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Recommended by listeners and staff The 2008-09 Winter Reading List
Dec 7, 2013 — Theodore Roosevelt is known as many things: a naturalist, hunter rough rider and, of course, president. A new book argues it was his time in Manhattan, not the West, that forged him into the politician and man we now read about in history books. Host Scott Simon talks with author Edward Kohn about his new book, Heir to the Empire City: New York and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt.
Dec 6, 2013 — For 25 seasons, The Simpsons writers have been smuggling math onto Americans' TV screens. Author Simon Singh helps Ira decode the show's numberplay, while former Simpsons writer David X. Cohen remembers how he helped Homer solve Fermat's Last Theorem (sort of).
Dec 4, 2013 — Matching long johns. Kick lines in skis. Peeing on Santa's lap. Every family has these cringe-worthy moments, immortalized on film, that embody the particularly joyous brand of awkward that the holidays bring. And thanks to Mike Bender, co-author of Awkward Family Holiday Photos, the rest of us can rubberneck.
Dec 3, 2013 — South Africa's Mponeng gold mine is a 2.5-mile-deep network of chutes and tunnels that employs about 4,000 miners. Of course, that number doesn't include the miners who wander its tunnels clandestinely, stealing and refining ore. In a new book, journalist Matthew Hart investigates why gold and crime sometimes go hand in hand.
Dec 3, 2013 — The hitter had a swing so pure and flawless that Mickey Mantle would watch him take batting practice. But he was also a tormented soul who hurt a lot of people, including himself. Ben Bradlee Jr. delivers a deeply personal account of Williams' life in The Kid.