• Afar
    It takes chutzpah to start a travel magazine in a recession. Afar is billed as a pub for "readers who are curious." I'm curious how it will survive, though its philosophy isn't geared to the country-club crowd. Forget a focus on comfy travel and 600-thread-count sheets; the goal is meaningful experiences. "We embrace what makes each culture distinct ... and discover insights about others - and ourselves." I read this in the Founder's Note, set in print so tiny it had to be glimpsed through an electron microscope.
  • Glamour
    Some mags just rely more on evergreen topics than others, as if it's hardwired into their DNA. Take the upper left blurb on the September cover of Glamour magazine: "3 Flat Belly Secrets: Tone Up Your Abs Without Working Out." That sounded vaguely familiar, so I visited Glamour.com and used the search function to seek out all references to "flat belly" and... well, there were 330 returns.
  • Women's Health
    While many magazines are barely keeping their collective heads above water, Rodale's Women's Health is flourishing.
  • Harper's
    It's really quite stunning to contemplate the vast choices you're offered for $6.95 at an airport newsstand. Of course, when it comes to gravitas that separates a magazine from the pack, Harper's offers plenty. For starters, it's been in print since 1850 (the year Zachary Taylor suddenly died in office -- if that's any help, perspective-wise). And no one could teach either an American Lit or Journalism class that banned the works of Harper's writers.
  • Smithsonian
    For the eclectic among us, Smithsonian is a rare find. The pub began in 1970 and is only on its third editor! Founding editor Edward K. Thompson created a magazine for modern, well-rounded individuals -- and 39 years later, it's still going strong.