Braille Book Review

January-February 2001
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." Nonfiction

A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk's True Life; the Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 3, 1952-1960 BR 11534
by Thomas Merton
4 volumes
In these diaries the author reflects on the monastic life, his spiritual and intellectual interests, and his personal struggles to balance solitude with social action outside the monastery. Offers observations on nature, religion, and philosophy. 1996.

Dancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage; the Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 5, 1963-1965 BR 11540
by Thomas Merton
4 volumes
In these diaries the monk and author chronicles the years during which he struggled to reconcile his life of contemplation with his interest in the reform movements of the church and society. As Merton pondered the "absurdity" of worldly concerns, he continued to enjoy "dancing in the water of life." 1997.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1 BR 12229
by Julia Child and others
8 volumes
Classic cookbook, originally written in 1961, offering advice and recipes for beginners and experienced cooks. Presents step-by- step instructions for each recipe, with special attention to basic recipes that are the backbone of French cuisine. Discusses equipment and the buying and handling of ingredients. Companion to Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2 (BR 12230). 1983.

North of Now: A Celebration of Country and the Soon to Be Gone BR 12242
by W.D. Wetherell
2 volumes
The author laments the passing of the quiet country lifestyle. Wetherell lives in rural New Hampshire and reminisces about pleasures in the simple things in life--trout fishing, stargazing, reading, and walking. Describes "baby boomers" as links between the world as it has been for centuries and the new millennium. 1998.

Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man BR 12394
by Susan Faludi
8 volumes
Prize-winning journalist reassesses the masculine role in U.S. society. Focuses on men born after World War II who feel angry at the discrepancy between perceived promises and the reality of their existence. Begins at a domestic violence meeting and progresses to numerous interviews with individuals in a wide range of occupations. Bestseller 1999.

Living Well, Staying Well: The Ultimate Guide to Help Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer BR 12416
by American Heart Association and American Cancer Society
4 volumes
The two organizations detail the lifestyle strategies they believe will protect against both cancer and heart disease. Topics include giving up smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and undergoing medical tests regularly. 1996.

But What If I Don't Want to Go to College? A Guide to Success through Alternative Education BR 12422
by Harlow G. Unger
4 volumes
Describes the lucrative career opportunities and demands for various trades and skills that do not require a four-year degree. Discusses advantages and disadvantages, requirements, and future prospects for ten types of alternative education. Includes resumé and interview advice as well as resource lists. For senior high and older readers. 1998.

Turning Off the Heat: Why America Must Double Energy Efficiency to Save Money and Reduce Global Warming BR 12428
by Thomas R. Casten
3 volumes
Explains why using fossil fuels to produce electricity is wasteful to consumers and harmful to the environment. Casten proposes a free market for electricity to encourage new energy technology that will improve efficiency, reducing costs and cutting emissions. 1998.

Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens BR 12439
by James N. Davidson
4 volumes
Investigates the pleasures of the flesh--food, drink, and sex--as indulged in by classical Greeks. Based on ancient literature and history of the period from 479 to 323 B.C., discusses the Athenians' beliefs, interpretations, and representations of such basic cravings in private and in public. 1997.

Catholics and American Culture: Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Day, and the Notre Dame Football Team BR 12456
by Mark S. Massa
4 volumes
Account of Roman Catholicism in America from 1945 to 1970 and the Church's growing social and cultural influence after World War II. Focuses on religious implications of political and cultural events and discusses such key figures as Fulton Sheen, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, and John F. Kennedy. 1999.

"You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet": The American Talking Film; History and Memory, 1927-1949 BR 12460
by Andrew Sarris
7 volumes
Examines the first two decades of sound films, focusing on the directors, the studios, and the major actors and actresses. Discusses the works of directors D.W. Griffith, John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, and others at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount, Warner Brothers, and Columbia studios. Highlights stars such as Bette Davis, Cary Grant, and Spencer Tracy. 1998.

A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America BR 12475
by David K. Shipler
8 volumes
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Shipler examines attitudes toward race relations in America. Explores how blacks and whites view each other, how perceptions are shaped from birth, and how interpretations of others' behavior are often based on prior assumptions, even among unbiased individuals. Also considers multiracial families and religious minorities and their reactions to social stereotypes. 1997.

Leo Rosten's Carnival of Wit and Wisdom: Plus Wisecracks, Ad- Libs, Malaprops, Puns, One-Liners, Quips, Epigrams, Boo-Boos, Dazzling Ironies, and Wizardries of Wording, Plus Surprising Tidbits from Politics, Philosophy, Biography, and (Yes!) Gossip-- from Aristotle to Woody Allen BR 12487
compiled by Leo Rosten
4 volumes
Over 5,000 items to tickle your funny bone. 1994.

Letter to the World: Seven Women Who Shaped the American Century BR 12491
by Susan Ware
3 volumes
Profiles of Eleanor Roosevelt, Dorothy Thompson, Margaret Mead, Katharine Hepburn, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Martha Graham, and Marian Anderson. Selected because of their stature as popular icons and their contributions to different aspects of American culture in the twentieth century. For senior high and older readers. 1998.

The Architecture of Diplomacy: Building America's Embassies BR 12507
by Jane C. Loeffler
4 volumes
Traces the history of U.S. representation abroad through its buildings, focusing on construction since 1926. Evaluates American embassies in the 1950s as symbols of "an energetic and future-oriented nation." Notes the impact of terrorism on 1990s concerns for embassy security. 1998.

Whose Body Is It Anyway? Smart Alternative and Traditional Health Choices for Your Total Well-Being BR 12511
by Joan Kenley
3 volumes
Inspired by her own menopausal problems, a psychologist presents information on concerns faced by women in midlife. Topics include hormone treatments, physical appearance, urinary and sexual problems, cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. 1999.

Church and Revolution: Catholics in the Struggle for Democracy and Social Justice BR 12513
by Thomas Bokenkotter
6 volumes
Traces the transformation of the Catholic Church from a conservative institution during the French Revolution to a progressive force in twentieth-century world affairs. Portrays religious and political figures such as Daniel O'Connell, Bishop Henry Edward Manning, Michael Collins, Dorothy Day, and Lech Walesa, and assesses their contributions to this change. 1998.

Sleep Thieves: An Eye-Opening Exploration into the Science and Mysteries of Sleep BR 12528
by Stanley Coren
3 volumes
Explores the phenomenon of sleep and the dangers of sleep deprivation. Using scientific facts and personal interviews, author provides evidence that our society is increasingly sleep deprived and notes the resulting problems. Presents some ways to analyze personal sleep habits and needs with tips for improvement. 1996.

Uneasy Neighbors: Cuba and the United States BR 12536
by Rhoda Hoff and Margaret Regler
2 volumes
A collection of primary sources that focus on key historical and political events involving the United States and Cuba. Includes material dealing with Christopher Columbus, the sinking of the Maine, a yellow fever epidemic, Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, Fidel Castro, and the Bay of Pigs. For senior high and older readers. 1997.

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English BR 12538
by Patricia T. O'Conner
2 volumes
Presents lessons in grammar and oddities of the English language for anyone who wants to speak and write more clearly. Explains pronouns, plurals, possessives, verb agreement, punctuation, modifiers, cliches, and outdated grammar rules to help those who need to improve their oral and written language skills. For senior high and older readers. 1996.

Random Harvest BR 12544
by James Thomas Flexner
3 volumes
Collection of short stories and essays on America's history and art, written by the recipient of a special Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Flexner includes his 1929 commencement address at Harvard, portrayals of noted American personalities, articles first published in the New York Herald Tribune, and personal memoirs. 1998.

Two Puppies BR 12546
by Jane Stern and Michael Stern
2 volumes
The married authors describe a hellish two years with a puppy very unlike the other Bullmastiffs they've owned. In contrast, they discuss the early years of a well-behaved dog bred and trained to be a guide dog. Also includes tips on selecting, training, and caring for puppies. Some strong language. 1998.

On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems BR 12555
by Rita Dove
1 volume
Over forty new poems by the former Poet Laureate celebrating personal freedoms. Several sections explore the African American experience in a historical context, while others convey an individual reaction. "Maple Valley Branch Library, 1967" describes the pleasures of voracious reading. 1999.

The Other Diabetes: Living and Eating Well with Type 2 Diabetes BR 12556
by Elizabeth Hiser
3 volumes
Describes the condition of adult-onset diabetes, how the body works, and what goes wrong to cause the illness. Explains optimum lifestyle practices needed to deal with the disease and how to incorporate such changes into daily living. Offers sample meals, recipes, and a resource guide. 1999.

Addie BR 12561
by Mary Lee Settle
2 volumes
Memoir centered around the author's grandmother Addie from Cedar Grove, West Virginia. Describes the social and economic life of the Kanawha Valley in pioneer days, during the War between the States, and later when the coal mines were developed. 1998.

The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere on Earth: Minneota, Minnesota BR 12563
by Bill Holm
2 volumes
After years of searching for "a middle-class life in a gentler, lovelier, more urbane place," the author returns to his native Minneota, Minnesota, with newfound views on the value of community and the meaning of success. He describes his Icelandic forebears and his own early years. 1996.

Walden; or, Life in the Woods BR 12576
by Henry David Thoreau
3 volumes (Reissue)
Philosophical observations recorded during an experiment in simple living at a small pond near Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau's essays include his detailed observations of nature and his comments on the world's problems. He says that "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." 1854.

Questions of Heaven: The Chinese Journeys of an American Buddhist BR 12597
by Gretel Ehrlich
1 volume
The writer travels to China to climb a sacred Buddhist mountain. Hoping to "pick up the threads of a once flourishing Buddhist culture," she is saddened to see the extent of destruction the ten-year-long cultural revolution wreaked on things spiritual, intellectual, and creative. 1997.

Something Happened Yesterday BR 12599
by Beryl Bainbridge
2 volumes
Fifty articles written over a period of six years for the Evening Standard in London describing events that were experienced by the author. Includes mundane occurrences such as a street fair, cinemas, and her family's antics, as well as societal observations. 1998.

Career Opportunities in Computers and Cyberspace BR 12603
by Harry Henderson
4 volumes
Profiles close to two hundred jobs that are available for people with computer skills. The author gives basic information such as position description, salaries, and future prospects and offers career tips and advice on using the World Wide Web. For senior high and older readers. 1999.

Life among the Ibo Women of Nigeria BR 12605
by Salome Nnoromele
1 volume
Describes the cultural history of the Ibo women of western Africa, including their traditional social, economic, religious, and political roles. Discusses the consequences of European colonialism, the modern role of women in Nigeria, and possible future trends. For junior and senior high readers. 1998.

Goodbye, Dear Friend: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Pet BR 12607
by Virginia Ironside
1 volume
British journalist discusses relationships people often have with their pets and the very real, but often scorned, grief they suffer when a much-loved animal dies. She uses letters, anecdotes, excerpts, and poems to illustrate her analysis; also touches on euthanasia, memorials, spiritual beliefs, and long- missing pets. 1994.

House of Steps: Finding the Path Home BR 12613
by Amy Blackmarr
1 volume
Essayist describes living alone in an odd rental house in rural Kansas while completing a fellowship at the University of Kansas. She talks of spiders and wasps, mailbox destruction, multiple dogs, mowing the huge lawn, and coming to feel at home. 1999.

Hail Babylon! In Search of the American City at the End of the Millennium BR 12619
by Andrei Codrescu
2 volumes
The author, a "Transylvanian in Dixieland," celebrates the lure of American cities with their energy and multicultural denizens. Describes his tour of New Orleans, Little Rock, and points west. Laments the destruction caused by freeways, sterile architecture, and politicians; notes with hope the use of bookstores as meeting places. 1998.

Myths BR 12679
retold by Tana Reiff
1 volume
Collection of myths from Greece, where they were used to explain how the world came about and how things worked. Includes "Pandora's Box," "Midas and the Golden Touch," and several stories about the Trojan War. Grade 1 braille. 1991.

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