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The Believer is a monthly books and culture magazine published by McSweeney’s in San Francisco. A three-time finalist for National Magazine Awards in General Excellence and Design, The Believer is an accessible yet rigorous forum for books and book criticism, providing an alternative to the plot summary squib that has increasingly become synonymous with “book review.” The magazine extends the ever-shortening shelf life of new books, revives interest in books long overlooked, and stresses the interconnectivity of books to pop culture, politics, art, and music. Each issue includes essays on these topics, as well as in-depth interviews with philosophers, politicians, poets, and ninjas. Nick Hornby has a monthly books column, “Stuff I’ve Been Reading,” and Amy Sedaris (and other well-known guest columnists) offers an advice column comprised of hilariously bad advice. The celebrated graphic novelist Charles Burns illustrates the cover each month, and the magazine is littered with illustrations by a wide range of established and emerging artists, with regulars like Tony Millionaire, Marcel Dzama, and others. Three annual themed double issues art, music, and film are packaged with a tactile bonus item a CD of original songs, a page of temporary tattoos, DVDs, and so on.