• Gotham
    Oversized magazines intimidate me. Not because they dwarf my 4'2", 195-pound frame, nor because they tend to traffic in the froufrou, the hoity and the toity, mind you. No, it's because any mag too large to be rolled up and shoved in my back pocket usually includes enough filler to render plowing through a single issue a weekend-long exercise. Hence I rarely read any of the oversize glossies unless they're presented to me as part of an ultimatum ("Gotham or beets--it's one or the other.").
  • Blueprint
    Blueprint is designed to appeal to Gen-X and Y women, and, in that capacity, introduces its very own signature cocktail (a Blueprint martini, with vodka, cointreau, curacao and blueberries, for those who want to be in the bluetini know). But booze aside, and as its name might suggest, Blueprint is still very much a work in progress.
  • Edutopia
    Before heading to a BBQ at a friend's house the other day, I consulted with my child-development expert (a.k.a. my sister Julie) about appropriate gifts for the couple's two young children. When she suggested that one can't go wrong with books, I vociferously objected. Let the kids learn how to read on their parents' dime, I argued. Me, I'll just load them up with a bunch of sporting gear. When I got home that night, however, I was spooked to find an education-first magazine, Edutopia, peeking out of my mailbox....
  • Cook's Illustrated
    Whenever I used to rustle up some lunch for my little sister, I took pains to present the final product with as much Emeril-ish showmanship as I could muster. In my capable culinary hands, tuna fish on toast became "tuna surprise"; noodles with butter became "les nouilles avec le beurre du surprise." In retrospect, the only true surprise was that I delivered unto her a plate free of sheared fingertips and/or airborne viruses.
  • Southern Living
    The closest my family ever got to Southern living was fried chicken--and my own knowledge is gleaned from history books and more viewings of "A Streetcar Named Desire" than I care to admit. The essence of the South--its music, its décor, its singularity--was closed to me. Until now. Reading Southern Living is like sitting on a porch swing, sipping a bourbon and branch, as a cool summer breeze wafts the scent of clover and the strains of soft jazz.
  • American Heritage
    Owing to its dark wit, dramatic nuance and astonishingly creative use of profanity, "Deadwood" is the best show on television by a wide margin. That is a declarative statement of fact, not an opinion. So when I saw two of its protagonists beaming at me from the cover of the July American Heritage, I let fly a hearty "giddy-up" and gaily tossed my 499 pennies at the unwitting cashier.
  • Entrepreneur
    I love a list. You love a list. You know who really loved a good list? Lewis and Clark. They jotted down any number of lists while charting the contours of the Northwest: hardest-ragin' rivers, top ten most cordial Lakota chiefs, etc. Like me, they would have positively delighted in the premise of the June Entrepreneur, which presents the mag's 12th annual "Hot 100" list of fastest-growing new businesses. Unlike me, their good manners and lack of editorial sophistication would have prevented them from suggesting that the gimmick has long since outlived its utility.
  • Tiger Beat
    What is the line of demarcation between kids and adults? The ability to program every new tech gadget with ease? OK. The ability to identify Zac Efron, Ashley Tinsdale and Raven? Bingo! So if Green Day and Drake Bell are a sealed book, chances are you're not among the mega-readers of Tiger Beat, the teen girl's answer to Us.
  • Working Mother
    My first thought upon perusing the June Working Mother was that there is no readily evident reason for actual working mothers to read it. Judging by the time-strapped existences of my sister and married-with-child woman friends, working moms make things work because they have to, you know? They don't solicit work/mommying tips from sources other than close friends or family because they don't have the time (or patience) to gauge the credibility of those sources.
  • Out
    Yes, of course Out is a "gay magazine," but it emphasizes entertainment and personality, rather than furrowed-brow'd diatribes about issues affecting the gay community. For all the cheeky banter about "Hot filmmaking boyfriends" and the "Gay Factor" of Christian Bale, the magazine remains at its core a meat-and-potatoes entertainment publication, albeit one with the bitchiest letters to the editor in the history of the genre.
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