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INVITATION: Pick Your Fave JH Posts From 2013

A Backward Glance, A Second Thought. (Whadiddy Sayagin?)

‘Tis the season, friends and neighbours.

Evanescence is the new solidity.

No, not the season of rampant materialism, though crassness happens. And I don’t mean the time when thoughts of peace on earth, good will towards men quietly insist on being heard amid the din and the hurrying, though I’m all in favour. (Not of the noise and the haste, but of the good will part.) It’s Mirror Time! The Annum That Was! What the Heck Just Happened? The Year in Review!

Sports Illustrated has chosen the NFL quarterback Peyton Manning as its Sportsman of the Year, and the December flood of instant nostalgia is rising. No doubt Time (do we still have Time?) and People and Cool Gossip About Rich Folk I’ll Never Know are putting out their reflections on 2013; and good-for-them, I thought, might not be a bad thing for this humble gathering of electrons.

So, without further mumbling, an Invitation For You:

Faithful readers, occasional lurkers, subscribers loyal and visitors frequent, I would like to know what you’ve liked here at JH.com in 2013. Over the past year, this site has featured 39 “At First Glance” pieces on everything from fireworks to novels; 34 short essays that were “All About Sports”; five longer meditations that are found in the “On Second Thought” section; and, 45 quotations under the heading “He Said/She Said”. (I got a bit nutty, maybe, about HS/SS the past few months, but increasingly I use them as thought exercises, and append my responses to the notable words of others and my reasons for posting them.) So, lots to choose from!

Ideal scenario: you’ve read lots, remember some well, and don’t mind traipsing through the archives to remind yourself of what you’ve read here. You’ll fire me a Top 10 list (or Super 7, or…), and I’ll compile it with those of others to produce a JH.com Year in Review.

Another scenario: you haven’t been around here for long, or don’t come often, or just don’t have time to mess around with rankings, but you have read a thing (or three) that you like. Let me know the titles, and I’ll feed your choices into the blender, too.

In any case, please send me the list of your favourite titles by December 31, and I’ll try to get the 2013 results up before 2014 gets too old. Thanks! Send your list — and any other feedback, commentary, suggestions — to INFO@JAMESHOWDEN.COM .

YES, and JH.com is now followable on Twitter @JamesHowdenIII. Thanks for looking in. If you’re new here, read on to find out more of what JH.com is all about, including how to SUBSCRIBE…

“At First Glance”, where you are now, is the default weblog of this site. Below are the first three in a series of discussions of The Unconscious Civilization, by another Canadian, John Ralston Saul, and several hundred other things, including observations about life in China. AFG is about everything that makes me stop and write.

Reflections on athletics appear to the right in the “It’s All About Sports” section. I’ve most recently been thinking about concussions, retired athletes, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE, which is clouding the lives of far too many ex-athletes, and maybe even me), and most recently on Chinese college basketball. All the games and all the excuses for sweat-stained excellence interest me. There is more to sport than dunks and grunts and numbers.

The third major portion of JH.com is called “On Second Thought”, where I have recently written about my fitful prayer life, reviewed a classic novel, and waxed nostalgic in a good old piece on words that have made me laugh out loud and wonder. Articles in this section are sometimes longer and usually more fussed-over. I let readers know in AFG (where you are now) when I’ve posted there. Also, for those who like quotations, “He Said/She Said” is a growing compendium of wisdom, argument or fun from other pens than mine.

You can subscribe to JH.com by popping an email address into the box down below and right. Thanks for reading.

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