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 pink paradise above is the Red Lotus Sea (Talay Bua Daeng) in Thailand’s Nong Han Lake. You can ride a pontoon boat across the lake to float among the flowers and visit one of the small islands with Buddha statues, shrines, and pagodas. You might also spy a local fisherman quietly gliding by on his longboat. Although lotus is right there in the name, the flowers that bloom from December through February are actually tropical water lilies. The best time to view them is early morning; the lilies close up their petals when the sun becomes too strong. Water lilies have a special meaning in Buddhism: Because they close up and reopen in the morning, they symbolize spiritual rebirth. According to this article, after your float among the lilies, you can get breakfast (fried sticky rice!) cooked to order by friendly locals on shore. Here are more tips for visiting the Red Lotus Sea — and a short, sweet video.
Boom! People Who Read Live Longer Than Those Who Dont. A new Yale study finds that reading books in particular returns cognitive gains that increase longevity.
Mental Floss weighs in with 46 books that changed the world.
I loved this piece on LitHub: A Place of Both Solitude and Belonging: In Praise of the Park Bench. Cities with lots of benches feel so welcoming! Think of all the things that happen on benches — reading, heart-to-heart conversations, picnics, daydreaming, maybe even a first kiss (or thousandth).
100% need this:
I'd rather have it and not have to use it than not have it when I need it 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/KIvKTrq8vN— Jonathan Edward Durham (@thisone0verhere) June 8, 2023
About 2500 years ago, Ennigaldi-Nanna was a priestess, princess, and the first archaeologist in history. I talked about her in our podcast episode about museums — and this is an excellent essay about her life and legacy.
Gallic Books translates French fiction for English-speaking readers. This quiz will help you find your perfect summer book in translation.
The Charles Dickens Illustrated Gallery is an archive of all the original illustrations to Charles Dickens novels. They’re high-res scans that you’re welcome to ‘download, browse, share, remix, research, or use in whatever ways you can imagine.’
This is such a nice story. Dementia prevented an Italian granny from recognizing a family recipe — that turned out to be a classic that’s 1600 years old — so some kind souls on Reddit helped out.
Actresses Laura Dern and her mom Diane Ladd share the books that mean the most to them.
Art Spiegelman is the author of the groundbreaking (and Pulitzer Prize-winning) graphic novel Maus. In this Q&A with PEN America, he talks about book banning and why kids need to have access to stories.
Let’s build a time machine and go immediately here: LA’s Clifton’s Brookside Cafeteria. The interior was decorated with fake flowers, a burbling stream, and taxidermy; the menu was the greatest hits of American comfort food.
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: Unpacking for Greece by Sally Jane Smith and Europe by Train by DL Eyewitness. Then Mel gets excited about adaptations of Around the World in 80 Days. [transcript]
Unpacking for Greece by Sally Jane Smith.
Europe by Train by DL Eyewitness
The super-handy train travel website The Man in Seat Sixty-One.
Strong Sense of Place podcast: Newsroom: From Clacking Typewriters to Viral Video.
Top image courtesy of Nattawat_SPhoto/Shutterstock.
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