Oregon Coast, Mary Bennett, Email Sign-Offs, Cairo Dining, Book-O-Mat & More: Endnotes 14 June

Oregon Coast, Mary Bennett, Email Sign-Offs, Cairo Dining, Book-O-Mat & More: Endnotes 14 June

Friday, 14 June, 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’s the Oregon Coast up there, and those chairs look like a pretty great place to spend a chunk of the summer, right? With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Oregon Coast Range to the east, it’s a 363-mile-long wonderland of more than 80 state parks with iconic beaches, dramatic sea cliffs, quiet bays, and windswept sand dunes. The Oregon Dunes are North America’s largest expanse of coastal dunes — and they inspired Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune. If you’re feeling like an adventure, you can walk the Oregon Coast Trail. Miles and miles of paths — on beaches, forest pine needles, and the sidewalks of shoreline towns — can be enjoyed as a single-day hike or a string of back-to-back expeditions. Here’s a video for a sneak peek. More news you can use: There’s also a food trail where you can pick blueberries, try cranberry rum, dine on local crab cakes, forage for edible seaweed, or relax with a picnic of local foods. Here are 10 don’t-miss spots on the Oregon coast.

  • Take a look at the British country hotels that inspired the setting in Lucy Foley’s new thriller The Midnight Feast.

  • Biographies written for kids are a great way to learn the basics about famous people, usually with fantastic illustrations. Here’s a roundup of 15 picture books that celebrate the lives of great artists, writers, and scientists.

  • When ‘sincerely yours’ just won’t do it: a collection of creative email sign-offs. Looking forward to using have the day you deserve soon.

  • Yes, please, I would like to eat in any (all?) of these 19 essential Cairo restaurants. I think I’d start with Khufu’s. So dreamy.

  • Can’t get to Italy this summer? Here are five podcasts that will transport you there.

  • In our recent podcast New York City: NO! SLEEP! TILL BROOKLYN!, Dave told a story in Two Truths and a Lie about Books & Burlesque and included what he thought was a made-up drag-queen name: Page Turner. We were delighted to learn she’s real. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Paige Turner.

  • Reading with friends is more fun! Why not join this read-along of Jane Austen’s Emma.

  • Treat yourself to this lovely letter from Normandy. ‘The sound of accordion music fills the air as I turn out of the alley and walk toward the Great Clock of Rouen. It seems a street musician has claimed his spot in the cathedral square particularly early on this Sunday morning, and his songs have been floating through the empty streets, following me like an old-school French soundtrack as I walk past the half-timbered buildings of the old town.’

  • Related: There’s a new novel-length retelling of Pride & Prejudice with five Mary Bennetts. It’s called Pride & Prejudice: Oops All Marys, and eight chapters are available on Substack right now. ‘No truths are universally acknowledged. There are truths widely circulated; truths inherently understood (but rarely stated); and then there are truths which are so ridiculous, so irregular, that no member of polite society would dare utter them aloud. Mr. Bennet had to live with one of these truths, which was, impossibly, that each of his five daughters was Mary.’ (This is also where I need to mention that I cry every time I think about the fact that when Hilary Mantel died, she was working on a retelling from the POV of Mary. A few hundred words are all that exist.)

  • Aw. It’s the end of the charming Maisie Dobbs series. But rejoice! There are 18 titles you can read over and over.

  • Big museums like the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, the Prado Museum in Madrid, The Met in New York, and the Louvre in Paris are magical and breathtaking. But kitschy little museums are great, too. Here’s a directory to help you find niche museums all over the world. Cleveland Hungarian Museum! DEVIL-ish Little Things in Washington! House of Broel Dollhouse Museum in New Orleans!

  • Bring back the Book-O-Mat!

  • 30 Things Good Readers Do. ‘read to watch the artist build his castle of cards and watch the castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass.’

  • Hey! Do you guys want to buy this Scottish Island with us? It has seven residential properties, a lighthouse, and a flock of 55 black-faced sheep. The island is also home to puffins, seals, and cormorants. A bargain at $2.5 million!

  • Must-click headline: This Luxurious African Train Trip Takes You From South Africa to Zimbabwe on Vintage Railcars.


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.

nighttime in the desert under a blue-black sky with golden sand and a circle of tents lit by torchlight
Photo courtesy of Parker Hilton/Unsplash.

In this episode, we get excited about two books: Assassins Anonymous by Rob Hart and Hip-Hop is History by Quest Love. Then Mel delves into the immersive storytelling, cosplay, and fantastic settings of LARPing. [transcript]

Distraction of the Week: LARPing with Chaos League

Parts of the Strong Sense of Place podcast are produced in udio. Some effects are provided by soundly.


100% here for summer reading.

Top image courtesy of David Merrick/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got an alphabet inspired by architecture, a book titles quiz, street art from Nespoon, charming general stores, Prague, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got vintage Gothic book covers, the best beaches around the world, reading's carbon footprint, Amor Towles' home library, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got fandom throughout time, great magical realism reads, the story of the Ferris Wheel, Kafkaesque, walking in Florence, and more.

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