Braille Book Review

November-December 2001
Books for Adults--Nonfiction

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."

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.


Plutarch: The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, Volume 2 BR 12636
by A.H. Clough
8 volumes
Biographical accounts of noble Greeks and Romans from mythological times through the early second century A.D. This 1864 revision of Dryden's classic seventeenth-century translation compares the character, moral conduct, and fates of such noted figures as Demosthenes and Cicero, providing rich descriptions of social life in the Mediterranean world. 1992.

The Examined Life: Readings from Western Philosophy from Plato to Kant BR 12637
edited by Stanley Rosen
6 volumes
Representative texts by major philosophers grouped into six categories: social and political thought, religion, art and culture, metaphysics, epistemology, and science. Each section is prefaced with an introduction to the topic. Includes excerpts from works by Aristotle, Hobbes, Augustine, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Hegel, Wittgenstein, Descartes, Kuhn, and Ayala, among others. 2000.

Connect BR 12733
by Edward M. Hallowell
3 volumes
A psychiatrist offers suggestions for finding inner peace by connecting with other people, as well as with traditions and ideals. Uses anecdotes from his patients and his own life to illustrate how to achieve satisfaction from relationships. Explains how health and happiness depend on connections. 1999.

A Little Pregnant: Our Memoir of Fertility, Infertility, and a Marriage BR 12742
by Linda Carbone and Ed Decker
2 volumes
In alternating chapters, a husband and wife describe the nine years they spent trying to conceive. Although Ed was the one who wanted a child at any cost, they were equally caught up in infertility treatments, miscarriages, and an adoption attempt. Finally their daughter arrives, but not as they had planned. 1999.

Explorer Leader Handbook BR 12757
by Boy Scouts of America
3 volumes
Handbook for advisors and youth leaders of Explorer Scouts. Describes the role of an advisor to an Explorer post in setting up the post and training the youth leaders. Discusses the nature of Exploring and the responsibilities of officers, and tells how to plan and conduct a successful meeting. 1991.

Jonathan Swift: A Portrait BR 12772
by Victoria Glendinning
4 volumes
A biographical study of the eighteenth-century English cleric best known for Gulliver's Travels (BR 12766). Examines Swift's corrosive satires, poems, letters, and other writings, as well as earlier biographies, to gain insight into his elusive character. Probes his romantic relations with the two women in his life--Stella and Vanessa. 1998.

Plays and Fragments BR 12773
by Menander
3 volumes
Menander (c. 341-291 B.C.), whose works pioneered the representation in drama of ordinary people, is known as the foremost innovator of the New Comedy of ancient Greece. In addition to several fragments unearthed in the twentieth century A.D., this collection includes Old Cantankerous and The Girl from Samos. 1987.

Vulcan's Fury: Man against the Volcano BR 12793
by Alwyn Scarth
3 volumes
Depicts fifteen volcanic eruptions across a wide geographical and historical spectrum with emphasis on the aftermaths and how people were affected. Spans the centuries from A.D. 79 (Vesuvius) to 1991 (Pinatubo) in discussing volcanos around the globe. Contains eyewitness reports from survivors. 1999.

Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life BR 12805
by Richard Ben Cramer
6 volumes
Muckraking biography of sports legend Joe DiMaggio, who rose from his Sicilian working-class background in San Francisco to become an American icon. Explores his pivotal games and business decisions, his obsession--and fights--with Marilyn Monroe, his dubious mob acquaintances, his life after baseball, and his lonely death in Florida. Some strong language. Bestseller 2000.

Desegregating the Dollar: African American Consumerism in the Twentieth Century BR 12811
by Robert E. Weems
2 volumes
An associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-- Columbia traces African Americans' ascent among retail purchasers from marginal shoppers in the early 1900s to an important segment of the consumer market in the 1990s. Explores stereotypes used to target this community. Includes an epilogue, appendix, and notes. 1998.

Strong Women Stay Slim BR 12819
by Miriam E. Nelson
3 volumes
In this companion to Strong Women Stay Young (BR 11896) the author continues with advice on exercising with weights in order to develop strength, build bone, improve balance and flexibility, and increase energy. Presents pertinent scientific evidence, sample exercises, and healthful recipes. 1998.

Weight Training for Dummies BR 12835
by Liz Neporent and Suzanne Schlosberg
4 volumes
Fitness consultant and health writer describe more than 130 strengthening exercises for all parts of the body, which are suitable for "rookies and veterans alike." Explains proper weight lifting technique and gives tips on designing a personal workout program. 1997.

The Good Guys of Baseball: Seventeen True Sports Stories BR 12879
by Terry Egan and others
1 volume
Seventeen biographies describing men in baseball who exemplify some of the best traits an athlete can possess on or off the field: loyalty, decency, determination, and the willingness to work hard. Included are Don Wardlow, a blind sportscaster, and one-handed pitcher Jim Abbott. Grade 1 braille. 1997.

House of Invention: The Secret Life of Everyday Products BR 12921
by David Lindsay
1 volume
Proceeds room-by-room through a house and into the garage to discuss the origins of common consumer products. Reveals the stories behind Vaseline, intermittent windshield wipers, frozen food, hair straightener, condoms, disposable razors, brassieres, flat-bottomed paper bags, electrical outlets, pencils, Muzak, and more. 2000.

On Mexican Time: A New Life in San Miguel BR 12948
by Tony Cohan
2 volumes
A writer and his artist wife first visit San Miguel de Allende in 1985 on vacation. Capitulating to the town's charm, they purchase a badly deteriorated house. As they restore their home, they ease into a gracious lifestyle while appreciating the Mexican traditions they've embraced. 2000.

Dinner with Friends BR 12986
by Donald Margulies
1 volume
Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy-drama in which two married couples who have been close friends for years are in the process of examining their interrelationships when one couple breaks up. Gabe and Karen, who introduced the divorcing couple Tom and Beth, find themselves wondering about their own marriage. Some strong language. 2000.

The "What's Happening to My Body?" Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents and Sons BR 12988
by Lynda Madaras
2 volumes
Provides an overview of puberty and discusses changes that take place in a boy's shape, size, reproductive organs, sexuality, hygiene requirements, and health concerns. Also discusses puberty in girls. Updated edition of BR 7314. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2000.

The "What's Happening to My Body?" Book for Girls: A Growing- Up Guide for Parents and Daughters BR 12992
by Lynda Madaras
2 volumes
Provides an overview of puberty and discusses changes that take place in a girl's shape, size, reproductive organs, menstrual cycle, and sexuality. Also discusses puberty in boys. Updated edition of BR 8039. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2000.

Dear Exile: The True Story of Two Friends Separated (for a Year) by an Ocean BR 12995
by Hilary Liftin and Kate Montgomery
1 volume
Former college roommates' letters to each other during the year Montgomery and her new husband spent in Africa as Peace Corps teachers. Liftin discusses her New York jobs, relationships, apartments, and weird neighbors; Montgomery describes the illness, poverty, and people of her temporary home. Some strong language. 1999.

The Right Moves: A Girl's Guide to Getting Fit and Feeling Good BR 13054
by Tina Schwager and Michele Schuerger
3 volumes
An athletic trainer and a former competitive skater advise teenagers on combining attitude, proper nutrition, and exercise to achieve fitness. They discuss the pros and cons of various workout options along with diets, eating disorders, visualization, stretching, and more. For junior and senior high readers. 1998.

Three Miles Down BR 13146
by James Hamilton-Paterson
2 volumes
The author's account of his 1995 participation in Project Orca-- the hunt for a Japanese submarine sunk during World War II and believed to be carrying several tons of gold. He portrays the anticipation of finding treasure and a primordial watery world full of unexpected beauty. Some strong language. 1999.

Women Saints: Lives of Faith and Courage BR 13163
by Kathleen Jones
3 volumes
Biographical sketches of forty women with varied careers and achievements, who became saints on the merits of their individual contributions. Includes Americans Elizabeth Ann Seton and Katharine Drexel. Some were visionaries, martyrs, and missionaries, while others lived as wives and mothers. 1999.

Strong Women, Strong Bones: Everything You Need to Know to Prevent, Treat, and Beat Osteoporosis BR 13186
by Miriam E. Nelson
3 volumes
The author of Strong Women Stay Young (BR 11896) prescribes a strength training program and nutritional guidelines to fight osteoporosis and osteopenia. She also discusses diagnostic tests, medications--including hormone replacement therapy--and myths regarding bone density. Provides an altered program for men at risk. 2000.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases BR 13194
by Christine Perdan Curran
1 volume
Examines the history, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases--both bacterial and viral--as well as other contagious problems such as lice, scabies, and fungi. Includes information on syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, AIDS, and hepatitis. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1998.

Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy BR 13201
by Mel Greaves
3 volumes
Examines cancer from a Darwinian perspective to enlighten future understanding for improved prevention, detection, and treatment of the disease. Cites historical examples and modern concerns about male and female cancers. Discusses the overriding factors to be considered in dealing with this complex and often-fatal illness. 2000.

My Friend, My Friend: The Story of Thoreau's Relationship with Emerson BR 13207
by Harmon Smith
3 volumes
Drawing heavily on their journals and letters, Smith chronicles the twenty-five-year association between Ralph Waldo Emerson, a financially well-placed teacher, and Henry David Thoreau, a struggling student, which began at Harvard in 1837. The relationship faltered for a while with the publication of Walden, but was renewed when Thoreau's health began to fail. 1999.

Descartes: His Life and Thought BR 13214
by Geneviève Rodis-Lewis
4 volumes
Biography of the seventeenth-century French philosopher. A professor at the Sorbonne examines Descartes's intellectual characteristics and psychological makeup and the influence of cultural events on his development. Draws on his correspondence and writings to explain his philosophical method and contributions to mathematics. 1998.

Life on the Mississippi BR 13216
by Mark Twain
4 volumes (Reissue)
Memoir of Twain's career as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River in his youth before the Civil War. Twenty-one years later he returns for a trip from St. Louis to New Orleans, reminiscing about the changes and the cities he encounters. Includes a history of the river. 1883.

Reading Rilke: Reflections on the Problems of Translation BR 13217
by William H. Gass
2 volumes
An interpretive study of the life and works of the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1857-1926). Combines an impressionistic biography of the temperamental artist, a critical examination of his poetry, various renderings by other translators, and Gass's own translation of The Duino Elegies. 1999.

No Place for a Woman: A Life of Senator Margaret Chase Smith BR 13231
by Janann Sherman
4 volumes
Biography based on interviews with the former politician from Maine, the first woman U.S. senator. Recalls Smith's thirty-three years in Washington that began after a special election to complete her late husband's term as representative. Delves into her often-controversial views, including her reluctance to be labeled a feminist even while supporting equal rights. 2000.

Physics in the Twentieth Century BR 13234
by Curt Suplee
2 volumes
Describes advances in physics over the last century. Includes chapters on the electromagnetic spectrum, quantum mechanics, atomic structures, chaos and order, and the evolution of the universe. Chronicles the research that resulted in the creation of new technology. For senior high and older readers. 1999.

The Souls of Black Folk BR 13240
by W.E.B. Du Bois
2 volumes
Essays and sketches published in 1903 examine African American experiences, spirituality, and struggles in the South after the Civil War. Recalls some historical milestones; argues that emancipation should have meant immediate equality rather than slow progress toward this ideal. Questions the lack of personal leadership in black communities. 1903.

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