I’ve always though Superman to be one of the least interesting superheros. His powers aren’t very creative, and his inner conflict isn’t as readily sympathetic as other heroes,in part because he’s a handsome, mostly invincible alien instead of a geek brimming with newfound, dangerous powers. But he’s more or less the archetypal superhero, and the story of his creation, gathered in this new history by Larry Tye, is a long and winding one. I won’t recap, but check out Cavna’s review and see if this catches your fancy.
This book sets out to give a cross-section of the American mindset through journalism. Romano covers the gamut from religious fundamentalism to “cyberphilosophers” and “among many other things, literary critics, political theorists, mathematicians, broadcasters, science writers and purveyors of unhelpfully vapid self-help.” Could be very interesting, or at the very least a good book to stick in your bathroom so your guests will admire your broad range of intellectual interests.
I’m a little leery about books that try to explore the power of storytelling (Atonement is my least favorite McEwan; The Oracle of Stamboul tried too hard), but this one does sound promising. There are genies and magic books, and apparently the book plumbs some depth: “she wants us to recognize the extent to which the world, both internal and external, remains beyond us, not just out of sight but literally unable to be seen.” However, Ulin warns, it flirts with being “melodramatic and contrived.” Could go either way. Give the review a read and see what you think.