Some magazines are lightweight, with no aim higher than trumpeting good taste. As spelled out in its cover tagline, Tikkun has a loftier goal, namely the translation of its Hebrew title: "to mend, repair, and transform the world." It's a tall order.
There are many things to like about Running Times, especially its strict adherence to the "runner's best resource" positioning. Every item in the December issue toes that tagline, whether an extensive survey of poor-weather shoes or a guide to 2007 training programs by former Olympian Pete Pfitzinger. In doing so, however, Running Times makes only the most token of efforts to entertain readers, and that's a mistake. The flat, didactic tone serves its purpose in the more technical stories, but it renders the mag's race reviews and runner profiles hopelessly dull.
This week's issue of the The New Yorker has ''Fresh Prince," a deliciously quirky piece that alone is worth the price of admission. Written by Nick Paumgarten, the article discusses Robert Greene and his bestselling book from 1998, The 48 Laws of Power. With its aphoristic bent and graphic advice on enemy-crushing, the book has quietly become the Bible of the hip-hop community.