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.
That majestic beauty above is one of the ravens at the Tower of London. They’re cared for Christopher Skaife, Yeoman Warder Ravenmaster. He lives at the Tower and spends every day with his feathered friends, starting at dawn by letting the ravens out for a wander and then feeding them their breakfast of chicken and mouse (plus whatever treats tourists give them throughout the day). They have free rein around the grounds and are put back into their open-air cages at night. According to legend, the Crown will fall (and Britain with it) if the resident ravens ever leave the fortress. In other European cultures, ravens had a dark reputation: Sweden (souls of murdered people), Denmark (exorcised spirits), France (souls of wicked priests), and Germany (Satan himself). By all accounts, the Tower ravens are intelligent and playful, no dark powers detected. You can meet the Tower ravens in this video — more here — and in Christopher’s delightful book The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London. Or, even better, see them with your own eyes at the Tower of London. You can hear us talk about our visit there in our podcast episode London: The Tower, Tudors, and a Nice Cuppa Tea.
Oh, a good acknowledgements page is a thing of beauty. ‘I love the acknowledgements most when they are straightforward, when all they do is reveal to us the village behind a book, or what my father refers to, in the acknowledgements of one of his books, as the unified web of giving and receiving involved in creating a bound, coherent, lengthy piece of writing.’
Sort of related: Reactor says it’s out with bookclubs and in with book trades. ‘Is it a book club? A buddy read? No, but it draws inspiration from each of these… Book trades reinvigorated that distinct sense of sharing something you love with someone else and learning more about them in turn.’
I wish air travel still looked like this.
News you can use: Architectural Digest recommends 18 famous authors’ houses worth seeing. (I would like to teleport to Agatha Christie’s Greenway Estate immediately.)
Come on a short tour of the Merriam-Webster headquarters as our SMM tries to find the Wi-Fi password. pic.twitter.com/NoxgGKrxYV— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) January 22, 2024
Tree.fm invites you to tune into the sounds of forests around the world. So delightful!
Here’s a first look at Andrew Scott as Thomas Ripley for the upcoming Netflix series.
We remain firmly on Team Oxford Comma. ‘Those of us who are particularly prone to subvocalization when reading will notice that a comma suggests a rhythmic pause that an and does not…’
Merci beaucoup to SSoP listener Catherine, who sent us the listing for this very charming Paris apartment owned by Louise Penny.
While we’re mentally in Paris, why not explore this list of 13 Paris restaurants, stalls, bakeries, markets, and shops from Atlas Obscura. (You could also give our podcast episode Paris: It’s Always a Good Idea a listen.)
This headline caused an uproar this week: US Scientist Recommends Adding Salt to Make Perfect Cup of Tea.
And this is a must-click headline: Five Strategies for Taming an Unruly TBR List.
First-person account of a 24-hour reading marathon of Moby-Dick. ‘Reading Moby-Dick in one sitting connects you with the commitment of spending three years stuck on a whaling boat.’
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: Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett and Martyr! by Kaveh Akbar. Then Mel shares her excitement about a webcam in the Namib Desert. [transcript]
This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/StrongSense and get on your way to being your best self.
Distraction of the Week: Namibia Cam
video: Namibia Desert live stream
Top image courtesy of Kasturi Roy/Unsplash.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is ©2024 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.