BY SEAN CLARK

[In this feature, we highlight a handful of the best book reviews appearing over the weekend in major newspapers.]

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Superman, by Larry Tye. Reviewed by Michael Cavna (Washington Post).

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.

Follow it on Goodreads.

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America the Philosophical, by Carlin Romano. Reviewed by Anthony Gottlieb (New York Times).

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.

Follow it on Goodreads.

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Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson. Reviewed by David L. Ulin (Los Angeles Times).

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.

Follow it on Goodreads.

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Quickly: Changing up book covers to trick teens into reading classics. It’s no shock at all that the first state to nix public libraries is in the South? I like these “Awful Reviews.”

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