Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday Coffeehouse: in my mailbox...

The sad reality of my bookworm tendencies is that I don't often find the time to sit down and do much solid reading. Or, what is more often the case, I don't have the brain energy to think on a level much deeper than the Sunday Comics in the newspaper.

And so, magazines and newspapers have become my mainstay for intellectual stimulation. I can handle something that is an article length... or even better is reading the letters to the editor. I have heard of several highly recommended magazines out there but am only qualified to share what my personal experiences have been:

National Catholic Register
This is my most anticipated treat by way of mailbox publications. It comes weekly and is chock full of current news from a Catholic perspective and interesting tidbits about what is going on in the Church and especially at the Vatican. Be careful not to confuse this wonderful, orthodox newspaper with the "National Catholic Reporter" which isn't nearly as reliable or time-worthy as this one. In each issue there is the Holy Father's weekly address as well as a wonderful sub-section on the "Culture of Life". If you have to choose just thing to subscribe to, pick this one.

Crisis Magazine
Okay, I admit that I no longer subscribe to this because I couldn't commit the brain cells to thinking this "well" after having my third child. It's a wonderful magazine, again very solidly Catholic... and the articles are usually quite brilliantly written on politics, culture and the Church. The problem is that one has to FOCUS on these articles. They are highly intellectual and a fierce competitor to your attention to toddlers begging for more milk in a sippy cup or gassy babies filling up diapers.

Family Fun
Well, on the opposite end of the spectrum is a perfectly light and easy reading magazine geared exactly toward what its title sugests. This isn't a Catholic magazine, but it's been such a treasure for us to have simply because there are so many wonderful ideas for things to do and make and play with as a family. My kids are just barely getting old enough to where I can actually do many of these activities with them... though I've been a subscriber since my first son was born (saving up back-issues because they're so full of good ideas). This magazine is great for homeschoolers too because it offers so many ideas; I especially appreciate their seasonal and holiday focused issues.

Envoy Magazine
I don't get this magazine anymore either (I think they've converted to only offering digital subscriptions?) but it was instrumental for me in reverting back to the Faith. It is an apologetics magazine. Colorful and flashy and probably perfect for teenagers or adults who want to know how to defend the faith better but don't have the resources or time to commit to reading the Early Church Fathers or studying the Bible in depth. It's somewhat elementary in the sense that with this alone, you couldn't debate seminary theologians; but it's more for the day-to-day, down to earth lay people. The editor is well-known apologist Patrick Madrid (author of Surprised by Truth... a great read for new Catholics or potential converts from a Protestant background).

* Gift subscriptions are a wonderful gift idea, especially for kids who have too many toys as it is. Children LOVE getting things in the mail... why not indulge that with a quality publication that they can really get involved in. There are magazines geared toward almost every sport or hobby out there; just google it! Other magazines I think are worth looking into (for kids or adults) or ones that I've enjoyed include these: Boys Life, Faith and Family, Ranger Rick, Highlights, Real Simple, Mothering, Runner's World, and National Geographic.

-Ellie: Oak Harbor, WA


one of us :: 4:30 PM :: 2 Comments