The anonymous and always-enigmatic Editor of Blawg Review (not pictured above) offers a "sampler" of each of the past year's editions of the carnival of legal blogging in this week's Blawg Review #244. For obvious reasons I was reminded of those Whitman's Sampler chocolates I used to see around Christmas and Valentine's day; those boxes of chocolates are also an apt metaphor for Blawg Review itself. To paraphrase our learned friend, Blawg Review is "like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Glancing through Ed.'s capsule summaries of the year's more than four dozen posts, one can't help but be impressed by the creativity and variety offered each week by Blawg Review's hosts.
As has become his custom at the end of each year, Ed. has issued a call for Blawg Review of the Year nominations. It would be nearly impossible for most of use to nominate just a single review as "best" and, thankfully, Ed. doesn't ask us to do this. Instead, we're invited to nominate as many of 2009's Blawg Reviews as we see fit. Though nominating just one post would short a number of worthy contenders, I think that nominating too many very good posts would fail to give the greater ones their due; as in years past, I've somewhat arbitrarily limited my nominations to the five I thought were the best of the best this year:
- Blawg Review #193 — Charon QC started the Blawg Review year in high style (he'll also be the first host of 2010) with his tribute to the "Lord of Misrule". This post was epic not just in its length but in its comprehensiveness as well. No one does Blawg Review better — or more frequently — than Charon.
- Blawg Review #205 (with its appendix) — George Wallace presented his Blawg Review in two complementary parts, with the main post themed around Gustav Holst's orchestral work "The Planets" and the appendix showing our humble Moon some love.
- Blawg Review #209 — John Hochfelder produced one of the more memorable and touching Blawg Reviews of this or any year with a birthday tribute to his father.
- Blawg Review #233 — The group bloggers at Popehat highlighted the little-known work of a little-known man, the self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States of America and Protector of Mexico Norton I. In 19th Century San Francisco, Emperor Norton was beloved for his eccentricities; with this tremendous Blawg Review, the gentlemen at Popehat honored him for his unappreciated wisdom.
- Blawg Review #236 — Each year, Eric Turkewitz writes one of the year's best Blawg Reviews. His latest would be remarkable by anyone else's standard; that it's exceptionally good even on the Turkewitz scale is truly amazing.