Staff Pick – Laura Jean– FIFTH SEASON by N. K. Jemisin, DB 82240

Nominated for the 2015 Nebula Award as well as a 2016 Hugo Award finalist, FIFTH SEASON tells the story of how the world ends – for the last time. Told from three different viewpoints, N. K. Jemisin weaves a story of survival against the backdrop of the Stillness, a world constantly threatened by catastrophic geologic upheaval.

Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominated author, N. K. Jemisin, describes the plight of the orogenes, a feared section of the population, who have the ability to control the geologic energy held within the Earth. Written in a compelling manner with a gritty tone, she deftly describes the events leading up to the beginning of the Fifth Season, a time of catastrophic climate change.

NLS Annotation for FIFTH SEASON by N. K. Jemisin (DB 82240): Essun is a woman living in a world ruled by the violent tectonic activity it experiences. She comes home to find her husband has killed her son and kidnapped her daughter, all for the secret ability Essun and her children have to control the Earth. and her children have to control the Earth. Strong language, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2015.

If you have already read this book or enjoy fantasy fiction with apocalyptic overtones, try WHO FEARS DEATH by Nnedi Okoafor (DB 73989). Or if you’d like to try something similar with more of a science fiction feel, try the Pure Trilogy by Julianna Baggott starting with PURE (DB 78234).

BARD-Related Websites and Email Discussion Lists

Although our BARD support team is always happy to assist patrons with any BARD-related question or concern, TBP patrons who use the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) service to download books and magazines may also find the following websites and email discussion lists useful.

BARD Support is an e-mail-based list to which all program participants have the option of subscribing. This is a closed, one-way list to which NLS will occasionally post information of interest to the BARD community.

To subscribe to the NLS BARD support list, open the subscription page at:

Enter your e-mail address and select the Submit button. This will bring you to a confirmation page where you’ll be required to confirm your e-mail address and choose your delivery preferences. Finally, select the Submit button to subscribe to the list.

BARD Talk is an online resource and email community that provides BARD users a forum to discuss BARD. It has no official affiliation with NLS or TBP, but is owned and moderated by BARD users. To subscribe to the BARD Talk Yahoo Groups list or check out their FAQ or Quick Start Guide, go to:

DB Review is an email-based community that provides book reviews created by list members. Books reviewed are part of the digital talking book collection of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. It has no official affiliation with NLS or TBP, but is owned and moderated by BARD users You can subscribe using the online form at this website:

The Talking Book Program visits Rodriguez Elementary School

On Tuesday, March 8th, Disability Information & Referral Coordinator Dina Abramson and Reader Consultant Victor Hunter, along with Texas State Library Communications Officer Steve Siwinski, visited Rodriguez Elementary School to help the students celebrate Read Across America week and Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Victor read a print/Braille copy of his favorite Dr. Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham to two second grade classes as school librarian Barbara Mott held up the pictures from a print version of the book. After the reading, Dina and Victor answered questions about Braille and blindness. Each student received a Braille alphabet card. And the two classroom teachers gave Victor thank you notes with Braille on them. When the students learned that Victor’s birthday was the next day, they sang “Happy Birthday” to him.

Special thanks to Steve for taking pictures and providing transportation. Also a big thank you to Amanda Shaver from Bookspring for helping to set up the event.

Here are some pictures:

TBP Reader Consultant Victor and DIRC Coordinator Dina with staff from Rodriguez Elementary. Big smiles all around.
TBP Reader Consultant Victor reads a Braille copy of Green Eggs and Ham aloud to a rapt audience of Rodriguez Elementary students.
TBP Reader Consultant Victor holds up a print-Braille copy of Dr. Suess' Green Eggs and Ham.
Rodriguez Elementary students enjoy exploring Braille with Braille alphabet cards.

Pat Conroy, Author of The Prince of Tides, Dies at Age 70

After a brief battle with pancreatic cancer, author Pat Conroy died on Saturday March 4, 2016. Best known for his books THE GREAT SANTINI and THE PRINCE OF TIDES, Mr. Conroy wrote lyrically about troubled families set amid the coastal marshes of South Carolina. These stories were greatly inspired by his own dysfunctional childhood and were later made into Oscar nominated films.

Mr. Conroy was also known for his memoirs. Two of these, THE BOO and MY LOSING SEASON, documented his personal experiences as a student at The Citadel. His most recent memoir, THE DEATH OF SANTINI, related the effect his novel THE GREAT SANTINI, had on his family and especially his relationship with his father. At the time of his death, he was at work on both a novel and a memoir about living in Atlanta in the 1970s.

Titles by Pat Conroy in the TBP collection


DB 40753 & BARD

DB 30051 & BARD

DB 23429 & BARD

DB 25248 & BARD

DB 69381, BR 18480 & BARD


Title: BOO
DBC 00088 (BARD only)

DB 77742 & BARD

DB 55514 & BARD

DBC 05157 (BARD only)

DB 67321 & BARD

DB 38036 & BARD

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– GIRL IN THE DARK by Anna Lyndsey, DB 81009

Written in a lyrical and literary manner, GIRL IN THE DARK describes the life of the author, Anna Lyndsey, as she struggles with the onset of an illness that causes an intense sensitivity to light. Each section of the book deals with an aspect of her life; whether it is the months leading up to the beginning of her condition, an event that occurs during the course of her seclusion, her conversations with friends and acquaintances, or the ways she passes the time while isolated in her protective dark room. The author describes her life with honesty and humor.

NLS Annotation for GIRL IN THE DARK by Anna Lyndsey (DB 81009): A young woman writes of a light sensitivity that has forced her to live in darkness. She describes how the first symptom–her face burning from the computer screen–progressed to her entire body’s intolerance of fluorescent light and sunlight. Audiobooks, word games, occasional relative remissions, and the man she loves make it bearable. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

If you have already read this book or enjoy memoirs written by people battling chronic illness, try BRAIN ON FIRE: MY MONTH OF MADNESS by Susannah Cahalan (DB 76074).

Peace Seekers Club: New Blindness Group in Garland

The Peace Seekers Club will have their first meeting on Thursday, March 17th, at 7 pm, at the Outback Steakhouse, 3903 Towne Crossing Boulevard, in Mesquite. The e-mail address for the group is

For more information, contact Theresa Foredice:

The group will feature social activities as well as programming on issues related to blindness and low vision, including information on assistive technology, dog guides, and support.

Schneider Family Book Awards

The American Library Association has announced the winners of the Schneider Family Book Awards for 2016. Each year the Association selects books in three age categories that portray realistic depictions of children and teenagers with disabilities. This year, two books were awarded prizes in the nine – thirteen age category. Winning authors and illustrators receive $5,000 and a framed plaque.

Please click on this link to read about the winning books:

You can request the winning books from the Talking Book Program! Here are the titles, authors, and book numbers, along with annotations for each book.


BR 21066

NLS Annotation: Born in Ghana with one deformed leg, Emmanuel was raised to reach for  his dreams. He hopped to and from school more than two miles each way,
provided for his family, and eventually became a cyclist and activist
for people with disabilities. PRINT/BRAILLE.  For grades K-3 and older
readers. 2015.


DB 80497, BR 21151 (Braille is in process at NLS)

NLS Annotation: Bullied and moved from different schools, sixth grader Ally creatively
distracts anyone from discovering that she has problems reading. But one teacher, Mr. Daniels, helps her understand that she has dyslexia and encourages Ally to understand her feelings in a new way. Commercial audiobook.   For grades 4-7 and older readers. 2015.


BR   20662, DB   80472

NLS Annotation: A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother. Commercial audiobook. For grades 4-7 and older readers. 2015.


DB   82326, BR   21201 (Braille is in process at NLS)

NLS Annotation: Adam struggles with his OCD therapy assignments, and his relationship with his divorced parents doesn’t help matters. During a session at
his OCD support group, however, he falls for fellow member Robyn and
decides to save them both. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook.
For senior high and older readers. 2015.

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes, DB 76161

The impending theatrical release of the movie Me Before You, featuring Emilia Clarke, brings to life the 2012 New York Times Bestseller, ME BEFORE YOU. Two time winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, Jojo Moyes, tells the story of caregiver Lou Clark and her friendship with her charge, Will Traynor.

Character driven, issue oriented with a romantic yet thought-provoking tone, ME BEFORE YOU made me laugh out loud at some of the humorous and snarky comments made by both Lou and Will, yet it also made me contemplate what it is to be almost entirely dependent on others and the heaviness of the responsibility of caring for one who is.

NLS Annotation for ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes (DB 76161, BR 19900): Working-class English girl Louisa “Lou” Clark is hired as an aide to wealthy Will Traynor, a former mogul who has been paralyzed since a road accident. Lou tries to keep the embittered Will engaged with the world, while Will encourages Lou to expand her horizons. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2012.

ME BEFORE YOU is followed by a sequel, so be sure to ask your friendly neighborhood reader consultant about it!

If you have already read this book or enjoy books that deal with the relationship between caregiver and charge, try REVISED FUNDAMENTALS OF CAREGIVING by Jonathan Evison (DB 75360, BR 19596).

Emma Freeman Scholarship–Apply By April 1, 2016

The Emma Freeman Scholarship was established in 1970 by the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind to assist young people with vision impairments who want to attend college. Applications and accompanying materials are due by April 1st. Applicants must be legally blind and have Texas residency status. Priority is given to applicants who live in Bexar County.

For more information, please click on this link: or contact Angela Gray-Eagle:

Houston Low Vision / Blindness Support Group

The Robert Cizik Eye Clinic in Houston operates a low vision / blindness support group that meets on the second Friday of every month, from 10:30 a.m. – noon, in the Cizik Eye Clinic Conference Room on the 19th Floor of Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza. Each meeting focuses on a different topic related to vision impairments. February is Low Vision Awareness Month, so that meeting will emphasize local resources that are available to educate and empower the low vision community.

Please contact Tamara Traber for more information about these monthly meetings:

To learn about the Center for Visual Rehabilitation at the Cizik Eye Clinic, click on this link: