Not only is Esquire THE go-to source this month is you want advice on a "woodsy" cologne - and who doesn't? - but January is their regular issue devoted to wisdom and "What I Have Learned" columns featuring a variety of intriguing subjects. Cover-dude Sean Penn - think of him what you will, but his efforts in Haiti have been heroic - waxes eloquently on a meaningful life and fulfillment. Charlie Sheen he ain't. Author James Lee Burke is poetic as usual, ranging in topics from the cuisine of south Louisiana to the nobility of loyalty and perseverence and the cowardice of mob rule. Other featured sources range from Petra Nemcova and Leon Panetta to Jake LaMotta and Mandy Patinkin.
- RICK KOSTER