In response, I am supposed to list five blogs that make me think, and also link you here for the original idea. There's going to be some duplication with Keira's list, I'm afraid, but those bloggers will just have to feel even prouder that they're making lots of people think.
First up: Dear Author. I know sincerity is the toughest thing to
Next, The Pioneer Woman's From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels love story. (Which you can read in individual posts here or all in one big, long, rambling story here.) The Pioneer Woman is Ree Drummond, the daughter of an orthopedic surgeon (I think) in a small city north of Tulsa. She met a cowboy (who happens to be a multi-millionaire, but I truly don't think that was ever part of the appeal) and fell in love. She says, not inaccurately, that it's like a Harlequin Romance. But I thought a lot after reading it -- about the nature of love, what it feels like, how much I wished it had been fiction so I could get the hero's POV, and all the little things she included in her story that made it clear it was real life. So it's this weird amalgam of real life and fairy tale romance. Good stuff, but have some time on hand -- it's long. (Oh, and a warning: she cooks; she even has a cookbook out now; and just looking at the pictures will cause you to gain weight. They are that yummy.)
MonkeyBearReviews makes me think about the clarity of her reviews, and the even greater clarity she brings to the issues of the day. I wish I had her lightness of touch -- she writes a relatively brief, cogent post and it draws out the most interesting ideas and discussions in the comment threads. She makes me think about my shortcomings as a blogger -- which is always a good thing for me to be thinking about in pursuit of a better, simpler, stronger way to communicate. With Sarah, less is often way more, and I admire that.
Dooce. There, I admit it. I (and millions of other people) read Dooce. She's funny and outrageous, but she's courageous as well. Not just because she is willing to overshare for our amusement (and yes, for her own financial gain -- she is truly making blogging pay!), but because she endures a shitload of abuse in return for her fame and notoriety. She's pretty good about it; she mocks it and exploits it. But she also makes it clear how painful it is. I wouldn't want her job even with the money -- I don't have that thick a skin. I think a lot about how hard blogging honestly is when I'm reading Dooce.
Racy Romance Reviews Jessica at RRR is a philospher, teacher, reader, reviewer and fangirl. She does it all, and often all at once. I think a lot about subtleties of morality and narrative when I'm reading her posts and the comment threads that follow. But she does something I see nowhere else. She's had a couple real-time book chats (with Black as their theme: Black Ice by Anne Stuart and Black Silk by Judith Ivory). In both cases I had to think hard about what I found in these books and why I felt and thought about them as I did. I got to meet and interact with other readers (because -- except when Anne Stuart herself commented -- we're all readers in a discussion like that) and see these books through their eyes and hearts. It doesn't change my opinion, but it's not supposed to. What it's supposed to do is get us all to exchange opinions and end up with a wider view of the book under discussion.
There are my five! Oh, and an honorable mention to the Fugly Girls at GFY. They make me think, a little, about fashion and the foibles of the rich & famous. But they sure do make me laugh.
Thanks again, Keira!