Links I love

Hey readers, you may have noticed that we freshened the blog up for spring. We didn’t change much, but I hope you like the new look all the same.

My favorite finds from around the web:

This bookstore is using clickbait headlines to get people to read literary classics. “British guy dies after selfie gone wrong”? The Picture of Dorian Grey, of course. (New vocab for the day: “literary clickbait” = “litbait.”)

• What if all I want is a mediocre life? “What if I embrace my limitations and stop railing against them? Make peace with who I am and what I need and honor your right to do the same.” (Speaking of clickbait: “mediocre” was definitely a word chosen for that potential here, but I still appreciated this.)

Literature by the numbers. A fascinating Longreads interview with the author of the new book Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing. Nabokov’s favorite (i.e., oft-used) word was “mauve.” Connelly’s is “nodded.” Bradbury liked “cinnamon.” Christie used “alibi” and “inquest” at a high rate (no wonder!)

How the Like button ruined the internet. “Once other people start telling you what they like via Like buttons, you inevitably start hewing to their idea of what’s good…. The stuff you publish will start looking a lot like the stuff that everybody else publishes, because everybody sort of likes the same thing and everybody is fishing for Likes.” (Read to the end for an interesting theory: podcasting is booming because its largely free of these “Like” handcuffs.)

Favorite instagram:

This was what my kitchen counters looked like on Wednesday. (And the day before that, and the day before that, and probably the day before that.) I’ve cleaned up since then, much to Will’s relief. (Follow me on instagram @annebogel.)

On the blog:

One year ago: My to-do list and my wish list. “I told all this to a friend recently—another woman who has a big family, and similarly big responsibilities right now—and she said Are you sure you made a to-do list?”

Two years ago: 40 great book club novels.

Three years ago: Buying a house vs. buying a house AND a life. “When our realtor asked us how much we could spend, I tried to explain the difference between what we wanted to pay (less) and what the mortgage company thought we could afford (more).”

Four years ago: My daughter tell me exactly how she wants to be loved.

Have a great weekend!

more posts you might enjoy


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  1. Maryalene says:

    I think the like button has done more than affect the caliber of online content. It’s also given people a reason to engage less with each other online. In the pre-Facebook days, I belonged to several message boards where there would be long, involved conversations on a variety of topics. Someone would write something interesting and the only way to acknowledge it was to write a response. Now people can post the same interesting perspective and friends can click ‘like’ and move along without adding anything else. I guess that’s good for our busy lives, but I can’t help but think we’re missing out on a lot of good conversation in the process.

    • Susan says:

      I totally agree with this! Back BEFORE internet, I was on some electronic bulletin boards, where you’d write whatever you were chatting about, and your modem would call a local BBS, then in the middle of the night (when phone rates were cheaper), the BBS’s would talk to each other and transfer the messages around the world. Not as quick as email, but we had LONG and DEEP discussions about many topics and I loved it. I’m still on a Yahoo Group where there is discussion on Christian Journaling, but sadly, many people don’t have time for such things anymore since most of them are on Facebook. I’m not on Facebook by choice, not because I’m low-tech. We had a VERY fast 2400-baud modem back in 1987 and my oldest daughter submitted her 2nd grade spelling sentences printed out on our dot-matrix printer from our first PC computer back in 1986.

    • Susan says:

      Install ADBlock. It is fabulous!

      Also, Anne, I was cracking up that your husband would be relieved that you’d clean up that “mess” on your kitchen counter. That picture is the best-case post-cleaning after at my house!

      • Susan says:

        Susan, I was going to say the same thing! That’s a mess?!?! Where are all the OTHER piles?? That IS a TALL pile, though!

      • Cindy McMahon says:

        I was looking for the LIKE button under your response! Ha My “give to library” book pile is taller than that!

      • Karen says:

        Ditto! My first reaction was that the picture was post clean-up! Right now most of my counter is covered, the sink is full, and the Instant Pot needs a cleaning! And the. There’s the table – which is not in much better shape!

        I’m an E/I SFP – the E and I depend on my fatigue levels (CFS/ME & Fibro for 40+ years). I usually say: “Don (my husband) is an INTJ and I’m the other letters.” (Because I had to go & look my results up since I never quite remember them!)

        My sister got all of the “Tidy” genes in our family. I’ve learned to look her in the eyes and say, “I’m not finished with this water. I’m only setting it down so I can go and move my laundry to the dryer. Then I’m coming back to finish it. Okay?” Otherwise, I come back in 5 minutes and my water has been emptied and the glass placed in the dishwasher.

  2. Hi Anne, thank you for sharing my post via No Sidebar. The word mediocre was not chosen as clickbait. I wrote and published this post over a year ago, in tears. Never thinking anyone would care much. I come from a long history of struggle: with anxiety, perfectionism, never feeling I could *quite* measure up.

    The word mediocre has provoked and annoyed some but I stand by it. When I finally chose “good enough”, mediocre, I experienced freedom. To show up and offer my simple gifts. To let go of my need to control the outcome. To be real whether others like me or not.

    I love that my post has people talking and questioning. Thanks again for sharing it ❤️

    • Deb Watley says:

      Thank you, Anne, for including Krista’s post. And thank you Krista for putting your heart and thoughts into words. I feel like you were reading my own heart.

    • S says:

      Krista – your words speak to my heart. Thank you for putting it out there that a “good enough” life is every bit wonderful and meaningful as those living life large and bold. I may not have a desire to travel the world or climb the ladder at work, but I am happily living my life amidst the dishes and laundry, family dinners, nights around a fire pit with friends, walks with the dog in the woods, reading on the couch, and early to bed nights followed by quiet early mornings. Thank you.

    • Yes, I loved (and shared) this post; it spoke to me. I saw nothing clickbaity about the title (btw this was a good reminder not to assume anything about why writers write what they do!).

    • Annette Silveira says:

      I also loved your article. I saved it and will share it. It speaks to everything I choose to be.

  3. Laura says:

    Love the design- especially the sidebar with books heard on the podcast! It would be cool to see a running list of guest’s favorites.

  4. Debbie Vietzke says:

    I really enjoyed the “Facebook likes ruined the internet” article. It put into words some things I couldn’t think how to say.
    I remember Google Reader well and how devastated we all were when it disappeared. I remember my own feeble attempts at blogging and how I would imitate little formatting tricks I would see on other blogs. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    I quit both Facebook and Twitter over a month ago. I deleted them from my computer and phone. I just got bored and annoyed. I was surprised how easy it was.
    I’ve gone back to following blogs and trying out some other sites like Quora. I have a couple of other Genealogy/DNA projects that are getting more of my time and of course..reading books!

  5. Stephanie says:

    I also LOVE the all white look! It’s fresh and modern.
    Thank you for posting Krista’s article. It felt like my words and feelings, but not knowing how to write them myself. Good stuff!

  6. As a longtime MMD follower I enjoy the fresh new look (and my 50+ year old eyes like the larger print 🙂 ).

    I loved the “mediocre” post — thanks for sharing that. It speaks to me.

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