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BEST AND WORST OF 2007

“Finally you have recognized Patrick Dempsey for what he is: a star and a stud”

Betty Stierli

Fair Lawn, N.J.

When I first glanced at the cover I thought that you had changed your mind and named Patrick Dempsey Sexiest Man Alive. Star of the Year is a no-brainer, but let’s get the ball rolling on his rightfully deserved title for next year.

Terri McConnell

Carmel, Ind.

How dare you include Chris Benoit in your Tribute section. A man who killed his wife and child prior to taking his own life does not warrant the respect reserved for those who really deserve to be remembered. Shame on you.

Lauren Blasek

Peoria, Ill.

This year’s worst fad was the virtual gift. I definitely wanted the real thing, not just a cyber image. Virtual gifts make even Scrooge look generous.

Kenneth Zimmerman

Huntington Beach, Calif.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS

Obviously the Jamie Lynn Spears situation is a sad one, not an ideal way to start your adult life by any means. But I have to commend her. She could have gotten an abortion and no one would have been the wiser. Instead she is taking the difficult path, risking her career and her future. Hindsight is always 20/20, as they say, but she is not the only 16-year-old in America to have this happen. That doesn’t make it right, but give her a break and show some compassion to a brave girl.

Julie S.

Cincinnati, Ohio

BOOKS AND MUSIC

I have been a subscriber for several years now and have always enjoyed your magazine. I want to extend a long overdue thanks to your book and music reviewers. Their reviews have brought many great authors and singers to my attention. I am now a fan of Augusten Burroughs, Jasper Fforde, Mika and Junior Senior. With so many writers and musicians out there, it’s great to find reviewers who lead us to the best.

Rebecca DeVeaux

via e-mail

TARA REID

Now as silly as it seems for me to take offense, I did find it rather strange that Tara Reid would blame the “really bad food” she was eating (or not eating) while in Canada for her obvious and sudden weight loss. I mean, are we really supposed to buy that, especially knowing what a party girl Miss Reid is? Clearly, by the pictures you have shown, Reid is not “100 percent healthy” at all. Well, I guess the food in Bali (where she collapsed most recently) was really bad too then, eh?

Erin Dehnicke

Newmarket, Ont.

TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN

Readers were touched by “The Deadliest Year,” our story listing the names of all the servicepeople who died in Iraq and Afghanistan last year. Lisa Richman of Calabasas, Calif., writes, “Upon seeing all those names in print, I felt it was my duty to honor all those who have given their lives by sitting in a quiet place and reading each and every name aloud.” Despite all the coverage the conflict has received, Miranda Willems of Lompoc, Calif., notes that “many people don’t realize how dangerous this war still is. I hope the families know how important their service member was to our country.” Melissa Johnson, the wife of an Army sergeant, adds via e-mail–that having herself lost a few friends in the Iraq conflict–”it meant a lot that you recognized these brave soldiers. They made the ultimate sacrifice, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Editor’s Note

Our tribute to the servicemen and women who died during the past year left off Sgt. Michael J. Martinez, who died June 28 in Baghdad. We based our names on those supplied by the Department of Defense, and they unfortunately listed Sgt. Martinez under those who died in 2006. We have contacted the DOD to let them know of their error.