Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Indispensable reading

This year-end post is one of those occasional digressions, as noted in the masthead above, that I sometimes allow myself. It has nothing directly to do with Madison Park; but it does have to do with my having an educated audience for this blog, one presumably composed of people who also care about the world outside of Madison Park.

I, myself, have always been a bit of a news junkie. And for many years I subscribed to every major national news magazine that existed, as well as four or five daily newspapers. That's in addition, of course, to watching an hour or two of news each evening. In recent years, changes in the way news is delivered, as well as a decrease in the amount of time I have each day to peruse information, have caused me to focus on fewer sources.

Perhaps you have your own list of indispensable news resources. Mine includes the Washington Post online, Talk of the Nation on NPR, the Economist magazine, and the Sunday edition of The New York Times. Several years ago I added to the list an absolutely essential news magazine called The Week.

I am not into the USA Today, short-attention-span style of news delivery; and on the surface, The Week might appear to be that kind of a periodical. For it's certainly the case that the articles are concise, and there's a lot of information summarized. What's particularly special about The Week, however, is that it draws upon literally hundreds of news sources and presents the material in a particularly interesting and informative fashion.

Virtually every subject is covered each week: politics, people, events, health, science, books, movies, music, art, films, television, food, economics, and travel. For each subject, The Week presents the best reviews of and commentary on what's current. One of my favorite features is "Best Properties on the Market," a two-page spread showing some great residences currently for sale across the country. Each issue includes an in-depth "Briefing" or two on a subject of importance (this week's is on how Bethlehem is a city with a lot of problems). There's a puzzle page, political cartoons, quizes...well you get the idea.

The Week is such a good magazine that the publishers think that just getting it into your hands will make you a lifelong subscriber. For this reason, they make an offer at the end of each year to each current subscriber: give a friend the gift of a one-year subscription to The Week for free!

In view both of my lack of friends and my desire to spread the word about this great magazine (in which I hold no financial interest), I will therefore give a gift of The Week to the first Madison Park Blog reader who emails me his or her name and address.

Here's to a year of great reading!

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