Jul 30, 2013 — Millions of people worldwide are leaving rural areas for urban ones. NPR Cities Project editor Franklyn Cater highlights five books that examine and celebrate 21st century life in the metropolis.
Jul 11, 2013 — Around the world, cities like Rio de Janeiro are using new technologies to solve their problems. And while there's great promise in many of these "smart" city programs, urban planner Anthony Townsend is wary of putting so much power in the hands of tech companies.
May 28, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Deborah Harkness sends a witch and a vampire back to Elizabethan England, and John Lanchester looks at London circa 2008. In nonfiction, Sally Koslow explores parenting adult children, and Andrew Blum reveals the infrastructure behind the Internet.
Oct 17, 2012 — In her book Alone Together, psychologist Sherry Turkle explains how digital devices are affecting our communication and relationships. "What is so seductive about texting, about keeping that phone on, about that little red light on the BlackBerry, is you want to know who wants you," Turkle says.
Aug 23, 2012 — In fiction, Robert Harris explores a financial crash and Jennifer DuBois recounts a fateful meeting. In nonfiction, Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum analyze how the U.S. lags, Tony Horwitz looks at abolitionist John Brown and Adam Gopnik considers the meaning of food.
Jul 10, 2012 — Where do ideas come from and how can we have more of them? Science writer Jonah Lehrer recommends five books that explore the mysteries of the creative mind, and document the strange and beautiful world that our ideas have helped create.
Jun 14, 2012 — NPR commentators favor Jennifer Close's look at women facing marriage and Amanda Hodgkinson's post-World War II family drama. There are also memoirs by actor Christopher Plummer and nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei, plus Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams re-evaluate universities for the digital age.
May 31, 2012 — What does the Internet look like? Journalist Andrew Blum decided to find out. His new book, Tubes, is a journey into the Internet's physical infrastructure — where our data is stored and transmitted.
Mar 14, 2012 — Novelists Patricia Marx and Meg Wolitzer take a fresh look at romance, while Samuel Park explores how its fallout leads to an unlikely immigration trajectory for his Korean heroine. In nonfiction, James Gleick explores information theory, Antonio Damasio rethinks consciousness, and Joshua Foer investigates the nature of memory.
Sep 16, 2011 — Thomas Friedman explores the challenges America faces in That Used To Be Us, which debuts at No. 1.