Book of Note

The Big Apple

After more than 30 years reporting and eating his way through urban America, the New York Times associate editor/raconteur/essayist and frequent contributor to these pages, R. W. Apple Jr. has crowned his favorite cities. Apple's America (North Point Press), a selection of his Times pieces, extols the overlooked greatness of underdogs such as Seattle and Nashville. "In terms of intellectual and cultural life," Apple says, "this has become a much more decentralized country. It's not just New York City."