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What if instead of picking 52 of one thing, we picked a group of things (including what we have already done--I'm not really ready to be done with movies), and everyone could make contributions of whichever they please?

And maybe not even have a schedule, although you might find that too chaotic. It would, however take the pressure off of everybody, and that guilty feeling if you aren't contributing.

I'm glad you're keeping this one. A new one just wouldn't feel right.


I'm not sure how that would work. Just call it 52 Things? I don't know...maybe...I kind of prefer 52 Particular Kind of Things. :-)

I am really glad you are continuing.

I could do any of the ones you name except the classical music one

Radio 4 once did a thing like 365 objects. people raved about it although I have to confess I never heard it because I was the radio 3 person.

52 objects and you can describe any object you like???

I'll be glad to see another 52 weeks series, though it depends on what, exactly, you're doing 52 of. I followed the 52 Authors and 52 Guitarists because I like books and guitars, and the 52 movies were less interesting as I'm not that much into cinema. (Not that I don't like it, I'm just not as keen - except on mindless drivel where stuff blows up, which doesn't count in this context.)

Poems wouldn't be a bad subject, but that and novels would overlap with the 52 Authors series, several of which were effectively about one particular magnum opus of someone or other. Something musical would work, though, as would 52 items.

Other ideas: 52 Anecdotes; 52 Bizarre People I Have Known (though I'd be leery of contributing to that); 52 Interesting Historical Events/Characters - could be very interesting though the latter would overlap with 52 Authors territory ("Epictetus was awesome! Allow me to quote 5000 words from the Moral Discourses to demonstrate"); 52 Life Lessons (...actually that might get controversial); 52 Strange Lifeforms; 52 Places I've Been That You All Should Go; 52 Places You Should Avoid Like The Plague (And Lobby The Pentagon To Cleanse With Fire If You Can); 52 Curious Dreams; 52 Things I Got Cheap At A Car Boot Sale (do you have those in America? You'd say "Car Trunk Sale" I suppose).

all good ideas - especially 52 Bizarre People, 52 Characters, 52 Moral Lessons.

Well, with regard to curious dreams--when I woke up this morning, I told Bill that I had had a dream about a young man we went to college with named Phillip. He said, "I dreamt that my name was Phillip. This was rather disquieting, like one of those things that happens on Facebook.

Later we figured out it was because we had been watching "The Crown" before we went to bed.

I am a bit afraid to look at Facebook lest Phillip "friended" me during the night.

I like "52 Particular Kinds of Things." I was thinking of some kind of broad parameters, e.g. you could choose from: movies, authors, poetry, composers, etc., but not just anything.


Glad to hear the blog is continuing, and the book as well! I have a couple ideas about the book, Mac, re: editing/publisher. I'll email you.

Any version of '52...' would be okay with me, although I'd probably lean more towards the literary or musical.

How about 52 Beatles songs? :)

I'm glad you've decided to continue, Mac. Calibrate it to suit your purposes, but I would miss it were it gone.

I've thought of doing something like "52 Musical Masterpieces" at my blog, so I'd put in a vote for that one -- but I can't be relied upon to contribute with any regularity. 52 Poems would be interesting, and maybe not too much work. (This poem is called "The Faerie Queene" ...)

52 Beatles Songs is a nice idea, but after "Octopus' Garden" what else is there?

I'm not a Beatles guy, so I'd be out of the loop on that one!

I was thinking that about Music Masterpieces.


Well, now that we have consensus on this...:-/

I think Janet's first suggestion, in the first comment on this thread, is a good idea but pretty far from the 52 idea. I think it basically amounts to having guest posts, which I'd be happy to do. But it's not structured enough to be the same sort of thing as the 52s.

If it's too open-ended the 52 structure doesn't really make sense. If it was, say, 52 Things We Like, there'd be nowhere to go the following year, if we wanted to continue. I guess it could just be Things We Like, running indefinitely. I kind of like making it more focused than that, though.

I think Robert knows 52 Beatles songs would be somewhat too focused for my taste.:-) Hmm, I wonder if I could name 52 Beatles songs without looking....

I'm laughing about Faerie Queen and Octopus's Garden.

Some of godescalc's ideas are great, but they don't meet my "I Have To Be Able To Come Up With A Number Of Them On Short Notice" criterion. Now, if y'all wanted to think a year ahead, and send me all 52 in advance, so all I have to do is post them each week....

Since Craig is thinking of the 52 musical works for his blog, and since it would not be something that Janet and Grumpy and maybe others would feel able to contribute to, let's cross that one off.

If I had had any idea this would be a continuing thing, I would have turned 52 Authors into 52 Novels or something else more specific like that. It's true that Novels or Poems would have some overlap with the Authors series, but that's ok.

52 Things That Get On My Nerves In A Big Way?

I might write something about the Faerie Queen in the Octopus's Garden.


I like 52 poems. could you post a link to the poem so you don't have to format it

Gosh, Mac, no. 6 in the "against" column sounds like life in stress city. So glad you're not like me and have the mettle to soldier on, and with the "new" Sunday Night Journal, no less. Yay!

I like the idea of 52 Books because that would include both fiction and non-fiction, so more possibilities.

I agree that '52 Items you like' is too general. It would just be 52 Guest Posts.

I personally have written one negative book (God is not a Story) and its very dispiriting. I'm against anything like '52 things you cannot abide'

I agree with Marianne - maybe 52 books could work.

I also like 52 characters, and 52 Events

My personal favourite is 52 Poems, but with Mac saying it would be hard work formatting them - and considering his own hesitations about continuing the blog - I don't want to do something that will generate work for him.

Right now "Hey Jude" is playing on my stereo so I am laughing.

Well, glad that you are staying afloat, Mac. I keep thinking about just closing my Facebook account but whatever I do there I will be paying less attention and saying very little. First I had to hide all of the Trump crazies because it made me unhappy, now I feel like I have to hide all of the leftist crazies with their doomsday scenarios. Who does that leave? To be honest I'm only on FB to keep in touch with people I grew up with that I'll probably never see again.

But LODW is nice. I feel like I'm the only LIBERAL in the group, but maybe I'm not. Anyway, you all put up with me for which I thank you. Oh, and I also feel like I can speak my mind here, whereas on FB and me working at a Baptist institution....not as much.

52s: poems and classical works, though I enjoy both I do not feel like I could write intelligently on them. I agree that 52 books would seem an extension of the 52 authors series. Janet's idea seems good!

52 books would be very easy for me to contribute to though, and most enjoyable to read. My main concern would be that it would mean MORE online purchases.

Complete non-sequitur--Abigail is breathing on her own at less than 6 weeks--completely confounding all pre-birth expectations. Thanks be to God and thanks to any of you who prayed for her. Still a ways to go, but things are looking very good.


How about "52 sections of the Faerie Queene"? We could each write on one...

You can write on mine.


What is Janet's suggestion? 52 Things we like?

I don't like that - for the reason I gave - it would be 52 guest posts.

Good news about the baby.

Glad to hear about Abigail, Janet!

Well, we could do something like "52 literary works." That way you could pick a novel or a poem or a short story...

That's great news about Abigail, Janet. I'd been meaning to write to ask how she was doing. I hope mom and dad are doing okay too.

52 Literary Works is good

Or 52 Works of Art

That is wonderful news about Abigail.

I'm leaning toward either 52 Poems or 52 Recordings. Grumpy, you're right, we can just link to the poems. I don't know what I was thinking. It's not like we've included entire movies or books in the others. Somehow I was just visualizing the poem there on the main page.

I'm tempted to say 52 Pop Albums rather than Recordings, holding the possibility of 52 Classical Albums later. But it sounds like only a few of us would be contributing to the latter. So let's just say 52 Recordings in any genre. Or 52 Albums, I guess. Somehow that sounds weird but maybe that's just me.

"Literary works" is a little too unfocused to suit me.

Weep not for my stress, Marianne. Yeah, there is some, but not having a full-time job that I don't really like is WONDERFUL, so I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining, just describing the situation.

Stu, I think there are at least one or two people who are more politically liberal than most of us who read but don't comment very often. Anyway, I'm happy to have you.

Regarding Facebook, I don't know if you saw it or not, but a few weeks ago I posted a song called "Love Has Left the Room" and Janet said it sounded like Facebook.

Id like 52 poems.

If you had classical recordings I would make a heroic effort to say something about Purcell

You could quote Hopkins's poem, and then explain to the rest of us what it means.

Classical Recordings is really a bit too specialized for me. If I did that it would really be classical works, as I'm not that much of a connoisseur when it comes to performances.

When you said Great Works of Art, I guess you mean visual art? 52 Paintings has a nice ring. But I am to the visual arts as you are to classical music. I could come up with some but my commentary wouldn't be much more than "Here's one I like."

No no no no no no no. When I said great works of art I meant any kind of art - visual, literary, musical performance. I just wanted to generalize on 52 literary works. So the next step was 52 works of art

To Janet - so happy to hear about Abigail's breathing on her own. To the Greater Glory of God indeed.

To Mac - glad the blog has existed and continues. Thanks.

I probably won't be contributing to either one of those.


I mean, I don't think I'm capable of contributing to either of those.


What do you want 52 of?

Grumpy, since you like Purcell, let me recommend this CD to you. Being funeral music, it's not his most chipper, but the singing and the sound is amazingly rich and sonorous. Also includes "Hear My Prayer, O Lord", sounding better than I've ever heard it.

Here they are singing "Hear My Prayer, O Lord", one voice to a part. The sound falls short of the quality of the actual recording, but you get the idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m374lZhMCk.

Those two things would be fine. I'm just saying I don't write about either of those things with any competence whatsoever. I love music but I don't know how to say anything about it. Same with poetry, but even more so. I couldn't even review Sally's books.

I'm taking a class on Blake. Maybe I'll learn something. ;-)


I feel somewhat the same about poetry, Janet. I'm not sure what I would say, apart from "Look how good the rhyming is..." Maybe it would be a good challenge though, to learn how to talk about a poem.

52 Philosophical Systems!

52 Poems would be more of a challenge to me than 52 Albums (52 Records?), but I'd be okay with either.

I think there's a common feeling for '52 Albums' / 52 Pop Albums.

That's my random overview of the data!

Thank you Craig. I've got about 10 Hyperion Purcells, but one more is always welcome!

Thanks, Mary.

Grumpy, re 52 Works of Art (not just visual)--that also seems overly broad to me.

So it looks like whatever we pick now is going to be something that not everyone feels able to contribute to. Unless it's Books or maybe Novels. I'd like to do that but might prefer to put it off another year--more distance between it and the Authors series. I do definitely want to do 52 Recordings/Albums at some point so maybe will go with that. I dunno, I'll think about it a little more. Please keep giving me your opinions.

But: you shouldn't feel like you have to be an expert on something to contribute. I don't think these have to be essays. If you're able and willing to write 2000 words on a given work, fine. But if you just want to say not much more than "Here's one I really like," that's fine, too.

52 albums would be relatively painless for me, Mac. So I'm in. Poetry I could not do. 52 philosophical movements would of course be a breeze; we could begin with Objectivism!

Well, I don't think it would be very interesting to read, "I like this album because it makes me happy and it's easy to dance to." :-)

Maybe Robert would be willing to do this one.

I guess I could write about a few albums from a personal angle, and if so, I might as well claim a few, which would be Meet the Beatles, Revival and Jesus Christ, Superstar--and maybe Hair.

Well, the more I think about the fact that some albums are musicals, the more I think I could pull something off.

Also, the more I think about 52 People, I think that would be interesting to do sometime. It would be easier for us than for you, Maclin, because if we wanted, we could change their names and write anonymously, whereas it would be harder for you to disguise who you were writing about.


I realize I was making an assumption about the way we would do poems and/or music: that whatever we're writing about is likely to be accessible on the net, so just saying "I like this" and then linking to the poem or to a YouTube video would actually be sufficient. The burden wouldn't be on the writer to describe the thing.

But anyway, Janet, I'm quite sure you could write more than a few words about some albums, such as one of Gillian Welch's.

If we started with Objectivism, Stu, we couldn't get past week 1, because it's the ultimate philosophy, and everybody would immediately agree that it would be irrational to discuss others.

I would probably contribute to 52 pop albums.

I realize I was making an assumption about the way we would do poems and/or music: that whatever we're writing about is likely to be accessible on the net, so just saying "I like this" and then linking to the poem or to a YouTube video would actually be sufficient. The burden wouldn't be on the writer to describe the thing.

Now I'm confused. It sounds like we wouldn't be writing about whatever at all?

Bear with me, the overwhelmingness of life is making me stupid.


We could do 52 beautiful pictures of my grandchildren.


I'm not sure I understand your question, Janet. The "whatever we're writing about" was meant to refer to an album or a poem. I don't mean we couldn't or shouldn't say anything about it. Only that if we didn't have much to say the post would still be interesting, because we can include a link to the thing itself in the case of a poem, or some significant sample of it, like a song or two from an album, or even the whole album.

"I'm considering Weak and Afraid, after the eccentric (to say the least) musician Ross Johnson"

I like that. I like it MUCH better than the other.


Yeah, you never did like the other title. I like it ok but have never been entirely happy with it. And as the book is evolving it's become less apt.

Funny, I've always liked "WItCW" a lot. But it has to fit the book, of course.

Good to hear someone else likes it. For now it's just "the book ".

I already have four albums picked out.

Very good!

52 pieces?

I rather liked "War in the Closed World" as well, but perhaps it needs too much unpacking.

Perhaps the added attention to the "52" pieces is because typically between 3 and 6 people (perhaps more?) share a link on Facebook.

"52 pieces" was my reading of Grumpy's "52 works of art in a broad sense". Not a distinct suggestion.

52 drives/journeys?
52 dinners?
52 drinks?
52 days in the life?
52 translations?
52 animals?
52 moments of insight?

Just brainstorming. I'm not keen on any of those, but perhaps they'll strike a spark with someone else. I'd be glad to contribute to any of the other "52s" suggested, although wouldn't be able to say much about classical music. Or philosophical systems, come to think of it. Although actually, 52 philosophers might work.

52 blogs?

I could do 52 animals

I know! We can just have 7 different 52s with everybody doing their own topic on their own day of the week. Grumpy can do 52 animals and Paul can do 52 translations, and Robert can do 52 Beatles' albums, and Rob can do 52 literary works, and Stu can do 52 liberals, and godescalc can do 52 places you want to avoid like the plague,and I can do 52 things, and Marianne can help me, and you, Maclin, can do 52 SNJs and obviously we have to have more than one a day. ;-)

Or not.


52 cards: a natural since there are 52 in a deck. Everybody pick several favorites and write a meditation based on each.

Or we could be recursive: 52 Weeks.

I like some of these more off-the-wall ideas but will put them off till another more ordinary year has passed. For one thing most of them aren't topics which I could quickly fill in on short notice, as discussed earlier. Some of them beg to be the takeoff points for anecdotes and such. So let's see how I do with my new plan in general. We may decide we've had enough after another year, or maybe we'll go on for another decade or so.

Paul, regarding the traffic from Facebook: I thought that, too, but my statistics supposedly show where the visitor is coming from, and generally there aren't very many from Facebook, even on the day the post is shared there. I wonder if the stats are correct. Maybe before the end of the year I can hook the blog up to another statistics service that would give me better info.

Are you saying we aren't doing anything?


I'm not sure what you mean.

You keep saying that. ;-)

I mean your last comment sounds like you're not picking anything.


Oh no, I didn't mean that.



The more I think about it, the more I like the albums idea.


I think it will be the best thing for the upcoming year, because one of my top priorities for it is to reduce its distraction in the ways I discussed earlier, as compared to the authors and movies series. So from that point of view it really has to be either albums or poems, and albums seems easier overall.

Is this title "About A Blog" supposed to make us think of "About A Boy" the book, and movie?

Sorta but not really. I mean, it is sort of an echo of that, but only because it popped into my head when I thought about doing a post about the blog, not with any particular significance intended. I don't even know what the book and movie are about.

I should review that movie, it's a great one, and the book too!

I pick:

Rubber Soul
Dark Side of the Moon
The Yes Album
Crosby, Stills, and Nash
Either Harvest or After the Gold Rush

Those are great albums, Robert!
Right now all I can think of are two that I'm pretty sure no one else will pick but I'll go ahead and call them:

John Hiatt - Slow Turning
Lyle Lovett - Joshua Judges Ruth

This is going to be a fun year, Mac. When I think about things to say they are a lot with songs, possibility of discussing hearing these songs in concert, etc. And no spoilers to worry about like with movies and books!

Yes, it will be fun. Already there's one on the list I've never heard (Slow Turning). I'm already working on my arguments that Fragile is better than The Yes Album. :-) (Assuming Robert's view is the other way round.)

I prefer Close to the Edge over either!

My favorite Yes album is Drama (which, I grant you, is sort of not a Yes album)

Stu, I agree on About a Boy; it's a terrific movie. It's been on TV here in NZ several times, and I think I've watched each airing of it. Made me look at Hugh Grant in a totally different way, for one thing. Would love to read your review of it.

Oops, I meant to say Close to the Edge. Yes! Although I do like Fragile better than The Yes Album (though I like that one song a lot...what's it called?...Your Move?).

Drama? I don't even know that one.

Drama - had Trevor Rabin on guitar instead of Steve Howe, so that is why (I think) Don is saying not a real Yes album.

Marianne - Okay, I have About a Boy at home I'll rewatch and post a review. Grumpy hates Birdman, so I will avoid her wrath and not review that one ... which had been my plan. :)

So much for my memory - Trevor Horn, not Rabin - Rabin was later for 90120 or whatever the numbers were.

There was an English group called The Buggles, they had one hit named "Video Killed the Radio Star" which is mostly known for being the first MTV music video ever. The members were Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes.

The Yes album Drama had those two guys. So it was some members of Yes + The Buggles. At the time purists were saying, "not a Yes album, should have been called by another name!"

But years later Yes (at this point certainly with the death of Chris Squire) is still chugging along with I think no original members.

Yes is still going with Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, a singer and a bass player (I don't know their names). But the real action these days is Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman. I saw them in concert last month. Anderson and Wakeman were great. Trevor Rabin was great on his songs, but I didn't really like his style on the classics.

I saw that ARW was playing in New Orleans (150 miles from here) but was unwilling to make the trip as much as I would love to see them! Last tour I saw was the Union one ... long time ago.

"I'm already working on my arguments that Fragile is better than The Yes Album. :-) (Assuming Robert's view is the other way round.)"

I'll be interested in seeing your argument.

I'm kidding, really--my argument wouldn't be much more than "I like it better."

Yes merged with The Buggles...who'da thought it?

It's a shame that the Buggles were a one-hit wonder. They had 2 excellent albums. Trevor Horn went on to be more successful as a producer, but he's underappreciated as a songwriter and singer.

Hey Mac, did you think about my suggestion for a "faves of the year" thread late this year or early next? I'd like to hear some of the group's recent favorites as well as share some of my own.

I had forgotten but I would be happy to do that. I don't know that I'd contribute. I don't think I've read or heard or seen much of anything that was new this year. Does anyone else want to?

I never heard any of The Buggles music except that one song. I pretty much hated what I saw of MTV.

New meaning "new to you" right? Not necessarily something that just came out.

I would like to do that.


I took it to mean "new this year" but it could be either.

Yes everyone could do their own 52 on their own day of the week and Mac could organize it all on one of those Monkey Survey Poll things

That would lower everyone's stress levels


I also get SHEL.

I don't think I've ever heard anyone else (not just here, anywhere) mention them. I'm sure that's no problem.

Right, Grumpy. :-/

~~I took it to mean "new this year" but it could be either.~~

Right, either one. Case in point, there were a couple things that came out last year that I didn't get to until 2016 which were favorites.

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