Maps Clear Up Any Confusion

While visitors to the U.S. are often confused by the language that we use to describe commonplace things in our culture, those of us who were born here are frequently baffled as well by the linguistic choices of other Americans. These maps may clear up some of the confusion, or at least help travelers decode American English.

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Flying Libraries

I don’t generally have anything positive to say about the budget airline easyJet, but hats off to the company for creating the easyJet Book Club. This week, the carrier launched flying libraries for children with 7,000 paperbacks placed on 147 flights. The titles are all beloved kid’s classics, such as The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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A trip to Middle Earth

Serious JRR Tolkien fans should begin planning a visit to Oxford next summer for the groundbreaking exhibition Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth. The show, which will be created by the Bodleian Library, will explore the world of Tolkien’s literary imagination through the largest collection of manuscripts, maps, artwork, letters, and personal memorabilia ever gathered together in one place. Running from June 1, 2018 until October 28, 2018, the exhibition will draw from the Bodleian Tolkien Archive, the Tolkien Collection at Marquette University, and from many private collections. You can learn more at the website.

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Northern Ireland : Game of Thrones Territory

After seven years of filming in Northern Ireland, the HBO series Game of Thrones has become interwoven in the region’s culture and heritage. In order to commemorate the importance of the show, Tourism Ireland has commissioned the Northern Ireland Game of Thrones Tapestry—a 77 meter long wall hanging. Reminiscent of medieval traditional tapestry work, the enormous handwoven and embroidered piece celebrates the events, characters, and story-lines of the hugely popular show.

The tapestry will be on display at Belfast’s Ulster Museum beginning on July 22, 2017, and a new section will be added weekly during season 7 of Game of Thrones. You can see an interactive version of the tapestry here.


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Books and Pandemonium

Bikes & Rabbits is an Anglo-French contemporary circus troupe created in London five years ago. They work with commonplace objects, such as books, to create tense, but entertaining scenes.

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Infinite Books

The Zhonghuge Bookstore in Yangzhou, China has been transformed by XL-Muse Architects into an inception-like space for bibliophiles. The illusion of infinite bookshelves is achieved with mirrors, lighting, and arched ceilings meant to reference local waterways.

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Total Eclipse of the Sun

Here in North America, we are getting almost giddy about the upcoming solar eclipse which will occur on Monday, August 21, 2017. Unfortunately for me, my region of the U.S. will only be in a partial eclipse zone. Way back on August 31, 1932 there was also a total eclipse event in North America. These images from a contemporary travel brochure produced by the New Haven Rail Road encouraged folks to visit the “Vacation Land of New England” to experience the eclipse.

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Books Are Transporting

The U.S. Library of Congress has just released the poster for this year’s National Book Festival on September 2, 2017 in Washington DC. If the artwork looks familiar, that’s because it’s by the celebrated New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.

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Really Useful Metro Mapping

If you are a regular reader of TBTP, you are well aware of my obsession with public transit maps. This one is actually amusing and useful. The folks at the Thrillist Washington D.C. website have augmented the city’s already excellent Metro map to make it even more user friendly. As a frequent visitor to DC, and the author of a travel book on the nation’s capital, I can attest that the map upgrade is spot on.

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Random Vintage Book Vending

You may remember a post a few years back about the Toronto secondhand bookshop’s Biblio-Mat book vending machine. Well, The Monkey’s Paw is back in the news with an update to the book-o-mat. Bookstore owner Stephen Fowler is now loading the machine with random “vintage’ books from his stock. For $2, the vending machine will randomly deliver a small, medium, or large selection from Fowler’s stock. Seems like a small price to support a community institution.

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