Genre: Literary Magazine
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Editor-in-Chief: Seb Emina
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“The largest imaginable library was invented in 1942 by Jorge Luis Borges in ‘The Library of Babel’ – a story that seems to become more famous, and more relevant, with every passing year.”
The Happy Reader is a unique magazine about reading for anyone who wishes to stay inspired, informed and entertained. With beautiful typography, the magazine is a design object which celebrates the pure pleasure of reading and the calming luxury of being offline. Each issue is split into two halves. The first half is an in-depth interview with a book fanatic and the second half gets under the skin of one classic work of literature. From Shakespeare to the Spice Girls, Issue 4, for autumn, welcomes a candid and capacious sit-down with the multi-talented actor, activist and author, Alan Cumming, and an apocalyptic whirlwind of words and pictures powered by early sci-fi novel,The Purple Cloud.
Yet another issue full of bookish things that will make every reader happy. This one will cater to those of us who are sci-fi fans, with the book of the month being one of the most early sci-fi novels The Purple Cloud. Accompanying this is an interview with Alan Cumming, a man who I had never heard of previous to reading this issue. Although I hold firm the belief that no-one, whether they are an author or actor or otherwise, should be defined by their sexuality, my interest in this interview was piqued when I realised that Alan Cumming is bisexual. As bisexual myself, it was refreshing to read an interview that touched on both books and sexuality. Alan does a lot for LGBT rights, and this was inspiring to discover.
From the interview I gathered that Alan Cumming is both serious, funny and witty. He has his passions, but there was something that felt casual but amusing when I was reading the interview. He’s a person I want to know more about. That’s the great thing about this magazine, it introduces you to so much. It may not be long, but it packs a lot in. Usually I would switch off reading an article about someone I don’t know, but the way The Happy Reader does their interviews is so brilliant that it’s impossible not to be captivated even a little bit!
I took a break from reading this in between part one and part two, but when I came round to reading the second part, I found it to be enjoyable, but I took less away from it than part one. I expected the articles to focus more on sci-fi and less on geography. But nevertheless, reading about volcanoes, atom bombs, sci-fi shops, the colour purple, and the ever-looming idea of doomsday, was a nice way to spend my late afternoon.
The snippets in this issue are some of the most brilliant ones yet!
Link to the magazine on Goodreads: