The Library of Congress Wants to Hear from You!


Beginning in early March, a sample of 10,000 reader/patrons across the country who currently use services provided by the Library of Congress’s National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped–also known as NLS–will be invited to participate in a nationwide survey. The information collected from this survey will guide NLS as they move forward on a variety of projects to enhance and expand the braille and talking- book program. As a part of NLS’s cooperating network of libraries, the Texas Talking Book Program encourages invited patrons to respond to the survey at their earliest convenience. Insights gathered from this survey will help us better understand the needs of all of our patrons. You may receive an invitation by mail, email, or phone. In order to ensure ease of use, readers selected for the survey will be given the option of responding in a number of ways to their invitation. Once you have received your invitation, if you have questions, please feel free to contact Gallup Support at or call 1-888-297-8999.

Introducing Duplication on Demand–A New Service for TBP Patrons


The Talking Book Program is now serving patrons with a great new service called Duplication on Demand (DoD). It will allow you to get almost any book that is available on BARD right away. When you order books, or when automatic selection orders books for you, they are recorded on a cartridge and sent to you within a day or two (provided you don’t already have a full quota.) Of course, if you have other requests on your list, you’ll need to tell us if you want new requests first. Otherwise, the computer may send older requests before the new ones. There’s no waiting for other patrons to return a copy; all downloadable books are always available. DoD puts up to 8 books on one cartridge, but you don’t need to be able to use Bookshelf because new programming has simplified the way you move from book to book. You can also get a whole series put on one cartridge– in series order—just let us know if there’s one you would like.

We are starting the process of moving all of our established audio readers to DoD. This will take quite a while, as each reader must be set up individually. DoD settings will be based on your current account profile, but these settings can be changed at your request. We are working through our patron list diligently, but it may be some time before we get to you. If you would like to switch to DoD right away, please contact us, and we’ll set you up.

Here’s what to expect when you start getting DoD cartridges:

• Each reader can have up to three cartridges checked out at once*

• Each cartridge may have as many as 8 books on it* (or a whole series, at your request.)

• Each cartridge will be labeled “TX Talking Book Library: Audio Books.”

• The mailing container will have a folded book card listing the titles that are on the cartridge.

• To return cartridges, simply remove the book card. The container has TBP’s return address permanently on it.

• Once a cartridge gets back to us, we’ll send you another one. It’s very important to send cartridges back right away to prevent gaps in service.

• The loan period for cartridges is 60 days, with an option to renew for another 60 days, so you’ll have plenty of time to read all of the books on the cartridge.

• If you want to reread a book or cartridge, we can send it again.

Questions? Please contact us! We’ll be happy to answer them. You can email us at, or call us at 1-800-252-9605.

*Note to Institutions: Since institutions (schools, nursing homes, etc.) serve multiple readers, you will receive more cartridges, each containing one book. For more information, please contact us.

*Note to Demo Sites: Demo sites will receive 1 cartridge that contains a Spanish book and an English book.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is coming and many people in the US like to celebrate by having a get together with plenty of guacamole and beer. That’s great! It would also be good if people knew a little bit more about what they are celebrating. If you ask around, the most frequent answer is “Mexican independence?” Nope. Actually, May 5th celebrates the Battle of Puebla. A historical episode in which the Mexican army (headed by liberal President Benito Juárez) squashed the French army’s attempts (under Napoleon III) to occupy Mexico. So there. Now you can eat guacamole to your heart’s content and also sound super-smart when asked “What are we celebrating again?”.


Discusses the historical events of May 5, 1862, when Mexico defeated the powerful French at the Battle of Puebla and the growing popularity of celebrating this date. Includes suggestions for planning a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. For grades 3-6. 2003.


Cinco de Mayo is a very important holiday for Mexican-Americans. On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army defeated the French army. This victory ended the efforts of foreign powers to invade North America. The author describes the Cinco de Mayo holiday and its celebration.


Beginning with a description of the early Indian cultures, Miller, a scholar of Mexican and Latin American history, outlines the Spanish takeover, the various rulers over the centuries, the war with the United States, the Revolution, and the birth of modern Mexico. He highlights the accompanying changes in the shape of the country and the makeup of the population.


A narrative history of Mexico, beginning with the empire of the Aztecs and carrying through to the early twenty-first century. Includes discussions of religion, technology, ethnicity, ecology, and the many events, institutions, and individuals that have shaped the modern nation. 2010.


Please join us on Thursday, May 23 at 7 pm (Central Time) for our Book Club discussion of GOD SAVE TEXAS: A JOURNEY INTO THE SOUL OF THE LONE STAR STATE, by Lawrence Wright.

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

To RSVP, please call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605; or email us  RSVP preferred by May 2.

GOD SAVE TEXAS: A JOURNEY INTO THE SOUL OF THE LONE STAR STATE 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.

We request that everyone remember the following:

  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.
  • Be courteous.  Try not to interrupt or talk over others.
  • Give everyone a chance to talk.
  • Be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, preface your comments with your first name.
Book cover for God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright

An examination of the history, culture, demographics, economics, and politics ofTexas in the early twenty-first century, along with personal reflections by the author of The Looming Tower (DB 63287). Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  2018.  DB 90876.

We look forward to having you join us on Thursday, May 23!

Assistive Technology Group on Facebook

For people who are blind or have low vision, or professionals involved in the visually impaired community, there is a group on Facebook that posts information on computer and assistive technology. You can ask a question, post resources, and / or discuss products and services related to assistive technology for the visually impaired. To join, visit this page:

Xavier Society for the Blind

For more than 100 years, the Xavier Society has been providing Catholic materials in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Materials have been available on vinyl record, large print, Braille, cassette, and MP3 format. Now the Xavier Society has added the National Library Service (NLS) digital cartridge to the list of available formats. All Xavier Society materials are available free of charge. For more information, visit, call 800-637-9193, or e-mail

Latin American Fiction on BARD

Gabriel García Marquez and Isabel Allende are not the only major fiction authors Latin America has produced by far, but they are, for the most part, the only ones widely known in the English-speaking world. There are many interesting Latin American authors out there that you can explore and enjoy, and in many cases, the English translation of their work is on BARD.  Want to expand your horizons? Check these Latin American classics out:


In the title novella, first published in 1940, a fugitive from justice escapes to a remote island, where he enters into a dreamlike existence along with other “intruders.” He falls in love and gradually uncovers the eerie secret of his strange new world. Also includes six short stories first published in 1948.

FICCIONES by Jorge Luis Borges. DB 14683

English translation of seventeen brief, carefully wrought fantasies in which the Argentine Nobel Prize winner creates a terrifying and bizarre world.   The collection’s first part, called “The Garden of Forking Paths,” contains eight short stories published in Spanish in 1941. Part two, entitled “Artifices,” has nine stories published in 1944. [BR 11366, 1993]: The introduction by John Sturrock provides background information on Borges and on the stories.

HAPPY FAMILIES: STORIES by Carlos Fuentes. DB 68321

Sixteen stories set in modern-day Mexico. Vignettes depict relationships between spouses, lovers–including a homosexual couple–and parents and children while invoking Tolstoy’s observation about happy and unhappy families. In “Sweethearts” former lovers cross paths unexpectedly on a cruise ship. Translation from Spanish by Edith Grossman. Some strong language. 2008.

BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS by Rosario Castellanos. DB 45081

A tale of social and racial conflict set in the Mexican state of Chiapas in 1930. Describes events that precipitate a Mayan Indian rebellion against the dominant Ladino class. Culminates in a harrowing, redemptive crucifixion of a child. Originally published in 1962. Violence and descriptions of sex.

FEAST OF THE GOAT by Mario Vargas Llosa. DB 56801

Urania Cabral, returning to the Dominican Republic where her father is terminally ill, recalls her youth during the brutal dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Called “the Goat” for his depravity with women, Trujillo was the reason for her forty-year estrangement from her father. Strong language and some violence. 2000. Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010.

EDGE OF THE STORM by Agustín Yañez. DB 24909

In a remote Mexican village in the early part of the twentieth century, a puritanical priest and his curate project their own fear of life onto their flock. The clerics ignore the affectionate warnings of another priest and close their eyes to the rumbling of revolution and change.

FAREWELL TO THE SEA: A NOVEL OF CUBA by Reinaldo Arenas. DB 24304

Psychological portrait of contemporary life in Castro’s Cuba, full of shattered hopes and agonizing realities generated by the revolution. A disillusioned young poet retreats to a beach resort with his family to ponder both his country’s future and his own sexual ambiguity. Includes considerable poetry. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. 1985.

PARADISO by José Lezama Lima. DB 08039

Highly praised, panoramic novel of a man’s search for his dead father and for an understanding of love and the powers of the mind, psychological and philosophical themes are intricately interwoven. Explicit descriptions of sex. 1974.


Ten intriguing stories from the apocalyptic world of the Argentine writer. In the title story, a group of fans of the legendary movie star Glenda Garson, meet at showings of her films and eventually become a fanatically devoted group. In all these tales a violent and unsettling suspense prevails. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.  1983.


Mexican authors born in the first half of the twentieth century write tales that reveal a panorama of Mexican culture and society–past and present, urban and rural, real and unreal. In “What Became of Pampa Hash?” an impoverished Mexican has a torrid love affair. The Big Read selection NEA. 2008.

My Heart Is Not Blind Exhibit at the Witte Museum in San Antonio

Witte Museum Logo
Witte Museum Logo

My Heart Is Not Blind is a combination of stunning photographs and insightful audio interviews of people with visual impairments. Seven years in the making, the exhibit was created by photographer and documentarian Michael Nye in order to probe more deeply into the nature of and misperceptions about blindness. Mr. Nye’s website states: “Blindness doesn’t make someone less intelligent, less capable, less competent. Many become more courageous and determined. Perception and adaptation are deeper than we can imagine and much more mysterious.” Leave this exhibit with the knowledge that there are many different ways of seeing. The My Heart Is Not Blind exhibit is included in the cost of admission to the Witte.

My Heart Is Not Blind Exhibit
Dates: January 5, 2019 – March 31, 2019
Times: Mondays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesdays  10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesdays – Saturdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sundays Noon – 5 p.m.
Location: Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209
For more information visit: or call (210) 357-1900

March 2019 TBP Book Club Title Announced!

Texas Talking Book patrons: please join us on Tuesday March 26th at 7 pm (Central Time) for our book club discussion of LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng (DB   89018, BR   22149)

Book Cover for Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Our book club meetings are hosted via toll free conference call,so all you need is a telephone to participate.  To RSVP call the TalkingBook Program at: 1-800-252-9605 (RSVP preferred by March 5th) or email us at:  Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge or if you prefer to download it from BARD.

NLS Annotation:

 Elena Richardson andher family lead an orderly existence in Shaker Heights, Ohio, until Mia and herdaughter rent a house from them. When a neighbor tries to adopt a baby, Elenaand Mia end up on opposing sides of the custody battle. Some strong language andsome descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2017.

 We request that everyone remember the following:

  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.
  • Be courteous. Try not to interrupt or talk over others; give everyone a chance to talk; be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.
  • If comfortable doing so, please preface your comments with your first name.

We look forward to having you join us on Tuesday, March 26!

David Bowie’s Must-Read Books

David Bowie was an original. The world will never see another musician like him. On January 2019 it will be two years since he passed, and the world will continue to remember him by listening to the music he left behind. It’s no surprise that in addition to being an ultra-original musician he was also an avid reader, and left behind an extensive reading list. A year ago, Bowie’s son and film director Duncan Jones, launched the “David Bowie Book Club” through his Twitter feed. He invited folks to visit one of his dad’s favorite books each month. He chose the titles from the official list of Bowie’s Top 100 Must-Read Books, curated by Bowie’s official archivists. You’ll be glad to know that many of Bowie’s recommended books are available on BARD. They are listed below, sorted by publication date from newest to oldest.

  • The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby, 2008. DB 66150
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, 2007. DB 67964
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, 2002. DB 56184
  • Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler, 1997. DB 41918
  • A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1890-1924 by Orlando Figes, 1997. DB45238
  • The Insult by Rupert Thomson, 1996. DB 43935
  • Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon, 1995. DB 42023
  • The Bird Artist by Howard Norman, 1994. DB 38663
  • Kafka Was The Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir by Anatole Broyard, 1993.       DB 37861
  • Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia. DB 34102
  • Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom by Peter Guralnick, 1986. DB 73053
  • The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin, 1986. DB 26608
  • Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd, 1985. DB 24458
  • Nowhere To Run: The Story of Soul Music, by Gerri Hirshey, 1984. DB 23848
  • Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter, 1984. DB 23564
  • Money: A Suicide Note by Martin Amis, 1984. DB 22896
  • White Noise by Don DeLillo, 1984. DB 23512
  • The Life and Times of Little Richard by Charles White, 1984. DB 22861
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, 1980. DB 76953
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, 1980. DB 50482
  • Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler, 1980.  DB 16347
  • Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess, 1980. DB 16527
  • The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels, 1979. DB 60458
  • Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz, 1978. DB 11794
  • Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, ed. Malcolm Cowley, 1977. DB 09853
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, 1967. DB 37107
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, 1965.  DB 22726
  • Herzog by Saul Bellow, 1964. DB 22553
  • The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford, 1963. DB 36324
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, 1963.  DB 12439
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, 1962.  DB 15213
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, 1961.  DB 69464
  • The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, 1958.  DB 18177
  • On The Road by Jack Kerouac, 1957.  DB 31675
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, 1955.  DB 67388
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, 1948. DB 73474
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright, 1945. DB 20415
  • The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker, 1944. DB 17658
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus, 1942.  DB 40902
  • The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West, 1939. DB 12925
  • Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood, 1935.  DB 54128
  • The Bridge by Hart Crane, 1930. DB 10148
  • Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, 1930. DB 12881
  • As I lay Dying by William Faulkner by 1930. DB 11553
  • The 42nd Parallel (Book #1 of U.S.A Trilogy) by John Dos Passos, 1930. DB 42698
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin, 1929.  DB 91015
  • Passing by Nella Larsen, 1929.   DB 40702
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence, 1928.  DB 44295
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925. DB 55714
  • The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, 1922.  DB 19566
  • McTeague by Frank Norris, 1899. DB 12689
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, 1856. DB 13249
  • Inferno, from the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, circa 1308-1321. DB 76353
  • The Iliad by Homer, circa 800. DB 6635