Staff Picks – Laura – THE MINDFUL CARNIVORE, DB 76169

A lot has been published in the last ten years on the American diet and our relationship with food.  Some of the books focus on how factory farming and industrialized agriculture have changed our health and culture as a nation.  Some speak to the environmental impact of our modern food systems.  Many question the morality of participating in these systems and present alternatives like eating a vegetarian diet or only eating locally grown, organic food.  THE MINDFUL CARNIVORE is a personal account of one man who considers these questions and struggles to find a responsible solution.  Author Tovar Cerulli shares his transition from an omnivorous child, to staunch vegan, and finally to a compassionate hunter and meat eater.   If you like slowly-unfolding personal narratives and examining the relationship between humans and their food, you might enjoy this book.


Author chronicles his dietary journey from his childhood as an omnivore and avid fisherman, to early adulthood as a strict vegan, and later a more thoughtful carnivore. Explores the history of vegetarianism in American culture, and ways his personal relationships affected his thoughts on the acquisition of food. 2012. DB 76169

If you enjoyed THE MINDFUL CARNIVORE, you might also like the author Michael Pollan.  Start with THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA: A NATURAL HISTORY OF FOUR MEALS – DB 62557



Video about Voting Rights

Disability Rights Texas has produced a video called “Your Vote Matters: The Voting Rights of People with Disabilities” You can watch the video, with captioning, by clicking on this link:

To learn more about the voting rights of people with disabilities, call the Voting Rights Hotline at 1-888-796-VOTE (8683). You can also access information here:

Staff Pick — Amanda — Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore — DB 75599

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a story about books, technology, typography, and a secret society. It’s about the intersection of old and new, about friendship, and about the meaning of life. The story is a mystery and a quest – there are plenty of twists and turns but the author’s writing style is easy and straightforward. The characters are interesting, engaging, and by the end of the book seem like real people. Sloan also creates a great sense of place, putting you on the streets of San Francisco and right inside the unusual bookstore. Every place the reader visits – Clay’s apartment, Google headquarters, New York City – are well drawn, and help to transport you into the story. If you like fun and quirky books, give this book a try.

SLOAN, ROBIN, 1979- Original Date: 2012
While hunting for a new job, Web designer Clay Jannon wanders across Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Bookstore, which sits next to a strip joint. Hired for the night shift, Clay is soon drawn into a world of mystery, intrigue, and kooky customers. 2012.
DB 75599 BR 19723

Service Animals and the Law

“Veterans and Bootz’s Law: Service Animals and Persons with Disabilities in Texas,” was a 19-minute panel discussion produced by the State Bar of Texas Disability Issues Committee and Disability Rights Texas.

The discussion was filmed, and is now available on YouTube. Bootz’s Law, officially known as Texas House Bill 489, outlines the rights and responsibilities of people with disabilities regarding the use of service animals.

You can view the video by clicking on this link:

For more information, you can contact the State Law Library at (512) 463-1722, or go to You can also visit this link, through the Texas Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities:

Staff Picks – Laura – LET’S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS, DB 76599

LET’S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS is a collection of amusing essays that focus on David Sedaris’ experiences living abroad, his dysfunctional family, and a smattering of other topics told in his distinctive voice.  If you enjoy witty, self deprecating humor that can pack an emotional punch, this collection might be for you.   THE HAPPY PLACE, which recounted Sedaris’ first experience getting a colonoscopy, had me laughing so hard I cried.

NLS Annotation:


Twenty-six essays by the humorist. “Dentists without Borders” describes the nonchalance of his doctor, dentist, and periodontist in France. In “Understanding Understanding Owls” Sedaris shops for a stuffed owl for his boyfriend and is disconcerted by how accurately the taxidermist sizes him up. Some strong language. Commercial Audiobook. 2013.

DB   76599

Read Across America

Here at Texas Talking Books we celebrate reading every day – and so do you, our patrons! On March 3, we get the opportunity to join with teachers and librarians across the country to celebrate Read Across America, an annual event held each year on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, is sponsored by the National Education Agency in partnership with local schools, libraries, churches, and other community organizations. Through a variety of events and activities in communities across the country, Read Across America encourages children to read regularly and often, both independently and with teachers, parents, and caregivers. This year, take advantage of this nation-wide celebration to try a new author, share your favorite book with a friend, read aloud with someone, or just curl up with a good book, knowing you’re part of a community of readers and book lovers.

To celebrate Read Across America, why not try out one of the following books, voted on by children across the country as some of their favorite books (the full list can be found on the NEA website.)

SEUSS, DR                                         1960
Nonsense rhyme about a delightful creature named Sam-I-Am, and his efforts to get another to eat green eggs and ham. For preschool-grade 2.
BR   08956      BR   13450      BR   16721      RC   34056      DX  34056

ROWLING, J.K                                      1997
On Harry Potter’s eleventh birthday, he learns that he is more than an unwanted orphan. The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry recruits him because he has inherent magical abilities. As he purchases his school supplies–robes, wand, and messenger owl—Harry looks forward to attending his new boarding school. Bestseller. 1997.
BR   17774      BT   03288      RC   47260      DB   47260     DX   47260     LB   04656

PAULSEN, GARY                                     1987
Brian, thirteen and troubled by his parent’s divorce, is flying in a single engine plane to visit his father.  As Brian is the only passenger, the pilot casually shows him how to fly the plane.  When the pilot has a heart attack and dies, Brian must take control.  After the plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness, Brian has only the hatchet attached to his belt to help him survive.  Newbery Honor book 1988.
BR   11525      BT   03120      RC   30535      DB   30535     DX   30535     LB   04094

SACHAR, LOUIS, 1954-                               1998
Stanley Yelnats IV finds himself in a detention center for possessing stolen property that he didn’t take. While digging holes under the summer Texas sun, he sees a fellow inmate running away–and follows him. Legends, loyalty, and buried treasure are revealed as Stanley learns to survive.   Newbery Medal.
BR   12174      BR   17776      DB   47444     LB   04941

BLUME, JUDY                                       1970
Margaret Simon (almost twelve) frequently chats with God. She is lonely after her parents buy a new house in Farbrook, New Jersey.Because she is from the city, the new girls expect her to be more grown up than they are, but Margaret’s body hasn’t begun to mature yet and she’s never kissed a boy.
BR   07171      RC   37405      DB   37405     LB   03468      LB   06053

If adult books are more to your taste, try out one of these books recommended by Texas Talking Book Program’s Reader’s Advisory Librarians:

GALBRAITH, ROBERT                                 2013
The author is J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith. Private detective Cormoran Strike is down on his luck–he lost a leg in Afghanistan, his practice is suffering, he broke up with his            girlfriend, and he lives in his office. Then he is hired to investigate supermodel Cuckoo’s supposed suicide.  Strong language,
DB   76784

GAIMAN, NEIL                                      2013
Sussex, England. A man returns to his childhood home for a funeral. While there, he is drawn to the farm where his friend Lettie lived with her mother and grandmother. After he enters the property, he remembers the terrifying experiences he and Lettie shared. Some violence. Bestseller.  2013.
BR   20187      DB   77198

FROST, RANDY O                                    2010
Two experts in obsessive-compulsive disorders describe hoarding syndrome and share case examples of their research-study patients, whose homes are overrun by towering piles of found or purchased items they are unable to part with or stop collecting. The authors discuss treatment possibilities and the condition’s effects on family members.
DB   73054

GAFFIGAN, JIM                                     2013
Stand-up comedian and actor describes living with his wife and their five children–all under the age of nine–in a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Manhattan. Bestseller.  2013.
DB   76916