So I began this blog six months ago today -- what the blogosphere would call my six-month blogiversary. To celebrate I thought I'd link to the posts which I consider my best and which most embody what I hope to do here. Often, of course, it's just a blog -- a place for random thoughts and quotations. I've done a number of book reviews, and some brief commentaries reacting to news stories and the like. But at its best blogging is a home to the essay; and that's what I am for in my more substantial posts. Here are a few where I think I've achieved that -- these are, I think, my best attempts so far. Time permitting and fortune willing, there will be more to come.