Linda recently estimated that we subscribe to about fifty magazines
and journals. Magazines are the great bargain of publishing; at
$15/year, it makes sense to subscribe even if you only occasionally
find something useful.
The New Yorker
For years, talking about the New Yorker has been an exercise in
"it's not what it was."
But there are still interesting bits and pieces. Auletta, Gopnick,
Lahr. The cartoons.
The Atlantic Monthly
Wonderful essays, wonderful writing.
I'll miss Phoebe Adams' short book reviews; you don't realize how
much you depend on the little features until someone retires.
See The Atlantic. Nowadays, the
strengths of these two magazines are identical. The weaknesses (Atlantic
lifestyling for the rich, Harpers outtakes from smaller magazines)
We started subscribing because Eastgate's
print czar, Eric, likes it. Refreshing doses of good old lefty roughouse,
a nice reminder of what politics should be rather than what it is.
Remember when there were real Democrats?
The best birding magazine. Peter Dunne
alone is worth the price of admission. Yes, some of the topics are
esoteric ("Systematics of the Marbled Murrellet," or "A
Closer Look at the Spectacled Eider"). The monthly photo quiz
is a nice reminder of how much there is to learn.
Nice photos. Nice travel tips.
Linda's favorite photography.
Linda subscribed for the photography,
and dropped it for Double Take. I got hooked for the design news.
A magazine about American representational
painting, useful for how-to's and, occasionally, for inspiration.
Appeals chiefly, I think, to the wannabe and "isn't that a pretty
lighthouse" crowd, who for years were the only people interested
in realism. Now that realism is fashionable, caught in a bind between
real work and sentiment, and saddled with a readership that thinks
nudes are dangerously avant garde.
The gradual decline of Scientific American leaves an interesting
opportunity for a Web magazine that would cover science and engineering
for scientists and engineers. Scientific American assumes a level
of literacy that's just too low, and no longer dares to challenge
Communications of the
Once indispensable and archival, now rarely worth a glance. Dumbed
down to the level of BYTE, and dropping fast.