Friends, food & glossy fun. Why not… start a magazine club?

A book club.

It seems like such a fabulous idea. Gathering with friends to discuss the great literary classics… or perhaps the latest NY Times bestseller… or the must-read personal development hit of the season.

I have fond memories of my book club in Seattle. I was a surgical resident at the time. I didn’t get to go often and I rarely read the books. And when I when go, I often fell asleep in my chair. But it was so good to be in the presence of normal people with normal lives, that I treasured the times I made it there. The women were sympathetic and didn’t kick me out. Instead they fed me, and cheered my efforts to become a doctor.

That book club is still going strong since the early 1990’s. I remain on the email list, keeping up with the book choices, and seeing friends from the group when I travel to Seattle. Someday, I’ll join them for their annual retreat.

For years, I’ve fantasized about starting — or joining — a book club here in Fargo.

But I’ve realized that with my work schedule, family time and volunteer commitments, life seems even busier than it did when I was a resident! But I miss the connection.

My friend Cris Linnares, once mentioned having a magazine club as a more realistic option, and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since.

Magazines get a bad rap. They’re often considered to be the frivolous, fluffy younger sibling to big, grown-up books. But I disagree! I do love books, but magazines provide a different kind of stimulation… and inspiration.

I turn to books when I want depth, food for thought, or fictional characters that I can fall in love with.

I flip open a magazine for a quick lift, a neat idea, or a sip of visual beauty in the midst of my day.

I’m excited to start a new tradition and host the first annual magazine club at my home this autumn, complete with cozy drinks and baked treats. Everyone is going to bring a big stack of gently used magazines, share a favorite article, then put ‘em in a pile… and swap!

Here are a few of the magazines that I’ll be bringing to the table:

The Intelligent Optimist.

Smart, well-researched stories covering science, innovation and creativity with — you guessed it — an uplifting, positive perspective.

Eating Well.

My go-to choice for delicious, healthy recipes. The photos are always stunning — and their website is a treasure trove of terrific recipes, too.

Edible Seattle.

My dear college friend and Seattle book clubber Heidi Nelson gave me this as a birthday gift. I’ve enjoyed it for years, since I’ve got a nostalgic spot in my heart for the Pacific Northwest despite the traumas of residency.

There are Edible magazines for many US regions, so try to find an edition in a city close to you, because they focus on local, regional produce and recipes. Sadly, Edible Twin Cities ceased publication last year, but it was good while it lasted.

MORE magazine.

A magazine that “celebrates women of style and substance.” I love that they feature models of diverse ages and ethnicities, and feature articles on career topics & personal finance… not just the latest eye shadow trends. (Not that I don’t love a good eye shadow, too!)

Real Simple.

I could just dive into the pages of Real Simple and live there, forever. It’s the only magazine that can make organizing your junk drawer look like a total dream!

O: The Oprah Magazine.

Gotta love Oprah! Her “Favorite Things” and Book Club picks are always fantastic.
And much like MORE, Oprah’s editorial team also intentionally chooses models that reflect a diverse range of body types, sizes, skin tones, cultures and ages.

New Beauty.

This magazine covers all the latest and greatest trends in make-up, skincare, hair treatments, lasers and even surgery. It helps me keep the patient perspective in mind, and I enjoy the tips too!


Their motto? “At home in the modern world.” One day — mark my words! — my home WILL look like the pages of Dwell magazine.


No, it’s not a magazine devoted to celebrating everybody’s favorite trashy pizza franchise!

This style, decor and shopping magazine is bright, playful and filled with fresh ideas. Their “Get To Know” series offers a neat glimpse into the lives (and homes) of artists, designers and other creative spirits.

When my inner entrepreneur needs an info/inspiration fix, I read IncFast Company and Wired magazines. And since women are starting businesses at a record-breaking pace, I think these would be fun to bring into magazine club as well!

Overflowing with too many magazines?

If you’ve got a bit of a magazine fetish, like me, and need to de-clutter a bit, here are 7 places where you can donate used magazines.

Your local library, nursing home, or women’s shelter would love your used magazines. Oh, and your local doctor’s office might want them, too!

Or… you can start a magazine club like me, and then gently encourage (read: force) your guests to take home at least five magazines, each.

Happy reading!

~ Dr. Sue

P.S. If you could appear on the cover of any magazine, what would be your dream ‘zine?

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