Braille Book Review

March-April 1999
Books for Adults--Nonfiction

Books listed in this issue of Braille Book Review were recently sent to cooperating libraries. The complete collection contains books by many authors on fiction and nonfiction subjects, including biographies, classics, gothics, mysteries, romances, and others. Contact your cooperating library to learn more about the wide range of books available in the collection.

To order books, contact your cooperating library.

Note: For the information of the reader, a notice may appear immediately following the book description to indicate occurrences of strong language, explicit descriptions of sex, or violence. The word "some" before any of these terms indicates an occasional or infrequent occurrence, as in "some strong language."

Charles Ives: A Life with Music BR 11059
by Jan Swafford
7 volumes
Portrait of an innovative composer and insurance executive whose work affected the course of twentieth-century classical music. Recounts his youth and the early influences that shaped his life and music. Traces his career as a radical composer up to the gradual acceptance of his music in the concert hall after World War II. 1996.

American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence BR 11245
by Pauline Maier
4 volumes
Encapsulates the story of the birth and legacy of the document that liberated America. The author discusses how reinterpretations of this historic manifesto have over time spurred new social ideals and principles in the United States. 1997.

Unfinished Journey: Twenty Years Later BR 11253
by Yehudi Menuhin
5 volumes
Originally published in 1976, this revised edition adds four new chapters, extending the author's memoir to age eighty. A world-renowned violinist, Menuhin offers his views on a wide range of topics, revealing his lifelong interest in musical and humanitarian pursuits. 1996.

Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot BR 11436
by Antonia Fraser
4 volumes
An account of a plot in 1605 to blow up England's Houses of Parliament in reaction to the government's oppression of Catholics. Recounts the hatching of the conspiracy, its discovery and failure, and the aftermath. Discusses the event in the context of modern-day terrorism. Violence. 1996.

Building Basic Skills in Mathematics BR 11457

3 volumes
A work text in basic mathematics to help adult learners master computation skills involving whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percentages. Provides a pretest, individual lessons, and skills tests, followed by a posttest. 1988.

Anna and the King of Siam BR 11480
by Margaret Landon
4 volumes
Anna Leonowens, a Welsh widow hired in 1862 to be governess to the children and concubines of the king of Siam, found the contrasts between the exotic Orient and Victorian Great Britain striking. Landon recounts Leonowen's five years of adventures and confrontations. This book inspired the Broadway musical The King and I. 1943.

Worry: Controlling It and Using It Wisely BR 11485
by Edward M. Hallowell
3 volumes
Dr. Hallowell, an expert on attention deficit disorder, turns to a study on worry, in both its destructive and productive forms. Hallowell analyzes the uses and benefits of worry and discusses when to seek help if someone worries too much. Offers recommendations on how to maintain a healthy balance. 1997.

Conquering Statistics: Numbers without the Crunch BR 11492
by Jefferson Hane Weaver
2 volumes
The author humorously describes the history and theory of statistics in practical terms. Explains how statistics applies to everyday life, from playing the lottery to understanding polling. Enables readers to make informed judgments on the statistical analyses reported in the news. 1997.

The Essential Rumi BR 11506
translated by Coleman Barks
3 volumes
Contemporary translation of spiritual poetry by the Sufi mystic Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273). These poems were created during Rumi's work with a dervish learning community that was "exploring the mystery of union with the divine." Some descriptions of sex. 1995.

Fair Is Fair: World Folktales of Justice BR 11514
by Sharon Creeden
2 volumes
International tales that relate to themes of law and justice. Traditional stories are used to illustrate a variety of modern legal issues and court cases. For example, the Danish fable "The Lawyer's Advice" elucidates the concept of the insanity defense. For high school and older readers. 1994.

Planet of the Blind BR 11518
by Stephen Kuusisto
2 volumes
Although legally blind since birth, Kuusisto passed as sighted for more than thirty years. He describes his refracted visual perceptions and how pretending to see actually interfered with his participation in the sighted world. Then, by using a white cane and, eventually, a guide dog, he experienced new acceptance and mobility. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. 1998.

Committed to Memory: Hundred Best Poems to Memorize BR 11522
edited by John Hollander
1 volume
Hollander and an eleven-member advisory committee selected favorite poems for memorization or, at least, careful reading. The poems--generally short, rhythmic, and with intense imagery--are categorized as sonnets, songs, counsels, tales, and meditations. They include works by poets ranging from Shakespeare to Yeats to Frost. 1996.

The Glass Menagerie BR 11524
by Tennessee Williams
1 volume
Drama written in 1945 about a southern family with pretensions to gentility. Centers around the crippled daughter, Laura, who lives in a dream world so full of illusions that she becomes like the pieces in her own glass collection--too fragile to move from the shelf. 1972.

James Herriot's Animal Stories BR 11528
by James Herriot
1 volume
Ten of the Yorkshire veterinarian's best-loved stories with an introduction by his son, Jim Wight, who took over the practice after his father's death in 1995. 1997.

The Disheveled Dictionary: A Curious Caper through Our Sumptuous Lexicon BR 11545
by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
1 volume
An alphabetical list of the author's favorite words, which she includes for their rhythm and rich sound. Some entries are well-known words, while others are obscure. 1997.

The Secret Family: Twenty-Four Hours inside the Mysterious World of Our Minds and Bodies BR 11546
by David Bodanis
2 volumes
A microscopic examination of the world of a family of five, including biological processes within the human body and ingredients in everyday products. An analysis of baby food reveals pigs' feet extract and chalk dust. A teenager's kiss is described as a series of chemical reactions in the nervous system. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1997.

Are You Somebody: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman BR 11561
by Nuala O'Faolain
2 volumes
An unmarried, childless Irish woman reviews her life and examines its meaning. She recalls her deprived childhood, her years at boarding school and university, and her career in broadcast and print journalism. Approaching sixty, she takes stock of her accomplishments and her solitary life. 1996.

Hear: Solutions, Skills, and Sources for People with Hearing Loss BR 11580
by Anne Pope
2 volumes
After explaining how the ear works and what can cause hearing loss, Pope discusses coping strategies for individuals, their families, and their friends. She also offers information on hearing aids, the cochlear implant, and other devices to improve hearing. Includes interviews with several hearing-impaired persons. For senior high and older readers. 1997.

Get That Job! BR 11591
by Jurg Oppliger
1 volume
This guide for people seeking employment includes tips on determining job skills, writing resumes, finding position openings, and having a successful interview. Grade 1 braille. 1997.

Desire BR 11592
by Frank Bidart
1 volume
A collection of poems in two parts: thirteen short poems, many revealing the poet's grief and loss after the death of his lover; and one long poem, "The Second Hour of the Night," based on Ovid's story of Myrrha. 1997.

Halfway Heaven: Diary of a Harvard Murder BR 11593
by Melanie Thernstrom
2 volumes
In 1995 Ethiopian Harvard student Sinedu Tadesse stabbed to death her Vietnamese immigrant roommate, Trang Phuong Ho, and then hung herself. Excerpts from Tadesse's journals reveal a woman so troubled by loneliness that Ho's decision to move out caused Tadesse to kill. Some strong language and some violence. 1997.

Academic Duty BR 11607
by Donald Kennedy
4 volumes
Examines a range of challenges facing the modern university in the United States. Addresses such issues as teaching versus research, waning budgets, ethical concerns, and cultural conflicts. Calls for a renewed commitment to academic responsibility within the campus community. 1997.

Late-Talking Children BR 11613
by Thomas Sowell
2 volumes
The author, an economist and columnist, discusses the response he received to his article about his son's lateness in learning to talk. He describes other traits shared by many such children, who often go on to become intelligent and successful adults, even in cases of early misdiagnosis. 1997.

Generation React: Activism for Beginners BR 11616
by Danny Seo
2 volumes
Based on his personal experience starting Earth 2000--an animal rights and environmental science activist group--Seo presents a step-by-step manual for concerned young people to change the world. Includes tips on raising funds, changing school policy, and conducting a consumer boycott. Shares organizational skills and public relations information. For junior and senior high readers. 1997.

The Scared Child: Helping Kids Overcome Traumatic Events BR 11618
by Barbara Brooks and Paula M. Siegel
2 volumes
Describes types of trauma--injury, illness, physical or sexual abuse, parental divorce, and the death of a friend or relative--as well as natural disasters and "trauma by proxy." Assesses the likely effects on children. Explains how to recognize symptoms, debrief the child, and help in the processes of coping and recovery. 1996.

I Have Lived in the Monster BR 11621
by Robert K. Ressler and Tom Shachtman
2 volumes
A former FBI agent and advisor on serial killings profiles and analyzes a number of notorious cases in the United States, Japan, and England. Discusses investigative techniques and includes personal interviews with mass murderers John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer. 1997.

Cactus Tracks and Cowboy Philosophy BR 11627
by Baxter Black
2 volumes
Poetry and stories by a veterinarian-turned-commentator and columnist. All the material is extracted from the files of National Public Radio, where Black has an occasional morning program. A humorous perspective on ranch life out west, where cowboys, horses, rodeos, and farmers dominate the landscape. For senior high and older readers. 1997.

Control Your Money BR 11647
by Laubach Literacy International
1 volume
A simple guide to gaining control over finances. Learn how to manage money, recover from past mistakes, and plan for the future. Grade 1 braille. 1997.

West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems BR 11650
by Mary Oliver
1 volume
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award presents forty pieces. In "Seven White Butterflies," "Pilot Snake," "Sand Dabs, Three," and "Black Snake This Time," among others, Oliver celebrates particular features of nature. In other selections, she ponders love and death while encouraging appreciation of the natural world. 1997.

Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories about Guns BR 11651
edited by Harry Mazer
2 volumes
Short stories about guns and young people. Some are violent and some humorous; all acknowledge the power and presence of arms in American society. Includes selections by young adult authors Walter Dean Myers, Richard Peck, Ron Koertge, and Rita Williams-Garcia; relevant statistics; and a list of concerned organizations. Violence. For senior high and older readers. 1997.

The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom BR 11652
by Gerald Schroeder
3 volumes
Argues that modern scientific discoveries corroborate, rather than conflict with, biblical revelation. Observes, for example, that the Bible's account of the creation of the universe is consistent with Einstein's theory of relativity and with "big bang" cosmology. 1997.

I Love Gootie: My Grandmother's Story BR 11660
by Max Apple
2 volumes
A grandson's recollections of his grandmother, who grew up in a Lithuanian village and preferred Yiddish to English. Gootie is the wife of Rocky, Apple's grandfather portrayed in Roommates (BR 9790). 1998.

Medicines from Nature BR 11665
by Peggy Thomas
1 volume
Describes the field of ethnobotany and its adventurous practitioners who search the world's oceans, rain forests, and other areas of opportunity for natural medicines. Discusses momentous discoveries such as penicillin as well as folk remedies from ancient cultures. For junior and senior high readers. 1997.


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