Marginalia: Holiday Edition

In an ordinary “Marginalia” feature, we would recommend just one high-quality website for your reading pleasure—a stingy allotment that would have to tide you over for days, sometimes weeks. But all that Waldorf-Astoria eggnog must be making us giddy, because today we’ve decided to show our readers four sites worthy of their discriminating tastes. Thank-you notes, expensive reciprocal gifts, etc. can be sent to Attn: Arbiters of Style, Abbeville Press, 137 Varick St., New York NY 10013.

First up on the slate is You Don’t Say, a blog written for the Baltimore Sun by copy editor and self-described “veteran drudge” John E. McIntyre. Mr. McIntyre keeps most of his posts focused on language and grammar, prescriptions for which he doles out with fair-mindedness and humor, but he also reserves the right (as do we) to digress into “arbitrarily chosen subjects.” As a recent post proved, this can mean making videos of himself telling bar jokes. Nicely played, sir. We liked this blog so much when we discovered it yesterday that we couldn’t resist showing Mr. McIntyre our own grammar-related shenanigans, which he has graciously indulged by providing a Michael Buffer-style ring announcement for our latest bout with Chicago. “Scrappy challengers” we may be, but this man is a champ.

Our next site deserves plugging if only because of its name. Big Bad Book Blog is the official blog of Greenleaf Book Group; its updates seem to have slowed of late, but its site design radiates friendly elegance, while its archive of writing, editing, and publicity advice remains well worth poking through. [January update: we hear through the grapevine that new posts on BBBB will soon be resuming. 2009 is looking up!]

Finally we have BiblioBuffet, the brainchild of former book editor Lauren Roberts and the collaborative effort of six professional wordsmiths of various kinds. BiblioBuffet caught our attention by spontaneously saying nice things about us the other day, thereby melting our Scrooge-like hearts. We’re happy to return the compliment, since the site is a well-tended and fast-growing hub of book links, reviews, writers’ resources, and literary diversions. Readers are advised to take advantage of Ms. Roberts’s humble invitation to “sit down and sample our fare,” which consists of “a bounteous feast of tasty biblio-cuisine.” God bless us, everyone.

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