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New Leaf Nominations for July 2019 • Naturally Gifted: Prodigies
#21  issybird 06-04-2019, 11:01 AM
I'm going to nominate The Natural by Bernard Malamud.

Not to get too spoilery, this is the story of someone seemingly destined to be great who ends up having only one shot at his legacy.

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The Natural, Bernard Malamud's first novel, published in 1952, is also the first—and some would say still the best—novel ever written about baseball. In it Malamud, usually appreciated for his unerring portrayals of postwar Jewish life, took on very different material—the story of a superbly gifted "natural" at play in the fields of the old daylight baseball era—and invested it with the hardscrabble poetry, at once grand and altogether believable, that runs through all his best work. Four decades later, Alfred Kazin's comment still holds true: "Malamud has done something which—now that he has done it!—looks as if we have been waiting for it all our lives. He has really raised the whole passion and craziness and fanaticism of baseball as a popular spectacle to its ordained place in mythology."
Kobo: US$9.99 | CA$10.99 | AU$14.99 | UK£4.99 | Overdrive: ebook & audiobook

249 pp.
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#22  Catlady 06-04-2019, 12:27 PM
I'll second The Natural.
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#23  Catlady 06-04-2019, 01:58 PM
I nominate Bee Season by Myla Goldberg (2000, 288 pp.)

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Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: her autodidact father, Saul, absorbed in his study of Jewish mysticism; her brother, Aaron, the vessel of his father's spiritual ambitions; and her brilliant but distant lawyer-mom, Miriam. But when Eliza sweeps her school and district spelling bees in quick succession, Saul takes it as a sign that she is destined for greatness. In this altered reality, Saul inducts her into his hallowed study and lavishes upon her the attention previously reserved for Aaron, who in his displacement embarks upon a lone quest for spiritual fulfillment. When Miriam's secret life triggers a familial explosion, it is Eliza who must order the chaos.

Myla Goldberg's keen eye for detail brings Eliza's journey to three-dimensional life. As she rises from classroom obscurity to the blinding lights and outsized expectations of the National Bee, Eliza's small pains and large joys are finely wrought and deeply felt.

Not merely a coming-of-age story, Goldberg's first novel delicately examines the unraveling fabric of one family. The outcome of this tale is as startling and unconventional as her prose, which wields its metaphors sharply and rings with maturity. The work of a lyrical and gifted storyteller, Bee Season marks the arrival of an extraordinarily talented new writer.
I accidentally deleted all the links I looked up, but it's available in all relevant countries and Overdrive.

Amazon US, $10.99
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#24  Dazrin 06-04-2019, 02:31 PM
I nominate Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
324 pages
Amazon US ($5), CA ($9), UK (£6)

Most of the blurbs I found are somewhat spoilerish so this isn't as detailed as I would like but it avoids several of the issues I had with others. Not that this book really needs a blurb. There is a lot to discuss in the book even without tearing into the author.
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Once again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who?

Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child.

Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards in 1985/86.
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#25  Victoria 06-04-2019, 02:36 PM
Quote CRussel
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.
funny you should say that! I almost nominated her “Thinking in Pictures” - which I read years ago and enjoyed.

I third The Natural. Very seasonal. I haven’t seen the movie yet, and always prefer to read the book first.
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#26  CRussel 06-04-2019, 02:58 PM
Quote Dazrin
I nominate Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
There is a lot to discuss in the book even without tearing into the author.
Oh, but that's _so_ where we'd go with it. Or at least I likely would. But I'll save my last ticket for something I haven't already read.
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#27  issybird 06-04-2019, 03:13 PM
Quote Catlady
I accidentally deleted all the links I looked up, but it's available in all relevant countries and Overdrive.
The point of the links is to check availability and make sure the price isn't astronomical (although there can be offsetting factors). After that, we're all on our own anyway. I'm happy to put 'em up, but I don't think we need to make a fetish of it, especially as for someone posting from a phone, say, it can get pretty fiddly.

Quote Dazrin
Most of the blurbs I found are somewhat spoilerish so this isn't as detailed as I would like but it avoids several of the issues I had with others.
That was my issue with The Natural, too. It shouldn't be that hard to give the flavor of a story without giving away major plot points.

Quote Victoria
I haven’t seen the movie yet, and always prefer to read the book first.
You must read the book first, always. It's an unalterable rule of the universe.
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#28  Catlady 06-04-2019, 03:26 PM
Quote issybird
The point of the links is to check availability and make sure the price isn't astronomical (although there can be offsetting factors). After that, we're all on our own anyway. I'm happy to put 'em up, but I don't think we need to make a fetish of it, especially as for someone posting from a phone, say, it can get pretty fiddly.
Usually these days when I check availability, I use Kobo and copy and paste the link/price for each country into a notepad file as I go. This time, I somehow overwrote the notepad file. I've given up on trying to check Amazon links for non-U.S. countries as Amazon makes it too time-consuming. Anyhow, I didn't feel like redoing it.

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You must read the book first, always. It's an unalterable rule of the universe.
Yes, and I did, but ... Robert Redford! Great movie. And, heresy of heresies, I may have liked the movie better, perhaps because ... Robert Redford!
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#29  issybird 06-04-2019, 03:50 PM
Quote Catlady
Yes, and I did, but ... Robert Redford! Great movie. And, heresy of heresies, I may have liked the movie better, perhaps because ... Robert Redford!
Some movies are better (Princess Bride) and you know that because you read the book first.

Redford was so staggeringly gorgeous that I think he was underrated as an actor.
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#30  Bookworm_Girl 06-04-2019, 04:36 PM
I will second Bee Season.
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