Recommended Reading (Giving and Hopefully Receiving)


Otherwise Entitled, "In Which I Get Really Tired of Writing the Word 'Blog'."

I've been reading a lot lately, and writing very little.

A part of me wants to make excuses for this, but another part of me does not. We are a product of all the books we've read, right? Writers who read are better writers in the end. People who read are, I would even argue, better people in the end. I have been using a large part of my free time when I could have been doing something "productive" to read instead, and it's been lovely.

I haven't just been reading books (though if you want to compare book lists and/or add me as a friend, check out my Goodreads profile!), either; I've been curating (culling?) my list of Blogs I Read and working towards keeping a list of blogs I actually enjoy. If I'm skipping over almost every post that appears in my feed, then the blog just isn't capturing my attention anymore. This is okay. I had a feeling for a long time that I owed it somehow to everyone whose blog I read to stay faithful, to stick with them because... I don't know. I actually don't know what my rationale was. Beyond the obvious loyalty to close friends and family (whose blogs I enjoy reading on their own merit, but would still read even if I didn't!), most people do not notice if their blog loses one follower (especially if that follower almost never comments on anything - something else I need to work on).

I guess what I am getting at is Quality Over Quantity, a good principle in many areas of life, including blogging and reading blogs.  In the spirit of this principle, I am going to share with you a few blogs I have enjoyed reading lately, each with a particular post that I hope will capture your attention and maybe lead you to read that blog on a regular basis.

I reference the following criteria when deciding whether to click that 'follow' button:
-subject matter relating to sewing or fashion history, two subjects of great interest to me (ideally, the two together!)
-humorous writing style
-just plain good writing style
-subject matter relating to books
-(see also) subject matter relating to Jane Austen (oh yeah, I'm still there)
-subject matter relating to history and particularly women's history
-subject matter relating to Christian living or theology in areas of particular interest to me

And, of course, those blogs that I've been reading for what feels like forever and by now I am so mentally attached to the writers that letting them go would be like losing an old friend.

So here we are, in no order whatsoever.  Each post has been chosen either as something that I've liked for quite a while or read recently and really liked - but it shouldn't be seen as my absolute favorite post by that writer, just one that came to mind. ;)

Also I have probably inadvertently skipped someone somewhere and I hope it will not be held against me because my brain is a troublesome and forgetful thing.


The Dreamstress, a costuming and historical sewing blog by Leimomi Oakes. A post I particularly recommend (and look forward to the rest of the series):

Meanwhile in Rivendell, a book/movie review and generalities on life blog by Olivia. I laughed most heartily at her Classics Summed Up in Gifs:

Jasmine L. Holmes, eponymous blog about Christian living and reevaluating what we think of the way other people see us. This post meant a lot to me:

Lipstick and Gelato, a lifestyle, recipe, and all-around-good-writing blog by Rachel Heffington. (Rachel is one of those I've been following for eons, but her writing just keeps getting better and also she has a cool pastry cook job these days which is fun to read about.)

Lady of the Wilderness, a costuming and historical sewing blog (specifically 18th century) by Amber Mendenhall. I love her attitude about always learning and encouraging all learners!

Home at Winshaw, a lifestyle and homesteading blog by Atlanta Goodwin. I first became familiar with Atlanta through reading her now-retired sewing blog, Story of a Seamstress, and now enjoy reading about her old-fashioned log cabin life in the country with her four cute children. I don't think I would ever be able to tackle the full-immersion, almost 19th-century living off the land as she and her husband have done, but I greatly admire those who can! I like any posts in which she talks about wood stove cooking!

Leatherbound, a mostly book-related blog by Hayden Wand (we go wayyyyy back). This is not the original blog she used to write when I first began to follow her many years ago, but though I liked that one a lot, I like this one better. Writing tends to mature. I hope this is true of us all, including me. I particularly liked her recent post on art:

Historical Sewing, a blog about (WHAT COULD IT BE???) historical sewing, written by the incredibly knowledgeable and always-kind Jennifer Rosbrugh. (I still remember how she took the time to answer a very ignorant and full-of-questions email I sent her when I was first venturing into Civil War reenacting and sewing.) Many of her posts are mostly helpful to sewists, but I think this post is of interest to anyone who has ever wondered about this aspect of fashion history, not just those who stitch:

Ally Marie - Journey of a Recovering Control Freak, a generally-about-life blog written by my friend Ally (Marie!) whom I have also known for many years, who is a dear friend off the internet as well as on, and who also once wrote another blog but this one is also definitely better. (Although, not gonna lie, I kinda miss all the frilly costuming posts from her old blog!) I cried over this post, but in a good way:

Pearls, Apron and Pen, a blog about writing by my sister Carolyn, who has always and will forever be a better writer than I, a fact I used to struggle with and now embrace wholeheartedly, because reading what she writes is just so fun. She's currently posting a story in installments, and it is nothing short of delightful.

Last but never, ever least, my best friend Melody's blog, Regency Delight. She, and her kindred-spirit love of Jane Austen, only crossed my radar because of her blog, and that is how we became best friends. She doesn't write as much these days, but perhaps we can persuade her to again pick up this perfectly pulchritudinous (okay, I ran out of alliteration) series about awful Regency romance novel covers!

And now, it's your turn, I hope. What blogs do you like to read, and what do you recommend that I should check out? What am I missing around the Internet sphere that is worthy of more time spent on the Internet? (heh.) Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these... I might have been reading this, if I'd known about it earlier, and all that.

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