Magazines are the ultimate source for Halloween inspiration, and it’s finally time to bring out all those stories that have been haunting our libraries for the last few weeks, begging to be read. “No, we musn’t!” we said; “It’s too soon!” we said. Well, the wait is over, and we’re charging into Halloween preparation at warp speed.

Going out to dinner or an evening soiree this weekend? The Conversation Starters below will keep the table talk alive. Want to whip out a magazine, but short on time? Turn to our One-Page Wonders for quick and entertaining reads that are worth every second.

Happy reading!

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Next Issue Picks

Chronicle of a Death Retold

Vanity Fair

The 50th anniversary of JFK’s death will be an affair draped in black crêpe and ribboned with old newsreels, but beneath it all will rest the severed feeling of irretrievable, inexplicable loss.

A is for Apocalypse

Backpacker

The end of the world, or just yours? Not much difference when you’re neck-deep in quicksand with a forest fire bearing down. The backcountry apocalypse could be closer than you think and only the strong, smart, and lucky will prevail.

Best of the Year: 550+ Top Products

Consumer Reports

More than 550 recommended TVs, cameras, tablets, laptops, ranges, dishwashers, fitness equipment, and more in almost two dozen categories. Don’t miss the Great Buys in the middle of each page for top notch, reasonably priced picks.

Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

ELLE

After quirky writer Paul Ford and his wife had twins using a high-tech fertility procedure, they were left with two frozen embryos—and a whole new understanding of the meaning of parenthood.

All Hail Halloween

Eat, Drink, and Be Scary

Real Simple

We just had to include this scary good feature from last month. Throw a Halloween after-party for kids and parents, complete with bewitching decorations, a make-ahead buffet, and howlingly fun activities.

Famous Last Words

Country Living

Inspired by familiar turns of phrase (like “Can’t see the forest for the trees” above), these bewitching Halloween crafts dare you to watch your language.

Craft a Charming Costume

All You

Get creative this Halloween with these easy-to-make outfits, guaranteed to let your little one stand out from the crowd.

25 Hilarious Things to Do With a Pumpkin

Every Day with Rachael Ray

One great pumpkin? Try 25. And they’re so wicked-easy to create that you won’t want to stop with one. This Halloween, go over-gourd.

Conversation Starters

Loss Leaders

TIME

In the 11th hour of any crisis, let alone one that shuts down the world’s most powerful government, things are bound to get a little weird. So it was no surprise when members of Congress began showing up for votes reeking of booze.

Why Do We Hate on Political Wives?

Cosmopolitan

A politico behaving badly? Shocker. Yet we throw the most shade at their spouses. Cosmo gets at the heart of our hate.

Head-On Collision

ESPN The Magazine

The book “League of Denial” reveals the moment the NFL realized it could no longer ignore the concussion science it had spent years trying to dismiss.

Is This the World's Most Creative Manufacturer?

Inc.

Let’s imagine you have an idea for how to reinvent the hair dryer. Let’s say you get as far as developing a prototype. What then? This is why the world needs Quirky.

One-Page Wonders

Q: SF Bay Bridge vs. New NY Bridge

WIRED

Across the US, transportation infrastructure is pushing up against its sell-by date. Tap these two brand new bridges to see how they line up.

Power Huggers

New York Magazine

It used to be that a handshake was enough. But as these known huggers show, humans need touch, and the more famous you are, the better you can provide it.

10 Things He Does When You're Not Around

Glamour

Male or female, fact or fiction, this list is pretty entertaining. Ex: Tries an extreme sport you’d freak out about. Comes up with a ridiculous alibi.

Sportsman's Notebook: Food

Field & Stream

Hear us out. This braised squirrel with bacon, mushrooms, and pinot noir is a small-game twist on a classic French preparation. And if eating a furry little tree dweller is too much, swap it for duck or rabbit.

New Issues

Architectural Digest

Food & Wine

Ladies' Home Journal