Braille Book Review

November-December 2003
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

Radical Equations: Math Literacy and Civil Rights BR 13801
by Robert P. Moses and Charles E. Cobb
3 volumes
Activist and MacArthur Award-winning educator Moses and journalist Cobb offer their vision of school reform based on the Algebra Project, a math-literacy program that has proven effective in disadvantaged communities. Moses argues that competence in math and science is prerequisite for economic empowerment and full citizenship. 2001.

Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out BR 14066
by Phillip C. McGraw
3 volumes
"Dr. Phil" turns inward, expanding his philosophy of life begun in Life Strategies (BR 14289) and Relationship Rescue (BR 14219). Explores how to find one's "authentic self" via introspection and other key elements that will lead to a stronger self-concept and self-esteem. Some strong language. Bestseller 2001.

Death in the Afternoon BR 14081
by Ernest Hemingway
3 volumes (Reissue)
Classic treatise on all phases of bullfighting from the raising and training of the animals to sketches of bullfighters. Descriptions of bravery, cowardice, pageantry, and history are enlivened by Hemingway's comments on life and literature. Some strong language. 1932.

A Treasury of Knitting Patterns BR 14111
by Barbara G. Walker
4 volumes
Instructions for 550 knitting patterns. Covers knit-purl combinations, ribbings, color-change, slip-stitch, twist stitch, fancy texture, yarn-over stitch, eyelet, lace, cables, and cable- stitch. Recommends projects appropriate for described patterns. 1998.

The Change before the Change: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Healthy in the Decade before Menopause BR 14129
by Laura E. Corio and Linda G. Kahn
5 volumes
A physician explains the physical changes that occur in women prior to menopause during the period called "perimenopause." Discusses symptoms, body functions, and available medicinal and herbal treatments. 2000.

Talking about Death Won't Kill You BR 14180
by Virginia Morris
2 volumes
To help people make better decisions about death, the author encourages them to accept its inevitability. Discusses considerations to ponder before a crisis arrives and provides medical and legal options. Uses case studies to illustrate how to talk about dying with others and gives tips on relating to terminally ill patients. 2001.

The Assassination of Lumumba BR 14242
by Ludo de Witte
4 volumes
Examination of the 1961 murder of Patrice Lumumba, the Congo's first prime minister, and its political complexities. De Witte argues that the United States and Western Europe, fearing that the former Belgian colony would turn to the Soviets following independence, were complicit in plotting Lumumba's assassination. Some strong language. 2001.

What the People Know: Freedom and the Press BR 14246
by Richard Reeves
1 volume
A veteran journalist assesses the state of his profession in the late 1990s. Chronicles such changes as evolving technology, increasing corporate control over newsrooms, and shifting media standards since the 1960s. Depicts a press gone awry and advocates returning to the objective and unbridled pursuit of truth. 1998.

Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House BR 14249
by Helen Thomas
2 volumes
Longtime White House correspondent relates anecdotes about the nine presidents she's covered, from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush, as well as the jokes and verbal sparring she enjoyed with them. 2002.

The Englishman's Daughter: A True Story of Love and Betrayal in World War I BR 14254
by Ben Macintyre
3 volumes
At the beginning of World War I, a group of British soldiers is forced to hide behind enemy lines in a small French village. With the help of the townspeople, the soldiers attempt to pass themselves off as locals. Love, betrayal, and sacrifice abound as ordinary villagers become heroes and villains. 2001.

The Ultimate Container Gardener: All You Need to Know to Create Plantings for Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter BR 14261
by Stephanie Donaldson
2 volumes
Describes how to display flowers, herbs, and other plants in baskets, window boxes, or hanging containers for both inside and outside the home. Advice with instructions for year-round cultivation and selection of items for color, fragrance, and location. 2001.

Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror BR 14262
by Rohan Gunaratna
4 volumes
Scrutinizes this worldwide terrorist organization and its theater of operations country by country. Examines Al Qaeda's reach, strategic and tactical threat, mind-set, and messianic culture. Suggests ways for the international community to counter the movement. Based on five years of interviews, research, and travel. 2002.

Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam BR 14263
by John L. Esposito
2 volumes
A professor of religion and international affairs who is the director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University discusses popular misconceptions about Islam. Answers questions about the differences between the majority of Muslims and the minority who proclaim jihad or holy war. 2002.

Cawdor, a Long Poem and Medea, after Euripides BR 14267
by Robinson Jeffers
2 volumes
Cawdor is a verse narrative, first published in 1928, that tells of a widower whose new young wife falls in love with his son. Medea is a verse adaptation of Euripides' drama about humiliation and revenge brought on by divorce. Some violence. 1946.

The Gift of Birds: True Encounters with Avian Spirits BR 14271
edited by Larry Habegger and Amy Greimann Carlson
2 volumes
Over two dozen tales involving people and their encounters with birds. In "Crazy Courage," Louise Erdrich watches a blue jay battle a hawk. In "The Balinese Chicken," Alice Walker writes of being an almost-vegetarian. In "Close to the End," a birder wonders about the meaning of the Christmas Count. 1999.

Napoleon BR 14277
by Paul Johnson
2 volumes
Historian reassesses Bonaparte's spectacular career and character, examining the myth and the reality. Johnson contends that Napoleon "was not an ideologue but an opportunist, who seized on the accident of the French Revolution to propel himself into supreme power." 2002.

A Dog Called Perth: The True Story of a Beagle BR 14286
by Peter Martin
2 volumes
The author and his wife adopted their beagle, Perth, as a puppy in 1965. Perth proved to be a loyal member of the family and an adventurous companion. She endured family additions, a number of moves, and even several months as a runaway. 2001.

Understanding Hepatitis BR 14295
by James L. Achord
1 volume
A physician explains different types of hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) including the most prevalent: A, B, and C. Covers the function of the liver; the disease's signs, symptoms, and causes; and care, treatment, and research. 2002.

The Monk in the Garden: The Lost and Found Genius of Gregor Mendel, the Father of Genetics BR 14311
by Robin Marantz Henig
3 volumes
Account of the life and times of Gregor Mendel, the nineteenth- century Augustinian monk credited with establishing the foundation of modern genetics through his investigations of inheritance in pea plants. Explains how his experiments revealed modifications in successive generations, a crucial factor in evolution that Darwin failed to address. 2000.

One Hundred Questions and Answers about Hypertension BR 14315
by William M. Manger and Ray W. Gifford
2 volumes
Physicians address the common condition of hypertension (high blood pressure, or "the silent killer"), including its causes, risk factors, and treatment; medical options; lifestyle changes; complications; and coexisting conditions. Explains how this common and treatable condition can be managed. 2001.

Drawing the Line: How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most Famous Border in America BR 14317
by Edwin Danson
2 volumes
Surveyor-historian Danson recreates the lives and times of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. He appraises the accomplishments of the two British surveyors who endured the hardships of the North American wilderness between 1763 and 1767 to settle an eighty-year-old boundary dispute between the Penns of Pennsylvania and the Calverts of Maryland. 2001.

A Rum Affair: A True Story of Botanical Fraud BR 14321
by Karl Sabbagh
3 volumes
Documents a fifty-year-old suspected fraud allegedly committed by eminent botanist John Heslop Harrison, who claimed as discoveries specimens he may have planted on the Isle of Rum, Scotland. Explores the efforts of Harrison's contemporary, John Raven, to expose the sham and examines the relationship between the accused and accuser. 1999.

The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600 BR 14334
by Alfred W. Crosby
2 volumes
Examines the shift from qualitative to quantitative thinking in Europe during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Discusses the ensuing developments in science, technology, and trade practices as well as in music and painting that led to the rise of Western civilization. 1997.

Meditations BR 14342
by Marcus Aurelius
2 volumes
Ethical and spiritual reflections by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121-180), written during his last decade. Advice and insights on daily conduct, leadership, and personal integrity. Modern English translation and introduction by Gregory Hays. 2002.

Nativity Poems BR 14350
by Joseph Brodsky
1 volume
A sequence of eighteen Christmas poems written, one a year, by this Russian American poet who was both a Nobel laureate and a U.S. Poet Laureate. Also contains an interview with Brodsky. The poems are presented in Russian and English. 2001.

The Nature of Economies BR 14351
by Jane Jacobs
2 volumes
The author posits that the laws of economics follow the laws of nature, and that economies and ecosystems develop in the same way. She presents her arguments in the form of a conversation among five fictional intellectuals in New York. 2000.

The ASPCA Complete Guide to Pet Care BR 14365
by David L. Carroll
4 volumes
Detailed information on all aspects of domestic animal maintenance including choosing an appropriate pet, where to find it, bringing it home, housebreaking, health concerns, travel, and grieving. Covers common and uncommon house pets: cats, dogs, birds, snakes, lizards, turtles, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, and guinea pigs. 2001.

Winning Sounds like This: A Season with the Women's Basketball Team at Gallaudet, the World's Only University for the Deaf BR 14370
by Wayne Coffey
2 volumes
A sportswriter chronicles the 1999-2000 women's basketball season at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. The Bisons, made up of deaf students, compete against hearing teams in the NCAA Division III. Their coach, Kitty Baldridge, a hearing child of deaf parents, communicates in American Sign Language. 2002.

Wild Solutions: How Biodiversity Is Money in the Bank BR 14388
by Andrew Beattie and Paul Ehrlich
2 volumes
Ecologists explain why the pioneering science of biological diversity and the preservation of ecosystems matter. By studying the interdependence of plants, animals, and bacteria, scientists find environmentally sound solutions to problems. Discusses how seemingly insignificant species may in the future meet critical human needs in medicine, agriculture, and other areas. 2001.

The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot, and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It BR 14392
by John Miller and Michael Stone
3 volumes
Investigative reporters (John Miller interviewed Osama bin Laden in 1998) chronicle the investigation of Islamist terrorist cells by police, the FBI, and the CIA begun in the late 1980s. Highlights how political concerns that followed the 1993 World Trade Center bombing contributed to the failure to deter the militants. Some strong language. Bestseller 2002.

No Finish Line: My Life as I See It BR 14414
by Marla Runyan
2 volumes
Memoirs of the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. Discovering that attitude can be more disabling than vision loss, Marla describes how she overcame difficulties at school by playing the violin and becoming a competitive runner. 2001.

Where We Stand: Thirty Reasons for Loving Our Country BR 14426
by Roger Rosenblatt
1 volume
Author and PBS commentator identifies the "core values of the country, along with all the oddities and nonsense that make us us." In a series of brief, upbeat essays, Rosenblatt reflects on the Constitution, freedom of speech, liberalism, religion, political leadership, and the beauty of the American landscape. Some strong language. 2002.

The Shadow of the Sun BR 14447
by Ryszard Kapuscinski
3 volumes
Polish journalist reminisces about his forty years of extensive travel in Africa, reporting on political and social change, hitching rides on back roads, and wandering with nomads. In "The Cooling Hell," he describes a trip to chaotic Liberia when it was at the mercy of warlords after Doe's assassination. Some strong language. 2001.

Freedom for the Blind: The Secret Is Empowerment BR 14467
by James H. Omvig
2 volumes
A blind attorney and rehabilitation professional draws upon his own knowledge and experience to outline some ways blind people can enrich and improve their lives and careers. Omvig promotes the development of new philosophies and strategies that challenge traditional methods of rehabilitation for blind persons in the United States. 2002.

Nothing Is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life BR 14470
by Christopher Reeve
1 volume
Christopher Reeve, quadriplegic since an equestrian accident in 1995, contemplates what a successful life comprises. Offers his thoughts on parenting, religion, advocacy, faith, recovery, and keeping a sense of humor along with hope. 2002.

Murder in the Cathedral BR 14494
by T.S. Eliot
1 volume
A verse play by Nobel Prize-winner T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) about the 1170 murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, at the royal behest of Henry II. Concerns issues of faith, politics, and the common good. 1935.

Our Cosmic Habitat BR 14495
by Martin Rees
2 volumes
Astronomer Royal of Great Britain explores the nature of the solar system and related issues--among them the Big Bang theory, probabilities for life, the idea that our universe is part of an enormous multiverse, whether the universe is decelerating or accelerating, and the direction of new theories. 2001.

Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order BR 14599
by Robert Kagan
1 volume
Neo-conservative scholar analyzes the divergence in foreign policies of western Europe and the United States in the context of Islamist terrorism. Discusses their different perceptions of threat in terms of power and ideology. Offers steps to reconciliation. Bestseller 2003.

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