These Are a Few of My Favorite Websites

favorite thingsThis week I’m in California visiting family, so while I’m gone I’m going to send you on a scavenger hunt. Luckily there’s nothing to actually scavenge except fun and ideas.

Like many of you I’ve found some great ways to waste time on the web. I’ve also found some great ways to improve my writing and social media skills. Today I thought I’d share a few of my favorite sites, so that you can explore a little, too.

Book Recommendations:

This book list is from the late Father William Neenan at Boston College. I came across it doing research for The Color of Light. How many have you read?

And here’s a list from the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, possibly the oldest book club in existence. These are books that were chosen for discussion each summer from 1878 to 2014. Again, can you tally how many you’ve read? That will take some time.

From the U.K.’s Telegraph, a list of best romantic novels. Not only have I not read them all, I haven’t even heard of a few. I should change that, right?

Social Media and Blogging:

I subscribe or have subscribed to a number of newsletters with tips on blogging and/or using social media. Newsletters are a great way to stay current so that I make your experience online with me professional and fun. Amy Lynn Andrews has by far the best newsletter I’ve come across, which she calls the Useletter. Her tips are interesting, concise and helpful even if you’re not a professional. If the subject interests you I recommend subscribing to this one. To get an idea what she does, click on Contents.

PicMonkey is a great online photo editor.  I love the humor and the easy to learn skills.

Canva features simple graphic design software. I’ve used it a few times and would use it more if I had time to put all these great ideas into practice.

Just for Fun:

I just discovered Book Riot and it’s now part of my daily ritual. Lots of fun stories, videos, analysis of books here. I loved a recent look at bookish parodies from Sesame Street. If you’re a fan of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, make sure you view Game of Chairs. Sly humor for adults mixed with counting games for children. Perfect.

I just found 22 Words today, so I can’t say too much yet because I haven’t checked every entry for language or bathroom humor. But this list of ridiculous kitchen gadgets caught my eye. I actually gave one of these away on this blog several years ago. I’m not kidding, do you remember? I bought an extra for myself and still use it. The moment I start adding more Ministry is Murder novels to the collection, I am sure I’ll need to buy a few of these as giveaways. You’ll know which ones I mean when you look through the list.

Lots of Inspiration:

There are so many inspirational and thought provoking websites. I don’t mean collections of quotes particularly, but websites that have taken on the challenge of changing the world we live in. One of my favorites is Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life.  Based at the University of California at Berkeley they describe their mission this way: “The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.”

I hope you enjoy today’s collection. Why not share some of your own favorite websites in the comments below? More to love is never a bad idea.


  1. April Mc Vey on May 2, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Wow except for one book , I am sorry to say I have not read any of these. I guess I need to expand my reading!!

  2. Kathy on May 2, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Can’t wait to start exploring!

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