Narrative tones adopted in blog-writing can vary from world changing to dreamy to intensely personal to ‘just-linky’ to downright puerile to outright sexy (and not to speak of pettiness). There are over 90 million of them and that number is increasing every second. Just about everybody finds the need to have one (nothing wrong with that).
To compile a book about the best blogs out there might be akin to indulging in a list-creation exercise that is fated to being called ‘out of date’ the day that exercise is complete. In a new book called 'Ultimate Blogs', author Sarah Boxer aims to cull the best bloggers/blogs and embarks on such an exercise.
The Times review of the book calls it ‘a sifted, vetted sampler of what’s out there in the untamed blogosphere, a primer for the uninitiated’. A selection of 27 blogs whose work is (relatively) timeless and link-free yet somehow still, she says, “bloggy to the core”: “conversational and reckless, composed on the fly for anonymous intimates ... public and private, grand and niggling.”
10 selections from the blogs mentioned in the book (sadly Simplistic does not make the cut - only kidding):
Raining Noodles, a blog whose disclaimer states that it is not safe for children, not safe for work, and not safe for sanity. Written by a young Singaporean who seems to be yearning for her ex.
El Guapo in DC is written by a Latin American no-name blogger (from DC, naturally) who seems to have closed shop last year (good to read up on some of the older posts though – for those of us who have more of that precious commodity - time).
Matthew Yglesias blog at the Atlantic.com (if you have been reading Andrew Sullivan's site, I am sure you know about him). I personally like this one.
The Rest Is Noise, a classical music blog by Alex Ross (good for people who are into niche subjects like that), makes for great reading, a little technical at times though.
I Blame the Patriarchy that calls itself a patriarchy-blaming blog that advances the radical feminist views of Twisty Faster, a gentleman farmer and spinster aunt eating dinner in Austin, Texas. I don’t know much about this one, but has an Edna'esque twist to the rants.
The Becker Posner blog, a shared blogspace between a Nobel-winning economist Gary S. Becker and a federal circuit judge Richard Posner. Very readable and very serious.
AngryBlackBitch who proffers to practice the fine act of 'Bitchitude' is the readable rant of a 34-year-old woman named Pamela Merritt who works in sales and marketing at a St. Louis newspaper. It's funny.
Nina Paley blog dissects the Sanskrit epic poem the “Ramayana,” after the breakdown of her marriage. The story and cartoons told over at the blog is from the perspective of Sita, the subjugated wife of the epic’s hero, Rama. I liked this for its quirkiness, alternate point of view and the artwork.
Language Log, a blog by Benjamin Zimmer, a Research Associate at the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science at UPenn straddles the murky crossroads between linguistics and anthropology. One of my favorites (I have to confess a love for words, inflexions and our current cultural lexicon).
David Byrne's journal, a take on the politico/cultural landscape through the eyes of a former musician. Nice one, I liked this one a lot.