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Feed My Head 2010

  • Andrea Camilleri: The Wings of the Sphinx (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries)

    Andrea Camilleri: The Wings of the Sphinx (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries)
    The wonderful, irascible Inspector Montalbano of Vigata, Sicily is at it again. Did I mention he's wonderful? And there are 10 earlier ones in the series.

  • Ariana Franklin: The Serpent's Tale

    Ariana Franklin: The Serpent's Tale
    The very wonderful Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar (prepare to die!) continues her work. Who knew that the wretched pit that is present day Salerno once housed an amazing and Europe-reknowned medical school? Where even women were allowed to become doctors...

  • Ariana Franklin: Mistress of the Art of Death

    Ariana Franklin: Mistress of the Art of Death
    Wonderful. And amazing as a first novel. There are some inevitably cringe-worthy scenes (if you're going to be true to the middle ages) but Franklin's ability to bring those times to life is spot-on. And she is amazing with the first of the Plantagenets. Makes me want to jump his unsavory little bones.

  • Nicholas Blake: The Worm of Death

    Nicholas Blake: The Worm of Death
    Vintage 1960 British murder mystery. Good if you'd like to learn quayside shipping vocabulary for the docks at Greenwich...

  • Kent Haruf: Where You Once Belonged

    Kent Haruf: Where You Once Belonged
    Well written but depressing. Very depressing. His others are better.

  • Kent Haruf: Eventide

    Kent Haruf: Eventide
    the sequel, sort of, to the wonderful Plainsong. I know that he's the father someone related to a knitblogger I read regularly. She mentioned him one time and the prior book Plainsong. Who? dunno. I'm not sure I would have appreciated Haruf as much had I not moved to a small, rural town. Go find him. He's quietly wonderful.

  • Ray Kurzweil Ph.D.: Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever

    Ray Kurzweil Ph.D.: Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever
    Another state-of-the-research book from Kurzweil and the longevity physician, Terry Grossman. I liked Fantastic Voyage better, but for sheer quality of information relevant to our health today, it's hard to beat. You can get a free (but for the shipping cost) copy at Ray and Terry's, their website that sells the supplements key to the program. As they say, they don't care if you get the supplements from them or not, just get them, take them and make the lifestyle changes. Then we'll be around to benefit from the next geometric progression of the health research paradigm.

  • Mehmet Oz M.D.: Healing from the Heart: A Leading Heart Surgeon Explores the Power of Complementary Medicine

    Mehmet Oz M.D.: Healing from the Heart: A Leading Heart Surgeon Explores the Power of Complementary Medicine
    so far so good. the ego required to succeed in the star-system world of cardio-thoracic surgery is only minimally present at the half way point in this book. In his world this is no doubt radical, radical stuff. Interesting to see the highest towers of traditional western medicine allow alternative therapies in.

  • Diane Ackerman: The Zookeeper's Wife

    Diane Ackerman: The Zookeeper's Wife
    Love Diane Ackerman. Just started this, I'll get back to you...

  • Dana Stabenow: Whisper to the Blood: A Kate Shugak Novel (Kate Shugak Novels)

    Dana Stabenow: Whisper to the Blood: A Kate Shugak Novel (Kate Shugak Novels)
    Another keeper. All is not well in The Park. The Aunties have taken matters into their own hands. Be afraid. another bit of wonderfulness from Dana Stabenow. Once again I'll be tapping my fingers for another year till the next Kate Shugak mystery shows up. Sigh.

  • Byron Katie: A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are

    Byron Katie: A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are
    Loving What Is continued on...tough Work but is there really a choice about it? heh.

  • Greg Mortenson: Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time

    Greg Mortenson: Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
    Alrighty, I'm late to this game but if you haven't read this, go forth and read it NOW. It's a wonderful tale and it's not over yet. As we ramp up the war in Afghanistan why not join the Dept. of Defense and do your required reading? As Rep. Mary Bono (yes, that one) says, you'll learn more about the region from this book than you will from months of Pentagon briefings. Go Dr. Greg!

  • Andrea Camilleri: August Heat

    Andrea Camilleri: August Heat
    Camilleri's latest Inspector Montalbano mystery set in Sicilia. Just wonderful. Now I have to wait a year for the next one. Crap.

  • Janwillem van de Wetering: The  Japanese Corpse (Soho crime)

    Janwillem van de Wetering: The Japanese Corpse (Soho crime)
    Two Dutch cops sent to Kyoto to solve a murder in Amsterdam involving the Yakusa. Van de Wetering is a 'voice' like no other. He spent several years in a Zen monastery in Kyoto himself. The entire series has been re-issued by Soho Crime and is totally wonderful. And the cover design by Cheryl Cipriani is awesome. Yes, I'm a cover art ho.

  • Anthony Bourdain: Kitchen Confidential Updated Ed: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.)

    Anthony Bourdain: Kitchen Confidential Updated Ed: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.)

  • Alice Hoffman: Practical Magic

    Alice Hoffman: Practical Magic
    The hardback has an illustration taken from Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Proserpine. Much nicer. Hoffman's a great storyteller. And I always want her characters to go forward to the next book. But they never do. Go read this one anyway. You're welcome.

  • Tony Hillerman: The Mysterious West

    Tony Hillerman: The Mysterious West
    This is a REALLY wonderful short story collection edited by Hillerman. Lord, I'm going to miss that man. All of the stories are set in the west or midwest, small towns and large. They're quirky and somewhat unexpected, especially relative to the usual work of the authors like J.A. Jance, Dana Stabenow (a bit darker), Lia Matera (chilling), etc. The true find for me is Wendy Hornsby. One of the best written stories, independent of genre, I've ever read. I've never read a more skillfully built exposition of the backstory built into the actual story. wow. I'm off to see what else of hers I can find.

  • Charles de Lint: The Wild Wood

    Charles de Lint: The Wild Wood
    Re-reading this bit of loveliness from de Lint. Among other things, it's about an artist who's lost her mojo. It's apropos given that I've re-started The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

  • Elizabeth A. Lynn: Chronicles of Tornor 3: The Northern Girl (Chronicles of Tornor)

    Elizabeth A. Lynn: Chronicles of Tornor 3: The Northern Girl (Chronicles of Tornor)
    Found this as I was repacking ancient boxes of books. It was written in the late 70s and is flat out wonderful. It's the third book of a trilogy (the 2nd one is Dancers of Arun) I highly recommend all of them. It's Fantasy with an incredibly drawn world worth of an Ursula LeGuin, deep and quirky characters, and stay-up-all-night story telling. go. find them.

  • Julia Cameron: The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity [10th Anniversary Edition]

    Julia Cameron: The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity [10th Anniversary Edition]
    A birthday gift from the Gomez. Starting this once again after years of hiatus. Wonderful.

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January 25, 2005



Great post. Yes! "Voice" nails it, the same for me as reading a favorite writer in a printed medium. It's the way the thoughts are strung together. And I think for most people, they can tap into a free-er thought pattern than they do when they're face-to-face, less self-conscious communication. And the connections can be more on the unconditional side, because they have very little "reality" to serve as reality checks.
"Tribe" is another perfect term you've used. Often I hit off your list of favorites, and find some great voices there, too.
So, net chemistry, I feel it. And that's a bit of a shock, because always before, I got the strongest hits through my nose... or visual, like someone's peculiar stance, or how a shirt lays across a collarbone.
It's an intriguing topic....


Great post. I get it. I think it is the choice of words, the pacing - how the blog pulls you in. Pics are always good too, although they aren't really necessary if the content is GOOD. If it is blah blah blah (like mine tends to be - honestly) then pics are necessary. Posts that leave you wanting more.... how did they get to be the person they are, I wonder what they were as a kid, or I wonder how they are in "real" life. I wonder how their voice sounds? People with interesting views, or live that are different than mine. I do see a pattern to my favs though. They tend to be honest and real and have had some tough times but all in all they value their life and like to share.

I get turned off by complainers, or whiners or people that need to take their medication. Ones with too much ego, those that are mean get booted off my list quickly. If someone is having a bad day, hey I can deal with that - but when the bad day turns into the bad week, bad month and when you look back you can see a pattern of weird behavior - off they go.


The first thing that popped into my head was "voice," too; one of the "6-Traits" of writing that I am attempting to teach to highschoolers. It's that voice that makes me think "I 'get' her." or "she understand me," and that pulls me back to the blogs. It's a feeling of familiarity that is just there.

Of course, sometimes what seems like familiarity can prove over time to just be a passing crush, so to speak.

Very interesting idea. I like thinking about it.


Definitely voice. When I "meet" people online through blogs it is almost the same as in person: something clicks, and I want to stick around.


The pull is two fold with me: visual and grammatical. Give me a few well-written sentences about your latest project, a big picture and maybe a link or two. Keep the majority of your text relevant to your knitting. I'll be one happy reader.

I try to remember this when I create my own posts.

There would be the added bonus of daily blog updates, but I know that's not possible for everyone.


I think everyone has instincts - call it latent psychic ability, or intuition, or a 6th sense - but that social convenience and good manners and common usage teach us to ignore these things. They are too spooky and un-measurable for many people to put faith in.

You are right about on-line dating - when I think about the people I've met that way, I've absolutely recognized certain factors of attraction/recognition (or the opposite!) from non-concrete clues. I've learned slowly to trust these instincts - if they say to stay, if they say to go, and the better I listen, the less often I go wrong about people.

And the same is true for bloggers. The people who catch at you for reasons that have nothing to do what they are writing about are the ones who draw you back - the ping that comes from feeling - oh, a kind a sympathetic recognition. Good writing helps, honesty, a sense of humor, good storytelling, a bit of vision about the world, but in the end these are just extensions of the unspoken thing.

I don't think it is so much that the lack of pheromones frees you from distraction, but that because you don't have visual cues, the medium forces you top fall back on instincts, to sharpen them up and trust them more than many people do in the flesh & blood world. The interesting bit to me is how your perceptions in the so-called-real-world change once you have begun to use and trust your non-analytic senses in the electronic one.

Thanks for bringing this up. I’ve really enjoyed thinking about it and reading what others have to say.


it's funny you should write that as i am definately more excited when some blog titles are in bold than when others are. i'm trying my best to be tidy though, keeping my subscriptions around 25 with another 5 to 10 who's feeds don't accomodate the lines. i weed them out regularly, but sometimes they may come back if i happen upon them again and i get that 'old friend' feeling. fun to think about. my criteria are really all over the place. some people's entries make me feel like i could sign my own name and call it mine, others are vastly different from me, i'm drawn to both... i tend to weed out if it's a lot of been there, done that, like college scenes and shabby appartment living... i imagine when my kids are older, i'll probably stay away from the blogs featuring young children too. 10 years ago i would have felt an affinity with the feline owners, now, no. i like the fluid arrangement of it all, it suits me.


Funny, witty (to a point), and a little slice of life make a blog worth reading. Not being a grammarian myself I can't say that's so important but whining turns me off in nothing flat. Also mean people are not funny. There is some chemistry involved but, you can make friends or just stop by a blog quickly and it’s all good.


Interesting and thought provoking post.I haven't really given it much thought.There are definately blogs that I very much enjoy,and get a thrill when I've seen that they've up-dated.A bit like the feeling you get when a good friend telephones or e-mails.Others I visit because I feel I should [?!] or when I'm bored ! I'm not about to tell you who. ;-]
It is instinct.I've met fellow knitters who I only knew via the web,and they felt like old friends.
My thoughts aren't clear on this,or anything at the moment.Too full of snot !


Hey Caroline~
Thanks for putting my Blog on your list.
I see some things on your blog and I am curious how to "do that too". Please email me and I will respond with the questions.



That's a great question...I wish I had a coherent answer, but I don't. I definitely have a preference for certain kinds of "voices", and I love to read bloggers who make me laugh and/or make me think. As for describing exactly what makes my synapses fire that way...well, that's the real question, isn't it?


The pull for me is the writing. The outstanding writers in my opinion are: Yarnagogo, Kerstin (duh!) and you are very good too I must say. Many blogs are great visually too BUT what makes them great is the voice.


It's a little weird, but I think what holds me is a rather delicate balance--I like blogs that aren't "all about me," and that acknowledge the world outside the domestic tranquility we create with knitting. Blogs are certainly personal and journal-like, but they can get a little airless sometimes. I'd rather read about imperfection than perfection.

I also gravitate toward people with whom I have something (besides knitting) in common--although the differences are what makes someone interesting to read about.


Someone just asked me this same question recently and I immediately said "writing." But I think I meant "voice." Geez, I don't know, it's a combination of things. I like intelligence, wit, honesty, good pics, and heart/soul. I also tend to visit first the bloggers I've met in person. It's just more fun when you read their blog and "hear" their real voice. Not sure why, but that always gives me a kick. I think intuition plays a part, too. But my intuition has certainly been wrong more than once in blogland and that bothers me to no end since I've always depended on my intuition for survival. :)

Hey, you want some snow? The white powder just keeps raining down up here!


"voice" is right on...a sense of thoughtfulness, if that makes any sense...i also like blogs that take an 'audience' into account, not necessarily a big audience, or anything show-offy, but just a sense that the blogger is trying to communicate or connect in some way...ah, i don't know what i'm saying.


I like a blog that has a bit of everything in. I don't need to know the whole caboodle about a person, but it's nice to have a little insight into their day. Knitting content is always good, their thoughts on a particular project, their choice of yarn etc. I like a bit of a laugh as well and also something that makes me think, whether it's a charity thing or something that has hit the news so views are aired. When I read a favourite blog, I suppose I do hear a voice, but I also hear it in accents, is that weird? Being English may have something to do with it as alot of the blogs I read are either American or Canadian. Pictures too, lot of them, doesn't even have to be knitting related, nosey I guess! Whatever, I know I spend alot of time reading other blogs, and thinking, yep that's what I want to do so go away to try and incorporate a little of whatever they have into my own little corner of the world. Great thought provoker Caroline!

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