Braille Book Review

January-February 2003
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.


W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963 BR 13327
by David Levering Lewis
11 volumes
Lewis narrates the story of Du Bois's life between 1919 and 1963. Analyzes the competing racial, political, and cultural ideologies of the time and explains the interplay among events, Du Bois's writings, and his fight for equality and justice for African Americans. Sequel to W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919 (BR 9885). 2000.

The Body Clock Guide to Better Health: How to Use Your Body's Natural Clock to Fight Illness and Achieve Maximum Health BR 13390
by Michael Smolensky and Lynne Lamberg
6 volumes
Discusses the concept of chronotherapy--adjusting the care of the body to coincide with its natural clock. Explains the concept of chronomedicine in daily routines and in life cycles. Includes an A-Z reference for specific problems, including the use of melatonin by blind people with sleep disorders. 2000.

The Spark: The Revolutionary Three-Week Fitness Plan That Changes Everything You Know about Exercise, Weight Control, and Health BR 13654
by Glenn A. Gaesser and Karla Dougherty
2 volumes
In a study funded by the American Heart Association researchers found that doing three ten-minute exercise sessions per day leads to weight loss and improved health. Describes easy-to-schedule activities and sample eating plans and recipes. 2001.

Far Appalachia: Following the New River North BR 13726
by Noah Adams
2 volumes
National Public Radio host describes a year spent exploring the New River's course along three hundred fifty miles between North Carolina and West Virginia, by canoe, by bicycle, and on foot. Adams introduces the region's inhabitants and natural history as well as his own family roots there. 2001.

Life Skills 101: A Practical Guide to Leaving Home and Living on Your Own BR 13737
by Tina Pestalozzi
2 volumes
Advice for the transition to living single. Covers entering the work world, handling business and financial matters, setting up living space, organizing the basics, choosing between eating at home or dining out, being a "savvy consumer," and staying connected to people and the community. For senior high and older readers. 2001.

Learn-to-Knit Afghan Book BR 13739
by Barbara G. Walker
1 volume (Reissue)
Explains the beginner's basics--casting on, knitting, purling, and binding off. Provides instructions for some sixty-three patterns combining the basic stitches in various knit-purl combinations: mosaic, slip-stitch, twist-stitch, cable, increase- decrease, and lace patterns. The completed squares are then stitched together to form an afghan. 1997 introduction. 1974.

A Common Humanity: Thinking about Love and Truth and Justice BR 13750
by Raimond Gaita
3 volumes
A philosopher's inquiry into the foundations of moral responsibility in the face of injustice and evil. Draws on the work of Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil, George Orwell, Primo Levi, and Iris Murdoch to examine such issues as murder, racism, genocide, the Holocaust, and prospects for a universal ethics. 2000.

Beyond the Grave: The Right Way and the Wrong Way of Leaving Money to Your Children (and Others) BR 13771
by Gerald M. Condon and Jeffrey L. Condon
4 volumes
Two attorneys, father and son, discuss the emotional and psychological aspects of inheritance and family conflicts that can arise. Includes information on living trusts, wills, avoiding probate, the IRS, grandchildren, disabled children, second spouses, pets, and more. 2001.

The Changing Faces of Jesus BR 13772
by Geza Vermes
3 volumes
Biblical scholar analyzes the Gospel of St. John, Epistles of St. Paul, Acts of the Apostles, and the Synoptic Gospels of the New Testament in order to portray Jesus as a Jewish man of his time. Explains the consequences of translating the spoken Aramaic language of Jesus into Greek by the apostles. 2000.

All for Love: Continents of Exile BR 13773
by Ved Mehta
3 volumes
Blind since the age of four, the New Yorker staff writer continues his autobiographical series. Mehta scrutinizes failed love affairs with four women to determine "the truth of exactly what happened...the effect of love on one's sense of self." 2001.

Banvard's Folly: Thirteen Tales of Renowned Obscurity, Famous Anonymity, and Rotten Luck BR 13774
by Paul Collins
3 volumes
Wry biographical essays about people of fleeting fame, selected from across the centuries and around the world. One such was John Banvard, a famous artist whose paintings made him a millionaire in the 1850s, but who died a pauper, his works destroyed, his name unrecognized in the twenty-first century. 2001.

Unwinding the Clock: Ten Thoughts on Our Relationship to Time BR 13788
by Bodil Jönsson
1 volume
Swedish physicist reflects on our concept and perception of time. Provides a European perspective on how technology and computers have alienated people from themselves and others. Offers suggestions for changing attitudes towards time and developing a deeper appreciation of everyday experience. 2001.

Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists BR 13790
by Joel Best
2 volumes
Sociology professor explains how to examine and critically evaluate statistics encountered in everyday situations, on television, in newspapers, and in advertising. Recommends specific methods for detecting misrepresentations in reports of percentages, averages, rates, and other statistical manipulations. 2001.

Stet: A Memoir BR 13794
by Diana Athill
2 volumes
British editor recounts her half-century career with the publisher André Deutsch Limited in literary London and offers insights and opinions about celebrated authors she knew, among them V.S. Naipaul, Jean Rhys, Philip Roth, Mordecai Richler, and Norman Mailer. 2000.

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier BR 13799
by Thad Carhart
2 volumes
An American expatriate living in Paris recounts his discovery of a neighborhood workshop that refurbishes pianos. His love for the instrument is rekindled as he wins the proprietor's trust, and he learns to play again. Discusses the history of piano design, sounding boards, and tuning, and offers insights into music and Parisian lifestyle. 2001.

Alandra's Lilacs BR 13800
by Tressa Bowers
1 volume
A hearing mother--only a teenager herself when her daughter Alandra was born--recalls the difficulties of confirming her suspicions of Alandra's deafness. Bowers addresses the subsequent communication and education issues of raising a deaf child. Discusses medical misunderstandings and emotional concerns in the family. 1999.

The Atlantic Sound BR 13802
by Caryl Phillips
2 volumes
Acclaimed English novelist explores slavery's legacy in three major centers of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century transatlantic slave trade: Liverpool, England; Accra, Ghana; and Charleston, South Carolina. Phillips visits these ports to assess conditions among black people, and compares his experiences with those of historical figures who were implicated in the commerce. 2000.

Bringing the Psalms to Life: How to Understand and Use the Book of Psalms BR 13804
by Daniel F. Polish
2 volumes
A guide to reading the Psalms for their beauty, their meaning, and their spiritual comfort. Discusses their history, examines the texts for special features, and offers advice for consulting the Psalms in daily life. 2000.

Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox BR 13814
by Jonathan B. Tucker
3 volumes
A concise history of the devastating disease and its consequences for human society. A biological and chemical weapons expert discusses the virus's obscure beginnings, its eradication in the 1970s, and its potential use in bioterrorism. Includes interview material from leaders in disease control. 2001.

Dante BR 13815
by R.W.B. Lewis
2 volumes
A short biography of the medieval Italian poet, Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Explores the connection between Dante's experiences and his writing, from his youthful infatuation with Beatrice and his love poems, to exile from his beloved Florence and his political treatises. Discusses his major work, The Divine Comedy (BR 12134). 2001.

The Healing Companion: Simple and Effective Ways Your Presence Can Help People Heal BR 13824
by Jeff Kane
2 volumes
A physician explains the difference between curing a disease and healing a person, highlighting the interconnections of thought, feeling, and emotions in the healing process. Dr. Kane points out that while medical technology can provide a remedy for illness, holistic restoration requires therapeutic listening, compassion, and care. 2001.

Letters from the Earth BR 13826
by Mark Twain
3 volumes
Letters, sketches, and satirical pieces written throughout Twain's career and published posthumously after approval from his daughter, Clara, was granted in 1962. Includes a letter from Satan describing the new creation called Earth, a children's story titled "A Cat-Tale," and a description of a nightmare in "The Great Dark." Some strong language. 1939.

Wit: A Play BR 13833
by Margaret Edson
1 volume
A fifty-year-old professor, Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., specializing in John Donne's sonnets, is diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer. She undergoes an aggressive treatment for the benefit of research and in the process discovers her repressed need for human kindness. Some strong language. Pulitzer Prize. 1999.

All Creatures Great and Small BR 13837
by James Herriot
4 volumes
An English veterinarian reminisces about his work in Yorkshire that began in 1937 when he was fresh out of school. He recalls tending to the farm and house animals and comforting people whose pets died. Followed by All Things Bright and Beautiful (BR 13838). Bestseller 1972.

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture BR 13856
by Ross King
2 volumes
Discusses the intermittent construction during the 1300s of a cathedral in Florence that would require the largest dome in the world. Explains how this led to the 1418 competition for solving the architectural puzzle; how it was won by Filippo Brunelleschi, a clockmaker; and how he achieved engineering marvels. 2000.

One Day, All Children...: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach for America and What I Learned along the Way BR 13870
by Wendy Kopp
2 volumes
Princeton graduate Kopp explains how she originated the idea of forming Teach for America--a national corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teaching in disadvantaged urban and rural public schools. Discusses the difficulties and joys of turning her dream into a practical reality. 2001.

Tales from Ovid BR 13929
by Ted Hughes
2 volumes
A translation from the original Latin into twentieth-century English of twenty-four tales from Ovid's poem Metamorphoses (BR 7318). Hughes, who was England's poet laureate, brought a vigorous contemporary tone to his renditions of such Romanized Greek myths and legends as "Echo and Narcissus," "Venus and Adonis," "Arachne," "Midas," and "Pyramus and Thisbe." 1997.

Houdini's Box: The Art of Escape BR 13940
by Adam Phillips
1 volume
British psychotherapist explores the intentions of escape artists and the meaning of escape in a broader sense. Phillips's discussion of Houdini's compulsion to perform dangerous feats is interwoven with pertinent extracts from therapeutic case studies and examples from literature and literary history, such as the long seclusion of the poet Emily Dickinson. 2001.

Clicker Training for Horses BR 13944
by Alexandra Kurland
1 volume
This companion book to Clicker Training for Your Horse (BR 13943) condenses the operant conditioning steps that are based on dolphin training. Relying on positive reinforcement, this method can eliminate aggression and other common problems a rider encounters. 1999.

The Cry of the Gull BR 13989
by Emmanuelle Laborit
2 volumes
Autobiography of deaf French actress born to hearing parents. She explains the difficulties she encountered as a result of not being exposed to sign language until she was seven. Discusses being bilingual, with sign language as her primary means of communication and French as her second language. 1998.

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