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Two new books of local interest place you at a crossroads. In one direction, Nevada poet Shaun T. Griffin beckons with his reflective Because the Light Will Not Forgive Me: Essays From a Poet (University of Nevada Press). In it, he goes deep on poetry, place, and the Great Basin: “Poets who live in this place cannot live outside of its influence,” he writes. In the other, Bob Hope biographer Richard Zoglin tempts you with Elvis in Vegas: How the King Reinvented the Las Vegas Show (Simon & Schuster), in which he parries the ancient wisdom that Vegas fattened, defanged, and destroyed the King. Zoglin’s revisionist take: Vegas offered Presley one last reinvention, which then changed the Strip’s entertainment mojo. Sounds like a good journey either way.

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