Things I Spied II: The Blogs I Read

I don’t read many blogs, in part because I don’t have the time. Recently I’ve even noted that I am devoting less time to my dear New York Times, because I am keeping up with the news on Facebook and Twitter through the writers I follow. But there are a few blogs I follow, some “chick” writ, others of broader interest.

“Head Butler” by Jesse Kornbluth curates books, music, films and interesting “stuff,” like the Anthelios Moisturizing Cream that I am now hooked on. Jesse’s and my tastes in music are somewhat at odds, but some of the books he has recommended, such a “The Beautiful Ruins” are now among my all-time favorites.

“Dooce” was the first blog I began to follow, about six years ago. In turn, Heather Armstrong was one of the first bloggers, since she started blogging over ten years ago. She even had the honor of being fired back then for what she wrote about her boss, an experience now known as being “dooced.” Heather now lives in Utah, is a lapsed Mormon, and one of the most successful of the “mommy bloggers.” While she has a terrific and biting sense of humor, she is serious affected by clinical depression, and writes candidly about that as well. There was a long series (sponsored) on how she and her husband Jon furnished their new house, only to be followed about two years later by news of their separation, and eventual divorce, about which she is highly circumspect, to the dismay of many readers, who feel they have the right to know all the gory details. Many postings feature her children, Leta and Marlo, who are probably more in the public eye than the royals, and I, a cat person, almost bought the calendar featuring her dog, Chuck.

Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, writes a personal blog on Fridays, mostly about music. He and I have similar tastes, and are both fans of the Canadian group, “Arcade Fire.” I also like his thinking on economics, so I follow his newspaper columns the rest of the week.

“Tikun Olam” is written by Richard Silverstein in Seattle and takes an insider/outsider view on Israeli politics. While my views are not always in alignment with his, Silverstein does real investigative reporting, and he revealed the awful, sad story of “Prisoner X” a failed Mossad agent who was so secretly imprisoned that he had no name on the rolls, and who somehow managed to hang himself while supposedly under observation at all times. Silverstein loves what Israel should be, but not what it often is.

On a lighter note, “The Fabulous Geezersisters” by Ruth Pennebaker tells tales of a liberal woman living in Texas with humor and Southern charm. She has the ability to make me laugh out loud, always welcome after a day of listening to political and foreign affairs reporting, not that she shies away from that as well. She gives me some hope for Texas.

I am trying to broaden my worldview, and not just exist in an echo chamber of people who think like me. At least some of these crack the door open a bit.

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