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"I'm Disabled . . . Now What?"

A basic resource for the disabled delivers advice on a range of topics.

This guide by disability expert Checkoway (Getting Paid: An Insider’s Guide to Filing Your Long-Term Disability Claim or Appeal, 2012, etc.) covers such subjects as equipment and technology (including emergency alert systems and wheelchairs), exercise, accessible housing, and travel. The first part, “Planning for Incapacity,” may be one of the more helpful sections, because it addresses both the psychological aspects of living with a disability and the practical impact, in particular, of working with one. The author’s seven strategies for coping with a disability are written with a keen sensitivity and from a personal perspective resulting from his own experience of being partially disabled. Similarly, the 10 tips Checkoway offers for the newly disabled, while somewhat more cautionary, set realistic expectations for one’s life ahead. Other parts of the book are not as inspirational but valuable nonetheless; there is good information, for instance, about the challenges of driving with a disability, elements that make housing accessible, and basic facts about monitoring systems, wheelchairs, wheelchair ramps, and stair lifts. Most of the chapters are short and easy to read, if sketchy at times; some of them have been adapted or reprinted from other sources. While many of the chapters seem somewhat cursory, the most comprehensive section of the book concerns traveling with a disability. Here, the author addresses such worthwhile topics as airlines, cruise ships, safety, health care, emergencies, travel insurance, and more. He adds a few useful insider tips as well, including important commentary about the decidedly unfriendly experience he had traveling as a disabled person on a European train. One of the better features of the volume may be its extensive appendices, which boast a wealth of resources for the disabled, including listings of manufacturers and distributors of monitoring services and equipment, state assistive technology programs, wheelchair manufacturers, and the like. A worthy starting point for those with disabilities who need an overview of the fundamentals; but readers will likely have to use the sources in the appendices to dig deeper for more information.

Pub Date: April 13, 2016

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 540

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 7, 2016

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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INTO THE WILD

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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