Please join us on Thursday, April 6 at 7 pm (Central Time) for our Book Club discussion of BOYS IN THE BOAT: NINE AMERICANS AND THEIR EPIC QUEST FOR GOLD AT THE 1936 BERLIN OLYMPICS, by Daniel Brown (DB 77138).

We host our Book Club meetings via toll free conference call. All you need to participate is a telephone!

To RSVP call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605. or email us at tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov. (RSVP preferred by March 16.)

BOYS IN THE BOAT is available by mail in digital cartridge. It is also available to download on BARD.

Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge, or if you prefer to download it from BARD.


Daniel Brown

DB 77138

Recounts the accomplishments of nine working-class athletes from the University of Washington who beat elite teams at home and abroad and won the gold medal for rowing at the 1936 Nazi-orchestrated Berlin Olympics. Bestseller. 2013.

We look forward to having you join us on April 6!

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray, DB 85432

Do you enjoy humorous young adult novels that involve absurd situations and over the top characters? If so, you might like BEAUTY QUEENS. Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Young Adult Novel for 2011, BEAUTY QUEENS describes the trials and travails of several beauty pageant contestants, surviving in the wild. Written with a witty and offbeat tone, I quite often found myself laughing out loud at the outrageous adventures these talented ladies encounter. If you’re a proud Texan, you’ll be excited to note that Miss Texas leads this band of intrepid and inventive ingénues.

NLS Annotation: After their plane crashes and strands them on an island, the fifty beauty contestants for the Miss Teen Dream Pageant channel their talents into surviving. But the arrival of some hot reality-television pirates adds new complications. Descriptions of sex and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2011.

If you already read this book or simply enjoy humorous young adult books with feminist adventures and subtle romance, you might try I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU by Ally Carter (DB 66621).

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– BLACK WATER RISING by Attica Locke, DB 72177

If you like legal thrillers such as those written by John Grisham and Lisa Scottoline, you might try the Jay Porter Series by Attica Locke, starting with BLACK WATER RISING (DB 72177). Nominated for a 2010 Edgar Award, a 2010 NAACP Image Award, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, this story, set in Houston, Texas, follows lawyer Jay Porter as he becomes embroiled in a murder investigation and the labor disputes and racial turmoil of the early 1980s.


Recent winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, Attica Locke, is a native of Houston, Texas and her knowledge of the area reveals itself in her detailed descriptions of the city as well as the social issues that dominated the area in the early 1980s. Her writing is gritty and compelling and she has created an intricately detailed plot with a well-developed protagonist in Jay Porter.

NLS Annotation: Texas, 1981. African American lawyer Jay Porter rescues from the bayou a white woman he later suspects is involved in a murder. Despite his racially charged criminal past and impending fatherhood, Jay investigates and finds links to Houston’s political elite and big oil. Some violence and some strong language. 2009.

If you’ve already read this book and enjoy a good legal thriller series with a suspenseful tone set in the urban south, try the Penn Cage series by Greg Iles, starting with QUIET GAME (DB 49340). If you’d prefer a legal thriller series with a female protagonist, try the Carole Ann Gibson series by Penny Mickelbury, starting with CAROLE ANN GIBSON, BOOKS 1-3 (DB 84707).

Low Vision Seminar in Dallas on February 25th

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is hosting a free seminar for persons interested in learning about age-related Macular Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa, and related disorders. Seating is limited. A continental breakfast will be provided. In addition to sessions, vendors will be available to promote low vision services and products.

Here is the pertinent information:
Date: Saturday, February 25
Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Best Western Plus Dallas Hotel & Conference Center
8051 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway
Dallas, TX 75251
Advanced Registration: 800-647-0008 or http://www.FightBlindness.org/DallasFortWorthSeminar

New from the TBP Recording Studio: January 2017

Check out these new adult and children’s titles fresh from the TBP Recording Studio.  They are available for loan on digital cartridge or for download via BARD.

Adult Titles:

Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert (DT07306)
It’s Thanksgiving in Pecan Springs, Texas, and China Bayles is
planning to visit her mother, Leatha, and her mother’s husband, Sam,
who are turning their former game ranch into a vacation retreat for
birders. She’s also looking forward to catching up with her friend,
game warden Mackenzie “Mack” Chambers, who was recently transferred to
the area. China and Mack team up to solve a complex case of theft and
murder in a South Texas ranching community. Some strong language and
some violence. 2015. Subjects: Mystery and Detective Stories.
Available for download as DBC07269.

Cemetery World by Clifford Simak (DT07335)
An artist of the far future, an archaeologist aided by robots,
and a band of attractive ghosts search for treasure on an
earth that has been turned into a well-kept cemetery by
mercenary Mother Earth, Inc.  Some strong language and some
violence. 1973. Subjects: Science Fiction.  Available for download as DBC07268.

Children’s Titles:

Hank the Cowdog 12: The Case of the Fiddle Playing Fox by John R. Erickson (DT04881)
While working on a mysterious case involving disappearing eggs and a
fiddle-playing fox named Frankie, Hank the Cowdog falls for Miss
Beulah, the beautiful collie.  The twelfth adventure in the Hank the
Cowdog series. For grades 3-7. 1989. Subjects: Humor; Adventure;
Animals and Wildlife. Available for download as DBC07256.

 Hank the Cowdog 17: The Case of the Car-Barkaholic Dog by John R. Erickson (DT05346)
When Hank finds himself stuck in town, he needs all the brains he can
muster to get rid of the mean, monster Great Dane, “Rambo,” who’s
been terrorizing his sister’s neighborhood.  The seventeenth adventure
in the Hank the Cowdog series. For grades 3-7. 1991. Subjects: Humor; Adventure; Animals and Wildlife. Available for download as DBC07270.

 Hank the Cowdog 25: The Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado by John R. Erickson (DT06121)
Hank and his friend Drover come face-to-face with the Swirling
Killer Tornado, and must gather every ounce of courage they
have to save the ranch from the tornado’s course! For grades 3-7. 1995.
Subjects: Humor; Adventure; Animals and Wildlife. Available for download as DBC07271.

Hank the Cowdog 36: The Case of the Raging Rottweiler by John R. Erickson (DT06639)
The ranch is in the grip of a sweltering summer heat wave, and to make
matters worse, Bruiser the rottweiler is on the loose. First Bruiser
attacks a defenseless fawn, then he threatens to come after Hank the
Cowdog, the Head of Ranch Security! Can Hank put this crazy canine
in his place? Or are our hero’s dog days numbered? No. 36 in series.  For grades 3-7. 1989. Subjects: Humor; Adventure; Animals and Wildlife. Available for download as DBC07272.

Sweet Valley High 10: The Wrong Kind of Girl (DT04249)
Number ten in the “Sweet Valley High” series of easy reading books. For
junior and senior high readers. 1984. Subjects: School Fiction.
Available for download as DBC07258.

Snowflake, the Ghost Kitten by Zeno Zeplin (DT07346)
Snowflake was a kitten. Now he is a ghost, and the house where he
lives is getting lonely. But a family with three little girls is
moving in and the fun is about to begin. “Spooking” can be a good
thing if it teaches a real stinker to be a better person, can’t it?
For grades 2-4. 1992. Subjects: Animals and Wildlife.
Available for download as DBC07267.

Texas, the 28th State by Betsy Warren (DT07301)
Reviews cultural and industrial growth in Texas from statehood in
1846, through the 1970’s technological advances. For grades K-3 and older readers. 1984. Subjects: U.S. History. Available for download as DBC07266.        
To request a title please call us at 1-800-252-9605 (toll-free in Texas)/512-463-5458 (Austin area) or send an email to: tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.


Please join us on Tuesday, March 7 at 7 pm (Central Time) for our “Read Across Texas” Book Club discussion of YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE, by Shiobhan Fallon (DT 07103).

Read Across Texas: The Veteran Experience is an initiative of the Texas Center for the Book to encourage communities to engage in tough but important conversations about what happens when veterans come home.

For more information about Read Across Texas, visit https://www.tsl.texas.gov/readacrosstexas.

We host our Book Club meetings via toll free conference call. All you need to participate is a telephone!

To RSVP call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605. or email us at tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov.

Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge, or if you prefer to download it.

YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE was recorded in our Texas TBP Recording Studio and it is not yet available on BARD.

Texas Talking Book Program patrons can download YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE here:

You Know When the Men are Gone DT 07103

The downloaded book can be played only on authorized devices such as the DTBM. It cannot be played on your computer, or downloaded using the BARD mobile app.

Downloading from this link is similar to downloading it from BARD. The file is in a compressed format that will need to be unzipped.  Only TBP patrons may download the book.


Shiobhan Fallon

DT 07103

There is an army of women waiting for their men to return in Fort Hood, Texas. Through a series of loosely interconnected stories, Fallon takes the readers onto the base, inside the homes, into the marriages and families not seen by the public.  When the men are gone, babies still cry, telephones ring, Saturday morning cartoons screech, but without the men, there is a sense of muted silence, a sense of muted life.  Strong language, violence and some descriptions of sex.  2011.

Please help us “Read Across Texas” on March 7!

New from the TBP Recording Studio: November & December 2016

Check out these new adult and children’s titles fresh from the TBP Recording Studio.  They are available for loan on digital cartridge or for download via BARD.

Adult Titles:

Pleating for Mercy: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez (DT07324)
Opening a custom dressmaking boutique in the old farmhouse she
inherited from her late great-grandmother, Harlow Jane Cassidy gets
more than she bargained for when her first client is accused of
murder and she must help find the real killer – with a little help
from beyond. Some strong language. 2011. Subjects: Mystery and Detective Stories; Supernatural and Horror Fiction. Available for download as DBC07232.

The Texas Navy (DT00282)
A history of the Texas Navy from its founding in 1835 to 1845 when
Texas became a state and the Navy was no longer formally recognized.
For high school and adult readers. 1968. Subjects: U.S. History.
Available for download as DBC07246.

The Angry Ocean by Ronald Johnston (DT03444)
The Inoco Emperor was the world’s biggest ship. On her maiden
voyage, a volcanic island explodes and sends a 300-foot wave
toward  the ship, where two men battle for command and a faulty
midship joint may mean the difference between life and death for
the supertanker and her crew. 1968. Subjects: Adventure.
Available to download as DBC07252.

One Man’s Christmas by Leon Hale (DT03915)
In the six pieces in this book the author recalls episodes from
his own Christmases past. He recounts a story by a fortune teller
from the Brazos river bottom. He remembers how painful a meager
Christmas during the Depression could be, how he indulged his own
children. He also shares the magic of Santa Claus and the challenge
of assembling toys. All the stories are told with a sympathy and
understanding that are “pure Hale.” 1984. Subjects: Biography of Writers; Holidays.
Available to download as DBC07253.

Shakespeare’s Planet by Clifford D. Simak (DT07333)
Carter Horton was the last of his kind. His three companions died in
hibernation during the thousand-year journey from Earth. But Horton’s
beautiful new home held all sorts of wonderful surprises. There was
an alien named Carnivore who claimed to have learned English from
Shakespeare, a defective tunnel from the stars that allowed people,
well, creatures – a one-way access to the planet, a dragon in aspic…
and a very odd, curved hill. And, of course, there was the terror
that froze all minds at regular intervals. Strong language. 1976.
Subjects: Science Fiction. Available to download as DBC07249.

Texas Love Song by Jodi Thomas (DT06367)
The Civil War has been over for three years but the bitterness toward
Confederate soldiers who changed sides to escape slow death in prison
camps still runs strong in Texas. Sloan Alexander is one of the hated
turncoats. McCall Harrison, the beautiful widow of a Confederate
officer, is searching for a man to help her return a group of
Cheyenne children to their home on the Great Plains in the midst of
warfare between soldiers and Indians. In Sloan, she has found someone
willing to face death for the chance to restore his honor. A poignant
story of two people who risk everything to help a band of children and
in the end find a future together. Explicit descriptions of sex and
violence. 1996. Subjects: Romance. Available to download as DBC07254.

Chile Death by Susan Wittig Albert (DT06719)
China Bayles is looking forward to the annual chili cook-off in Pecan
Springs, Texas. And when the event arrives, she takes along her
fiancee, giving both of them a nice break from China’s visiting (i.e.
meddling) mother. But then cook-off judge Jerry Jeff Cody dies of an
allergic reaction to a peanut. Everyone knows peanuts don’t belong in
a bowl of Texas chili and China knows something suspicious is afoot.
Now, with rumors flying about foul play, and whispered stories about
Jerry Jeff’s womanizing ways, things are heating up all over. 1998.
Subjects: Mystery and Detective Stories. Available to download as DBC07257.

 Lavender Lies by Susan Wittig Albert (DT06751)
Ex-lawyer and herbalist China Bayles must put her upcoming nuptials
on the back burner when a murder investigation entangles her friends
and neighbors. It doesn’t take long for China to learn that the
murder victim, Edgar Coleman, was having numerous affairs and black-
mailing City Council members for their votes on a bad land development
deal. With her fiance immersed in the murder investigation, China can
forget about a honeymoon, unless she can find the killer. 1999.
Subjects: Mystery and Detective Stories. Available to download as DBC07259.

Dance On His Grave by Sylvia Dickey Smith (DT07321)
Sidra Smart, disillusioned ex-wife of a fundamentalist preacher,
never imagined herself running The Third Eye, a private investigator
business, until she inherits her late brother’s detective agency.
Soon, a woman stumbles in with vague flashbacks of a 30-year-old
murder. Intrigued by the story, Sid takes the case and soon
plunges into a surreal world where the flames of Creole
superstition and passion burn as hot as the memories of child
abuse, arson, and murder. Violence, strong language, and explicit
descriptions of sex. 2012. Subjects: Suspense Fiction; Mystery and Detective Stories. Available to download as DBC07260.

The Cowgirls by Joyce Gibson Roach (DT05088)
While Susan B. Anthony was declaring that females too were created
equal, Sally Skull was already riding and roping and marking cattle
with her Circle S brand on the Texas frontier, while pursuing her
career as a horse trader. Cowgirls like Sally are chronicled here,
in this important addition to the history of the West. 1990.
Subjects: The West; Social Sciences. Available to download as DBC07261.

Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right by Erica Grieder (DT07330)
Discusses how the laws of Texas can be used as an example for national
policy in such arenas as immigration, taxes and energy. Texas may well
be America’s most controversial state. Skeptical outsiders have found
much to be offended by in the state’s politics and attitude. And yet,
according to journalist (and Texan) Grieder, the United States has a
great deal to learn from Texas. Some violence. 2013.
Subjects: Government and Politics; U.S. History. Available to download as DBC07262.

Gunsights by Elmore Leonard (DT04360)
A western set in the decade between 1880 and 1890, when reporters
from the big eastern newspapers went west to witness the last frontier
wars–the great rail and mining companies versus the Indians,
Mexicans and others who lived on the land but had little power.
Strong language and racial epithets. 1979. Subjects: Western Stories.
Available to download as DBC07263.

Just One Riot by Ben H. Proctor (DT05259)
During the twentieth century the Texas Rangers have changed dramatically.
Before 1935 they were basically frontier marshalls, and now they
serve as walking police laboratories, mainly in rural Texas counties
which would otherwise lack law-enforcement manpower and criminal
investigative know-how. The author offers dramatic episodes of these
twentieth century Rangers. Violence. 1991. Subjects: The West.
Available to download as DBC07264.

Children’s Titles:

Hank the Cowdog 9: The Case of the Halloween Ghost by John R. Erickson (DT04878)
It’s Hank again, the cowdog with a nose for trouble. This time it
leads him to the scariest adventure of his life with his faithful
but cowardly companion, Drover, on the spookiest of nights, Halloween. The ninth adventure in the Hank the Cowdog series. For grades 3-7. 1989. Subjects: Humor; Adventure; Animals and Wildlife; Holidays. Available for download as DBC07248.

Hank the Cowdog 13: The Wounded Buzzard on Christmas Eve by John R. Erickson (DT04882)
Driving into town for some last-minute Christmas shopping, Hank and
his sidekicks are struck not necessarily by the meaning of Christmas
but by a twenty-five pound buzzard who crashes through the
windshield. For grades 3-7.1989. Subjects: Humor; Animals and Wildlife; Holidays.
Available to download as DBC07245.

Hank the Cowdog 19: The Case of the Midnight Rustler by John R. Erickson (DT05348)
When a cattle rustler starts taking calves from Uncle Johnny’s canyon
pasture, it’s up to Cowboy Slim and Hank the Cowdog, head of ranch
security, to catch the “criminal” in the act.  Will Hank survive the
terrible poisoned weenies and the fierce coyote brothers, Rip and
Snort, to see good triumph over evil once again? For grades 3-7. 1992. Subjects: Humor; Adventure; Animals and Wildlife. Available to download as DBC07247.

Hank the Cowdog 24: The Case of the Black-Hooded Hangmans by John R. Erickson (DT06118)
Hank assists the ranch’s pet raccoon, Eddy the Rac, in performing
magic tricks, but the tricks backfire when Hank becomes prime
suspect in a felony and Eddy pulls a disappearing act! For grades 3-7. 1995. Subjects: Humor; Adventure; Animals and Wildlife. Available for download as DBC07251.

Hakon of Rogen’s Saga by Erik Christian Haugaard (DT00479)
Set in Norway during the post-Viking period, a 13-year-old boy tells
of his struggle to regain possession of his dead father’s property,
now usurped by a treacherous uncle. For grades 6-9. 1963.  Subjects: Historical Fiction. Available to download as DBC07255.

Bluebonnet at Johnson Space Center by Mary Brooke Casad (DT07314)
Bluebonnet the armadillo visits the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in
Houston and takes a ride on the space shuttle. For grades K-4. 1993.
Subjects: Animals and Wildlife. Available to download as DBC07265.

Angelina and Alice by Katharine Holabird (DT07337)
Angelina and her best friend Alice discover the importance of teamwork
when their acrobatics are the hit of the gymnastics show at the
village fair. For grades K-3. 2001. Subjects: Friendship Fiction; Animals and Wildlife.    Available to download as DBC07250.

The Boy in the Alamo by Margaret Cousins (DT03922)
Undoubtedly the best children’s book about the Alamo ever written.
With sure strokes, the author sketches both the physical and
emotional realities of Texas in 1836.  The reader is swept along the
trail from the pain of defeat to victory and hope. For grade 4-7 and older
readers. Subjects: Historical Fiction.
Available for download as DBC07244.

To request a title please call us at 1-800-252-9605 (toll-free in Texas)/512-463-5458 (Austin area) or send an email to: tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.

Scholarship Resources for Texas Students who are Blind

Here are four scholarship opportunities for Texas students who are blind:

American Council of the Blind of Texas (ACBT)
Application packets may be obtained from the following sources:
• Texas Workforce Solutions/Blind Services Division Counselors
• Education Service Centers
• Dianna Carter, ACBT Scholarship Committee Chair
Please submit scholarship packets or requests for further information to the address below:
Dianna E. Carter, Committee Chair
12106 Swaps Drive
El Paso, TX 79936
The applications will be available from March 1 – July 7, 2017.

American Council of the Blind (ACB) Scholarship Program (National)
For more information, contact:
American Council of the Blind Scholarship Program
Attn: Dee Theien
6300 Shingle Creek Parkway, Suite 195
Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
The deadline for applying is February 15, 2017.

National Federation of the Blind of Texas (NFBT)
Applications and information will be available beginning June 1, 2017.
The deadline is August 15, 2017.
Applications will be available at https://www.nfbtx.org.
For additional information, contact:
Lara Sowell, Scholarship Chair

National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Scholarship Program (National)
NFB is currently accepting applications.
The deadline is March 31, 2017.
Applications are available at https://nfb.org/scholarships.

BARD Express Tek Talk Available at Accessible World

On Monday, January 16, 2017, 7 PM Central Time, Tek Talk presented Mr. Don Olson, who spoke about Bard Express, a faster and easier method of downloading books from the  NLS.

In 2008 Mr. Olson began work at the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) in their Quality Assurance section. Mr. Olson states, “I currently serve the Library of Congress as the BARD Operations Officer, over-seeing the BARD support staff, and working directly with the NLS network of libraries across the country.”

Mr. Olsen described the Tek Talk as,“…talking about the latest innovation to come from NLS, BARD Express. We are excited to provide patrons with this software that gives people an alternative way to access the BARD collection of books and magazines.”

All Tek Talk training events are recorded and archived. You may download the presentation or podcast from the Tek Talk Archives at www.accessibleworld.org.

If you are a first-time user of the Talking Communities Online Conferencing software, there is a small, safe software program that you need to download and then run. A link to the software is available on every entry screen to the Accessible World online rooms.

All online interactive programs are free of charge, and open to anyone worldwide having an Internet connection, a computer, speakers, and a sound card.

Texas Workforce Commission Stakeholder Meetings

The Texas Workforce Commission will hold a series of meetings in various cities to allow public comments regarding the proposal to merge blind vocational rehabilitation services with general rehabilitation services. Here is a list of the meeting dates, times, and locations:

Monday, January 9 – Austin, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Texas Workforce Commission
101 E. 15th Street, 244
Austin, TX 78701

Thursday, January 12 – Harlingen, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Texas State Technical College Cultural Arts Center
1825 North Loop 499
Harlingen, TX 78550

Friday, January 13 – Houston, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
United Way Houston Community Resource Center
50 Waugh Drive
Houston, TX 77007

Thursday, January 19 – Lubbock, 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Workforce Solutions South Plains Workforce Development Board
1301 Broadway, Basement Level Conference Room
Lubbock, TX 79401

Friday, January 20 – Dallas, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Dallas County El Centro College – Bill J. Priest Campus, Room 1530
1402 N. Corinth St.
Dallas, TX 75215

Interested persons are invited to attend these meetings and provide public comment. In addition, written comments will be accepted until January 27th. Written comments may be e-mailed to: TWCPolicyComments@twc.state.tx.us or mailed to: TWC Policy Comments, Workforce Policy and Service Delivery, Attn.: Workforce Editing, 101 East 15th St., Rm. 440T, Austin, Texas 78778.

Questions about these scheduled meetings may be directed to the Texas Workforce Commission at 512-463-8942.