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New at the library

November 20, 2010
The Mining Journal

At Peter White, magazines are one of the most popular aspects of our collection. Every day dozens of visitors laugh, learn and relax while exploring the world through their favorite titles. Some are well known, others enjoyed by only a small, loyal audience. Here are some selections from the library's magazine collection.

Produced by the self-proclaimed "world wide leader in sports," ESPN the Magazine delivers high quality athletic journalism with witty delivery, making it one of the most frequently read magazines at PWPL. ESPN the Magazine is notable for its commitment to excellent graphic design in and around its articles, as well as for its informative and interesting columnists. Among my favorites are Stuart Scott's "Two Way," as well as Rick Reilly regular opinion column, "The Life of Reilly." ESPN the Magazine is published biweekly.

Written with a more eclectic bent, "The New Yorker" examines interesting elements of offbeat Americana, news, humor and social commentary that, who perspective comes from America's largest city, acts to give it a unique and dynamic view of our national life as a whole. First published in 1925 as a sophisticated humor magazine, its founding ethos are carried on in the form of the weekly "Shouts and Murmurs" column, in which guest authors get to pick apart aspects of American social and political culture, often with hysterical results. The New Yorker also carries an array of intellectually stimulating book, theatre and film reviews, as well playing host to the sharp sociological insights of Malcolm Gladwell. The magazine is also known for its excellent single panel cartoons.

Ranking among these magazine room standouts, Mental Floss the magazine has irreverent, slightly snarky prose shining like a McDonald's sign to those starving for information. The magazine that brought the world "12 Essential Talking Points for the Deodorant Enthusiast," Mental Floss is known for its devotion for random facts, pop-culture phenomena, and for digging up the interesting stories and obscure historical characters you never got to hear about in school. Among its columns, "Six Degrees of Ken Jennings" written by the Jeopardy champion of the same name, is perhaps among its best. In each column, Jennings makes connections between two completely unrelated historical, cultural or sociopolitical objects in fewer than six steps.

If sitting inside makes you restless, it might be a good idea to lace up the shoes and pick up an issue of Runner's World. Predating the running boom of the '70s, Runner's World is the preeminent source of running journalism and commentary. Motivation, tips and tricks gleaned from its pages can be essential and liberating late in a race. Featuring everything from shoe reviews, comprehensive training plans, Q & A with running coaches, and race profiles, Runner's World is a literal must-read for the distance runner. Runner's World is also notable for not only the depth of its journalism, but also the width, working to appeal and incorporate the interests of the veteran marathoner with that of the first time 5k-er. This magazine's devoted readers are legion and help make it the leading voice in the running community. Personal favorites from the magazine include the "I'm a Runner" profiles interviewing famous people not normally known for running, as well as Peter Sagal's (of "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" fame) exquisite running column, "Road Scholar." Whether you're running Boston or running to the mailbox, please take time to check this magazine out.

First recommended to me by a coworker, Humanist magazine delves deep into human understanding and motivations to examine how and why the world works as it does today. Published by the American Humanist Association, the magazine works to apply the principles and philosophy of humanism to the issues of today's world. Although lesser known than some of these publications, Humanist delivers cutting edge social and political commentary relevant to our everyday lives. Also, check out the "Rants and Reason" blog on its website for timely and thoughtful analysis of issues in the news written from a humanist perspective.

- Taylor Tillotson

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