Breaking up with John Updike
January 23, 2009 4:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm over the New Yorker. What are some other magazines I'll enjoy?

I love political content, feature articles, good humor and thoughtful reviews but lately the New Yorker has seemed, I don't know, more arch and high fallutin' than usual and I just can't bear to read it anymore other than the reviews.

The format is great--both shorter and longer feature articles for wherever my attention span is at a particular time, and kind of a political/general interest slant, where a typical magazine can have thoughtful pieces on a variety of relevant topics or themes. Good movie reviews would be great. I can totally live without the fiction and cartoons. I have very progressive politics but while I don't want to read a neocon rag, I also don't necessarily need something that simply parrots my own views.

Some interests: race/racism, LGBTQ issues, urban affairs/politics, movies, quirk, the internet/technology, etc.

I know I'm not doing a great job of what I'm finding irritating about the NYer (which makes it difficult to offer recommendations), but I can't totally put my finger on it, other than I'm finding the tone annoying and the content somewhat repetitive now that I've been a subscriber for about eight years.

I am aware of Harper's and Atlantic Monthly. Anything else I'm missing?
posted by Rudy Gerner to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
The New Republic.

Probably not too popular on Metafilter, but I think it's the best of its kind. It has the wide variety of issues you're talking about. (See this recent Mefi FPP as an example.) It's more focused on politics than the others you've mentioned -- but on the plus side, the political analysis is a lot smarter. I'm not saying they reach better conclusions -- just that you're absorbing a more rigorous thought process when you read it.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:51 AM on January 23, 2009

I like The Walrus: it's basically a Canadian version of the New Yorker but (I think) somewhat less high falutin'. I does tend to focus on Canadian politics, culture, etc though, which may not be of interest to you.
posted by iona at 4:58 AM on January 23, 2009

The Economist is somewhat different in format than the New Yorker — in particular, the articles are much shorter — but they do have "thoughtful pieces on a variety of relevant topics or themes." I'd subscribe to them myself if I had the time to read them every week.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:12 AM on January 23, 2009

Seed Magazine has become my favorite magazine. Lots of interesting science articles, but the primary emphasis is on how science and culture interact, what new findings in science mean in the context of wider society and so on. Also, the paper counterpart to the ever awesome
posted by palindromic at 5:16 AM on January 23, 2009

I was going to say the Economist too. But for more discursive stuff there's also Prospect. I've picked it up a few times, but it requires a bit more time to digest than I can manage at the mo. Might be up your street.
posted by freya_lamb at 5:22 AM on January 23, 2009

Seconding The New Republic and Economist recommendations.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:32 AM on January 23, 2009

I go to Arts & Letters and 3 Quarks Daily for exactly this.
posted by KRS at 5:36 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Atlantic has been pretty great lately.
posted by Oktober at 5:49 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Columbia Journalism Review is usually a good read.

You might also like the Utne Reader or The Nation
posted by mds35 at 6:18 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

The New York Review of Books.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:20 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Take a look at The Virginia Quarterly Review?
posted by thejoshu at 6:29 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you'd like to immerse yourself in another country's political and cultural foibles, the Australian has The Monthly. It's not as intellectual as the New Yorker, but it attracts a similar sort of reader.

India has Frontline magazine and the more left-leaning Tehelka.

Seconding the New York Review of Books. Also, the London Review of Books.
posted by [ixia] at 6:30 AM on January 23, 2009


the believer.
posted by krautland at 6:31 AM on January 23, 2009

Oh, and The Diplomat
posted by [ixia] at 6:32 AM on January 23, 2009

*** Correction - Australia has the Monthly. The Australian is something else entirely, and definitely not what you're looking for.
posted by [ixia] at 6:38 AM on January 23, 2009

The Sun Magazine
posted by McGuillicuddy at 6:47 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another vote for The Virginia Quarterly Review
posted by mkultra at 7:02 AM on January 23, 2009

I second thejoshu's pimping of VQR. (A publication that I like so much that I work here! How's that for putting the best spin on my biases? ;)

Consider The Atlantic, too. We get a bajillion magazines sent to our offices every month, and I think the bulk of them are just awful. (Because I'm not high falutin' enough, apparently.) There are only a handful that I'll look at, and a few that I'll devour, and one of those is The Atlantic. The other two, incidentally, are Orion and The Wilson Quarterly, but neither those fit your criteria.
posted by waldo at 7:04 AM on January 23, 2009

If the New Yorker's blatant lies about Iraq's WMDs and the editor's warm endorsement of the war ("...a return to a hollow pursuit of containment will be the most dangerous option of all.") are part of the reason of your recent dislike of the magazine, I suggest that switching to The New Republic -- that has been an even more avid cheerleader for the invasion -- is a terrible choice. Harpers, or The Nation, might be a better choice. I'm a fan and subscriber of the New York Review of Books, that I highly reccomend. The Atlantic, not so much.
posted by matteo at 7:07 AM on January 23, 2009

Second the New York Review of Books. Most libraries have it so you can check out a complete copy there. Its strength is mostly long articles.

You might browse previous threads with similar veins, Best Magazine that has a literature bent, and Any good Mags left?, from another New Yorker refugee. These make want a Virginia Quartlerly subscription.

I have a subscription to Walrus, and the its is infrequent, as you only get like 4 a year. And now that I think about it I haven't gotten my last issue. It is great.

You could follow Jessamyn over at The Magaziner (only following a little bit!) (And at a distance!) (hi!). And total coincidence: they have a review of the Virginia Quarterly. hrm. The pattern finding bit of my brain is trying to communicate something with me.
posted by zenon at 7:12 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't want to hijack the green* but, FWIW, I put at least half of the articles in every issue of VQR online for free (and the other half have ~1/3 of the article available), so just browse around and see if you like it. If we had a better online subscription process, I'd create a Metafilter discount because, hell, we lose money on every subscription anyway, so why not dig faster? :)

* But I'm totally down with hijacking the blue, though. I think it's Matt's scary note at the bottom of the page here.
posted by waldo at 7:19 AM on January 23, 2009

That is it. I am getting a subscription. To the VQR. Who have a great blog as well. Hi Waldo. Don't dig faster.
posted by zenon at 7:30 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Don't want to discourage further responses, but I wanted to pipe in to say: thanks, everyone and wow, the Seed, VQR and the Diplomat all look awesome. And Magaziner looks like a great resource.
posted by Rudy Gerner at 7:32 AM on January 23, 2009

First, this question is asked all. the. time. But that's kind of okay, because any day I get to push Harper's, Atlantic, Lapham's, Economist, Seed, etc on people is a fine day for me.

Also: The Nation and Mother Jones are most excellent if your ears can stand the reverberations of the liberal echo chamber. Cabinet publishes great fiction. Oh! Utne Reader! Utne culls unique articles from lesser-read newspapers and journals, sort of like an extended version of The Atlantic's "Found" section.
posted by zoomorphic at 7:43 AM on January 23, 2009

A quick office discussion later...a discounted subscription for MeFites—$28/year, rather than $32. It's nothing to write home about, but we do what we can. :) Just call Sheila, our circulation manager, at 866-455-3102 and tell her you're from Metafilter. We'll keep that rate through February.

(I've been reading Metafilter a lot longer than I've been reading VQR. Now that I think about it, I'm guessing MeFi's had more to do with influencing my taste than anything else. To the extent to which I influence the contents of VQR, maybe that's why MeFites seem to like it?)

Oh, and after so many people mentioned Seed, I spent a few minutes reading through their website. I'll have to swap out to that when my Mental Floss subscription expires in a few months. I've certainly heard enough good things about them in the past year or so.
posted by waldo at 8:27 AM on January 23, 2009 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Whoa, Waldo, you rock. Thanks! That clinches it on hospitality alone!
posted by Rudy Gerner at 8:38 AM on January 23, 2009

I'm just sucking up so that Seed will show up and offer me a discount, too. ;)
posted by waldo at 8:40 AM on January 23, 2009

While not as heavy as many of the magazines here - I like New York Magazine. It has longish article about a few more serious topics every month (usually related to New York) mixed with more lighthearted stuff.

You can pick up a years subscription (52 issues) for 15-20 dollars.
posted by jourman2 at 8:53 AM on January 23, 2009

Funny. My girlfriend and I were having a conversation about the demise of Life magazine last night, and my theory was that Life was just "People + Time," which were more specialized followers of Life. People wanted something more specific, and Life died. Anyway, that was my beer-soaked theory. Congratulations on putting New Yorker to bed, I'm not quite there yet myself!

That said, there have been plenty of good suggestions so far, but if you're into journals and such:

Gay Lit Quarterly
New Left Review
And a personal favorite: Lodown (half German but not a problem)
posted by rhizome at 9:53 AM on January 23, 2009

maisonneuve and Monocle.
posted by Alex Voyd at 10:31 AM on January 23, 2009

I just started receiving the Wilson Quarterly, which I like a lot so far.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:41 PM on January 23, 2009

Seconding Monocle. It's more forward thinking than the New Yorker and contains a wealth of material I find myself less likely to be exposed to elsewhere.

Seed is also fantastic.
posted by pearl228 at 8:01 PM on January 23, 2009

For specifically urban things - I cannot more highly recommend the Next American City.
posted by quodlibet at 8:45 AM on February 20, 2009

« Older Who funds the tories?   |   introduce me to the dark shadowed underbelly of... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.