A Year of Reading Blogs

This quintessential Anecdotal Evidence post entitled ‘A Crutch Posing a Mission’ is why Patrick Kurp’s web site has been the book blog of choice for me this year. The content is frequently gruff and slightly forbidding but the writing is exquisite and the man is so well-read:

I’m reading more than at almost any time in my life but spending less time reading online. The two facts have a common source – a festering impatience with shoddy writing. My literary gut, when young, was goat-like — tough and indiscriminate. I read everything remotely of interest and felt compelled to finish every book I started. This makes sense: Everything was new, and how could I knowledgeably sift wheat from chaff without first milling, baking and ingesting? Literary prejudice, in a healthy reader, intensifies with age. I know and trust my tastes, and no longer need to read William Burroughs to figure out he wrote sadistic trash.

If Samuel Johnson was book-blogging today, I suspect his web site would feel similar to Anecdotal Evidence.

My favourite book blog of last year, Letters from a Librarian has been less frequently updated this year but no less compelling when a new post appears. This Space is still a source of outstanding criticism. This year’s finest discoveries have been Books, Inq and A Momentary Taste of Being. Books, Inq is an “old-skool” web log that links to the web’s best book content. Rarely do I fail to find a link there to something worth reading. A Momentary Taste of Being is erudite, opinionated and shares a similar taste in books.

It has been a good year to be reading blogs, and book blogs in particular. Those I mention above are excellent, as are those in my blogroll. I skim at least two dozen others weekly in my news reader. With TLS and book blogs I feel as if I am almost keeping on top of what is worth reading in literature and criticism. Getting around to reading it all is another challenge.

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