Tag Archives: Top New Books

New Books: “Mathematics For Human Flourishing” By Francis Su (Jan 2020)

“Human flourishing refers to a wholeness — of being and doing, of realizing one’s potential and helping others do the same, of acting with honor and treating others with dignity, of living with integrity even in challenging circumstances. It is not the same as happiness, and it is not just a state of mind. The well-lived life is a life of human flourishing.”

An inclusive vision of mathematics—its beauty, its humanity, and its power to build virtues that help us all flourish

Francis Su Mathematics For Human Flourishing book January 2020For mathematician Francis Su, a society without mathematical affection is like a city without concerts, parks, or museums. To miss out on mathematics is to live without experiencing some of humanity’s most beautiful ideas.

In this profound book, written for a wide audience but especially for those disenchanted by their past experiences, an award‑winning mathematician and educator weaves parables, puzzles, and personal reflections to show how mathematics meets basic human desires—such as for play, beauty, freedom, justice, and love—and cultivates virtues essential for human flourishing. These desires and virtues, and the stories told here, reveal how mathematics is intimately tied to being human. Some lessons emerge from those who have struggled, including philosopher Simone Weil, whose own mathematical contributions were overshadowed by her brother’s, and Christopher Jackson, who discovered mathematics as an inmate in a federal prison. Christopher’s letters to the author appear throughout the book and show how this intellectual pursuit can—and must—be open to all.

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New Books: “You’re Not Listening – What You’re Missing and Why It Matters” By Kate Murphy

You're Not Listening What You're Missing and Why It Matters Kate Murphy Celadon Books January 2020“When you listen and really grasp what another person is saying, your brainwaves and those of the speaker are literally in sync. By looking at brain scans, neuroscientists have found that the greater overlap and similarity of neural impulses between speaker and listener, the greater the understanding. It’s observable, measurable proof of listening, comprehension, and connection. You know it’s happening when you have that “Oh I get it” moment or sense of clarity when someone else is talking. You’re on the same wavelength, even if you don’t necessarily agree.”

In her new book You’re Not Listening, Kate Murphy draws attention to the worldwide epidemic of not listening, exposing the profound impact that it is having on us all and showing what we can do about it.

In this always illuminating and often humorous deep dive, Murphy explains why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. She makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there (including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman). Equal parts cultural observation, scientific exploration, and rousing call to action that’s full of practical advice, You’re Not Listening is to listening what Susan Cain’s Quiet was to introversion. It’s time to stop talking and start listening.

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New Architecture Books: “Gaudí – The Complete Works” By Rainer Zerbst

Gaudí. The Complete Works Rainer Zerbst Hardcover Book Taschen January 29 2020Through brand-new photography, plans and drawings by Gaudí himself, historical photos, as well as an appendix detailing all his works—from buildings to furniture, decor to unfinished projects—this book presents Gaudí’s universe like never before. Like a personal tour through Barcelona, we discover how the “Dante of architecture” was a builder in the truest sense of the word, crafting extraordinary constructions out of minute and mesmerizing details, and transforming fantastical visions into realities on the city streets.

The life of Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) was full of complexity and contradictions. As a young man he joined the Catalonian nationalist movement and was critical of the church; toward the end of his life he devoted himself completely to the construction of one single spectacular church, La Sagrada Familia. In his youth, he courted a glamorous social life and the demeanor of a dandy. By the time of his death in a tram accident on the streets of Barcelona his clothes were so shabby passersby assumed he was a beggar.

Gaudi Book Taschen

Taschen Publishing LogoGaudí’s incomparable architecture channels much of this multifaceted intricacy. From the shimmering textures and skeletal forms of Casa Batlló to the Hispano-Arabic matrix of Casa Vicens, his work merged the influences of Orientalism, natural forms, new materials, and religious faith into a unique Modernista aesthetic. Today, his unique aesthetic enjoys global popularity and acclaim. His magnum opus, the Sagrada Familia, is the most-visited monument in Spain, and seven of his works are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The author

Rainer Zerbst studied modern languages at the University of Tübingen and in Wales from 1969 to 1975. From 1976 to 1982 he worked as a research assistant in the Department of English at the University of Tübingen. Since completing his doctorate in 1982, Zerbst has been active as a critic in the fields of art, literature, and theater.

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New Literary Books: “Aging, Duration, And The English Novel” (CUP)

From a Cambridge University Press (CUP) listing:

Aging, Duration, and the English Novel Growing Old from Dickens to Woolf Cambridge University Press New Release January 2020Aging, Duration, and the English Novel argues that the formal disappearance of aging from the novel parallels the ideological pressure to identify as being young by repressing the process of growing old. The construction of aging as a shameful event that should be hidden – to improve one’s chances on the job market or secure a successful marriage – corresponds to the rise of the long novel, which draws upon the temporality of the body to map progress and decline onto the plots of nineteenth-century British modernity.

The rapid onset of dementia after an illness, the development of gray hair after a traumatic loss, the sudden appearance of a wrinkle in the brow of a spurned lover. The realist novel uses these conventions to accelerate the process of aging into a descriptive moment, writing the passage of years on the body all at once.

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Aging, Duration, and the English Novel Growing Old from Dickens to Woolf Cambridge University Press New Release January 2020

Top New Art Books: “Wayne Thiebaud – Mountains 1965 – 2019” (Rizolli)

Wayne Thiebaud Mountains 1965 - 2019 Rizolli Book January 2020In the 2000s, California-based painter Wayne Thiebaud began focusing on a series of mountain paintings, a subject he had first addressed in the 1960s and 1970s. Rendered in his signature confectionary palette, these colorful works combine memories of mountains he had seen in childhood and observations of the summits of the Sierra Nevada Range in Yosemite. With their heroic, exaggerated proportions and unusual perspectives, these paintings seem to combine fiction and reality. Conveying a sense of the sublime and the vast magnitude of our surroundings, they draw upon the history of landscape painting of the American West.

About The Author

Michael M. Thomas is a former curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and former investment partner of Lehman Brothers. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Margaretta Lovell is professor of American Art at UC Berkeley.

Publisher website

New Fiction Books In 2020: “The New Life Of Hugo Gardner” By Louis Begley

With an ominous oncologist’s report hanging over his head, Hugo decides to get away for a bit, to a conference in Paris. There, a new romance blooms and HugThe New Life of Hugo Gardner by Louis Begley March 2020 releaseo finds himself wondering if growing old in Paris might be the perfect antidote to the drama he left behind in New York. Unflinching, witty, and urbane as ever, Louis Begley delivers a spot-on satire of the world of New York’s aging elite, and uncovers the unexpected delights a late-in-life change can offer.

After four decades of what he believes to be a happy, healthy partnership, Hugo Gardner’s world is overturned when he learns that his wife, Valerie, is not only requesting a divorce but has left him for a younger, more vital man. Hugo, an octogenarian political writer and retired journalist for Time, must rethink the way he’s lived, and reassess how he’d like to spend his remaining years.

Reconsidering past relationships in his mind, with years of distance, Hugo begins to see things in a new light: Valerie, whose youth and ambition eventually came between them; his children, whose support might be more financially than emotionally motivated; and his friends, who, like him are rapidly aging before his very eyes.

Publisher

New Brain Health Books: “Successful Aging” By Daniel J. Levitin (Jan 7, 2020)

Successful Aging Daniel J. Levitin A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives January 2020 Cover‘Successful Aging’ uses research from developmental neuroscience and the psychology of individual differences to show that sixty-plus years is a unique developmental stage that, like infancy or adolescence, has its own demands and distinct advantages. Levitin looks at the science behind what we all can learn from those who age joyously, as well as how to adapt our culture to take full advantage of older people’s wisdom and experience. Throughout his exploration of what aging really means, Levitin reveals resilience strategies and practical, cognitive enhancing tricks everyone should do as they age.

Author of the iconic bestsellers This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind, Daniel Levitin turns his keen insights to what happens in our brains as we age, why we should think about health span, not life span, and, based on a rigorous analysis of neuroscientific evidence, what you can do to make the most of your seventies, eighties, and nineties today no matter how old you are now.

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