Home > Braille Book Review > May–June 2013

NLS: Braille Book Review

May–June 2013
Volume 82, Number 3

In Brief

Books for Adults

Books for Children

Braille Magazines

About Braille Book Review

Braille Book Review is published bimonthly in braille, large-print, and online formats and distributed at no cost to blind and physically handicapped individuals who participate in the Library of Congress reading program. It lists braille books and magazines available through a network of cooperating libraries and carries news of developments in library services. The braille edition also lists NLS audiobooks appearing in Talking Book Topics with brief annotations.

The annotated list in this issue is limited to titles recently added to the national collection, which contains thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles, including bestsellers, classics, biographies, romance novels, mysteries, and how-to guides. Some books in Spanish are also available. To learn more about the wide range of books in the national collection, access the NLS International Union Catalog online at loc.gov/nls or contact your local cooperating library.

Braille Book Review is available online in HTML and plain text at www.loc.gov/nls/bbr. Patrons enrolled in the Web-Braille service may download contracted braille files for use with braille output devices.

About Web-Braille

Most books and all magazines listed in Braille Book Review are available for download for use with braille output devices. To use the Web-Braille service contact your cooperating library.

Music scores and instructional materials

Individuals registered for NLS music services may receive braille and large-print music scores, texts, and instructional recordings about music and musicians through the NLS Music Section. For more information about the NLS music collection call 1-800-424-8567, send an e-mail to nlsm@loc.gov, or visit www.loc.gov/nls/music/index.html.

Where to write

Order braille books through your local braille-lending library. To change or cancel a Braille Book Review subscription complete the form on the inside back cover and mail it to your local braille-lending library. To find your library check the last pages of this magazine or go online to www.loc.gov/nls/find.html.    

Patrons who are American citizens living abroad may request delivery to foreign addresses by contacting the overseas librarian by phone at (202) 707-5100 or e-mail at nls@loc.gov.    

Readers who are deaf-blind may contact cooperating libraries by TTY or by a state relay service. To contact NLS by TTY, dial (202) 707-0744. Send correspondence about editorial matters to: Publications and Media Section, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, Washington DC, 20542-0002.

Library of Congress, Washington 2013
Catalog Card Number 53-31800
ISSN 0006-873X

In Brief


The following announcements may be of interest to readers. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped reserves the right to publish announcements selectively, as space permits. The items mentioned, however, are not part of the NLS program and their listings do not imply endorsement.

Disaster-readiness guide available

To help people with disabilities prepare for natural disasters and other emergency situations, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created a targeted guide, Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for People with Disabilities. Topics discussed include developing a communications plan and building an emergency kit. The document can be accessed on FEMA’s website at http://www.ready.gov/individuals-access-functional-needs. Large-print and braille versions are also available by calling 1-800-480-2520 or e-mailing fema-publications-warehouse@fema.gov.

New tool for finding described TV programming

Individuals with visual impairments can now find described TV programming available in their area through Described TV Listings, a web-based search tool recently launched by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). To access the tool, go to http://afb.org/TV Link outside of Library of Congress and select Described TV Listings. You will need to enter your ZIP code and the name of your cable provider.

Accessible museum tours in New York City

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City offers accessible tours that incorporate both verbal description and the opportunity to touch objects in the museum’s collection. Science Sense tours at the AMNH are free with museum admission and take place about once each month. Upcoming tour topics include Living Large, an exploration of large plants and animals on June 12; Ocean Life on July 13; and North American Mammals on August 15. Advance registration is required. To obtain more information e-mail accessibility@amnh.org Link outside of Library of Congress or call (212) 313-7565.

New tactile atlas available

Atlas of Western Africa, the fourth and final volume in a series of tactile maps of Africa published by the Princeton Braillists, is now available. The atlas contains fifteen maps and costs $14. To order Atlas of Western Africa or any other Princeton Braillist tactile atlas, contact Ruth Bogia at (215) 357-7715 or Nancy Amick at (609) 924-5207. More information is available at http://mysite.verizon.net/resvqbxe/princetonbraillists. Link outside of Library of Congress

Improved talking money identifier available

An updated version of the iBill Talking Money Identifier is now available from Orbit Research. The second-generation device, which costs $119, has a rounded shape, earphone jack for privacy, recessed buttons to prevent accidental activation, and increased volume. Users insert a U.S. currency bill into a slot and push a button to hear the denomination announced. For more information visit www.orbitresearch.com Link outside of Library of Congress or contact Orbit at 1-888-606-7248.

Books for Adults

The following books were recently produced for the NLS program. To order books, complete the order form and return to your braille-lending library.

Note: For the information of the reader, a notice may appear immediately following the book description to indicate occurrences of violence, strong language, explicit descriptions of sex. The word “some” before any of these terms indicates an occasional or infrequent occurrence, as in “some strong language.”              

Adult Nonfiction

American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood     BR 18823
by Marc Eliot
4 volumes
Film historian’s biography of the Academy Award-winning actor, producer, and director. Discusses Eastwood’s five decades of work, his personal life as the father of seven children with five different women, the palimony lawsuit against him, and his stint as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Some strong language. 2009.

The Civil War: A Concise History     BR 19509
by Louis P. Masur
2 volumes
Overview of the causes of the American Civil War, a year-by-year summary of its major battles, and analysis of political and social developments in the North and South. Discusses the aftermath of the conflict—including President Lincoln’s assassination and Reconstruction—and the ways it changed the country. 2011.

Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate     BR 19518
by Rick Bowers
1 volume
Discusses creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Jewish upbringing during the Great Depression and its influence on the development of their superhero Superman. Covers the rise of the KKK and the emergence of the radio show The Adventures of Superman. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2012.

The Artificial Ear: Cochlear Implants and the Culture of Deafness      BR 19525
by Stuart Blume
3 volumes
Blume, a father of hearing-impaired children, relates the medical, economic, political, and social history of cochlear implants, starting with their conception in the 1930s. Focuses on technological advances in the field. Discusses the controversy surrounding the device, the deaf community’s reactions, and the opinions of hearing parents. 2010.

Deaf in Delhi: A Memoir     BR 19537
by Madan Vasishta
3 volumes
Vasishta—who lost his hearing in 1952 at age eleven—describes the medical, cultural, and educational hurdles he faced before winning a scholarship to a photography school for the deaf in his native India and later to Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C. 2006.

Anarchism: Exploring World Governments     BR 19538
by A.M. Buckley
2 volumes
Examines anarchy—the absence of government—and seeks to dispel common misconceptions about anarchism. Discusses anarchist principles such as equal access to and freedom in all things. Profiles key figures, including Mikhail Bakunin, and describes events, case studies, and more. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2011.

Branch Rickey    BR 19540
by Jimmy Breslin
1 volume
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist’s biography of Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey (1881–1965), who integrated major league baseball when he signed African American player Jackie Robinson in 1947. Also describes Rickey’s invention of the farm system. Some strong language. 2011.

Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris     BR 19555
by Christopher Kemp
2 volumes
Molecular biologist explores the creation and history of ambergris, a substance excreted by sperm whales as part of the digestive process after eating squid. Explains the perfume industry’s role in making ambergris one of the rarest and most valuable materials in the world. 2012.

Broetry: Poetry for Dudes     BR 19560
by Brian McGackin
1 volume
Collection of poems that laud and reflect on the experiences of the younger man. Topics include high school and college life, girlfriends, finances, and the quarter-life crisis. “O Captain! My Captain America!” is a paean to the popular comic book hero. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Uncontracted braille. 2011.

Monarchies: Exploring World Governments     BR 19574
by Diane Marczely Gimpel
2 volumes
Explains monarchies, a form of government in which one person has ceremonial or actual power to rule—usually for a lifetime—because of heredity. Profiles kings, queens, czars, and other sovereigns throughout history and discusses their customs, behaviors, international relations, and more. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2011.

Wit and Wisdom from Poor Richard’s Almanack      BR 19578
by Benjamin Franklin
1 volume
Selections from Benjamin Franklin’s almanacs, which were published for a quarter-century beginning in 1732 and included agricultural predictions, meteorological data, and maxims. This edition focuses on observations and aphorisms such as “eat to live, not live to eat.” Introduction by humorist Dave Barry. 2000.

Adult Fiction

The Anthologist    BR 18784
by Nicholson Baker
2 volumes
American poet Paul Chowder ruminates about poets and poetry as he procrastinates writing an introduction to an anthology. He makes observations about rhyme and rhythm, poetry movements, and his lost love Roz while he continues with his everyday chores. 2009.

Dead in the Family: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel     BR 18931
by Charlaine Harris
3 volumes
Telepath Sookie suffers from the aftermath of being tortured and grief for those she lost in the fae war. But paranormal politics, family issues, her relationship with Eric, and an angry enemy force her to recover quickly. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2010.

Something on the Side    BR 19503
by Carl Weber
4 volumes
New Yorkers Tammy, Nikki, Coco, Tiny, Egypt, and Egypt’s sister Isis start a Big Girls Book Club. But Tammy’s affair causes problems in her marriage, Isis is torn between two lovers, and the others wrestle with trouble in their own love lives. Strong language and descriptions of sex. 2008.

Big Girls Do Cry    BR 19504
by Carl Weber
3 volumes
Egypt, from Something on the Side (BR 19503), starts a Big Girls Book Club in Richmond, Virginia, where her husband Rashad is a wealthy hedge-fund manager. Egypt makes the mistake of taking in Isis, her emotionally troubled sister—and Rashad’s former girlfriend. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. 2010.

Dolci Di Love; or, the Sweetheart Cantucci     BR 19507
by Sarah-Kate Lynch
4 volumes
Childless forty-four-year-old business executive Lily discovers that her husband Daniel has a secret family in Italy and goes there to confront him. In Tuscany, Lily stays with the matchmaking members of the Secret League of Widowed Darners, learns to bake, and falls in love. 2011.

Criminal    BR 19514
by Karin Slaughter
4 volumes
Atlanta. When a college student vanishes, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Amanda Wagner sees connections to the 1974 homicide that launched her career. Her protégé Will Trent wants to investigate—but Amanda worries the case will uncover secrets from Will’s childhood. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2012.

Miss Julia to the Rescue    BR 19520
by Ann B. Ross
3 volumes
Miss Julia of Abbotsville, North Carolina, stops her redecorating project to retrieve her stepdaughter Hazel Marie’s PI husband J.D. Pickens from a hospital in West Virginia, where the local sheriff has imprisoned him. Back home former resident Agnes Whitman reappears with members of a tattooed religious cult. 2012.

Hotel Vendôme    BR19521
by Danielle Steel
3 volumes
Hughes Martin turns a rundown Manhattan hotel into a five-star establishment and raises four-year-old daughter Heloise after his wife runs off with a guest. Heloise grows up to study the hospitality business in Europe and Hughes falls in love with interior designer Natalie Peterson. 2011.

The Girl in the Blue Beret    BR 19526
by Bobbie Ann Mason
3 volumes
1980. Sixty-year-old widower Marshall Stone, a retired commercial pilot, journeys to France to retrace the trail he took after his B-17 bomber crashed in 1944. Marshall searches for the woman—who was a schoolgirl then—who led him to safety and comes to terms with his past. 2011.

Sonoma Rose: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel     BR 19528
by Jennifer Chiaverini
2 volumes
Prohibition-era California. Rosa Barclay leaves her abusive husband for her first lover, Lars Jorgensen. Rosa, Lars, and her children find work at a vineyard in Santa Rosa until federal agents raid the ranch. But the family manages to purchase land—and a still—of their own. Some violence. 2012.

The Man in the Wooden Hat    BR 19529
by Jane Gardam
2 volumes
Barrister Sir Edward Feathers, a Raj orphan, asks Elizabeth “Betty” Macintosh, a Scot who was raised in China, to marry—and promise never to leave—him. As they move between Hong Kong and England, their marriage fills with bittersweet secrets but endures. Sequel to Old Filth (BR 17240). 2009.

Secret Obsession     BR 19531
by Kimberla Lawson Roby
2 volumes
Paige Donahue, who has seethed with resentment toward her older sister Camille since childhood, conceives a plan to steal her brother-in-law through deceit. When Camille uncovers her sibling’s scheme, more than one family secret is revealed. 2011.

Friends Forever    BR 19533
by Danielle Steel
2 volumes
Izzie, Gabby, Billy, Sean, and Andy are best friends all through their private-school days in San Francisco. Their teen years bring parents’ divorces, blended families, and college applications. But tragedies occur once they enter the real world. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2012.

Where She Went     BR 19544
by Gayle Forman
3 volumes
Rising rock star Adam and successful cellist Mia, from If I Stay (BR 18565), reunite in New York and reconnect after the horrific events that tore them apart years earlier. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. For senior high and older readers. 2011.

The Maples Stories    BR 19547
by John Updike
3 volumes
Eighteen short stories featuring Joan and Richard Maple, from their 1956 marriage and early life together in “Snowing in Greenwich Village” through their divorce and ultimate reunion in “Grandparenting.” Some strong language. 2009.

Rival to the Queen    BR 19552
by Carolly Erickson
3 volumes
Elizabeth I loves Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. But as England’s virgin queen, she uses marriage as a political ploy, so she does not make him her consort—even after his wife’s death. Consequently, Elizabeth’s young cousin Lettie vies for Robert’s heart. Some violence and some descriptions of sex. 2010.

Joy for Beginners     BR 19556
by Erica Bauermeister
2 volumes
Seattle. Kate’s diverse set of friends—Caroline, Daria, Marion, Sara, Hadley, and Ava—gather to celebrate her recovery from breast cancer. Kate, who has recently agreed to face her fear of water by rafting through the Grand Canyon, challenges her friends to confront their own fears. 2011.

When the Snow Flies     BR 19562
by Laurie Alice Eakes
3 volumes
Post-Civil War. Pregnant widow Dr. Audrey Vanderleyden travels to rural Virginia to operate the practice she and her late husband had purchased together. When the seller refuses to honor the contract because he disapproves of female physicians, Audrey asks Nathan Maxwell—a local doctor who recently lost his sight—for help. 2010.

Bullfighting    BR 19563
by Roddy Doyle
3 volumes
Thirteen short stories about contemporary middle-aged Irish men. In the title piece forty-eight-year-old Donal and his three pub mates go to Valencia, Spain, to do what they do best—hang out and get drunk. On their last night a severely inebriated Donal wanders into a bull ring. Strong language. 2011.

Train Dreams     BR 19564
by Denis Johnson
1 volume
Orphaned boy Robert Grainier is sent by train to Idaho to live with relatives in the 1890s. He becomes a railroad laborer and a logger and marries later in life, only to lose his family in a tragedy. Meanwhile, progress changes the frontier. 2002.

French Lessons    BR 19565
by Ellen Sussman
3 volumes
France. Nico, Philippe, and Chantal work as French tutors for Americans. Their students include a bereaved pregnant woman, a movie star’s neglected husband, and a businessman’s lonely wife. While they explore Paris, all six discover hidden feelings. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2011.

The Raven Boys    BR 19571
by Maggie Stiefvater
4 volumes
Blue Sargent, the only non-clairvoyant in her family, is cursed with the knowledge that her kiss will cause her first true love to die. But on Saint Mark’s Eve, Blue’s future becomes much more complicated. Some violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2012.

Books for Children

The following books were recently produced for the NLS program. To order books, complete the order form and return it to your braille-lending library.

Children’s Nonfiction

Dog Heroes: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House Book 46, Dogs in the Dead of Night     BR 19532
by Mary Pope Osborne
1 volume
Like the Saint Bernards in Dogs in the Dead of Night (BR 19530), the canines featured here are trained to save lives. Discusses search-and-rescue dogs, including some that helped find 9/11 survivors; service dogs; and famous hero dogs throughout history. For grades 2-4. 2011.

A Child’s Garden of Verses      BR 19536
by Robert Louis Stevenson
1 volume
A selection of poems first published in England in 1885. Includes “The Wind,” “A Good Boy,” and “My Shadow.” For grades K-3 and older readers. 1885.

Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens    BR 19539
by Patricia Lauber
1 volume
Recounts the transformation of Mount St. Helens from a forested mountain to a desolate blast zone after its explosion on March 27, 1980. Discusses the earthquakes and mud flows that occurred and the gradual return of plants, insects, and animals. For grades 4-7. Newbery Honor Book. 1986.

Children’s Fiction

Blue Ribbon Blues    BR 19510
by Jerry Spinelli
1 volume
Tooter and her family have been living on her aunt’s farm for two months when Tooter meets a neighbor boy. She decides to compete against him at the county fair. Early chapter book. Sequel to Tooter Pepperday (BR 11080). For grades 2-4. 1998.

Just Grace and the Double Surprise     BR 19516
by Charise Mericle Harper
1 volume
While Grace and her best friend Mimi are waiting for the arrival of the baby sister Mimi’s family plans to adopt, Grace gets a big surprise from her father. For grades 2-4. 2011.

Dogs in the Dead of Night: Magic Tree House, Book 46; a Merlin Mission     BR 19530
by Mary Pope Osborne
1 volume
The magic tree house whisks Jack and Annie to a monastery in the Swiss Alps. With the help of Saint Bernard dogs and magic, Jack and Annie search for the second of four objects needed to break the spell on the wizard Merlin’s beloved penguin Penny. For grades 2-4. 2011.

The Empire of Gut and Bone     BR 19553
by M.T. Anderson
3 volumes
Brian and Gregory enter the land of New Norumbega, located inside a vast organic body, to recruit allies against Earth’s alien invaders. In the process they are drawn into a robot rebellion and a murder mystery. Sequel to The Suburb beyond the Stars (BR 19157). For grades 5-8. 2011.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s Journal     BR 19566
by Jeff Kinney
1 volume
Seventh-grader Greg records his experiences in middle school, where he and his best friend Rowley—both undersized weaklings—just hope to survive. But when Rowley grows more popular, Greg takes drastic measures to save their friendship. For grades 3-6 and older readers. 2007.

The Case of the Purple Pool: The Milo and Jazz Mysteries, Book 7     BR 19591
by Lewis B. Montgomery
1 volume
After spending a day practicing their cannonballs with friends, Jazz and Milo are dismayed to find the local pool closed because the water turned purple. They investigate to uncover the source of the puzzling plum color, so everyone can swim again. For grades 2-4. 2011.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
BR 20020
by Sherri Duskey Rinker
1 volume
Tough trucks work all day long puffing smoke, lifting big metal beams, and moving dirt at a construction site until they get tuckered out and go to sleep for the night. PRINT/BRAILLE. For preschool-grade 2. 2011.

Braille Magazines

The following is a list of braille magazines in the Library of Congress program. Readers may obtain free personal subscriptions to these magazines. For information on the availability of specific magazines, consult the library that send you braille materials.

Boys' Life (for children and teens, monthly)

Braille Book Review (bimonthly)

Braille Chess Magazine (British quarterly)

Braille Music Magazine (British monthly)

Conundrum (British monthly)

Cooking Light (11 issues)

ESPN: The Magazine (biweekly)

Harper's (literary; monthly)

Health Newsletters (includes Harvard Health Letter, Mayo Clinic Health Letter, and University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter; monthly)

Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine (monthly)

Ladies' Home Journal (11 issues)

Martha Stewart Living (10 issues)

Muse (for children; 9 issues)

Musical Mainstream (NLS quarterly)

National Geographic (monthly)

The New York Times Book Review (weekly)

The New York Times Large-Type Weekly (weekly)

News (NLS quarterly)

Parenting Early Years (11 issues)

Parenting School Years (11 issues)

PC World (personal computing; monthly)

Playboy (11 issues)

Poetry (11 issues)

Popular Communications (monthly)

Popular Mechanics (11 issues)

Popular Music Lead Sheets (irregular)

Rolling Stone (popular culture; 24 issues)

Science News (26 issues)

Seventeen (for teens; 10 issues)

Short Stories (British monthly)

Spider: The Magazine for Children (9 issues)

StoneSoup (children's writings; 6 issues)

Update (NLS semi-annually)

Schedules for the following sports leagues are also available:

NLS-produced Braille Sports Schedules





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Posted on 2013-06-28