New Leaf Nominations for July 2019 • Naturally Gifted: Prodigies
#11  Victoria 06-02-2019, 01:16 PM
I nominate The Man Who Knew Infinityby Robert Kanigel.

A moving and enlightening look at the unbelievable true story of how gifted prodigy Ramanujan stunned the scholars of Cambridge University and revolutionized mathematics.

In 1913, a young unschooled Indian clerk wrote a letter to G H Hardy, begging the preeminent English mathematician's opinion on several ideas he had about numbers. Realizing the letter was the work of a genius, Hardy arranged for Srinivasa Ramanujan to come to England.

Thus began one of the most improbable and productive collaborations ever chronicled. With a passion for rich and evocative detail, Robert Kanigel takes us from the temples and slums of Madras to the courts and chapels of Cambridge University........In time, Ramanujan's creative intensity took its toll: he died at the age of thirty-two, but left behind a magical and inspired legacy that is still being plumbed for its secrets today.

I find Ramanujan‘s gifts quite fascinating, so have this on my tbr list. Apparently he was a devout man, and the juxtaposition of his culture with Hardys could be interesting to discuss.

Kobo: Au: $13; UK: £4; US: $13; CA: $10
Kindle: US:$9; CA: $10; AU: $13; UK £8 There’s also an Audible book.

#12  issybird 06-02-2019, 02:10 PM
I'll second The Man Who Knew Infinity.

#13  Catlady 06-02-2019, 04:31 PM
I am nominating Gifted by Nikita Lalwani (2008; 342 pp).

Rumi Vasi is 10 years, 2 months, 13 days, 2 hours, 42 minutes, and 6 seconds old. She’s figured that the likelihood of her walking home from school with the boy she likes, John Kemble, is 0.2142, a probability severely reduced by the lacy dress and thick woolen tights her father, and Indian émigré, forces her to wear. Rumi is a gifted child, and her father, Mahesh, believes that strict discipline is the key to nurturing her genius if the family has any hope of making its mark on its adoptive country.

Four years later, a teenage Rumi is at the center of an intense campaign by her parents to make her the youngest student ever to attend Oxford University, an effort that requires an unrelenting routine of study. Yet Rumi is growing up like any other normal teen: her mind often drifts to potent distractions . . . from music to love.

Rumi’s parents want nothing other than to give Rumi an exceptional life. As her father outlines ever more regimented study schedules, her mother longs for India and forcefully reminds Rumi of her roots. In the end, the intense expectations of a family with everything to prove will be a combustible ingredient as an intelligent but naive girl is thrust into the adult world before she has time to grow up.

In her stunningly eloquent debut novel, Nikita Lalwani pits a parent’s dream against a child’s. Deftly pondering the complexities and consequences that accompany the best intentions, Gifted explores just how far one person will push another, and how much can be endured, in the name of love.
Amazon US, $4.99

Kobo US, $4.99
Kobo Canada, CDN $13.99
Kobo Australia, AU $12.99
Kobo NZ, NZ $18.27
Kobo UK, £4.99

Audiobook available. Can be borrowed through Overdrive.

#14  Bookworm_Girl 06-02-2019, 06:17 PM
I'll third The Man Who Knew Infinity.

#15  Bookpossum 06-02-2019, 07:15 PM
Quote Bookworm_Girl
I'll third The Man Who Knew Infinity.
You just beat me to it! This book sounds fascinating.

#16  CRussel 06-03-2019, 01:00 AM
Quote Bookpossum
You just beat me to it! This book sounds fascinating.
It does sound interesting, but the wait at one of my libraries is about 8 weeks, and it isn't available at all at the other. OTOH, it's not hugely expensive, though I'm really trying to avoid buying any books right now. However, their estimates aren't always accurate, so I might well get it in time.

#17  Dazrin 06-03-2019, 01:06 AM
I will second The Speed of Dark, I have really enjoyed most of the books by Elizabeth Moon that I have read (and the one I didn't was still ok) so more than willing to try this one.

#18  gmw 06-03-2019, 03:24 AM
Quote Dazrin
I will second The Speed of Dark, I have really enjoyed most of the books by Elizabeth Moon that I have read (and the one I didn't was still ok) so more than willing to try this one.
I will third The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon.

This is an author I've been wanting to try, and a book club selection would be a good excuse to push her up the list. (Actually, I purchased the Deed of Paksenarrion omnibus on special a while ago, but still haven't gotten to it.)

#19  CRussel 06-04-2019, 12:34 AM
I absolutely loved The Speed of Dark, and I'm overdue for a re-read of it. I rather hope it wins to give me an excuse. However, that being said, it's only fair to point out that this is not a typical Elizabeth Moon book. (The Paks books are much more typical.) I've read pretty much all of her oeuvre, and enjoyed most of them. But SofD is very much a standalone.

One thing that surprises me is that no one has nominated a book by Temple Grandin yet. I was rather expecting one. I've still got a ticket left, but I'd rather save it to support someone else's nomination.

#20  drofgnal 06-04-2019, 05:32 AM
I'm not going to nominate it, but I'll throw it out for someone else to consider. I'm already reading it. A Bend in the Stars. It's a debut novel from Rachel Barenbaum that was just released on 5/14. So unfortunately it's full priced 14.99 from Amazon. But I'm really enjoying it. he+stars&qid=1559640395&s=gateway&sprefix=a+bend%2 Caps%2C143&sr=8-2

Spoiler Warning below


In Russia, in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms and the Czar's army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. Since their parents drowned fleeing to America, Miri and Vanya have been raised by their babushka, a famous matchmaker who has taught them to protect themselves at all costs: to fight, to kill if necessary, and always to have an escape plan. But now, with fierce, headstrong Miri on the verge of becoming one of Russia's only female surgeons, and Vanya hoping to solve the final puzzles of Einstein's elusive theory of relativity, can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much?

Before they have time to make their choice, war is declared and Vanya goes missing, along with Miri's fiancé. Miri braves the firing squad to go looking for them both. As the eclipse that will change history darkens skies across Russia, not only the safety of Miri's own family but the future of science itself hangs in the balance.

Grounded in real history -- and inspired by the solar eclipse of 1914 -- A Bend in the Stars offers a heartstopping account of modern science's greatest race amidst the chaos of World War I, and a love story as epic as the railways crossing Russia.

Surely fits the category of prodigy as one of the primary characters is in a race to beat Einstein in proving General Relativity. His sister is also one of the few Russian Female Surgeons.

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