18 books we read this week

‘The Greatest Invention’ Review: Where Does the Writing Come From?

Finding the ancient origins of the written language not in the dictates of kings and priests, but in the needs of ordinary people. Review by Felipe Fernández-Armesto

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Three Books to Map the Confusing New Crypto Landscape

After Bitcoin came Ethereum, and debates over the future of cryptocurrency were not far behind. Review by Daniel Rasmussen

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‘Waterloo Sunrise’ review: The high streets and low lives of Swinging London

After years of post-war austerity, late 1960s London embraced youth and change, with lasting consequences. Review by James Campbell

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Review “The brain in search of itself”: discovery of the neuron and the architecture of thought

How Spanish scientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal unraveled one of the deepest mysteries of the self. Review by Matthew Hutson

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‘The Social Life of Animals’ Review: To Raise Cubs, Join the Club

From schools of herring to the prides of lions, creatures large and small often find they look best together. Review by Christoph Irmscher

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Mysteries: Review of “Girl in Ice”

A work of psychological suspense unfolds on the inhospitable coast of Greenland. Review by Tom Nolan

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“I would like to apologize, but there is no one to apologize to”: an outcry in Poland

A collection of micromonologues captures the voices of Polish Jews with bitterness, laughter and raucous energy. Review by Boyd Tonkin

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Fiction: Pankaj Mishra’s review of “Running and Hiding”

Without forgetting “Vagabonds!” of Eloghosa Osunde. and “Mecca” by Susan Straight. Review by Sam Sacks

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Angela Thirkell review: comic by a novelist, conservative view

PG Wodehouse was a fan of the mischievous writer who kindly satirized her own background. Commentary by Alexandra Mullen

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Children’s books: the balm of wartime stories

In ‘Nour’s Secret Library’, books are a haven for a community under attack. Review by Meghan Cox Gurdon

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Five Best: Books on Walking

Selected by David Guterson, the author of “Snow Falling on Cedars” and, more recently, “The Final Case”.

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Colin L. Johnson