Braille Book Review

March-April 2010

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."


Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr         BR 17533
by Nancy Isenberg
7 volumes
Biography of Revolutionary War veteran, lawyer, and vice president Aaron Burr (1756-1836). Portrays the lies, slander, and factionalism of late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century American politics. Details rival Alexander Hamilton's subversion of Burr's career before their 1804 duel. Analyzes Burr's involvement with General James Wilkinson and Burr's 1807 trial for treason. 2007.

Murder in the Heartland         BR 17635
by M. William Phelps
3 volumes
Examines the 2004 murder in Missouri of twenty-three-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant when someone strangled her and took the living fetus from her womb. Recounts interviews with accused killer Lisa Montgomery's ex-husband. Traces Montgomery's history of abuse and psychological issues that allegedly precipitated the crime. Some violence. 2006.

Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson         BR 17702
by Alan Pell Crawford
4 volumes
Uses primary sources to chronicle the postpresidential years (1809-1826) of Thomas Jefferson. Describes problems he had with a dysfunctional extended family, agricultural mismanagement, soaring debt, and deteriorating health. Highlights Jefferson's establishment of the secular University of Virginia and his correspondence with John Adams. 2008.

Roast Chicken and Other Stories         BR 17730
by Simon Hopkinson
2 volumes
Award-winning collection of essays and recipes by British food writer and chef. Hopkinson categorizes dishes by main ingredient--anchovies, asparagus, chicken, chocolate, crab, eggs, garlic, lamb, pork, potatoes, rabbit, saffron, spinach, tomatoes, veal, and more--providing for each his culinary philosophies and recipes. Originally published in 1994. 2006.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause         BR 17837
by Boston Women's Health Book Collective
6 volumes
Describes the process of menopause for women and covers health-care options for its symptoms. Includes medical and alternative treatments such as stress management, diet, and exercise. Discusses scientific research studies and encourages women to focus on making good personal health-care decisions. Highlights women's natural life transitions. 2006.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth         BR 17853
by Boston Women's Health Book Collective
5 volumes
Information about all stages of pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Discusses choosing medical care, planning the birth, and attending to the pregnant woman's physical and emotional care. Describes special concerns during pregnancy and childbirth and covers the tests that may be involved. Also addresses infant feeding options. 2008.

Gerald R. Ford         BR 17886
by Douglas Brinkley
2 volumes
Personal and political snapshot of Gerald Ford (1913-2006), who succeeded Richard Nixon as commander in chief in 1974 after the Watergate scandal forced Nixon to resign. Chronicles Ford's ascent in Michigan's Republican Party and national politics that led to his three-year presidential term. Discusses his achievements and Midwestern character. 2007.

Alice B. Toklas Cookbook         BR 17887
by Alice B. Toklas
3 volumes
Gertrude Stein's lifelong companion reminisces about great and humble meals shared with friends in wartime Paris, rural France, Spain, and America. Contains cooking tips and numerous recipes for dishes such as gazpacho, saddle of young boar, croquettes, mussels, violet soufflé, hot chocolate, and more. Foreword (1984) by M.F.K. Fisher. 1954.

Wordy Shipmates         BR 17935
by Sarah Vowell
2 volumes
A history of the Puritan founders of New England. Contrasts Loyalist Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop with earlier Plymouth settlers led by the Reverend John Cotton. Discusses the philosophies of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, colonists' conflicts with Native Americans, and the Puritans' influence on American values. Bestseller. 2008.

America's Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation         BR 18199
by Kenneth C. Davis
3 volumes
Author of the Don't Know Much About series describes overlooked episodes in early American history. Includes Queen Isabella's advice to Columbus to bring pigs to the New World--animals that introduced diseases to the natives--and George Washington's attack on French soldiers who were on a diplomatic mission. Violence. 2008.

Short History of the United States         BR 18210
by Robert V. Remini
4 volumes
Historian chronicles the development of the United States from settlement of the land by nomads during the Ice Age to early-twenty-first-century civilization. Discusses the discovery of the New World by Europeans, the founding of the republic, and foreign and civil wars. Highlights the evolution of democratic principles. 2008.

Book of Useless Information         BR 18217
by Noel Botham
2 volumes
The Useless Information Society, a British group, presents trivia on a variety of subjects including the entertainment industry, the literary world, politics, history, sports, and animals. Tidbits include: "a group of goats is called a trip" and "Mick Jagger attended the London School of Economics for two years." 2006.

Purpose of Christmas         BR 18221
by Rick Warren
1 volume
Rick Warren, pastor of California's Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose-Driven Life (BR 17782), uses biblical scripture to examine the origins of Christmas. Describes the holiday as a time of celebration, salvation, and reconciliation for all people. Bestseller. 2008.

Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love         BR 18281
by Myron Uhlberg
2 volumes
Children's book author Uhlberg describes his childhood in 1930s and 1940s Brooklyn with two deaf parents and a hearing but epileptic younger brother. He recounts dealing with his sometimes uncomfortable role as an interpreter and with the looks of curiosity and shock from strangers. Some strong language. 2008.

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