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2014: Favorite new to me blogs

Some of these blogs I’ve actually been following for more than a year, others I haven’t.

Ana @ Things Mean A Lot: I had read several reviews & blog posts from Ana and then I just broke down and started following her blog. Since it is delightful and she likes many of the authors I do, this was definitely a good idea.

Lady Business: Relatedly, after being aware of Lady Business peripherally I actually started reading it. I really enjoy the range of commentary and opinions there.

Abigail Nussbaum: I frequently disagree with Abigail Nussbaum. Possibly more often than I agree with her. But her criticism is so smart and sharp that even if I end up disagreeing, I’m grateful for having been made to examine my own opinion in a new light.

Kelly & Kimberly @ Stacked: I definitely value Kelly & Kimberly’s thoughtful reviews and criticism, and especially their advocacy for YA and teenage girls.

Liz Bourke: I appreciate Liz Bourke’s commentary, both on her blog and her Tor.com column Sleeps With Monsters. I often agree, but more importantly, I also feel challenged to think about books more deeply and more critically.

Anne Ursu: Anne Ursu’s smart, trenchant essays on Tumblr are one of the things that have made 2014 even semi-bearable. I appreciate her willingness to take on big topics and speak truth.

I will also note that there are two people I follow primarily on Twitter, Jenny and Kaye. They both, like the rest of the women on this list, give me new insights and challenge my complacency, as well as providing the occasional shared fannish moment.

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bookish posts links

Blogger Appreciation: Twitter edition

Twitter is definitely the social media platform that I’m most active on, and most comfortable with. I use Facebook to keep in touch with people I know, I use Pinterest to find recipes and drool over gorgeous photography. But I use Twitter as a place to learn and grow, and also have a lot of fun. I follow about 100 people–it’s hovering around 95 at the moment–and they generally fall into three categories: library folks, author/publishing people, and friends/fellow bloggers. Here is your handy guide to Maureen’s Twitter Feed. I’m sure I will miss someone obvious and important, for which I apologize in advance.

Library people
@Sophiebiblio (Sophie Brookover)
@InfoWitch (Karyn Silverman)
@LizB (Liz Burns)
@catagator (Kelly Jensen)
@CarolGSLIS (Carol Tilley)

Smart, insightful commentary on libraryland and reading. I am constantly challenged, enlightened, and amused.

Authors/publishing people
@LauraFlorand
@RachelNeumeier
@9inchsnails (Amanda McCrina)
@EWein2412 (Elizabeth Wein)
@JustineLavaworm (Justine Larbalestier)
@Nancy_Kelley
@maureenjohnson
@MiriamForster
@sarahreesbrenna (Sarah Rees BrennaN)
@realjohngreen (Errr…you know)

I have just realized that those are all authors. I do follow a couple of agents and editors as well, but I rarely interact with them, so they haven’t made it on the list. Regardless, these are all smart, lovely people, and you should follow them (and read their books!).

Friends/fellow bloggers
@brandymuses (Brandy)
@chachictweets (Chachic)
@Shelver506 (ShelversAnon)
@darcybear (Laura Beutler)
@eleneariel (Marie R.)

Laura and Marie are also library people, but I’m sticking them in the friends category BECAUSE. Again, all lovely, smart people.

Takeaway: I love Twitter, because it’s the corner of the internet where I get to be completely nerdy about books, and libraries, and Richard III, while assuming that someone else will get what I’m talking about. I haven’t really been proven wrong, which just shows that I’m following the right people.

P.S. If you see a SHOCKING OMISSION in my lists–either people I follow and didn’t remember, or people I don’t follow and should–let me know.

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Blogger appreciation: Inspirational edition

So I tried and tried to think of a less cheesy title for this post and, reader, I could not do it. In fact, several of them were worse. But what do I actually mean by inspirational? I mean the blogs that I keep reading because I find them soul-nourishing in some way. They remind me of who I want to be and how I want to live. Sometimes it’s crafts, sometimes it’s cooking, sometimes it’s homeschooling, or some combination of these.

Smitten Kitchen is the queen of cooking blogs, in my opinion. A wide range of recipes, written about in a down-to-earth way that puts the focus squarely on the food. If you’re not following Deb, and you like cooking, change that.

Tara, at Seven Spoons, has a lot of great recipes which I’ve really enjoyed. While I sometimes find the prose a bit purple, I keep coming back for the combination of photography and ideas. I don’t think I’ve ever made a recipe from this site that I’ve been unhappy with.

I’ve been following Elizabeth’s blog for several years now. She’s also Orthodox and I love her pictures of her home and Cleo the cat.

While I don’t do a lot of sewing, I like looking at the projects at Elegant Musings. Casey hasn’t updated a lot recently (for completely understandable reasons!), but the older posts are still fun.

Posy Gets Cozy, Alicia Paulson’s blog, is the definition of this category. Lots of beautiful photographs, crafting inspiration, cooking ideas, and a lovely sense of the value of the everyday.

I also love Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse. Blogging about family life is so tricky, but she does it wonderfully well, and I am constantly refreshed by her site.

For homeschooling, Melissa Wiley is great. Also, funny stories and so much more. I really appreciate her series on tidal homeschooling, which helped me cement some of my ideas about my approach in the future.*

Also in that vein, two new-to-me Waldorfy blogs! Small Wonders and Rhythm of the Home.

(Other editions of this feature: authors and book bloggers)

* Note: I am unmarried and have no kids, but I am a planner