To Your Door
The City Reader offers the best in independently published magazines.
Whether it is on classic literature or traveling the world, you can expect the highest quality publications.
Selection changes according to availability of stock. Many of these are rare and hard to find,
so if something is calling to you, order it. Once an issue is gone, it's probably gone for good!
Thank you for visiting The City Reader!
Stories / Art / Ideas
Food + Place
Kitchen Table is a new food publication based right here in Portland! The focus is squarely on the culture and comfort that food brings to us, wherever we, or it, originated. This first issue is filled with a collection of interesting and quirky essays that often stick close to home - ie, Portland - and range from a review of fish sauces, ala Lucky Peach, to an interview with the guy that creates the chalkboard art at a favorite brewpub, to an interview with the celebrated chef and restaurateur Cory Schreiber. Secreted alongside these features you will find a foodie’s radical view that our country’s ‘melting pot’ of cultures is the basis for our comfort food - warm, delicious, familiar...and often appropriated. With it’s small size, colorful insides and chock full of great illustrations, this is a great new addition to the void left when Lucky Peach ceased. A must-have for any food mag fan! To be published 3x annually. Issue 1, Spring 2019, $9.99
Expand your Mind, Refine your Wardrobe
Are YOU Chap? This publication is so cool! A small indie out of the UK, it celebrates those who appreciate the timeless, classic qualities of a fine linen three-piece suit, moustache wax, and tweed. If you tend toward trousers and fedoras, always hold the door for a lady, and wouldn’t consider wearing plimsolls except on the tennis court or cricket field, you are, most definitely, Chap. Each issue is filled with gents (and ladies) who are chap: interviews with well-known chaps, a section on the sartorial (what to wear, and how to wear it), and essays on the people and places that comprise the history of classic British panache. This publication is thoroughly entertaining. A rare find on this side of the Pond, yet fits quite nicely into our quirky Portland style. Don’t miss it! Quarterly, UK, $12.50
Peddler is a new bi-annual food journal by author Hetty McKinnon, who has previously published two ‘multicultural, vegetarian salad’ cookbooks. Each contributor within the pages of this journal weaves a story of food and family, and the recipe that ties them together. Then we get a modern, vegetarian version of that recipe. Hetty, her contributors, and their meals are from many different cultures, and the recipes reflect that wonderful mixture of flavors and experiences. Small and delicate, but packed with content, this journal takes us to that place we all have in our memory of family meals, smells and tastes, that are so powerful. For those who remember Remedy Quarterly fondly, and those who love a good story, and the meal that goes with it. Bi-Annual, US, $20.00
Wrap Magazine is an art and illustration publication with a cool difference. Full of long interviews with interesting, young and international artists and illustrators, and beautifully printed, it also includes five different inserted sheets of fine wrapping paper that are specially designed prints by the artists interviewed. The team behind the magazine also run an online shop for paper goods - journals, cards, etc. - and this is the first new issue of Wrap in a few years. It has been eagerly anticipated! Artists hail from places as varied as Morocco, Spain, Argentina, Berlin and South London, but they are all talented, young and driven to create. This would be a fine gift for an art student or collector, or for yourself! Issue 12, occasional, UK, $22.00
Celebrating Cinema from A - Z
Shelf Heroes is a film publication like no other. The idea behind it is simple - for each letter of the alphabet, pick a film, watch it, and create something. Contributors are artists, illustrators and writers, and they are by no means film critics - nor is this a critical look at film. Pages are covered in graphic illustration, handwritten words, artwork, comic strips, whatever the creator came up with, and the films chosen are high art, lowbrow and everything in between. Great fun, packed with creativity and well, a bit crazy, this is definitely something you have to see to believe. Occasional, Issue H, UK, $16.00
A Modern Sense of Place
Each theme-driven issue of The Common explores the culture of place in our modern times. This compact journal is filled with stories and essays, a bit of art, and a smattering of poetry. Often in translation, they take place in the curious, unusual or interesting places of our world, revealing the nuances found there, and what makes our world the diverse, complex and exhilarating riot of cultures it is. Published out of Amherst College twice a year, in a tactile and mesmerizing package, I await the next issue eagerly. Issue 17, Arabic Stories from Syria, Bi-Annual, $14.00
Documenting Cycling Journeys Around the World
Far Ride is a gorgeous, photo-heavy publication that takes us on cycling trips far and wide. Published from Seoul, Korea, with hefty, art-quality paper and an elegant layout, this one simply feels different. Trips could be on the back roads of Korea, across the open plains of East Asia, or into the unknown lands of Africa. Photo essays, long personal stories, and interviews with riders and dreamers keep us absorbed and intrigued from front cover to the final page. Small print runs and self-distribution make this one rare, so grab it while you can. Tri-Annual, South Korea, $23.00
Wild Sounds from Past Dimensions
Ugly Things is one of those obscure niche titles that exist in the world of magazines, and one of the great examples of how there really is a magazine for every taste. A music magazine for those that love the obscure, the lost and the forgotten, Ugly Things packs its 150-ish zine-like pages with the stories behind, and long interviews with, those musicians that have had a brief moment in the spotlight, and then moved on. Published since the early 80’s, it mostly covers the early decades of rock - garage, psychedelic, punk, surf, what-have-you - and mostly hunts down the rare, unknown, local or short-lived bands no one else covers. Pages and pages of album reviews, and ads for what seems like every small record store and music label in the country, complete the package, making this the perfect read for anyone who loves to hunt down forgotten gems. Tri-Annual (3x a year), US, $9.95
By Chefs, For Chefs
Toothache is a peek inside the world of chefs and fine dining. Within the hefty covers you will find interviews by and of chefs of all stripes. Everyone from Michelin-starred restaurateurs to chocolatiers and pastry chefs, international and experimental - and recipes for some of their specialities. They talk of history and technique, culture and hardship, inspiration and the foods that inspire them. Recipes are fit for skilled cooks, with instructions and ingredients aimed at professionals. A solid 125 pages, with detailed and colorful photography, this should give inspiration to budding chefs and experienced foodies alike. Bi-annual, US, $20.00
For Creative Kids & Their Grownups
Stories, Comics, DIY
If you are the parent of, or shop for, creative, artsy, clever kids, you need this magazine! Lovingly done out of Oakland CA, every page is full to the brim of art, stories, comics, interviews and things to do for youngsters, or the young at heart. Aimed at the 6+ set, issues feature stories such as the quick history of something cool (think street lights or vermillion), interviews with authors and artists of kids books, brief bios of famous painters, a series called Literary Giants, book and music recommendations, and tons of activities - all fully, colorfully, wonderfully illustrated, of course! Published 3x annually, and completely ad-free, this is part of the wave of great indie mags being published these days for kids. Take a peek! 3x annually, US, $16.00
DG is a quarterly news journal for folks seeking an alternative to the fake news/social media/24 hour news cycle we seem to be trapped in. The folks at DG use hindsight and reportage to track down a bunch of stories that mattered, and compile them into an awesome publication every three months. For each quarterly issue, they look at a few important stories from across our world, giving them some depth and perspective. With interviews, timelines, photography and amazingly colorful, entertaining and readable infographics, they show us our world with insight. One of my favorite publications, I consider it the best in modern independent publishing. Get hooked. Quarterly, UK, $20.00
Beautiful back issues!
Each issue of this journal of food and travel covers one place, spending time, doing research and interviewing whoever is influencing the food scene. Whether they are chefs, restaurateurs, bakers, or growers, the authors get inside, peeling back the layers of the region, showing the food community and its inhabitants from an insider’s perspective. Lovingly put together, with photos that are intimate and compelling, hefty paper and 150+ pages, including a list of restaurants etc. in the back, this is a keeper. Annual, US, $19.00
Bright and exuberant, this bi-annual publication out of Brooklyn is a celebration of women and their place in the world of food. From chefs to start-up food entrepreneurs, cookbook authors to restaurant owners, famous or not-yet-famous, Cherry Bombe celebrates all these women and more. In each lengthy issue, you might find interviews with food icons, riffs on women making it in professional kitchens, or the story behind how a woman restaurateur got her start. Full of fun, without any fluff, it is one of the best of today’s modern independent publications. Bi-Annual, US, $20.00
Creativity for the Young at Heart
This adorable, tiny publication by Uppercase is for those that love crafts and crafting, with a bent towards the young and young at heart. For kids and adults, this pocket sized publication is filled with hundreds of pages of crafts and artists who create. Everything is included, from paper to knitting, dolls - nesting and soft - to quilts, books to pencils, interspersed with interviews of adult artists and their kids. This is the first issue of Little U, but Janine VanGool, says it won’t be the last! Created with help from her son, Finley, and lots of contributors and friends, it is a pint-sized package that is as tasty as a pint of ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Take a peek! Occasional, Canada, $24.00
The Human Side of Technology
What is Offscreen? This compact publication is the stories, inspirations and passions of people who create in the world of technology. Containing a nice blend of pieces, there are four long, in depth interviews that explore the thoughts and drives of the interviewee, short essays and quick interviews about some insight found in a techie’s life, a handful of projects to improve the lives of humans, a photo section showing tech workspaces across the world, and a smattering of gear. Short of tech-speak and long on inspiration and humanity, this tri-quarterly published out of Australia and printed in Berlin is international, engrossing, inspiring. One of the many small, self-distributed gems I carry, it is hard to find outside of a few tech hubs, so grab it while you can! 3x Annually, Australia, $20.00