Tower Ravens, Acknowledgements Pages, Forest Sounds, Oxford Comma & More: Endnotes 26 January

Tower Ravens, Acknowledgements Pages, Forest Sounds, Oxford Comma & More: Endnotes 26 January

Friday, 26 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.


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 videomore 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.’

  • Useful! 75 Book Club Discussion Questions For Every Genre.

  • 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.)


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.

bright blue sky and bright red-orange sand with an antelope walking across the desert
Photo courtesy of Joe McDaniel/Unsplash.

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 and get on your way to being your best self.

Distraction of the Week: Namibia Cam


Wishing you something that delights you.

Top image courtesy of Kasturi Roy/Unsplash.

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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.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got wintry reads from the Booker Library, new literary screen adaptations, journaling prompts, fairy-tale destinations, and more.

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