Italian Foxes, Poison Pen Letters, Author Fighters, Poem Joy & More: Endnotes 01 March

Italian Foxes, Poison Pen Letters, Author Fighters, Poem Joy & More: Endnotes 01 March

Friday, 1 March, 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 pretty red fox above lives in an equally picturesque area: Parco della Maremma (also known as Parco dell’Uccellina) a stretch of coast along the Mediterranean that boasts forest, mountains, and a pristine beach. You can tour on horseback, bicycle, canoe, or on foot — and along the way you might meet deer, badgers, fox, porcupines, hares, martens, maybe a wolf or wild boar, and the ancient Maremma cattle. There are also geese, cranes, osprey, falcons, woodpeckers, and owls. Basically, if you go there, you’re a Disney prince or princess. Enjoy this short video tour (with an excellent soundtrack); this is also a good one.

  • The real-life story on which the new film Wicked Little Letters is based. ‘The unusual part of this is that these letters were tapping into neighboring issues to do with dirty back gardens. It’s a way of understanding neighboring — particularly feminine neighboring — at the time.’

  • Eugène-François Vidocq and the birth of the detective: ‘According to his memoirs, Eugène-François Vidocq escaped from more than twenty prisons (sometimes dressed as a nun). Working on the other side of the law, he apprehended some 4000 criminals with a team of plainclothes agents. He founded the first criminal investigation bureau — staffed mainly with convicts — and, when he was later fired, the first private detective agency. He was one the fathers of modern criminology and had a rap sheet longer than his very tall tales.’

  • Have you ever played Street Fighter and thought to yourself, ‘I would enjoy this game so much more if it was Leo Tolstoy wailing on Charles Dickens. I just can’t enjoy a fighting game unless it’s made up of classic writers!’ This is the game for you:


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.

actor david tennant wearing gray and black standing on an empty stage in a spotlight
Photo courtesy of Marc Brenner.

In this episode, we get excited about two books: Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis and Transient and Strange: Notes on the Science of Life by Nell Greenfieldboyce. Then Mel talks about how she’s delving into Shakespeare. [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: Delving into Shakespeare


By the pricking of my thumbs, something awesome this way comes.

Top image courtesy of Federico Di Dio Photography/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a sneak peek at TV's A Gentleman in Moscow, aphrodisiacs from around the world, colorful cities, a tricksy word quiz, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Rosa Parks' peanut butter pancakes, glass igloos in Greenland, temples carved out of rock, bejeweled book covers, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got books at the edge of the world, artistic hummus, a deep dive into a Manet painting, the return of edgy EC Comics, and more.

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