CosmoGIRL! seems the one magazine in its category willing to give its readers a little credit. Yes, teen magazines will always mostly concern themselves with bangs and crushes, but CosmoGIRL! nobly attempts to raise the intellectual price of admission.
This month, Men's Fitness has a striking cover boy who looks like an actor. And, in one of those life-imitates-art moments, he is. James Marsden of "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "Superman Returns" is Grade-A beefcake prime: the abs, the chest, the arms. And men, take note. Sure, women want you to be smart, sensitive and have a good sense of humor. But rippling pecs can't hurt.
I believe every TV celebrity, A-list or D, should have a magazine to call his or her own. I constantly find myself wondering about Larry King's fitness routine. I'm interested in learning Sharon Osbourne's thoughts on renewable energy sources. So yeah, Trump is by a wide margin my favorite publication of all time.
Martha Stewart Weddings, much to its credit, goes out of its way to differentiate itself from the competition. Whereas a majority of the bride books do little beyond flog the same tired products, MSW emphasizes do-it-yourself creativity. Granted, you've gotta have a ton of time and cash to avail yourself of the solutions it presents, but heaven knows there are plenty of delusional brides-to-be with the will to try.
It is said that only God can make a tree, but only man can pollute the ground with enough toxins to produce a three-headed cow. Eminent scientists may disagree on cloning; everyone agrees that if we don't act in an environmentally responsible manner, we can take our toys and go home. Permanently. To forestall such dire consequences, Al Gore has hit the lecture circuit preaching the gospel of Earth First. And, I'm willing to bet, in between flights, he's reading E, the Environmental Magazine.
Resembling an occasionally sincere FHM or Maxim for slow-blinking southern guys, Hooters is everything you'd expect and then some. It features a section named "Wingman," shout-outs to the bass masters and Dale Jr., and plenty of gals in short-shorts. But whereas other semi-bawdy men's titles boast high production values and a degree of sophistication in their humor, Hooters mostly comes across as the print equivalent of the moron in the back row of remedial algebra: all spitballs and grunts and witless wisecracks.
Ready to discover "Haircolor Secrets That Will Change Your Life"? Or "Mortifying Booty Busts...and Hilarious Sexcapades"? These women's mag cover lines may signal a worldview just empty-headed enough that readers might ask, "Does the latest issue make me look fat... er, feel stupid?"
If you're like me, your screensaver is a deserted island with three palm trees surrounded by gorgeous blue water. You stare at it--longingly--and think: if only. Islands turns those watery fantasies into reality--at least the print variety. Until I chuck my beloved rat race, I'll keep Islands tucked under my pillow. Each night, I will peruse its lush photography and, like James Thurber's Walter Mitty, dream on.
It has taken me some time to work my way around to reviewing the June/July issue of Paste that I grabbed a few weeks back. Mostly I've had difficulty digesting the mag's assessment of Elvis Costello as the eighth greatest living songwriter. Eighth? Behind Brian Wilson, last seen wandering around the "Hollywood" sign in a muumuu and slippers? This is sacrilege.
I learned an awful lot during my cross-continental trek for a cousin's wedding last weekend. If my entirely anecdotal research conducted between slugs of seltzer is accurate, people very much enjoy reading magazines when they are confined in small spaces for extended periods of time. One of the titles I spotted upon many a lap during my travels was Women's Health. As I'm partial to Rodale publications, I poached a copy from a chirpy 19-year-old. Her comment upon handing over the mag ("there's sooooo much in there!") pretty much sums things up... .