Iceland, Audiobook Biz, Admont Abbey Library, World Wonders 2023 & More: Endnotes 19 May

Iceland, Audiobook Biz, Admont Abbey Library, World Wonders 2023 & More: Endnotes 19 May

Friday, 19 May, 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.


Skógafoss waterfall in Iceland looks like it’s straight out of an epic fantasy story, right? Not shown in that gorgeous photo above: the rainbows often caused by mist thrown by the rushing waters, a nearby moss-covered rock formation that looks like a troll (!), the 500 steps you can climb to the top for a panoramic view, and a chest filled with gold and other treasures tucked behind the falls. Of course, because it’s Iceland and Icelanders are all about sagas and storytelling, there’s an old rhyme about the chest: ‘Þrasakista auðug er / undir fossi Skóga / hver sem þangað fyrstur fer / finnur auðlegð nóga’ which means ‘The chest of Þrasi is filled with treasures / located beneath Skógafoss waterfall, / the first man who goes there / will find great richness.’ Here’s everything you need to know about hiking waterfall way and 5 things to know about the Skógafoss waterfall. If you can’t get there in person soon, here’s a lovely video instead.

  • If you only read one thing today, make it this: How to Survive a Car Crash in 10 Easy Steps. Journalist Anne Lagamayo shares an intimate look at what happened when she survived a terrible crash. It’s breathtakingly intimate and razor-sharp. Example: ‘A nurse tells you to get an eyepatch to make it easier to focus on one image,” she writes. “On paper, this sounds insanely cool because you have visions of yourself as a badass war reporter like Marie Colvin or a drunk pirate like Jack Sparrow. But you also have glasses, so the nurse just tapes the right side of your frames with medical tape and you look so much like a bullied fifth grader that you feel the urge to stuff yourself in a locker.’

  • Gizmo Story bares its tender underbelly to internet wars with this list of the 40 best fictional characters of all time, ever.

  • So much eye candy here! 8 Hotels Straight Out of a Wes Anderson Movie. The Jane in New York City looks so dreamy.

  • Here’s a map of ‘The Many Disgusting Dishes & Culinary Horrors of Europe’. I must strongly disagree with the ‘lard’ and ‘salted pig fat’ of Eastern Europe. There’s a dish called škvarková pomazánka, and it’s delicious. It’s lard with bits of crispy cracklings and course salt that’s spread onto pillowy rye bread and topped with a few slivers of onion and pickle. It’s salty, chewy, fatty, savory, and perfect with Czech beer.

  • I cannot wait to get my hands on One Hundred Year-Old Wisdom by cartoonist Rebecca Roher. Here’s a peek at what to expect:

  • A Reader Is Not a Consumer of Books. I am into the well-written ranting found herein. Tasty morsel: ‘We take in art, intellectually and emotionally, and it still exists. The truth of art is that it is un-consumable. You cannot devour it like an apple, leaving only a core for whoever comes next. You can take it all in and it still persists. You can inhale a book, a show, a movie, and it remains there, ready for the next viewer or reader to breathe in.’

  • Oooh, I loved this essay on CrimeReads about my all-time favorite novel. ‘Recently, I re-read Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is a dark, bewitching book, and this time, I hunted for monsters in it.’

  • This seems like a fine basis for a want-to-go-there list: The Seven Wonders of the World for 2023. I might start with Mont Saint-Michel in France.

  • These illustrations constructed of dried flowers by artist Helen Ahpornsiri are so delicate and whimsical. Her website has a helpful guide to pressing flowers, in case you want to give it a go.


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.

cobblestone alley on a cloudy day with a light blue wall decorated with small plaques
Photo courtesy of Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock.

In this episode, we get excited about two books: Tasting History by Max Miller and This Isn’t Going to End Well by Daniel Wallace. Then Mel transports us to a street in Vilnius, Lithuania, made for book lovers. [transcript]


Find an irresistible rabbit hole of curiosity and go explore.

Top image courtesy of Maridav/Shutterstock.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Hilary Mantel's unfinished last novel, beautiful/affordable Airbnbs, firefly spectacle, why we need dinner parties, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got library cafés and wine bars, Sri Lankan mobile bakeries, English Breakfast Society, spite houses, fun reading lists, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got summer short story collections, a dive into an Anne Brontë poem, crime novels set in Gibraltar, a Chinese bookshop, and more.

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