Braille Book Review

September-October 2000
Books for Adults--Nonfiction


Helen Keller: A Life BR 12198
by Dorothy Herrmann
4 volumes
A chronological account of Keller's long, eventful life, written from a woman's perspective. Herrmann explores Keller's world, perceived without sight or sound; her ability to remain cheerful about her disabilities; and her relationship with teacher Anne Sullivan. 1998.

The Things I Want Most: The Extraordinary Story of a Boy's Journey to a Family of His Own BR 12238
by Richard F. Miniter
2 volumes
With the youngest of their six children in high school, the author reluctantly agrees to his wife's request that they become foster parents. They are offered an eleven-year-old boy with a daunting file. His note asking for "a family, a fishing pole, a family" sways them to accept. Some strong language. 1998.

Caribbean Light: All the Flavors of the Islands, without All the Fat BR 12246
by Donna Shields
2 volumes
Caribbean cooking is a melting pot of cuisines from Europe, Africa, India, and China. In order to make the dishes lighter and more nutritional, Shields offers alternative preparations using native ingredients in nontraditional ways. Each recipe includes nutritional information. 1998.

Meditations from a Movable Chair: Essays BR 12248
by Andre Dubus
1 volume
Twenty-five essays, many describing the author's feelings about being physically dependent on other people or mechanical devices since a car accident in 1986 put him in a wheelchair. In "Liv Ullmann in Spring," Dubus recounts his difficulties in attending an authors' dinner but says meeting Ullmann was worth all the effort. Some strong language. 1998.

The Complete Poems of Michelangelo BR 12250
by Michelangelo Buonarroti
2 volumes
Three hundred poems--sonnets and madrigals--about love express mostly its torments and the personal feelings of the Renaissance Italian artist. Arranged chronologically as far as possible. Preface and notes by the poet and translator John Frederick Nims. 1998.

Pass the Polenta and Other Writings from the Kitchen BR 12251
by Teresa Lust
2 volumes
Anecdotes from a chef about family and food. Contains favorite recipes along with memories of the author's multicultural clan and the professionals with whom she has worked. Discusses origins of various dishes and the preparation and consumption of fabulous meals, ranging from simple to sublime. 1998.

The Healer Within: The Four Essential Self-Care Methods for Creating Optimal Health BR 12253
by Roger Jahnke
3 volumes
A doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine explains how to achieve long-term wellness in a few minutes a day using four tools--gentle movement, self-applied massage, breathing exercises, and relaxation or meditation. 1997.

As Parents Age: A Psychological and Practical Guide BR 12255
by Joseph A. Ilardo
3 volumes
Psychotherapist summarizes physical and emotional changes that occur over time and discusses reactions of adult children to their aging parents. Explains how to determine care requirements, adjustments that might allow a person to remain at home in later life, and steps to take if institutionalization is necessary. 1998.

What to Eat If You Have Cancer: A Guide to Adding Nutritional Therapy to Your Treatment Plan BR 12257
by Maureen Keane and Daniella Chace
3 volumes
Nutritional advice and therapy to aid in denying cancer the food elements it needs to grow. Discusses various cancer treatments and how to strengthen the body against disease. Includes different diet plans and resources. 1996.

The Telegraph: A History of Morse's Invention and Its Predecessors in the United States BR 12258
by Lewis Coe
2 volumes
Traces the development of communication systems that led to Samuel F.B. Morse's invention of the telegraph. Discusses its impact on American history and society. Explains how the signals were transmitted, on what equipment, by what method, and how the system worked. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1993.

Annals of the Former World BR 12297
by John McPhee
7 volumes
The author combines four of his previous works, Basin and Range (RC 17090), In Suspect Terrain (RC 19430), Rising from the Plains (RC 25157), and Assembling California (RC 36170), with a fifth, Crossing the Craton, to create an epic of the Earth's formation. Pulitzer Prize. 1998.

Needles BR 12335
by Andie Dominick
2 volumes
The author tells of being fascinated with her diabetic older sister's needles--until age nine when she, too, is diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Her sister helps her deal with taunting classmates, but eventually Dominick realizes the real dangers she and her sister face. Some strong language. 1998.

Live Now, Age Later: Proven Ways to Slow Down the Clock BR 12343
by Isadore Rosenfeld
3 volumes
A physician offers advice on how to delay the onset of disability and chronic disease by practicing good health habits including proper diet, exercise, stress reduction, vitamins, and medicine. Covers symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for common conditions such as cancer, heart attacks, depression, Alzheimer's, impotence, menopause, and loss of vision and hearing. Bestseller 1999.

Golden Arches East: McDonald's in East Asia BR 12367
edited by James L. Watson
3 volumes
Explores cultural issues associated with globalization by examining the role of McDonald's restaurants in five distinct societies--Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, and Japan. Shows how the chain adapts to suit local circumstances and how Asians use McDonald's for their own benefit--for birthday parties, for dating couples, or as a woman's sanctuary. 1997.

The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution BR 12383
by Bernard Bailyn
4 volumes
Bailyn examines pamphlets, essays, sermons, treatises, and poems published in the colonies prior to 1776 and concludes that the American Revolution was not undertaken to enforce changes in economic or social organization but was primarily an ideological, constitutional, and political struggle. A postscript discusses the contentious debate to ratify the Constitution. Pulitzer Prize for History. 1967.

Afterwards, You're a Genius: Faith, Medicine, and the Metaphysics of Healing BR 12398
by Chip Brown
4 volumes
A prize-winning journalist's investigation into the alternative medicine movement. After a series of consultations with a psychic and various hands-on practitioners, Brown presents historical evidence about healing the spirit to cure physical ailments. Offers good-humored insights into the mind-body connection. 1998.

When the Worst That Can Happen Already Has: Conquering Life's Most Difficult Times BR 12402
by Dennis Wholey
3 volumes
Fifty inspirational memoirs of individuals who survived personal loss. Articles describe mental, emotional, and physical crises, as well as the coping mechanisms and inner resources that were used to overcome suffering. Includes interviews with well-known personalities like Betty Ford and Jim Brady. 1992.

The William Saroyan Reader BR 12409
by William Saroyan
5 volumes
A representative selection of Saroyan's writings from the 1930s and 1940s. Contains thirty short stories, two complete plays, a memoir, essays, a long poem, the complete text of Tracy's Tiger, and portions of four other novels. Introduction by the author and a preface by his son, Aram. 1958.

Bitter Winds: A Memoir of My Years in China's Gulag BR 12414
by Harry Wu and Carolyn Wakeman
3 volumes
Personal account by a survivor of nineteen years in Chinese labor reform camps. Wu recalls his childhood in Shanghai, his arrest in 1960, and the physical and mental hardships of his imprisonment. Describes the plight and reactions of fellow prisoners. 1994.

An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding BR 12424
by David Hume
2 volumes
Originally written in 1748, Hume's discourse explores how we come to understand and have knowledge of our world. He questions whether sensory perceptions are shaped by outside influences and whether characteristics of the mind play a significant role in how concepts such as probability, necessity, and miracles are understood. 1988.

Front Porch Tales BR 12430
by Philip Gulley
1 volume
A Quaker pastor in Indiana reminisces about growing up in simpler times, recalling his neighbors, family, and home life. Also includes stories about his congregation in the 1990s; illustrates moral principles with passages from Scripture. 1997.

Graceful Simplicity: Toward a Philosophy and Politics of Simple Living BR 12431
by Jerome M. Segal
3 volumes
Philosopher and political activist advocates a return to the simple life but stresses that government policy often intrudes. Contends that our consumer society needs to change because meeting basic human needs often requires a high level of income. Explores elements of a philosophy of simple living. 1999.

Women and Cancer: A Thorough and Compassionate Resource for Patients and Their Families BR 12437
by Carolyn D. Runowicz and others
2 volumes
A general overview published by the American Cancer Society to guide patients through issues. Provides information on the female organs where cancer most frequently develops: the breast, cervix, uterus, and ovaries. Discusses appropriate treatments such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy, and their possible side effects. 1999.

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence BR 12459
by Ray Kurzweil
5 volumes
Considering exponential advances in computer technology since 1900, inventor Kurzweil theorizes that the twenty-first century will be defined by incomparable achievements in mechanical intelligence and that emotions associated with humans, such as love and loneliness, will manifest themselves in machines. He projects that automated devices and humans will become indistinguishable. 1999.

A Nearly Normal Life: A Memoir BR 12462
by Charles L. Mee
2 volumes
Noted author and playwright who contracted polio at fourteen describes his struggle to overcome the debilitating effects of the disease. Recalls the tendency to deny the challenges he faced, the 1950s social emphasis on maintaining a positive outlook, and the widespread reluctance to accept the limits of modern science and technology. 1999.

On a Voiceless Shore: Byron in Greece BR 12466
by Stephen Minta
3 volumes
Retraces Byron's journeys in Greece, providing insight on how the country and its people influenced the poet. Explores his love for the Mediterranean area and his reasons for remaining in Mesolongi, where he died in April 1824. 1998.

No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System BR 12467
by David Cole
3 volumes
Examines double standards and the role of race and class in the U.S. criminal justice setting, including police behavior, jury selection, and sentencing. Chronicles the social costs of infringements on the rights of minorities and the poor, and discusses the disconnection between constitutional theory and legal practice. 1999.

Managed Care: Made in America BR 12468
by Arnold Birenbaum
3 volumes
Discusses the origins and development of health maintenance organizations in the United States. Assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the system and areas to be reformed. Analyzes the social consequences of this type of medical care delivery and state and federal governments' reactions to patients' and doctors' concerns. 1997.

When the Beginning Began: Stories about God, the Creatures, and Us BR 12503
by Julius Lester
1 volume
New versions of traditional Jewish creation stories. Lester's translations from the Hebrew verses in Genesis preface his stories about the world's formation, Adam and the first woman, and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1999.

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