What magazines do you recommend?
November 21, 2006 3:25 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend some magazines for me?

I currently subscribe to The New Yorker, The Week, The Atlantic, Consumer Reports, and Scientific American.

I miss Spy. I liked Grand Royal. I'm not interested in Harper's (for personal reasons, it's a fine magazine) or anything from the Martha Stewart industrial complex. I always read Vanity Fair when I'm flying. I don't care one way or the other about short fiction, sports, or music reviews. I like magazines to be well-written. I'm in my thirties, in the US, have two young kids, am female, and don't have the time to make any of the recipes in Cook's Illustrated.

Pop culture is fine. Humor is great. Glossy is good. What other magazines might I enjoy?
posted by The corpse in the library to Media & Arts (36 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Reason Magazine. It is very upfront about being a libertarian publication (Free Minds, Free Markets), but it does so without being dogmatic and is always insightful, refreshing, amusing and well written.
posted by psergio at 3:30 PM on November 21, 2006

The Economist, even if you don't like economics. It's my favorite source for news, especially international news. I love the occasional wit they allow to slip into articles.

For example:
"Much ado about pumping

Ordinary Americans are responding fairly rationally to high prices at the pump. Shame about the politicians

IN THE film “Zoolander”, some male models stop to refuel their car and, just for fun, spray each other with petrol (gasoline). One then lights a cigarette. They all die in a vast fireball. The film-makers appear to believe that male models, though beautiful, are stupid. When it comes to crafting policies to deal with the price of petrol, American politicians appear to believe the same thing about voters. Except that they do not think voters are beautiful."

The humor is just a bonus, though. I love it because it has the least biased news of anything I read, and the bias it has (towards free markets) is one I agree with.

They should have a free trial.

(Oh, and I love me some Entertainment Weekly)
posted by ztdavis at 3:34 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

Mental Floss
posted by wearyaswater at 3:45 PM on November 21, 2006

If you liked Grand Royal, maybe Giant Robot. On the more fashion/style end of things, Tokion. Both of these have more of an Asian influence.

There's a new magazine called "Good" that might have potential, but it's in the first couple issues so I haven't decided on an opinion yet.
posted by mikeh at 3:51 PM on November 21, 2006

Wired. It has the glossy layout (well, as glossy as tech magazine go), and I've always found that if you spend time with a whole issue, you'll find a really interesting spread of articles - tech, economics, culture. While some people will criticise its approach/tone etc, I like the fact that it has a very definite sense of its own personality - something that I think is critical for a magazine. It is also well written; there are old issues I've kept through numerous house moves just to hold onto specific articles.

I would also suggest the magazine I write for, but unless you;re into performance computing, it may not be for you :p
posted by Sifter at 3:53 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

Previous threads: 1, 2 and more.

I subscribe to Stop Smiling, which I found in one of those threads. It's a good read. And pretty.
posted by mullacc at 4:09 PM on November 21, 2006

Additionally... I'm guessing you're in the US from the list of magazines/publications you give? Can you get the London Review of Books where you are? Borders/B and N might well have it. That's well worth a look - very long, in depth, considered articles (essays really). Though you can probably only see it online, the Guardian Newspaper on a Saturday has an excellent, books-focussed supplement called the Review; also worth looking at is the paper's G2 section, which comes with Guardian every day during the week. It has a very news lead set of features, but the writing is frequently excellent and it would make a good companion to the week. You can read a very-close-to-the
-paper version here, daily.
posted by Sifter at 4:11 PM on November 21, 2006

The Economist is way more interesting than you think it's going to be. Wired is way more readable than it used to be. I also like Giant Robot because it's funny and smart. Other things I'd suggest, which are sort of magazines that I like since we seem to like the same things

- New York Review of Books
- Ode and The Sun - both are sort of social justice oriented. The Sun is a little recovery oriented andis too touchy-feely for some but there are great interviews and nice photography. Ode has a more international flavor to it and is a little deeper than the Utne Reader, but angled the same way.
- Verbatim - writing about words. Quarterly.

You might want to dig around some on New Pages, they have a lot of good reviews of other more fringe-y publications. Not a lot of glossy, but if you find something that fits your niche it might be perfect.
posted by jessamyn at 4:15 PM on November 21, 2006

Economist, Paste, and on it's better days, Vice. That is pretty much all you need!
posted by idontlikewords at 4:17 PM on November 21, 2006

The Economist is quite strongly biased - it is very slanted towards a laissez-faire, classical neo-liberalism that seems almost quaint in this day and age. But ztdavis is correct in that it does feature some wit of the Telegraph/Sunday Times sort. It has none of the leaden mealy-mouthed brutishness of the Daily Mail.

It is with some shock that I realise that I currently receive almost every one of the magazines mentioned above. I cannot agree with a recommendation for Wired. It's had its ups and downs - I've been subscribing since year 1 -- and the past couple have definitely been a disimprovement. Its range is just shallower than previously, and its predictions and gadgets are now utterly predictable.

For myself, I quite like receiving National Geographic. It has a strong bias, but it features beautiful photography and occasionally surprising perspectives. Much of its humour is visual and relies on spatial and temporal juxtiposition. Speaking of, is Juxtapoz still publishing?
posted by meehawl at 4:19 PM on November 21, 2006

harpers is a no-brainer. get the wall street journal. get the nyt. try stopsmiling and -best of all- the believer.
posted by krautland at 4:24 PM on November 21, 2006

Seconding The Believer
posted by Asherah at 4:30 PM on November 21, 2006

Just stopped in to make sure The Believer was represented. Glad to see it has been. I gave my wife a subscription last year for a holiday gift, and she practically begged me for a renewal. Only bad thing is that Nick Hornby is taking a sabbatical.
posted by terrapin at 4:35 PM on November 21, 2006

I second the Sun Magazine (not the British one)

I recommend the Economist as well. Yes, is it biased towards laissez-faire, but keeping that in mind, you get a pretty good take on things. The worst thing about it is that it comes EVERY WEEK. It is a lot of reading.

Legal Affairs was good but is not in print anymore (web only)

For humor, there's the Funny Times.

I've read 2 issues of Reason. It contains bias and contorted logic to fit their own needs just like anything else. Very dissapointing.
posted by allelopath at 4:52 PM on November 21, 2006

Foreign Affairs is always interesting.

It looks more like an academic journal than a regular magazine, but it's far better written. It's about politics and (surprise!) foreign affairs from the people who make it. I have an issue that has articles from the likes of (then) UN Secretary General Kofi Anan and (then) Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

It's definately well written and I'd rate it along The Economist (which I recommend too).
posted by champthom at 5:11 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

The Smithsonian. Very well written, to the point that something that you wouldn't normally consider becomes fascinating. (George Washington's whiskey distillery comes to mind.)
posted by lilithim at 5:14 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

Try The Walrus - it's Canada's New Yorker (or the closest thing we have to it).
posted by lindsey.nicole at 6:07 PM on November 21, 2006

Cabinet, Cabinet, Cabinet!

So much better than The Believer..
posted by lalalana at 6:27 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

I also miss Grand Royal. I currently subscribe to Psychology Today, Mental Floss and The Economist. All 3 are well written, can be digested in small doses and hold my interest.
posted by bda1972 at 6:30 PM on November 21, 2006

Take a look at American Scientist. It makes Scientific American look like Discover.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 6:37 PM on November 21, 2006

cooking light.
posted by fumbducker at 6:49 PM on November 21, 2006

lalalana speaks the truth. I am a recovering magazine addict, and Cabinet is one of the only magazines my doctors will let me read.
posted by extrabox at 7:31 PM on November 21, 2006

I'll second The Economist.

I also recently started reading Fortune, and I think it's great. It's got the smartest, most insightful business and economy-oriented writing and reporting you'll find. Totally worth it.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:18 PM on November 21, 2006

The Believer, New Yorker, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Economist.
posted by Heminator at 9:03 PM on November 21, 2006

Reasonably high brow: Wired, The Economist, National Geographic, NY Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Sunday edition.

More mass-audience oriented: Entertainment Weekly, PC Magazine, Popular Science, Car & Driver.
posted by aerotive at 9:05 PM on November 21, 2006

Science News It's just a few pages long, maybe 6-10, comes once a week. The link takes you to their online mag. You can read some of the articles in their entirety, others you must have a subscription but it will give you an idea if it's something that interests you. You can also get on their e-mail list & they will send you a link to the articles you can read free each week.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:06 PM on November 21, 2006

Try Granta They have some of the best modern, international writing in the world.
posted by adamvasco at 1:07 AM on November 22, 2006

The London Review of Books is a left leaning mix of literature, culture, science, politics and reminiscence. The essays are typically long and involved, I recommend reading a few on their web site before subscribing. It also has the best personals ever.
posted by einekleine at 2:14 AM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

The Baffler is a great magazine, but I don't think it comes out that often. Of course there's New Scientist, Nature and Linux Journal. For politics there's always Z Mag or Monthly Review. If you were in the UK I'd recommend Private Eye.

On Russel Davies's blog he has a piece called How to be interesting... and number 4 is:
4. Every week, read a magazine you’ve never read before

Interesting people are interested in all sorts of things. That means they explore all kinds of worlds, they go places they wouldn’t expect to like and work out what’s good and interesting there. An easy way to do this is with magazines. Specialist magazines let you explore the solar system of human activities from your armchair. Try it, it’s fantastic.
With that in mind, can I recommend the complete back catalogue of guest publications from British TV show Have I Got News For You. (Highlights include Potato Storage International, Vacuum Cleaner Collectors Club Newsletter and Hernia Magazine).
posted by xpermanentx at 6:32 AM on November 22, 2006

More in the New Yorker vein, have you thought of McSweeney's? It can grate on the nerves of anyone who doesn't want to continually congratulate the writer on his or her cleverness, but it's still one of the funniest magazines out there. They also publish great fiction, and Eggers is willing to take risks on new authors with something interesting to say rather than established ones who have gotten lazy.

I also enjoy Ready Made, even though I'm not particularly DIY to begin with, because a lot of the projects are remarkably simple and fun.
posted by zoomorphic at 7:40 AM on November 22, 2006

I am a 21 year old girl, and my favorite magazine is Esquire. Yeah, the bits about wing tip shoes and cologne don't really apply to me, but the writing is excellent. In the November issue they analyzed every congressional, senate, and gubenatorial race, and endorsed a candidate. It's funny, and I love AnswerFella (I'm pretty sure he's a MeFi).

Also, I like RealSimple, though it's Martha Stewart-esque. Still, the pretyy pictures of organized homes soothe me :)
posted by kidsleepy at 8:52 AM on November 22, 2006

Your profile places you in the Pacific Northwest, but you may be interested in the Oxford American. Very southern (occasionally aggressively so) but always a good read.

I used to be a huge fan of No Depression but lately I've not been feeling the same glow. However when they're on, it's great.

I'll pile on with The Atlantic, Believer and Make.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:10 AM on November 22, 2006

Granta is good, but it is not a magazine. In that genre, I recommend Glimmer Train
posted by allelopath at 4:14 PM on November 22, 2006

allelopath....go to the granta website and there you will see the magic word....magazine (top left). OK.
posted by adamvasco at 3:12 AM on November 23, 2006

Granta is quarterly - perhaps publication every 3 months isn't often enough for allelopath's taste. In any case, I highly recommend it.
posted by lukemeister at 3:27 AM on November 23, 2006

I think Granta is great but, despite what the website says, its format does not fit what one typically thinks of as a magazine, especially given the submitters examples of current subscriptions.
posted by allelopath at 9:03 AM on November 23, 2006

« Older Time is tissue!   |   M'aider Metafilter! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.