We come now to the fourth (but unfortunately not the final) instalment in the Blogs I follow mini-series. Here is where I list the last few of the sixtyish WordPress sites with a literary focus that I’ve kept a watching brief on. Previous posts have featured creative blogs (both image and word-based) and those that concentrate primarily on book reviews. This post looks at blogs with a bookish bent (some reviews but mostly writing and authors), while those of a more miscellaneous nature (lifestyle, travel, philosophy … you get the drift) I’ll leave for a final instalment.
Again, these are mostly in random order, though I do separate active blogs from those which only post intermittently or may be classed as zombie blogs (still ‘live’ but to all intents and purposes ‘dead’) — though some I prefer to think of as sleeping beauties, waiting to be woken.
Lizza Aiken posts on all matters pertaining to her mother, the late great Joan Aiken, in The Wonderful World of Joan Aiken; if you’ve not already come across this marvellous writer then you don’t know what you’re missing (but if you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know I’m a big fan). Lizza has all the inside info on a gifted author
Lizzie Ross Writer, the blog run by (naturally) Lizzie Ross, is subtitled “Writing for kids everywhere” — though a little intermittent in recent months (she had an extended traipse around northern Europe recently) she has posted diverse reviews, discussed literary matters with insightful asides and commented wittily on her progress as a author, and has recently resumed posting. (I’ve reviewed her YA fantasy Kenning Magic here: http://wp.me/s2oNj1-kenning)
Stefy is an Italian educator writing as e-Tinkerbell with entertaining, incisive and, at times, hard-hitting posts on “literature, books, sport and whatever intrigues me.” Again, has recently been posting only intermittently but is always thought-provoking when her work shows up in the WP Reader.
Brent Stypczynski, an academic, writing tutor and author of The Modern Literary Werewolf: A Critical Study of the Mutable Motif, discurses principally about “worldbuilding” in fantasy and other narratives in his blog Worldsinthenet. I hope to review his werewolf title before too long … just as soon as I finish reading it.
“Where History & Literature Meet” is Sari Nichols’ description of The View from Sari’s World. She tells us that her world is “filled with abstract thinking, scientific pursuits, religious debate, historical accounts, history in the making and, of course, whatever is on my mind.” While the main focus of this self-identified armchair scholar is Shakespeare, her own label as a “sarcastic historian” gives you a good indication of whether she suffers fools gladly or not.
I can’t do better than quote The Sea of Books own words: it’s “the blog for the University College Dublin Humanities Institute’s Nation, Genre and Gender project, which uses social network analysis to look under the bonnet of a corpus of 19th and early 20th century novels from Ireland and Britain.” As it maps and analyses social networks in Irish and English fiction from 1800 to 1922 “it explores how writers and readers have imagined the connections between people in their society and turned those connections into plots. The project, funded by the Irish Research Council, has completed work on 46 novels to date.” A blog, then, to explore at leisure.
Now some sleeping beauties:
Author Joanne Weselby’s business (Magpie Creative Writing Services) involves her working as “a writer, copyeditor, researcher and ghostwriter for hire,” she tells us. Why Magpie? “Because all writers are magpies at heart,” she believes. Though last upd
Writer Yasmin Keyani‘s blog hasn’t been updated for over a year, but past posts are worth looking up: the last few include writerly thoughts on Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Dodie Smith, Albert Camus, Katherine Mansfield and Lewis Carroll.
And finally a zombie blog:
Austenonly‘s mission statement is simple and straightforward: “Jane Austen’s life, times and works explained and discussed.” The fact that the last published post dates from late 2015 doesn’t mean that there’s nothing of value to be had here; on the contrary I’ve enjoyed the nerdish delights of many of the contributions contained in an archive going back to 2009, enough to please any budding Janeite. The anonymous author links the blog to a gazetteer of Austen-related sites, but other links (to Jane’s letters and to the Jane Austen’s House Museum blog) are sadly now defunct.
Next time I shall be introducing you to a miscellany of blogs, some hard to categorise precisely, many of them in fact overlapping with sites I’ve mentioned in previous posts.