Arts & Culture


Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined
Scott Barry Kaufman ’09PhD

Basic Books, $29.99

Once he was tagged as learning-disabled, the author found that, in grade school, “no matter where I went, or what I did, I couldn’t escape that label.” But Kaufman did escape, becoming a cognitive psychologist with a Yale PhD. In this part-memoir, part-manifesto, he argues for a broadly defined educational system that can help enhance “intelligent behavior”: the strategies required to reach a personal goal.


Born and Raised: New Music for Solo Guitar
Ian O’Sullivan ’11MM

Ho’omana na Mele, $9.99

Performing 12 compositions by several Hawaii composers (himself included) on his debut album, concert guitarist O’Sullivan shows impressive range, artistry, and home-state pride. Overall, Born and Raised is a soothing, sultry acoustic guitar experience, but O’Sullivan adjusts his technique and mood-setting talent to the needs of each track—and displays considerable virtuosity.


A Thousand Pardons: A Novel
Jonathan Dee ’84

Random House, $26

During a couples therapy session, high-powered attorney Ben Armstead confesses, “I am bored to near panic by my home and my work and my wife and my daughter.… Something’s got to give.” And it does. Sensationally. Ben’s behavior torpedoes his marriage, and it forces his wife, Helen—the novel’s complex protagonist—to discover a special talent for celebrity crisis management.


A is for Artisanal: An Alphabet Book for the Hip, Modern Baby
Matthew Goldenberg ’99, ’03MD; illustrated by Benjamin Schwartz

Paradisiac Publishing, $12.99

“A is for apple” has graduated into the twenty-first century. Goldenberg’s modern-day alphabet book is fun, funny, and (of course) ironic, from “Ava adores artisanal asiago” to “Zoey zooms, zigs, and zags in her Zipcar.”


The Snail Darter and the Dam: How Pork-Barrel Politics Endangered a Little Fish and Killed a River
Zygmunt J. B. Plater ’68JD

Yale University Press, $32.50

Depending on your politics, the snail darter signifies either environmentalism run amok or the Endangered Species Act’s finest hour. In a masterful recounting, Plater—the attorney who was on the front lines of the case—argues that the lengthy fight to prevent construction of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Tellico Dam wasn’t the fish-versus-progress story most people think it was.


Home Stretch
Timo Andres ’07, ’09MusM

Nonesuch Records, $11–$14 depending on format

Three years in the making, Home Stretch includes one atmospheric composition by Andres and two that are “re-compositions” of music by Mozart and Brian Eno. As conceptualized, arranged, and partially composed by Andres, this fluid, mesmerizing album is a treat for traditionalists and post-modernists alike. Andres deconstructs orchestral music—stretching, questioning, but never quite distorting.

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