Top Picks: Elegantly bound classic books, a Cold War miniseries, and more

National Geographic showcases some big cats, Nokia does Apple one better by offering clear directions, and more.

National Geographic
Nat Geo Wild channel's Big Cat Week
Canterbury Classics

Bluegrass pop

On stage, the Stringdusters are capable of transforming any traditional hillbilly tune into a Grateful Dead-style jam session, and turning even the hippest pop song into a bluegrass tune. In this Silver Sky: Deluxe Edition, you'll hear extra tracks from the original Silver Sky album, released in March, including "He's Gone," "Don't Mean Nothin'," and their remake of the early Police tune "Walking on the Moon." And don't be surprised if you find yourself checking their tour schedule to hear these five young virtuosos from Charlottesville, Va., give it their all.

One nation under God

Working for Religious Freedom, a CBS Interfaith Special airing Dec. 9, explores what religious freedom means in the most religiously diverse country in the world. The program examines discrimination of religious minorities, Islamophobia in the United States, and other issues facing religious groups in the US.

Timeless gifts

Just in time for more gifting with a nod to the past, San Diego-based Canterbury Classics is releasing its line of elegantly bound and packaged – but reasonably priced – timeless works of literature. Titles include Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" and "Pride and Prejudice," Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" – with more titles to come.

Better directions

Apple's decision to boot Google Maps in favor of its own navigation application angered many iPhone owners. Never mind the fact that Apple then had to apologize for releasing a half-baked product. While Apple hustles to improve its maps, check out Nokia Here. This free app offers clean, clear directions for more than 200 countries – including public transit, something Apple left out.

Spy thriller

The cold war is cool all over again, so what could be better than another tale from the British novelist, William Boyd, the future James Bond novelist? Tune in for his original two-part miniseries, Restless, airing on the Sundance Channel Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. This sly thriller stars the ever-compelling Charlotte Rampling as a woman with – what else? – a deep, dark secret. The show also stars Rufus Sewell as her enigmatic British intelligence handler, who holds the key to her future. Set in the 1970s, the story unfolds as a World War II tale told to her daughter (Michelle Dockery, of "Downton Abbey" fame), who must face a frightening future with new knowledge.

Big cat

National Geographic, on its Nat Geo Wild channel, reminds us that even in war-torn zones, the real lives of threatened animal species must go on with its Big Cat Week, debuting Dec. 9. Daring photographers track everything from the endangered snow leopards of Afghanistan – during the Taliban's spring offensive, no less – to Indian tigers, as well as cheetahs.

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