I'm still digging out from under this to-do list. In the absence of substantive content here, I recommend these five websites, which I love and visit regularly. To avoid discriminating among my friends, I have no personal connections to any of these.
Leave some recommendations for me in the comments section, once I have time to fritter away again.
1. NPR's Exclusive First Listen. I gave up my Rolling Stone subscription years ago, and Pitchfork makes me feel old. Most of the new music I listen to these days comes from friends or from one of two websites, and this is one. I turn it on in the morning and play it straight through, like a radio. Streaming through my speakers right now: Harvey Milk's A Small Turn of Human Kindness, which I otherwise would never have heard, but is perfect for my mood this morning. (Sloppy metal dirge-like bellowing, since you ask. But with a sense of humor.) And when you've finished listening there, check out RCRD LBL for more.
2. Classic Reader. A recent discovery, this website offers thousands of public-domain titles for online reading or download (with free registration). It's like being handed the keys to the library; a dozen P.G. Wodehouse titles I haven't read, at least ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart, the collected works of E. Phillips Oppenheim, an Edith Wharton novel I'd never even heard of . . . even Geoffrey Strong by Gardiner's own Laura E. Richards, which I plan to read this weekend. (The first page has already grabbed me: "'You young firebrand!' he said. 'Do you think you are going to take this village by storm?'")
3. Poets.org. The official website of the Academy of American Poets offers a poem-a-day subscription service, as well as online bios and a large archive of poems (and not just by Americans). You can search for poems by author, title or topic; a search for "dogs," for example, produces citations for 66 poems, everything from the Iliad to Mark Strand.
4. Busted Halo. My relationship with the Catholic Church feels like one that many adults have with their families of origin; I go away, I come back, I get fed up and leave again, I trust that it will have my back when I need it and I'll defend it even when it breaks my heart. Busted Halo, "an online magazine for spiritual seekers," understands this. Run by the Paulists, it offers compassionate, funny and practical information for people who trust that God is not quite done with us. Visits there feel like phone calls home used to, when I was in college.
5. Wonders & Marvels. An endlessly fascinating blog about cool stuff from the past; recent posts discuss luxury prisons in 19th-century England, tulipomania, and Elizabethan cross-dressing. I have never visited this site without noting the titles of at least two more books I'd like to read, and the site frequently offers book giveaways. Not that I need any more . . .