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WorldView Good Reads: Off the Press for November 2019

Published: November 25, 2019

November is a time of celebrating the bounty of the year. In much of the world, it is also a time of reflection. Here are good reads from around the globe that have caught our attention.

The Circle of Thanks. Fourteen poems with themes of thanksgiving and appreciation of nature, based in part on traditional Native American songs and prayers.

Stone Soup. Three strangers, hungry and tired, pass through a war-torn village. Embittered and suspicious from the war, the people hide their food and close their windows tight. That is, until the clever strangers suggest making a soup from stones. Intrigued by the idea, everyone brings what they have until, together, they have made a feast fit for a king! In this inspiring story about the strength people possess when they work together, Jon J Muth takes a simple, beloved tale and adds his own fresh twist.

The Invention of Thanksgiving. Americans have been celebrating Thanksgiving for nearly four centuries, commemorating a legendary meal in November, 1621. It is a day of immense resonance. We know the story well, or think we do. How did it really start? Harvard professor Philip Deloria gives an account in The New Yorker. David Silverman, Dean of Graduate Studies at Columbia, deepens the narrative in a new look at the Plymouth colony's founding events, told for the first time with Wampanoag people at the heart of the story.

What Can We Learn from the Germans About Confronting Our History? Susan Nieman, who directs the Einstein Forum, a public think tank outside of Berlin, has recently published a book, “Learning from the Germans,” that makes the case for an American version of Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung, loosely translated as “working off the past,” which refers to the decades-long process through which Germany has come to terms with Nazism and the Holocaust.

Greta Thunberg: How one teenager became the voice of the planetWhen adults wouldn't listen, Greta Thunberg started to strike. Now millions of school children around the world follow her.

Stop Trying to Raise Successful Kids. Start Raising Kind Ones. Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant discuss how the real test of parenting is not what your children achieve, but who they become and how they treat others. If you teach them to be kind, you’re not only setting your kids up for success. You’re setting up the kids around them, too.

Do Babies Cry in Different Languages? A pioneering German researcher decodes newborns’ cries. Here’s what they reveal.

Do We Think Differently in Different Languages? There are over 7,000 languages in the world. Does that mean there are over 7,000 ways of seeing it? How much of an impact does the language you speak have on how you actually think?

How Can Art Help Us Look More Carefully at Language and Our World?  In the 1980s, the Chilean artist Eugenio Dittborn created what he calls “airmail paintings”: folded-up paper artworks he popped in the mail to art galleries abroad. Some of these paintings are now on view until January 26 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago as part of Direct Message: Art, Languageand Power. With more than 70 artworks, the exhibition looks at how artists add, remove or play with language in relation to the government and the media. Another current exhibit at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, entitled  When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration Through Contemporary Art looks at how displacement, migration and immigration has inspired the works of artists. The title of the exhibit is from the poem Home, by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire.

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