Five Favorites (vol. 20)

(1) Gilbert Magazine, (2) Dappled Things, (3) StAR, (4) oh comely, (5) Soul Gardening

This week I want to share my five favorite traditional publications.  The digital word is convenient and nice for bridging gaps of geography to bring people together, but I believe in black print on paper and the feeling of a cover v'd between your hands.

Most likely, I have listed the quirky British lifestyle/artsy/creative magazine as one of my favorites before, but this is a new grouping, and so I feel obliged to include it.  Also, I couldn't think of a fifth traditional publication for which I anxiously check my mailbox every day when I know that it's that time of the month/season/year!

I know I've included Soul Gardening previously.  And so what?  It stands on its own merit as a favorite outside of printed paper!

Next week, I'm going to do my five favorite online publications.

-- 1 --

Named for the infamous G.K. Chesterton, who gave this blog its name and whom I consider my spiritual teacher and father, patron saint, and favorite writer.  Gilbert is intelligent without being dense and has much to offer even those who are not fans of Chesterton.  Among its readers are multitudes of Catholics, many Christians, some Jews, and at least one Muslim (stats quoted by memory from one of the GM's past articles, so don't hold me to it--they may have changed by now).

My favorite returning articles are the editorial by Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society; "The Signature of Man," a column that is a re-print of some commentary of GK's on art of his day, which is, as in all of his writing, eerily appropriate to modern times; and "News with Views," little snippets of real news events that highlight the absurdity of modern culture--chances are, you won't find reports on these sometimes-outrageous-sometimes-astounding happenings anywhere else, unless you are deliberately looking for them.

Gilbert Magazine is about 1/3 Chestertonian learning, 1/3 cultural and literary reflection and discussion, and 1/3 innocent fun--if for nothing else, pick up a copy of one for its delightful illustrations!

-- 2 --

This pristine periodical is the Catholic literary magazine in English which, if it had appeared in her day, would have certainly made Flannery O'Connor cry with joy.  Dappled Things' standards are impeccable and never have I seen it to sacrifice quality art for religious sentimentalism.  Its genres are fiction, essays, and poetry, spanning the rigid but triumphant traditional forms to the languid modernity of free verse.  Every university and seminary needs a subscription.


Saint Austen Review takes a scholarly eye to Catholic culture with regard to art and literature.  It's like if Gilbert and Dappled Things got married and had a baby, and StAR was it.  Love this one!  As in DT, don't expect fluff and ginger, nicey-nice treatment.  They mean to keep Catholic art art and judge accordingly; as O'Connor said,

. . . the chief difference between a novelist who is an orthodox Christian and the novelist who is merely a naturalist is that the Christian novelist lives in a larger universe.  He believes that the natural world contains the supernatural.  And this doesn’t mean that his obligation to portray the natural is less; it means it is greater.


From made-up covers of penny dreadful novels to an interview with the roller derby queen of England, sometimes the frivolous can be good for the soul; I mean, delighting in the daily things--in mismatched buttons, scribbling self-portraits, and making your own pasta-- is far less shallow than what we find in fashion mags and gossip columns.  oh comely is that kind of read.

Oh and the tagline: "Keep your curiosity sacred."

!!!  <3

The sparse and lovely photographs aren't bad either.  c;


I can't say enough how much of a delight this little magazine is to me!  In some ways, I'm too artsy and flower-child for a devout Catholic crowd; in others, I'm too dogmatic and orthodox for a the poet-types (which accounts for the somewhat schizophrenic nature of this blog).  Soul Gardening is a perfect marriage of both.  With little reflections and tips and rhymes that bring together Catholic mothers who value classical education, the natural world, and the importance of beauty, with icon-like, folksy black-and-white illustrations, this one needs to find its way into the hands of every Catholic woman looking for a way to add dimension and quiet communion to the daily drudge.  Thank you Mary, Ursula, Sia, and Ellie!

It's also completely free.

So what are you favorite printed publications?  First Things get your philosophy and politics ticking?  Simple Things magazine lift you up with its light-as-air advice and content?  I'm always looking for great new reads.



  1. I will be getting the Gilbert magazine soon; these all sound very refreshing! :)

    1. I miss it so much! But alas, I can't afford a subscription right now.

  2. Wow - what a great post. Thanks for sharing these - I've been on the lookout for some periodicals to buy as a treat every once in awhile. I love that you describe yourself as "too artsy and flower child for the devout Catholic crowd." I definitely feel like that sometimes, so perhaps I'll check out number 5 first. =)

    1. You will ADORE Soul Gardening, and it's absolutely free, so go for it!

  3. I know EXACTLY what you mean about being "too artsy and flower-child for a devout Catholic crowd" and "too dogmatic and orthodox for a the poet-types" and having a schizophrenic blog as a result. :) Which is part of why we're kindred spirits... I still need to subscribe to Soul Gardening.

    All these others look like fun, too. And I'm not usually a magazine person.


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