18 books we read this week | Mint

18 books we read this week

18 books we read this week. (Photo: WSJ)
18 books we read this week. (Photo: WSJ)

Summary

Backstage with Elvis, political rivalries at America’s founding, a child’s adventure at sea and more.

‘Elvis and the Colonel’ Review: Saving Tom Parker

The talent manager has been blamed for ruining Elvis Presley. Restoring his reputation is a monumental task. Review by Preston Lauterbach

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‘Founding Partisans’ and ‘A Republic of Scoundrels’: Opportunists and Patriots

In the uncertain days of America’s infancy, the boundary between canny political maneuvering and disloyalty to the new nation was not yet defined. Review by Adam Rowe

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‘Determined’ and ‘Free Agents’ Review: No Choice in the Matter

Can 21st-century brain science tell us whether or not we have free will? Two scientists say yes, but reach opposite conclusions. Review by Andrew Crumey

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‘An Ordinary Youth’ Review: Sleepwalking Into War

Walter Kempowksi’s autobiographical novel puts the focus on a German family’s complacent journey into World War II. Review by Toby Lichtig

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‘Nick Drake’ Review: Troubadour of Desolation

An ethereal young man, haunting music, a troubled mind—and posthumous fame. Review by Tim Page

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Fiction: ‘The Annual Banquet of the Gravedigger’s Guild’ by Mathias Enard

Plus ‘The Book of Ayn’ by Lexi Freiman and ‘Other Minds and Other Stories’ by Bennett Sims. Review by Sam Sacks

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‘Wavewalker’ Review: Childhood on the High Seas

Her parents thought it would be a neat idea to sail along the path of Capt. Cook’s final voyage of discovery. Things did not go well. Review by Meghan Cox Gurdon

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Mystery: ‘Resurrection Walk’ by Michael Connelly

Plus: ‘Past Lying’ by Val McDermid and ‘The Watchmaker’s Hand’ by Jeffery Deaver. Review by Tom Nolan

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‘Eve’ Review: A Female Body of Science

Biologists long treated male anatomy as the standard via which to understand human development, overlooking the female body entirely. Review by David Barash

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Science Fiction & Fantasy: ‘System Collapse’ by Martha Wells

The Murderbot returns, still crankily helping those pesky humans. Review by Liz Braswell

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Five Best: Books on Rebels

Selected by Mary Gabriel, the author, most recently, of ‘Madonna: A Rebel Life.’

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‘The Sound of the Future’ Review: Someone Is Listening

In science-fiction movies, characters have conversations with computers. Has the future of talking robots arrived. Review by Steven Poole

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‘Tokens’ Review: Cash, Card or Ape?

Cryptocurrencies, NFTs and similar digital innovations are rooted in an idea with a long history. Review by Steven Poole

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