Braille Book Review

November-December 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

The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Perfume, Obsession, and the Last Mystery of the Senses BR 14687
by Chandler Burr
3 volumes
Explains that Italian scientist Luca Turin's obsession with scent led to his groundbreaking research, developing a new theory of smell, in the 1990s. Burr explains the molecular biology behind Turin's discoveries and explores the response of the private sector, perfume industry, and scientific community. 2002.

A History of Philosophy in America, 1720-2000 BR 14691
by Bruce Kuklick
4 volumes
Traces the growth of philosophical thinking in the United States from the colonial period through the twentieth century. Describes traditions and explores the intentions of such thinkers as theologian Nathaniel William Taylor, metaphysician Josiah Royce, instrumentalist John Dewey, and postmodern pragmatist Richard Rorty, within the social matrix. 2001.

Exploring Lewis and Clark: Reflections on Men and Wilderness BR 14695
by Thomas P. Slaughter
3 volumes
Historian evaluates nineteenth-century explorers Meriwether Lewis and Willam Clark as human beings by analyzing their journals and the "cultural imperatives behind them." Essays discuss the enslavement and fate of their female Shoshone guide, treatment of Clark's slave York, and experiences with hunting, dreams, and snakes. 2003.

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Creating Web Pages BR 14719
by Todd Stauffer
6 volumes
For a person with basic computer literacy, this manual explains HTML and XHTML standards for building Web pages and managing and augmenting sites. Discusses what is needed to get started, interactions with users, publishing tools, and the basics of JavaScript. 2002.

The Church Supper Cookbook: A Special Collection of Over 375 Potluck Recipes from Families and Churches across the Country BR 14731
edited by David Joachim
3 volumes
Collection of favorite family recipes from the best cooks in churches and neighborhoods across America, handed down from generation to generation. Provides family-size recipes for meats and seafood, soups, salads, vegetables, breads, cakes, pies, and cookies. Includes section on cooking for big crowds. 2001.

Best-Ever Cake Decorating BR 14734
by Angela Nilsen and Sarah Maxwell
3 volumes
Step-by-step instructions for decorating over 100 cakes in both classic and contemporary designs. Provides basic cake and frosting recipes--royal and butter icings, marzipan, and glacé. Describes techniques for creating novelty baked items for special occasions, holidays, and children's parties-- elephants, beehives, clowns, and dinosaurs 1999.

The Clueless Vegetarian: A Cookbook for the Aspiring Vegetarian BR 14735
by Evelyn Raab
2 volumes
Describes different types of vegetarian diets and the nutritional information necessary for optimum health. Provides easy recipes that would appeal to teenagers interested in a meatless lifestyle. For junior and senior high readers. 2000.

Heavenly Errors: Misconceptions about the Real Nature of the Universe BR 14742
by Neil F. Comins
2 volumes
Astronomy professor identifies common misconceptions about the cosmos. Topics range from false notions regarding distant galaxies to erroneous theories about what causes tides and seasons and which planet is the hottest. He emphasizes the origins of incorrect ideas, how to avoid them, and how to change them. 2001.

Stone Soup for the World: Life-Changing Stories of Everyday Heroes BR 14744
by Marianne Larned
4 volumes
A collection of one hundred stories from thirty countries about dedicated people working with their neighbors to help build better communities and futures through simple acts of goodwill. The director of a national nonprofit education organization, Larned also offers information on how to join volunteer efforts. 1998.

American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center BR 14746
by William Langewiesche
2 volumes
Author witnesses the daily dismantling of the ruins of New York's World Trade Center for nine months after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. Describes the physical dangers and the emotional turmoil endured by the workers. Originally published as stories in the Atlantic Monthly. 2002.

Pregnant! What Can I Do? A Guide for Teenagers BR 14751
by Tania Heller
2 volumes
Physician provides guidance for teenage women who become pregnant unintentionally. Offers suggestions for getting help, making the right decisions, and building a better future. Discusses pros and cons of parenthood, abortion, and adoption, and presents interviews with teens who chose each option. For senior high and older readers. 2002.

To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders BR 14752
by Bernard Bailyn
2 volumes
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian analyzes the contradictory nature of key figures and documents of the American Revolution. Bailyn's five essays discuss cultural influences on political creativity, different sides of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin's idealism and realism, and the Federalist papers. 2003.

New Fix-It-Yourself Manual BR 14759

8 volumes
A Reader's Digest guide for repairing items around the house and in the yard. Discusses inside and outside tools for troubleshooting problems with furniture, plumbing, large and small appliances, home electronics, and sports and recreation equipment. 1996.

Our Universe: The Thrill of Extragalactic Exploration as Told by Leading Experts BR 14799
edited by S. Alan Stern
2 volumes
Nine essays by leading astronomers and cosmologists concerning space exploration beyond the Milky Way. Topics include the search for massive black holes, the Big Bang, dark matter, and gamma-ray bursts. Profiles of contributing authors provide insight into their personal experiences in the space science field. 2001.

Independent Living without Sight and Hearing BR 14822
by Richard Kinney
1 volume
A guide written by a deaf-blind educator for deaf-blind young people and adults. Offers advice on how deaf-blind people can make the most of touch and other senses, how they can communicate more effectively, and how they can better order their daily lives. 1972.

The New Work of Dogs: Tending to Life, Love, and Family BR 14833
by Jon Katz
2 volumes
Journalist explores the changing role of dogs in the lives of their human owners, who increasingly view them as family members and depend on them for emotional support. But Katz suggests there may be a downside to this trend, despite its psychological benefits, for both people and pets. 2003.

Fraud of the Century: Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the Stolen Election of 1876 BR 14834
by Roy Morris
4 volumes
Traces the post-Civil War presidential election, which in America's centenary year pitted Ohio Republican governor Rutherford Hayes against New York Democratic governor Samuel Tilden. An electoral commission declared Hayes the winner after disputed southern returns and four months of backroom political intrigue by both parties. 2003.

Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity BR 14837
by Jennifer Ackerman
3 volumes
Former National Geographic staff writer explores genetic links between humans and other forms of life--even yeast. Ackerman's narrative blends scientific explanations of heredity and her own personal experiences, including her sister's mental retardation. 2001.

The Parents' Guide to Cochlear Implants BR 14843
by Patricia M. Chute and Mary Ellen Nevins
2 volumes
Resource book detailing the process of cochlear implantation in children from evaluation and surgery to switch-on. Discusses strategies to develop auditory skills, educational and performance issues, parental responsibilities, and the role of implants in bridging the gap between the deaf and hearing worlds. 2002.

Soliah: The Sara Jane Olson Story BR 14844
by Sharon Darby Hendry
3 volumes
Biography of Minnesota soccer mom Sara Jane Olson, arrested in 1999 for terrorist activities in the 1970s when she was a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army--notorious for the kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst. Olson changed her name from Kathleen Soliah and remained underground for decades. Some strong language. 2002.

Braille Books 2001-2002 BR 14845
by Blind and Physically Handicapped National Library Service for the
3 volumes
A catalog of braille books produced during 2001 and 2002 by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Separate sections list fiction and nonfiction by subject categories. Young adult books and Grade 1 braille books are also included. 2003.

City of the Soul: A Walk in Rome BR 14847
by William Murray
1 volume
Longtime resident presents an intimate walking tour of this ancient city. Murray's tour illuminates the history and legend behind famous sites like the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and the Piazza di Spagna. The guide also connects past to present by revealing modern Rome's hotels, shopping areas, restaurants, and cafes. 2002.

Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty BR 14900
by Helen Bryan
5 volumes
Presents the life of the first United States president's wife, Martha Washington (1731-1802), in the social, political, and economic context of early America, especially colonial Virginia. The chronicle depicts Martha as her husband's "active, indispensable partner," who "commanded respect in her own right," and reflects her instrumental role in George's success. 2002.

An Empire of Plants: People and Plants That Changed the World BR 14912
by Toby Musgrave and Will Musgrave
3 volumes
Discusses the role of seven plants--tobacco, sugar cane, cotton, tea, poppies (opium), cinchona tree bark (quinine), and rubber-- and how they influenced the rise of imperialism, overseas trade, and social changes. Also portrays the adventurers, merchants, and slaves who were engaged in the development of this economy. 2000.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the MindBodySpirit Connection: Seven Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis BR 14924
by William B. Salt and Neil F. Neimark
3 volumes
Two physicians present their integrated mind/body/spirit treatment plan for dealing with intestinal problems. They discuss the multiple causes of functional digestive disorders and provide a practical step-by-step regimen for becoming well. 2002.

America's Splendid Little Wars: A Short History of U.S. Military Engagements, 1975-2000 BR 14946
by Peter Huchthausen
3 volumes
Retired naval officer and author of K-19: The Widowmaker (RC 55090) traces America's post-Vietnam armed conflicts from the 1975 rescue of the hijacked SS Mayaguez in the Gulf of Siam through the 1990s interventions in the Balkans. Includes U.S. failures in Lebanon, Iran, and Somalia and victories in Desert Storm, Grenada, and Panama. 2003.

One Hundred Questions and Answers about Parkinson Disease BR 14947
by Abraham Lieberman
2 volumes
National medical director of the Parkinson Foundation addresses commonly asked questions about this chronic, progressive nervous disease. Explanations are grouped by topics including causes and symptoms, treatment options, social and psychological aspects, and quality-of-life issues. 2003.

General Ike: A Personal Reminiscence BR 14949
by John S.D. Eisenhower
3 volumes
The son of General Dwight D. Eisenhower draws on his own observations and research as a military historian to describe his father's relationships with World War II associates. Essays portray Ike's interactions with George Patton, Bernard Montgomery, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall, Charles de Gaulle, and Winston Churchill, among others. Some strong language. 2003.

The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers BR 14994
by Katharine Greider
2 volumes
Reporter analyzes the aggressive marketing and pricing practices of pharmaceutical companies while also recognizing the enormous benefits of their products in reducing pain and controlling illness. Discusses secret drug price policies, efforts to extend patent protection for high-priced blockbusters, research schemes, and advertising gimmicks that promote prescription drugs and increase health care costs. 2003.

The President's House: A First Daughter Shares the History and Secrets of the World's Most Famous Home BR 15000
by Margaret Truman
4 volumes
The daughter of president Harry Truman describes the history and architectural features of the White House and shares tidbits about its former occupants. Includes anecdotes about past commanders in chief and their families, pets, servants, and distinguished guests. 2003.

I'm Not Slowing Down: Winning My Battle with Osteoporosis BR 15082
by Ann Richards
1 volume
Former Texas governor describes her battle to arrest osteopenia, an early stage of osteoporosis often triggered by hormonal changes in postmenopausal women. Along with coauthor and physician Richard Levine, she describes dietary measures, medication, and exercise aimed at controlling the condition. Also includes information on hormone replacement therapy. 2003.

Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books BR 15087
by Paul Collins
2 volumes
Memoir of American author's relocation to Hay-on-Wye, or "Town of Books," a Welsh village boasting fifteen hundred inhabitants and forty antiquarian bookstores. Finding work in the largest one, Collins describes his pleasure in poring through endless dusty book stacks. He also recounts attempting to buy Sixpence House, a tumbledown pub in the town's center. 2003.

I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story BR 15111
by Rick Bragg
2 volumes
Relates the experiences of nineteen-year-old U.S. Army private Jessica Lynch, captured during an ambush in March 2003 in southern Iraq and dramatically rescued weeks later, catapulting her into the international spotlight. Describes her West Virginia childhood and adjustment upon returning home wounded. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller 2003.

Dog Days and Dandelions: A Lively Guide to the Animal Meanings behind Everyday Words BR 15147
by Martha Barnette
2 volumes
Author presents a dictionary of words and phrases with roots in the animal kingdom. Barnette traces the etymology of the obvious ("catnap" and "dog-eared") and the obscure (the pig in "porcelain") from ancient times to the twentieth-century with the intent of providing entertaining information to illuminate history, science, culture, and language. 2003.

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