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 old fishing village of Volendam, just 20 minutes from Amsterdam, is one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands to experience traditional Dutch culture. You can eat eel and stroopwafels, enjoy a historic walking tour, take the ferry to the nearby island of Marken, and pose for photos in traditional Dutch costumes. Here are the 13 best things to do in Volendam. The colorful houses above are found in Marinapark. You can stay in them and take a pleasant stroll along the old dike and enjoy the peaceful waterfront.
You might remember that we featured the book discovery site Shepherd.com in this episode of our podcast The Library of Lost Time. Shepherd.com book recommendations are presented in lists built around topics like ‘the best nonfiction books with fantastic storytelling’ or ‘the best campus novels for the 21st century’ or ‘the best novels set in beautiful locations.’ They recently invited 883 authors and super readers to share their three favorite reads of 2023. Here’s the entire list of Best Books of 2023 — plus Mel’s top picks year and Dave’s top three.
Have you ever dreamed of being a castaway? There’s an industry to help make that happen.
The six most beautiful lonely trees in Britain.
Stories About Stories (About Stories): A Reading List of Meta-Narrators. I, too, love a novel with a meta-narrator (Hello, Plain Bad Heroines!) If this is one of your favorite tropes, you might like our list of 14 novels that weave stories within stories.)
BRB. Need to go to Gladstone’s Library. ‘For more than 100 years, clergy, scholars, and ordinary people have spent their days studying and their nights sleeping in this unique institution.’ (Thanks to Helena F and Sally S for sending this our way.)
Bookish gifts for your favorite people (including you!): The Best Travel Coffee Table Books to Give (and Keep) This Year and this ridiculously cute puzzle from Accidentally Wes Anderson that can also be used to build an excellent ‘must visit’ travel list.
This made me laugh and also got me thinking about how to incorporate librarian vibes into my own wardrobe: Everyone Is Dressing Like a Hot-Girl Librarian This Fall, and We Kind of Love It.
This is damn good writing about food and Venice and being open to unusual experiences. Treat yourself!
The Best Graphic Fiction and Nonfiction of Fall 2023, including an adaptation of a beloved novel and a fresh take on the material that inspired the musical Hamilton.
Irresistible headline: This European Train Trip Was Just Crowned Instagram’s Favorite Train Ride — and It’s Only $68. You can learn more and book the Bernina Express here.
Where are my food lovers? You need to know about The Recipes Project! It’s an international research community that collaborates to showcase research on recipes through time and around the world — a.k.a., food nerds, a.k.a., some of our favorite people. Their Autumn 2023 project is Recipes as Literature, featuring essays like A Recipe for Brown Stew: ‘Brown stew, as I know it, is a steaming hot, rich, and flavourful repast. It is redolent with a heady mix of spices, spiked with tangy Worcestershire sauce and generous portions of chicken, mutton, or pork. This dish is an ode to a successful marriage of culinary cultures.’ The archive is a treasure trove of food- and recipe-related thinking, like this essay about the show The Bear set in a Chicago restaurant and Tea Gardens in Early Modern London.
Whoa! Have you seen this new graphic novel version of the classic Watership Down? It is beautiful.
On the Artisanal Craft of Making a Globe. ‘The golden age of the printed and then hand-painted globe coincided with the age of European expansion, reaching its peak at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In this period, as astronomical, geographical, and cartographical knowledge developed apace, globemakers too were inspired to experiment and refine their art. In turn, the proliferation of printing presses made it possible over time to produce more globes at a less than exorbitant cost so they became more affordable to a greater number of people.’
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: What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez and The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris. Then Dave talks about the soothing appeal of slow travel videos. [transcript]
Website for The First Cat in Space
Video: The live cartoons that inspired the book The First Cat in Space
YouTube channel: Nomadic Ambience
YouTube channel: Watched Walker
YouTube channel: Keezi Walks
Top image courtesy of Resul Muslu/Shutterstock.
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