Over the years, readers of TBTP have pointed out to me that I seem to be obsessed with Iceland. While I cannot dispute the charge, I can justify my fixation on the magical island with a lengthy list of exceptional attributes. In all likelihood you are well aware of Iceland’s many charms, but did you know that it’s the “most peaceful country on the planet” ?
For the tenth year running, the Global Peace Index has placed Iceland on the top of the list as the most peaceful nation in the world. That’s according to the international think tank, the Institute for Economics and Peace,which compiles the annual list. The organization utilizes 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators to rank 163 countries and territories each year.
Since 2008, Iceland has placed number one based on indicators measuring levels of militarization, social safety and security, and domestic conflict and international conflict. Not surprisingly, the other nations regularly in the top 5 are Denmark, New Zealand, Austria, and Portugal.
Sometimes when we find ourselves in a stunning new place, even the most ardent book lover may hesitate to visit the local bookstores. So, I was “lucky” to be in beautiful Telluride, Colorado on stormy, wet and chilly day recently. The nasty weather gave me a good excuse to stop by the town’s best bookshop for a browse.
Between The Covers has been a beloved institution in Telluride since 1974. Like a bibliophile’s Tardis, the little bookshop seems much bigger on the inside. Although the store is jam-packed with more than 10,000 titles, it seems more cozy than crowded. There’s even room for a lovely coffee bar in the rear of the store.
I recently returned from an amazing road trip out West and of course began researching another driving trip immediately. In my slide down the rabbit hole of the internet, I stumbled upon this great project. America’s iconic highway Route 66 has been celebrated in song and literature for decades. Five years ago, Chicago-based photographer Natalie Slater created a fascinating project called “Mother Road Revisited” to explore the history of the legendary highway.
Ontario-based Canadian cartoonist and humorist John Atkinson can save you some serious reading time with his new book Abridged Classics. The hilarious book, out this month from HarperCollins, pokes fun at some of our most beloved novels. You can also check out more of Atkinson’s insightful work at his website for his ongoing cartoon Wrong Hands.
We all know L.Frank Baum from the famous Oz series, but did you know that he wrote other children’s fantasy novels? In 1903 he published The Enchanted Island of Yew, with wonderful illustrations by Fanny Cory. Along with imaginative book illustrations, Cory was also one of America’s first female cartoonists.