J L Bell, on his Boston 1775 blog, has designated educating alice as one of five blogs that makes him think. Since his blog makes me think too, I’m incredibly honored by this. As for this particular meme, it apparently started at (where else?) ilker yoldas’s The Thinking Blog.
So now it is my turn to list five blogs that make me think. Since all the blogs I read regularly make me think, please, please do not be offended if yours is not here. There are many blogs that I visited multiple times during the day — they offer me wonderful tidbits of information on topics near and dear to my heart. The following blogs are a bit different. They don’t lend themselves to dipping in as do many other delightful blogs that I follow. Rather, these are blogs that force me to stop, to suspend completely whatever else I’m doing (e.g. multitasking) so I can give my complete attention to what I’m reading or viewing. Because of this I don’t visit some of them as often as I would like as I need to be ready to immerse myself in them and don’t always have the energy to do so. But when I do I love to delve deep into them, follow the links, and consider all the provocative ideas raised. Good stuff!
1. Arts & Letters Daily. This one is a bit different from what many tend to think of as a blog as it is an ever changing collection of links on a huge number of things. I adore this site/blog and have been visiting it regularly for years. Along with many others I was horrified when it went into a temporary death after its host of the time (the wonderful journal Linga Franca) went belly up. Fortunately, the Chronicle of Higher Education picked it up and it has been going strong ever since. If you have ever wondered where I get some of my seemingly more random links, my secret is out — they often come from here.
2. Oz and Ends. Now this may feel a bit of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” but I came across this other blog of J L Bell’s after I began reading his intelligent posts on child_lit. Bell is as into Oz as I am into Wonderland and Alice. But he is into all sorts of other stuff that I like too . I especially like the way he tussles with issues related to children’s fantasy books (my favorite genre) in ways that make me — yes — think. He considers them often in ways that seem refreshingly different and always thoughtful. I can only hope that my posts occasionally cause readers to think as much as J L’s get me to think.
3. Maude Newton. I have been reading this blog for ages; it may have been one of the very first blogs I came across, in fact. Ms. Maude is witty, smart, prolific, and gets me to think outside my box over and over again. The blog’s subtitle is “occasional literary links, amusements, politics, and rants” which covers it all quite well.
4. A Commonplace Book I joined the child_lit list serve in 1994 and it was as if I had gone to a children’s literature heaven. At the time there were perhaps at most 200 subscribers — mostly academics because the list had been started by one, but others were there too. And one of the most significant others was Julius Lester. This supremely brilliant and caring man has been a steady presence on the list ever since, a true elder statesman and someone I might even be so bold as to call a mentor. Recently Julius started a blog that is absolutely lovely and like very single one of his child_lit posts, makes me think intellectually and emotionally.
5. Endicot Redux. This is an absolutely gorgeous blog connected to The Endicott Studio, “… an organization dedicated to literary, visual, and performance arts rooted in myth, folklore, and fairy tales. ” While there is plenty of terrific textual material here, what really gets me wondering and thinking are the images. Truly spectactular and highly recommended for anyone with a taste for fairy tales and illustration. The creators/contributors are Terri Windling, Midori Snyder, Helen Pilinovsky, Jamie Bluth, and Kathleen Chen.