Welcome back to The Friday Download, T+L’s weekly roundup of articles, music, and internet culture that promise to carry you through the weekend, whether your itinerary is jam-packed with travel or you’re staying put, staycation style. This week: diversify your summer reading list and get the story behind your favorite songs.

By Caroline Hallemann
May 22, 2015
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Painting: Frida Kahlo/ Photo: Nickolas Muray


No plans to visit the New York Botanical Garden's Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life? Get in on the fun with the exhibit’s selfie app. Simply snap a pic, then accessorize with monkeys, paintbrushes, flowers, and, of course, Frida’s signature facial hair.

And if you’re too shy to share your own selfie, click through Vulture’s expertly-curated gallery of "important" art world people, all decked out in Frida-inspired finery.


The World Between Two Covers
After realizing that her personal library consisted almost entirely of British and American authors, Ann Morgan set out to read one book from every country recognized by the U.N. (plus a couple extras) over the course of a year. A reflection on that now-completed mission, The World Between Two Covers explores the state of global literary culture and introduces questions like “What is cultural heritage?” and “How do we define national identity?” If nothing else, it will inspire its audience to take a second look at the contents of that summer reading list.


Beautiful Maps
If your holiday weekend plans include playing armchair explorer, get your travel fix with this gorgeous Tumblr devoted to the art of cartography.


Song Exploder
On Hrishikesh Hirway’s aptly named podcast, musicians break down their tracks, exploring how the songs were both conceived and composed. The show covers a variety of genres, but the most interesting episodes feature the backstory of television theme songs like this interview from earlier this month with John Lunn, composer of Downton Abbey’s train-inspired score.

Prefer a little less talk and a little more tuneage? Check out Travel + Leisure's Spotify playlist for a Memorial Day weekend on the road.

Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @challemann.