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TOM VANDERBILT, TRAFFIC

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Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt [Knopf, $25]

Whether you frequently suffer from road rage or endure a crowded commute by bus, traffic has a profound effect on your (and the country's) daily life. Vanderbilt's engagingly brisk and smart examination of how we drive delivers a wealth of automotive insights both curious (up to 70 percent of urban drivers are just looking for a parking spot) and counterintuitive (the newer and safer your car, the more likely you are to get into collisions). Timothy Hodler



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