Braille Book Review

November-December 2000
Books for Adults--Nonfiction

Books for Adults The following books were recently produced for the NLS program. To order books, contact your braille-lending library. Note: For the infomation 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 occurence, as in "some strong language."


Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and Writer; the Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 2, 1941-1952 BR 11530
by Thomas Merton
6 volumes
In these diaries the author tells of entering the novitiate and adjusting to the ascetic Trappist regimen. His comments reveal his early impressions of the monastery, the conflict he felt between writing and contemplation, and his embrace of prayer and solitude as a way of life. 1996.

Turning toward the World: The Pivotal Years; the Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 4, 1960-1963 BR 11538
by Thomas Merton
4 volumes
In these diaries the monk and author recounts his years at a forest hermitage. He reflects on his growing concern with peace and civil rights issues and the proper role of the church in addressing them. The material reveals the development of the social activist that Merton would remain until his death in 1968. 1996.

Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered BR 11576
by James Kirby Martin
7 volumes
A biography of the premier turncoat of the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold. Explores Arnold's life from childhood to his successes as a military leader in the Revolution and beyond. Explains why and how Arnold decided to return his allegiance to the crown. Examines the myths surrounding Arnold's reputation. 1997.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 2 BR 12230
by Julia Child and Simone Beck
7 volumes
In this companion to Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1 (BR 12229), the authors offer "Americans, working with American ingredients," the opportunity to create additional French cuisine. Here they concentrate on the expansion of basic dishes in seven areas, including soups, breads, meats, chicken, and desserts. 1983.

This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age BR 12316
by William E. Burrows
10 volumes
A history of flight based on three decades of research and 175 taped interviews. The first part traces human fascination with flying from the Greek era to the space race between the Russians and the Americans. The second focuses on events since 1964 and the future of space programs. 1998.

A Slant of Sun: One Child's Courage BR 12350
by Beth Kephart
2 volumes
The author writes of her small son, whose differences from his peers eventually led to physical and psychological testing and the puzzling diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder. She describes the difficulties she encountered and her eventual success in helping him abandon behavior that often resembled autism. 1998.

Explicit and Authentic Acts: Amending the U.S. Constitution, 1776-1995 BR 12363
by David E. Kyvig
8 volumes
Traces the origin, nature, and function of the American constitutional amendment system and explores its role in the development of the U.S. Constitution of the 1990s. Focuses on both successful and unsuccessful efforts to implement revisions between 1776 and 1995. Winner of the 1997 Bancroft Prize in American history. 1996.

Early Modern Europe: An Oxford History BR 12418
edited by Euan Cameron
5 volumes
Collection of essays on a period of time from the end of the Middle Ages (around 1500) to the beginning of the nineteenth century. These chronologically arranged articles by American and British historians discuss cultural, religious, and political trends. 1999.

Dog's Best Friend: Annals of the Dog-Human Relationship BR 12429
by Mark Derr
4 volumes
Traces the history of the bond between dogs and humans from nomads' relationship with wolves to the contemporary family's domesticated pets. Discusses a wide variety of dogs and their contributions throughout the ages. Contains many anecdotes and recommends ways to improve situations for dogs. 1997.

One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism BR 12434
by William Greider
7 volumes
Contends that twentieth-century capitalism is driven by the imperatives of global industrial revolution. Examines negative consequences of the trend toward multinational corporations. Recommends remedies for economic problems of the future emphasizing the need for cooperation among countries. 1997.

Acupuncture: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know BR 12440
by Gary F. Fleischman
2 volumes
Board-certified acupuncturist and medical doctor discusses the use of his specialty and other traditional Chinese healing practices. In a question-and-answer format he explains such topics as balancing yin and yang, the energy known as qi, and the role of diet in overall well-being. 1998.

Inventing Wyatt Earp: His Life and Many Legends BR 12457
by Allen Barra
5 volumes
The author contends that much popular material on Wyatt Earp is dubious. Drawing on his own research and that of several historians, Barra portrays Earp's life and adventures. He discusses the fight at the O.K. Corral and shows how this complex man became a symbol of the Old West. 1998.

Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead End Kids BR 12464
by Donna Gaines
3 volumes
Sociologist probes the causes of teenage alienation with an investigation into the 1987 suicide pact of four teenagers in Bergenfield, New Jersey. Posits that the culture of a typical high school, with its social stratification and worship of athletes, works to the detriment of the majority of students and contributes to violence. Strong language. 1991.

Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life among the Pirates BR 12465
by David Cordingly
3 volumes
Dispels the romantic fantasy about swashbuckling pirates and exposes them as brutal, violent criminals. Highlights their daily lives, the major ports where they thrived, the pets commonly kept, and the eventual demise of their class by government sanction. Includes notorious women and infamous buccaneers. 1995.

When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi BR 12471
by David Maraniss
7 volumes
The life and times of football giant Vince Lombardi are chronicled, including his humble beginnings in Brooklyn and his many years in school athletics, before he became head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1959. Recalls his philosophy of winning and the influences on his life. Bestseller 1999.

Not Dying BR 12473
by William Saroyan
2 volumes (Reissue)
Autobiographical reflections of the American author and playwright when he is entering his fifties and sensing a time of transition. Written in the summer of 1959 in Paris while his teenage son and daughter are visiting and he has three works in progress. Originally published in 1963. 1996.

The Road to Kosovo: A Balkan Diary BR 12474
by Greg Campbell
3 volumes
A reporter describes his solo sojourn into Kosovo in 1998 just when the Kosovo Liberation Army was becoming known in the West. Campbell had been to Bosnia in 1996 and wanted to ascertain the success or failure of the Dayton Accords. 1999.

Cries Unheard: Why Children Kill; the Story of Mary Bell BR 12501
by Gitta Sereny
3 volumes
A journalist's interviews with Mary Bell, who was convicted of killing two little boys in England in 1968, when she was eleven. Now a free woman with a child of her own, Mary talks about her troubled childhood. Some explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. 1998.

Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries about the Event That Changed History BR 12509
by William Ryan and Walter Pitman
3 volumes
Two geophysicists present the results of years of international research that sought historical data from the mid-sixth millennium B.C. to confirm biblical and mythical accounts of a great flood. They explore linguistic, archaeological, and other evidence of an inundation around the Black Sea and hypothesize that a diaspora followed. 1998.

Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative BR 12520
by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
1 volume
The author takes a humorous approach to explaining English usage in an imaginative narrative that employs Balkan-sounding sites and hilariously named characters. This unique word play underscores differences between puzzlers like amend and emend, disparate and desperate, prescribe and proscribe. 1998.

Taking Responsibility: Self-Reliance and the Accountable Life BR 12521
by Nathaniel Branden
2 volumes
Therapist discusses the virtue of self-reliance, the value of individualism, and the practice of responsibility. Includes a thirty-week sentence-completion exercise. 1996.

Making Miracles Happen BR 12522
by Gregory White Smith and Steven Naifeh
3 volumes
At thirty-four, Gregory White Smith, coauthor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Jackson Pollock (RC 33540), was told he had an inoperable brain tumor and had three months to live. Ten years later he uses his story and those of others who overcame severe medical problems to illustrate the importance of finding the correct treatment. 1997.

The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes BR 12523
by Stephen Holmes and Cass R. Sunstein
2 volumes
Examines the relationship between individual liberty, social cooperation, and government action in the U.S. Asserts that the political branches that extract taxes and reallocate public resources affect the value, scope, and predictability of Americans' interests. Observes the inevitability of government and its important role in protecting and enforcing fundamental rights. 1999.

'Tis: A Memoir BR 12529
by Frank McCourt
3 volumes
This sequel to Angela's Ashes (BR12543) continues McCourt's reminiscences from October 1949, when he arrives in New York City at age nineteen, until his father's funeral in 1985. Describes his adjustments to America--gaining an education, finding a career, marrying, and raising a family--interwoven with childhood memories. Some strong language. Bestseller 1999.

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir BR 12543
by Frank McCourt
4 volumes
Frank McCourt recollects his "miserable Irish Catholic childhood" in the squalor of Limerick. Without any support from his glib but shiftless alcoholic father, the family suffered hunger, cruelty, disease, and the death of children. McCourt recounts his story without rancor. Strong language. Pulitzer Prize. Bestseller 1996.

Tall Tales BR 12545
retold by Tana Reiff
1 volume
Seven tall tales from America, Ireland, Burma, and Syria. Includes the legendary Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill. The Irish tale "Oona and the Giants" tells how the wife of one giant outwits another giant. Grade 1 braille. 1993.

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