November 09, 2011

My Daily Blog Roll

R asked me the other day what my daily reads in the blogosphere were.  It threw me for a quite a loop, because, goodness gracious I am subscribed to probably five million blogs on my reader.  But I set myself an interesting exercise: to determine which blogs I read the most and get the most enjoyment from.  What ones would I really miss?  Not too many, as it happens. And, in response to my little exercise, I stopped a bunch of subscriptions, and that felt pretty good, too.

These are the blogs that I seek out for a quick revival of spirits or curiosity in the middle of a long day or after completing a tedious task. Some are more serious, others quite frivolous. And, I should note, this doesn't include any of my friend's blogs, which, of course, I read religiously, and which, if you want to read religiously, too, are listed in my blogroll.

And they are in alphabetical order, because I'm like that.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT was the first blog I ever read on a daily basis, and I still do read it on a daily basis, though I confess I skip a lot of the longer posts, and just listen to whatever remarkable YouTube clip Terry Teachout has discovered, (like the Marian Anderson clip, above), and read his daily quotation, making a mental note that, alas, here's another book I must read someday.

ANCIENT INDUSTRIES is a British (and now US) mail-order household goods shop, that also runs an eclectic and charming blog.  Under the rubrics "Living" and "Extinct" the editors link to a wide variety of objects/people/books/artists that are either still thriving ("living") or sadly forgotten ("extinct").  Their spare language lets content really shine, and often an embedded link leads to something fascinating (like, the relationship between potter Clarice Cliff and designer Sonia Delaunay, whose work is shown above).

CANAL HOUSE COOKS LUNCH is simplicity itself. One beautiful photograph of the lunch of the ladies of the Canal House Cookbook series. Once I read about a trick to help you save money for a goal: Keep a photograph of your goal in your wallet, next to your debit card; every time you pull for your card, you see that goal and think twice. Canal House Cooks Lunch serves as that reminder for me.  A reminder that someday I won't be chained to a desk; a reminder to work hard now so that my life may be my own later.

DINNER: A LOVE STORY is one of my all time favorite blogs.  Written jointly by couple Jenny and Andy, both of who are/were magazine writers, it is full of wonderful, no-nonsense cooking, cheerful banter, and candid admission of how hard/easy it is to daily fulfill their number one life rule: get dinner on the table and share it with your family every single day.  Their recipes are easy and approachable, and their 2012 release cookbook is going immediately on my shelves. Plus, they know the value of a good stiff drink (above).

DOMINICANA is a daily blog with meditations by the Dominican Student Brothers at the Dominican House of Studies here in Washington.  And, I assure you, I would love this blog even if I didn't know each of these men personally and had some real interest in their success and welfare. They are short, bright, stimulating meditations on a wide number of topics--from personal anecdotes to discussions of physics, art, questions of faith and morals, the lives of the Saints, music, and literature. It only began in September, but it is already a great success, and I highly recommend it to you all. (This image of the Dominican Saints hangs at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, where Dominicana is based.)

FOOD 52's BLOG is such a huge site, I feel silly including it on my daily blog roll list, but I do really, really love the A+M blog, and their step-by-step photographic instructions of different recipes encourages me to try techniques I have never done before. I get it through their rss feeds, so, though I hate their site redesign, it doesn't affect me too much in my daily enjoyment of their work.

FROM ME TO YOU is the photo blog of Jamie Beck, and it is just so lovely.  She has an incredible eye, and focusses on beauty rather than the avant garde.  While mostly concerned with fashion, she also posts about her travels, New York's treasures, plus food and home design. Also, she's gorgeous and wears pretty dresses. (Photo, above, is from the Oscar de la Renta show this fall.)

GO FUG YOURSELF is the closest thing I get to reading the gossip pages. A daily send up (or send-down) of the wild and wonderful fashions of Hollywood's stars, it is hilarious, cheesy, playful and a perfect diversion in the middle of the day. Plus they love hats, SWINTON, and good English lit, and they hate girls who frown, boring shoes, and the Kardashians.  I tell you, kindred spirits.

HAPPY CATHOLIC. Everyone knows how much I love Happy Catholic.  She is the only Catholic blogger that I read every word of every post. Sensible, funny, broad in her interests, and full of zeal for life, Julie Davis is just the cream.  The painting above was featured in one of her daily "Worth a Thousand Words" posts.

LETTERS OF NOTE is actually the blog that started this whole discussion.  R had sent around the fascinating story of one of the first people involved in the CIA who sent to his three year old son a letter on Hitler's stationary about the high cost of battling evil.  A few days previously, Letters of Note had posted that same letter (pictured, above)--which it has obtained from the Washington Post story. Letters of Note is not always concerned with such grave matters, but, be it thoughtful or entertaining, it is always fascinating.

I blogged about LITTLE THINGS fairly recently, so I'll just add to that by saying, it is a wonderful way to start every morning.

MISS MOSS was recommended by Kate Miss of For Me, For You, and like For Me, For You, it is a style blog that challenges and inspires me on a daily basis.  It is so well curated that I find myself loving every post even though, aesthetically, both Diana Moss and Kate Miss have very very different styles than I do, much more modern style than I typically like. My favorite posts, by far, are her Colour Comparisons (above) and her vintage photography roundups.

MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME is totally silly and totally rad. People from all over the world send in photos of their parents, and they are funny, sweet, thoughtful, awkward, and simply awesome.

NOT WITHOUT SALT combines two things I really really love: food and photography. (Of course, most food blogs only survive when they have good photography, but this blog really excells, I think.)  She probably only posts once or twice a week, but her posts are always thoughtfully crafted, creatively executed, and--and this is perhaps the number one reason I love her--they are not all desserts.

THE PARIS REVIEW is a new addition to my daily reads, supplanting the New York Review of Books blog, which was getting tedious. The folks at The Paris Review have it right: short, interesting posts, sometimes personal essays, sometimes poetry, sometimes links to an archived author interview (which are now all available on their website! yay!). And on Wednesdays they do a roundup of literary links.  And you know how I love roundups of links.

THE SARTORIALIST, unlike most daily fashion blogs, is constantly surprising, and always, always interesting.  Scott Schuman has a fantastic eye.  That's all there is to it.


  1. Agreed about NYRB, sadly. It had such a good run for a while, and I do still enjoy the occasional piece by Simic.

  2. I'm so HONORED to be in this list! Seriously!

    Especially since you are one of MY must-reads every day. And I ain't a just sayin' that! :-)

  3. Aw, Julie! I'd say thanks to you, but I don't want this to be one of those back and forth "thank you" "no, thank you" "no thank you!" Unless we're the Marx Brothers, in which case, yes. (But seriously, thanks!)

    Miss Hale, i thought about including Garance, but i don't always read her (though I always look at the pictures), adorable though she is.