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Do you ever get the feeling that you're stuck in a rut? Doing, reading and listening to the same things? I feel like that just now. I listen to the same music, browse the same websites, read the same papers and they're all good, don't get me wrong, but I need a change. So this week I'm looking to you, dear reader, to suggest something new to chew. Whatever you like, please recommend it here.

Over the week I'm going to look for a new thing every day covering music, blogs, clubs and er, miscellaneous but let's start with the one that got me thinking about this - magazines. It's a great feeling when you find a magazine you really love to read and can't wait to see the next issue on the shelves. To feel like you belong to this community of readers who all like the same things. At various times I've felt like that about Whizzer & Chips, Just 17, Smash Hits, the NME, The Face, The Idler and Wallpaper*. But now I don't read anything regularly anymore apart from the Guardian magazine on a Saturday and that's not really doing it for me.

I have recently enjoyed Smoke: a London peculiar, B-Music's occasional (free) fanzine on incredibly strange music and Kettering: the magazine of elderly British comedy (brilliant) - more fanzines really but that's fine. I often long for the golden age of fanzines. There was never a shortage of inspiration then. Late addition: Grow Your Own - the only glossy mag I subscribe to. I have tried and found wanting Karen Magazine (too arty) and The Enthusiast (no idea what's going on there; like a joke with no punchline).

So can you help me? What do you all read?

How about looking further back, to old broadsides and chapbooks? My interest has recently been aroused in these old forms of entertainment and info dissemination. I've had a poke around www.thediagram.com where they host a contemporary chapbook contest, and I'm planning to sort out a visit to the St.Bride print library and hopefully browse some of their collection. I love the idea that these bits of ephemera were carried around and sold by chapmen as a main mode of communication, and it's amazing that any still exist given that they ended life like so many of todays newspapers - either wrapped around food, or used as 'bum fodder'.

Thanks Jim. An interesting start. Does anyone read Creative Review? Just read about this on The Skinny.

Have you heard of GOOD magazine yet? They're only on issue 2, but it's fabulous. An added plus: if you subscribe, 100% of your money goes to your choice of a list of charities.
http://www.goodmagazine.com/

I also love Mental Floss:
http://www.mentalfloss.com/

Fortean Times, Scootering, Wanderlust, Private Eye, Black And White Photography and erm, my Dad's copy of The Dalesman. I design magazines for a living, aso I tend to buy a lot of publications that I don't even read, just to nick ideas :-)

Emily, Gareth - thanks for those interesting selections. I haven't seen Good, no. Looks promising although The Dalesman sounds more my level.

Grafik is a great design mag, I'd avoid Creative Review especially the "Mother" issue. I checked it today and its just insanely self indulgent. Bookwise I'm reading "If mind had toes" by Lucy Eyre which I'm enjoying, I have my eye on the "Book Thief" by Marcus Zuzak.

Music wise for the last few months I've been enjoying The Books, LCD Soundsystem "the jogging album,", Phillip Glass "Heroes", My Latest Novel"Wolves", The Big Sleep.

I feel very pretentious saying it but there's always a meaty, interesting read in The New Yorker. Once you flick past all the shows none of us are obviously going to see.

I'd love to be able to recommend a good Mag but since the demise of the short lived Eat Soup I've found nothing that really speaks to me. I try to do the "different mag each month" thing (following Russell's suggestion) which is great and negates any need to be loyal to anything. Think this month it might be something on hamster breeding.

Talking of magazines, picked up Graham Coxon's 2004 album Happiness in Magazines (see what I did there?) for 50p at Noah's school fair in December. A bargain and a brilliant bit of music. Followed it up with his latest; which is equally ace! Otherwise, you could do worse than buy anything released on Morr Music: http://www.morrmusic.com/ my fave's being the American Analog Set.

Oh and Death Cab for Cutie's album Plans is a lovely thing. And The Spinto Band's album: Nice and Nicely Done

Reading matter: Have you read Perfect Pitch yet? (Is that old news now?) Or anything by Nicholson Baker, specifically The Mezzanine (older news?).

I know that's more than mags but other than Modern Toss, I can't help you out. Although, New Scientist can be good.

My picks for good reading would start with:

Cabinet Magazine - a magazine dedicated to interesting absudities, real mysteries and a deep appreciation for the uniqueness of people of the past. The magazine has a "library" in the middle of the American desert.

Infiltration Magazine - first-person stories of people that go into tunnels, drain and buildings. Urban tourism.

Little Nemo in Slumberland - an expensive reproduction of Windson McKay's gorgeous sunday cartoon strip. I don't own it yet, but I look to change that.

I often turn to my basement archives for inspiration, and dig through my old copies of Trouser Press, Creem, Flipside, Outre, Filmfax, Cool and Strange Music, Zippy the Pinhead and Dan Clowes comic books.

Definitely have to second w/ a reccomendation for the New Yorker. Excellent writing on a wide variety of topics. Not sure how readily available it is in the UK but its well worth tracking down.

Spacing is a excellent magazine that primarily deals with the urban landscape of Toronto, but I think would be of interest to anyone who is fascinated with public space, urban transit, and city planning. Check it out at: http://spacing.ca/


I don't think there are any great, must-read magazines out there at the moment which saddens me as I'm a magazine designer.

For a book I'd highly recommend Michael Bywater's "Lost Worlds:What Have We Lost and Where Did It Go?" which isn't the usual journey down kitschy memory lane but an elegy to all sorts of vanished places, things, ideas, and feelings.

I recommend 'England in Particular' by Sue Clifford & Angela King: "a celebration of the commonplace, the local, the vernacular and the distinctive". The most wonderful book I read last year. The content is fantastic, & it's beautifully designed & illustrated.

pick a number between 15 & 20; get on the fist bus that comes past your house and get off (number) bus stops later.

have lunch, look around, and maybe talk to someone in the pub about something inconsequential

then walk back

You could also try The Morning News and The Believer.

Ann,

May I ask if you are you a Whizz-Kid or a Chip-ite?

I'm the latter.

Sorry Anne, spelt your name wrong.

Thanks everyone. Some great stuff there, especially the books. Ian - I'm ashamed to say I don't remember. It was a long time ago, right enough.

frankie a relatively new australian magazine is awesome. i've had friends back home post copies to me in finland for the last six months.

dwell magazine is good if you like buildings and furniture design?

I'm experiencing a bit of a gap in my magazinular habits too. I've recently rediscovered Dazed & Confused (you can sell me anything by putting Karen O on the cover it turns out) which is going through a good patch.

I've also started reading total:spec, which is a terrible name for a magazine, but the content (fashion, films, music politics) hits all the right targets.

For sheer page stroking/sniffing glossy beauty though, I'd have to recommend Varoom. Yummy.

I would have to reccommend The Surfer's Path magazine. It's printed on eco-friendly paper and inks (how many other mags do you know that are?) and it covers the world through surfing eyes.
One thing, it needs some art direction. Anyone know a gifted, surfing art director? And don't say David Carson. We already had him Guest Design one of our issues, which was fun but ....

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