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 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

Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir BR 16597
by Tom Jones
4 volumes
Astronaut describes his eleven years in the NASA program, from training experiences to four different space shuttle missions. Provides first-person accounts of stepping through the ship's airlock into the vastness of space, working with Russian cosmonauts, and sharing the camaraderie of his fellow astronauts. 2006.

Holding Back the Sea: The Struggle on the Gulf Coast to Save America BR 16607
by Christopher Hallowell
3 volumes
Professor examines the plight of coastal Louisiana wetlands. Attributes their decline to sea-level rise, erosion, dredging, and the levee system and discusses how special-interest groups have hampered preservation efforts. The account, first published in 2001, predicts the inevitability and consequences of hurricanes and includes a post-Hurricane Katrina introduction. 2005.

The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany BR 16608
by Graeme Gibson
2 volumes
A compilation of stories, poems, essays, and scientific observations exploring human fascination with birds. Selections span the centuries from Aristotle and Ovid to Charles Darwin, Edgar Allan Poe, Peter Matthiessen, and Margaret Atwood. Dorothy Hartley explains in "Goose Grease" the characteristics and uses of this fat. 2005.

A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler BR 16660
by Jason Roberts
3 volumes
Biography of Englishman James Holman (1786-1857), who was blinded at twenty-five after serving in the Napoleonic wars and who then achieved fame as a world traveler. Quoting from Holman's memoirs, describes how he fought slavery in Africa, survived captivity in Siberia, charted the Australian outback, and published three books. 2006.

Murder in Tombstone: The Forgotten Trial of Wyatt Earp BR 16663
by Steven Lubet
3 volumes
Details the Arizona court case that followed the 1881 gunfight at the O.K. Corral, in which Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and Doc Holliday faced murder charges. Describes how lawyer Thomas Fitch defended Earp at the preliminary hearing and saved him from the gallows. 2004.

The Nature-Friendly Garden: Creating a Backyard Haven for Plants, Wildlife, and People BR 16677
by Marlene A. Condon
2 volumes
Birds and Blooms magazine field editor's guide to cultivating an ecological, low-maintenance garden to serve as a habitat for native species. Environmentally conscious techniques stress reducing lawn area and eliminating chemicals. Discusses using natural fertilizers and pesticides, creating ponds, and observing wildlife. Offers tips for elderly and disabled gardeners. 2006.

What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History BR 16836
by Edward L. Ayers
2 volumes
Analyzes the essence of Southern culture and its permeation of American society. Essays include topics on the Civil War, Reconstruction, the "New South," and Ayers's childhood in segregated Tennessee in the 1960s. Some strong language. 2005.

Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell BR 16845
by Karen DeYoung
8 volumes
Washington Post reporter interviews retired general Colin Powell to chronicle his rise from a son of Jamaican immigrants to U.S. Secretary of State. Highlights his army life career, culminating with his role as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and explains his decision not to run for president. 2006.

Seaworthy: Adrift with William Willis in the Golden Age of Rafting BR 16854
by T.R. Pearson
2 volumes
Chronicles the life of German-born sailor William Willis (1893- 1968), highlighting his voyages aboard small crafts of his own design and construction. Describes his 1954 115-day, trans- Pacific solo journey (with a cat and a parrot), during which he endured injuries, ailments, storms, and other calamities and survived by drinking seawater. 2006.

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution BR 16866
by David Quammen
3 volumes
Biography of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) focuses on the two decades in England during which the reclusive naturalist developed his revolutionary theories following his return in 1836 from the five-year data-gathering voyage aboard the Beagle. Examines the scientific research and introspective lifestyle that produced The Origin of Species (BR 12412) in 1859. 2006.

Miracle in the Andes: Seventy-Two Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home BR 16868
by Nando Parrado
2 volumes
A Uruguayan rugby player recounts surviving the 1972 plane crash that is remembered for causing acts of heroism and cannibalism. Discusses the physical perils of subzero weather, the group's reaction upon hearing that the rescue operation was called off, and the author's hike over the mountains for help. 2006.

A Hedonist in the Cellar: Adventures in Wine BR 16869
by Jay McInerney
2 volumes
Novelist's essays on wine, originally published in House and Garden magazine. McInerney explores wines from around the world as he travels to large and small vineyards in Europe, South America, New Zealand, and the United States to taste their wares. 2006.

One Hundred Questions and Answers about Overactive Bladder and Urinary Incontinence BR 16873
by Pamela Ellsworth and David A. Gordon
2 volumes
Two urologists provide a guide to help people suffering from overactive bladder and urinary incontinence. Discusses these conditions, explains their causes and treatment options, and offers tips from actual patients. 2005.

Uncommon Carriers BR 16892
by John McPhee
2 volumes
New Yorker staff writer recounts travels with people who transport freight: riding coast-to-coast with an eighteen-wheel truck driver, cruising the Illinois River with a towboat pilot, and crossing the Midwest with a coal train conductor. Discusses a French sea captain school, lobster shipments, UPS delivery, and his companions' viewpoints. 2006.

The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate in Crisis and the Fate of Humanity BR 16895
by James Lovelock
2 volumes
British scientist who originated the Gaia hypothesis that Earth is a superorganism assesses the impact of human activity on the planet. Lovelock supports a transition to nuclear energy and advocates preparation for inevitable climate and social changes in the twenty-first century as a result of global warming. 2006.

Make Money, Not Excuses: Wake Up, Take Charge, and Overcome Your Financial Fears Forever BR 16920
by Jean Chatzky
3 volumes
Advice for women about short- and long-term investing. Offers four basic tips to improve one's immediate monetary picture and to guide future spending. Explains financial terminology, stock selection, retirement plans, and hiring a financial planner. Includes practical guidelines based on experience. 2006.

The Heart of a Woman BR 16950
by Maya Angelou
3 volumes
Angelou continues her memoir following Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry like Christmas (BR 16943). Describes her involvement in the 1960s civil rights movement, sharing recollections of activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. Recounts her affair with a South African freedom fighter. 1981.

Wild Harmonies: A Life of Music and Wolves BR 17138
by Hélène Grimaud
2 volumes
French-born concert pianist reflects on her passionate connection to music and wolves. Grimaud blends recollections of being a child prodigy with commentary on classical music and wolf lore. Describes meeting her first wolf in 1991 and establishing a sanctuary in upstate New York for her beloved threatened species. 2003.

QuickFacts: Prostate Cancer; What You Need to Know--Now BR 17179
by American Cancer Society
2 volumes
A concise, comprehensive guide to prostate cancer from the American Cancer Society. Covers risk factors, causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options. Features updates on research, questions men can ask their health-care team, and such posttreatment concerns as follow-up care, lifestyle changes, and emotional health. Includes resources. 2007.

The True History of Chocolate BR 17183
by Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe
3 volumes
Traces the development of processed chocolate from its pre- Columbian origins to its modern forms. Explains the steps involved in turning the seeds of the cacao plant into a drink. Discusses chocolate's culinary transformation in Europe and its evolution from an elite luxury to food for the masses. 1996. 1996.

Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War BR 17190
by Nicholas Lemann
3 volumes
Chronicles post-Civil War Reconstruction's degeneration into Jim Crow laws. Describes the 1873 Easter Sunday massacre in Colfax, Louisiana, and the armed campaign of racial violence. Highlights the attempts of former Union general Adelbert Ames, governor of Mississippi, to preserve black civil rights. Violence and some strong language. 2006.

Barefootin': Life Lessons from the Road to Freedom BR 17196
by Unita Blackwell
3 volumes
Autobiography of social activist Unita Blackwell (b. 1933), Mississippi's first female African American mayor. Describes her childhood in a poor sharecropping family, her involvement with the civil- and human-rights movements, and her political rise. Blackwell shares her philosophy to persevere, find meaning, and make a difference. 2006.

Too Far from Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space BR 17198
by Chris Jones
3 volumes
Describes the experiences of Americans Don Pettit and Ken Bowersox and Russian Nikolai Budarin, astronauts who became stranded on the International Space Station after the space shuttle Columbia exploded in 2003. Recounts the efforts of mission control in Houston and Moscow to rescue them using an old Soyuz rocket. 2007.

Mixed: My Life in Black and White BR 17203
by Angela Nissel
2 volumes
Television producer recalls growing up in the 1970s and 1980s in Philadelphia with a white father and a black mother, alternating between inner-city and private schools. Describes posing as a Puerto Rican, experimenting with black activism, and struggling to find her identity separate from stereotypes. Strong language. 2006.

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

Go to the NLS Home Page