Botanical Garden, Library-Themed Bars, Curse Words, Castle Hotels & More: Endnotes 19 January

Botanical Garden, Library-Themed Bars, Curse Words, Castle Hotels & More: Endnotes 19 January

Friday, 19 January, 2024

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 greenhouse above is found in the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays). The Art Nouveau greenhouse was built for the Paris Exposition of 1889 — where it won an award — and was them moved to Buenos Aires in sections and reassembled. The garden was designed by French landscape architect Charles Thays. As the Director of Parks & Walkways, he spiffed up the city, redesigning public plazas and walkways, planting trees to line the streets, and revamping the parks. (Hence the Parisian vibe of Buenos Aires.) Thay’s design featured plants native to Argentina, along with three distinct landscape styles: a Roman garden (with cypresses, poplars, and laurels), a French garden (with symmetry, gravel paths, a reflecting pool, and statues), and an Oriental garden (with trees from Asia). The garden is also known for its free-roaming cats and its Botanic Library with 1,000 books and 10,000 publications from all over the world. This video is a nice stroll through the grounds.

  • Remember when I recommended the fantastic The World Central Kitchen Cookbook on The Library of Lost Time? On 06 February, an online event The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: The Power of Food will bring together three panelists who’ve ‘dedicated their lives to making change through food.’ It’s moderated by Chef Andrew Zimmern, and it’s free! Register here.

  • Karel Čapek, a Czechoslovak writer, playwright, and journalist, is credited with coining the word robot in his play R.U.R.. I read it a few years ago before visiting his villa that’s been transformed into a museum about his life and work. The centennial of the play is marked by the publication of a new translation of the play and a collection of essays: R.U.R. and the Vision of Artificial Life by Jitka Čejková. Read an excerpt at LitHub.

  • Gadzooks! A Brief History of Curse Words. ‘Well, shoot: Curse words have been through a lot of doggone stages to get to where they are today. Mark Twain once said that under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer, and people have been swearing as long as they’ve been praying.’

  • Whoa. This paper samurai!


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.

open airy room with an enormous globe made of lights in the center
Photo courtesy of Planet Word Museum.

In this episode, we get excited about two books: The Fury by Alex Michaelides and Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge by Lizzie Pook. Then Dave recommends the delightful Planet Word Museum in Washington, DC. [transcript]

This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at and get on your way to being your best self.

Distraction of the Week: Planet Word Museum


You know what’s a great word? Serendipity.

Top image courtesy of Maia Habegger/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got fashion in Jane Austen's novels, a Swedish mitten museum, mid-century Christmas photos, traditional French cuisine, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got 230 books to read in 2024, a new David Copperfield audiobook, 11 beautiful thatched roof villages, the Vasa Museum, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Japanese book bags, 11 elevated nature walks, the bear that became a corporal, a poem read by Helena Bonham Carter, and more.

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