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.
How’d you like to bundle up and spend a night in the icy Hotel de Glace in Quebec, Canada? Made from 500,000 tons of ice and 15,000 tons of snow, it’s built every winter and disappears in spring. In between, the 85 frosty guest rooms, cocktail bar (serving drinks in glasses made of ice), art gallery, and chapel are visited by intrepid adventurers who prefer the cool side of the pillow. The beds are covered with sleeping bags, furs, and blankies to make the chilly accommodations feel cozy. (The temperatures inside ranges from 26.6 to 41F / -3 to 5C.) Amenities include LED lights, fireplaces, and guided tours that take you behind the scenes of the ice hotel’s construction; extensive review with photos here. Fun fact: The hotel was featured in the Hallmark movie Winter Castle. (Will the romance of the gorgeous wintry hotel bring Jenny and Craig together?) Enjoy this video that takes you on a tour of the hotel.
The BBC podcast In Our Time tackles fascinating topics in history, science, and literature with expert guests. Here’s their episode on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Holiday reads with totally different vibes: Christmas Horror Books That Invoke the Ghostly Spirit of Ancient Yuletide, 11 Holiday Romances to Make Your Spirits Bright This Season, and Christmas Mysteries: A Tradition Revived.
This essay about the pleasures of writing with a pencil made my heart all warm and mushy. ‘As a poet I belong to the pencil… Only in pencil do I dare the blank page.’
Irresistible headline: That Time Manet Dueled One of His Critics.
Ricky Jay was a fantastic magician — and now his personal archive of rare books, spirit photography, magic posters, and more will have a permanent home at the Lilly Library (Indiana University Bloomington).
The Grolier Club in NYC was founded in 1884 and is ‘America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles.’ Their website has a nice collection of online exhibits — right now, IRL and online, they’re hosting Whodunit? Key Books in Detective Fiction. If you can’t get there in person, take a tour with these photos or attend this free Zoom event on 06 February.
Maybe you want to add an Icelandic-style book party to your holiday celebrations.
Take a virtual stroll down the 53 most beautiful streets in the world.
Here’s a trip worth daydreaming about: Exploring Senegal’s Vibrant Countryside by River Cruise. ‘The banks were lined with garden plots—quadrants of onion, pepper, and tomatoes, drooping banana orchards, and thickets of sugar cane. Women hacked at the ground with mattocks. Herds of lanky zebu cattle the color of chocolate—white, dark, and milky brown—stood brisket-deep in the river while their minders watched us drift past.’
TILDA SWINTON AS LIBRARIES: a thread— Jude Atwood (@JudeAtwood) December 7, 2021
Tilda Swinton as Texas Southern University's Library Learning Center pic.twitter.com/jqSzvnOJ0W
Which classic literary heroine are you based on your zodiac sign? (I’m Fanny Price from Mansfield Park.)
We tried this basque-style cheesecake in Spain, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it changed everything I thought I knew about cheesecake.
Sorta related: Saveur explains The Science of Savoring. ‘Savoring your food, ultimately, helps you savor the rest of your life.’
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: This Is Christmas, Song by Song by Annie Zaleski and The Bathysphere Book by Brad Fox. Then Mel gets daydreamy about the deliciousness of fresh toast. [transcript]
Video: It Snowed by Meaghan Smith
Distraction of the Week: Toast & Beryl Shereshewsky
YouTube Playlist: Beryl Shereshewsky’s Toast Series
Top image courtesy of Jon Garrison/Unsplash.
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