Braille Book Review

May-June 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."


American Transcendentalism: A History         BR 17735
by Philip F. Gura
4 volumes
Presents the ideas of transcendentalism, an intellectual and spiritual movement of nineteenth-century America. Traces the philosophy's European roots, opposition to slavery, and support of women's rights, education reform, and social justice. Highlights the beliefs and actions of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and Bronson Alcott. 2007.

Perils of Peace: America's Struggle for Survival after Yorktown         BR 17736
by Thomas Fleming
4 volumes
Focuses on the time period immediately after the 1781 American victory at Yorktown until the 1783 final treaty. Highlights the British, French, and colonial statesmen involved in peace negotiations. Posits that George Washington's renunciation of absolute power to become a private citizen was the pivotal affirmation of democracy. 2007.

Untold Glory: African Americans in Pursuit of Freedom, Opportunity, and Achievement         BR 17888
by Alan Govenar
4 volumes
Interviews with twenty-seven African Americans who have excelled in the arts, politics, and business. First-person accounts describe overcoming discrimination and other obstacles to achieve personal goals. Includes businesswoman Josephine Cooke, who suffers from sickle-cell anemia, and mathematician Mary DeConge-Watson, a former nun. 2007.

Jezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible's Harlot Queen         BR 17894
by Lesley Hazleton
2 volumes
Author of Mary: A Flesh-and-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother (BR 15819) reassesses Jezebel, the ninth-century-B.C. queen in the Old Testament books of Kings. Using research, language analysis, and visits to the Middle East, Hazelton portrays the woman, her feud with the prophet Elijah, and the period's religious rivalries. 2007.

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey         BR 17902
by Jill Bolte Taylor
2 volumes
Neuroanatomist chronicles a severe brain hemorrhage she had when she was in her mid-thirties and the following eight-year recovery period. She describes the joy of the present moment she felt when she was operating solely with her brain's right hemisphere and explains ways the experience changed her. Bestseller. 2008.

Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve         BR 17905
by Christopher Andersen
2 volumes
Portrait of actor Christopher Reeve (1952-2004) and his singer-actress wife Dana (1961-2006) and their deepening bond following a 1995 riding accident that caused Chris's quadriplegia. Discusses their advocacy for spinal-cord research, Chris's therapy and unexpected death, and Dana's death from lung cancer seventeen months later at age forty-four. 2008.

Life Disrupted: Getting Real about Chronic Illness in Your Twenties and Thirties         BR 17907
by Laurie Edwards
2 volumes
The author, a twenty-seven-year-old health journalist with several chronic illnesses, shares her own experiences and those of other young adults who have conditions that are treatable but not curable. Discusses dealing with the medical establishment, the work world, and personal relationships. Offers guidance on managing one's health care. 2008.

Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives         BR 17911
by Jim Sheeler
2 volumes
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sheeler recounts the two years he spent shadowing marine major Steve Beck, an officer whose job is to notify the families of fallen soldiers. Sheeler portrays the lives of the deceased, Beck's efforts to comfort the grieving relatives, and the toll on surviving kin. 2008.

Science of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy         BR 17913
by Michael Hanlon
2 volumes
Using the cosmology and theoretical physics found in Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books as starting points, the author discusses alien life, parallel universes, instant translation devices, sentient computers, genetic engineering, space tourism, time travel, and related concepts. 2005.

Michelle: A Biography         BR 18055
by Liza Mundy
2 volumes
Washington Post staff writer describes Michelle Obama's life from childhood through her political journey of becoming America's first African American first lady. Discusses her being the child of a Chicago city worker; her Ivy League education and successful career; marriage to Barack, who calls her "the boss"; and motherhood. 2008.

Get Your Crochet On! Hip Hats and Cool Caps         BR 18108
by Afya Ibomu
1 volume
Describing her style as a mix of street, hip-hop, 1970s vintage, and new millennium, crochet designer Ibomu provides instructions for making many of the hats that her celebrity clients have worn in rap and soul music videos, concerts, and magazine photographs. Also discusses basic stitches, color theory, and materials. 2006.

Dough: A Memoir         BR 18114
by Mort Zachter
2 volumes
Describes the author's shock in learning that his Jewish bachelor uncles had saved millions of dollars. His confusion--why did the author's mother and her brothers live so frugally while operating a successful day-old-bread store?--is mixed with elation--the inheritance solves his own financial woes and allows him time to write. 2007.

How the South Could Have Won the Civil War: The Fatal Errors That Led to Confederate Defeat         BR 18218
by Bevin Alexander
4 volumes
Military historian posits that the South would have been victorious had Confederate president Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee followed General Stonewall Jackson's advice and attacked factories, railroads, and farms in the North rather than engaging in frontal assaults. Details crucial battles that support this theory. 2007.

Might As Well Laugh About It Now         BR 18225
by Marie Osmond
2 volumes
The lone sister of the 1970s Osmond Brothers singing group describes being a stage, television, and radio entertainer and a doll designer. She also discusses her childhood and personal life--parenting her eight children, battling weight and marital problems, and missing her beloved parents. Bestseller. 2009.

Ugly Laws: Disability in Public         BR 18268
by Susan M. Schweik
5 volumes
University of California at Berkeley professor explores the emergence of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century local laws in America that targeted poor and disabled people. Examines the historical context and social climate behind the policies, and the resulting discrimination, finally addressed in 1990 by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 2009.

Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel         BR 18401
by Edmund White
2 volumes
American novelist and literary critic recounts the life of French poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) and interprets his poetry, providing insights into Rimbaud's body of work. Discusses Rimbaud's arrival on the Paris literary scene, his tumultuous affair with Paul Verlaine, and his renouncement of poetry at age nineteen. 2008.

Beyond the Miracle Worker: The Remarkable Life of Anne Sullivan Macy and Her Extraordinary Friendship with Helen Keller         BR 18459
by Kim E. Nielsen
3 volumes
The author of The Radical Lives of Helen Keller uses Anne Sullivan Macy's notes and letters to portray her impoverished upbringing, education at the Perkins Institution, and personal relationships, especially with her pupil Helen Keller. 2009.

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