Braille Book Review

January-February 2000
Books for Adults--Fiction

Books listed in this issue of Braille Book Review were recently sent to cooperating libraries. The complete collection contains books by many authors on fiction and nonfiction subjects, including biographies, classics, gothics, mysteries, romances, and others. Contact your cooperating library to learn more about the wide range of books available in the collection.

To order books, contact your cooperating library.

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.

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."

Unicorn's Blood BR 11881
by Patricia Finney
4 volumes
As a young princess, Elizabeth I wrote of her affair with Thomas Seymour and of Mary Queen of Scots as the royal heir in a diary. Now queen, Elizabeth must find the stolen journal--identified by an embroidered unicorn with a ruby eye--before her opponents do. Companion to Firedrake's Eye (BR 11880). Some strong language. 1998.

The Daddy Clock BR 11894
by Judy Markey
2 volumes
At forty-four, divorced Chicago sportswriter Charlie Feldman wants to be a parent. He confides this to coworker Lacy Gazzar, who at thirty-five is about to put both her daughter and herself through college. She decides to help Charlie find the mother-to-be of his child, as long as it isn't Lacy. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 1998.

The Queen of Spades: The Negro of Peter the Great; Dubrovsky; The Captain's Daughter BR 11914
by Alexander Pushkin
3 volumes
Four stories by the nineteenth-century Russian writer. The Queen of Spades, written in 1833, tells of a young officer's obsession with winning at cards. His subterfuge, intended to learn an elderly countess's secret for success, has dire consequences for both of them. 1962.

Brave New World BR 11922
by Aldous Huxley
2 volumes
A satire set in a future technocratic society in which people are rigidly classified by the state and kept happy by a government-administered drug. When two bureaucrats, Lenina and Bernard, travel to a "savage" reservation, they "rescue" a woman and her adult son, abandoned long ago, and return them to civilization. For senior high and older readers. 1946.

Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy BR 11950
edited by Robert Silverberg
6 volumes
Each author of these eleven tales has set a story in his or her well-established universe. Some episodes take place at earlier times in the history of their worlds, and some simply enhance sideline events. Includes work of Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Goodkind, Anne McCaffrey, and Robert Jordan. Some strong language. 1998.

The Learning Tree BR 11994
by Gordon Parks
3 volumes
The story of a black family living in a small Kansas town during the 1920s, when African Americans were relegated to second-class citizenship and terrorized by racial violence. Adolescent Newt experiences his first romance, tangles with the town tough, and wrestles with his awe of death. Strong language and violence. For high school and older readers. 1963.

The Giant, O'Brien BR 11996
by Hilary Mantel
2 volumes
London, 1782. A Scottish doctor, John Hunter, wants to acquire the body of the giant Irishman, Charlie O'Brien, for research purposes. But O'Brien is still alive, earning money as a spectacle, and he does not want to pre-sell his corpse for experimentation. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1998.

Running Wild BR 11997
by Thomas J. Dygard
1 volume
Pete Holman, always in trouble, is released from police custody to Coach Wilson on the condition that Pete join the football team. Pete reluctantly agrees, knowing his incorrigible friends will mock him. But, learning he is a natural receiver, he discovers purpose and friendship in being part of the team. For junior and senior high readers. 1996.

Hunger: A Novella and Stories BR 12051
by Lan Samantha Chang
2 volumes
A novella and five short stories revealing stresses within the family when Chinese immigrants confront cultural difficulties in America. In the title piece, a frustrated musician is determined that one of his daughters will have a musical career even at the expense of a loving home. 1998.

The Dean's List BR 12055
by Jon Hassler
4 volumes
In this sequel to Rookery Blues (BR 11344), Leland Edwards, decades later, is the dean at Rookery State College, divorced, and living with his demanding mother. In between fund raising and staving off sexual harassment charges, he falls in love. 1997.

Sweet Baby BR 12056
by Sharon Sala
2 volumes
At age six, Victoria Lancaster finds her house empty and no one at home, destroying her sense of security. Now a successful photojournalist, Tory finally feels safe with her live-in boyfriend. But while developing pictures for a story, the face of a man begins to haunt her. Some descriptions of sex. 1998.

Cat Raise the Dead BR 12058
by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
2 volumes
Joe Grey, a house cat, and Dulcie, the library cat of Molena Point, California, investigate the disappearance of some senior citizens while the two felines are participating in a nursing-home pet program. Joe is also stalking a "cat burglar," but he is insulted by the absurd title attached to such a thief. Some violence. 1997.

The Stargazey: A Richard Jury Mystery BR 12059
by Martha Grimes
3 volumes
Richard Jury is so strangely intrigued by the attractive woman wearing a luxurious fur who boards the bus he is riding, that he follows her when she leaves. A few days later, Jury learns a woman matching her description is found dead. Jury's investigation leads him to an art-theft ring and another murder. 1998.

The Healing BR 12064
by Gayl Jones
3 volumes
Harlan Jane Eagleton follows her thoughts from her present itinerant faith-healing practice to her former job as manager for a female rock singer. A series of flashbacks include a trip to East Africa with her medical anthropologist husband who was studying a Masai medicine woman. Some strong language. 1998.

A Different Life BR 12065
by Lois Keith
3 volumes
Libby Starling is a typical fifteen-year-old--worried about friends, exams, and boys--until she becomes seriously ill. With a supportive family, Libby eventually accepts her inability to walk. She becomes involved in her rehabilitation, socializes with friends, and goes on her first date. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 1997.

Soldier's Heart: A Novel of the Civil War BR 12076
by Gary Paulsen
1 volume
When the war starts, fifteen-year-old Charley Goddard is eager to join up with the Minnesota Volunteers. The physical and mental agonies of combat change his attitude. Some violence. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1998.

The Life of Insects BR 12084
by Victor Pelevin
2 volumes
A Russian novel set in a seaside resort where the characters change from human to insect form. In one episode two Russians, Arnold and Arthur, meet a visiting American businessman, Sam Sacker. They fly off as mosquitoes, and Sam insists on imbibing the blood of a man who is drunk on cologne, with unfortunate consequences for Sam. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1996.

The Dealings of Daniel Kesserich: A Study of the Mass-Insanity at Smithville BR 12085
by Fritz Leiber
1 volume
In this posthumously published story, originally sketched in 1936, a scientist is obsessed with the notion of time travel. He conducts an experiment going back to the moment of a woman's death, hoping to change the outcome. When the townspeople discover her empty grave, they become incensed. 1997.

The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child BR 12099
by Francisco Jimenez
1 volume
Twelve interconnected short stories about the hardships of an illegal migrant family told by the son, Panchito. "Under the Wire" recounts how the family leaves Mexico and crawls under barbed wire into California. Picking crops to earn money is the top priority, with schooling squeezed in when possible, as related in "The Circuit." Grade 1 braille. 1997.

Prejudice: Stories about Hate, Ignorance, Revelation, and Transformation BR 12101
edited by Daphne Muse
2 volumes
Short stories and excerpts from novels dealing with prejudice of many types. In "Only Approved Indians Can Play," a basketball team forfeits a game because of some players' ethnic identity. In "White Trash," a poor girl with an accent is ostracized. Some strong language. For junior and senior high readers. 1995.

The Long Valley BR 12102
by John Steinbeck
2 volumes
Collection of classic stories set in California and first published in 1938, reflecting Steinbeck's interests in the tensions between workers and owners, past and present, and city and country. Included in this volume are Steinbeck's "Red Pony" stories, "The Gift," "The Great Mountains," "The Promise," and "The Leader of the People." 1938.

The Foundation Pit BR 12104
by Andrey Platonov
2 volumes
In this nihilistic fable written around 1929 and unpublished during Platonov's lifetime, Soviet laborers are digging a vast foundation pit for a building that is never constructed. The Soviet plight is further depicted by the difficulties encountered on a collective farm when several of the workers are ordered to supervise the others. 1996.

The Cat Who Saw Stars BR 12111
by Lilian Jackson Braun
2 volumes
Qwilleran and his cats Koko and Yum Yum always retreat to his lake cottage in July. Just before they go this year, Qwilleran learns that a young hiker has disappeared in that area. Then, shortly after their arrival, Koko makes a discovery on the beach that keeps Qwilleran busy. Bestseller 1998.

The Lüneburg Variation BR 12112
by Paolo Maurensig
1 volume
Dieter Frisch is found dead in his garden on a giant chessboard, apparently a suicide. But to those who can read the clues, Frisch's obsession with chess and his hidden Nazi past suggest the possibility of a belated execution. 1993.

The Farm She Was BR 12118
by Ann Mohin
2 volumes
Despite the urging of her social worker and minister, ninety-year-old Irene Leahy steadfastly refuses to leave her farm and go into a nursing home. Between their visits she reminisces about her long seasons on the land, first as a child and later when she took over after her father died. 1998.

Betty Zane BR 12123
by Zane Grey
3 volumes
Recounts the family stories about Betty Zane, the capture of her brother Isaac by a Native American princess, Betty's suitors, the successful defense of Fort Henry against the British in 1782, and Betty's race for her life. Grey's first novel about pioneer days, written in 1903. 1903.

The Spirit of the Border: A Romance of the Early Settlers in the Ohio Valley BR 12124
by Zane Grey
2 volumes
This is a version of the 1777 massacre of a small band of Christian Native Americans who lived in the Village of Peace founded by Moravian missionaries. It involves Lewis Wetzel and Jonathan Zane against Jim Girty. First published in 1906. Some violence. 1906.

And Both Shall Row: A Novella and Stories BR 12154
by Beth Lordan
2 volumes
Stories about small-town life in the midwest. In the title novella, two sisters grow old together. When one has a stroke, the other reminisces about the experiences they have shared--they have even been married to the same man. In "Running Out," an unemployed carpenter enjoys the "perfect" day. 1998.

Hope Mountain BR 12156
by Jon Land
1 volume
Jen feels guilty that a traffic accident led to the loss of her teenage brother's leg. At an adaptive ski school, they meet instructor Jamie Brooks, who was a champion until an injury sidelined his career. Matt learns quickly and challenges Jamie to ski a dangerous trail. Some strong language. 1998.

The Young Lion Hunter BR 12159
by Zane Grey
2 volumes
Rangers Dick Leslie and Jim Williams and game warden Hiram Bent--with his trained lion-hound, Prince--are mounting an expedition to rid Utah's Coconina Forest Preserve of cougars. Easterners Ken Ward and his fourteen-year-old brother, Hal, spend their vacation with the rangers lassoing mountain lions. 1911.

Chinook: A North-Western Story BR 12160
by Max Brand
2 volumes
Joe Harney is a greenhorn, heading for the Alaskan goldfields. On the way he joins up with Andrew Steen and his great husky dog, Chinook. Together they come to the aid of a young woman, Kate Winslow. Joe falls for Kate and helps her out of many jams. 1929.

Heaven in High Gear BR 12177
by Joan Brady
1 volume
Stripper Heather Hurley meets God (in the form of Joe) at a bar during one of her panic attacks. As she and Joe become friends, he introduces her to seven principles that promise spiritual health. Realizing she is unhappy, Heather tries to change her life. Sequel to God on a Harley (BR 11380). 1997.

The Testament BR 12186
by John Grisham
3 volumes
Billionaire Troy Phelan surprises his legal heirs by leaving his entire estate to an illegitimate daughter, Rachel Lane. Because she is a missionary living somewhere on the Brazil-Bolivia border, lawyer Nate O'Riley's immediate problem is to find her and inform her of the inheritance. Some strong language. Bestseller 1999.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon BR 12212
by Stephen King
2 volumes
While her brother and mother argue up ahead on the Maine hiking trail, nine-year-old Trisha stops to relieve herself and becomes lost for days in the wilderness. Her imaginary conversations with Red Sox relief pitcher Tom Gordon help her cope with the evil thing that's following her. Some strong language. Bestseller 1999.

East of the Mountains BR 12237
by David Guterson
2 volumes
Retired heart surgeon and widower Ben Givens has colon cancer and plans to commit suicide while on a hunting trip in eastern Washington state. He sets out with his dogs, but a series of chance encounters draws him into other people's problems and eventually to a decision that leads him home. Bestseller 1999.

Seeds BR 12259 by
Paul Fleischman
read by 1 volume
Transforming a trash-filled vacant lot into a community garden began with one Vietnamese girl planting lima beans. People of different nationalities tell how they became involved in the effort and how friendships developed among the gardeners. Grade 1 braille. 1997.
Grade 1 braille story about creating a community garden.


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