Recommended by Annette Laing
Family history is such a great way to connect with the past, and to get curious about the times in which your ancestors lived (i.e. it can lure people into big-H history!) This site offers loads of advice and support for budding family historians.
I was in history grad school with two lovely evangelical Christians, and I was fascinated by their take on religious history, different though it was from mine. Beth is a history professor and an evangelical, with a fresh take on women in the church.
Engrossing stories of real people doing real jobs, by distinguished journalist and author of popular history Neal Bascomb. The pandemic is showing us that real work and the people who do it matter, not just those in (per the late David Graeber's book) Bullshit Jobs. Love Bascomb's historical consciousness, too. Sign up and give it a read!
Journalist and author Dan Gardner brings a strong understanding of history to his engaging analysis. His humanitarian outlook and humor don't hurt either. This is work you're glad you read, and a breath of fresh air in these strange times.
Roland's travels in his part of Britain may not be exotic to him, but he approaches them with curiosity as well as knowledge. And they'll be a revelation to many of my readers!
As the author of little-known but well praised novels myself, I am painfully aware of how Big Publishing hinders discovery. Here's a Substack newsletter that will help you find hidden gems, not just the heavily=promoted celebrity/crony books (many of them dreck)
I'm a secret baker, and a pretty good home baker if I say so, but Kate McDermott is THE pie expert, and a major expert on baking in general. She's also a lovely person, and that counts for a lot in my book. Plus it comes through in her Newsletter.
Brent and Michael are experienced and exuberant travelers, and their entertaining newsletter is a joy (with great practical advice)
Want to learn about writing from a real author? Or from an experienced teacher? You don't have to choose, and Alison Acheson is why. A brilliant and personalized approach to your writing, by a writer, for writers.
Journalist Don Akchin has an honest, wise, and practical approach to the challenges of aging. We all face it in the end, and I'm getting started early. This helps a lot.
I am the product of a crappy, mass=produced modern diet, and that's partly why, better ate than never, I'm a locavore now. Bob's Substack newsletter is mainly geared to Chicago and Illinois, but it shows all of us what food should be.
Being a parent (and a mother especially) in full-time employment in America is hellacious, and that affects *everyone*. Glad to see two journalists dedicated to tackling issues we desperately need to confront.
George Chidi is not only the best independent investigative journalist I know, not only a humane and compassionate voice, but a terrific writer. Atlanta tells us much more about America today than most folks grasp, and Chidi shows us why, bringing an unvarnished city to your screen.
Whether or not you know Yorkshire, if you're a theatre (or theater) fan, subscribe. This is a wonderful and honest look at a vibrant theatre scene, and such fun to read.
I can imagine having fierce arguments with Ramona Grigg, but that's why her take is so important: She's not just another member of the echo chamber. Ramona has witnessed a lot of life, and much of it from a remote spot in the woods, and she's written as she has lived. A compelling voice, and an original one.
Ruth Stroud is a warm and terrific writer, whose stories of local foods and people (as well as great recipes) brighten my day, She also partners with her talented husband, Jeff, whose videos on their trips are absolutely worth the watch, especially for foodies and photographers.
I thoroughly enjoy Jefferson Graham's Photowalks series, and how marvelous it is to see his work on Substack. His breezy, cheery approach to photography, music, people, add food is a pleasant escape from the dementedness.
As refreshing as a glass of water from the fridge, author Adam says, and his offbeat, often delightful newsletter appears in your inbox around the time you're considering toddling to the fridge to top up the glass from your nightstand. It's weird, but it kind of works.