Austin, Beach Reads, Literary Museums, Wild Rumpus, '20s Love Letters & More: Endnotes 24 May

Austin, Beach Reads, Literary Museums, Wild Rumpus, '20s Love Letters & More: Endnotes 24 May

Friday, 24 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.


Austin, Texas, is one of the best places in the world to eat breakfast tacos and BBQ, drink icy-cold beer, dance the two-step, and take a dunk in Barton Springs Pool to cool off from the heat. When we lived there (2001-2014), we ran many (many) miles on the running trail around Lady Bird Lake (shown above). We also ate hundreds of breakfasts at Habanero Mexican Cafe, our neighborhood family-owned Tex-Mex restaurant. One of our favorite eating events was to drive out into the Hill Country for our favorite BBQ ribs, potato salad, and peach cobbler at The Salt Lick (great video and my recipe for BBQ pork and sesame cole slaw). We also loved to listen to live music at the Continental Club. (One time our band played at the CC in Houston! But that’s a story for another day). Here are Culture Trip’s 17 reasons to visit Austin from and 19 things to do in Austin from CN Traveler.


black and white illustrations of the letters R E A D in the shape of buildings

  • In this recent podcast episode, we talked about what book we’d like to jump into, and Dave chose Where the Wild Things Are. One of our listeners let us know about the Wild Rumpus in Athens, Georgia. It’s the Saturday before Halloween, everyone shows up in costume, and Max leads a huge parade.

  • You need to know the name Amy Appelhans Gubser. The 55-year-old grandmother recently swam the 29.6-miles from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands (home thousands of sea lions and the world’s largest concentrations of great white sharks). Goddess!

  • Anne Bogel is the host of the must-listen podcast What Should I Read Next. Treat yourself to her photos and stories from her recent visits to international bookshops.

  • Nespoon continues to be our favorite street artist.

  • In the 18th century, theatergoers who saw Shakespeare’s King Lear got a happy ending. What?! Here’s more on how Shakespeare has been adapted through the centuries. ‘… if you find yourself in a tragedy, you’re also going to encounter comedy. And if you find yourself in a comedy, you’re also going to encounter tragedy. I think that was tough for late 17th-century and 18th-century writers to stomach. They wanted these kind of Aristotelian ideals present in their art…’ (Pssst. The last line of this article is a kicker.)

  • You definitely want to read this story about a cache of love letters from the 1920s found in the wall of an old house in Baltimore, Maryland. The photos are dreamy! ‘Her search for answers would plunge her into 1920s Baltimore society: a celebrated Johns Hopkins scientist, a famous mountaineer and a trailblazing female journalist. The letters would capture imaginations across the city and, with help from curious neighbors and The Baltimore Banner, unfurl a tale of lust and scandal and fortune.’

  • This quiz about books’ original titles is tough — and also fun. (Thank you to friend-of-SSoP Ericka for sending it to us.)


New Strong Sense of Place Episode — France: Mostly Here for the Butter

the inside of a dark church with brown wooden chairs and light shining through a round stained glass window
Our Lady Of Reims (Notre Dame De Reims, Reims, France). Photo courtesy of Numendil/Unsplash.

According to people in the know, there are two Frances: Paris and the rest of the (alluring, picturesque) country. We got all daydreamy about Paris in a previous episode. Now, we’re celebrating the châteaux, coastlines, cathedrals, cuisine, mountains, and museums that give France its unique je ne sais quoi.

In this episode, we take a virtual road trip around France, explore the Bayeux Tapestry, and get curious about an obscure (and deeply romantic) French law. Then we recommend five great books that took us to France on the page, including a charming slice-of-life novel (that made Mel happy to be a human), a thrilling fictional biography, a cozy Mediterranean murder mystery, the tale of a badass lady spy in WWII, and a lyrical novel that will break your heart and put it back together. [transcript]

Visit our show notes for photos, links to fascinating stuff, videos, author info, and more.


BRB, gotta go eat a baguette.

Top image courtesy of Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash.

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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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