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New Leaf Vote for July 2019 • Naturally Gifted: Prodigies
#1  issybird 06-07-2019, 06:57 AM
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Let's select the book we'll read and discuss in July 2019!

We love new participants. We're happy for you to vote, but we'd like to request that you not vote unless you plan to join the discussion whatever the selection, in the interest of a vibrant conversation. So if you haven't posted in a book club thread yet, do please say a quick hello here or in the Welcome thread.

This is a image » poll. Vote for as many books as you'd like. Questions? FAQs | Guidelines Or just ask!

Choices:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
Kobo: $US12.99, $C13.99, $A12.99, £3.99
Spoiler Warning below






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Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructed universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.
226 pp.

The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel
Kobo: Au$13; UK£4; US$13; CA$10 | Kindle: US$13; CA$10; AU$13; UK£8 | Audible
Spoiler Warning below






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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.
438 pp.

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
AmazonUS $12.99 | AmazonUK £3.99 | AmazonCA $12.99 |
AmazonAU $12.99 | Audible WhisperSync $7.49 | AudibleUK WhisperSync £3.99
Spoiler Warning below






Quote Goodreads
In the near future, disease will be a condition of the past. Most genetic defects will be removed at birth; the remaining during infancy. Lou Arrendale, a high-functioning autistic adult, is a member of the lost generation, born at the wrong time to reap the rewards of medical science. He lives a low-key, independent life. But then he is offered a chance to try a brand-new experimental “cure” for his condition. With this treatment Lou would think and act and be just like everyone else. But if he was suddenly free of autism, would he still be himself? Would he still love the same classical music—with its complications and resolutions? Would he still see the same colors and patterns in the world—shades and hues that others cannot see? Most important, would he still love Marjory, a woman who may never be able to reciprocate his feelings? Now Lou must decide if he should submit to a surgery that might completely change the way he views the world . . . and the very essence of who he is.

Thoughtful, provocative, poignant, unforgettable, The Speed of Dark is a gripping journey into the mind of an autistic person as he struggles with profound questions of humanity and matters of the heart.
386 pp.

The Natural by Bernard Malamud
Kobo: US$9.99 | CA$10.99 | AU$14.99 | UK£4.99 | Overdrive: ebook & audiobook
Spoiler Warning below






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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."
249 pp.

Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
Amazon US $10.99 | Overdrive
Spoiler Warning below






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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.
288 pp.

Song of Time by Ian R. MacLeod
Amazon US $4.61 | Amazon UK £3.99 | Amazon CA $5.99 | Amazon AU $5.99 | Kobo US $4.99 | Kobo UK £3.99 | Kobo CA $5.99 | Kobo AU $5.99 | Kobo NZ $8.32
Spoiler Warning below






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Roushana Maitland has known great fame and great sorrow throughout her long life. As a world-renowned musician, she was the queen of the Paris bohemians even as nuclear war raged elsewhere around the globe. She lost a beloved brother in a terrorist-created biological nightmare. She sometimes relished, sometimes endured her marriage to a brilliant and unpredictable conductor. Now, she lives out her days on the rugged Cornish coast, remembering past glories and heartbreaks. She struggles with the decision to let her life slip away, or choose a virtual existence for eternity, as so many of her friends and acquaintances have already done.

Then, one day, she discovers a naked young man who has washed up on the beach. She brings him home, dresses him in her husband’s clothes, and calls him “Adam.” As this strange arrival convalesces, Roushana shares her stories and her secrets, recounting the personal landmarks in a remarkable life lived in a world gone mad, even as his own past remains a mystery.
300 pp.
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#2  astrangerhere 06-07-2019, 08:00 AM
ETA - I am REALLY lacking in my actual reading comprehension skills lately. I looked at the nomination thread and then brain dumped it on to the poll. I need a nap, a large bottle of whiskey and vacation.

Interestingly enough, with Mark Haddon's new novel coming out this month, he has started talking about Curious Incident a bit more. He said in The Guardian that it was like a "gold plated ball and chain."
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#3  Bookpossum 06-07-2019, 08:27 AM
Quote astrangerhere
I understand why Ender is here, but I am still disappointed. It is much harder to separate an author from his politics when you are one of the people that is a target of his hate. (Mods -if it is too political, go ahead and white it out)

Interestingly enough, with Mark Haddon's new novel coming out this month, he has started talking about Curious Incident a bit more. He said in The Guardian that it was like a "gold plated ball and chain."
The Card was nominated, but isn’t in the poll.

I suppose a huge success with a first book could be a problem, but it’s probably one most authors would love to have!
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#4  astrangerhere 06-07-2019, 08:54 AM
Quote Bookpossum
The Card was nominated, but isn’t in the poll.

I suppose a huge success with a first book could be a problem, but it’s probably one most authors would love to have!
Yeah, caught that after my rush to press post. Have edited and am now going to slink back into the shadows.
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#5  Dazrin 06-07-2019, 01:34 PM
I am not going to vote this month since I will be out of town for 2 weeks and lots of other things going on. My reading time is almost exclusively my commute time so not having a commute drastically impacts reading times and it's not fair to vote when I may not be able to participate.
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#6  CRussel 06-07-2019, 08:16 PM
Well, this month I could easily have voted for all of the fully nominated books. None of them were ones I didn't want to read or to which I had objections. But I forced myself to cut down to only voting for four of the six.
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#7  Bookpossum 06-08-2019, 09:42 PM
Sorry to be a bit late, as I’m away from home and only on the net every now and then.
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#8  Victoria 06-09-2019, 03:01 PM
Quote CRussel
Well, this month I could easily have voted for all of the fully nominated books. None of them were ones I didn't want to read or to which I had objections. But I forced myself to cut down to only voting for four of the six.
Me too! I could enjoy all of them. Yet surprisingly, they don’t have much in common with each other.
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#9  gmw 06-10-2019, 04:18 AM
There are a couple of (front runners) that I have little interest in, and so it is very tempting to swing the vote away from them ... but there is a good chance I won't have time to read the selection, whatever it is, let alone actually discuss it. So I will keep out of it this month.
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#10  issybird 06-10-2019, 07:17 AM
And, we have a three-way tie! The runoff poll is up.
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