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?’
Sorta related — click through to see all of them:
On this day 197 years ago the world's first ever public railway was opened in northern England.— The Cultural Tutor (@culturaltutor) September 27, 2023
And a whole new form of architecture was born: the train station.
So, to celebrate, here are some of the world's greatest train stations... pic.twitter.com/rvxqgO54PG
Popcorn is my all-time favorite snack food, so I was very into this: Popcorn Is a Time Capsule for How We Snack. (I like the idea of popcorn for breakfast! It’s like cereal without the milk, no?)
These award-winning nature photos capture wild animals in gorgeous and surprising ways.
I love these colorful t-shirts from the American Association of School Librarians.
Click through to see how to call someone a ‘bookworm’ anywhere in the world:
The most common French name for a bookworm is rat de bibliothèque, or "library rat". However, my gran, who grew up in Ardes, would often refer to an avid reader as a buveur d'encre. It means "ink drinker"— Adam Sharp (@AdamCSharp) September 26, 2023
* read on for more names for bookworms from around the world (a thread)...
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).’
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: 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]
Video: Slow Horses trailer
We’re delighted to have Craig, co-host of the Overdue Podcast, as our guest to share his ‘Distraction of the Week.
Twitter: Overdue Podcast
Top image courtesy of DeepGreen/Shutterstock.
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