Braille Book Review

Books for Adults The following books were recently produced for the NLS program. To order books, contact your braille-lending 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 occurence, as in "some strong language." Nonfiction

Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet BR 15125
by Karen Armstrong
4 volumes
Prolific writer on the Middle East examines the religious beliefs of the founder of Islam. Investigates the West's distorted view of the Muslim faith and traces the life of Muhammad. Explains how "Islam shares many of the ideals and visions that have inspired both Judaism and Christianity." 2001 preface by the author. 1992.

The Presidential Nominating Process: A Place for Us? BR 15388
by Rhodes Cook
2 volumes
Former Congressional Quarterly political writer examines the role of voters in determining presidential nominees. Traces the history and evolution of modern primary elections; looks at the process in other democratic countries like England, France, and Germany; and suggests reforms that would increase competition and empower voters. 2004.

How to Cook without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart BR 15544
by Pam Anderson
3 volumes
Using the concept that most recipes are variations on a theme, Anderson provides techniques and formulas that allow cooks to create meals from on-hand ingredients. She suggests basic pantry and refrigerator staples and outlines "easy-to-grasp" methods for preparing soups, omelets, sauces, appetizers, and desserts. 2000.

How to Win the Nobel Prize: An Unexpected Life in Science BR 15560
by J. Michael Bishop
3 volumes
Memoir of Nobel Prize-winning microbiologist. Bishop reflects modestly on his journey to success, from his childhood in rural Pennsylvania to his studies at Harvard Medical School and the cancer cell research for which he was recognized in 1989. Also provides background on the prize, the field of microbiology, and modern scientific controversies. 2003.

How Not to Be My Patient: A Physician's Secrets for Staying Healthy and Surviving Any Diagnosis BR 15582
by Edward T. Creagan
3 volumes
Mayo Clinic cancer specialist outlines strategies for reducing the risk of developing serious illness. Discusses lifestyle choices, health screening, doctor-patient communication, and the mind-body-spirit connection. Also explains how to survive a life- threatening diagnosis through complementary medicine, a positive attitude, and a good support system. 2003.

A Year of Sundays: Taking the Plunge (and Our Cat) to Explore Europe BR 15594
by Edward D. Webster
3 volumes
Recounts author's year-long 1997 European trip with his visually impaired, menopausal wife, Marguerite, and sixteen-year-old cat, Felicia. Describes putting careers on hold to realize their dream and embarking "on a quest for adventure," exploring eateries, tourist destinations, and romantic locales in France, Greece, Holland, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Austria. 2004.

American Indians in U.S. History BR 15602
by Roger L. Nichols
2 volumes
Concise survey of U.S. Native Americans for students and general readers. The author, a professor, focuses on three stages of Indian history since 1500: life before European intrusion, the reservation experience, and contemporary society. Narrative highlights central issues and incorporates tribal customs, ideas, movements, and individuals. Includes suggested readings. 2003.

Partners in Independence: A Success Story of Dogs and the Disabled BR 15603
by Ed Eames and Toni Eames
2 volumes
Accounts of disabled people whose lives have been enhanced by specially trained guide, hearing, and service dogs. Documents heroism as well as everyday deeds. The authors, who are visually impaired, also describe their own experiences with canine partners and chronicle the 1990s assistance dog movement. Revision of 1997 edition. 2004.

The Thirty Day Natural Hormone Plan: Look and Feel Young Again--without Synthetic HRT BR 15624
by Erika Schwartz
3 volumes
Physician provides a month-long program that relies on natural hormones to alleviate menopausal symptoms. Suggests using diet and exercise to maintain good health while aging. Includes meal plans and a summary of the National Institutes of Health synthetic hormones study. 2004.

When Good People Write Bad Sentences: Twelve Steps to Better Writing Habits BR 15628
by Robert W. Harris
1 volume
Strategies for overcoming an "addiction to bad writing." Examines the roots of common writing errors that lead to ineffective sentences and baffling communication. Explains how to use correct grammar, syntax, punctuation, diction, and style to produce clear, confident, and persuasive prose. 2003.

Iraq: An Illustrated History and Guide BR 15671
by Gilles Munier
2 volumes
Concise, comprehensive overview of the history of Iraq from the days of Sumer (4500-2340 BCE) to the 2003 Gulf War. Makes a geographic tour of the country, centering in Baghdad and highlighting monuments, landmarks, and ancient archaeological sites. 2000.

The Complete Shade Gardener BR 15677
by George Schenk
3 volumes
Discusses the creation of a shady retreat covering all the basics from determining the site and preparing the soil to fending off pests and selecting specific trees, shrubs, groundcovers, ferns, perennials, annuals, and edibles. Expanded 1991 update of 1984 edition with 2002 appendix. 2002.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo BR 15685
translated by J.R.R. Tolkien
2 volumes
Three medieval poems from the age of Arthurian legend, translated into modern English by the author of The Hobbit (BR 11595) and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 1975.

One Hundred Birds and How They Got Their Names BR 15688
by Diana Wells
2 volumes
Brief essays describe birds and humans' fascination with them. Highlights species groupings, etymology of names, folk beliefs, legends, literature, and history associated with birds. Gives the meaning of "hoodwink" and "for the birds" and explains how cranes have come to symbolize marital happiness. 2002.

Celia: My Life BR 15691
by Celia Cruz
2 volumes
Autobiography by the Afro-Cuban singer, the "Queen of Salsa," who died in 2003. Reminisces about her upbringing and early career in Havana and her road to international success. Recalls her voluntary exile after Castro came to power, her long marriage, and associations with other musicians. Foreword by Maya Angelou. 2004.

The Speckled People BR 15714
by Hugo Hamilton
2 volumes
Troubled childhood recounted by a native of Ireland, whose Irish- nationalist father refused to allow him and his siblings to speak English and whose German mother had fled war-torn Europe. Depicts Hamilton's struggle for acceptance and reflects the links between culture, language, and identity. Some violence and some strong language. 2003.

Chet Atkins: Me and My Guitars BR 15715
by Chet Atkins and Michael Cochran
1 volume
Autobiography written with longtime friends the Cochran brothers. The guitarist recalls his career, beginning with his early days in Tennessee and Georgia, by focusing on guitars he's had over the years. Describes the evolution of his guitars' construction and includes anecdotes about favorite instruments. Introduction by Jerry Reed. 2001.

Profiles in Courage BR 15716
by John F. Kennedy
2 volumes
Biographical sketches of historic statesmen who demonstrated great political courage at crucial moments in U.S. history. Includes John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, and others. Written by then-senator Kennedy while convalescing from the effects of war wounds. 2003 introduction by Caroline Kennedy; 1964 foreword by Robert F. Kennedy. Pulitzer Prize. 1955.

They Shoot Canoes, Don't They? BR 15723
by Patrick F. McManus
2 volumes
Tongue-in-cheek tales about a sportsman's life. McManus celebrates the hidden pleasures, and the opportunities for disaster, in the recreations of camping, hunting, and fishing. Includes amusing accounts of his dog Strange and an incorrigible old woodsman, Rancid Crabtree. 1981.

The Art of Happiness at Work BR 15725
by Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler
2 volumes
In this sequel to The Art of Happiness (BR 13301), a psychiatrist questions the Dalai Lama about applying Buddhist principles in the workplace. The Tibetan spiritual leader advises that career satisfaction is related to staying motivated, having a realistic "sense of self," and maintaining "basic human values" such as kindness and compassion. 2003.

The Royal Road to Card Magic BR 15735
by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braué
3 volumes
Noted magic authorities present a guide to developing a versatile repertoire of tricks enabling card handlers to perform more than a hundred feats of magic. Includes instructions for Thought Stealer, Gray's Spelling Trick, Now You See It, Obliging Aces, Rapid Transit, Kangaroo Card, and others. 1951.

The King and I: The Uncensored Tale of Luciano Pavarotti's Rise to Fame by His Manager, Friend, and Sometime Adversary BR 15739
by Herbert Breslin and Anne Midgette
3 volumes
Luciano Pavarotti's manager/publicist candidly recounts his thirty-six-year relationship with the opera singer. Breslin describes the tenor as evolving from a "simple, lovely guy" to a "determined, aggressive, and somewhat unhappy superstar." Details his career, quirks, superstitions, and love life. 2004.

Scattered Shadows: A Memoir of Blindness and Vision BR 15751
by John Howard Griffin
3 volumes
The author of Black like Me (RC 17498) recounts losing his sight in 1947 from a war injury and unexpectedly recovering it ten years later. Describes his religious conversion to Catholicism during his blindness and individual and institutional reactions to his physical impairment. Some strong language. 2004.

Card Manipulations: Series 1-5 BR 15753
by Jean Hugard
2 volumes
Master card performer provides a five-part resource guide to more than 165 card tricks and stunts. Demonstrates stage and small group performances and teaches passes, palming methods, shuffles, arm spreads, color reverses, sleights, flourishes, set-ups, and tricks. Includes step-by-step explanations. 1934.

Health Care Meltdown: Confronting the Myths and Fixing Our Failing System BR 15770
by Robert H. LeBow
3 volumes
Quadriplegic physician criticizes U.S. health care system flaws that leave millions uninsured or underinsured. Using case studies, LeBow identifies misconceptions preventing change and proposes a solution to provide "affordable, comprehensive health care" for every American. Discusses co-pays, deductibles, and Medicare. Update of 2002 edition, published posthumously. 2003.

More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues BR 15779
by Joel Best
2 volumes
Sociologist advocates skepticism toward quantitative information used by journalists and politicians, among others, to influence public opinion. In this sequel to Damned Lies and Statistics (BR 13790), Best explores common problems in numerical thinking: omission of data, confusion about categories, and unquestioned authority. Offers suggestions for teaching statistical literacy. 2004.

Chronicles, Volume 1 BR 15792
by Bob Dylan
2 volumes
First of a three-volume memoir by music legend Bob Dylan. Describes his intellectual development, folk songs and blues he listened to in the 1960s, and the growth of his artistic conscience. Recalls early days in Greenwich Village, transient loves, lasting friendships, and experiences in New Orleans and Woodstock. Bestseller 2004.

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