Looking for magazines that publish enthralling nonfiction
November 9, 2010 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Looking for new magazines to read or subscribe to that publish enthralling nonfiction.

I currently subscribe to the following:
New Yorker
Rolling Stone
The Atlantic
ESPN: The Magazine
Vanity Fair

The thing I like in these magazines are the long form profiles or stories about unusual or interesting people and/or events.

Some examples:
The Iphigenia of Forest Hills from the 10/5/2009 issue of the New Yorker.
The Mark of a Masterpiece from the 7/12/10 issue of the New Yorker.
Prisons Without Walls from the September 2010 Atlantic.

Any suggestions as to magazines I'm missing out on would be most appreciated.
posted by reenum to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
You might be interested in The Sun. Not exactly long form, but very much non-fiction, and very smart.
posted by Gilbert at 1:07 PM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]

You need The Believer. Picking up a random issue, we have...an article about the practice of immersive retail, a long-form interview with 'Weird Al' Yankovic where he discusses his love of architecture, and a great piece about the women who painted radium on watches(and subsequently died of radiation poisoning). There's a bunch more, too.
posted by Gin and Comics at 1:13 PM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

The Virginia Quarterly Review is not technically a "news magazine," but they publish excellent long-form nonfiction pieces.
posted by BurntHombre at 1:15 PM on November 9, 2010

Came here to suggest The Sun as well. Amazing publication, no ads, great interviews.
posted by coupdefoudre at 1:40 PM on November 9, 2010

It's not a subscription, but I find a lot of great long form articles, across many topics, on longform.org. I use it, coupled with Instapaper, to automatically sync articles to my phone for later reading. Love it. In terms of dead trees, GQ has had a fair number of great articles in the past few months.
posted by sub-culture at 1:41 PM on November 9, 2010

I like Nat Geo and Discover. They tend to introduce me to people and cultures I wouldn't investigate on my own.
posted by dragonplayer at 1:47 PM on November 9, 2010

Texas Monthlyarticles pretty consistently make into 'Best of' anthologies.

Another favorite is the Oxford American, which focuses on southern music, writing, and arts.
posted by Bourbonesque at 1:47 PM on November 9, 2010

Nat Geo. I go on about it like a son of a bitch, but it's only $50 a year to subscribe here in Australia which is less than five bucks per issue, and there's always at least oneinteresting in depth article per issue. So worth it.

Recent great article: Mandela's Children.
posted by smoke at 1:59 PM on November 9, 2010

posted by Jahaza at 2:21 PM on November 9, 2010

I have long been a magazine junkie, and given your list above I think our tastes are roughly similar, although I gave up on Harpers years ago and am about to give up on the Atlantic.

After years of subscribing to way too many magazines, the only one I really look forward to, to the extent that I get a little thrill when I see it in the mailbox, is the New York Review of Books. The title is misleading: it's not about New York, and it's not even (much) about books, although the essays often use new books as jumping off points and I suppose you'd have to call it "literary." Here's a paragraph from Wikipedia:
Over the years, the Review has featured reviews and articles by such writers and thinkers as Timothy Garton Ash, Margaret Atwood, Russell Baker, Saul Bellow, Isaiah Berlin, Harold Bloom, Joseph Brodsky, Noam Chomsky, J. M. Coetzee, Frederick Crews, Ronald Dworkin, John Kenneth Galbraith, Nadine Gordimer, Stephen Jay Gould, Murray Kempton, Richard Lewontin, Alison Lurie, Peter Medawar, Daniel Mendelsohn, Vladimir Nabokov, V. S. Naipaul, John Searle, I. F. Stone, Desmond Tutu, John Updike, Derek Walcott, Steven Weinberg, Garry Wills and Tony Judt. According to the National Book Foundation: "From Mary McCarthy and Edmund Wilson to Gore Vidal and Joan Didion, The New York Review of Books has consistently employed the liveliest minds in America to think about, write about, and debate books and the issues they raise." In addition to domestic issues, the Review covers issues of international concern, including an often-critical view of Israeli policy and the American Israel lobby "from a Jewish place". The Review also devotes space in most issues to poetry and has featured the work of such poets as Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Ted Hughes, John Ashbery and Richard Wilbur.
It sounds very highbrow, but in fact it's very readable even for non-academic types like myself.
posted by lex mercatoria at 2:58 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

New York Review of Books (indispensable and the only thing that comes close to being as good at what you describe as The New Yorker, imo)
London Review of Books

Not quite what you describe, but Lapham's Quarterly is also amazing; so is Gastronomica.
posted by ifjuly at 3:26 PM on November 9, 2010

posted by ErikaB at 7:27 PM on November 9, 2010

I don't just love Mother Jones, but this piece by Charlie LeDuff might make me subscribe.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:53 PM on November 9, 2010

posted by dobbs at 9:45 PM on November 9, 2010

ErikaB beat me to it, but I came in to suggest the Smithsonian Magazine. The latest table of contents includes articles on the discovery of the remains of two missing Romanovs, bull elephants, the murder that inspired the Tell-Tale Heart, the Apollo Theater, and How Little Bighorn Was Won (by the Indians, natch).
posted by timepiece at 7:31 AM on November 10, 2010

Seconding the Oxford American, especially the annual music issue with CD.
posted by Lizzle at 4:08 PM on November 11, 2010

nthing the Sun and the Oxford American.
posted by nita at 2:39 PM on November 15, 2010

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