Well I already did My Year in Reading but I wanted to touch on something else. Specifically, Internet Reading. I would be lying if I didn't say that it is real-life books that get me going, but I also wake up and check my blog reader nearly every AM (my favorite one is Feedly, BTW). I prefer paper books to digital, but I am increasingly being convinced of the affordability and sustainability of e-books, though I can hardly ever be convinced to sit down with my own cumbersome kindle.
So, we all read on the internet, right? And things have changed quite a bit. I haven't been a blog reader for long (I started when I had my daughter, and I needed something quick and comforting for my sleep-deprived and addled brain). Nowadays, the blogs I read and enjoy are very few and far between--mostly, I suspect, since some of my very favorite writers are too busy to write on the interwebs these days. So here is my short list of what I consistently enjoy, and a plea for you to share your own favorites. Again, I would put more of my friends and favorites on this list, but I only want to direct you to actual, prolific writers. So here we go:
If you are not subscribed to the Millions, you should be. Everything you could ever want on anything book-related. I consistently find it engaging and fascinating, and they alternate short little news bursts with longer, thoughtful essays. My personal favorite staff writer is Nick Ripatrazone, a whip-smart Catholic guy. Here's the website.
Technically I started listening to the podcast first, then I ended up subscribing to the blog. I tend to bookmark these pieces and come back when I have time because well, they are long in form. Get it? But yeah it's like having the best non-fiction pieces from the internet (and print publications) curated for you on a variety of topics. So good. Here's the website.
Humans of New York
Pictures of . . . humans. Mostly in New York, but not always. With a quote or a caption or something underneath. Bound to make your hearts swell or burst or shrink within itself. This was a great discovery for me in 2014, and I ain't going back. Find the website here.
And . . . that's it. There are a few others I subscribe to and I like some (but not all) of the content. Places like The Toast, Good Letters, Red Letter Christians, The Curator, Christ and Pop Culture . . . but all of these are all over the map (which can be a good thing, but also means I can't unilaterally endorse, nor do I always click on through).
Flower Patch Farmgirl
Ok, the name alone cracks me up. Because it is SO not what I think of when I think of Shannon. I am new to her blog, but I absolutely adore it. She is all over the map. She writes about poverty and privilege and trying to live simply and adoption and salsa and jeans and systematic racism. There is something for everyone (and conversely, something for everyone to not like so much. Which again, I adore). While I could care less about decorating tips (which she has!) I so appreciate the breath of fresh air she brings to the internet, and the whole I-Am-A-White-Lady-Who-Lives-And-Works-In-A-Diverse-Neighborhood thing. Because it gets real complicated there. There is a balance of emotional honesty and respecting privacy that never gets easier. I don't make the same choices as Shannon in this regard, but I view her as an important voice in communities I have no stake in. Also she is super funny. I won't insult her by calling her space a "mom blog" but it shares a few characteristics--and if you only had the option to read one, I would pick hers.
Shirt of Flame
This is Heather King's blog, and never do I ever not adore it. I found out about Heather by reading her essay which appeared in a best-American non-required reading collection (I forget which year). She wrote about her awesome, diverse, low-income neighborhood and it just teemed with verve and joy. Then I read a few of her books and liked them (always a sucker for a sobriety/catholic memoir) but it is her blog that shines. She is cantankerous and holy and what she says about poverty and wealth makes me want to stand on a chair and cheer (and also sometimes convert to Catholicism). I hope I am like her in a few decades. Go on over and read her blog here.
Fosterhood in NYC
I have written about this one before, but I will say it again: the best source of real-life information on what the foster care system in America is like. I am always stunned at the wells of empathy that Rebecca has not only for her children, but for the workers in the system and the birth parents and extended families who are most affected by it all. Truly stunning stuff happening. While she is not a religious person, I see the upside-down kingdom in all of her writings. Follow her along on her journey here.
Again, that's about it. I mean, I have amazing friends and total writer crushes who technically have blogs--but they just don't write on them consistently enough to post here.
This is what I mean when I say I need a few more recommendations.
So please, share away in the comments! What spaces/blogs on the internet are you currently obsessed with? Please share!