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.
No surprise: Hot chocolate is beloved around the world. You can sip it a little spicy in Mexico, dunk churros into a cup in Spain, or top it with marshmallows in the US. But did you know about the sweet traditions in Italy, France, Austria, St. Lucia, and more? In this article, The Guardian explains why cozy living — hot drinks, soft socks, escapist books and movies — is good for us. ‘When it’s dark and cold outside (not to mention existentially troubling), our sense of survival kicks in, and we withdraw to that place we feel safest – home.’ So consider this your invitation to make a cup of hot chocolate, grab your favorite snuggly blanket, and burrow in with a good book.
This is an old piece but so very relevant: Why You Should Read Like A Teen Again. ‘Teen reading is a phrase I use not to describe a certain type of book — you can teen read Jane Austen or David Foster Wallace — but a certain style of reading: when you block everything and everyone else out, and immerse yourself in the world of the book until you reach the point that even going to the bathroom is an annoyance.’ (In related news, the fantastic Anne Helen Petersen, author of that article, writes an excellent Substack and is launching a new podcast called Culture Study that explores the premise ‘everything is interesting.’)
You probably definitely need one of these Levar Burton ‘Read Banned Books’ t-shirts.
The Christmas book tree sponsored by Hatchards books at St. Pancras Station.— Mark Stephens (@MarksLarks) November 28, 2023
The little booths at the bottom have speakers that read you a story while you wait for your train. pic.twitter.com/tt9HKa6Zh8
This is a fun peak behind the scenes of the Library of Congress: Nathan Dorn explains his job curating rare books in the Law Library.
Another behind-the-scenes look: visiting the Vatican’s secret archive.
Whoa, how do you feel about the idea of abolishing literary genres? The Guardian makes the argument.
Where are my fellow Wolf Hall fans?! I’m delighted to share that the screen adaptation of The Mirror & The Light is in the works; Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis are back as Cromwell and Henry VIII. If you’ve yet to read the novels, you could join this Wolf Hall read-along. I’m in!
Murder Is Easy: Britbox Offers First-Look at the Stylish New Agatha Christie Adaptation. One hundred percent yes to all of that.
The movie Saltburn seems to be an appropriately beautiful and unsettling Gothic tale. Architectural Digest has a look at the country house where the action goes down.
Treat yourself to a holiday romance! Author Amy Tector (friend of Strong Sense of Place) is sharing a ‘serialized holiday romance involving a plucky florist and a tall, dark, and handsome entrepreneur’ on her Substack. It’s called Snowdrop Kisses. What’s better than that?! The story is free; to get it, sign up for Amy’s Substack, then turn on the posts for Snowdrop Kisses. Mwah!
Oooh! Let’s go to Detroit’s gorgeous, retro Ash-Bar.
Peeping at others’ book annotations and journals is such a treat. Julia Child’s culinary notes are appropriately dishy. You will be charmed by her scrapbook and list of restaurants.
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: The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer and The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez. Then Dave recommends three great tabletop games to play with your favorite people. [transcript]
Distraction of the Week: Tabletop Games
Video: You Should Be Playing SCOUT!
Top image courtesy of Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas/Pexels.
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