Transylvania, Reading+Empathy, Haunted House Novels, World Cuisine & More: Endnotes 27 October

Transylvania, Reading+Empathy, Haunted House Novels, World Cuisine & More: Endnotes 27 October

Friday, 27 October, 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.

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The medieval hilltop building above is not the home of a witch, vampire, or werewolf (as far as we know). It’s the UNESCO-protected Biertan fortified church, built in 1524. The village of Biertan is about halfway between the towns of Sighisoara and Medias in Romania, and it’s a fairy tale land of green rolling hills and traditional farms. The church is surrounded by vineyards and is protected by 35-foot-high defensive walls (10.6 meters) that connect its towers and gates. This place was pretty much impenetrable during medieval times. Here’s a lovely video of the outside of the church and the surrounding countryside — and here is a brief tour of the inside with a guide. This is everything you need to know about the fortified churches of Transylvania.

 
 
 
  • Irresistible headline: Accrington Woman, 107, Says Secret to Long Life Is Cups of Tea.

  • 26 Spooky British Movies for Creepy Autumn Nights. Stream ‘em right now!

  • Really enjoyed this travel writing in Eater about food in Ireland. ‘Upon entering St. George’s, I paid £1 for an oyster caught that morning and shucked before my eyes, and knew I was in a really special place. I downed a towering breakfast sandwich loaded with potatoes, and mushrooms, and sausage, and egg on top of a Belfast bap, the city’s signature crusty roll. I bought some of the best strawberries I’d ever eaten from a woman who grew them in her backyard. And then, I stumbled upon the chewy, crunchy dessert that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about for months: a coconut-dusted tray of Fifteens.’

  • The History Behind 8 Halloween Words. Wraith! Banshee! Vampire! And other haunting words…

  • The Best Hotels – and Hotel Bars – in Espionage Fiction. ‘These intimate, dark, private settings facilitate the whispered conversations that set in motion the skullduggery of espionage: bribes, coups, assassinations, and the exchange of classified information.’

  • Fashion inspiration for when you’re having tea with Edward Gorey:

 
  • 7 Must-Read Nigerian Horror Novels. ‘Adorah Nworah, author of House Woman, recommends spine-tingling books that will scare you.’ (For more on Nigeria, treat yourself to our podcast and book recommendations.)

  • This bookish exhibit — Bookends and Beginnings: Stories from Our Collections by Our Volunteers — at The Portico Library in Manchester, UK, sounds like a delight. The Portico is a subscription library and newsroom with a big volunteer staff. The new exhibit ‘gathers together stories written, interpreted, and shared by our volunteers about what captivates them in the collection.’ The library seems like a book-lover’s paradise: ‘Some [books] are stored on the highest shelf, four meters above the ground. The titles that are visible on the spines invite you to open them and to read what people read 200 years ago… They include intriguing titles like Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling or curious ones such as Things Not Generally Known.’

  • A nice recap of Shirley Jackson’s best works and why she remains the queen of quiet horror.

  • Do you want to draw a cute vampire or witch? Ed Emberley’s Little Drawing Book of Weirdos_ shows you how.

page from a book that shows how to draw a vampire with simple geometric shapes

 
 

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.

misty woods surrounding a gray gothic castle
Photo courtesy of Tony Findeisen/Unsplash.

In this episode, we get excited about two books: The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley and Starter Villain by John Scalzi. Then Mel explains what she means when she says the magic word ‘Gothic.’ [transcript]

Gothic novels mentioned during the Distraction of the Week:

 

May you have an enjoyably spooky encounter this Halloween.

Top image courtesy of Vlad Sokolovsky/Shutterstock.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a visit to Agatha Christie's Torquay, bookish Zoom backgrounds, breakfast around the world, literary dinner parties, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got pretty abandoned places, an unusual reading light, book shelfies, a stunning Regency manor house, author bio pics, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a chat with Jason Reynolds, canals you need to know, a spooky train ride, stuff allowed by TSA, new indie press books, and more.

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