National Book Festival, Giant Typewriter, Book Factory Pics & More: Endnotes 04 August

National Book Festival, Giant Typewriter, Book Factory Pics & More: Endnotes 04 August

Friday, 4 August, 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 beautiful card catalog above was photographed in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress (LOC), circa 1940. The world of books and library science has changed so dramatically since then! Next week (on 12 August), the LOC will celebrate stories and storytellers at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. But good news for those of us not in the US capital: A bunch of the events will be live-streamed, and videos of all the presentations will be available on demand shortly after the festival. The lineup of authors is pretty dreamy, including some we’ve featured here on Strong Sense of Place, including Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow), Daniel Nayeri (Everything Sad is Untrue), and Grady Hendrix (How to Sell a Haunted House). For all the details you need to attend IRL or to design your own virtual festival, read this overview article, then hit the National Book Festival website for the complete list of events.

  • This Daily Kos essay explores the meaning of home and sense of place in books, along with lots of book recommendations. ‘Place can amount to a one-word label, a stage set, an atmosphere, an aspiration, a puzzle box, an obstacle course, an active force, a mirror maze, a character in itself. Stories can go questing cross-country like Don Quixote or stagnate like Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Place can bring characters into contact or part them forever. But no place, no story.’

  • Yes to all of this: 24 Mansion-Style Mysteries You’ll Love if You’re a Fan of Clue.

  • The Guardian invited authors to share their pics for great summer reads. Prepare for your TBR to explode.

  • Tempting: The World’s Most Epic Room Service Experiences Worth Traveling For. ‘These are hands-on, bacchanalian in-room meals delivering to your doorstep a feast of flavors representing where you are, not what you left behind; room service spreads so incredible and indulgent to be almost intoxicating, so rich and rewarding that they are reason enough to book a flight and visit a new place, or to pack right up and do it all over again.’

  • State architecture! Click through to see each example in detail.


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.

vintage color stamp of the concorde airplane flying in a blue sky
Photo courtesy of svic/Shutterstock.

In this episode, we get excited about two books: Ms. Demeanor by Elinor Lipman and Speech Team: A Novel by Tim Murphy. Then Mel gets nostalgic about Concorde and those zippy flights across the Atlantic. [transcript]


May you enjoy the gift (and peace) of patience.

Top image courtesy of Everett Collection/Shutterstock.

Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!

keep reading

Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got why to read 'The Diary of a Provincial Lady,' quirky airfield restaurants, memorable bookstores, Edinburgh objects, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a nude author talk, 50 best mysteries, secrets of Moscow's Metropol Hotel, Moby-Dick fashion, murdery Jane Austen, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got why British shows have so few episodes, how to read well, a fun shark quiz, reading tools for the visually impaired, and more.

sharing is caring!

Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter

Join our Substack to get our FREE newsletter with podcast updates and behind-the-scenes info join in fun chats about books and travel.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
Sign up for our free Substack!
follow us

Content on this site is ©2024 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.