And now we pause as I suck up to my favorite litbloggers, some of whom may someday review my novel.
In alphabetical order (since assigning rankings would be even more shameless), here are my favorite litblogs of the moment. I apologize in advance to the dozens of others I read and enjoy regularly.
33 1/3 (David Barker)
Probably the best publisher blog out there, with regular announcements of 33 1/3 author appearances, generous book excerpts and the like. Admittedly, however, the site might not be of as great of an interest to anyone who’s not as obsessive about music as I am.
Black Garterbelt (Traver Kaufman)
Traver doesn’t post nearly as often as he did during his Rake’s Progress heyday, but while I generally don’t share his literary tastes I always find his posts to be invigorating reading. He's got his opinions and he's not afraid to share them.
Blog of a Bookslut (Jessa Crispin)
Jessa is still mostly flying solo, and quite valiantly so, after the lamented departure of her longtime blogging sidekick Michael Schaub, but between blogging, running Bookslut magazine and overseeing its monthly reading series, she’s still doing more for literature than most people. Even without Michael's hilarious musings I can hardly complain about her efforts.
The Book Inscriptions Project (Shaun)
It’s always fascinating to see what book-givers write inside the front cover - kind of like a literary FOUND Magazine.
Bookninja (George Murray)
Hands down, the funniest litblog on the planet. Get this man a Fulbright or something, so he can make this a full-time career. The potential contributions to Western culture are nearly limitless.
Books for Breakfast (Kristin Dodge)
The reviews are brief, the language blunt, and the cocktail-based rating system often has me worrying for her children’s welfare. But anyone who cares this much about reading is probably minding the kids too.
Campaign for the American Reader (Marshal Zeringue)
Other than the tireless Ed Champion, Marshal is the hardest working man in the litblog business, at last count operating nine litblogs. Everything here is worthwhile, though I must point out his Page 69 Test, which I now use pretty much every time I go to the bookstore.
Edward Champion's Return of the Reluctant (Ed Champion)
Between a full-time job, his freelance book-review work, his Brooklyn social life, and his endless hours spent interviewing authors for the priceless Bat Segundo podcast, Ed has apparently either discovered the 48-hour day or a very reliable source of amphetamines. Acerbic, witty, iconoclastic and fearless in relentlessly challenging the self-appointed arbiters of literature.
The Elegant Variation (Mark Sarvas)
Besides tirelessly promoting good literature, Sarvas once stood up to Steve Almond, emerging the vastly better man in the exchange. And one of these years I’m going to win that Friday giveaway, dammit!
LitKicks (Levi Asher et al)
I first started paying attention to LitKicks last year, when Levi Asher knocked the stuffing out of several vaunted literary titans, and I’ve been eagerly reading it ever since. Levi has faithfully kept the “reviewing the Sunday book review” concept (with him, the NYT) long after other litbloggers (covering the L.A. Times, S.F. Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, etc.) have given up all hope for cajoling book review sections into reaching for their vast but mostly untapped potential.
Maud Newton (Maud Newton)
The first litblog I ever read on regular basis. Maud doesn’t post nearly as often as she used to, but when she does it’s always worth reading. Thanks to Maud and her friend George Murray, the phrase “screaming thigh sweats” is now a permanent part of my vocabulary.
The Outfit (Various)
I admit to reading very little modern crime fiction, and also to first reading this group blog of Chicago crime writers almost exclusively for the ponderings of my friend Kevin Guilfoile. But now that I’ve been reading for a while, I’m hooked on the entire operation. Always very thoughtful posts, not always about literature.
satoriworks (Damon Garr)
I probably post more comments on Damon’s blog than any other, with the possible exception of Ed Champion’s. I think he and I are kindred spirits.
Syntax of Things (Jeff Bryant)
Great taste in literature and music, and the Friday photo of his baby daughter never fails to elicit an “Awwww!” from my cynical, hard-hearted self.
This Blog Will Change Your Life (Ben Tanzer)
Obsessive use of the royal “we”, repeated links to his self-produced promotional videos on YouTube, lamentations over the current Amazon ranking of his debut novel, and shameless but tongue-in-check hucksterism are just a few of the endearing qualities which mark Ben Tanzer’s blog.
Ward Six (Rhian Ellis and J. Robert Lennon)
Husband and wife duo, neither of whom I’ve read but would very much like to. I always enjoy bloggers like them who are brave enough to join in the comments section arguments.
I'm honored, sir.
Posted by: Jeff at Oct 9, 2007 10:58:10 AM
Thanks for the kind words, sir, but I assure you that I am feverishly working to perfect the 72 hour day. This, without amphetamines.
Posted by: ed at Oct 9, 2007 1:50:23 PM
Perhaps, Ed, but once you start working on the 96-hour day you'll be popping greenies like the '79 Pittsburgh Pirates.
Posted by: Pete at Oct 9, 2007 4:10:49 PM
Thanks for the kind words as well as the patronage Pete.
Posted by: Kevin Guilfoile at Oct 9, 2007 8:36:02 PM
We at Lucky Man, Inc. are thrilled to find ourselves on this list and beyond seeing Lucky Man's Amazon ranking climb, few things could make us happier. The whole staff here wants you to know how honored we are.
Posted by: Ben Tanzer at Oct 10, 2007 7:10:57 AM
And if you get the kids to pour the drinks, you're spending "quality time" together. See?
Posted by: Kristin Dodge at Oct 10, 2007 9:08:43 AM
I'm being funny? Oh, right. I'm being funny. (Thanks)
Posted by: G at Oct 15, 2007 7:45:41 PM