Tag: travel

Virtual Visit – The USA

If you wanted to spend spring break on the beach, you might be out of luck, but there’s hope for the rest of us, if we keep the jar closed. I, for example, wanted to marathon books and spend the rest of my time in the Met, and those options are still available, in a sense.

 

Overdrive 

Do you like free books? Do you have a library card? (jk, if you read Bookstr, you’ve probably had a library card since you were four.) They have TWO reading apps. I stan the original, but I won’t judge you if you love Libby. But I like audio books, you say! Oh, they have audio books. It depends on your library system, of course, but search before you despair.

If your local library doesn’t use OverDrive, they still probably have digital and audio books you can check out. Always worth a look. Books will get us through this!

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Spend your weekend at the museum (from you couch). I always have bold goals when it comes to weekly museum trips, but don’t make it nearly that often. Hopefully all of this will teach me a lesson, but for now, the met has pretty spectacular virtual tours. Put on one of those ambiance playlists for better immersion, and wander your favorite halls. Sure, the statues and the Jackson Pollocks are a little less impressive at this size, but the photo detail is pretty impressive, and you won’t be buffeted by tourists.

 

The American Museum of Natural History 

Explore the natural history, again, unimpeded. I don’t know the last time I saw a dinosaur skeleton without wading through a sea of schoolchildren. But don’t worry, small scientists will still be served, with a range of classes and games for young nerds. There are classes for all ages, so if you get bored of just (remotely) wandering around, take a class on earthquakes or stem cells. I live here now.

 

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History 

The Smithsonian may not be as hip to the times as some, but they still have some virtual tours, if you dig (or click the link). Anyway, we’re not mad, and even a limited view of such a massive museum is a lot, and who’s trying to go to DC? Don’t talk to me about the cherry blossoms. I was gonna get it together and do that this year. But don’t despair!

 

National Mall Bloom Cam

Image via the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Yes, america’s best blossoms are at their peak, and though you may not be able to walk among them, regardless of geography, you can now watch them live. Might be a little more impressive if it wasn’t overcast in the entire north east. Keep your eyes on the blooms!

Also available is a sunny day tour of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s cherry walk. And yes, there’s an ambiance stream for this too. Very peaceful. And maybe open a window, weather permitting?

 

THe Museum of Modern Art 

MoMA (or as my artist grandmother says, the MODERN) is ready to school us all with a huge range of art classes. The times may be trying, but at least you’re gonna crush art history. Plus, explore the MoMA magazine from wherever you are.

 

The San Diego Zoo

Sure, the baboon cam is a little disconcerting, but who doesn’t want to be watching a panda at all times? With that and the DC bloom cam in the corner of my screen, I feel like I’m working in some sort of garden paradise. There are even penguins and polar bears for that beachy (?) vibe. Put on your cutest bathing suit, lay something down on your roof so you don’t get covered in tar, and watch them swim. It’s what I’ll be doing.

 

National Aquarium 

Want more water? And predators? Take a bath with blacktip sharks or luminous blue blubber jellies. Even leave them on as you sleep. I once spent the night in an aquarium on a field trip, and it’s a mystical experience. If you have a projector, I can highly recommend a dimly illuminated shark wall. Or do the pandas. If you’re, you know, sensible.

 

Expect more national tours in this vein. I can’t hit everything, but why stick to local museums? We may not be able to go outside, but we can also kind of go anywhere, so why not?

 

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Featured image via Air Pano

Explore Audible’s Top Picks of 2019

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that reading doesn’t always have to be you, a book and a comfy seat. More so than ever before, people are listening to their literature on laptops, on smartphones, and on the go. Audible is the best option for this, as it’s available across plenty of devices with a wide range of titles.

Audible has released a map that takes a look at 2019 listening data to see which titles were “more uniquely popular in some states compared to the rest of the country”. Our map below shows each state’s top Audible titles from 2019.

 

 

The shortest route across the US in a car would take four days or ninety-six hours. Forget about your killer soundtrack and instead, think about how many audiobooks you could get through in that time! If you wanted to do it properly, you could go state-by-state and take on each state’s favorite audiobook as you move. Luckily, Audible and Bookstr are here to help. The above infographic shows us which audiobook has been most popular (i.e. listened to more than any other) in each US state.

Let’s take a closer look.

 

Northwest

 

Midwest

 

Southwest

 

Southeast

 

Northeast

 

 

One thing is for sure, self-help is popular country-wide, with many states learning how to Stay Sexy, set Atomic Habits and Not Give a F*ck. George R.R. Martin reigns in several states, proving himself King of The North(east). Fiction and non-fiction are popular all over the country, with fantasy and celebrity novels not contained to any one region.

 

 

Now that you have all you need for a literary road trip across the United States, fill up the tank, download Audible and get moving. Happy listening!

Here are the titles by state:

Maine The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Maryland  The Woman in The Window by A.J. Finn

New Hampshire The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Vermont City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Virginia Call Sign Chaos by Jim Mattis, Bing West

Massachusetts Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

New York Principles by Ray Dalio

Pennsylvania The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Connecticut Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Delaware Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Ohio Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Rhode Island Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Kentucky Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

West Virginia Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Tennessee The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron, Suzanne Stabile

Indiana Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg

Illinois Life Will Be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler

Iowa Take Control of Your Life by Mel Robbins

Missouri The Institute by Stephen King

Oklahoma Killers of The Flower Moon by David Grann

Kansas A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

Nebraska #IMOMSOHARD by Kristen Hensley, Jen Smedley

South Dakota Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Wyoming Wolf Pack by C.J. Box

Colorado Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

Utah Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Nevada Unf*ck Yourself by Gary John Bishop

Arkansas Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Mississippi Cemetery Road by Greg Iles

Alabama It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst

Florida How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Georgia 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

North Carolina Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Michigan A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

Wisconsin Heads Will Roll by Kate McKinnon, Emily Lynne

North Dakota Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Montana The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Washington Dune by Frank Herbert

Oregon Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgarrif, Georgia Hardstark

California Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss

Arizona The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin

New Mexico Stan Lee’s Alliances: A Trick of Light by Stan Lee, Kat Rosenfield

Hawaii Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

South Carolina The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

Minnesota Neon Prey by John Sandford

Idaho Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Texas Atomic Habits by James Clear

Alaska Good Omens by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett

Louisiana A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

New Jersey Unfreedom of The Press by Mark R. Levin

District of Colombia Becoming by Michelle Obama

 

You can explore it even closer below: 

Created by Parisha Patel, who you can find here and here.

lite blue-book map

All images via PARIsha patel


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Waldsassen Abbey is the Fairy Tale Library You Need to Visit

From the outside, you might not guess that this humble nunnery nestled in Bavaria, Germany houses one of the most beautiful libraries you’ve ever seen!

 

Image via Bavaria.by

 

The abbey was originally founded all the way back in 1147, but in the nineteenth century it was bought out and converted into a cotton factory. However, in 1863 a group of Cistercian nuns bought it back and began restoring the Abbey to its former glory.

 

Image via trover.com

 

 

The library was built in 1724-6. Karl Stilp, a local sculptor from the 18th century, created the intricate linden wood carvings that adorn the walls and banisters. The library also features an absolutely stunning painted ceiling with ornamental plaster work made by Karl Hofreiter.

 

image via pinterest

 

The columns supporting the upper-level balustrade were carved in the shape of allegorical figures emanated to represent vanity, ignorance, and boastfulness among others.

 


Image via trover.com

 

The library is home to thousands of rare and antique books, some bound in pigskin and calfskin.

 

Imagve via bavaria.by

 

The history and beauty of Waldsassen Library makes it a fascinating place for book lovers everywhere. Looks like it’s time to book a ticket to Germany to take a tour!

 

 

 

Featured image via bavaria.by