Apr 13, 2014 — American Julia Cooke documented the ways Cuba has changed since Fidel Castro ceded authority to his brother. During her travels, she says, everything she thought she knew was "blown out of the water."
Apr 6, 2014 — Matthiessen was a spy, a naturalist, a well-regarded activist and a three-time winner of the National Book Award — for both fiction and nonfiction. He died of acute myeloid leukemia.
Feb 9, 2014 — British graphic designer Nick Hudson bicycled 500 miles along the Hudson River valley, striking up conversations with local artists and craftspeople as he went. Those stories — from maple syrup producers, sculptors, boat restorers and more — have been collected in a new book, Conversations on the Hudson.
Jan 9, 2014 — Anjan Sundaram's new memoir Stringer chronicles his adventures as a budding journalist in one of the world's most chaotic spots: the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Reviewer and veteran journalist Ted Koppel says Stringer "is a book about a young journalist's coming of age, and a wonderful book it is, too."
Jan 3, 2014 — Just as the passengers aboard the MV Akademik Shokalskiy thought they had escaped the Antarctic ice, word came that the Chinese ship that rescued them might be stuck as well. Poet Jynne Martin recommends a book to put the situation in perspective, one that tells the story of an expedition that was doomed from the start.
Dec 15, 2013 — Each Lenten season, Christians travel to Rome to visit a different martyr's shrine each day. The pilgrim-worn path, which dates back to the dawn of Christianity, includes some of the city's most striking churches and historic art. Theologian George Weigel, author of Roman Pilgrimage, says the journey grounded his faith in real places and people.
Dec 13, 2013 — Debuting at No. 14, Humans of New York is photographer Brandon Stanton's visual census of the city.
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.