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[Note: Every Friday on First Thoughts we host a discussion about some aspect of popular culture. For the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting lists of the best of 2010.]

With an estimated 200 million active blogs written in the English language, choosing the best blogs of the year is a daunting task.

Fortunately, I know which ones they are.

Listed below are the top 50 blogs that I have found to be the most convicting, enlightening, frustrating, illuminating, maddening, stimulating, right-on and/or wrongheaded during 2010.

The selection process is, by necessity, intensely personal and unapologetically subjective. There are a number of blogs that are written by brilliant thinkers and stylists yet, for one reason or another, have not captured my imagination in the way that the blogs on this list have done.

The list is also reflective of my rather narrow field of interests and associations. The bloggers that are included are primarily from the conservative wing of evangelicalism and Catholicism. There is also a peculiar range of focus. Religion, philosophy, and economic blogs are overrepresented, for example, while sports, tech, and pop culture blogs are all but excluded. (Blogs from the First Things family ( The Anchoress , Evangel , Postmodern Conservative , Spengler , and Secondhand Smoke ) were also not included since it is a given that they are among the best.)

While the entire list won’t be to everyone’s taste, there is something to be gained from searching out the unfamiliar names. Each is worthy of being included on any list of essential blog reading.

The following (listed in alphabetical order) are the 50 best blogs of 2010:

1. Acton Institute PowerBlog

2. Alexander Pruss’s Blog

3. American Papist

4. Arts & Letters Daily

5. Atlantic Wire

6. BibleBeltBlogger

7. Blog and Mablog

8. Boing Boing

9. Catholic and Enjoying It!

10. Christianity Today Liveblog

11. City of God

12. Cranach

13. DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed

14. Edward Feser

15. Family Scholars Blog

16. Flash Points

17. Freakonomics Blog

18. Front Porch Republic

19. Geekosystem

20. GetReligion

21. Hot Air

22. Instapundit

23. io9


25. Marginal Revolution

26. Megan McArdle

27. MercatorNet: Family Edge

28. Mere Orthodoxy


30. Neatorama

31. Outside The Beltway

32. Parchment and Pen

33. Reformation21 Blog

34. Ross Douthat

35. Siris

36. Text Patterns

37. The American Catholic

38. The American Conservative ‘s Blog

39. The American Scene

40. The American Spectator ‘s Blog

41. National Review ’s The Corner

42. The Imaginative Conservative

43. The League of Ordinary Gentlemen

44. The Politics of the Cross Resurrected

45. The Presurfer

46. The Scriptorium

47. The Volokh Conspiracy

48. Tim Challies

49. Touchstone Magazine – Mere Comments

50. World Magazine’s Blog

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