Three blog posts I've loved this week (plus a bonus one)

14 Dec 2015, 8:59 p.m.

After the last post here, I ruefully tweeted that my early New Year's resolution is to blog about other topics than how bad I am at blogging. To that end, I've decided to try writing a short post every day based on a prompt (starting with the ones here, so long as they're any good). Today's is very easy: to write about three blog posts I've read and loved this week, and encourage you to read them.

I loved Hanson when I was a teenager. I had their first album on cassette, a homemade copy of their Christmas album that my best schoolfriend had made for me, and a sheaf of magazine pages with their faces on clipped into the back of my school binder because, well, you were supposed to? I am, however, absolutely certain that nearly all of the questions in Hanson: The Ultimate Trivia Quiz Book would have been beyond my ability to answer. Luckily, this challenge never came up during my education, but the possibility yet remains, and I am still not equal to it! Kat Stevens, however, will now be, since she found a copy of the tome for 25p in a library sale, and displayed the breadth of her learnings online in her post, 253 Questions from Tulsa.

For me, the best part of that post is the final few paragraphs, in which The Ultimate Trivia Quiz Book's author gives a bird's eye view of the Hanson-focussed internet. It's a snapshot of another time. In 1998, when it was published, I was a full year out from having regular access to the internet at school, but that was probably the year I first got to use it at a friend's house. We googled Hanson. I remember that most of the results were in Chinese.

The second post I want to point out is on, and I just checked with David whether he thought that counts as a blog or a website with articles. "Blog post and article are synonyms, and anyone who tells you different has issues," he said, which I'm not sure I agree with, but will take as my answer. I haven't been watching Jessica Jones but I found this post by Emily Asher-Perrin very interesting nonetheless: Jessica Jones is a Primer on Gaslighting, and How to Protect Yourself Against It. Honestly, it's made me a lot more interested in seeing the show. I'm unfamiliar with the comics referenced by the show and don't often have the organisation to watch serial shows, but I am interested in the psychology of abusive relationships. That's my third phrasing of that last sentence, and it sounds at least a little bit better than the first two, so I guess it will have to do. Online friends of mine watched Jessica Jones as it aired and I followed their anxious posts about whether it would be able to handle the themes it had taken on. It's good to see that it could.

I'm really not sure which of the next two links is the bonus that doesn't quite fit inside the bounds of this prompt, to be honest. Polidori's summer abroad is a single post — but it was written by me, two and a half years ago, which seems like it should be a sure disqualifier. Still, I did read it this week, after linking to it in a Twitter conversation about vampires and whether Lord Byron, as this book claims, "decisively imported the concept of the vampire to English literature." I think this is unfair and hold strongly that Polidori's book, which is complete and was published well before Byron's, is also a much better piece of writing. Poor Polidori. That post is not bad, either, and it will probably be quicker for you to read it than to accidentally bring up the topic when we're at a party and wine has loosened my tongue on the subject.

The other post I'd like to draw attention to, meanwhile, is this one at Disability in Kidlit. It's not really a piece in its own right, however, but a harbinger for a theme week on the topic of blindness. Disability in Kidlit is a great blog, which I don't keep up with but occasionally dive through. Of the Blindness Week posts, I'd especially recommend Holly Scott-Gardner's post When Blind is Forever, on how the trope of a character's blindness being cured can alienate blind readers and give false impressions to sighted ones; and A Semi-Constant Waiting Game by Nicole White, which gave me a lot more information than I'd previously had about how blind readers get access to literature.