broadsideblog

What (other) blogs are you reading? Recommendations, please!

In art, beauty, behavior, blogging, culture, design, education, entertainment, life, US, women on November 17, 2013 at 12:20 am

By Caitlin Kelly

I recently culled my list of blog subscriptions — from a fairly crazy 87 — to a still-unmanageable 46.

I enjoy blogs’ wide variety of voices and experiences. Many of my faves are written by women, some living overseas or in places I fantasize about — like the mountains of Colorado.

Now I’m looking for a few new ones to explore — so please give me some of your recommendations?

Some of the blogs I now read are purely or mostly visual — about art, interiors, design or photography — a refreshing break from words and also creatively inspiring. (I’m not as interested in traditional girly stuff like fashion , food, make-up, beauty or parenting as I am in design, ideas, history, urban life, labor, education, writing, work and relationships.)

The blogs named below are also visually appealing: they’ve chosen an attractive theme, use lots of photos and most of them consistently include useful links, all elements I really appreciate as a reader and have tried to do here for you as well.

They’re clearly written for an audience, and I’m glad they’re there.

Here are a few of my favorites:

The original Stumptown Coffee Roasters located...

The original Stumptown Coffee Roasters located at 45th and Division in Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

{frolic}

This daily blog, written by Portland florist-turned-stylist Chelsea Fuss, is a charmer. She recently posted from her travels to Chile. The photos are lovely and she often includes multiple links to food, clothing, stationery and other items.

Small Dog Syndrome

It sounds odd to find and hire someone without ever meeting them, but Cadence Woodland, who writes this witty, worldly blog, became my assistant in January 2013 after I read her blog, loved it and knew she would be a terrific fit. She was then living in Utah and has since moved to London, so her recent posts are full of the joy and fear of looking for work and new friends in a new city. She manages to be both Mormon and feminist, an intriguing combination.

Éléments de costume pour bébé, France, XXIe si...

Éléments de costume pour bébé, France, XXIe siècle, présentation dans la devanture d’un magasin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One quality, the finest

As a fellow Francophile Canadian living in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT), I really appreciate the spirit behind this lovely and informative blog, written by Patricia Gilbert, who teaches high school French. Every day, she highlights a French word, idiom or aspect of French culture, whether a current show in Paris or a singer or a painter. I have learned beaucoup from her blog. Like me, she also hopes to retire to France.

Looking at Glass

Another daily blog, written by another Patricia. I so enjoy her choices — every possible use of glass: in architecture, furniture, crafts.

Colorado Meadows

Colorado Meadows (Photo credit: QualityFrog)

Gin Getz

She’s currently in Patagonia, but usually lives in the mountains of Colorado. Her photos of the landscape there, often taken on horseback, are elemental, stark and beautiful.

Apartment Therapy

As someone obsessed with design — interior and exterior — I love this popular, super-fun and helpful blog. It’s exhaustive in its coverage, but whatever you’re looking for is likely in there somewhere. Despite the name, it’s not only about apartments, but addresses every issue of domestic life, and is also international. I like its focus on smaller, lower-budget homes, not blingy mega-mansions. It includes many photo renovation stories as well.

Under the counter or a flutter in the dovecot

The name alone! Writer Nigel Featherstone lives in a small cottage, with his chickens, in rural Australia. His work has a dreamy quality I always appreciate.

Mindful Stew

High school teacher Paul Barnwell lives in Kentucky, where he writes thoughtfully about a wide range of educational issues.

Fit and Feminist

Another athletic/feminist Caitlin! I really enjoy her take on women, our bodies, exercise, sports, fitness and body image.

Kristen Lamb’s blog

I’ve been reading her blog for a few years, even though it’s largely aimed at fiction writers and those who will likely self-publish. Kristen — who lives in Texas — is a pistol! She’s funny, blunt, personal and calls it as it is. I starred commenting fairly consistently on her posts, and one day (!) this fall my phone rang — and there she was! She invited me, on the basis of my own work and credentials, to teach a non-fiction class at her recent on-line conference, WANACON. I really enjoyed it, got good reviews and may do it again. Her blog, which has a stunning 29,000 followers, is helpful, smart and full of good cheer.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

What do you most enjoy about them?

  1. Well, yours is one of my favorites, Caitlin, but in terms of other blogs I read, there’s Stories by Williams, with all the latest in science and science fiction; Pat Bertram, an author I’ve become acquainted with who’s very cool and wise; Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors (title’s self-explanatory); and a few others.

  2. Of course you should be reading Red’s Wrap (www.redswrap.wordpress.com). I promise to hit fashion, food and make-up only every couple of years. The rest of the time is up for grabs.

  3. you should be reading “Life Happens” by http://ritisan.wordpress.com/

    it’ll be worth itt

  4. I live overseas and I used to live in Colorado, does that count? But we’re not supposed to suggest ourselves, so I’ll suggest: http://artoferickuns.wordpress.com/ >>> for your dose of art (that isn’t always “pretty” but thoughtful and intelligent)

    And thanks for your recommendations, I’m on my way to check a few out. Cheers :)

  5. One of my favorites on WordPress is entitled “I’m begging my mother not to read this blog”. It’s written by Katherine Fritz. She’s quirky and I’ve found that her writing helps me understand my female friends a bit more. She’s a costume designer for plays (the Broadway type, not the elementary school type) and has been published on Huffington Post and a few others. She’s just plain fun. Here’s the link: http://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/51862805/

  6. The blogs I read tend to wander all over in topics, but I like Filmcamera999 it’s fun and informative about photography and anything else that tickles the fancy of the author (a brit now living in Canada). I also read Bohemian Sentiments written a woman in the Philippines, she writes mostly about her life there and her take on the world in general. Joecombs2nd is great if your a military history buff or History of the Ancient World if your just a history buff. Eagle-eyed Editor is good too She started writing as a way to help bloggers clean up some of their writing faux-pas and it evolved in books and literature as well. there are many many more I could mention since I read or look at (photoblogs) over 100 of them. But these are among the few I regularly interact with… :)

  7. Thanks for the suggestions. I will try to go through them.
    On a related note, my blog comes highly recommended… by myself…

  8. For cool design on a budget I love http://projectophile.net/. Not that I have tried her ideas out, but I like that she had “found” pieces in her home, much like our home. We get a lot of great stuff off the street.

    And of course my blog. :-) I promise not to overload your reader. It seems I can barely make one post per week lately.

  9. 3 poets I follow: the mirror obscura, sixthsymph, stillfugue

  10. Thanks for the shoutout!

    I read the blog of YA author Shannon Hale, she often writes about being a writer and her projects. I heard her speak at a symposium once and was really impressed, previously I had only a handful of YA authors that I really knew of and liked and didn’t know much about her. She’s been interviewed for and commented on several things (including the NYT recently), and I’ve found her views really resonate with me and her experiences are both encouraging and perspective giving.

    One of my favorite design/fashion/couture blogs is The Terrier and Lobster (http://dustyburrito.blogspot.com). It tends to showcase full photo spreads from high fashion magazines from all over the world – handy for someone like me who loves the beauty of the photo stories but definitely can’t buy Vogue Korea. It also shows home and piece designs and furnishings.

    Another design blog I like is Habitually Chic.

    My favorite fashion/celebrity/media blog is Tom and Lorenzo – and it’s a lot smarter than my blurb suggests. They do TV analysis and thoughtful writing, interspersed with snarky commentary that they themselves call the “affectionate Gay Uncle” tone. They are my daily dose of humor.

    • I am always amazed by your Friday links — you read a LOT more blogs than I do.

      Terrier and Lobster are very fun; I’ve seen them.

      I could certainly want to be Habitually Chic (and great blog name.) Thanks!

  11. Merci beaucoup for the shout-out to One Quality, the Finest! Your recommendation is much appreciated!

  12. Two of my favs are The Mirror Obscura http://themirrorobscura.com/ for poetry, and The Superstitious Naked Ape http://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/ for intelligent conversation on religion. :)

  13. I hope you are still following mine! ;) But I do understand. I culled a few blogs recently because my WordPress reader was getting too cluttered up with posts I didn’t read.

    Some of the blogs I read regularly are The Bookshelf of Emily J. (http://emilyjanuary.wordpress.com), Frugal Feeding (http://frugalfeeding.com), Back Road Journal (http://backroadjournal.wordpress.com) and Lulu’s Musings (http://lulumusing.wordpress.com).

    Emily is a feminist, Mormon and academic who writes thoughtful and thought-provoking posts about literature and writing. Nick at Frugal Feeding is a wonderful chef who posts glorious recipes which are, as the title of his blog indicates, frugal and inexpensive.
    I always enjoy Karen’s posts at Back Road Journal; she writes about New England, food, travel and “exploring the back roads of life”. And Lulu’s Musings is a blog about travel, interior design and life in Maine and Houston. They are four very different but equally wonderful blogs.

  14. if you like dry wit, the funniest blog belongs to mike calahan. http://mikecalahan.wordpress.com/

  15. I recently discovered the blog of Vincent Mars http://vincentmars.com (WordPress). He writes short stories and sometimes also has posts on writing. I really can’t put my finger on what it is exactly, but his style is very different from what I normally find on other blogs. Not all of his posts are my cup of tea, but sometimes after reading I almost feel that my brain starts “rotating” (if brains can do that) in a different direction from what it normally takes.

  16. I wish I had more time to read blogs, especially since starting a full time job recently. I barely have enough time to write my own blog now (which of course I’d love for you to read). :) Very much enjoy yours though! I do enjoy The Mary Sue, and Wil Wheaton’s blog, though I don’t read them as frequently as I’d like. I don’t often check my RSS feed, so it’s harder for me to keep up with a blog if it doesn’t have an email option.

    • I hear you! Writing a blog takes up quite a bit of time. Glad you’re enjoying this one…

      I agree, if it’s not emailed to me, I never see it and don’t have time to go looking.

  17. I love Mostly Bright Ideas.

  18. From one side of the globe to the other, thanks so very much for the Broadside-shaped shout-out. I appreciate it very much. Sometimes, when it’s just me and the chooks and the drips of rain coming through the corrugated iron and the sound of wind lashing the living daylights out of the whole place, I wonder if the blog’s reaching people. But then, like now, you’ve reminded me that it does reach people. Us writers: we’re not that complicated after all, are we: we just wanna be read.

  19. Catherine Lim is a writer from the land of my birth, and probably the only Singaporean I would consider a role model (i never thought there are Singaporeans I’d ever find inspirational to any degree). She’s a warrior woman of a spirit you would identify with I think.

    http://catherinelim.sg/

    In particular, her Vignettes series: http://catherinelim.sg/vignettes/

  20. Oh and if you aren’t already, Brainpickings is marvelous: http://www.brainpickings.org/

    And William Albert Allard (yes, the National Geographic photographer) doesn’t update his blog very often, but when he does, it’s always a good read: http://www.williamalbertallard.com/blog/

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