Braille Book Review

January-February 2012

Books for Adults

The following books were recently produced for the NLS program. To order books, contact your braille-lending library. Note: For the information 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 occurrence, as in "some strong language."


The Immortal Game: A History of Chess; or, How Thirty-two Carved Pieces on a Board Illuminated Our Understanding of War, Art, Science, and the Human Brain         BR 17706
by David Shenk
3 volumes
Journalist explores the fifteen-hundred-year history of chess from antiquity and the Middle Ages to modern Western culture. Discusses influence on military strategy, mathematics, and the arts. Provides move-by-move analyses of six famous matches including the 1851 contest between Anderssen and Kieseritzky that is dubbed the "immortal game." Explains rules. 2006.

The Menopause Thyroid Solution: Overcome Menopause by Solving Your Hidden Thyroid Problems         BR 18486
by Mary J. Shomon
4 volumes
Asserts that many women who are entering menopause also have a thyroid slowdown and, because the symptoms of both conditions are similar, these women are rarely diagnosed with or treated for thyroid deficiencies. Describes tests to determine thyroid problems. Discusses treatments to improve metabolism, increase energy, and balance hormones. 2009.

Living with HIV: A Patient's Guide         BR 18487
by Mark Cichocki
3 volumes
Registered nurse recaps the history of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and describes the entire disease life span from prevention to diagnosis and beyond. Includes information on treatment options and associated conditions. Provides guides to monitoring one's health, treating the whole person, and living with HIV. 2009.

Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft         BR 18639
by Thor Heyerdahl
2 volumes
Recounts the 1947 voyage of six Norwegians who sailed from Peru to Tahiti on a balsa-log raft to test the author's theory that the original settlers of Polynesia were South Americans following Pacific Ocean currents. Describes the sailors' difficult, exhilarating, and ultimately successful one-hundred-one-day journey. Includes 2004 foreword. 1950.

Pretty Little Pincushions         BR 18641
by Susan Brill
1 volume
Provides instructions for creating thirty pincushions that range from elegant and vintage to classic and cute. Uses basic hand-sewing techniques and materials like felt and fabric scraps, ribbons, trim, and buttons. Projects include a porcupine, a beehive, cacti, a pot of violets, and a flower corsage. 2007.

Great Expectations: The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding         BR 18743
by Marianne Neifert
4 volumes
Pediatrician pens a complete guide to breastfeeding. Discusses issues such as preparation before birth, health benefits, common problems, high-risk babies, and expressing and storing milk. Offers tips for working moms and guidelines for adjusting to parenthood. Also covers dietary matters and weaning. 2009.

Choral Masterworks: A Listener's Guide         BR 18944
by Michael Steinberg
4 volumes
Essays based on program notes present musical analysis and background of some fifty works for accompanied chorus arranged alphabetically by composer. Discusses Handel's Messiah, Bach's Mass in B Minor, Beethoven's Missa solemnis, and compositions by Haydn, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Verdi, Berlioz, Rachmaninoff, Vaughan Williams, Stravinsky, Adams, and Wuorinen, among others. 2005.

How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew         BR 18948
by Erin Bried
2 volumes
Ten grandmothers who lived through the Great Depression contribute practical, money-saving tips for housekeeping and personal care. Step-by-step instructions cover cooking, gardening, composting, cleaning, mending, grooming, budgeting, and menu planning. Also includes advice for staying on good terms with family, neighbors, and friends. 2009.

Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence         BR 18969
by Seth Shostak
3 volumes
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) astronomer reflects on the history of humankind's search for life on other planets and moons and discusses the probability of discovering alien life via radio signals. Explains SETI's origins, mission, and work performing technical consultations for Hollywood. 2009.

The Dog Says How         BR 19072
by Kevin Kling
1 volume
Good-humored autobiographical essays from playwright and National Public Radio commentator Kling feature his life in Minnesota. He discusses his family, dog, and travel experiences and ruminates on a motorcycle accident that injured his arm, leading him to use voice-activated software on his computer. 2007.

Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload         BR 19073
by Mark Hurst
2 volumes
Offers strategies for dealing with the barrage of information delivered through e-mails, the Internet, cell phones, and other digital devices. Describes ways to maintain an empty in-box, manage and prioritize to-do lists, organize and store digital photos, and work more productively with bits. 2007.

Seven-Tenths: Love, Piracy, and Science at Sea         BR 19090
by David Fisichella
2 volumes
David Fisichella, a mechanical engineer, chronicles a series of research cruises on which he served as the "eyes" for Amy Bower, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute oceanographer with deteriorating vision. He reflects on their experiences together, including surviving a pirate attack, and their courtship. 2010.

Lamentations of the Father         BR 19153
by Ian Frazier
2 volumes
Thirty-six essays by American humorist and New Yorker magazine contributor. In the title piece Frazier adopts an Old Testament tone for a wrathful father chastising his children about table manners. "What I Am" recounts an ongoing argument between husband and wife over loading the dishwasher. Thurber Prize. 2008.

Are We Not There Yet? Travels in Nepal, North India, and Bhutan         BR 19172
by Chuck Rosenthal
2 volumes
American teacher/novelist knowledgeable about Buddhism recounts a four-month trip to South Asia with a small group of travelers. Describes the intensity of Calcutta, the beauty of Bhutan, the discomforts encountered while visiting out-of-the-way temples and monasteries in search of the elusive yeti, and other adventures. Some strong language. 2009.

Tocqueville's Discovery of America         BR 19179
by Leo Damrosch
3 volumes
Prizewinning biographer reconstructs the nine-month journey of French historian Alexis de Tocqueville and his friend Beaumont through the United States in 1831-1832. Captures the young nation's mood through letters and documents reflecting Tocqueville's perspective. 2010.

A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever         BR 19213
by Marianne Williamson
2 volumes
Author offers holistic techniques to integrate mind, body, and spirit to fight obesity. Discusses the connection between spirituality and weight loss and illustrates ways to retrain one's mind to break the cycle of overeating, dieting, and shame. Bestseller. 2010.

Orchid of the Bayou: A Deaf Woman Faces Blindness         BR 19223
by Cathryn Carroll and Catherine Hoffpauir Fischer
3 volumes
Autobiography of deaf Cajun woman follows her early childhood, attendance at the Louisiana School for the Deaf, and graduation from Gallaudet University. Describes the post-childbirth vision problems that led her to research her heritage as an Acadian, the group with the highest rates of Usher syndrome in the world. 2001.

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