Posted by: Michelle Mitton | November 27, 2008

Magazines You Should Be Reading

Whoever invented magazines was pretty smart. I love getting something in the mail, I love glossy pictures and things to read, it’s just a super-slick setup when you have a subscription. Lately I’ve been noticing some magazines that are a little off the beaten path. Some are new, some from outside the United States, some trying to compete with bigger names in their niches these are a few that I’d subscribe to in a heart beat.

What magazines do you get?

Seeing the Everyday1. Seeing the Everyday. Their tag line is “Finding poetry in the prosaic” and it’s rather hard to describe this unusual yet wonderful publication. It’s really about connections and relationships–particularly family relationships–and it uses artwork, poetry and dozens of stories and personal experiences to celebrate the beautiful things in life.

I was sent a review copy and when I came to “Father’s Prayer” by Jim Kasen I got pretty choked up. I can’t reprint it here but to paraphrase the first person story it tells about a young man whose father had a premonition that he would soon die and asked his son to pray for him. Though the man did soon die after that the experience had a touching resolution and left me with tears in my eyes.

The magazine reminds me a little bit of some of the personal accounts you might find in Reader’s Digest–or the Saturday Evening Post. Rather a modern version of a Norman Rockwell painting put to language. Many references to work and life lessons, family and parenthood it’s a unique voice among the likes of Hot Rod, Sports Illustrated and People.

Hallmark Magazine2. Hallmark Magazine. Yes, as in the card company. Who knew they produced a magazine full of recipes, seasonal tips, decorating and projects? I thought they were just about the cards but apparently they’re branching out to give Martha a run for her money.

The projects and recipes seemed more accessible to me than Martha’s stuff (I’m sorry, she’s pretty amazing but I would be more amazed if she could publish a recipe that was actually easy to follow with normal, everyday ingredients and a way to make them turn out the way they’re supposed to. I’m just saying . . . )

Homey and delicious, that’s how I’d describe it.

Dwell Magazine3. Dwell. This is probably my home remodeling side talking but I loved the last issue of this architecturally inclined magazine.

All about–you guessed it–homes, I suspect most issues are mostly about decorating styles, home ideas and trends in home building but the issue I saw was specifically devoted to homes that melded with their environment and I loved it. With an amazing variety of settings each home, whether in a dessert or in a tree, blended perfectly with its surroundings in a way that would have done Frank Lloyd Wright proud. To me the setting dictates the form of a structure and a home being the most personal structure there is should follow its surroundings more than anything else.

Anyway, interesting magazine for those who like to drive through neighborhoods at dusk just so you can see how the homes look on the inside before people start to close their curtains. Whoops, I guess that sounds kind of weird doesn’t it?

Chocolate Almond Cake at Intermezzo4. Intermezzo. This magazine focuses quite a bit on food but also on travel and therefore exotic foreign foods and dining experiences. Just get a load of the chocolate almond cake pictured here–isn’t that just a beauty?

Reminds me a bit of Bon Appetit, another great magazine. I love food but give me food with travel adventures attached and I’m in heaven.

5. Delicious. If you do a search for “Delicious magazine” you get results that say “Delicious magazine,” “Simply Delicious magazine,” “Delicious living magazine,” and “Purely delicious.” There were others but I got lost at that point.

So maybe the name isn’t the most remarkable but I like the food and the celebrity chefs they feature.

The only problem is it’s an Australian magazine which means it’s really, really expensive to get it all the way up here–celebrity chefs or no celebrity chefs.

6. La Vie Claire. Created by Claire Murray at first the magazine’s title confused me. Claire’s life? Why would I want to read a magazine all about Claire’s life? I mean I’m sure she’s great and all but a whole magazine? I mean I think even Oprah went way over the top with a magazine dedicated to herself but then what do I know?

Then my years of French kicked in and I remembered “Oh! The CLEAR life!” That makes more sense. I suppose it’s the same sentiment as Real Simple only not quite as credible just because the beautiful things the magazine highlights really aren’t that clear or that simple.

Murray moved from New York to Nantucket where she now runs her business and home base. Focusing on arts and crafts it has beautiful things for those who like to shop and those who like to create. It may not really be that simple but it is beautiful.

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine7. Ellery Queen Magazine. This one is kind of a cheat because it’s quite large already and you may already know about it but I LOVE it.

Actually I won’t go into too much detail here because I already, a year or two ago, did a review of it but since that was so long ago and because it is a holiday (at least here in the ol’ 50 states) I’m going to cut myself a little slack and just say, “For more details, go read my review here: “Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

8. Whole Living. The tag line is printed bigger than the title so you might get confused and think the magazine is called Body + Soul but no, it’s Whole Living. Get it straight.

Just as you’d suspect this publication tackles everything from living green to relaxation to exercise to aging and eating right. While you can get a subscription the nice thing here is that you can also sign up for a free newsletter–a nice way to try and see if you like it first before committing to a whole year’s worth of paper.

I think that’s just a fabulous idea–why don’t more magazines do that? Or do they and I’ve just been missing it?

Donna Hay9. Donna Hay. Another Australian publication that I’d have to take out a second mortgage to be able to afford this one is gorgeous. The food, the photos, everything is just beautiful.

Seems like she’s the southern hemisphere’s answer to Martha Stewart–I wonder if she has the whole megalomedia thing going too?

I just love this picture of magnolias in hanging vases–almost enough to subscribe but I think I’ll just have to browse through the book store’s copies for now.

10. Zoobooks. A monthly magazine about animals, period. Each month they highlight a different kind of animal, say horses, sharks, spiders or whatever and my kids loved it.

Every month comes with a poster which was lovingly plastered on our walls and the idea is that there are a set number of issues that they recycle every number of years so if you subscribe for several years you’ll eventually get a complete set or something. I guess they figured that since there were only so many animals to write about you only needed so many issues.

Anyway, it’s a little unusual but my kids are fans.

Somerset Life11. Somerset Life. Very similar to the La Vie Claire in its focus this magazine also covers arts and crafts but more food. I’ve only seen the holiday issue and it was lovely. I’d like to see if the spring issue is as good.

Sorry, I’ve only got eleven today. Blame it on the cooking but I could only think of eleven before being called away to baste my bird.

Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

Sponsored by:Beau-Coup–Fine and unique baby shower favors.

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