Braille Book Review

March-April 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.


Crochet Your Way: A Learn-to-Crochet Afghan; over Forty Projects for Home and Family; Easy-to-Understand Text and Symbols; Special Instructions for Left-Handers; EZ Reference Crochet Shorthand Chart BR 13488
by Gloria Tracy and Susan Levin
2 volumes
Basic instructions for novices and techniques to extend the skills of experts. Presents step-by-step directions for creating an afghan using a different stitch in each block. Other projects range from sweaters, hats, and shoulder bags to bath mats and similar items. 2000.

Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired BR 13687
by Benson Bobrick
4 volumes
A scholar chronicles the development of the English Bible from its first translation, sponsored by John Wycliffe in 1382, to the 1611 King James Version. Bobrick argues that when free to interpret the Scriptures as they saw fit, the English people adopted a concept of free thought that led to the English Civil War. 2001.

The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan: Feel Full on Fewer Calories BR 13734
by Barbara Rolls and Robert A. Barnett
3 volumes
Discusses research on the science of satiety--the feeling of fullness at the end of a meal. Avers that the right food choices will lead to fewer calories and to subsequent weight loss. Includes a menu plan and guide to an active lifestyle. 2000.

Rooted in America: Foodlore of Popular Fruits and Vegetables BR 13740
edited by David Scofield Wilson and Angus Kress Gillespie
4 volumes
Ten essays exploring the cultural impact of various fruits and vegetables on society. Apples bring to mind Halloween and Johnny Appleseed; bananas inspire visions of Carmen Miranda wearing a fruit-bowl hat of bananas; hot peppers make one think of bowls of chili. Also discusses corn, oranges, tobacco, and tomatoes. 1999.

Robert's Rules in Plain English BR 13741
by Doris P. Zimmerman
1 volume
Condenses the acknowledged parliamentary authority Scott, Foresman Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (BR 10608), to present the rules for organizing, influencing, and expediting meetings in a straightforward manner. 1997.

The New World of Mr. Tompkins: George Gamow's Classic Mr. Tompkins in Paperback BR 13770
by Russell Stannard
2 volumes
A professor explains scientific ideas from modern physics and astrophysics to Mr. Tompkins, a fictional bank clerk. This updated and revised edition of the 1965 book discusses such concepts as relativity, quantum theory, and the structure of the atom. 1999.

A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond BR 13776
by Jim Whittaker
3 volumes
Reminiscences of a mountaineer and environmentalist. Recalls the 1963 climb that made him the first American atop Mount Everest and how that became a pivotal event in his life. Discusses his adventures with Robert Kennedy and his 1990 expedition back to Everest, leading the International Peace Climb. 1999.

Mars: The Lure of the Red Planet BR 13810
by William Sheehan and Stephen James O'Meara
4 volumes
Two editors of Sky & Telescope magazine provide an overview of sky watchers' fascination with Mars. They discuss the personalities of astronomers who have observed the Red Planet and the mysteries that captivated their interest. Covers scientific research on the planet from Ptolemy to the twentieth-century U.S. space program. 2001.

The Life of Schubert BR 13825
by Christopher H. Gibbs
2 volumes
Music professor Gibbs discusses Austrian composer Franz Schubert's life through his songs, choral works, and stage music and examines his relationships with poets, artists, and other musicians. Gibbs offers a "story more of the artist than the man" in this account of the influential Romantic who died in 1828 at age thirty-one. 2000.

Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan BR 13830
by Carlos Castaneda
2 volumes (Reissue)
A record of the author's initiation into the mysteries of sorcery through the teachings of Don Juan, the Yaqui Indian sorcerer. Castaneda tells of approaching wisdom through hallucinogens and physical and mental exercises, and describes some of his visions and insight. 1972.

The Tandem Book BR 13835
by Angel Rodriguez and Carla Black
2 volumes
A guide to buying, riding, and maintaining a bicycle built for two. Includes information on the history of the bike, and on touring, traveling, racing, and pedaling with children. 1997.

All Things Bright and Beautiful BR 13838
by James Herriot
4 volumes (Reissue)
A British veterinarian describes with humor and gusto his life as a small-town doctor. He travels across the hills and dales of Yorkshire meeting a cast of unforgettable humans, dogs, horses, lambs, and parakeets. Follows All Creatures Great and Small (BR 13837 ). 1973.

Long Shadows: Truth, Lies, and History BR 13839
by Erna Paris
5 volumes
Canadian writer travels to four continents interviewing residents in Japan, Germany, Bosnia, South Africa, France, and the United States to observe how each country interprets its painful past. Explores apartheid, ethnic cleansing, slavery, and the Holocaust to analyze collective guilt, shame, power, and denial. 2001.

Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software BR 13846
by Steven Johnson
3 volumes
Weaves together biology, sociology, archaeology, and computer science to show how a collective can be smarter than any one of its members. Predicts that "artificial emergence" in software technology--the multiplication of intelligent self-organizing interactive feedback systems--will influence the evolution of human culture. 2001.

Divided Minds: Intellectuals and the Civil Rights Movement BR 13848
by Carol Polsgrove
3 volumes
Professor of journalism assesses the ambivalent reponses by both black and white intellectuals--including Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Richard Wright--to the civil rights movement during its most volatile years (1953-1965). Polsgrove charges many with moral culpability in their reluctance to support the struggle wholeheartedly. 2001.

Wilson's Ghost: Reducing the Risk of Conflict, Killing, and Catastrophe in the 21st Century BR 13850
by Robert S. McNamara and James G. Blight
3 volumes
Former secretary of defense McNamara and international relations professor Blight reaffirm the ideals of Woodrow Wilson in their advocacy of a more enlightened United States foreign policy in the twenty-first century. Discusses three main issues: risk of conflict between the great powers, ethnic and community violence within nations, and nuclear catastrophe. 2001.

The Complete Jesus BR 13851
compiled by Ricky Alan Mayotte
2 volumes
This compilation of sayings and teachings attributed to Jesus has been gathered from various versions of the New Testament (King James, Revised Standard, etc.), Christian Gnostic writings, and New Testament Apocrypha. They are presented in nine sections, including commandments, parables, teachings and proverbs, hymns and prayers, and doctrines. 1997.

Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression BR 13854
edited by Nell Casey
3 volumes
Collection of twenty-two pieces on clinical depression. Some of the authors describe the devastating psychological pain that makes daily tasks seem insurmountable, and others address the heartbreak of living with a sufferer of this illness. Writers include Russell Banks, Lauren Slater, Larry McMurtry, William Styron, and Ann Beattie. Some strong language. 2001.

Strong Women Eat Well: Nutritional Strategies for a Healthy Body and Mind BR 13862
by Miriam E. Nelson
3 volumes
Discusses nutrition and its scientific basis--including the national guidelines presented in the Food Guide Pyramid. Promotes consumption of water, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Explains how to read labels on packaged foods. Contains fifty healthy and easy-to-prepare recipes. Companion to Strong Women, Strong Bones (BR 13186). 2001.

The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate BR 13865
by Harriet Lerner
2 volumes
Psychologist and author of The Dance of Anger (BR 6419) and other popular titles explains how to communicate with loved ones. Uses anecdotes from her own and her patients' lives to illustrate how to change one's behavior. 2001.

The Greatest Survival Stories Ever Told BR 13882
edited by Lamar Underwood
4 volumes
Seventeen fiction and nonfiction tales of adversity and courage by such authors as Jack London, Farley Mowat, Piers Paul Read, and Jon Krakauer. The editor states that these unwanted adventures "almost always begin with fate, foul-ups, and plain old bad luck." Some violence and some strong language. 2001.

A Cold Case BR 13888
by Philip Gourevitch
1 volume
In 1997 New York City detective Andy Rosenzweig reopens a 1970 double homicide case when he remembers that he had known one of the victims. Frank Koehler, the now-elderly murderer with a new identity, confesses without a hint of remorse after Andy traces and apprehends him. Strong language and some violence. 2001.

Carl Sandburg: Selected Poems BR 13903
by Carl Sandburg
1 volume
Representative poems selected from the published collections of Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Carl Sandburg (1878-1967). Contains most of the Chicago Poems published in 1916, including the "groundbreaking" poems first published in Poetry. 1992.

Knitting from the Top BR 13932
by Barbara G. Walker
1 volume
Explains how knitting from the top of the garment ensures a "perfect fit with the barest minimum of calculating." Covers basic designs for a raglan pullover and cardigan, seamless cape and skirt, reversible pants, sleeveless sweater, seamless set-in sleeve, and classic cap, among others. 1996 foreword. 1972.

The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850 BR 13935
by Brian Fagan
3 volumes
Narrative history of climatic shifts and various adaptations by Europeans to them. Covers the last ten centuries, describing the Medieval Warm Period, from about A.D. 900 to 1200, to the era of global warming that began in the 1850s. Examines human vulnerability in the face of sudden climate change. 2000.

Silent Death: The Threat of Chemical and Biological Terrorism BR 13936
by Kathlyn Gay
1 volume
Survey of biological warfare agents such as anthrax, plague, and food poisoning, and chemical weapons such as the nerve gases used in the Gulf War that could be employed in other world conflicts. Describes terrorist threats and the defense measures used to combat them. For senior high and older readers. 2001.

Clicker Training for Your Horse BR 13943
by Alexandra Kurland
3 volumes
In this in-depth companion to Clicker Training for Horses (BR 13944) an animal behaviorist explains how to use operant conditioning to train a horse to respond positively to a clicker. Offers detailed lesson plans covering problem solving, working with foals, loading a trailer, teaching manners, and riding. 1998.

The Ultimate Terrorists BR 13987
by Jessica Stern
3 volumes
A former staff member of the National Security Council provides background information on the rise of state-sponsored and independent political terrorism in world affairs. Stern offers a historical review of the roots and motivations of extremist organizations and discusses the kinds of weapons they may have available. 1999.

Epilepsy and the Family: A New Guide BR 13992
by Richard Lechtenberg
2 volumes
Neurologist describes the seizure disorder along with its symptoms, treatment options, and emergency preparedness. Discusses personal issues about sexuality, depression, and personality changes, as well as relationships with family and friends. 1999.

The Naked Chef BR 13997
by Jamie Oliver
2 volumes
Jamie Oliver, aka "the Naked Chef," is featured on a British Broadcasting Corporation television series. He pares down over one hundred recipes to the basics, using staple ingredients from the cupboard and garden. Includes soups, salads, homemade pasta, bread, dessert, vegetables, meat, poultry, and game. 2000.

The Spy Who Stayed Out in the Cold: The Secret Life of FBI Double Agent Robert Hanssen BR 13999
by Adrian Havill
3 volumes
Traces the life and crimes of FBI agent and convicted Soviet spy Robert Hanssen. Analyzing his motives and personality, delves into his membership in the Catholic organization Opus Dei, his nonsexual relationship with a stripper, and the vast damage his information did to the country. Some strong language. 2001.

Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems BR 14122
by Emily Dickinson
2 volumes
Selections from three posthumously published volumes by the nineteenth-century Massachusetts recluse. Themes include life, love, nature, time, and eternity. 1993.

The Snow Geese: A Story of Home BR 14152
by William Fiennes
2 volumes
In this combination travelog and memoir, Fiennes reflects on the metaphorical aspects of a journey from Houston northward into Canada, following the annual migration of snow geese. Convalescing after several operations, this young British author read Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose (BR 14168) and developed his therapeutic plan to track the birds' flight. 2002.

Pope John XXIII BR 14157
by Thomas Cahill
2 volumes
Portrait of the legendary and beloved Italian pope John XXIII (1881-1963), who was concerned not only for Catholics but for all of humankind. Cahill retraces the "labyrinthine history of the papacy, which gave him his platform," and covers the pontiff's career and impact on the Vatican. 2002.

Hume BR 14159
by Anthony Quinton
1 volume
A survey of the life and work of Edinburgh philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), the central figure of the Scottish Enlightenment. During his prolific career, Hume produced influential works in philosophy, religion, political science, economics, and history, all characterized by clarity, skepticism, and an unwavering commitment to truth. 1999.

The American Revolution: A History BR 14160
by Gordon S. Wood
2 volumes
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian explores the causes and effects of the rebellion of the North American colonies. Discusses the republican ideas, developed over the century and a half before the insurrection, that inspired the colonists. 2002.

Safari BR 14165
edited by Marc Maurer
1 volume
Nine personal accounts, edited by the president of the National Federation of the Blind, in which blind people describe journeys, adventures, and explorations of their own potential. Includes accounts by a scoutmaster who hikes the Grand Canyon and a tax attorney on safari in Africa. 2001.

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