Talking Book Topics--July-August 1997

Books for Adults--Nonfiction

Books listed in this issue of Talking Book Topics were recently sent to cooperating libraries. The complete collection contains books by many authors on fiction and nonfiction subjects, including biographies, classics, gothics, mysteries, romances, and others. Contact your cooperating library to learn more about the wide range of books available in the collection. Cassette books are labeled with the code RC and play at 15/16 ips. To order books, contact your cooperating 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."

Losing Jessica RC 40673
by Robby DeBoer
read by Barbara Rappaport
3 cassettes
In 1991, Robby and Jan DeBoer adopted newborn Jessica. A month later, Jessica's birth mother demanded her back, claiming the true biological father had not given his consent for the adoption. Robby describes day-to-day activities during the two- and-a-half years Jessica was with the DeBoers as they fought and eventually lost the much-publicized case. 1994.

The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament: Translated out of the Original Tongues and with the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised RC 40842
read by Alexander Scourby
11 cassettes (Reissue)
The King James version of the Old Testament. 1957.

The Holy Bible, Containing the New Testament: Translated out of the Original Tongues and with the Former Translation Diligently Compared and Revised RC 40843
read by Alexander Scourby
4 cassettes (Reissue)
The King James version of the New Testament. 1957.

God Came Near RC 40935
by Max Lucado
read by Michael Consoli
1 cassette
Lucado believes most people don't pay attention to something that is nearby their whole lives. He shares his belief that people can find God by following Christ's sandalprints from the "cold, hard floor of the cave in which he was born" through the miracles he performed, to his crucifixion and resurrection--a path that Lucado hopes will lead to understanding the choices Christ made in helping others. 1987.

Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age RC 41222
by Peter Green
read by Lou Harpenau
8 cassettes
A member of the classics department at the University of Texas, Austin, presents an encyclopedic study of Greek civilization from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. to the triumph of Octavian in 30 B.C. Green includes many aspects: artistic, philosophical, social, religious, and military, focusing on the power struggles and political intrigues of the time. 1990.

Richard Wright: Early Works RC 41552
by Richard Wright
read by L.J. Ganser
6 cassettes
This volume covers Wright's prose through 1940. The editor restores Wright's original manuscripts, which had been extensively changed for publication. Includes Lawd Today!, Uncle Tom's Children, Native Son, How "Bigger" Was Born, a literary chronology, and notes by Arnold Rampersad. Followed by Richard Wright: Later Works (RC 41553). Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 1991.

Feminism and Disability RC 41756
by Barbara Hillyer
read by Jill Ferris
3 cassettes
A personal and political discussion from the intersection of the feminist and disability rights movements. With issues such as body image, self-worth, and achievement important in both, Hillyer finds parallels in some issues and opposition in others. The book grows from her experiences as the founder of a women's studies center and the mother of a daughter with multiple disabilities. 1993.

The Essays of Virginia Woolf, Volume 2, 1912-1918 RC 41806
edited by Andrew McNeillie
read by Suzanne Toren
3 cassettes
These essays date from Virginia and Leonard Woolf's marriage. All but one, "Heard on the Downs," an article published in the Times, appeared in the Times Literary Supplement. Among the writers that Woolf reviewed are Frances Willard, John Galsworthy, Joseph Conrad, Charlotte Brontë, Walt Whitman, and Edgar Allen Poe. Follows The Essays of Virginia Woolf, Volume 1 (RC 41805). 1987.

Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine RC 41873
by Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno
read by Kerry Cundiff
5 cassettes
Two naturopathic doctors describe "natural medicine," which includes therapy areas of nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, physical medicine, and counseling and lifestyle modification. They discuss how combinations of these therapies are used for more than sixty specific health problems including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and rheumatoid arthritis. 1991.

The Hubble Wars: Astrophysics Meets Astropolitics in the Two-Billion-Dollar Struggle over the Hubble Space Telescope RC 41889
by Eric J. Chaisson
read by Butch Hoover
4 cassettes
After its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was found to be embarrassingly out of focus. Astronomers were devastated, politicians disgusted, the press critical, and the public perplexed. Astrophysicist Chaisson chronicles the mismanagement and competing agendas among science, government, and industry that led to the Hubble boondoggle. 1994.

Coming of Age: The Story of Our Century by Those Who've Lived It RC 41899
by Studs Terkel
read by Bruce Huntey
4 cassettes
Interviews with seventy dynamic people over seventy years old. Most are liberals or moderates, some are well known, and all are motivated to continue to "fight the good fight" throughout their lives. Those interviewed represent a broad spectrum, from farmers to economists to labor leaders. Their stories provide a firsthand account of twentieth-century American history. 1995.

The Best of Modern Humor RC 41972
edited by Mordecai Richler
read by Rick Rohan
4 cassettes
A selection of prose pieces by sixty-four American and British authors offers a wide range of twentieth-century humorous writing. Includes James Thurber ("The Breaking Up of the Winships"), Woody Allen ("The Kugelmass Episode"), H.L. Mencken ("Recollections of Notable Cops"), S.J. Perelman ("Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer"), Garrison Keillor ("Shy Rights: Why Not Pretty Soon?"), and Roy Blount Jr. ("Trash No More"). 1983.

Fannie Flagg's Original Whistle-Stop Cafe Cookbook: Featuring Fried Green Tomatoes, Southern Barbecue, Banana Split Cake, and Many Other Great Recipes RC 41985
by Fannie Flagg
read by Pam Ward
1 cassette
Flagg, author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe (RC 26698), now presents recipes from the cafe that inspired that book--the Irondale Cafe in Alabama, which was started and long owned by Flagg's aunt. Flagg accompanies the instructions for cafe "comfort food" with humorous comments and excerpts from her novel. 1993.

The Girl Who Died Twice: Every Patient's Nightmare; the Libby Zion Case and the Hidden Hazards of Hospitals RC 42008
by Natalie Robins
read by Martha Harmon Pardee
3 cassettes
An investigative writer examines the 1984 death of Libby Zion. Libby, eighteen, was taken to the New York Hospital with several strange symptoms. When she died only hours later, a lengthy legal battle began between Libby's parents and the hospital staff. The case drew national attention to patient care in teaching hospitals. Some strong language. 1995.

The Dying of the Trees: The Pandemic in America's Forests RC 42018
by Charles E. Little
read by Jamie Horton
2 cassettes
A columnist for Wilderness and leader of conservation and environmental groups describes tree death in various regions of the United States. He blames policymakers, who refuse to see the damage because of their allegiances to commercial interests, and suggests that it may be too late to save the trees. 1995.

Captive Hearts, Captive Minds: Freedom and Recovery from Cults and Abusive Relationships RC 42072
by Madeleine Landau Tobias and Janja Lalich
read by Judith Ann Gantly
3 cassettes
A psychotherapist and an editor, both former cult members, describe psychological and physical damage caused by a cult experience and difficulties encountered on leaving the cult. The authors offer guidelines for identifying cults and advice on readjustment. Addresses religious, political, human potential, and other groups. 1994.

Robertson Davies: Man of Myth RC 42101
by Judith Skelton Grant
read by Robert Sams
5 cassettes
A discursive, detailed biography of the twentieth-century Canadian novelist. At the age of fifty-seven, Davies achieved national recognition with the publication of Fifth Business (RC 32480). Grant draws extensively from Davies's personal letters and journals and from interviews with Davies and others. 1994.

Selling the Dream: How to Promote Your Product, Company, or Ideas--and Make a Difference--Using Everyday Evangelism RC 42126
by Guy Kawasaki
read by Roy Avers
2 cassettes
Kawasaki, a former software evangelist at Apple Computer, provides a "practical blueprint for action" for businesspeople, social activists, and anyone who wants to change the world. Offers lessons, including case studies, on convincing people to believe in a product or idea. Also includes the entire 1983 Macintosh product introduction plan. 1991.

Fighter Wing: A Guided Tour of an Air Force Combat Wing RC 42130
by Tom Clancy
read by Lou Harpenau
4 cassettes
Techno-thriller author Tom Clancy provides an in-depth look at air force fighters. As in Submarine (RC 40075), he portrays life in an elite military group. Clancy also provides a history of air warfare and background in the technical aspects of aircraft and flight. The last chapter is an imagined scenario of air combat over Southeast Asia in the year 2000. Bestseller 1995.

American Heart Association Cookbook RC 42131
edited by Mary Winston
read by Patricia McDermott
5 cassettes
In addition to more than six hundred recipes complying with the American Heart Association dietary guidelines to avoid heart disease and stroke, this cookbook provides tips on adapting favorite recipes, dining out, and menus for holidays and special occasions. This varied collection of dishes includes vegetarian and quick-and-easy foods, and each recipe has a nutritional analysis. 1991.

The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford RC 42134
by John Robert Greene
read by Randy Atcher
2 cassettes
Aiming to add dimension to a presidency often seen as "healing" or "caretaking," Greene calls on declassified information to probe critical events. He explores the possibility that a Ford pardon was a condition of Nixon's resignation and that Cambodia was bombed, not to rescue the Mayaguez crew, but to make Ford look presidential. Greene also sketches the life of Ford, born Leslie Lynch King, and the role of Betty Ford. Some strong language. 1995.

Washington through a Purple Veil: Memoirs of a Southern Woman RC 42135
by Lindy Boggs
read by Terry Hayes Sales
3 cassettes
Lindy Boggs describes coming to Washington in 1941 as a political wife in love with her husband, Congressman Hale Boggs, and in awe of his political expertise. It was not until she ran to fill the seat vacated by his death in 1972 that she realized her own political skills. With her genteel approach, she relates how she fought for many issues, including civil rights and women's equality. 1994.

States of Mind: A Personal Journey through the Mid-Atlantic RC 42141
by Jonathan Yardley
read by Jack Fox
2 cassettes
Washington Post book critic and columnist Yardley realizes he is truly a son of the Mid-Atlantic as he muses on the people and places that give definition to the region. His travels through seven states and the District of Columbia took Yardley down old back roads, to burned-out inner cities, to beaches, and to class reunions and into shopping malls, diners, and famous resorts. 1993.

From the Angel's Blackboard: The Best of Fulton J. Sheen; a Centennial Celebration RC 42147
by Fulton J. Sheen
read by Jack Fox
2 cassettes
Selections from the 1950s books and television series of the popular Roman Catholic archbishop--Life Is Worth Living (RC 13966) and others. Sheen addresses such topics as work, happiness, melancholy, fatigue, and death. He urges readers to seek happiness by trusting God and doing what is right, illustrating his points with anecdotes from life and literature. 1995.

A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss; Guidance and Support for You and Your Family RC 42149
by Ingrid Kohn and Perry-Lynn Moffitt
read by Kerry Cundiff
3 cassettes
The authors discuss pregnancy losses, including miscarriage and stillbirth, and stress the importance of medical staff's adhering to bereavement protocols. The specialists include the stories of couples who have had these experiences, discuss ways of finding solace, and give an overview of the physical aspects of these conditions. 1992.

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place RC 42156
by Terry Tempest Williams
read by Mitzi Friedlander
2 cassettes
A multifaceted reflection on the retreat and return of life, nature, and family. The author poetically links the damage the 1982 Great Salt Lake floods did to wildlife with the destruction cancer wreaks in her mother and the many women of her family and neighborhood. Williams ponders the human--especially male--role in both disasters. She draws strength from her family, spirituality, and Utah's desert wildlife. 1991.

The American Bar Association Guide to Home Ownership: The Complete and Easy Guide to All the Law Every Home Owner Should Know RC 42157
by American Bar Association
read by Art Metzler
2 cassettes
Explanation of the legal framework of rights and duties associated with home ownership. Discusses forms of ownership, deeds, titles, insurance, taxes, and the financial side of owning a home. Gives tips on avoiding liability, remodeling without getting swindled, and resolving problems with neighbors. Addresses special concerns of aging home owners. 1995.

Andrew Jackson and His America RC 42161
by Milton Meltzer
read by Brian Conn
1 cassette
Biography of the controversial frontiersman, Indian fighter, military hero, and seventh president of the United States. Covers Jackson's humble birth and early backwoods life; his military career in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, where he earned the nickname "Old Hickory"; his election to the presidency in 1828; and his contribution to U.S. history as the first populist president. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1993.

Why the Earth Quakes RC 42164
by Matthys Levy and Mario Salvadori
read by Butch Hoover
1 cassette
The authors' architectural engineering backgrounds and personal experience inform their descriptions of earthquakes and volcanoes. They explain how these acts of nature happen, how they are measured and studied, which types of structures best resist earthquakes, and much more. Specific earthquakes and volcanoes are used as examples. 1995.

The Presidency of James Monroe RC 42165
by Noble E. Cunningham
read by Randy Atcher
2 cassettes
Biography of the fifth president of the United States focuses on the period of Monroe's presidency, from 1817 to 1825. Summarizing Monroe's life and career during the Revolutionary War and under presidents Jefferson and Madison, the biography describes and analyzes Monroe's actions and accomplishments as president, the highlights of which were the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the promulgation of the important Monroe Doctrine in 1823. 1996.

Hannah's Heirs: The Quest for the Genetic Origins of Alzheimer's Disease RC 42172
by Daniel A. Pollen
read by John Richardson
2 cassettes
A professor of neurology and physiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Pollen presents a scientific discussion for the general reader. He tells how studies of family pedigrees, such as that of the eponymous Russian woman, and advances in genetic studies led to a test to predict Alzheimer's disease. 1993.

Out of the Fog: Treatment Options and Coping Strategies for Adult Attention Deficit Disorder RC 42180
by Kevin R. Murphy and Suzanne LeVert
read by Carol Dines
2 cassettes
The authors define adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) as a treatable neurobiological disorder characterized by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and oftentimes, hyperactivity. They explain the diagnosis and treatment and describe techniques for coping with the effects of ADD using diet, exercise, relaxation, and organizational tools. 1995.

When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope--Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy RC 42181
by Manuel J. Smith
read by Ray Foushee
2 cassettes (Reissue)
Opposed to manipulating people by interfering with their decision-making processes, therapist Smith describes how to be assertive without taking away the dignity and self-respect of others. Included are a "bill of assertive rights," descriptions of systematic assertive skills, and numerous dialogs illustrating the techniques. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1975.

Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine RC 42186
by Randolph M. Nesse and George C. Williams
read by Butch Hoover
2 cassettes
According to two proponents of Darwinian medicine, the body is a bundle of careful compromises. Diseases do not result from random or malevolent forces; they arise ultimately from past natural selection. The authors discuss six evolutionary explanations for disease: defenses, genes, novel environments, infections, design compromises, and evolutionary legacies. 1994.

Robert E. Lee: A Biography RC 42203
by Emory M. Thomas
read by Jeremy Gage
4 cassettes
Thomas, a professor of history at the University of Georgia, believing the true Lee has never been seen, offers a portrait of a man he considers an enigma. Thomas's discussion of the man perhaps best known as the commander of the Army of Virginia includes Lee's years at West Point, his career as an engineer, his marriage to Mary Custis, their seven children, and his presidency at Washington College. 1995.

The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson: Volume 3, August 1879-September 1882 RC 42210
by Robert Louis Stevenson
read by Patrick Horgan
3 cassettes
This volume of letters covers the period of Stevenson's life when he traveled to California, married American Fanny Osbourne, and began to face the consequences of his chronic poor health. It is also the period of growing literary success with the publication of some of his finest essays and short stories and with the beginning of his most famous work, Treasure Island (RC 18121). 1882.

Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics RC 42211
by Ruth Lewin Sime
read by Christopher Hurt
4 cassettes
The author highlights Meitner's often overlooked pioneering career--from her professorial work at Berlin's prestigious Kaiser Wilhelm Institute to her atomic discoveries while exiled in Stockholm. A physicist who codiscovered nuclear fission with Otto Hahn, Meitner fled Nazi-occupied Austria during World War II and received none of the credit when Hahn won the Nobel Prize. 1996.

The Sea of Galilee Boat: An Extraordinary 2000 Year Old Discovery RC 42217
by Shelley Wachsmann
read by Ken Kliban
2 cassettes
A nautical archaeologist who served with Israel's Department of Antiquities and Museums describes the painstaking excavation of a two-thousand-year-old boat discovered in 1986 in the Sea of Galilee. Wachsmann discusses the historical context, concluding the boat was a typical fishing vessel dating from between 100 B.C. and 67 A.D. and similar to those used by Jesus' disciples. 1995.

Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion RC 42218
by Abraham Joshua Heschel
read by Richard Davidson
2 cassettes
A classic of theology by the Jewish authority and author of Maimonides: A Biography (RC 19651), who died in 1972. Heschel reflects on aspects of the human relationship with the divine, probing ways of knowing God, the universe, and the self. Themes include "reason and wonder," "the meaning of existence," and "faith and piety." 1951.

Lewis Carroll: A Biography RC 42220
by Morton N. Cohen
read by John Horton
4 cassettes
Literary biography of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), author of Alice in Wonderland (RC 12392). Cohen provides insights into the enigmatic Victorian writer, based on thirty years of studying Carroll, and analysis of his diaries and letters. Carroll was an Oxford don, a mathematics instructor, and a master of wordplay. He was also friend to many young girls, including the real Alice. 1995.

King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era RC 42223
by Edward A. Berlin
read by John Stratton
3 cassettes
A musicologist's documented account of the composer whose late 1800s and early 1900s works include "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer." Integrates myths and anecdotes with information from public archives and provides some technical analysis of the music and a new perspective on the ragtime world Joplin occupied. Includes a listing of Joplin's works. 1994.

The War against the Poor: The Underclass and Antipoverty Policy RC 42224
by Herbert J. Gans
read by Ralph Lowenstein
2 cassettes
Sociology professor criticizes the use of the term "underclass" to refer to poor Americans and attacks the notion of "the undeserving poor." Gans discusses how negative labeling undermines social policy and damages the lives of individuals. He offers a grim view of the potential for widespread underemployment and suggests alleviation of poverty through a set of policies. 1995.

Noah's Choice: The Future of Endangered Species RC 42225
by Charles C. Mann and Mark L. Plummer
read by David Munro
2 cassettes
The authors assert that many factors lead to species extinction, making the struggle for protection expensive and not always successful. They also argue that enforcement of the Endangered Species Act is too restrictive to provide good social policy, and that extremists on both sides are hampering progress. They recommend striking a balance between the needs of humans and nature. 1995.

The Batterer: A Psychological Profile RC 42228
by Donald G. Dutton
read by Nick Sullivan
2 cassettes
After describing several different types of men who abuse women, Dutton focuses on examining the minds of what he refers to as "cyclical/emotionally volatile abusers" and discusses the possibility of curing them. The author studied and treated abusive men in Canada for twenty years and was an expert witness for the prosecution in the murder trial of O.J. Simpson. 1995.

Queen Bess: Daredevil Aviator RC 42230
by Doris L. Rich
read by Catherine Byers
1 cassette
Rich outlines the life of the world's first black woman aviator, Bessie Coleman, by drawing on reports in black newspapers and memoirs of contemporaries. Born in 1892, Coleman battled racism and sexism in her drive to "amount to something." She chose flying as her road to glory, earned her license in France after U.S. instructors refused to teach her, and found fame in air shows. She died in a crash in 1926. 1993.

A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books RC 42231
by Nicholas A. Basbanes
read by Robert Blumenfeld
5 cassettes
Traces "the cycle of books among collectors, libraries, and dealers" to enlighten the "gentlest of infirmities," bibliomania. These richly anecdotal and well-documented narratives cover some of the world's great book collections, from the Alexandrian library to that of Thomas Jefferson. 1995.

Nancy Blackett: Under Sail with Arthur Ransome RC 42232
by Roger Wardale
read by John Horton
2 cassettes
Blending anecdotes, gleanings from letters and documents, and excerpts from Arthur Ransome's books, Wardale presents a boating biography of Ransome. Identifying Ransome's boat, the Nancy Blackett, as the model for the vessel in We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea (RC 15054), Wardale discusses Ransome's many watercraft and sailing adventures and reveals a man of daring, wit, and a defined sense of protocol. 1991.

Streisand: Her Life RC 42233
by James Spada
read by John Stratton
4 cassettes
More than two hundred of Streisand's friends, acquaintances, and family members contributed their recollections to this biography of the noted actress and singer. Using these and past print interviews, Spada describes a determined woman whose voice and talent took her far, despite her unconventional looks and her sometimes difficult personality. Includes filmography and discography. Some strong language. 1995.

The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991 RC 42234
by Eric Hobsbawm
read by Ralph Lowenstein
6 cassettes
A broad survey of the twentieth century that the author divides into three categories--"The Age of Catastrophe, 1914-1950," during which the promising new century was racked by war, economic depression, and totalitarianism; "The Golden Age, 1950-1973," which saw technological and social advances; and "Landslide, 1973-1991," which witnessed the fall of communism and the rise of new social ills. 1994.

Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man: An Interpretive Biography RC 42236
by Norman Mailer
read by Ed Blake
3 cassettes
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author focuses on Picasso's sexual and artistic development, basing his speculations on the writings of others and on his study of the artist's works. Mailer traces Picasso's life from birth in 1881 through 1916. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 1995.

Napoleon and Josephine: The Improbable Marriage RC 42237
by Evangeline Bruce
read by Suzanne Toren
4 cassettes
A retelling of the famous romance between the ambitious young army officer and the reluctant, older divorcée, then mistress of Napoleon's patron, Paul Barras. Bruce, an authority on French history, bases much of her narrative on letters among the principals as she details the marriage that endured infidelity on both sides and ended because the emperor needed an heir. 1995.

The Pursuit of Happiness: Who Is Happy--and Why RC 42238
by David G. Myers
read by Ralph Lowenstein
2 cassettes
Myers states he does not "possess final answers to the mysteries of well-being," which seem to depend on prior personal and social experience. His studies indicate that a satisfying job, realistic expectations, good physical fitness and health, a happy marriage, and religious faith do make a person happier. Myers also asserts that acting happy can have a positive effect. 1992.

A Byzantine Journey RC 42241
by John Ash
read by John Horton
2 cassettes
The writer describes his five-week journey from Istanbul through Anatolia to Cappadocia, alternating details of his travels with descriptions of historic sites and accounts of their past. For example, he describes rust-pink Hagia Sophia, tells how the Fourth Crusade robbed the church, details principles of Byzantine architecture used in the building, and deplores an ongoing paint job as "close to vandalism." 1995.

Edmund Wilson: A Biography RC 42247
by Jeffrey Meyers
read by Mary Kane
5 cassettes
Recounts the chaotic life of the literary critic who was a friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald, a lover of Edna St. Vincent Millay, and the author of Axel's Castle (RC 16392), The Dead Sea Scrolls (RC 23134), and many other books, articles, and personal journals. Meyers chronicles Wilson's abuse of alcohol, his numerous sexual liaisons, and his love of controversy. Strong language and descriptions of sex. 1995.

The Stalking of Kristin: A Father Investigates the Murder of His Daughter RC 42262
by George Lardner
read by Steven Carpenter
3 cassettes
Washington Post investigative reporter Lardner writes of the death of his daughter. A student in Cambridge, Kristin dated club bouncer Michael Cartier briefly but obtained a restraining order after he beat her. Cartier later shot her in the head and killed himself. With subsequent legislation, Cartier's criminal record would have alerted the police to take stronger measures. 1995.

Spirit of Courage: A Tribute to People with Disabilities RC 42264
by Paul Calandrino
read by Bob Moore
2 cassettes
Laurel Burch is a well-known designer who has dealt with a bone disease since childhood. Here are her story and the stories of twenty-one other individuals with disabilities who have received the Laurel award for the "courageous and inspiring ways in which they have met the personal challenges in their lives." 1995.

Doing Simple Math in Your Head RC 42272
by W.J. Howard
read by Butch Hoover
1 cassette
Stating that "being able to do [math] problems in your head is basically being able to simplify," the author gives tips on reordering, rearranging, and breaking up numbers; using equivalents and identities; and approximating and rounding off. He reviews basic arithmetic and provides real-life practice problems such as figuring change, gas mileage, and sale prices. 1992.

Radio Sound Effects: Who Did It, and How, in the Era of Live Broadcasting RC 42273
by Robert L. Mott
read by Barry Bernson
2 cassettes
The author, a radio sound effects artist, and others working in live radio created their own methods to convey over the microphone a cow being milked, thunder, walking on snow, and other background sounds. Humorous anecdotes and artists' credits complete this history. Some strong language. 1993.

dBASE for DOS for Dummies RC 42276
by Scott Palmer and Michael Stabler
read by John Richardson
2 cassettes
A guide to help nonspecialists build skills they can immediately use with the database management system. Explains how to design a databank, retrieve information, create reports, do calculations, and produce form letters. 1994.

Nice Work if You Can Get It: My Life in Rhythm and Rhyme RC 42278
by Michael Feinstein
read by Brian Conn
3 cassettes
Pianist and cabaret singer Feinstein discusses his musical life and the stars he has met along the way. As a young man, Feinstein lucked into being hired to help Ira Gershwin catalog his collection of private Gershwin recordings and spent the next six years as his confidant. After Gershwin's death, his own career took Feinstein to clubs and concert halls across the country and abroad. Some strong language. 1995.

Adult ADD: A Reader-Friendly Guide to Identifying, Understanding, and Treating Adult Attention Deficit Disorder RC 42280
by Thomas A. Whiteman and Michele Novotni
read by Kerry Cundiff
2 cassettes
Two psychologists aim their book primarily at those with attention deficit disorder (ADD) but add tips for the people who interact with them. Using patients' experiences, they discuss symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and the controversy surrounding ADD. 1995.

A War of Witches: A Journey into the Underworld of the Contemporary Aztecs RC 42289
by Timothy J. Knab
read by Bruce Huntey
2 cassettes
Knab, an American anthropologist researching the Mexican Aztecs and learning about dreams and rituals from contemporary witches, tells how he accidentally discovered that the magical "healers" could also kill. After he overheard his mentor agree to kill a client's son-in-law, he investigated how survivors of a 1930s "war of the witches" can still get rid of rivals. 1995.

Politics of Conscience: A Biography of Margaret Chase Smith RC 42298
by Patricia Ward Wallace
read by Terry Hayes Sales
3 cassettes
A history professor draws on research and on interviews with Smith and her family, friends, and colleagues to chronicle the career of the nation's first woman senator. Elected to her deceased husband's seat in the House in 1940, the Maine Republican served in the Senate from 1948 to 1972. Smith was a firm cold warrior and confronted a McCarthy attack with her "Declaration of Conscience." 1995.

The Nightingale's Song RC 42316
by Robert Timberg
read by Jake Williams
4 cassettes
Presents disparate portraits of five U.S. Naval Academy graduates, Vietnam veterans, and public figures under President Reagan. As young plebes, all heard the "nightingale's song" extolling the honor of military service. Timberg avers that Reagan later revived that song in the men, with results that included the Iran-Contra scandal. Strong language. 1995.

Living Buddha, Living Christ RC 42317
by Thich Nhat Hanh
read by Bill Wallace
1 cassette
Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh brings Christian and Buddhist spiritual concepts of compassion and holiness together. After many conversations with Christian leaders, Thich Nhat Hanh concludes that the spiritual bases of the two religions are very close. As a peace advocate, he wants to bring an understanding that will join peoples of all religions. 1995.

The Cloister Walk RC 42320
by Kathleen Norris
read by Martha Harmon Pardee
2 cassettes
Norris has been a Benedictine oblate, or associate, for ten years and has twice spent extended periods of time at St. John's Abbey in Minnesota. In diary form, she describes her "immersion" in this liturgical world and the benefits she derives from her time there. Bestseller 1996.

A Third Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 More Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit RC 42324
by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
read by Bill Wallace
2 cassettes
The authors provide even more stories to "inspire and motivate you to love more unconditionally, live more passionately, and pursue your heartfelt dreams with more conviction." Topics include love, parenting, attitude, and wisdom. Sequel to A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul (RC 40454). Bestseller 1996.

A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles RC 42327
by Mark Hertsgaard
read by David Hartley-Margolin
3 cassettes
Journalist Hertsgaard provides an in-depth look at the Beatles' music. At the Abbey Road Studios, he was permitted access to the raw tapes of recording sessions through which he heard songs evolve and the interplay of the musicians. To those insights he adds documented information about the Fab Four; he excludes the unverified hearsay of the time. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1995.

Of Life Immense: A Family History RC 42328
by Sarah Broadstreet
read by Jill Ferris
4 cassettes
The author, who completed this history in 1989 when she was ninety-two years old after working on it for thirty years, addresses her account to her grandchildren and speaks directly to them throughout. The sometimes humorous narrative focuses on Broadstreet's father but includes some genealogical information, descriptions of contemporary life, and allusions to historical events. 1992.

In Contempt RC 42331
by Christopher A. Darden
read by Gary Telles
3 cassettes
As prosecutor Darden explains his role in the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial, he also provides an account of his growing up black in America. His personal story is that of a road not taken--in that he learned from, rather than followed in, his brother's footsteps. Some strong language. Bestseller 1996.

How Could You Do That?! The Abdication of Character, Courage, and Conscience RC 42333
by Laura Schlessinger
read by Mitzi Friedlander
2 cassettes
The author of Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives (RC 38864) looks at ways people can feel "fully human" and get maximum benefits from life experiences. Schlessinger believes that by returning to the three C's--character, conscience, and courage--individuals can prevent the personal and interpersonal problems that have a negative effect on their lives. Bestseller 1996.

My Old Man and the Sea: A Father and Son Sail around Cape Horn RC 42335
by David and Daniel Hays
read by Roy Avers
2 cassettes
In diary format, David and his twenty-four-year-old son, Daniel, describe their 17,000-mile, 317-day voyage around the tip of South America aboard the Sparrow. Their long-dreamed-of voyage becomes a balancing act in their relationship until the father comes to realize it is time to turn control over to his son. Some strong language. 1995.

Old Dogs and New Tricks RC 42341
edited by Kenneth Jernigan
read by Bruce Huntey
1 cassette
Stating that "it is never too late to learn new techniques and new ways of thought," Jernigan presents examples of himself and other members of the National Federation of the Blind doing just that. A woman learns to knit, a couple adopts a daughter, and a new deacon serves communion. 1996.

Biography of the Blind: Including the Lives of All Who Have Distinguished Themselves as Poets, Philosophers, Artists, &c. &c. RC 42343
by James Wilson
read by Lou Harpenau
3 cassettes
Collected and edited by Kenneth Stuckey from the four original editions of 1821 through 1838. "Offers insights into the lives of blind people before the great emancipators of the blind," says Stuckey. Subjects include Homer, Milton, Handel, and many others. 1995.

Messages from My Father RC 42375
by Calvin Trillin
read by Robert Blumenfeld
1 cassette
The author and humorist fondly recounts his relationship with his father, Abe, a Kansas City grocer and restaurateur who emigrated from Russia. Trillin recalls his father's stubborn ways, strong moral instruction, and comic sensibility, as well as his penchant for collecting Yiddish curses and yellow neckties. Bestseller 1996.

East to America: Korean American Life Stories RC 42383
by Elaine H. Kim and Eui-Young Yu
read by Robert Blumenfeld
3 cassettes
Interviews with thirty-eight Korean Americans, including a journalist, monk, family counselor, policeman, seamstress, marketing executive, hairstylist, and women's rights activist. The authors offer Korean American perspectives on history, identity, and community. Some strong language. 1996.

The Western Abenakis of Vermont, 1600-1800: War, Migration, and the Survival of an Indian People RC 42384
by Colin G. Calloway
read by Frank Coffee
2 cassettes
History of an American Indian tribe in New England whose obscurity helped it to survive. The social structure was one of family groups banding together for hunting seasons rather than a strong central group. Migration was done on a small scale by families, avoiding the attention of outsiders. The author pieced together information from scarce remaining documentation. 1990.

Exile's Return: The Making of a Palestinian American RC 42389
by Fawaz Turki
read by Ken Kliban
3 cassettes
The author of Soul in Exile (RC 30375) returns to Israel some forty years after his family's 1948 expulsion. He interweaves his impressions of his homeland with memoirs of his intervening odyssey: Beirut, the Australian outback, Katmandu, and the United States. Despite his roots, he is critical of Palestinian mores and the PLO. 1994.

Late Love: A Celebration of Marriage after Fifty RC 42390
by Eileen Simpson
read by Catherine Byers
2 cassettes
Psychotherapist Simpson interviewed fifty men and women who married after the age of fifty-five, the oldest being ninety. She explores the problems and compromises of transition including the giving up of one's own home and dealing with the reactions of offspring. She points out that sexuality and romance are a big part of late-life marriages. Some descriptions of sex. 1994.

Dynamite Resumes: 101 Great Examples and Tips for Success! RC 42391
by Ronald L. and Caryl Rae Krannich
read by David Munro
2 cassettes
Claiming that "resumes are here to stay in a very big way," the authors provide tips on writing, production, distribution, and follow-up. Samples of traditional chronological resumes are transformed and improved and accompanied by suggested cover letters. Also discussed are electronic resumes and databases in the job market of the 1990s. 1992.

Got to Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel RC 42393
by Jules Schwerin
read by John Stratton
1 cassette
Reminiscences about the gospel singer. While filming a documentary about Jackson, the author comes to know her and witnesses her rise to popular success with both black and white audiences. He describes her career during the civil rights movement, of which her voice became a part. Includes a discography of Jackson's work. 1992.

The Doctors' Case against the Pill RC 42421
by Barbara Seaman
read by Martha Harmon Pardee
2 cassettes
Twenty-fifth anniversary edition of a groundbreaking work on women's health issues. Contains the 1969 text on the risks and side effects of birth-control pills as well as a discussion of the changes in law and policy brought about by the original book. Also addresses concerns about the more recent contraceptive implants and estrogen replacement therapy. Contains anatomical descriptions. 1995.

Pay Any Price: Lyndon Johnson and the Wars for Vietnam RC 42423
by Lloyd C. Gardner
read by John Rayburn
5 cassettes
The Rutgers University history professor presents a researched, analytic account detailing discussions and decision making among Johnson, his advisors, and others. Gardner argues that the president's judgments were rooted in his New Deal convictions and that his goals for Vietnam were an extension of his Great Society plans. 1995.

The Active Life: Wisdom for Work, Creativity, and Caring RC 42426
by Parker J. Palmer
read by Bill Wallace
2 cassettes
Six stories and poems are used to examine the possibility of being spiritual for those who choose life in the world of action over the monastic norms of a contemplative life. The author, who completed a long journey toward the knowledge that he was not a monk, discusses the lessons in each of the selected works, which include a Taoist poem, biblical tales of Jesus, and a poem by a Guatemalan activist. 1990.

Idols of the Game: A Sporting History of the American Century RC 42428
by Robert Lipsyte and Peter Levine
read by Jake Williams
3 cassettes
Profiles of sixteen sports heroes from the 1880s onward reflect the class, race, and gender ideals and barriers of sports and the rest of society. Beginning with boxer John L. Sullivan, whom the authors consider to be America's first great sports idol, the subjects include Babe Didrikson, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Michael Jordan. Some strong language. 1995.

The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA RC 42430
by Diane Vaughan
read by Martha Harmon Pardee
5 cassettes
Examines the 1986 space shuttle Challenger explosion that shocked the nation. Sociologist Vaughan's interpretation of the event focuses on the NASA environment, organizational culture, and decision-making process that resulted in an "incremental descent into poor judgment." 1996.

Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected RC 42433
by Stanley Kunitz
read by Jim Zeiger
1 cassette
Poems written since 1971 are collected here in honor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author's ninetieth birthday. Works draw on his life experience, "telling the stories of the soul," which is how he describes poetry in the preface. Winner of the 1995 National Book Award. 1995.

A Valley in Italy: The Many Seasons of a Villa in Umbria RC 42434
by Lisa St. Aubin de Terán
read by Martha Harmon Pardee
2 cassettes
The author and her family spent three years looking for a "suitable dilapidated villa" in Italy before they found one that fit the mental picture of the ideal house--and their depleted savings. She describes the events of the year-long restoration, including camping out while workmen made the villa habitable, the harvest and celebrations with the locals, a wedding, and a New Year's Eve celebration. 1994.

Uncommon Sense: The Heretical Nature of Science RC 42443
by Alan Cromer
read by Annie Wauters
2 cassettes
The physics professor advances the idea that science, which he defines as objective thinking, is an unnatural development on the part of human beings, who more naturally take an egocentric, or "religious," view of reality. He uses the theories of psychologist Jean Piaget to trace the genesis of science historically and within individuals and offers ideas for improving science education. 1993.

Palimpsest: A Memoir RC 42458
by Gore Vidal
read by Terence Aselford
3 cassettes
Literary notable Vidal remembers the first half of his life. Talented and born into a wealthy political, but dysfunctional, family, the author recalls and rewrites encounters with literary and political personages of the times, from the Kennedy family to lover Tennessee Williams to Paul Newman. The story of his only true love, a boy in boarding school, is told with poignancy. Descriptions of sex and some strong language. Bestseller 1995.

A Short History of the Civil War RC 42460
by James L. Stokesbury
read by Robert Sams
3 cassettes
The history professor and author of other "short history" books presents a detailed, analytic account of the conflict. Conversational and sometimes humorous, the report addresses attitudes and goals of both sides, military strategy and battles, the issue of slavery, economic factors, and personalities. 1995.

The Sound and the Story: NPR and the Art of Radio RC 42466
by Thomas Looker
read by Steven Carpenter
3 cassettes
A behind-the-scenes look at National Public Radio by the creator of the New England Almanac radio series. Looker presents a minute-by-minute account of Morning Edition and All Things Considered and describes the production of Weekend Edition. He also explores the nature of public radio and its role in American culture. 1995.

Life on the Edge: A Young Adult's Guide to a Meaningful Future RC 42470
by James Dobson
read by Rick Rohan
2 cassettes
A psychologist and Christian broadcaster offers advice for those between the ages of sixteen and twenty-six who are moving through the "critical decade" when vital decisions are made: about education, jobs, marriage, family, and the establishment of personal values and principles. He includes a list of thirty-eight values to live by. For senior high and older readers. 1995.

Enter Whining RC 42483
by Fran Drescher
read by Suzanne Toren
2 cassettes
Nasal-voiced comedic actress describes her life and career. Born in Flushing, New York, Drescher is married to Peter Jacobson, whom she met in high school. Movies such as Saturday Night Fever and Cadillac Man led to her starring role in the television sitcom The Nanny. Some strong language. Bestseller 1996.

Collected Longer Poems RC 42487
by Hayden Carruth
read by Gordon Gould
1 cassette
Companion to the award-winning author's Collected Shorter Poems (RC 35785). Ten poems in different styles written by the New England poet between 1957 and 1983. "Vermont" reflects on the origins of the state's French name, which translates as "green mountain," and celebrates Vermont's terrain, people, and history. Other selections include "Journey to a Known Place," "North Winter," and "The Sleeping Beauty (1970-1980)." 1994.

The Zone: A Dietary Road Map RC 42493
by Barry Sears
read by Rick Rohan
3 cassettes
Believing the trend toward eating a diet high in carbohydrates will not lead to weight loss and health, the author details a diet he calls "the zone." He stresses the importance of getting the correct amount of protein and restricting the amount and the types of carbohydrates eaten because of their detrimental hormonal effects. Bestseller 1995.

Dorothy L. Sayers: A Careless Rage for Life RC 42511
by David Coomes
read by Anne Flosnik
2 cassettes
This life of the creator of Lord Peter Wimsey--Murder Must Advertise (RC 39257)--relies heavily on the Oxford-educated Sayers's letters and other writings. Coomes details the intellectual British writer's feisty assertion of her religious views and sketches her private life, including her loveless marriage and the illegitimate son a cousin reared for her. 1992.

Writing Was Everything RC 42515
by Alfred Kazin
read by Terence Aselford
1 cassette
The author, editor, and literary critic offers his William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization, which he delivered at Harvard in 1994. In a prologue and three essays, Kazin reflects on his experiences, especially in the field of literature, before, during, and after World War II. He discusses contemporary writers and literary trends of the time. 1995.

Have Mercy! Confessions of the Original Rock 'n' Roll Animal RC 42519
by Wolfman Jack
read by Terence Aselford
2 cassettes
The man born Robert Smith describes his metamorphosis into Wolfman Jack as a disc jockey in Mexico in the 1960s. His popularity extended to the United States, where over the years he rubbed shoulders with musicians such as Elvis Presley, the Temptations, John Lennon, and Chuck Berry and got to play himself in the movie American Graffiti. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1995.

Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic RC 42523
by Alexander Stille
read by Laura Giannarelli
4 cassettes
A reporter's account of Italy's war against the Mafia. Tells of two magistrates who cracked the Mafia's code of silence and prosecuted 465 mafiosi. After the two were murdered in 1992, public outcry led to the indictment of Mafia leaders and powerful politicians. 1995.

Call the Briefing! Bush and Reagan, Sam and Helen; a Decade with Presidents and the Press RC 42524
by Marlin Fitzwater
read by Gregory Gorton
3 cassettes
The White House spokesman for presidents Reagan and Bush recounts his decade in that post. Presents a behind-the-scenes view of White House-news media dynamics. 1995.

What Happens When Women Pray RC 42532
by Evelyn Christenson
read by Barbara Pinolini
1 cassette
The 1968 national women's chairman for the Baptist General Conference shares her experiences in leading women in prayer. She offers the "Six Ss" rules for prayer groups: subject by subject, short prayers, simple prayers, specific prayer requests, silent periods, and small groups. Supports text with Bible passages and relates results obtained by many prayer groups. 1975.

Chimpanzee Travels: On and off the Road in Africa RC 42539
by Dale Peterson
read by Ted Stoddard
3 cassettes
The author, wanting to know more about chimpanzees, travels around east, west, and central Africa, and finally into the northern Congo and the heart of the Ndoki rain forest, an area where chimps have never seen humans. Peterson describes his meetings with Jane Goodall, natives, and tourists and his encounters with confusing trails, screaming gorillas, and raging chimpanzees. 1995.

Women in American Indian Society: Indians of North America RC 42641
by Rayna Green
read by Martha Harmon Pardee
1 cassette
Green examines the historical role of women in her Cherokee tribe and other North American tribes and their place in myths and creation stories. The power women had, especially in female-centered tribes, was diminished when European men came on the scene. Green also discusses reservation life and role models for early and present-day Native American women. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1992.

Trust and Betrayal: Real Life Stories of Friends and Enemies RC 42665
by Janet Bode
read by Martha Harmon Pardee
1 cassette
Presents frank views of life and friendship that emerged when teenagers from around the country were interviewed about peer pressure. Teens discuss positive experiences in relationships as well as difficult and painful situations they found themselves in. Some violence and some descriptions of sex. For junior and senior high readers. 1995.


Next section of Talking Book Topics | Previous section of Talking Book Topics | Talking Book Topics Home Page


Go to the NLS Home Page