Spotlight on Texas are books produced by volunteers at the Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio in Austin and at the Recording Library of West Texas in Midland.
Newly recorded books are now being duplicated on digital flash cartridge. Titles previously recorded in analog format and distributed on cassette are being digitized for distribution on digital flash cartridge.
Subscribers may keep Spotlight on Texas for one week from receipt. Cartridge must be returned to the Talking Book Program after seven days! Up to five other readers are waiting to read this copy, so it is very important that you send your copy back on time.
Since 1978, the Talking Book Program has recorded thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles by Texas authors or about the history, culture, and people of the Lone Star state, as well as other books desired by our patrons. Titles recorded include biographies, histories, westerns, romances, mysteries, self-help, travel, and more. Over 50 new books are completed each year, offering an increasing variety of materials from which to choose.
To order any of the books listed below, note the titles and DT book numbers you would like to request. Then call a Reader Consultant toll-free in Texas at 1-800-252-9605. A voicemail message service is available after hours and on weekends for you to leave book requests or other messages. Say your full name, telephone number, and patron number (if known) clearly when leaving messages and give the DT book number and title for each request. Book orders may also be sent in an e-mail message to: email@example.com.
Note the titles and book numbers you would like to request, then call us at any time with your order.
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ANGEL OF DEATH: A CHRIS SINCLAIR MYSTERY #1
By JAY BRANDON, Narrated by TIMOTHY ENGLERT.
To the African-American community in San Antonio, Malachi Reese is a saint, a community leader, a man who feeds the hungry and houses the homeless. To San Antonio District Attorney Chris Sinclair, Reese is the Angel of Death: a vicious killer possessed by the need for power. Determined to see justice done, Sinclair overcomes incredible odds to see Reese convicted of murder and sentenced to Death Row. But Malachi Reese has not been defeated. From Death Row, he threatens to destroy Sinclair, to take him to the very top and cast him back down.
This book contains Heavy violence.
BAD BLOOD: LUCIUS DODGE AND THE REDLANDS WAR
By J. LEE (JIMMY LEE) BUTTS, Narrated by TOMMY GARRISON.
Texas Ranger Lucius Dodge takes on a dangerous mission when he heads into the Redlands to bring back a prisoner wanted for murder and to find Ruby Black, his commanding officer's beautiful niece.
This book contains Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex.
BLACK STRANGER AND OTHER AMERICAN TALES
By ROBERT ERVIN HOWARD (1906-1936), Narrated by CRAIG YORK.
Many of these fantasy and horror stories originally appeared in pulp fiction magazines in the 1920's and 1930's. In "The Black Stranger and Other American Tales," Howard created a New World older and more haunted than that which we've seen in textbooks or museum exhibits.
This book contains Strong language and some violence.
BUFFALO HUNTER AND OTHER STORIES
By ZANE GREY (1872-1939), Narrated by JACK MANGAN.
Five tales of the West, including the novella "The Buffalo Hunter." 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 a mock kidnapping.
By LINDA FRANCIS LEE, Narrated by DIANNA DORMAN.
When Carlisle Wainwright Cushing left her native Texas to start a new life in Boston, she had no regrets. The former Texas debutante, who never felt at home in her Southern skin, had finally found liberation -- or so she thought.
FIT TO DIE
By KAREN HANSON STUYCK, Narrated by JEANNE GUICHARD.
Lauren Prescott is fifty, fat (according to her husband) and flat broke after he empties their bank account, closes his dental practice, and leaves town without a word of explanation. To land a magazine job, Lauren is writing a profile of a fitness guru who died while jogging, a death that looks increasingly suspicious the more she probes. Now Lauren must penetrate the brutal reality behind these two men's public facades, unaware that a killer is also working with a deadline – to murder her.
This book contains Strong language and some violence.
FLIRTING WITH DISASTER
By JANE GRAVES, Narrated by PAT COLEMAN.
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. Injured and desperate, she manages to contact the one man she knows will help her: Dave DeMarco, a tough but compassionate Texas cop she was once wildly in love with, a man who left her with nothing but a whispered promise that now provides her only hope.
This book contains Some strong language, some descriptions of sex.
GIVE THE PIG A CHANCE AND OTHER STORIES
By DAVID RICE, Narrated by EV LUNNING.
These stories are set in the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas and tap into such universal concerns as coming-of-age, violence, and family relationships. Humorous and edgy, these stories are particularly good at depicting the lives of children, their illogical worldview and casual cruelties. In the title story, two estranged cousins are reunited after the accidental death of a beloved potbellied pig, and in "Tina La Tinaca," a grieving woman grows so obese that on her death an emergency crew must widen the doorway of her home in order to remove her body.
This book contains Some profanity.
HOUNDS OF WINTER
By JAMES MAGNUSON, Narrated by RUTH BORINSTEIN.
In this psychological thriller, David Neisen comes seeking reconciliation; what he finds is a father's worst nightmare. Arriving on Christmas Eve to spend the holidays with his daughter Maya, he discovers her murdered on the floor of their cabin in the Wisconsin woods. He sees a ski-masked figure lurching through the snowdrifts behind the house and sets out in pursuit - only to transform himself into the prime suspect in his daughter's death.
This book contains Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex.
HOW PERFECT IS THAT
By SARAH BIRD, Narrated by LINDA ROSENS.
Blythe Young's recent divorce from Trey Dix has left her outside the protective bubble of Austin's high society. As her catering business goes broke and the IRS starts to chase her down, Blythe seeks a haven at Seneca House, the housing co-op where she lived 10 years ago during college. At Seneca House, Blythe tries to make amends with people she's stepped on in a frenzy of social climbing, to avoid the IRS, and to kick both a lingering drug habit and an addiction to scamming people into helping her out. She slowly starts to win over the affection of her housemates until one of her unthinking decisions brings potential ruin on the co-op's financial well-being.
This book contains Some strong language.
By JOE R. LANSDALE, Narrated by STEPHEN FLYNN.
After a harrowing stint in the Iraq war, Cason Statler returns home to the small East Texas town of Camp Rapture, where he drinks too much, stalks his ex-wife, and takes a job at the local paper. There he uncovers notes on a cold-case murder. With nothing left to live for and his own brother connected to the victim, he makes it his mission to solve the crime. Soon he is drawn into a murderous web of blackmail and deceit. To make matters worse his deranged buddy Booger comes to town to lend a helping hand.
This book contains Some strong language, some violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex.
NOVEL WAY TO DIE
By KAREN HANSON STUYCK, Narrated by CAROL ESLER.
When the body of bestselling mystery novelist Katherine March is discovered in her Austin home, the cause of death is presumed to a be a heart attack. But an autopsy reveals that the sixty-year-old author died of an injected overdose of a potent anti-anxiety drug - a murder technique straight from one of Katherine's own novels. Katherine's daughter, criminology professor Molly Patterson, must push aside her longstanding resentment of her secretive, workaholic mother to uncover what really happened.
This book contains Some violence.
By DAVID THEIS, Narrated by JEANNE GUICHARD.
A young photographer and his family, traveling to a new life in Mexico following the wife's infidelity and his responding botched suicide attempt, encounter a complex, secretive world of casual violence and moral insubstantiality. When his wife leaves him for their wealthy patron, Dan is overwhelmed with anger and guilt. His subsequent quest to regain his family and redeem himself takes him deep into the heart of Mexico City, to an eccentric boarding house that provides sanctuary for a group of international misfits.
This book contains Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex.
ROUNDUP! WESTERN WRITERS OF AMERICA PRESENTS GREAT STORIES OF THE West From Today's Leading Western Writers
Edited by Paul Andrew Hutton, Narrated by ELAYNE KARICKHOFF.
"Roundup!" is an anthology of short stories and essays together with a few poems written by twenty-seven of today's top Western writers. Also included is the western novella "The Big Guns," by Andrew Fenady.
RUN WITH THE HORSES
By JOAN STOCKS NOBLES, Narrated by DOROTHY BLAIR.
Set in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, this is a grand adventure tale full of bandits, horse thieves, cavalry and Indians. It's a tale of kidnapping and violence and suspense, and of one remarkably brave and clever woman. This is a story set along the border between Texas and Mexico in the post-Civil War days.
This book contains strong language and some violence.
By JANET KADERLI, Narrated by DOROTHY BLAIR.
No one knows the local celebrity who is playing Santa at Filmore's department store in downtown Dallas, Texas. Not even Janie Langston, the "elf" who takes pictures of the kids sitting in Santa's lap. If the single mom knew that the young Santa was actually Nick Klaus, TV sports commentator and reckless man about town, she'd keep him at arm's length. As it is, however, she's starting to fall for Santa's charming ways. For Nick, the Santa suit is a way of hiding until the publicity from his latest scrape dies down. What he didn't count on was being changed by the suit. He begins to live up to Santa's reputation, leaving life in the fast lane behind.
By JANET DAILEY, Narrated by JEANNE GUICHARD.
Brandy met the movie star Jim Corbett in the Arizona desert but didn't know who he was until they were rescued later. Angry because he didn't tell her, Brandy refuses to see Jim. Jim persists and Brandy realizes she has fallen totally in love. But can a relationship between a famous movie star and a shop girl be more than a passing fancy?
By LESLIE ERNENWEIN, Narrated by PAUL KLEMPERER.
"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. But Rimbow was gunning for more than glory. Rawhide tough and lawless, he meant to brace the range bawd whose kiss had killed his best friend.
THREADING THE NEEDLE
By CLAY REYNOLDS, Narrated by JACK MANGAN.
This novel pays tribute to the legacy of James Dean and the glory days of drag racing, telling the story of a North Texas racer whose legend dominates a small town in the post-WWII era. This is a chilling story of Faustian bargains, drag racing, rock and roll, and a sister's love for a brother who died tragically young. Sherry Littlefield, heroine of this tale of high speed and certain death, learns that her older brother, Keith, discovered a ghostly drag race that recurs every spring on the Old Loop, an antique stretch of highway leading to an impassable tunnel called the Needle.
This book contains Some strong language.
By JACK BALLAS, Narrated by EV LUNNING.
In the rough country at the northern edge of New Mexico Territory, Apache war parties still run free. The settlers and ranchers can't stop the Indian raiders because they are too busy shooting each other. Cole Mason comes looking for a good graze and finds war on the range. A lone rider with a fast gun, he has the bad habit of never backing down.
YELLOW ROSE BRIDE
By LORI COPELAND, Narrated by DOROTHY BLAIR.
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!
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COTTON BOWL DAYS: GROWING UP WITH DALLAS AND THE COWBOYS IN THE 1960s
By JOHN EISENBERG, Narrated by JACK HUFF.
For a young boy growing up in Dallas in the 1960s, the Cowboys football team was a source of excitement and pride - even though the team was still years away from the celebrity of the Super Bowl era. Author John Eisenberg, a third-generation Dallasite and life-long Cowboys fan, presents a nostalgic look at growing up with his city as it tried to cast off the dark shadow of the Kennedy assassination and with his team, a magnet for civic pride even in defeat.
FROM DUNBAR TO DESTINY: One Woman's Journey Through Desegregation and Beyond
By SHIRLEY ROBINSON SPRINKLES, Narrated by SONYA AYCOCK.
By the time the Warren Court began rearguing Brown v. Board of Education, Tucson's board of education had already made its decision: racially segregated education in Tucson's public schools would cease to exist. This integration gave Sprinkles a solid educational foundation and provided her with the experiences and opportunities that would set her on her path. Sprinkles weaves a tale of courage, indomitable spirit, and faith.
JAMES BOWIE: TEXAS FIGHTING MAN
By CLIFFORD HOPEWELL, Narrated by JACK HUFF.
The first new biography of Texas' most famous fighting man in 50 years, this account is based on original documents, including newspaper accounts from as far back as 1828, court records, and army orders. The author examines Bowie's relations with the pirate Jean Lafitte, the facts and myths of the famous Bowie knife, his love affairs and marriage, and the restless and sometimes violent nature of the man himself.
JUSTICE BETRAYED: A DOUBLE KILLING IN OLD SANTA FE
By RALPH MELNICK, Narrated by ELAYNE KARICKHOFF.
Angelina Jaramillo, the eighteen-year-old daughter of a prominent New Mexico family, was raped, bludgeoned, and stabbed to death in her bedroom on November 16, 1931. Thomas Johnson, an African American laborer with a prison record in four states, was convicted of the crime and executed. Now, more than seventy years later, this meticulously researched account of the case substantiates a longstanding rumor that the wrong man was put to death. Johnson's conviction and electrocution were used to conceal the embarrassing identity of the actual killer.
KINDLER OF SOULS: RABBI HENRY COHEN OF TEXAS
By HENRY COHEN, Narrated by SUE BILICH.
Little-known today, Rabbi Henry Cohen was a force to be reckoned with, a man Woodrow Wilson called "the foremost citizen of Texas" who also impressed the likes of William Howard Taft and Clarence Darrow. Cohen's fleeting fame, however, was built not on powerful friendships but on a lifetime of service to needy Jews - as well as Gentiles - in London, South Africa, Jamaica, and, for the last sixty-four years of his life, Galveston, Texas.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
By CHARLES PETERS, Narrated by PAUL KLEMPERER.
Few figures in American history are as compelling and complex as Lyndon Baines Johnson, who became master of the U.S. Senate in the 1950s and succeeded John F. Kennedy in the White House after Kennedy's assassination. Part of the Kennedy-Johnson administration from 1961 to 1968, and a keen observer of Washington politics for over five decades, Charles Peters offers an inside look at the legislative wizardry that led to historic triumphs like the Voting Rights Act and the personal insecurities that led to the tragedy of Vietnam.
This book contains Strong language and some descriptions of sex.
The MEANING OF NOLAN RYAN
By NICK TRUJILLO, Narrated by MARK WILKINS.
Baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan retired after the 1993 season. His legacy is unmatched: 300 wins, 5,000 strikeouts, and a 27-year career throwing 90-miles-per-hour fastballs. No other pitcher in major-league history can boast a comparable record. Trujillo, a communications professor and former college pitcher, examines Ryan's impact on baseball and society as a hero and role model. For many years, Ryan pitched in relative obscurity, registering consistent but unspectacular numbers and playing for mediocre teams. Only in his last 10 years did the country take note of his career. Ryan is self-effacing, humble, hardworking, conservative, happily married, and an off-season rancher. Trujillo examines Madison Avenue's use of those traits and how Ryan became just another image rather than the hero he should have been. He also analyzes Ryan's portrayal in the media and discusses the ease with which a person can move from celebrity to hero to image to parody. A thought-provoking look at our national hunger for disposable heroes.
OUTLAW TALES OF TEXAS: TRUE STORIES OF THE LONE STAR STATE'S Most Infamous Crooks, Culprits, and Cutthroats
By CHARLES L. CONVIS, Narrated by EV LUNNING.
The frontier towns of Texas were populated by some of the toughest and most dangerous characters in the West. Jim Miller went to church, left early to shoot his brother-in-law in the head, and returned before the service was over. Myra Belle Shirley helped her husband lead one of Texas's most notorious stage robberies. And Bill Longley was reportedly hanged three times and survived.
This book contains Heavy violence.
By AMY HALE AUKER, Narrated by DIANNA DORMAN.
From the Texas panhandle to the mountains of Arizona, Amy Auker has lived the cowboy life - as wife, as mother, as cook, as ranch hand, as writer. In these essays, Auker captures the prairie light, the traffic on small farm-to-market roads, the vacant stillness of shipping pens when fall works are over. She captures the unmistakable westernness of the people and animals around her.
SALUTE TO SANDY
By DALE EVANS ROGERS, Narrated by ANN MORRISON.
Sandy was a battered child before being adopted by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. He fought an uphill battle and while serving with the Army in Germany, he made a mistake and paid for it with his life. This is his story but also the story of all the younger generation whose bravery and idealism in the face of handicaps, danger and death are the strength and hope of the future.
TALES FROM THE TERLINGUA PORCH, VOLUME 1
By BLAIR PITTMAN, Narrated by PAUL KLEMPERER.
Tales, often humorous, from the Big Bend area in West Texas.
TWELVE MIGHTY ORPHANS: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football
By JIM DENT, Narrated by JACK MANGAN.
The Masonic Home, an orphanage outside Fort Worth, became a high-school football dynasty in Depression-era Texas. Despite having virtually no equipment or uniforms, and despite their linemen often being outweighed by 50 pounds, the Mighty Mites, as they came to be known, reached the Texas state semifinals three times and the championship game once. Dent produces a riveting narrative from the saga of the Mites and their innovative coach, Rusty Russell, who compensated for his team's physical shortcomings with imaginative formations and trick plays.
This book contains Violence and some strong language.
UNLIKELY LAVENDER QUEEN
By JEANNIE RALSTON, Narrated by LINDA ROSENS.
In 1990, Jeannie Ralston was a successful magazine writer and bona fide city girl from New York City. By 1994, she had called off an engagement, married Robb, a National Geographic photographer, and was living in Blanco, Texas, population 1,600 on a 200 acre farm. Ralston and her husband started the now-thriving lavender industry in the Texas Hill Country.
This book contains Some profanity
VIETNAM VETERANOS: CHICANOS RECALL THE WAR
By LEA YBARRA, Narrated by PAUL KLEMPERER.
One of the most decorated groups that served in the Vietnam War, Chicanos fought and died in numbers well out of proportion to their percentage of the United States' population. Yet despite this, their wartime experiences have never received much attention in either popular media or scholarly studies. To spotlight and preserve some of their stories, this book presents substantial interviews with Chicano Vietnam veterans and their families that explore the men's experiences in combat, the war's effects on the Chicano community, and the veterans' postwar lives.
This book contains Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language.
WRITING AUSTIN'S LIVES: A COMMUNITY PORTRAIT
By various author, Narrated by EV LUNNING.
The University of Texas Humanities Institute presents a living history that you won't find in any guidebook or newspaper, the stories of Austin's many lives as seen through the eyes and told in the voices of its people. This collection of 127 essays was written by people of every age, every neighborhood, every ethnicity, people in comfort, in transition, in trouble, experienced writers, and those who never thought they had a story to tell, or someone to listen.
If you are interested in any of these subjects or titles listed here, please contact a Reader Consultant to order by phone or e-mail: 1-800-252-9605 (toll-free in Texas); 512-463-5458 (Austin area); firstname.lastname@example.org
The Texas volunteers welcome your comments and suggestions. Send an e-mail message to the Volunteer Recording Studio at email@example.com or write to us at Volunteer Recording Studio, Talking Book Program, PO Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711-2927. If you live in the Austin area and are interested in volunteering to record books, please call 512-463-5546 for more information. Information about volunteering is available on this website: /tbp/vrs.html
Talking Book Program, Austin, TX
Talking Book Program
Texas State Library & Archives Commission
PO Box 12927
Austin TX 78711-2927
1-800-252-9605 (in Texas)
512-463-5458 (in Austin)