The Most Read Saturday Essays of 2021

Saturday Essay logo genericNever before has one author landed more than two works on Perfect Duluth Day’s list of the top-five most read Saturday Essays. And now, like some literary Muhammad Ali, Jim Richardson landed not three, not four, but all five. Total domination. He also had the sixth-most-read essay of the year, just to rub his popularity in the noses of every other writer in town.

How did he do it? Well, for starters he wrote more essays than everyone else. But ultimately it was the quality of the goods that made him PDD’s click hog in 2021. Many of his works fell into a genre we might describe as “Duluth fan fiction,” but at least one in the top five is about something that really happened. And another one could be fact based, but we can’t prove whether the author wants to see naked women or not.

Next week we’ll look at a few “select gems” that were written by others, but this week it’s the Lake Superior Aquaman show … by popular demand.

Before digging into the 2021 countdown, here’s a brief paragraph to spell out for the uninitiated how the “Saturday Essay” feature works:

PDD publishes an essay on most Saturdays — like three out of every four weeks or so. Yours truly, Paul Lundgren, is the editor. A small group of writers are featured somewhat regularly, but anyone is welcome and encouraged to submit a piece for consideration. Shoot an email to paul @ to inquire.

And now, let the countdown begin …

#1: Jim Richardson’s “Lake Inferior: The Underground Lake Beneath Lake Superior
… in which rumors of an underground lake are investigated, and the horror it represents is brought to light.

#2: Jim Richardson’s “On the Recent Ice Angler Rescue
… in which an ice sheet breaks away from Lake Superior’s shore and the wind takes a bunch of fishing fools out for an adventure.

#3: Jim Richardson’s “Bob Dylan’s Last Hit
… in which a famous Duluth-born songwriter becomes a hitman.

#4: Jim Richardson’s “I Don’t Want to See Another Naked Woman as Long as I Live
… in which the author declares “freedom from love and sex.”

#5: Jim Richardson’s “Glensheen Denies Occult Rituals of Disgraced Congdon Nephew
… in which the forgotten life of Edward Alexander Congdon is explored.

So there are the goods. Read or reread and enjoy. We’ll be back with new works of literary splendor in 2022.

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