Image: Reading by Worak, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

 

You’re stuck in a beach house with family and everyone is two seconda away from transforming Monopoly into a bloodsport. You'd really prefer silence to holiday party interactions. Excellent!  Reading will assist with both of these situations, because you can do it while being quiet and calm. Turns out we’ve missed quite a few good things in our reviews section this year, so here’s a handful of micro reviews for your sanity. Pour the gin, fire up your device, head down to a bookstore and buy/overdose on these:

 

The Rumpus

FREE

A sparky little US publication that blends comic art, essays, poetry, interviews, podcasting and reviews – basically all the things. Particularly excellent bits of this include: a) it’s all there and free, b) you come across excellent pieces from writers like Roxane Gay, Lisa Carver and Laura Bogart (and you are like – how am I reading these essays so easily because they’re pretty polished and great), c) excerpts from upcoming books of poetry, non fic and prose, d) things that make your heart hurt. Get on it.

 

TLB - Bag o Brows

$50

The Lifted Brow is a good thing. Catching up on it by picking up a festive Bag o Brows will make you a good and smart person. $50 gets you seven editions and the love of TLB team. It’s been a pretty cracker year for features for these guys, so buy some back issues before they relaunch in March 2015, and hold onto those old Brow memories.

 

The Billfold

FREE (+ FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY)

I know this is not * technically * a lit mag. Get over that, because The Billfold is great storytelling. Their essays and observations on all things money are useful/strangely addictive and a little like going through someone's draws at a party just to see what they got goin' on. Part of The Awl network, the mag is US-focused but even so, a great l look at how people do money, PAY OFF STUDENT DEBT and manage to eat pizza sometimesy.

 

Kyoto Journal

4 x Digital Mags for 4000 yen ($41 AU)

Kyoto is a glorious city filled with temples and little shops and a big ol’ sky needle thing. Kyoto Journal is a serious business arts and culture magazine, with English language reflections on migration, art, feminism and all things Japan. Subscribe here or read the blog.

 

The Gentlewoman

$34.95

For the modern woman, this is pretty and high fashion and maybe I stroke the pages creepily when I go to the newsagents, because BEAUTY. Like, so pretty. It’s a curated series of profiles and stories about mega successful ladies – Kristen Wiig, Angela Lansbury, Adele, Yoko Ono, Beyonce. You'll be power dressing by the time you get through it, whoever you are.

 

Zyzzyva

US $40 x 4 issues ./ US $30 for students - blog content freeeee

San Francisco is where you’d move to start up a beat poetry cafe and/or publication that would bring Haruki Murakami to the American people, so it makes sense these people are SF based. When you type 'Zyzzyva' into Word you think it isn’t going to work but it does because it actually is a noun for a breed of tropical American weevil. The print mags are loverly are more like books, the blog features writing about the American dream, dating serial killers and all manner of road-trips.

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Writers Bloc reviews will be back in 2015. Let us know your fave lit mag reads @writers_bloc.

Till the new year, read some stuff till your head pounds and stay safe xx

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E Koehn

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