As a bonus, I want to share a link to David Brin's essay on Tolkien: Enemy of Progress. Tolkien's seminal work, Lord of the Rings, is one of my favorite books of all time. I hold The Enlightenment to be the foundation of modern progress, freedom and prosperity. Thus, I enjoyed Brin's juxtaposition of the two. Plus, having your most cherished works and authors subjected to sage critique is a healthy excercise.
In general, there is a lot of Great Pop out there. A lot of junk, but many gems as well. I have found that I enjoy blogging, so when I am not traveling, I will point to more good stuff. I created a "Great Pop" tag for that purpose. I hope you enjoy.