Red Lotus Sea, Book Holster, Charles Dickens' Art, Bench Love & More: Endnotes 16 June

Red Lotus Sea, Book Holster, Charles Dickens' Art, Bench Love & More: Endnotes 16 June

Friday, 16 June, 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 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.


  • 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.


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 a man with mustache against an orange world map with the words 80 days

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]


Going somewhere? Take a book!

Top image courtesy of Nattawat_SPhoto/Shutterstock.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got 15 audiobooks for road trips, Judy Blume's fave books, where to eat around the world in 2023, sweet clothesline art, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got the best sandwiches in Atlanta, an iconic hotel, why libraries are essential, the best spots for nature swimming, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got all-American country house murder mysteries, Taiwan's Rainbow Village, menopause novels, short stories vs. novels, and more.

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