Jerusalem Synagogue, Bookbinding, NYPL Archive, Turkistan & More: Endnotes 29 September

Jerusalem Synagogue, Bookbinding, NYPL Archive, Turkistan & More: Endnotes 29 September

Friday, 29 September, 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.


The colorful building above is the Jerusalem (Jubilee) Synagogue in Prague. Built in 1906, it’s an outstanding example of Moorish Revival architecture blended with Art Nouveau decor. The facade features arcades, two turrets, and a rose window shaped like the Star of David. The inscription over the entrance reads in Hebrew, ‘This is the gate to which the righteous will come.’ The interior’s mix of Moorish detailing (arches, columns, and gilt) with Art Nouveau embellishments (bright colors, flowers, and grapevine motifs) makes it one of the most beautiful synagogues in Europe. Originally named in honor of the silver Jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, the synagogue was renamed Jerusalem (for the street on which it’s found) after Czechoslovakia gained its independence from the Hapsburg Empire in 1918. Today, it’s still an active place of worship, a Jewish museum, and a music venue. Take a peek inside with these photos and enjoy a short (and sweet) video tour.

  • Treat yourself to this essay about the joys of physical books and finding your voice. ‘You could say I’d found my voice. But really I began to understand that my joy as an artist had come not from following rules that govern good art-making but from giving into seduction. When I gave into the magnetism of that image and the sound of those words — wind pushes — I approached writing the way I’d approached artist’s books. And something special happened.’

  • This is a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at the archives division of the New York Public Library. ‘Indeed, if the field could be said to have a creed, it’s that archivists aren’t there to tell you what’s important. Historically momentous documents are to be left in folders next to the trivial and the mundane — because who’s to say what’s actually mundane or not?’

  • 4 Scenic Amtrak Routes for Stunning Views of Fall Foliage.

  • Sorta related — click through to see all of them:

  • Fancy a trip to Asia’s Silk Road? Here are the five best things to do in the Kazakh city of Turkistan. BRB, I need to visit the Kuanysh Bazaar. ‘Fragments of Kazakhstani history are obscured within grand minarets and beneath sandy ruins. The mausoleums of 12th-century Sufi mystics soar into the sky, and colorful bazaars spread acres wide, dotting the rich downtown core with Kazakh art and cuisine.’

  • If you were inspired by the story of girl journalist Nellie Bly (Eight Days) in our podcast episode about the newsroom (Newsroom: From Clacking Typewriters to Viral Video), you need to know about the new Nellie Bly opera in Philadelphia.

  • Yes, justice for comics! Why It Matters That Marvel Comics Are Becoming Penguin Classics. ‘These texts are classics of their kind—groundbreaking in context and astoundingly influential, not just at the time but in their ongoing impact upon contemporary popular culture. They are indeed classics of popular literature (just like Dickens or Stevenson…or Shakespeare, for that matter), but they also challenge traditional conceptions of the literary, in that their achievements depend on the interaction of the verbal and the visual (making them closer to films than traditional novels).’


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.

lavender background with screenshots of a phone with the nytimes game connections on the screen

In this episode, we get excited about two books: Black River Orchard by Chuck Wendig and The Secret Hours by Mick Herron. Then Craig, from the Overdue Podcast, shares why he loves the word game Connections. [transcript]

We’re delighted to have Craig, co-host of the Overdue Podcast, as our guest to share his ‘Distraction of the Week.

photos of andrew and craig with the overdue podcast logo which is a green book with the word overdue in gold letters


Wishing you a pumpkin-spiced, cozy-sweater, unputdownable-book kind of week.

Top image courtesy of DeepGreen/Shutterstock.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a walk across England, a Daphne du Maurier interview, rock-style literary tshirts, A Haunting in Venice, food trails, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got tasty reading snacks, the history of goody two-shoes, before-and-after pics around the world, stunning libraries, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got new words in, the history of the BLT, why to visit Albania, 38 literary adaptations, fall thrillers, and more.

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