Braille Book Review

November-December 2011

Books for Adults


The Honorary Consul         BR 18447
by Graham Greene
3 volumes
Argentina. A British consul is kidnapped by Paraguayan revolutionaries who have mistaken him for the American ambassador. A local physician with his own divided loyalties negotiates between the rebels and the authorities. A tale of political chaos, love, faith, and betrayal. Includes 2008 introduction by Mark Bosco. 1973.

The Archbishop in Andalusia: A Blackie Ryan Mystery         BR 18454
by Andrew M. Greeley
2 volumes
Chicago archbishop Blackie Ryan travels to Spain for a conference. When Doņa Teresa, the duchess of Seville, is almost killed, the local cardinal requests Blackie's help in preventing another incident. Blackie also contends with family matters and the illness of his superior. 2008.

The Shiksa Syndrome         BR 18455
by Laurie Graff
3 volumes
Manhattan. After breaking up with her goyishe boyfriend, thirty-nine-year-old Jewish advertising executive Aimee Albert gets a makeover, transforming herself into a red-haired, green-eyed "shiksa." At a synagogue-sponsored singles mixer Aimee meets her perfect man--Josh Hirsch--who only dates gentiles. Aimee, who longs for marriage and children, hides her true heritage. 2008.

Pale Fire         BR 18456
by Vladimir Nabokov
3 volumes
University poet-in-residence John Shade writes a 999-line poem just before his death. Demented scholar Charles Kinbote then provides commentary on the poem. Kinbote's literary analysis reveals fantastic escapades of the deposed king of Zembla living in a New York college town and the king's would-be assassin. Introduction by Richard Rorty. 1962.

A Handful of Dust         BR 18458
by Evelyn Waugh
3 volumes
Satirical novel about London society. Tony Last, a young English squire, has a romantic love for his home, his wife, and his small son. When his wife has an affair and his child dies on a hunt, Tony seeks solace in the jungles of Brazil. 1934.

A Room with a View         BR 18499
by E.M. Forster
2 volumes
Englishwoman Lucy Honeychurch witnesses a murder in a Florentine piazza and faints into the arms of George Emerson. Lucy fancies George--who is entirely unsuitable--but faces social disapproval and her own conflicting desires. Back home, Lucy entertains a more acceptable suitor and must soon choose between convention and passion. 1908.

Noah's Compass         BR 18632
by Anne Tyler
2 volumes
Baltimore. After losing his teaching job, sixty-one-year-old Liam Pennywell moves into a smaller apartment. The first time Liam goes to bed in his new home, he awakens in the hospital with no memory of getting there. Liam deals with his ex-wife and daughters--while puzzling over the missing time. Bestseller. 2009.

Pirate Latitudes         BR 18634
by Michael Crichton
2 volumes
Jamaica, 1665. Captain Charles Hunter of the Cassandra assembles a motley crew to infiltrate the Spanish fortress on Matanceros island and steal its gold. An adventurous, bloody raid ensues against the outpost's garrison and its savage commander Cazalla. Violence and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2009.

Winesburg, Ohio         BR 18637
by Sherwood Anderson
2 volumes
Sketches of midwestern life in the early 1900s, inspired by the author's boyhood experiences. Loosely connected stories feature characters such as young reporter George Willard; schoolteacher Kate Swift, who tries to seduce Willard; and berry picker Wing Biddlebaum, whose hands bring both pride and shame. Includes 2005 afterword by Dean Koontz. 1919.

The Endless Forest         BR 18918
by Sara Donati
6 volumes
Paradise, New York; 1824. Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner welcome home their daughter Lily and their ward Martha. But Martha's mother Jemima, who previously abandoned the girl, returns and causes trouble. Sequel to Queen of Swords (BR 17260). Some violence, some strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2010.

Storm Prey         BR 18935
by John Sandford
3 volumes
Investigator Lucas Davenport's wife, Dr. Weather Karkinnen, is planning to operate on conjoined twins the day bikers rob the hospital pharmacy and kill an employee. Since Weather saw two of the robbers, Lucas has his colleague Virgil Flowers guard her. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2010.

Presumed Innocent         BR 18936
by Scott Turow
4 volumes
Chief prosecutor Rusty Sabich is given a case involving the murder of lawyer Carolyn Polhemus. But the married Sabich once had an affair with Polhemus, and his colleague Tommy Molto is convinced he is the killer. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 1987.

Innocent         BR 18937
by Scott Turow
4 volumes
Sixty-year-old appellate court judge Rusty Sabich is accused of killing his bipolar wife Barbara. Tommy Molto, who had unsuccessfully tried Rusty for his lover's murder in Presumed Innocent (BR 18936), leads the prosecution in Rusty's trial. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2010.

A Better Angel: Stories         BR 18938
by Chris Adrian
2 volumes
Tales about characters facing maladies of body and soul. In "Stab" a bereaved twin befriends a homicidal girl who kills neighborhood animals--and eventually larger prey. In the title story a son caring for his dying father confronts a heavenly messenger. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. 2008.

Blockade Billy and Morality         BR 18939
by Stephen King
1 volume
Two tales of horror. In the novella Blockade Billy (2010) baseball catcher William Blakely is called up to the major leagues. But after runners are injured at home plate, his third-base coach discovers Billy's secrets. In the short story "Morality" (2009) nurse Nora gets an intriguing proposition. Strong language and some violence. Bestseller. 2010.

The Black Cat: A Richard Jury Mystery         BR 19062
by Martha Grimes
3 volumes
New Scotland Yard superintendent Richard Jury investigates the murder of a librarian dressed like a well-heeled call girl, whose body is found behind the Black Cat pub in Chesham. Then similar women are killed in London. Meanwhile Jury must work through his feelings toward his hospitalized lover. Strong language. 2010.

The Help         BR 19132
by Kathryn Stockett
4 volumes
Jackson, Mississippi; 1962-1964. College grad and fledgling writer Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, who is white, searches for a publication-worthy project. She interviews two African American maids about their relationships with their employers. Dangerously violating integration laws, the women collaborate on a book that breaks new ground. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2009.

Last Night at Chateau Marmont         BR 19136
by Lauren Weisberger
3 volumes
New York nutritionist Brooke works two jobs to support her struggling musician husband Julian. When Julian appears on Jay Leno and becomes an overnight sensation, the couple are totally unprepared for the paparazzi and rabid fans. As their marriage founders Brooke reassesses her needs. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2010.

Waiting to Exhale         BR 19137
by Terry McMillan
4 volumes
Phoenix, Arizona; 1990. Four African American girlfriends commiserate over the lack of eligible men. Savannah has moved to town at the urging of the jilted Bernadine. Robin jumps from one loser to another, while Gloria tries to ignore her nonexistent love life. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. 1992.

Getting to Happy         BR 19138
by Terry McMillan
3 volumes
Phoenix, Arizona. Middle-aged Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin, from Waiting to Exhale (BR 19137), cope with problems in their love lives and with their older children. The four decide it's time to shake their addictions to food, shopping, and pills and "get happy." Strong language. Bestseller. 2010.

Bad Blood         BR 19139
by John Sandford
3 volumes
Minnesota Bureau investigator Virgil Flowers assists a new female sheriff with a multilayered case. Shortly after killing a farmer, a young homosexual grain-elevator operator is hanged in his cell. Before Virgil can interview him, the suspected cop is murdered, too. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2010.

The Ranger and Other Stories         BR 19145
by Zane Grey
2 volumes
Four westerns. In "The Ranger" a man risks his life to rescue the woman he loves. In "Canyon Walls" a fugitive seeks sanctuary with Mormons. In "Avalanche" a beautiful woman comes between two brothers, and in "From Missouri" a schoolteacher travels west to meet her unknown correspondent. 1960.

Darkness at Noon         BR 19147
by Arthur Koestler
2 volumes
This novel of the 1930s Moscow Trials and Stalinist purges, written from the author's own experiences, tells of the imprisonment, psychological torture, and fate of aging Bolshevik revolutionary Nicholas Rubashov. Under mounting pressure to confess to crimes he did not commit, Rubashov relives his sordid career. Some violence. 1941.

A High Wind in Jamaica         BR 19150
by Richard Hughes
2 volumes
A novel exploring the nature--and limits--of innocence. When a hurricane destroys their Jamaican home, the Bas-Thorntons place their five children aboard a ship bound for England. But the children experience violence, sexuality, and betrayal after they are captured by pirates. Includes 1999 introduction by Francine Prose. Some violence. 1929.

Scoop: A Novel about Journalists         BR 19151
by Evelyn Waugh
2 volumes
Comic satire on the habits of the press. The editor of London's Daily Beast mistakenly sends John Boot, a shy young nature writer, to cover a civil war in Africa. Boot soon becomes the star of British superjournalism and returns home as the most acclaimed overseas reporter. 1938.

A Bend in the River         BR 19152
by V.S. Naipaul
3 volumes
In a recently independent central African nation, Salim, a Muslim of Indian origin, purchases a defunct store in a town at a bend in the river. Hoping to prosper but feeling trapped, Salim observes the people, political climate, and needs of a society in upheaval. 1979.

A Conspiracy of Kings         BR 19165
by Megan Whalen Turner
2 volumes
Reluctant heir to the throne Sophos is kidnapped, becomes a slave, escapes, then finally accepts his destiny. He tries to save his country from being destroyed by rebellion and exploited by the conniving Mede empire. Companion to The King of Attolia (BR 16604). For junior and senior high readers. 2010.

A Cry in the Night         BR 19166
by Mary Higgins Clark
3 volumes
Jenny MacPartland, the struggling divorced mother of two small girls, marries wealthy artist Erich Krueger and moves into his family mansion in Minnesota. Erich becomes brooding, rageful, and, Jenny discovers, obsessed with the memory of his dead mother. Then the children disappear. 1982.

True Grit         BR 19212
by Charles Portis
2 volumes
1870s. Mattie Ross recounts when, at age fourteen, she hired one-eyed U.S. marshal Rooster Cogburn and she, Cogburn, and Texas ranger LaBoeuf tracked her father's murderer from Arkansas into Indian Territory. 2004 afterword by Donna Tartt. Basis for 1969 and 2010 movies. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller. 1968.

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