Strange: How and Where People Live

Our Towns - James Fallows and Deborah Fallows
The authors traveled all over the United States in their small plane to visit “flyover country,” small towns that are not big destinations to discover what makes them work.
Nothing to Envy - Barbara Demick
In this book 6 defectors from the closed city of Chongjin (out of more than 100 from all of N. Korea whom she interviewed) describe the lives they left, and provide a rare portrait of life in the DPRK.
Strangers in their Own Land - Arlie Hochschild
A sociologist grapples with the fact that with environmental, healthcare, social, and political issues in bayou country, the residents seem to vote against their own interests. Her prolonged stays in Louisiana prompt observations that apply all across America.
The Underground Girls of Kabul - Jenny Nordberg
In Afghanistan, where gender roles are rigidly prescribed, it is not uncommon for a girl to pass her childhood as a boy, in order to provide a son for a family without a male heir. The role of women in this society is the focus of Western attention and phlianthropy and the results are far from clear.