boat tour (which one?), visit a picturesque village (um, any suggestions?), and go for a hike (like… off a cliff?).’

  • From now until September, you can visit and hang out in the Library of Congress Reading Room without a library card. ‘Inviting visitors to walk inside the Library’s majestic Main Reading Room directly connects to our mission to inspire the American people who visit their national library,’ said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. ‘I can think of few spaces anywhere that have the ability to inspire the kind of awe I feel every time I walk into that room.’ Majestic, indeed:

the library of congress reading room with rows of desks and the glow of table lamps in a round room with a high ceiling


New Episode of The Library of Lost Time

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.

black and white illustration of charlotte bronte

In this episode, we get excited about two books: Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club by J. Ryan Stradal and A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher. Then Mel shares her excitement about an unfinished Brontë novel that got finished. [transcript]


You should probably read Jane Eyre this weekend.

Top image courtesy of Joyce Nelson/Shutterstock.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got the best books adaptations, Czech pastries, a beautiful ghost ship, food in Roald Dahl books, Édouard Manet, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a roundup of memorable meals, new Edward Gorey exhibit, Q&A with Kelly Link, Syrian red tape, Prague book sculpture, and more.
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