Talking Book News Bulletin, Summer 2012

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Director's Report
Holiday Closings

Feature: Short Stories
Spotlight on Texas

Book Club News
Books made to Movies
Focus on Health and Nutrition: Diabetes

Braille Revival League of Texas

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Related Links
Loan Policy
Spotlight on Texas Books
Disability Information & Referral Center
National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped

Director's Report

Greetings! Here is the latest news:

Network Library of the Year Award:  Your Talking Book Program has been awarded the 2011 “NLS Network Library of the Year Award” by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  On June 1, 2012, Texas State Library and Archives Commission chairman Michael Waters, state librarian Peggy Rudd, and I accepted the award at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.  In early 2012, we submitted nomination papers to be considered for the award, and after two rounds of review, we were selected to receive the award, amid some tough competition.  As part of the nomination process, we had to describe the program (including staffing, statistics, and services offered), describe how we exceed standards set by the American Library Association, and provide testimonials from patrons we serve.  Besides the framed award certificate, we also received an award plaque and $1,000.  We plan to have a reception later in the year to which patrons, volunteers, and staff will be invited.  If you would like to read more about the award, please visit our web page at .

Ordering books from this newsletter:  Starting with the next issue of this newsletter, we will be changing the format of this newsletter to give more in-depth coverage to books we think you might like to read.  This means that fewer books will be featured, but those books will have more information about them.  The books featured will all be available on the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) site and on digital cartridge (or if they are not already on cartridge, they will be soon).  Periodically, we also will feature books available in large print and in Braille.

What’s important to remember when ordering a book featured in the newsletter is that it may be available in another format that you prefer.  When you call your reader consultant at 1-800-252-9605 and want to order one of these featured books, here’s what you need to do.  First, tell the reader consultant that you want to order a book that is featured in the newsletter.  Next, tell the reader consultant the author, title, or book number of the book you are interested in.  Then, tell the reader consultant what format you want the book in.  Your choices are 1) digital cartridge, 2) cassette, 3) Braille, or 4) large print.  If the book is not available in the format you want, the reader consultant will tell you this so that you can select another format.  Finally, if you want the book right away, ask to reserve the book; otherwise, the book is entered as a request and will be mailed to you at a later time.

Availability of cassette books and magazines:  The time has come to begin phasing out the cassette format of books.  We have been instructed by the National Library Service (NLS) to begin sending cassette books to one of its processing facilities.  This phase-out will last for about five years, so there are still plenty of books on cassette right now.  All magazines still are on cassette, but the new digital magazines on cartridge are expected to be available later this year.  If you read books on cassette, some titles may soon be unavailable.  If you don’t already have a digital talking book machine (DTBM), now is the time to request one, as there are plenty in stock.  Patrons already using DTBMs say the DTBM is easier to use than the cassette machine, and they like the improved sound quality of the digital cartridges. Each book fits on a single cartridge, so patrons no longer have to flip sides or deal with multiple cassettes. Please call 1-800-252-9605 and ask a reader consultant to assist you.

Helpful ways to contact the Talking Book Program staff:
• To order books or report a problem with your machine: 1-800-252-9605
• To request an application or ask about enrollment: 1-800-252-9605
• To access the toll-free information line: 1-866-388-6397
• To contact the Disability Information and Referral Center: 1-800-252-9605
• To contact the Public Awareness Office: 1-512-463-5452 or 1-800-252-9605
• To send email to anyone in the Talking Book Program: 
• To ask for assistance using BARD: 1-800-252-9605 or
• To ask a librarian for reading advice or reference assistance: 1-800-252-9605 or

Until next time,
Ava Smith, Director, Talking Book Program


Texas Talking Books will be closed for these holidays.

Of course, you can leave a message or send e-mail on a holiday.

  • Monday, September 3 – Labor Day

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Feature:  Short Stories

A short story is a work of fiction that is shorter than a novel. Short stories often deal with only a few characters.  If you don’t have time to devote to a novel, or you just want to try something different, short stories offer an alternative.  TBP has a number of short story collections available.  To order any of these books, call 1-800-252-9605.  All titles are also available for download through the BARD.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.  A collection of a short novel and three short stories.  The title work focuses on the enchanting Holly Golightly, Texas child bride, New York playgirl, and girlfriend of a gangster czar.  Some strong language.

Complete Tales of Washington Irving by Washington Irving (1783-1859).  Sixty-one short stories by the prolific New Yorker, best known for "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."  The volume contains satires, ghost stories, and fables, many of them set in New York City and the Hudson Valley in the early days of Dutch settlement.

Ford County: Stories by John Grisham.  Seven short stories set in rural Ford County,
Mississippi.  Some violence and some strong language.  Bestseller.

Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor.  Autobiographical sketches with stories about the
inhabitants of Lake Wobegon, an imaginary Minnesota town.  Lake Wobegon's history and mores are presented.  Tales of the town are outrageous, earthy, warm, sly, and sometimes both funny and sad.  Bestseller.

Law of the Desert Born by Louis L’Amour.  A collection of eleven short stories about the
men and women who struggle to survive on the American frontier.  Drawn from L'Amour's early works, the author has added to each story notes about the background and the society from which it was derived.

Selected Stories of William Faulkner by William Faulkner.  Thirteen short stories (most written in the 1930s) by the Nobel Prize-winning American novelist who died in 1962.

Six Tales of the Jazz Age and Other Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Nine short stories by the author of “The Great Gatsby”, including "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," a Hollywood-movie inspiring tale about a man who ages backwards.


Call the Disability Information and Referral Center toll-free at
1-800-252-9605 for information about disabilities and health conditions.


Spotlight on Texas Books Now in Newsletter

New issues of Spotlight on Texas Books are no longer being produced on audio cassette. We hope to create Spotlight on Texas Books on digital cartridge in the future.  Older issues of Spotlight are still available on cassette and feature older titles available only in cassette format.  The books listed here are available only on digital cartridge.  To request  any title listed below, call 1-800-252-9605.

Buffalo Hunter and Other Stories by Zane Grey.  In “The Buffalo Hunter," Easterner Tom Doan comes West and joins a buffalo hunting party.  The other stories concern a man seeking revenge, a great red stallion, and an early effort to make an on-location movie.

Flirting with Disaster by Jane Graves.  On a humanitarian mission to fly doctors to a remote village in Mexico, pilot Lisa Merrick discovers something sinister lurking behind the organization in charge.  Her plane is sabotaged, leaving her trapped in the Mexican wilderness with a price on her head and no way out.  Some sex and profanity.

Mammoth Murder: A Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery by Bill Crider.  When a dead body turns up in a Blacklin County forest better known for its bigfoot sightings, Sheriff Dan Rhodes hopes the murderer won't be as hard to catch as the legendary monster itself.  Some violence.

Murder by Reference by D.R. Meredith. It's no Halloween trick when the body of mild-mannered Brad Hemphill - curator of the Texas Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum - materializes in a museum display in the dead of night.  Strong profanity.

Tales from the Terlingua Porch by Blair Pittman.  Tales, often humorous, from the Big Bend area of West Texas.

Texas Guns by Leslie Ernenwein.  "You can call me killer, gents...But don't forget the 'Mister'!"  That was Jim Rimbow's challenge as he rode into the helltown he'd sworn to tame - a border-jumping, man-killing starbuster with a dying lawman on his backtrail.

Yellow Rose Bride by Lori Copeland.  Seven years ago, seamstress Vonnie Taylor's husband of twenty-four hours, Adam Baldwin, had their marriage annulled.  Now she faces the ultimate indignity:  sewing the wedding dress for his new intended.


You can always contact TBP by email at:  Also, visit our new blog at for up-to-date information.


Talking Book Program Book Club News—Summer 2012

TBP Book Club is currently a call-in format. We will give you a phone number to call and join us via conference call. The only technology you need to join the Book Club is a telephone!

When you are ordering a title for TBP Book Club, let us know so we can get the title out to you as soon as possible. All selected titles are also available for download from BARD. Whether ordering or downloading, please let us know if you plan on joining our book club discussion.

Please contact Shannon at 1-800-252-9605 or at with any questions.

Author Joshua Foer Joins Us in September!
We are pleased to announce that best-selling author, Joshua Foer, will be joining us on Tuesday, September 4th at 7:00 p.m. as we discuss Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. Science journalist and 2006 U.S. Memory Championship winner describes the year he spent working to improve his memory. Explores ancient philosophers' and medieval scholars' techniques such as the memory palace, an imagined spatial construction used to organize recollections. The book discusses savants and amnesiacs, and why memorization still matters. To read this book, please call 1-800-252-9605. You can also download it from the BARD site.

Please join us as we discuss this book with the author. RSVP by August 21st to Shannon by phone at 1-800-252-9605 or by email at

Thursday, January 24, 2013 (RSVP by January 3, 2013):
No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer by Rachael Scdoris.
Twenty-year-old author discusses her Oregon childhood, her experience with low vision, and her determination to become a professional sled dog racer. Describes being introduced to the sport by her father, becoming the youngest athlete to win a five-hundred-mile race, and the obstacles she overcame to qualify for the Iditarod.
To read this book, please call 1-800-252-9605. You can also download it from the BARD site.

We look forward to reading and discussing these great books with you. 


Summer 2012--Books Made into Movies

Summer is a good time to stay inside where it’s cool and enjoy a good book. Here are some novels that have been made into movies. To receive any of these titles, please call us toll-free at 1-800-252-9605. These books can also be downloaded from the BARD website.

Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray. Irishman Redmond Barry, soldier of fortune and cardsharp, marries wealthy widow Honoria, the countess of Lyndon; lives as a gentleman; and writes these memoirs. But he mistreats his wife and stepson and eventually receives his comeuppance. Movie released in 1975.

Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane. Private Investigator Patrick Kenzie and his partner and lover, Angie Gennaro, take the case of Amanda McCready, a four-year-old girl missing from Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. They encounter drug dealers, pedophiles, and shady cops--and face a decision that threatens their relationship and careers. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. Movie released in 2007.

Golden Bowl by Henry James. Maggie, daughter of an American millionaire living in London, marries Amerigo, an Italian nobleman who is in love with her friend Charlotte. Despite Charlotte’s later marriage to Maggie’s father, Amerigo and Charlotte continue their affair—of which Maggie learns from a shopkeeper selling a gilded bowl. Movie released in 2000.

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Steinbeck's classic tale of the Joads, who, like many other families during the Great Depression, are driven from their homestead by drought, economic hardship, and the encroachment of large agricultural interests. They leave Oklahoma in search of a better life in California but meet with hardship and injustice. Pulitzer Prize winner. Movie released in 1940.

Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. The entire crew of "Red October," a new Soviet missile submarine under the command of Marko Ramius, is defecting to the United States. Most of the Russian navy is sent to the U.S. Atlantic coast to find and destroy the sub. Jack Ryan, a CIA data analyst, gets the job of making contact with Ramius, and the United States mobilizes all its resources to protect our shores and the sub. Some strong language. Movie released in 1990.

Man Within by Graham Greene. Young Francis Andrews betrays his fellow smugglers and flees from them. He finds refuge in the cottage of a woman named Elizabeth, who persuades him to testify in court. Francis falls in love even as he is consumed by fear. Greene's first novel. Movie released in 1947 under the title “The Smugglers.”


Focus on Health and Nutrition: Diabetes

The following list is intended only to tell TBP patrons about health books available in our collection. TBP does not recommend or endorse the information in these books, and cannot provide medical advice. The content of these books may reflect the author’s opinions, and may not apply to you. For specific health concerns, please consult a medical professional. To receive any of these titles, please call us toll-free at 1-800-252-9605. These books can also be downloaded from the BARD website.

Big Book of Diabetic Desserts: Decadent and Delicious Recipes Perfect for People with Diabetes by Jackie Mills. Dietitian offers suggestions for using the right types and amounts of sugar and fat to create a variety of satisfying desserts that stay within the carbohydrate and calorie targets of those living with diabetes. Includes recipes for cakes, cookies, pies, puddings, fruit dishes, frozen treats, and other sweet-tooth delicacies.

Diabetes 911: How to Handle Everyday Emergencies by Larry A. Fox. Endocrinologists describe methods for handling the complications of diabetes. They detail actions to take for hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, insulin pump problems, natural disasters, travel, and other situations. They suggest ways to prepare for and prevent emergencies and deal with illnesses in general, including those involving children.

Diabetes and Heart Healthy Cookbook by the American Heart Association. Dozens of recipes following the dietary guidelines of both the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association to combat diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Includes a meal planning guide and suggestions for appetizers, soups, salads, seafood, poultry, meats, vegetarian entrees, breads, and desserts. Provides nutritional analysis for each selection.

Diabetes para Dummies by Alan L. Rubin. Endocrinologist discusses the onset and management of diabetes, which affects almost twenty-three million Americans. Presents basic facts and strategies regarding monitoring, exercise, diet, and medications. Spanish language.
Family Style Soul Food Diabetes Cookbook Guide to adapting soul food for diabetics. Explains ways to improve the nutritional content of popular African American dishes and create heart-healthy substitutions. Provides recipes for favorites such as grits, crawfish étouffée, and bread pudding.

Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes by Mary Tyler Moore. The former sitcom actress recounts her experiences with juvenile diabetes, which was diagnosed during a miscarriage. Now the chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Moore acknowledges that her past lack of attention to glucose control resulted in vision and foot problems. Includes facts about diabetes and resources.


Braille Revival League of Texas

BRLT is a membership organization whose purpose is to promote the teaching, production and the broader acceptance and use of Braille as the primary tool of literacy for people who are blind. Its membership is comprised of Braille users, teachers, transcribers, Braille producers and other individuals who are proponents and supporters of Braille.

  • BRLT emphasizes the practical uses of Braille and its importance in the daily lives of people who are blind.
  • BRLT strongly supports the maximum availability of information in Braille for consumers by all businesses, agencies, government entities and any other providers of goods and services.
  • BRLT advocates for an increase in the output and availability of Braille materials from printing houses, libraries and all producers of Braille.
  • BRLT believes Braille instruction should be available in all schools and other educational facilities to students who are blind or functionally blind and that the mastering of Braille should become a required and integral part of the curriculum for the training of prospective teachers of students who are blind.

Braille Memorandum
BRLT members receive the Braille Revival League’s national publication, the “Braille Memorandum”, a comprehensive newsletter, produced three times a year, with articles about the innovative uses of Braille as well as personal views and opinions about the teaching, transcribing and future code modifications of Braille.

Annual Meeting
BRLT members attend and participate in the ACBT annual State conference as well as in BRL’s national program and Activities held during the ACB national convention.

Scholarship Program
BRLT awards scholarships to deserving blind or visually-impaired Braille reading college students, college-bound high school seniors or students enrolled in vocational or technical programs.

BRLT welcomes any person, blind or sighted, who believes in and is willing to work for the furtherance of Braille as the primary medium of literacy for blind people to become a member of this exciting state affiliate in Texas.

Membership Application

Name _______________________________

Address _____________________________

City  ____________________ State __________ Zip Code ________

Telephone ______________________

Email Address __________________________________

Send application information and a check for dues ($15.00) to:

BRLT Treasurer
Margarine G. Beaman
1406 Wilshire Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78722      


Talking Book Program
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
PO Box 12927
Austin TX 78711-2927
1-800-252-9605 (in Texas)
512-463-5458 (in Austin)
512-936-0685 (fax)

Page last modified: August 27, 2012