Strawberry Season, Sicily, Sci-Fi Romance, Bridgerton Sets & More: Endnotes 17 May

Strawberry Season, Sicily, Sci-Fi Romance, Bridgerton Sets & More: Endnotes 17 May

Friday, 17 May, 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.


Rejoice! Strawberries are in season or will be soon in much of the world. We recently watched this video about sandwiches from around the globe, and Dave was smitten with the strawberry-and-whipped-cream sandwich from Japan. Here’s a good how-to post if you want to try it yourself. Strawberries are at all the markets in Prague right now. They’re sweet and delicious, but they are notoriously finicky and want to be eaten pretty much immediately. Here are 3 simple methods for storing strawberries, in case your strawberries are jerks, too. Finally, strawberries don’t only have to be dessert. Check out this video of strawberry dishes from around the world; I might try the strawberry sambol from Indonesia this weekend! Here’s a simple recipe.

  • If you’re trying to learn a foreign language, here are helpful tips for becoming an amateur polyglot.

  • These sculptures based on doodles are a delight to see — and their story is quite poignant. ‘When visiting his hometown of Runik, Kosovo, back in 2010, Petrit Halilaj realized that his elementary school was being demolished. He went to the site—which had miraculously survived the Yugoslav wars that spurred his family to flee to an Albanian refugee camp in 1998—and found a pile of desks, many with doodles and notes scratched into their surfaces. These etchings have now found their way to New York, where they’re perched atop The Met’s rooftop garden…’ Here’s a video interview with the artist.

  • Treat yourself to this gallery of finalists for the Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year.

  • I’m a superfan of Natasha Pulley’s novels (The Bedlam Stacks, The Kingdoms, The Half Life of Valery K), so I’m inclined to trust her recommendations for the 5 best sci-fi romance novels.

  • This marriage of classic novels and rich paint colors is pretty cool.

  • I keep crossing paths with articles about the novel The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley. It sounds great! Esquire weighs in on why we love time-travel fiction — and here’s the author explaining why writing her book was so much fun.

  • The Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, recently showed an exhibit called Holbein and the Renaissance of the North. There’s an excellent interactive piece online exploring paintings and other objects from 16th-century Europe.

  • Tangentially related: Last week, I mentioned t-shirts emblazoned with women authors’ names. I noticed that Hilary Mantel was missing from the store, so I wrote them and asked them to consider adding her. It worked! You can now get a t-shirt or sweatshirt to shout-out Dame Hilary.


New Mini-Pod Episode: Top 10 Books from our First Five Seasons

a little boy lying on a bottom bunk bed reading a comic book in the dark while wearing a headlamp
Photo courtesy of Hans Isaacson/Unsplash.

Since we launched Strong Sense of Place in 2020, we’ve produced five seasons — 56 episodes — of the show. We’ve also shared our love for books through 101 episodes of The Library of Lost Time podcast — and we’ve introduced to 500 books we love.

Thanks to you, we’ve had over one million downloads (!) and, the best part of all, we feel like we’re part of a massive book club filled with the best people. Thank you for that!

In this mini-episode, we each looked back through our book recommendations to find our top 10 titles from the first fives seasons of the show. Maybe you’ll find your new favorites, too! [transcript]

Stuff We Mentioned

Dave’s Top 10

Mel’s Top 10

All book rankings subject to change immediately.

Top image courtesy of Angèle Kamp/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got the story of Chicago club Mister Kelly's, 14 underwater hotels, 30 best romances, Austen characters as detectives, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got epic Hollywood reads, a new comic from the author of Gender Queer, crime novels with a strong sense of place, idioms, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got books shelved by emotion, the new Accidentally Wes Anderson exhibit, 8 great campus novels, Jane Austen House Museum, and more.

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