Magazines weren't polybagged back when Kevin Brady and I were kicked out of Shore's Candy Store in fifth grade for glancing and giggling at Miss April 1972 in Playboy. But the hardest part of reading that magazine remains the buying process. At my local Barnes & Noble, I slipped it under a copy of Mother Jones, and the clerk's smile quickly faded when he found the poly-bagged November issue underneath. His odd look implied he was wondering if my shopping spree included Aqua Velva, whiskey sour mix, and a new needle for my hi-fi.
Want to strut your intellectual mettle? Check out The Atlantic. Get ready to get down with Michelle Rhee, D.C. school chancellor, Bill Maher's atheism and China's image problems. The 151-year-old magazine addresses critical issues and champions, according to editor James Benet, "independent thinking." Which means it's guaranteed to send "Fox & Friends" into apoplexy.
It's been four years since Plenty launched. The magazine has come a long way from the somewhat technically written tome with the appearance of a dull airline catalog, as it was described in an earlier review. It has evolved into a colorful, cleverly written and illustrated, yet still intelligent read.
By the time you read this, we'll have a new president. Thankfully. I couldn't take the carpet-bombing election coverage anymore. In short, we all need a visual break. Here's one: Southwest Art. And this is some region to showcase: the deserts, the buttes, the forests. When the aliens landed, they could have popped into Times Square or parked on Boston Common. Instead, they chose Roswell, New Mexico? Just coincidence? I bet Southwest Art doesn't think so.