Braille Book Review

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 occurence, as in "some strong language." Nonfiction

A Mathematician at the Ballpark: Odds and Probabilities for Baseball Fans BR 15669
by Ken Ross
2 volumes
Mathematics professor applies the rules of probability and statistics to the game of baseball. Explains basic concepts of averages and odds by using real-life examples to analyze performance of teams and players and to predict outcomes. Also covers conditional probability and professional betting. 2004.

The Life of Graham Greene, Volume 3: 1955-1991 BR 15919
by Norman Sherry
9 volumes
This sequel to The Life of Graham Greene, Volume 2: 1939-1955 (BR 10240) covers the distinguished author's productive career and the final years of his tumultuous life. Sherry discusses Greene's private relationships and explores the people, places, and events that inspired his writing. 2004.

Mark Wilson's Greatest Card Tricks BR 15969
by Mark Wilson
1 volume
Master illusionist's handbook for amateurs and beginners. Demonstrates more than sixty card-handling techniques and provides simple instructions for mind reading, Hindu and overhand shuffling, cuts, fans, and flourishes, and for forcing, throwing, and making cards disappear. 1975.

No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in Thirty Days BR 15971
by Chris Baty
2 volumes
Writing coach offers a humorous four-week guide to penning a first draft, from creating a realistic schedule and developing plot, setting, and characters to polishing the manuscript into publication-worthy form. Includes do's and don'ts, encouraging anecdotes, and creativity exercises. 2004.

1776 BR 16114
by David McCullough
5 volumes
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian chronicles the struggles of the Continental Army during the disastrous year of 1776. Highlights George Washington's failed New York campaign and the retreat across New Jersey. Assesses the political, economic, and social problems the young nation encountered during the turbulent months from August to December. Bestseller 2005.

Living with Polio: The Epidemic and Its Survivors BR 16121
by Daniel J. Wilson
4 volumes
History professor and polio survivor relates accounts of polio patients during the mid-twentieth-century epidemics. Chronicles their experiences from diagnosis to rehabilitation and recovery-- including, in some cases, dealing with post-polio syndrome. Highlights the emotional and physical struggles of living with a disability. 2005.

Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment BR 16175
by James R. Gaines
3 volumes
Describes the encounter between young Frederick the Great and the elderly kapellmeister Johann Sebastian Bach and examines Bach's masterful response in "A Musical Offering" to the warrior-king's compositional challenge. Combines the history of music and of eighteenth-century culture with biographies of these two notable figures of the era. 2005.

In Other Words: A Language Lover's Guide to the Most Intriguing Words around the World BR 16182
by Christopher J. Moore
1 volume
Linguist looks at "untranslatable" words from numerous languages around the globe. Moore examines European, Nordic, Middle Eastern, African, Asian, ancient and classical, indigenous, and creole and pidgin languages and explains what each selected word means and how it is used. 2004.

A Guide to Survivorship for Women with Ovarian Cancer BR 16191
by F.J. Montz and Robert E. Bristow
2 volumes
Gynecological oncologists offer a comprehensive guide to coping with the physical and emotional aspects of ovarian cancer. Discusses the latest developments in diagnosis and treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, pain management, and alternative therapies while addressing the psychological impact of the disease and stressing quality of life and self- determination. 2005.

Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children BR 16205
by Dorie McCullough Lawson
3 volumes
Presents parental messages of advice, wisdom, humor, and affection from authors, explorers, presidents, inventors, and soldiers. Includes Carl Sandburg, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, George Patton, Woody Guthrie, Abigail Adams, and Eleanor Roosevelt among others. Grouped by general theme, the selections span four centuries and are introduced with contextual commentary. 2004.

Giants of Jazz BR 16209
by Studs Terkel
2 volumes
Collective biography of thirteen American jazz greats: Joe Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Bix Beiderbecke, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Woody Herman, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane. Portraits blend musicians' life stories with information about the evolution of jazz. Includes discography. 1957.

The City: A Global History BR 16214
by Joel Kotkin
3 volumes
Chronicle of the city through time. Posits that an urban area can thrive only if is safe, economically viable, and spiritually enriching. Analyzes the ancient communities of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China; the classical European centers; and Islamic megalopolises. Laments the lack of moral order in the twenty-first century. 2005.

Remembering Mr. Shawn's New Yorker: The Invisible Art of Editing; Continents of Exile BR 16215
by Ved Mehta
4 volumes
Born in India and blind since early childhood, writer Ved Mehta portrays his relationship with William Shawn, editor-in-chief of the New Yorker. He begins with their first meeting in 1959, when Mehta was anxious about earning a livelihood. Sequel to Up at Oxford (BR 9455) in his autobiographical series. 1998.

Knitting in the Old Way: Designs and Techniques from Ethnic Sweaters BR 16220
by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson
3 volumes
Authors' emphasis is on fundamentals of design and construction rather than following line-by-line instructions to duplicate a printed pattern. Covers planning sweaters that fit; shaping yokes, sleeves, and necklines; and solving problems that occur when using a pattern. 2004.

Nature Noir: A Park Ranger's Patrol in the Sierra BR 16225
by Jordan Fisher Smith
2 volumes
A park ranger chronicles his fourteen years on duty along the American River in northern California, an area threatened by possible dam construction. Relates dealing with drunks, vandals, and squatters. Describes the history and beauty of the natural setting. Strong language. 2005.

Helen Keller: Selected Writings BR 16226
edited by Kim E. Nielsen
3 volumes
Collection of letters, articles, speeches, and book excerpts written throughout Keller's life. Arranged chronologically, the writings express Keller's love for the written word, explain her book writing process, and demonstrate her interest in social, political, and theological issues. Companion to Radical Lives of Helen Keller (BR 15304). 2005.

Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and the Battle of Trafalgar BR 16266
by Adam Nicolson
3 volumes
The author views Admiral Horatio Nelson in terms of a religious but brutal British culture that condoned war. Posits that "the twinning of apocalypse and millennium, of violence leading to peace," resulted in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar, in which England defeated Napoleonic France. Violence. 2005.

Fly like a Bumblebee: A Blind Magician Shares His Most Powerful Secrets BR 16282
by R.W. Klamm
1 volume
Magician describes living with congenital optic atrophy disorder. He reveals with wit and humor how his profession helped to build his self-confidence. He explains easy tricks that demonstrate the concept "the hand is quicker than the eye." 2004.

You Can Do the Math: Overcome Your Math Phobia and Make Better Financial Decisions BR 16283
by Ron Lipsman
3 volumes
Professor offers an introduction to the mathematics of personal finance. Covers buying or leasing a car, owning or renting a home, insurance, credit cards, college and retirement funds, taxes and inflation, stock market investments, compound interest, and more. Companion web site link gives calculations. 2004.

The Triumph of Numbers: How Counting Shaped Modern Life BR 16284
by I. Bernard Cohen
2 volumes
Harvard science historian's history of numbers and the role of counting in public and private life. Traces the growing importance of numbers from Biblical times to the scientific revolution and modern era. Discusses Florence Nightingale's use of statistics and includes commentary on Kepler, Galileo, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Dickens. 2005.

My American Journey BR 16289
by Colin L. Powell
7 volumes
Powell shares with his fellow Americans what he believes has been a great life. The son of immigrants, he was raised in New York's South Bronx and was undistinguished in school. But he found his place in life when he joined the ROTC and the army. Powell's is a story of hard work and good luck, of service, and of love from and for the people who helped make the former general and Joint Chiefs chairman a popular figure in the 1990s. Bestseller. 1995.

Shine on Me: The Biography of an African American Woman, Born Blind BR 16303
by D. Dexter Vizinau
4 volumes
The son of Margaret Vizinau, an African American woman born blind in Arkansas in 1927, describes growing up in San Francisco in the 1950s and 1960s. Relates how his single mother, a devout Christian, supported her sons by singing and playing the piano in church. Strong language. 2003.

What It Takes to Pull Me Through: Why Teenagers Get in Trouble--and How Four of Them Got Out BR 16339
by David L. Marcus
3 volumes
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist's revealing look at teenagers who have succumbed to--and are recovering from--adolescent pressures. Focuses on Massachusetts's Academy at Swift River, an exclusive therapeutic boarding school where students undergo an intensive program combining rigorous courses, wilderness survival, and group therapy. Profiles four successful teens. Some strong language. 2005.

Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams BR 16340
by Michael D'Antonio
4 volumes
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines the life and career of Milton Snavely Hershey (1857-1945), whose name is synonymous with chocolate. Discusses Hershey's business success, the model community around the Pennsylvania factory, and the 2002 controversy over the school trust. Presents the corporate titan's flaws as well as his ideals. 2006.

Tree of Origin: What Primate Behavior Can Tell Us about Human Social Evolution BR 16365
edited by Frans B.M. de Waal
3 volumes
Nine primatologists discuss the social interactions, communications skills, mating behavior, and survival techniques of great apes and other primates. The essays, growing out of a 1997 conference on evolution, offer clues and speculations about human development. 2001.

Maimonides BR 16366
by Sherwin B. Nuland
2 volumes
Award-winning author of How We Die (BR 9461) offers an introductory portrait of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204), Spanish-born Jewish philosopher and physician. Explores Maimonides' life and work in religious and medical fields, including his treatise The Guide for the Perplexed, which attempted to reconcile science and faith. 2005.

Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts BR 16368
by Julian Rubinstein
3 volumes
Traces the life of twenty-one-year-old Romanian Attila Ambrus, who in 1988 sneaked into post-Communist Hungary and joined a professional ice hockey team. Details seven years he spent robbing banks, romancing women, and boozing. Describes the Budapest detective on his trail--who had learned crime solving from American TV. Strong language. 2004.

Red Dust: A Path through China BR 16369
by Jian Ma
3 volumes
Disgusted with his personal problems and job in Beijing, a thirty-year-old artist becomes a Buddhist monk and buys a train ticket to Urumqi. He embarks on a three-year journey to reach Tibet, searching for spiritual enlightenment and describing the hardships of traveling in China's remote areas. Some strong language. 2001.

Churchill: Visionary, Statesman, Historian BR 16372
by John Lukacs
2 volumes
History professor captures the essence of Winston Churchill at the height of his powers. Lukacs examines Churchill's relationships with world leaders and portrays a visionary who foresaw the long-range global consequences of his actions. Lukacs also addresses Churchill's critics and reflects on his own experiences at the statesman's 1965 funeral. 2002.

The Loss of the S.S. Titanic: Its Story and Its Lessons BR 16373
by Lawrence Beesley
1 volume
The personal record of one of the 705 survivors of the Titanic disaster in 1912. His eyewitness account is augmented by those of other passengers who were spared, contributing to a general report of events and behavior the night the ship sank within three hours of colliding with an iceberg. 1912.

Strong at the Heart: How It Feels to Heal from Sexual Abuse BR 16475
by Carolyn Lehman
1 volume
Personal accounts of nine survivors of rape, molestation, or incest at young ages. They discuss their experiences and the people who helped them reclaim their lives. Lists resources including assistance hotlines, books, movies, organizations, and web sites. Explicit descriptions of sex and violence. For junior and senior high readers. 2005.

A Concise History of the Crusades BR 16479
by Thomas F. Madden
3 volumes
Professor asserts that, historically, "the crusading movement transcends the conquest of the Holy Land." Describes a European pattern of campaigning that continued into the Renaissance and Reformation. Uses primary sources to survey political crusades, those against heretics, and five major expeditions against Muslims--and their long-term effects. 1999.

A Short History of Myth BR 16509
by Karen Armstrong
1 volume
Religious historian and author of In the Beginning (RC 44354) surveys the evolution of mythology from the Paleolithic era to the twentieth century. Armstrong views traditional beliefs as a timeless art form that remains relevant to the human condition. 2005.

Next section of Braille Book Review | Previous section of Braille Book Review | Braille Book Review Home Page

Go to the NLS Home Page