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.
One piece of architecture from every U.S. state, in alphabetical order:— The Cultural Tutor (@culturaltutor) July 19, 2023
Is it even summer if Tom Cruise doesn’t run in a movie?
The Problem with National Dishes. Author Anya von Bremzen talks about her new book National Dish: Around the World in Search of Food, History, and the Meaning of Home and questions’ everything we thought we knew about pizza, mole, and ramen.’
Tap dancing on a giant typewriter? Yes, please.
The word Kabinettschrank is German for ‘cabinet cupboard’ and describes a large cupboard comprised of smaller cupboards. At The Getty, there’s art behind each little door.
Treat yourself to these photos of people working in a Scottish book factory in the 1960s.
This would make an excellent reading project: all of the books on the Center for Fiction 2023 First Novel Prize Longlist.
So cool! Edward Hopper’s storyboard sketches for the painting Nighthawks. ‘Sometime in 1941 or ‘42, Edward Hopper, who liked to prowl New York City with a handheld sketchbook, lingered in a diner, making studies of a man wearing a suit and a fedora… The man, seen in just slightly more profile, is an early and close relation to the painted version in Nighthawks, Hopper’s melancholy, suggestive, much-parodied 1942 masterpiece that is surely the most famous diner scene in art history.’
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: 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]
Ms. Demeanor by Elinor Lipman
Speech Team: A Novel by Tim Murphy
Visit Elinor Lipman’s website.
Review of The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman.
Review of The Way Men Act by Elinor Lipman.
Review of Isabel’s Bed by Elinor Lipman.
Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde by Lawrence Azerrad
Top image courtesy of Everett Collection/Shutterstock.
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