The Gift Of Failure: How The Best Parents Learn To Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey. (Harper) Overinvolved, hypercompetitive parenting has stunted the competence and resilience of an entire generation of children, Lahey argues. As an educator and a mother, she is well situated to assess the damage: In her view, an intense fear of failure hampers the development of many young people.
I Must Be Living Twice: New And Selected Poems, 1975-2014 by Eileen Myles. (Ecco/HarperCollins) Myles’ poems in this collection thrum with energy, whether focused on attraction, appetites – for food or otherwise – or bygone selves. In her writing, “the birth of the cool often manifests itself with a kind of willful amateurism,” reviewer Jeff Gordinier wrote.
The Invention Of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf. (Vintage) As a pre-eminent scientist who influenced Darwin and many others, Humboldt, a German naturalist, geographer and explorer, proposed that Earth is a single organism. Modern thought is suffused with his ideas, but the man himself has largely receded from view. Wulf revisits his stunning discoveries in her account, one of the New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2015.
Coup De Foudre: A Novella And Stories by Ken Kalfus. (Bloomsbury) This collection’s namesake novella centers on the fictional president of an international financial organization accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid. The masterly story, which closely resembles the real-life case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, “enters the mind of a megalomaniac who conflates his own ruin with that of the European economy,” Andrew Sean Greer wrote in The Times.
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Farthest Field: An Indian Story Of The Second World War by Raghu Karnad. (Norton) India’s contributions to World War II – more than 2 million men and women served – have been all but scrubbed from prevailing accounts, even on the subcontinent. After unearthing his family’s history, Karnad delves into the country’s role in the conflict and the peculiarities of fighting in service of the British Empire even as India struggled for independence from it.
Under The Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta. (Mariner) Amid the chaos of the Biafran war, Ijeoma, a child in Nigeria, is sent away to work as a servant in another village. She soon falls in love – with another girl. After they are discovered, Ijeoma returns home and learns to reconcile her desires with a society intent on suppressing them.
The Two-State Delusion: Israel And Palestine – A Tale Of Two Narratives by Padraig O’Malley. (Penguin) O’Malley, who also researched seemingly intractable disputes in Ireland and South Africa, levels evenhanded criticism at both Palestinians and Israelis, and grimly assesses the feasibility – political and economic – of the two-state proposal, favored by leaders across the globe.
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