Nov 26, 2013 — For critic Maureen Corrigan, this year's hybrid family holiday may be best celebrated by escaping into a book. Her recommendations include a kids' book about Russian Jews who identify with the Pilgrims, and a novel that contemplates class divides during wartime through the lens of a football game.
Nov 13, 2013 — The Chinese town of Shijiao is known for recycling discarded Christmas tree lights for their copper and wire insulation, which are then used to support growing economies and make slipper soles, respectively. In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter explores the business of recycling what developed nations throw away.
Nov 4, 2013 — Journalist Hooman Majd's new book, The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay, was inspired by the year he and his young American family spent in Tehran, where Majd was born. He tells Fresh Air about the country's long-standing tradition of sulking, and what sets Tehran apart from most other Islamic metropolises.
Nov 1, 2013 — Brandon Stanton challenges the conventional wisdom that you shouldn't talk to strangers.
Oct 20, 2013 — You may not find South Sudan at the top of most dream destination lists, but the authors of a new travel guide say the young country, long isolated by a violent civil war, has much to offer tourists in search of wildlife, culture and natural beauty.
Oct 18, 2013 — The best-selling author and humorist has kept journals for 36 years. Those diaries have been the jumping-off point for the personal essays that appear in his collections, including Me Talk Pretty One Day and Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls. (Originally broadcast on April 24, 2013.)
Aug 17, 2013 — Dylan Dethier took a year off between high school and college for an unusual quest: He wanted to play a round of golf in each of the 48 contiguous states. His new book, 18 in America, chronicles that year, and he joins NPR's Scott Simon on the putt-putt course to talk about it.
Aug 12, 2013 — Spring comes, then summer, fall and winter and if you are off the planet with a camera looking down at Earth, the seasons seem like breaths. Speed up the imagery, and the planet seems to pulse, like a living thing. Take a look at what designer John Nelson has done. It's uncanny.
Aug 3, 2013 — Jennifer Lin-Liu's On the Noodle Road takes readers on a journey along the former Silk Road, looking for the origins of the noodle. But reviewer T. Susan Chang says that the book gets tied into knots when the quest turns cold.
Jul 15, 2013 — In softcover nonfiction, Chuck Thompson makes the case for Southern secession, and Adam Winkler explores the history of the American gun control battle. In fiction, Rowling tries her hand at a novel for grown-ups.