Braille Book Review

November-December 2009

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 occurrence, as in "some strong language."

Nonfiction

Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power         BR 17515
by Marcus Mabry
5 volumes
African American Newsweek reporter examines ways Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's childhood and education contributed to her professional success. Highlights her parents' view of racism, with their emphasis on individual effort as the path to empowerment. Investigates Rice's loyalty to president George W. Bush and their shared political views. 2007.

Roasted Vegetable         BR 17845
by Andrea Chesman
2 volumes
How to roast everything from artichokes to zucchini. Introduces techniques for basic roasted vegetables to be served as side dishes. Proceeds to recipes combining roasted vegetables with pasta, couscous, rice, and greens to make dips, pizza, soup, sandwiches, granola, trail mix, and salads. 2002.

Upper Crusts: Fabulous Ways to Use Bread; Delectable Recipes for Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Main Courses, Desserts, and More         BR 17607
by Sheilah Kaufman
2 volumes
Recipes for American and international easy-to-prepare dishes using fresh or leftover store-bought bread. Features savory and sweet bread puddings and variations on French toast provided by chefs of famous restaurants. Includes cooking tips and historical facts about bread. 2007.

Balance: In Search of the Lost Sense         BR 17606
by Scott McCredie
3 volumes
Journalist posits that balance is one of humankind's primary senses. Chronicles the evolution of equilibrium in humans, medical experiments isolating its importance, and case studies about people who have lost it. Offers techniques to slow a loss of balance due to age or physical illness. 2007.

Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House         BR 17598
by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
5 volumes
The authors interviewed Billy Graham before examining the relationship between the evangelist and the eleven American presidents--from Harry Truman to George W. Bush--he befriended over six decades. Emphasizes Graham's lack of an agenda. Examines the rise of faith-based political activism in both parties. 2007.

Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me         BR 17805
by Jon Katz
2 volumes
Katz recounts his adoption of Devon, a homeless, high-strung border collie, and its effect on his tranquil life with his two yellow labs. Describes chasing Devon through Newark Airport, the battle between dog and owner for alpha-male status, and the adoption of a second border collie. Some strong language. 2003.

My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams         BR 17713
by Margaret A. Hogan and C. James Taylor
5 volumes
The editors selected 289 entries from the voluminous correspondence between the man who became the second president and Abigail--his wife, advisor, and friend. The couple, who endured many separations until John's presidency ended in 1801, began writing in 1762 and discussed the war, John's political career, and their family. 2007.

Race: A History beyond Black and White         BR 17560
by Marc Aronson
2 volumes
Focuses on the history of race and racism in the West from Greek civilization to modern times. Discusses prejudice, slavery, religion, and the complex social problems that arise from judging people by their skin color or beliefs. For junior and senior high readers. 2007.

Classics for Pleasure         BR 17848
by Michael Dirda
3 volumes
Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic introduces roughly ninety literary authors and recommends some of his favorite works of fantasy, science fiction, horror, adventure, biography, history, and poetry. Contains essays on writers Ovid, Petronius, Agatha Christie, and Philip K. Dick and on Arthurian romances and H. Rider Haggard's She. 2007.

Happy for No Reason: Seven Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out         BR 17746
by Marci Shimoff
3 volumes
Author presents a holistic approach to finding lasting happiness. Describes a seven-step program corresponding to personal power, mind, heart, body, soul, purpose, and relationships--as well as twenty-one associated "happiness habits" and exercises. Includes inspirational accounts and tips on applying principles to daily life. Foreword by Jack Canfield. 2008.

Jewish Americans: Three Centuries of Jewish Voices in America         BR 17737
by Beth S. Wenger
3 volumes
Companion piece to a 2008 PBS television series uses first-person accounts to examine the history, social integration, ethnic relations, and cultural assimilation of Jews in America from 1654 to 2008. Profiles individuals such as Abraham Kohn, a 1840s peddler who voiced the initial disappointment felt by many Jewish immigrants. 2007.

American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau; Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work         BR 17838
by Susan Cheever
2 volumes
Novelist explores the relationships among five writers of the transcendentalist movement who clustered around the home of wealthy Ralph Waldo Emerson in Concord, Massachusetts, during 1840-1868. Highlights their intertwined families and the love affairs that contributed to the creation of their literary masterpieces. 2006.

Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West         BR 17698
by Benazir Bhutto
3 volumes
Former prime minister of Pakistan recounts her 2007 return home after eight years in exile. She calls for reconciliation among religions and nations, boldly asserts the true nature of Islam, and offers a practical road map for bringing societies together. Bestseller. 2008.

This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War         BR 17708
by Drew Gilpin Faust
3 volumes
President of Harvard University interprets the significance of the U.S. Civil War's death toll. States that two percent of the country's population was killed and many died without proper burials. Analyzes the way those losses transformed American society, culture, and politics through the experience of shared suffering. Violence. Bestseller. 2008.

Laughter, the Best Medicine: A Laugh-Out-Loud Collection of Our Funniest Jokes, Quotes, Stories, and Cartoons         BR 17852
by Reader's Digest Association, Inc.
2 volumes
Hundreds of quips that poke fun at life, compiled from fifty years of Reader's Digest magazine. Includes items from both professional comedians and ordinary subscribers. 2008.

Social Security and Medicare Handbook: What You Need to Know, Explained Simply         BR 17883
by V.R. Leonard
2 volumes
Guide to Social Security and Medicare programs and various government benefits. Describes eligibility requirements and the application process for retirement, disability, dependent, survivor, and other compensation. Discusses Medicare co-pays, premiums, and prescription coverage. Offers tips on dealing with caseworkers and responding to the denial of a claim. Includes resources. 2008.

Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter         BR 18188
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
2 volumes
Compulsive knitter shares her projects' successes and disasters. In "The Green Afghan" the author recalls attempting to knit an eight-by-five-foot blanket as a present for her brother's wedding five months later. She remained undeterred, despite her mother's chuckle or the yarn-store lady's whistle. 2005.

Bold, Fresh Piece of Humanity         BR 17860
by Bill O'Reilly
2 volumes
Emmy Award-winning television commentator's autobiography, its title inspired by his third-grade teacher, a nun, who summed him up with the phrase. O'Reilly reminisces about his postwar working-class upbringing in Long Island, a Catholic-school education, his two years as a teacher, and his journalism career's start in 1970s Boston. Bestseller. 2008.

Letter to My Daughter         BR 17865
by Maya Angelou
1 volume
Author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (BR 15665) shares life lessons in the form of reminiscences, poems, and short essays with her thousands of young daughters all over the world. In "Senegal" Angelou commits a social faux pas that her hostess graciously ignores. Bestseller. 2008.

Triumph over Darkness: The Life of Louis Braille         BR 17820
by Lennard Bickel
2 volumes
Biography of Frenchman Louis Braille (1809-1852), who perfected a raised-dot alphabet code named in his honor when he was only fifteen. Discusses the development of the system of reading and writing that opened the world of learning for blind people. 1988.


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