As the Books Editor at The Huffington Post, I spend much of my time focusing on the output of publishers such as Penguin and Simon and Schuster.
However I have a secret obsession. I love magazines.
I'm (mostly) not talking about the kind of magazines you've heard of. These are not your Cosmopolitan, Time, GQ, Wired, TV Guide.
Famous those may be, but they are hardly at the cutting edge of creativity. With mainstream advertisers to please, and millions of readers to placate, the mainstream magazine is in danger of become little more than an uninspiring newsstand formula, repeated by everyone, over and over. Pretty girl, 387 ways of having better sex, hottest fashions, gossip, gadgets. Yawn.
However, take a peek into the best of the independent sector, and you'll find amazing publications that reveal new worlds. They combine graphic design, illustration, photography, an attractive physical object and gorgeous writing, all coming together to make epic, must-keep storytelling machines.
I have an embarrassingly large magazine collection, and to help assuage my guilt for owning so many, in my spare time (ha!) I run Stack America, a kind of bimonthly club that will help you discover independent magazines so fantastic, you'll never doubt again that print will survive.
Here are some of my current absolute favorite magazines, from both sides of the Atlantic, divided into themes. These titles are guaranteed to blow away anything you'll find on a conventional newsstand. Read them and weep.
What are your favorite unusual magazines? Share your recommended reading material in the comments!