I see lots of summer reading lists and they always send me scrambling to my local library web site to see which ones they have available for my Kindle. But really, these days, a good portion of my reading time is spent on blogs. There's a huge world of diverse talent out there, and I just can't get enough. Whatever I'm in the mood for, it's there: humor, current events, life lessons, support, crafts, recipes, DIY, fashion, perspective . . . so much to enjoy, so little time.
It got me thinking, though, what about a (mid) summer reading list for blog posts? Not whole blogs, but a single article, that one specific piece that shouldn't be missed. And who best to recommend that post but the blogger who wrote it? So I put a call out on social media to bloggers asking what one post written this year so far they were most proud of. And in the meantime I went back to look at my own. I had humor pieces, thoughtful articles, writing challenges, collaborations and, of course, my recipe creations, like this one that I'm sharing today:
Tropical Storm Cookies
But picking a favorite? I couldn't decide. Best I could do is narrow it down to six. SIX! And the big surprise is that although I write mostly humor, only one was funny. Two were tributes, two were serious and one was even a semi-sponsored post (meaning no money but a cause I believe in).
Good thing other writers were more decisive. A number of talented bloggers have recommendations for you. I've provided the links and a little about why these pieces were chosen. I hope you read them all.
Tamara of Confessions of a part time working mom, a Swiss blogger with a love of travel has chosen Travel A - Z, a list of travel questions answered with lots of great pictures. She chose it as a fun and easy summer read.
L (she writes anonymously) of Free Flowing Chaos shares An Open Letter to my Abuser, a letter to her ex who, she explains, abused her in multiple ways. "Life after this relationship ended had a lot of roadblocks but thanks to counseling, my (current) husband and I have moved past and closed that chapter." This is her favorite post for many reasons but mostly because it was a breaking point in finally making it over that one last hurdle. Finally closing that chapter has allowed her to start writing the next.
Lynne of LynneCobb.com invites us to read a funny post. It's called Battling with Grays and Strays. She wrote this post because she's humorously embracing all the changes of midlife. "Some things you just have to laugh at!" Lynne tells me that this one has had a lot of feedback, and was also featured on Erma Bombeck's Writing Workshop site. Not only that but her stylist loved it and shared with his Facebook fans!
Minette of Southern Belle Charm wrote I'm Not Your Friend from her heart. In this piece she explains to her daughter why she's not her friend. Minette says that she thinks it applies to many of us when we think of our children. Explaining why and how she wrote it: "the idea for it rolled around in my head for months, it took me a while to get it right, with help from my friend Karen."
Diane Tolley of the blog On the Border and author of multiple books picked Nurse in Training, a story about an extraordinary woman, her Grandmother Stringham, as her favorite post because "I love stories about the people in my background. I'm so proud of them. Every one has such stories to tell! I have all of their journals, so the pickings are particularly wonderful!"
Dawn of Spatulas on Parade is another blogger who chose a humorous post as her favorite so far this year. Margarita Cake and I need to buy a llama . . . or get new glasses was written about a miscommunication between she and I that played out on Facebook. Dawn says "I think it's one of my better posts. It is funny, real, and includes a great recipe." Her readers must agree because Dawn tells me that it had really high page views.
Tatiana of MultitaskMomma chose Did He Seriously Just Try To Do That because "it is one of the funniest things that's ever happened in our 5 years of being parents". Tatiana is the mom of 3 who says she's making memories one step at a time and sharing them through her blog hoping that "one day my children will read about all the adventures we had together".
Lee of LeeGaitan.com and author of the book My Pineapples Went to Houston was in the same position in which I found myself, she had a difficult time choosing between a few favorites. Ultimately she chose a post about her family, In Praise of Stepsons. She explains her choice this way "you cannot even imagine the devastation that my ex caused when he just walked out the door, leaving my daughter and me penniless and her fatherless. I couldn't envision any way we could have a real family again. But we are complete now and it's because of my stepsons (and now their wives and children) embracing us from day one."
As for my own? Well, I got it down to two and then I did exactly what any undecided person would do, I asked my friends to choose. Because nothing says "recommended by the person who wrote it" like putting the decision off on someone else.
They chose There is no Box, a post I wrote about my former step sister. Her death stunned me. The reason for it broke my heart. After I wrote this piece I reconnected with my former step mother, who did read it and approved.
Enjoy your summer reading. And if you have a minute, stop back here and let me know what you read and what you think.
Tropical Storm Cookies©www.BakingInATornado.com
Ingredients (makes about 45):
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp rum extract
1 tsp pineapple extract
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp lemon
1 (5 oz) box Mike and Ike Tropical Typhoon flavored candies
1 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP pineapple juice
OPT: 1 cup toasted coconut
*Cut all of the candies in half.
*Cream the butter, margarine and sugar. Mix in the eggs and extracts. On the lowest speed, incorporate the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix in the candies.
*Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour or up to a day.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough, approximately 1 TBSP at a time, into about 45 balls. Place on the baking sheets and gently pat down just a little with the heel of your hand.
*Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. Let cookies sit on the baking sheets for 2 minutes until set, then gently slide the parchment paper (with the cookies still on it) off of the baking sheets and allow to cool completely.
*Mix the powdered sugar with the pineapple juice. Brush onto the cookies.
*OPT: While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle with toasted coconut if desired.