Braille Book Review

September-October 2004
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

Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo BR 14458
by Hayden Herrera
6 volumes
Portrait of the twentieth-century Mexican artist often identified with the surrealists. Discusses the bus accident that brought her chronic pain from age eighteen until her death at forty-seven. Covers her tempestuous marriage to muralist Diego Rivera. Explores the relation between her paintings and her physical and mental anguish. Some strong language. 1983.

Love across Color Lines: Ottilie Assing and Frederick Douglass BR 14461
by Maria Diedrich
6 volumes
Harvard University research fellow examines the nineteenth- century relationship between Frederick Douglass and his female friend and translator, Ottilie Assing. Details the growth of emotional and intellectual ties between the white German journalist and the black abolitionist (a former slave) in an era of class and racial discrimination. 1999.

The Richard Rodgers Reader BR 14586
edited by Geoffrey Block
5 volumes
Essays about the career of the popular American composer for the musical stage. Critical overviews introduce key phases of Rodgers's creative life: collaborations with Lorenz Hart from 1919 to 1943, with Oscar Hammerstein between 1943 and 1960, and on his own in later years, to 1979. Includes selections from Rodgers's own writings. 2002.

The Clueless Baker: Baking from Scratch--Easy as Pie BR 14682
by Evelyn Raab
2 volumes
In this companion to Clueless in the Kitchen (BR 11857), the author explains the basic skills and equipment needed by the successful baker. Includes recipes and instructions for making breads, cookies, cakes, pies, and other goodies from scratch. For junior and senior high readers. 2001.

A Guide to the Elements BR 14718
by Albert Stwertka
2 volumes
Introduction to the 114 chemical elements identified so far on the periodic table. Traces the history of this table and discusses each element's discovery, its properties, and its uses. For senior high and older readers. 2002.

Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves BR 14726
by Ira Berlin
4 volumes
In this sequel to Many Thousands Gone (BR 14699), Berlin continues relating the history of American slavery from its beginnings in the seventeenth century to its abolition in the nineteenth. Discusses differences in the northern and southern parts of the country, slavery and the westward migration, and emancipation. 2003.

In the Land of Pain BR 14729
by Alphonse Daudet
1 volume
A collection of autobiographical notes from a nineteenth-century French writer slowly dying of syphilis. In these candid reflections, Daudet (1840-1897) describes fellow patients, the treatments that brought little relief, the physical agony of his symptoms, and the profound suffering and fear that left him contemplating suicide. 1930.

Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified BR 14769
by Richard Wolfson
3 volumes
Physicist explains for nonscientists the underlying principles of Einstein's theory of relativity. Explores the history of ideas that culminated in Einstein's vision of a four-dimensional universe of relativistic space-time. The author anticipates frequently asked questions, discussing time travel, curved space, black holes, and new meanings for past and future. 2003.

Greek Myths BR 14772
retold by Robert Graves
2 volumes
Covers the creation myths; the legends of the great Olympians; the Theseus, Oedipus, and Heracles cycles; the Argonaut voyage; the tale of Troy; and more. Contains references to the classical sources and includes interpretations of myths in light of archaeological and anthropological research. 1955.

Life Script: How the Human Genome Discoveries Will Transform Medicine and Enhance Your Health BR 14779
by Nicholas Wade
2 volumes
New York Times science reporter reconstructs the race to map the human genome--decoded in June 2000--and considers the potential of genomic technology to usher in a new era of medicine. Wade predicts new protein-based drugs, improved diagnostic testing, and innovative gene-oriented medical treatments. 2001.

The Octopus and the Orangutan: More True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity BR 14781
by Eugene Linden
2 volumes
More anecdotes from zookeepers, trainers, and veterinarians provide further evidence of the higher mental capabilities of animals. Includes a broad range of behaviors and species, including an octopus reputedly able to pick the lock on its cage. The author explores the nature of intelligence in both animals and humans. Companion to The Parrot's Lament (BR 13191). 2002.

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning BR 14784
by Chris Hedges
2 volumes
Drawing on personal experience and combat literature, award- winning journalist explores human beings' obsession with conflict. Hedges demonstrates how the "myth of war" conditions people to embrace the glory of battle in pursuit of a noble cause and contrasts this myth with the brutal realities of modern warfare. Some violence. 2002.

Robert E. Lee BR 14786
by Roy Blount
2 volumes
Cultural journalist and humorist with a southern upbringing offers insights into the character of Confederate Civil War general Robert E. Lee (1807-1870). Discusses Lee's background, the strengths and weaknesses of his military tactics, and his sense of honor. Appendixes explore Lee's sexuality, quirky humor, and attitude toward slavery. 2003.

The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea BR 14789
by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge
2 volumes
Economist editors examine the history of the limited- liability joint-stock corporation--"the most important organization in the world"--from 3000 B.C. to the twenty-first century. The authors argue that companies have given the West a great competitive advantage and have, on the whole, evolved toward a more socially responsible posture. 2003.

The One Hundred Best Love Poems of All Time BR 14797
edited by Leslie Pockell
1 volume
This collection, which follows The One Hundred Best Poems of All Time (BR 13554), contains verses of romance, passion, and reminiscence from the early classical period to the present. Includes Shakespeare's "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" and works by Rumi, Sylvia Plath, and John Donne--each prefaced by the editor. 2003.

The Good Life: Truths That Last in Times of Need BR 14812
by Peter J. Gomes
3 volumes
"Out of all this moral discourse and analysis, what can I find and use to make a life, and not just a living?" Inspired by this type of moral curiosity from his students, Harvard minister and bestselling author addresses the theological and practical foundations for pursuing the virtuous life. 2002.

Long Time, No See BR 14821
by Beth Finke
2 volumes
NPR commentator's memoir of confronting blindness from diabetic retinopathy. Includes medical information pertinent to her personal experience of going blind as a twenty-six-year-old newlywed, having and caring for a multiply disabled child, using a talking-computer setup, and acquiring a guide dog to support her independence. Some strong language. 2003.

Terror and Liberalism BR 14830
by Paul Berman
2 volumes
Liberal political and cultural critic examines the history and philosophy of totalitarianism leading up to the rise of Islamist extremism. Provides insights into terrorist ideologies and advocates strategic American interventions throughout the world to promote democracy. 2003.

Disabled Rights: American Disability Policy and the Fight for Equality BR 14882
by Jacqueline Vaughn Switzer
4 volumes
History and politics of the disability rights movement in the United States. Discusses how the disability community has coalesced in the past fifty years to press its demands and how passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act has shaped public policy and individual expectations. Also reviews ADA-related litigation and some "hot button" issues. 2003.

Make Them Go Away: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve, and the Case against Disability Rights BR 14901
by Mary Johnson
3 volumes
Journalist explores the backlash against the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and society's focus on medical treatment rather than equal opportunities. Discusses Clint Eastwood's decision to fight a lawsuit for access violations, Christopher Reeve's goal to walk again, and the proposed ADA Notification Act. 2003.

Aqua Fitness: The Low-Impact Total Body Fitness Workout BR 14905
by Mimi Rodriguez Adami
2 volumes
Advocates total body workout in deep and shallow water as well as at the beach to attain fitness and health. Describes exercises for specific muscles, suggests appropriate equipment, and recommends sports and relaxation programs. 2002.

Company's Coming: Make-Ahead Meals BR 14908
by Jean Paré
2 volumes
Collection of recipes from appetizers to desserts designed to prepare now and use later. Includes recipes for complete dishes, as well as make-ahead basic recipes that can be combined later with various ingredients to create numerous meals. Preparation times and freezing and storage instructions are also included. 2002.

Free (or Almost Free) Prescription Medications: Where and How to Get Them BR 14909
by David Johnson
2 volumes
The author, a multiple sclerosis patient who lost his health insurance, lists 168 prescription drug assistance programs run by pharmaceutical companies for low-income people not qualifying for state aid. Provides information on each program's eligibility criteria, enrollment instructions, steps required of patients and their doctors, and other details. 2002.

The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself BR 14910
translated by J.M. Cohen
3 volumes
Autobiography of St. Teresa (1515-1582), written at the request of her confessors. The devout Spanish Carmelite nun and mystic founded seventeen convents in Spain. A classic spiritual work translated and with an introduction by J.M. Cohen. 1957.

Kate Remembered BR 14926
by A. Scott Berg
3 volumes
Berg's memoir of his twenty-year personal dialog with Academy Award-winning actress Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003). He recalls her reminiscences about her family, her acting career, and her relationship with Spencer Tracy, along with his own memories of his time spent with her. Bestseller 2003.

Schott's Original Miscellany BR 14934
by Ben Schott
3 volumes
Unique collection of trivia that covers such topics as the longest word in English, knitting abbreviations, deities of various cultures, English monarchs, American diner slang, chat- room acronyms, and the Order of Service for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. Bestseller 2002.

Let's Talk: Sharing Our Thoughts and Feelings during Times of Crisis BR 15083
by Michele Alpern
1 volume
Offers teens practical information on coping with stressful events such as death, divorce, job loss, and disasters. Suggests ways to deal with depression and anxiety and outlines strategies for establishing good communication. For junior and senior high readers. 2003.

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