Braille Book Review

July-August 2012

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."


Why Socrates Died: Dispelling the Myths         BR 18673

by Robin Waterfield
3 volumes
Examines the myths behind the philosopher Socrates and his prosecution and execution. Analyzes Socrates' relationship with Alcibiades and uses Athenian history, wars, culture, and democracy to explain the complex background of the trial. Discusses the written work of Socrates' followers Plato and Xenophon. 2009.

American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America         BR 18677

by Edmund S. Morgan
3 volumes
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian compiles seventeen essays he penned over a span of nearly seventy years that portray aspects of American Puritanism. Covers politicians William Penn and George Washington, religious leader Anne Hutchinson, and accused witches Giles Cory and Mary Easty. 2009.

Surviving after Cancer: Living the New Normal         BR 18745

by Anne Katz
2 volumes
Clinical nurse and sexuality counselor offers advice for cancer survivors. Uses anecdotes from patients with different types of the disease to discuss common issues such as follow-up care, return to work, fear of recurrence, depression, fatigue, cognitive difficulties, sex, and childbearing. Includes resources. Some explicit descriptions of sex. 2011.

Unlikely Friendships: Forty-seven Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom         BR 18747

by Jennifer S. Holland
1 volume
Senior writer for National Geographic describes relationships between animals of different species, including an elephant and a sheep; a pot-bellied piglet and a Rhodesian ridgeback dog; and a lion, tiger, and bear trio. Explains that such "friendships" meet needs that range from companionship and nursing to protection. Bestseller. 2011.

Going Blind: A Memoir         BR 18764

by Mara Faulkner
2 volumes
A Benedictine nun reminisces about her father's gradual loss of sight from retinitis pigmentosa and the effects his condition had on her Irish American family. She interweaves her recollections of growing up in North Dakota with meditations on the metaphorical meaning of blindness in our culture. 2009.

Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat         BR 18765

by David Dosa
2 volumes
Geriatrician describes Oscar, a prickly cat living at a Rhode Island nursing home who senses when residents are dying and stays with them, providing comfort during their final hours. Details Dosa's and Oscar's interactions with the patients, many of whom have dementia, and their families, and discusses end-of-life care. Bestseller. 2010.

Guide to Chamber Music         BR 19122

by Melvin Berger
5 volumes
Presents 231 well-known chamber music works for three to eight players arranged alphabetically by composer. Provides a biographical sketch, historical context, and salient features of the music. Discusses compositions by fifty-five composers, including Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schubert, and Tchaikovsky and modern masters Britten, Carter, Copland, Ravel, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky. 2001.

The Economic Naturalist's Field Guide: Common Sense Principles for Troubled Times         BR 19123

by Robert H. Frank
2 volumes
Collection of essays from a New York Times economics columnist. Examines national and personal fiscal themes such as taxes, health-care costs, energy and the environment, increased income inequality, consumer spending issues, saving, lending, and more. 2009.

Enlightening the World: The Creation of the Statue of Liberty         BR 19307

by Yasmin Sabina Khan
3 volumes
Examines political events, symbolism, and principal figures guiding the monument's development from its 1865 inception in Paris to its 1886 unveiling in New York Harbor. Discusses contributions of French promoter Édouard-René Lefebvre de Laboulaye, French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, American architect Richard Morris Hunt, and French engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. 2010.

The Diabetes Manifesto: Take Charge of Your Life         BR 19397

by Lynn Crowe and Julie Stachowiak
3 volumes
Public-health specialist Stachowiak and veteran diabetes educator Crowe offer advice for living with diabetes and managing setbacks. They explain possible complications, emotional and psychological issues, and the importance of health literacy. They also discuss ways to optimize medical care and take charge of one's life. 2011.

Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan         BR 19400

by Greg Mortenson
3 volumes
Author of Three Cups of Tea (BR 16830) and cofounder of the Central Asia Institute chronicles his school-building efforts and promotion of female literacy in remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Discusses Mortenson's long-term goals and shares anecdotes about those affected by his work. Bestseller. 2009.

Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox         BR 19418

by Barbie Latza Nadeau
1 volume
Rome-based reporter's account of the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, and the case against her American roommate Amanda Knox, Amanda's Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, and local acquaintance Rudy Guede. Includes the author's own theory of Kercher's homicide. 2010.

Chaucer: Ackroyd's Brief Lives         BR 19422

by Peter Ackroyd
2 volumes
Brief account of fourteenth-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales (BR 13235). Discusses Chaucer's royal service to the Duke of Clarence and Edward III and his legal problems. Examines Chaucer's poem Troilus and Criseyde, which is considered the first modern work of English literature. 2004.

Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing         BR 19426

by Ann Angel
1 volume
Biography of Janis Joplin (1943-1970) chronicles her successful music career and provides insight into her personal life and emotional vulnerabilities. Discusses Joplin's drug and alcohol addictions and death from an overdose at age twenty-seven. For junior and senior high and older readers. YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction. 2010.

Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition         BR 19482

by Karen Blumenthal
2 volumes
The history and legacy of Prohibition, which began with passage of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1920 and ended in 1933. Profiles Carrie Nation, the temperance movement's first celebrity, and discusses the rise of bootleggers and gangsters such as Al Capone. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2011.

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