Thursday, March 16, 2006

Magazines I Read

Sometimes thinking up a witty/attempting-to-be witty title isn't worth the hassle, you know?


Newsweek--My attempt to keep (mostly) up-to-date with current events rests in large part with reading my weekly Newsweek cover to cover (mostly). I like Newsweek--clearly written, it does a nice job of presenting current events in a thorough and compelling fashion. The health articles can tend to the lots-of-words-saying-precious little, but the world and national news are well done.

Entertainment Weekly--I don't care what anyone says, I like Entertainment Weekly. The past year or so has seen the magazine start to trend towards a more snarky/tabloidy tone, which I don't like, but the reviews are well-done, engaging and smart, and the magazine produces the very occasional long-form story worthy of its betters--see last year's story on the making of the cult film Manos--The Hands of Fate.

The Atlantic--Probably my favorite magazine being published today. Wonderful long-form writing about current events that never gets impenetrable or over-politicized; smart, long-term reviews; great food writing, the odd short story. A well-put together magazine that's produced some of my favorite-ever stories--see William Langewische's masterful three-part story about the clean-up at Ground Zero for a prime example.

Good for the Occasional Newsstand Buy

The New Yorker--I'm always tempted to subscribe--the articles are invariably good, there's a short story every issue, and the occasional piece reached real greatness--but the price of a weekly is off-putting, as is the commitment to reading the issue every week. (10 or so issues a year)

Esquire--The cheesecake is hardly unwelcome, but it's the writing I go back for--Chuck Klosterman's column is always good and they'll put up the occasional great story or current event piece. I could do without the incessant style pieces (if I ever put a picture up here you'll see that style isn't exactly a priority for me), but otherwise I'm always happy with the issues I buy. (4-5 issues a year)

Wired--I used to buy this more, but haven't picked one up in quite a while. Too much filler and not enough reporting. An issue from two or three years ago, though, featured one of my favorite-ever magazine articles, about research into the effects of prayer. (1-2 issues a year)

Sports Illustrated--I buy the NBA preview and mid-year report every year; unless a cover story grabs my eye that's about it. (1-2 issues a year)

Magazines I Used to Buy and Pretty Much Never Do Anymore

Wizard--Couldn't justify the price anymore. One of my first job interviews after college was at Wizard, as it happens, for a research position. Didn't get it.

Harper's--Too heavily politicized and dense for my tastes, really, even if it means missing the odd article I'd be into.

Premiere--With the Internet nowadays I've seen/read pretty much all of the preview stuff, and the writing ain't that special.

Until Whenever

1 comment:

Lefty said...

I got a free one year subscription to EW for being a loyal customer of I now read the lastest issue when I'm sweating in the sauna at the gym. Makes those minutes tick right by, and doesn't require a lot of deep thinking.