Braille Book Review

January-February 2000
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.

This page includes Web-Braille links to full-text braille versions of books. Eligible patrons may sign up for Web-Braille through the library that handles their braille magazine subscriptions.

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."

Run to the Mountain: The Story of a Vocation; the Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 1, 1939-1941 BR 11527
by Thomas Merton
5 volumes
This volume of Merton's diaries recalls events as America stands on the brink of war and the author, on the threshold of a religious vocation. Entries describe the intellectual and quotidian life of the young writer and college instructor, and his spiritual journey from the secular world to monastic seclusion. 1995.

The Only Math Book You'll Ever Need BR 11659
by Stanley Kogelman and Barbara R. Heller
3 volumes
A practical guide for "adults who want to deal effectively with the math in their lives." Explains mathematics for financial planning and income tax purposes, making consumer decisions, household budgeting, home projects, cooking, recreation, and more. 1994.

Ideas in Chemistry: A History of the Science BR 11715
by David Knight
3 volumes
Knight argues that even though the field of chemistry "is certainly not dead, nor is it asleep," he sees it "as having a glorious future behind it." Through a series of essays, he tracks the intellectual and institutional history in which chemistry is seen as an occult science, a mechanical science, a deductive science, and, finally, a "service science." 1992.

The Internet for Dummies BR 11774
by John R. Levine and others
4 volumes
Describes what the Internet is and how to use it. Advises on choosing a service, children's use, and shopping online. Explains aspects such as e-mail, web pages, and netiquette; defines terminology; and answers frequently asked questions. 1998.

101 Things You Don't Know about Science and No One Else Does Either BR 11846
by James Trefil
3 volumes
The author, an educator and National Public Radio commentator, presents short essays on scientific topics. He considers questions being researched in the 1990s such as: Is the climate getting warmer? Can humans live forever? What causes cancer? He then summarizes the progress that has been made. For senior high and older readers. 1996.

The Learning Highway: Smart Students and the Net BR 11848
by Trevor Owen and Ron Owston
3 volumes
Emphasizes how high school and undergraduate students can use the Internet for learning. Covers how to express search needs online, the multiple functions of web-based browsers, research strategies on the web, and practical examples of Internet projects. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 1998.

Sybil BR 11940
by Flora Rheta Schreiber
4 volumes
In an account of the first psychoanalysis of a person with multiple personality disorder, the author relates the eleven-year treatment of Sybil Dorsett (a pseudonym), who unknowingly assumes sixteen different personalities. During her treatment, assisted with drugs and hypnosis, Sybil's illness is traced to a battered childhood tied to a schizophrenic mother and a derelict father. Violence. 1973.

Report from Part One BR 11948
by Gwendolyn Brooks
2 volumes
Autobiographical writings and interviews with the poet laureate born in 1917. Contains a brief account of her childhood, marriage, family, and career. Describes her increasing awareness of her racial heritage and her role as an African American poet. Includes an appendix of personal entries entitled "Collage." 1972.

Learning to Love: Exploring Solitude and Freedom; the Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 6, 1966-1967 BR 11975
by Thomas Merton
4 volumes
During 1966 and 1967, Merton moves from a period of monastic routine into an intense love affair with a student nurse, then back to the quiet life of contemplation. He discusses his emergence from the experience with a deeper understanding of love and a renewed commitment to his religious vocation. 1997.

The Other Side of the Mountain: The End of the Journey; the Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 7, 1967-1968 BR 11978
by Thomas Merton
4 volumes
Chronicles the last two years of Merton's life, during the political and social upheaval of the Vietnam War era. He travels widely, visiting American seminaries and venturing to India, Ceylon, and Thailand--where a tragic accident ends his life in 1968. 1998.

Risking BR 11983
by David Viscott
2 volumes
A psychiatrist underscores the need to take risks in order to grow and change in all areas of life. He demonstrates why people should make choices and decisions based on their own goals rather than the desires of others. 1977.

Just People and Other Poems for Young Readers and Paper/Pen/Poem: A Young Writer's Way to Begin BR 11992
by Kathi Appelt
1 volume
Collection of twenty-two poems describing personal reactions to objects and events such as birds, pebbles, a first kiss, and the death of a loved one. The second section provides background information on each poem with an invitation to the reader to write about suggested topics. For junior and senior high readers. 1997.

Black Zodiac BR 11995
by Charles Wright
1 volume
An anthology of twenty poems examining man's place in the universe. In the title piece, Wright interweaves memories with descriptions of the physical world searching for meaning. 1998 Winner of the National Book Critics Circle and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. 1997.

Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life BR 11998
by bell hooks
2 volumes
In this sequel to Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood (BR 10958), noted African American feminist bell hooks recalls her early life, struggling to write and to earn a doctorate. She recalls her long and intense relationship with a fellow author and her decision finally to leave him. Strong language and descriptions of sex. 1997.

The Other America: Poverty in the United States BR 11999
by Michael Harrington
2 volumes
Originally written in 1962, the book depicts the poverty that existed in the United States at that time. The author surveys social classes and focuses on unskilled workers, the aged, and racial minorities from coast to coast. In an afterword to the 1981 edition, he analyzes subsequent events. Introduction written in 1993 by Irving Howe. 1981.

The Ride down Mt. Morgan BR 12063
by Arthur Miller
1 volume
A two-act play wherein a middle-aged man confronts the decisions he has made and their effect on others. Hospitalized after a car accident, Lyman Felt admits being a bigamist and realizes the hurt and humiliation he has caused both of the women and his children. Some strong language. 1991.

Women in Praise of the Sacred: Forty-Three Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women BR 12066
edited by Jane Hirshfield
2 volumes
Anthology of poetry, song, and prayer--a record of intimacy with the sacred--by women of various cultures and traditions. Arranged in chronological order by writer; biographical sketches precede the selections. 1994.

Slow Motion: A True Story BR 12069
by Dani Shapiro
2 volumes
The author describes dropping out of college to become the mistress of her roommate's wealthy stepfather and turning her life around a few years later after her parents are in a serious accident. Shapiro stops drinking, leaves her lover, and returns to school at Sarah Lawrence to become a writer. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1998.

The Communist Manifesto BR 12070
by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
1 volume
Political and economic theory of social organization, first published as the platform of the Communist League. Anticapitalist work based on collective government ownership and democratic management of production and distribution of goods. 1848.

The Three Sisters BR 12074
by Anton Chekhov
1 volume
Olga is an old-maid schoolteacher, Masha is unhappily married, and Irina works in a telegraph office. The sisters are overcome with boredom following the death of their father, commander of a Russian brigade. When their brother marries a country girl who tries to control everyone, the three find a new purpose in life. 1901.

Maya Angelou: Journey of the Heart BR 12078
by Jayne Pettit
1 volume
Presents the life of Maya Angelou from her childhood through her years as a poet, author, civil rights activist, entertainer, and professor. Describes how her creativity and hard work have promoted the success of African Americans through poetry, writing, and teaching. For junior and senior high readers. 1996.

Wooroloo BR 12103
by Frieda Hughes
1 volume
The daughter of poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath expresses herself in forty-six poems. Describes Australian landscapes, animals dead and alive, feelings about incidents in her personal life, and women's issues. 1998.

Slackjaw BR 12115
by Jim Knipfel
2 volumes
At age twelve, Knipfel's uncle told him he "better start learning braille," but it was years before he knew he had retinitis pigmentosa. Then a brain lesion began causing erratic behavior. With humor and honesty, Knipfel recalls his reluctance to accept his condition and how he has coped. Strong language. 1999.

The Presence of Absence: On Prayers and an Epiphany BR 12126
by Doris Grumbach
1 volume
Describes the author's long and ongoing spiritual journey "to recover a sense of the presence of God." Reflects on religious problems and on readings of Dag Hammarskj÷ld, Kathleen Norris, and Thomas Kelley, among others. Discusses the qualities of prayer. 1998.

The Way Winter Comes: Alaska Stories BR 12162
by Sherry Simpson
1 volume
A journalist examines Alaskan wildlife and wilderness in eight essays. In the title piece, she visits an archaeological site in Barrow in mid-September on the cold, first day of winter. Through descriptions and reflections, she seeks to understand Alaska as a geographic and metaphysical location. 1998.

Legends BR 12180
retold by Tana Reiff
1 volume
Nine famous legends from around the world retold in simple language. Begins with a West African tale about Anansi, the spider. Includes stories from Mexico, England, Canada, Persia, Switzerland, and Ireland. Grade 1 braille. 1991.

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