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52 magazines or bust

Starting the first week in January, I’m going to read a different magazine every week for the entire year (while reserving the right to quit after a couple of months if I feel like it). A variety of reasons for this, but mostly because 1) I’m hoping magazines will be a welcome change from books and weblogs, 2) I want to explore some new subjects/viewpoints, and 3) why the hell not? I may or may not write about the magazines I read on, but I’d guess you’ll probably be hearing something about them at some point. (Lucky you!)

So, any recommendations on what I should read? I’m going to be reading issues of many popular magazines (Newsweek, National Geographic, Wired, The Economist, Harper’s, GQ, Rolling Stone, etc.), but what I’m really interested in is quality niche magazines containing good writing about a particular subject. Anything I should stay away from? Oh, and I know Manhattan is littered with magazine shops, but if you know of any particularly good ones, that would be helpful info to have.

Reader comments

Ian Olsen-ClarkDec 29, 2003 at 3:16PM

My vote would go to Cooks Illustrated. This to me, is more of a journal than a magazine, as it contains no adverts and is obviously produced with great attention to detail.

NazDec 29, 2003 at 3:17PM

I contributed two first issues to the Premiere Issue project, which coincidentally is a good resource for aforementioned "quality niche magazines". Quality design/print magazines include Baseline (not the project managment zine) and IDN (which is at specialty bookstores and usually at those comic bookstores that sell McSweeneys and design books).

DahlDec 29, 2003 at 3:20PM

I always try to read Outdoors or Men's Journal when I'm at my aunt and uncle's house - they are pretty good mags for the non-outdoors expert.

KeithDec 29, 2003 at 3:23PM

Oh yeah, I've got some great ones.

Dwell is an amazingly interesting magazine and I always get a kick out of ReadyMade.

Dave P.Dec 29, 2003 at 3:27PM

At least one week should be devoted to Heeb Magazine out of NY. Their first issue featured a centerfold pullout of Neil Diamond. That of course will not be matched, but other issues have been worthy as well.

janelleDec 29, 2003 at 3:30PM

read davy rothbart's FOUND magazine (straight outta the midwest!). issue #3 is scheduled to drop end of january. FOUND is one of four recommended by black table ( this will whet your appetite the book version, due in may... you can already pre-order it (at 20% off) on amazon. more info at

kfanDec 29, 2003 at 3:31PM

Dames love a guy what reads Wooden Boat magazine.

The Mad DaterDec 29, 2003 at 3:36PM

I love Bust : It's totally GRRRL
also - Creative Screenwriter - especially for film fans - it has great stories about small movies and the writers that you may never hear of - I've previewed so many movies there
also Keith's choice is great - ReadyMade - if you're into DIY

NinaDec 29, 2003 at 3:44PM

I am a huge fan of the Atlantic Monthly. There are always interesting political articles and some offbeat general interest articles in every issue.

I was also a big fan of the Oxford American, but unfortunately they've stopped publication for a bit. Hopefully you will be able to find this mag in stores again before your year-long spree has ended. This one is more of a niche mag, featuring articles writen by southerners and photo spreads by southern photographers.

Paul HoffmanDec 29, 2003 at 3:48PM

If one of your goals is to read something representative of what other folks read, don't overlook Readers Digest. I just caught an issues last month that was laying around the B&B I was in, and it was fascinating (at the same time as being horridly mundane).

Jon GalesDec 29, 2003 at 3:51PM

My favorite magazine these days is Fast Company. Although Photoshop User and MacDesign are always enjoyed.

Paul HoffmanDec 29, 2003 at 3:51PM

Another, more interesting, "what people unlike us read" magazine is the Robb Report. Jaw-dropping ostentatiousness.

Maciej CeglowskiDec 29, 2003 at 3:55PM

Fun magazines, sorted by ironic distance:

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Soldier of Fortune
The New American (run by the John Birch Society)
Socialist Worker

Seth WerkheiserDec 29, 2003 at 3:55PM

Try HM Magazine - its the "hard music" magazine.

mschindlerDec 29, 2003 at 3:56PM

Might I suggest The Nation? It's usually a good read front to back, and not all of their articles go online.

BobDec 29, 2003 at 3:58PM

Z Magazine for the Noam Chomsky crowd.

jkottkeDec 29, 2003 at 4:00PM

BTW, here's a tentative list of possibilities I've come up with already:

National Geographic
Rolling Stone
Atlantic Monthly
New Yorker
McSweeney's (is this even a magazine anymore?)
The Believer
Fast Company
Business 2.0
Maxim (or some other laddy mag)
Playboy (or should I "read" something else in this genre?)
Sports Illustrated (is there a better sports mag?)
Scientific American
Reader's Digest

That covers a lot of the obvious stuff.

Marc HedlundDec 29, 2003 at 4:01PM

I've always enjoyed h2so4 (zine without the maga, but fantastic for word freaks/pocket philosophers). Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs are both worth your time if you're reading the Economist already. Also, a great 'magalog' is Bas Bleu -- book recommendations that happen to be in catalog form.

PetitefadetteDec 29, 2003 at 4:03PM

Try The Believer, a (usually) monthly from the creators of McSweeney's. I've heard only good things about it so far (it's fairly new). No ads, great writers, etc. The November issue even had an interview with David Foster Wallace.
Give it a whirl....

RobertoDec 29, 2003 at 4:07PM

I second the recommendation for FOUND -- fun mag!
Others you may want to look at:

Design reading (non-glossy):
Dot Dot Dot
Emigre - new format (#64 and up)
Design Issues

Other subject matterNACLA - If you're interested in politics and social issues in the rest of the Americas
Anthem - Culture/Music/Fasion/Etc but better done that most in this genre
Peko Peko - Silly (and sometimes amusing) writing about food

mdnDec 29, 2003 at 4:14PM

eye magazine
Graphics International (UK)
Architectural Record
Harvard Business Review
Strategy + Business
Business Week
Ceramics Review (UK)
Creative Review (UK)
Sight and Sound (UK)

I too started this last year - aiming to pick up a new magazine every month that I didn't already subscribe too, in particular something not mainstream. The first I picked up was The Believer - which was a great discovery.

I second Ready Made as a choice too.

J.D. RothDec 29, 2003 at 4:19PM

Cook's Illustrated really is a great magazine; you ought to give it a try if you haven't already. A great food magazine from the UK is Food Illustrated (or something like that). Actually, there are many great UK magazines. The best photography magazine I've ever found is Practical Photographyout of the UK. There are also some great football (soccer) mags, such as Four Four Two. For somebody who wants to try "niche" magazines, your list is filled with broad titles! (Oh yeah -- Adbusters is always good.)

leeDec 29, 2003 at 4:28PM

DIW: Devil in the Woods
Indie sounds: The Shins, Twilight Singers, My Morning Jacket, etc.

Subscribers get a nifty 7" every issue.

Robin SouthernDec 29, 2003 at 4:29PM

Worldview magazine published quarterly by the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer association. Excellent articles about current world affairs usually not covered by mainstream media from the perspective of a journalist who lived in the featured country and is fluent in the native language. A very unique perspective at that as PC Volunteers live at the same level as working class host country nationals, and their experiences equal investigative journalism at its best.

jkottkeDec 29, 2003 at 4:36PM

For somebody who wants to try "niche" magazines, your list is filled with broad titles!

I don't want to exclusively read niche magazines...they're just the ones I need help finding. The big titles I already know about...

DanielDec 29, 2003 at 4:36PM

I see you've already got Print on your list, so I'll suggest Communication Arts. Also the Columbia Journalism Review is good for media analysis. And Bomb interviews artists and writers.

CoryDec 29, 2003 at 4:46PM

Metropolis usually has a couple of interesting articles per. Same goes for Dwell, although as it gets more popular (ie. as it gets more ad revenue), I enjoy it a little less.

Bitch Magazine(if it's still around and you can track it down), is good.

Economist is always interesting, even if half the articles make you want to pull your hair out.

And choose Nylon over Maxim. Because at least Nylon's layout (and sometimes the content) is interesting.

evanDec 29, 2003 at 4:51PM

I'd definitely check out Adbusters, it's amazing. Also, ESPN's sports mag is better than SI; you may want to consider making that switch. urb is a pretty good music mag that you may want to check out as well.

James SpahrDec 29, 2003 at 4:54PM

I second Eye magazine. It's one of the best written design rags around. (and of course, ID magazine).

Is the Utne Reader still being published? If so, it's sort of like a Reader's digest for the alternative press.

I find Men's Health to be more tolerable than Maxim, and sometimes you get some interesting articles.

I'd take a look at the magazine shop on Park and 18th street.

marcDec 29, 2003 at 4:56PM

You should also think about picking up an issue or two of Reason. It's filled with an excellent mix of writing about politics, culture, science and arts.

ian c rogersDec 29, 2003 at 4:56PM

Two musts:


brennerDec 29, 2003 at 5:03PM

My wife recently bought me a subscription to one of my favorite magazines: NEST. You might think that such a self-consciously anti-mannered work of and about (home interior) design would be lacking in textual content; but if you thought that, you'd be wrong wrong wrong.

NEST? Oh god, NEST.

Just a thought.

TrishDec 29, 2003 at 5:15PM

I've had a subscription to Giant Robot for a couple years. Its a pretty cool Asian culture magazine that has articles on everything from artists to Japanese vending machines. Highly recommended.

Ryan MacMichaelDec 29, 2003 at 5:23PM

I'd suggest checking out SATYA ( It may even be freely available in NYC (I have a subscription in VA). Over the last year or so, it's become one of my favorite magazines and there's nothing else out there quite like it.

GeofDec 29, 2003 at 5:29PM

I was running to say SI if you hadn't listed it already, but I will throw a good plug in for the Sporting News as well.

Read SI sometime in, say, February, when it isn't totally dominated by one sport. Writing about sports in February is hard. Writing about sports in June, with the NBA and the NHL in full swing of their playoffs and the poseurs already falling back in baseball, is totally easy.

For a niche no one's really mentioned ... pick up Christianity Today, especially if Philip Yancey has written anything then. You may not agree with what you find inside [I don't always, either], but it would be an interesting read.

scottandrewDec 29, 2003 at 5:35PM

I'd suggest dropping Rolling Stone/Spin in favor of Tracks, Harp, Paste or even Performing Songwriter. They've got the same fan-worship 'zine feel -- just replace Britney with Wilco.

royDec 29, 2003 at 5:39PM

At risk of going off-topic, i'd say it sounds vaguely like the thing i did in 2003, which was buying an album of an artist still missing in my record collection once every two weeks, so starting at Z going back to A. To utterly bore you, i'll make a list:

ZZ top, Lester Young, XTC, Stevie Wonder, Visage, Ui, Tosca, Sugarcubes, Jonathan Richman, Queen, Public enemy, Orb, Milton Nascimento, Joni Mitchell, Led zeppelin, the Kinks, Janis Joplin, Imperial teen, Kristin Hersh, Philip Glass, Fatal flowers, Brian Eno, Bob Dylan, Cocteau twins, Big star and Autechre.

Speaking from experience: it's fun at the start, but halfway trough it really becomes a bore. However, this really opened my eyes musically wise, so good luck and have fun.

If something as good as Raygun comes along, let us know.

Chaz LarsonDec 29, 2003 at 5:43PM

Skeptical Enquirer.

Electronic Gaming Monthly or Game Informer.

I'll second Reason.

Transworld Skateboarding

Waste Age; a garbage industry trade mag. A mystery party signed me up for a subscription years ago, and for the year I got it it was interesting reading.

Family Fun

Dune Buggies and Hot VWs

MikeDec 29, 2003 at 5:54PM

Mad - I don't know about you, but I used to read this all the time when I was a kid. Might be fun to regress. Some of you guys are way too intellectual. ;)

Slam - Probably the best hoops magazine out there, if you're a fan.

Also, I second the recommendation of ESPN the mag over SI.

JamesDec 29, 2003 at 5:54PM

For some truly high-quality writing Granta is great in print; limited web offerings.

LennyDec 29, 2003 at 6:01PM

I personally despise Newsweek's writing. Try The Atlantic Monthly or Smithsonian.

MicahDec 29, 2003 at 6:04PM

I'll second the Harvard Business Review (the hypothetical case studies are my favorite read), add Tokion (although it was better back when it was English/Japanese bilingual), and suggest that you head to the nearest Little Tokyo/Japantown and check out some Japanese fashion magazines. They take some design cues from other parts of the world that American publications tend to ignore, I think they're very inspiring and sometimes plain jaw-dropping. Self-tailoring is a hot trend in Japan (only recently?), and some magazines that cover this phenomenon (Fruits, Gothic and Lolita Bible) are downright gorgeous. Hard to get a hold of, though.

Jason KilpatrickDec 29, 2003 at 6:12PM

Under the Radar

Quarterly indie music mag. Page to page news and reviews.

Gord FynesDec 29, 2003 at 6:13PM

Check out The Wire for, as they say, Adventures in Modern Music. There's also a few free CDs a year if you get a subscription.

Zach PousmanDec 29, 2003 at 6:21PM

For a nice view of the subculture of japanese car freaks (variously "Honda-Heads" MitsuMad, etc.) check out an issue of Sport Compact Car. They've got their own language and their own take on the world of transport, and lots and lots and lots of fast cars.

Michael LernerDec 29, 2003 at 6:28PM

I also recommend Cook's Illustrated, certainly over Gourmet.
The January / February issue of Saveur is a must for anyone who likes to eat -- The Saveur 100 list of annual favorites is a blast.
Dwell, Nest.
Adbusters, In These Times.
National Geographic Traveler
I haven't looked at it, but High Times is supposed to have gone through an interesting makeover since Norman Mailer's son is editing it.

The magazine store on W. 12th at 8th Ave is about as good as they come.

shaunDec 29, 2003 at 6:32PM

There's a new magazine called The Walrus that's aiming to be a sort of Candian Harper's or Atlantic--only two issues out so far but the writing is quite good. First issue also had a column by Neal Pollack.

TerralDec 29, 2003 at 6:37PM

I always enjoy ID for industrial design enlightenment.

PatrickDec 29, 2003 at 6:38PM

They seem to be on a very loose publishing schedule and you might have trouble finding the current issue which has been out for a while but I recommend HoBO.

I've only read one issue but I was pretty impressed with Arena which seems to be a better designed version of Esquire or QG.

DaveDec 29, 2003 at 6:51PM

A few years ago, on a similar kick, I bought a couple of issues of Anarchy: A Journal of Desire, Armed. Best subtitle for a magazine, and the insider's view of the fractious anarchist world was interesting.

Does anyone remember Speak! magazine, published out of San Francisco? It was a favorite until they stopped publishing a couple of years ago.

I second The Wire -- fascinating but dense.

EmilyDec 29, 2003 at 6:53PM

A few mags with terrific writing no one has mentioned yet:

Orion: The Magazine of Culture, Creativity and Change

Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

Free Inquiry, published by the Council for Secular Humanism

Mother Jones

EXTRA!, FAIR's hard-hitting bimonthly magazine of well-documented media criticism

Dissent Magazine, a quarterly magazine of politics and culture

What Is Enlightenment?, exploring spiritual transofrmation in the 21st century

All of the above are glossy mags you should be able to find in any magazine shop.

samueladDec 29, 2003 at 7:01PM

Try Wallpaper Magazine. Get your travel, architecture, interior design, fashion, and a bit of culture all rolled up in one big oversized glossy.

AnilDec 29, 2003 at 7:29PM

Funny, I was going to advocate Baseline as well, but I *did* mean the project management magazine.

Just as interesting as reading all these magazines, you should try getting your copies of them for free. I know it ruins the fun of going to to the newsstand, but I would be curious how many of them respect weblogs enough to understand the promotional potential of comping you an issue.

Halvard HalvorsenDec 29, 2003 at 7:42PM

I was thinking of doing this last fall (on a monthly basis though) but
never got around to doing so (just proves that if you got an
idea - get it to the "market" as quickly as possible).

try a few of the surfing mags - stunning pictures and sometimes
quality writing as well.


Swami PremDec 29, 2003 at 8:03PM

Yoga Journal - never know what you might pick up regarding yoga and overall health here.

MarshallDec 29, 2003 at 8:23PM

I'd like to recommend The Oxford American, but it appears that they may have completely shut down after John Grisholm stopped backing it. A real loss, it was a great read.

What else? Toro Magazine shows a lot of promise. Also, New Scientist.

Jason FriedDec 29, 2003 at 8:34PM

One of the best magazines I've ever seen is car (from the UK). It's expensive, but completely worth it. Perfect writing, fantastic photography, beautiful layout and design, sharp production. Really top notch.

Jarrod TrainqueDec 29, 2003 at 9:01PM

I'll agree with the previous folks & say grab The Wire - Adventures in Modern Music. It can be intentionally (needlessly?) esoteric at times, but you'll learn about some of the greatest music you've never heard/heard of.

There's also Vice Magazine, which is free but might require some digging (they get grabbed within 24 hrs of hitting the streets up here in Boston.)

You might also like Neural, if you can find it... Centers around "hacktivism"... art vs. technology.

Almost forgot: Cabinet Magazine, a great modern art mag with good writing by cool folks. Available at good bookstores that sell McSweeney's (which is still around, not in mag form, but in hardcover journal format.)

Charlie RavioliDec 29, 2003 at 9:15PM

I think you need to take this to its obvious end: The Kottke Magazine Of The Week Club. Like the Oprah Book Club, but more periodical.

DeanDec 29, 2003 at 9:18PM

I'll point you to one of my favorite music magazines:

The Big Takeover

It's only out 2 times a year but it's jam packed with articles and reviews.

DrNudi.Dec 29, 2003 at 9:18PM

I second Wallpaper, I was actually surprised that it didn't get mentioned until late in the thread. It's a brilliant magazine with quality writing and vivid visuals. definitely worth checking out.

adrianDec 29, 2003 at 9:26PM

budget living is sometimes hard to find but always worth a look, imho.

AlanDec 29, 2003 at 9:28PM

Try When Saturday Comes, a London magazine about soccer - the top fanzine for the sport in England with clever writing and great photos.

spygeekDec 29, 2003 at 9:36PM

Mother Jones was already mentioned, but here are some more for you:

The Skeptic

Real Simple - to spend lots of money for the appearance of simplicity


AndrewDec 29, 2003 at 9:36PM

Seconds for NEST, Cook's Illustrated, CJR, Found, Saveur.
- Natural History (from the American Museum of Natural History)
- Punk Planet or Maximum Rock'n'Roll
- Cinefex (all about film special effects)
- Playboy
- Skin Art (tattoos)
- Highlights (available at your local pediatrician's office)
- Poetry

For glossy mainstream music mags, my vote is for Blender -- lots and lots of reviews (that don't pander like RS) and occasionally an interesting interview.

Todd SDec 29, 2003 at 9:38PM

I like Dwell alot.

What about a regional magazine? Get your hands on a city magazine from some other place.

Jerry SDec 29, 2003 at 10:00PM

The New York Review of Books. I recommend it highly, though i guess no one else around here reads it.

Chuck WelchDec 29, 2003 at 10:10PM

I recommend Library Journal and using your local library to find some of your choices.

Other recommendations: Parenting, and Real Simple

If you're looking for fiction: Asimovs.

I'll second Utne Reader, New Scientist, Smithsonian, and Walrus.

~bcDec 29, 2003 at 10:22PM

I used to have a subscription to Modern Drummer. Perhaps one of the worst laid out, tackily designed magazines I've ever read. However, it was terribly useful and interesting. Every genre drumset and lots of non-set stuff, too, like orchestral and also "world" (ie, latin, african, eastern) styles, too. Once they even included a plastic 5-7" 45rpm-style record with stuff on it. That was cool. Funny thing was, this was the 90s, and before it was cool to have a vinyl-player again. Haven't visited their site much, but now I see they have mp3s, which is good use of different media, since print is certainly not always the best way to express musical ideas. Anyhow, you'll find it at any major magazine place or music (that is, musical instruments) store, and it may be the only drumming mag you find, since every time they turn around, they buy one of their competitors.

MishaDec 29, 2003 at 10:26PM

Thirding Nest and Saveur. Dwell, I think, has gone downhill this year.

Not quite a magazine, but the London Review of Books is a great literary journal, and if you're fond of bands like Wilco, you might try No Depression

FrankensteinDec 29, 2003 at 10:32PM

Definately The New York Review of Books. I feel my IQ going up when I read it. Also, ESPN The Magazine is a better sports rag than SI.

nixDec 29, 2003 at 10:36PM

Bail Magazine: "Bail celebrates the world around skateboarding: the art, music, politics, and culture that the skate world has spawned." New magazine that is a statement on the culture surrounding skateboarding.

Decline: "Freeride, street, downhill, and dirt culture." It's all about having fun on your bike.

Anthem Magazine: Culture, style, music, photography, etc. All the fun stuff.

FredDec 29, 2003 at 11:06PM

As a Canadian I am inordinately proud of Cycle Canada magazine. They consistently seem to do a better job of reviewing motorcycles than most of the US-based motorcycle magazines (and for a while there I read between 4 & 6 bike mags a month). A good quality niche magazine is exactly what it is.

Additionally, I can't believe nobody's recommended the UTNE reader. It's like reading two dozen magazines per issue (or perhaps it's like a blog in print).

Then there are Analog, Asimov's and Fantasy & Science Fiction magazines. About the size of paperbacks, these are full of good chewy ideas and interesting writing.

I have subscribed to all the above mags in the past, although I pick them up at the newsstand now. With the exception of Cycle Canada, they should be available at any good magazine store. CC should be available at an exceptional magazine store, of which I am sure there is at least one in New York.

Fake PetermanDec 29, 2003 at 11:09PM

I agree with Emily. Orion is a must read, especially Wendell Berry's articles.

On a different note...check out some of the beer & homebrewing mags. Brew Your Own is pretty good, and also check out Zymurgy put out by the American Homebrewers Association

rheiserDec 29, 2003 at 11:13PM

DoubleTake is supposed to come off hiatus in 2004.
Grassroots Motorsports - You wanted niche....
Fine Woodworking - It's like a prequel to Architectural Digest, or something.

And I second the vote for Granta

winnie leeDec 29, 2003 at 11:18PM

I second both GRANTA and MOTHER JONES.

My favorite food/cooking magazine is FINE COOKING

Regionally there are several options a la The Village Voice, they are available online and technically not magazines but I always find something interesting:

LA Weekly Seattle Weekly
OC Weekly Honolulu Weekly

Jonas!Dec 29, 2003 at 11:20PM

i assume the magazines don't have to be weekly, based on your list.

i read forbes and businessweek for fun, and those two offer somewhat of opposing view points. (forbes is right, and i would say bw is centrist.) don't forget the new york times magazine, if that counts.

on to the niches:
good punk-ish zines include slug and lettuce and skratch! but i believe that these are quarterly.
a good guide to philosophy journals are in brian leiter's blog, though they may be too obscure.

AndyDec 29, 2003 at 11:33PM

Sight and Sound. Published in the UK, about movies currently showing there, but it's so well designed and useful that I wish they published here in the US.

LeaDec 29, 2003 at 11:40PM

Read a couple of fun women's mags. Cosmo, if you dare. Or even hey, People Magazine. ;-) Or a teen mag like Seventeen or YM. Mix junky mags into your higher class mags. :-P Come on, you watch the Simple Life; what's a gossip mag or two? Hehehe

Adam PolselliDec 30, 2003 at 12:16AM

Wow, you've got a lot of choices to sort through, so I'm not sure that my contribution will matter, but I'll give it a shot anyways...


It has been described as "geared toward intelligent men," "written for real men in the real world," and "a daring, distinctive magazine for men who are passionate about adventure, style, music, fashion, sports, politics, humor and pop culture." Give it a try. It's quirky, but I think you might like it. :)

TimDec 30, 2003 at 12:30AM

I second the musical nominations of:

Paste, Harp, and No Depression (the latter is a great example of a niche (alt-country although that covers more ground then you might think)) magazine that does a lot of things right. Tracks has promise but they need more than one issue to get a vote from me. Also if indie is more your style (and I think it is) then Magent gets my vote.

AnneDec 30, 2003 at 12:34AM

Screen Magazine, anyone?

kimDec 30, 2003 at 12:35AM

Oooh...magazines. These are the ones I read that you might like (majority niche, I think): NYLON, Giant Robot, Kitchen Sink, ReadyMade, *surface (American Avant Garde Fashion), TeenVogue (don't laugh, it's kind of cool), Fine Cooking.

not George.Dec 30, 2003 at 12:36AM

Old issues of George.

nickDec 30, 2003 at 12:56AM

Wallpaper, Giant Robot, Anthem, Colors, Cabinet, Outdoor
Photographer, Photo Life, Rez, Surface, and One.

BryceDec 30, 2003 at 1:11AM

If you like dogs, or think you might like dogs. Or know somebody who likes dogs, then you should try Bark magazine:

Robert BingamanDec 30, 2003 at 1:58AM

frieze, modern painters, and first things are three underrated periodicals. you will have to turn your brain on for the third, but you seem capable.

hosenpantsDec 30, 2003 at 1:59AM

Seconds to:
The Believer
The Baffler
Vanity Fair

Firsts (i think):
Bike (newer dudes riding newer motorcycles)
Classic Bike (older dudes talking about older motorcycles)
Games (!-sh*t, is this still around?)


iijnaeoDec 30, 2003 at 1:59AM

Wow, a lot of the magazines already mentioned are very good. McSweeney's seemed amusing, I've always liked The Wire... The New Yorker are both good. Perhaps worth adding, though:

Architectural Digest - Beautiful photography. Articles are interesting, when they're not overlong.

Half Empty - Simply for the graphic design alone, this could be interesting. (Apparently, despite the web site, there is a print version.)

And, of course (how has this not been mentioned yet?):

2600 - "The Hacker Quarterly." Need more be said? Subscribe and get on the FBI's watch list. This would definitely add some niche flavor.

barlowDec 30, 2003 at 2:05AM

Read a fishing magazine for the heck of it. Something like "Field and Stream" or something. That would be really outside of your normal experience.

MikeDec 30, 2003 at 2:19AM

I need to know your thoughts on SLAM.

FrogDec 30, 2003 at 2:38AM

Jason, you absolutely must read Fortean Times. It's the definite magazine on strange phenomena. Well written, always objective and very, very funny at the same time. Warmly recommended

j.s.f.Dec 30, 2003 at 2:39AM

What, no art magazines? Artforum is the biggie of the group, but you might also check out society rags like Art Review, collector rags like Art in America, and critical journals like October.

ChrisDec 30, 2003 at 3:09AM

Nice experiment; i did it last year with a twist - every month i subscribed to another magazine. I would join the encouragement for The Atlantic which is great read each month. Otherwise one that is missing from the list is Foreign Affairs, its published by the Council on Foreign Relations. Every few months heavyweight articles on the world and americas place in it. Plus the CIA advertises jobs in it; if you are of that bent !!!

rob mDec 30, 2003 at 3:19AM

Wow, that's a lot of magazines.

Not many people know about World Press Review, even though it's been around for decades. Not really one magazine, it is a collection of stories from a variety of newspapers and magazines from around the world, translated into English and compiled by topic. By breaking down the language barrier, the editors present all sorts of different viewpoints, so WPR would fit into your plan very well, I think.

Anthony ElizondoDec 30, 2003 at 4:34AM

i recently spotted a magazine in my local bookstore called 'gotham'. it is about nyc and it looked ok. maybe it would be worth reading one issue to see what they got right and what they got wrong. note: published by niche media llc, who also publish hamptons magazine. niche media. is there anything more niche than that?

i would also like to recommend architectural digest. i thumbed through one issue and it was actaully quite good. and i don't even own my own home. it got some design juices flowing.

home theater magazine, for all sorts of expensive toys that i can't afford.

like skiing or cold weather or awesome pictures? try powder magazine.

omg i just noticed iijnaeo already did archdigest. and 2600, which i was about to mention.

good luck with your resolution.

norwayDec 30, 2003 at 5:08AM

I would recommend sampling some of the more intellectual "conservative" magazines, such as the National Interest, the Public Interest, Weekly Standard, the American Enterprise Magazine, the Spectator, the American Spectator, Commentary Magazine, etc... Some really magnificent gems in there, although there is also a lot you can pass through. Also, for design and photo inspiration, try Fjords Magazine if you can find it.

PhilDec 30, 2003 at 5:08AM

I think the most interesting reading list would be made by ignoring all titles posted here. That way you'll avoid anything your peers are reading (or even know about) and actually get some differing viewpoints. Read things about mountaineering, cross-stitching, hot-rodding, doll-collecting. Think up a really precise, niche industry, find its trade journal(s) online and request a sample issue. Otherwise you're going to be reading magazines that only reflect the culture you experience every day, much of which you'll be taking in anyway.

I was told once that Jim Dator, a futurism professor in Hawaii, spends a month every year in the university library reading the current issue of every magazine it stocks, in order to get a rounded view, a snapshot, of what's happening.

Daven NoltaDec 30, 2003 at 5:35AM

as far as conservative magazines, National Review is one of the best, and their site is great too. I've always loved ID, and Forbes is another favorite.

karaDec 30, 2003 at 5:45AM

I love magazines. Although Phil's right, here are some of my recommendations.
I'm seconding (thirding, fourthing?) Nest even just for a flick-through once (and Jason, there's a Chris Ware piece in every issue). And Mother Jones for sure over Utne. Or what about the New Internationalist? And IDEA magazine out of Japan for design. Seconding DoubleTake. Cabinet, as mentioned, is curious although leaning towards wanky. Modern Painters for sure for art... and/or Juxtapoz. Oooh and surf, board and ski magazines for some of the best photography (and for that 'why am I in the office' tension). And why not try to find some homemade 'zines?

Thanks to this thread for mentioning some music mags I've not heard of and will check into.

JoergDec 30, 2003 at 6:02AM

The Ecologist hasn't been mentioned yet, and I second The Believer and Adbusters.

JonDec 30, 2003 at 6:54AM

Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities.

JonDec 30, 2003 at 6:56AM

Also, BBC Music Magazine. I wish there were an American equivalent on classical music. Each issue comes with a CD which is a nice touch.

ThomasDec 30, 2003 at 7:09AM

Arizona Highways great outdoors and nature stories, from a perspective you may not necessarily see.

Miss WeezeDec 30, 2003 at 7:54AM

The Art of Eating, for both you and the little lady.

And has no one mentioned The New York Review of Books? It's not just about book reviews!

LeslieDec 30, 2003 at 8:35AM

me, i like Index, ArtForum, and sometimes, Bomb. *surface has its moments, but it's less of a reader and more a compendium of pretty pictures.

Rob MacDDec 30, 2003 at 8:59AM

So far down the list, I suspect this will be lost in the multitude of recommendations, but rather than Rolling Stone or Spin or more American-flavoured mags, try Uncut for a fantastic British perspective on music and movie. Great articles and reviews of current and past artists. Plus, each issue comes with a great CD.
Last issue's cover story was about the top 30 Clash songs of all time. The CD contained 18 Clash songs performed by other artists. Great every month.

bill greveDec 30, 2003 at 9:26AM

No one's mentioned my favorite, Outside. The last couple years they've introduced more lifestyle type stories ("10 best places to spend way too much money"); but still one of the best places to go for long-form essays. Can be on par with Atlantic Monthly. Read this article about Joseph Hazelwood.

I'll also add a vote for Cook's Illustrated.

GeofDec 30, 2003 at 10:10AM

Ooooh, chunk what I said about CT and go with Relevant as noted by Justin.

davidDec 30, 2003 at 10:14AM

For a new perspective on culture and god, check out Relevant Magazine.

I think you'll be intrigued - the best in that niche for sure.

BenDec 30, 2003 at 10:14AM

Not to nitpick, but if you're looking to explore some new perspectives and/or subjects, you're list simply won't do. You need to go a little crazier (broadway style!) if want to see a decent range. You know, why not go for Z or Armed Forces Comptroller Magazine or Zoetrope?

By the way, does anyone else find it interesting that Amazon is "reading" Penthouse Letters? (see "what we're reading in bottom right)

BenDec 30, 2003 at 10:15AM

Scratch that, it's apparently already gone.

makiDec 30, 2003 at 10:29AM

Design oriented mags:

i've always liked STEP inside design more than How. SBS Digital Design is pure inspiration.

i also love Wallpaper* which was already recommended. It's sort of like design porn with that Euro-trashy-London-hip thing in a gorgeous glossy package.

MikaleDec 30, 2003 at 11:00AM

There's a great store on 42nd St between 6th & B'way on the north side of the streer (ironically next to the Condé Nast Building). You can get some great European magazines there. Definitely check out Nylon (Helena Christiansen was a founder and it has some really great culture articles).

dcbranham3Dec 30, 2003 at 11:02AM (from Netherlands)
toro magazine (from Canada)
Icon (from UK)
Donna Hay Food (from Austrailia)
The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide (from Ha-varhd)

MikaleDec 30, 2003 at 11:04AM

You should also check out W. There's a column by the Countess Louis J. Esterhazy (actually Fairchild himself) on the last page of every issue that will seriously make you pee yourself.

Avoid crap like Vogue at all costs.

Chris ShiehDec 30, 2003 at 11:05AM

Definitely Cook's Illustrated, Giant Robot, Sight & Sound, and Magnet. Also, Film Comment, and I agree that the ESPN sports magazine is more interesting.

There's a wonderful magazine store on 14th street between 5th and 6th avenue. It's on the north side of the block.

MikaleDec 30, 2003 at 11:10AM

Oh and Details! They have actually turned that mag around the last couple of years. They do some great off-the-wall stuff. The profile they did of a gay-for-pay porn star was very interesting.

EGDec 30, 2003 at 11:13AM

I see NY Mag was left out of your list; it can be fun!

design_orDec 30, 2003 at 11:15AM


Gastronomica. The Journal of Food and Culture from University of California Press.



John iDec 30, 2003 at 11:26AM

Scootering International

Find out what Paul Weller ate for breakfast, how to make a Lambretta Chopper and where to rally with 1,000 other anoraks this spring.


vos b.Dec 30, 2003 at 11:29AM

But above all you should try www. by Jop van Bennekom.

christineDec 30, 2003 at 11:31AM

(long time no hear from-maybe you'll see this i even changed my name summer, the whole married thing. wierd.)

i'm sure you allready read the atlantic monthy.

flash art
art text
hardly a magazine more like a book but
new american paintings is a good one

i'm also unhealthily into martha stewart kids. maybe or maybe not something you would love. buy if you have 52 weeks.....

Bob ToevsDec 30, 2003 at 11:41AM

Hearty seconding of Readymade, FOUND (you'll collect this one), Nylon, and oh a bunch of others mentioned here.

If I were looking for pop music mags whose editorial manuals include 1000 ways to re-write a press release, I'd stick to Spin, Vibe, and RS. Even if you avoid these mags intentionally, you'll still absorb more about 50 Cent, Coldplay, and Avril Levigne than you ever wanted to know, because they are ubiquitous, everywhere, you can't get away from them.

Other music mag choices, and better ones, include: Punk Planet, Puncture, Magnet, Q, Mojo, and any of a stack of lesser-knowns and 'zines you might come across at the right stand. Some have been mentioned in previous comments to this post already, but bear a second vote. Not all are "indier-than-thou"; you can get your min. requirement of 50 Cent from some.

I URGE you to grab No Depression, a truly wonderful labor of love and writing that follows the hybrid music genre of americanaltcountrootsrock, everything from Merle Haggard to Ryan Adams. If Ryan Adams put out an electronica record, they'd cover it, because they aren't purists, just curious.

there's my 50 cents' worth --

Jim BishopDec 30, 2003 at 11:42AM

my favorite magazine find of last year was MIT Technology Review. Great articles about all things technology that even stoop to the common man on occasion. They have a new section every month that details companies in need of venture capital. Last month's company has developed a way to turn sewage into drinking water. Is there anything cooler than drinking sewage?

Bob ToevsDec 30, 2003 at 11:48AM

Damn, I forgot Tape-Op, a great mag about music from a recording perspective that's really easy to get into, even if you're not a gearhead. The editor, Larry Crane, started TO on a photocopier around the time he outgrew his 4-track recorder and started what's now a respected recording studio in Portland, OR, called Jackpot!. Since, the mag has gone international in distribution, can get an interview with most anybody, and if you record your own music, it's just essential. If you don't, it's fascinating reading anyway. And FREE! Go to and sign up for a subscription NOW.

mimiDec 30, 2003 at 12:25PM

read vanity fair for the christopher hitchens articles -- wiseass british guy. love him.

mother jones

above is a list i found for you to poke through for ideas.

Chris HallDec 30, 2003 at 12:27PM

A few other niche ones worth reading are:

1. Wine Advocate if you want to try a wine geek magazine. Put out by Robert Parker. Not availabe on newsstands but you can buy a single copy.

2. Also a new magazine that covers the intersection of Life Science, Public Policy, and Economics is Acuman Journal. I've seen this at a few newsstands and it is a good read.

I'd second Reason Magazine, National Review for conservative fair, and note that The New Republic is a center-oriented but Democratic Leaning Journal that does a nice job.

KristinDec 30, 2003 at 12:30PM

Here are some niche mags:

International Gymnast
Inside Gymnastics
Grace Woman - This magazine may have folded.
LatinaBlack Enterprise
Cool and Strange Music
Funny Times

I also wanted to add a "me too" for some previously mentioned magazines: Bust, Giant Robot and Found. Plus Bitch is still being published, it's just hard to find.

KristinDec 30, 2003 at 12:37PM

Whoops, Latina and Black Enterprise are two seperate magazines, one aimed at Latina women and the other focusing on Blacks and business/economic issues.

Black Enterprise

KristinDec 30, 2003 at 12:45PM

Okay, the third time's the charm. Here's the correct link for BE.

Black Enterprise

rgDec 30, 2003 at 12:48PM

You need at least one photo mag. Any of these: DoubleTake (sporadically published), LensWork, Creative Review (awful website, great mag), Aperture, AdBusters (I sold 12 of them on ebay for $250!?). All can be found in Universal News, Manhattan.

P MaxwellDec 30, 2003 at 12:48PM

Sight & Sound! Sight & Sound! The best film reviews (and synopsyses (synopsi?)) on the planet.

debDec 30, 2003 at 12:56PM

I see someone else has recently mentioned my suggestion, but I want to put in an additional good word for Bark Magazine. If you're looking for a quality niche mag, this is one to go with. I believe it was Time who called it "the New Yorker of dog magazines". Best of luck with your resolution!

LizDec 30, 2003 at 12:57PM

Seed Magazine, its a science mag but for people who were never really into science.

Jonas!Dec 30, 2003 at 1:52PM

oh yeah, i think there exists an official magazine supplementing the game championship manager. that'd be good for obscure.

bunyanDec 30, 2003 at 2:01PM

Outside magazine jumped the shark a few years ago. Pretty insipid these days. Better is National Geographic Adventure, or a niche mag like Climbing. Mental Floss is good, too.

NicoleDec 30, 2003 at 2:02PM

Try Seed (as recommended before). It's a science/culture magazine that has intelligent articles without going overly intellectual. Also, try One Story ( It's a magazine with only one short story in it. It's great - no ads, no nothing, but one short story.

nick kallenDec 30, 2003 at 2:28PM

Man, these comments were fantastic. Thanks so much for posting the article and everybody's suggestions.

I do the Harpers, Atlantic, NYReview o' Books, Economist, Foreign Policy, Scientific American, Nature thing, McSweeny's, Artforum thing.

Nature is way over my head and I regret the $70 I spent, but maybe once a month there's a cool article.

Adbusters while politically (and attitudinally) is right up my alley- lacks any real substance. Skip it, I think.

Harper's has at least one terrible editorial and one amazingly pretentiously vile article per issue but also has at least one surprisingly great article. The "readings" section is not-to-be-missed.

Wallpaper, I used to subscribe to. It's wanky. It's expensive.

Tokion I used to like but it's always been all style and no substance even when it was bilingual.

I wish there I knew of a good Men's style magazine, but nothing mentioned above is worth subscribing. Surface is sometimes cool but I wouldn't spend money on it. But hit up those japanese fashion magazines for sure (go to japantown or whatever--don't bother subscribing they cost way too much).

Film Quarterly published by UC Press is the closest American equivalent of Cahiers du Cinema (if you read french, which i don't, this would be the journal to get!!!). Contexts by UC Press is pretty interesting, worth a look.

VidiotDec 30, 2003 at 2:31PM

I like Legal Affairs, Readymade, Skeptical Inquirer, Believer, Giant Robot, Funny Times, No Depression (about roots-esque music), National Geographic Traveler, DoubleTake, and of course the New Yorker. CMJ New Music Monthly ain't too bad, either.

jojoDec 30, 2003 at 3:05PM

The American Prospect is another good political magazine with a left perspective.

CristianeDec 30, 2003 at 3:42PM

Jumping on the Cook's Illustrated bandwagon, but I'd also like to put in a vote for Gourmet - I think Ruth Reichl's done a great job. Also would like to second The Sun and Q, and add Q's sister movie magazine Empire, and the English magazine Opera for a niche magazine.

souloniceDec 30, 2003 at 3:52PM

I'll recommend Indian Country. "Since 1981, Indian Country Today has been a persuasive voice in Native American journalism, leading the way with definitive reporting, incisive analysis and pointed commentary. Week in and week out, Indian Country Today publishes more original journalistic content on American Indian issues - written by a sizeable full time staff of American Indian and non-native reporters with extensive experience in Native communities - than any other news source."

Native issues are some of the most complex and compelling social issues you'll encounter in the world, especially in North America.

LauraDec 30, 2003 at 3:52PM

If you're going all out for a magazine a week I'd recommend an international magazine that doesn't come from Canada or the UK. These places produce lots of great magazines but they're easy to pick.

I'd recommend NZ's Pavement magazine as an interesting one to read. Although a little vapid at times, it has generally interesting stuff and loads of pretty pictures. Plus it's good to try reading something from a really different country.

Ypu can get a year's subscription online for approx. $100 US:

G. BellDec 30, 2003 at 4:17PM

Check out CITY - it's a lot like a wholly American Wallpaper - but less starf*cking and better visuals.

mikeDec 30, 2003 at 4:28PM

Are we too old for mad magazine and cracked?

nikaDec 30, 2003 at 4:53PM

If you want to find out what's in the news around the world:
World Press Review magazine: English-language magazine giving readers a first-hand look at the issues and debates that occupy the world’s newspapers and magazines.

MarkDec 30, 2003 at 4:53PM

How about Southern Living? My girlfriend gets it, but I have to admit, there's some cool ideas for doing things around the house, some travel information, and good recipes, too.

I'd also add a vote for Cook's Illustrated and Outside magazines. What about Runner's World as well?

Cool idea. Thanks for sharing!

nickDec 30, 2003 at 5:12PM

Fast Company is a good one, but I would also suggest some kind of Guitar/Bass/Keyboard/Musical instrument magazine. Most of the time you can find good bands, and learn interesting things about them.

GinaDec 30, 2003 at 5:37PM


Great iPod "You are a product" ad cover right this moment.

CarolineDec 30, 2003 at 6:13PM

Word magazine is one of the best music magazines I've read. It's only been going a year, not sure if it's available in USA. It's sort of written by those journalists who used to trash every band you liked in the NME, but have since grown up and lost all or most of their cynicism and just write about things they love.

FrankDec 30, 2003 at 6:17PM

I just subscribed to Mental Floss and would recommend it.
MIT Technology Review is also one of my favorites.

jedrekDec 30, 2003 at 6:42PM

The Face? It's British, so I don't know if you get it, but it's the only non-news magazine I buy reguarly.

CheshireDec 30, 2003 at 6:49PM

I second (third, fourth, whatever) Cook's Illustrated, Mother Jones, the New York Times Magazine, and Men's Health (which is a decent mix of thoughtful and neanderthal).

Of smaller publications not mentioned above:

I used to enjoy Cometbus, though I haven't read it in recent years. It's also more of a zine than a magazine, but Aaron puts it out with some kind of regularity, or at least he used to.

And maybe one of your Portland (Oregon) correspondents can send you a copy of the Willamette Week, the best-designed local weekly mag I've ever seen. Good writing too, usually.

jbmDec 30, 2003 at 7:43PM

I'll jump in with a bunch of bicycling mags:

A to B - small British pub, originally about folding bikes but since has expanded to cover electric bikes and most aspects of utility cycling. Available through Calhoun Cycle in Minneapolis.

Cycling Plus - Brit equivalent of Buycycling. Much saner and much less infected with racer-boy in Lycra "I'm TRAINING, dammit" fantasies.

VeloVision - relatively new pub, replaced the late excellent Bike Culture Quarterly. Same take as A2B - utility and transportation cycling, with additional emphasis on special needs cycling. Tacks towards the 'bent side. Latest issue includes articles on people who moved house using bikes and a buyers guide to recumbents. Also available from Calhoun.

Bicycling - the major American bike mag, published by Rodale Press. Recently suffered yet another purge of its editorial staff. This go-round, they seem to have become a bit less obsessed with $5k 2-lb. carbon fiber bicycles you couldn't carry a coffee cup on, but they're still not quite C+.

lauraDec 30, 2003 at 8:54PM

I can't read all the posts previous, but here are some suggestions:

The Face [UK]
NME [UK music mag]
Careless Talk Costs Lives [Great UK indie music mag]
Anthem [Cali-based tagger/fashion/design mag]
i-D [UK fashion mag]
Readymade [DIY how-to mag]
Thrasher [Skate mag]
Organic Style [Organic lifestyle magazine]

krucoffDec 30, 2003 at 10:46PM

this trend is amazing. i love it. stunt-blogging is so '04! it's like david blaine gone...haywire. does that make sense? anyway, i'll be writing about it in the future. first there was someone going through the julia childs cookbook, then another subsisting on that crappy AM subway newspaper for a week and now magazinepalooza. i think i'll save my urine for a month and write about it.

oh, i suggest maximumrocknroll. i havent read it in 10 years but it's a monthly punk rock bible. should be interesting.

AlonDec 30, 2003 at 11:33PM

I second dot-dot-dot magazine. smart design mag from NL.
I recently heard of Ode also from Holland. dont know where you can get it here. happy reading 2004

RachelDec 31, 2003 at 12:52AM

I always find Reason fascinating and thought-provoking and it covers a wide range of issues - I've read about everything from the politics of nail polish in Afghanistan to legal comic book struggles to rape shield laws and Kobe Bryant. They also have a lot of their content online.

Re: Playboy, I subscribe but often don't wind up reading it, but if you're just reading one issue it might be an okay bet. If you're going for more out-there X-rated reading, try Hustler, which has a bolder and wackier viewpoint than Playboy. Or on the other end of that spectrum, there's lesbian sex mag On Our Backs. And while very adult industry niche, AVN Online (a print mag) is free to subscribe to and should tell you more than you ever wanted to know about being an adult webmaster.

amadheaDec 31, 2003 at 1:13AM

why don't you try TEMPO magazine to read. this is a good magazine, translating from Indonesian to English. Wanna try? Log on to

TimDec 31, 2003 at 3:05AM

And maybe one of your Portland (Oregon) correspondents can send you a copy of the Willamette Week, the best-designed local weekly mag I've ever seen. Good writing too, usually.

Willamette Week is online as well. If you would like a print copy I will volunteer to send you one!

derickDec 31, 2003 at 3:43AM

Cheerleader mag.

FabiusDec 31, 2003 at 4:46AM

My regular reads:

Risotto (UK music mag with a healthy mix of genres).

Air (Like Wallpaper for people who spend more time outside than in swanky hotels).

Leading (Typography-oriented design mag with more numbers than fancy adjectives).

Pad (Seattle-based low-tech, low-cost guide to interior decoration and building. Dwell crossed with your favourite punk fanzine.)

AWOL (Travel mag geared towards Gen-Xers (and Yers?) who wish they could spend their lives travelling but feel obliged through middle-class guilt to balance that with earning a decent living).

Shoestring (Increasingly irregular Bay Area zine about starting your own business).

Jailbait (Surprisingly professional zine/mag put out by teenagers in Dayton, OH, who will one day be running Cosmo, Vogue, et al).

SteackDec 31, 2003 at 9:04AM


If you read french, you may try "Charlie Hebdo". I don't think there's an equivalent in US.
It's a mix of cartoon and columns about the news. Very funny, may be the best us equivalent is tv's Daily SHow hosted by John Stewart.

RollerballDec 31, 2003 at 10:57AM

Donate $300 to a local cause (food pantry, soup kitchen local church, battered women shelters, homeless, you get the idea), and go to a LIBRARY!

And then pick a different magazine each week. Hmmm, maybe you'll actually find a decent book to read, too.

And then pick a different newspaper to read each week. Note how the viewpoints and opinions change. Then write a report and post it here.

GeorgDec 31, 2003 at 12:38PM

Well, as "Model Airplane News" is already listed, I'd suggest Railfan Magazine as another "niche"-magazine.

DanDec 31, 2003 at 1:05PM

oh, you should check out Berlin's visual culture/art magazine 032c; internationally distributed; I have seen it in New York. Highly recommended:

HeathDec 31, 2003 at 1:41PM

Punk Planet, Maximum Rocknroll, American Lawyer, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat, True Romance.

HeathDec 31, 2003 at 1:42PM

Oh, and Dirty Linen.

Justin GinnettiDec 31, 2003 at 3:49PM

Sleazenation, who just put out their last issue this month, is terrific on British pop culture (provided you can backdate your reading to December 2003);
Fence, for contemporary poetry;
if you're going to read Artforum, then check out Bookforum too.

JustinDec 31, 2003 at 3:49PM

Sleazenation, who just put out their last issue this month, is terrific on British pop culture (provided you can backdate your reading to December 2003);
Fence, for contemporary poetry;
if you're going to read Artforum, then check out Bookforum too.

ramki ramakrishnanDec 31, 2003 at 4:38PM

I would second Willamette Week and add its counterpart Austin Chronicle to your list.

ramki ramakrishnanDec 31, 2003 at 4:40PM

ok that link should've been

Paul BegleyDec 31, 2003 at 8:20PM

Great lists. My comments second several magazines already mentioned as well as some new suggestions.

Granta - one of the most best and most consistent literature magazines

Rivendell Reader - Grant Peterson is a nice guy with common sense who likes bicycles.

Found - good stuff, bought one a while ago and was afraid of too many distracting thoughts, so I didn't buy another one. This is a good thing.

2600 - not like it used to be, but gives you an idea of Hacker Kulture. I have copies of the 8.5x11 issues from the 80's.

MIT Technology Review - always interesting. The US needs to have more people aware, if not interested, in science and engineering. Until the US graduates more engineers than lawyers, were fucked.

New England Journal of Medicine - a definitive journal for medicine.

Mother Jones, Village Voice, others - usually have something interesting that you will not read about elsewhere.

Wine Advocate - we subscribed for a year, but my palate is not sophisticated enough to warrant the expense. Robert Parker is alone in his sensory abilities and he writes about wine with honesty. He wants everyone to enjoy wine as much as he does and this is a Very Good Thing in itself.

College Newspapers - I went to Georgia Tech, which publishes The Technique (, but I think the best newspapers are often from some of the fringe schools - geeky or liberal arts.

Sunday Newspapers - we lived in Ireland for a few years and I used to buy 5-6 papers every Sunday. The Guardian, The Observer, Times, etc.
I still buy the Sunday New York Times. The Book Review and NYT Magazine are must-reads.

Francois JordaanJan 01, 2004 at 8:15AM

Another vote for Sight and Sound, and for Cook's Illustrated. And the Economist is usually good; I use it to balance out my otherwise predominantly left-leaning reading.

I found your post somewhat disquieting, as I've mostly abandoned magazines for online over the last couple of years. Laziness and elitism, I think, on reflection.

edJan 01, 2004 at 10:29AM

REad the music magazine from England called Mojo. best music magazine out there.

davidJan 01, 2004 at 12:53PM

I second "Mental Floss" and "The Weekly Standard." TWS never fails to educate, entertain, and opine.

jkottkeJan 01, 2004 at 1:51PM

Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone. I'll let you know how it goes.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.