Goodreads 2018 Choice Awards Announced

Goodreads Choice Awards 2018 Logo

The social cataloging website for book lovers, Goodreads, has just announced their readers’ Choice Awards for 2018. The Texas Talking Book Program has a good number of them in our collection. Are you looking for a story that takes place in the past? Goodreads members chose The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (DB 90090) as their favorite historical fiction book for this past year. Are you more interested in non-fiction? Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (DB 90188) was chosen as the best memoir. Perhaps you’re in the market for a new author to explore. Goodreads readers awarded Tomi Adeyemi the honor of Debut Goodreads Author for her young adult fantasy novel, Children of Blood and Bone (DB 90928). No matter which genre you enjoy, the bibliophiles at Goodreads have chosen a favorite book published this year. Contact us and we can help you find your next favorite book.

For more information:

Bill Gates’ 2018 Summer Reading List

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, announced his summer reading list for 2018. The Texas Talking Book Program has most of them in our collection. This year many of his selections deal with the big questions in life. Although these books deal with some heavy topics, he stresses that most of them are fairly short in length.

For more information directly from Bill Gates himself:

The books in TBP’s collection:


Author of Steve Jobs (DB 73682) chronicles the life of the iconic Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). Examines his early life in Vinci, artistic pursuits, patronage from leading Italian Renaissance families, engineering projects, investigations into human anatomy, and more. Bestseller. 2017.

DB   89588


Theologian specializing in the history of American prosperity gospel examines this faith tradition and draws parallels to her personal battle with stage IV colon cancer in her mid-thirties. Discusses her own medical treatments, her faith journey, and the ways the prosperity gospel has infiltrated secular American life. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2018.

DB   90181


1862. One night, soon after the death of his eleven-year-old son, Willie, President Abraham Lincoln goes to visit the recently interred body in Georgetown. There, he encounters the ghosts of the cemetery’s residents, including Willie, who must escape the limbo he is in. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. 2017.

DB   86941


A statistician and medical doctor believes most people hold mistaken ideas unsupported by facts about global issues such as poverty, education, and the environment. He explains that instincts and biases distort our perspective, and we don’t know what we don’t know. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2018.

DB 91120

The Color of Blind exhibit at the San Antonio Public Library

Color of Blind Exhibit Image
The Color of Blind is an interactive art show by Trina Geurra Bacon and Katherine Brown. First debuting in 2013, “The show allows visually impaired individuals, along with others with special sensory needs or challenges, to better connect with art,” explains Bacon. During the month of August, the San Antonio Public Library’s Central Branch gallery will host a “best in show” exhibit of some of Color of Blind’s fan favorite pieces. “Everyone should be able to fully experience art. We say ‘Yes- please touch the art!’” The Color of Blind will be free and open to the public during Central Library hours of operation.

The Color of Blind Exhibit
Dates: August 7, 2016 – August 26, 2016
Times: Mondays through Thursdays 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: San Antonio Public Library, Central Branch, 600 Soledad St, San Antonio, Texas 78205
For more information visit: or call 210-207-2500

July 2018 TBP Book Club Title Announced!

Texas Talking Book patrons: please join us on Tuesday July 24th at 7 pm (Central Time) for our book club discussion of MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY by Fredrik Backman (DB 83204)

Our book club meetings are hosted via toll free conference call, so all you need is a telephone to participate. To RSVP call the Talking Book Program at: 1-800-252-9605 (RSVP preferred by June 26st) 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.

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.

NLS Annotation:
Seven-year-old Elsa is acknowledged as weird. The grandmother she lives with is flat-out crazy, but she shares tales of the fairyland of Miamas. When her grandmother dies, Elsa is entrusted with delivering letters of apology and learns about her place in the world. Translated from the original 2013 Swedish edition. 2014

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– BLACK RIVER by S. M. Hulse: BR 20669, DB 80695

Do you enjoy psychological fiction with flawed but sympathetic characters set amidst the backdrop of the modern West? You might enjoy BLACK RIVER, by S. M. Hulse. Leisurely paced with a strong sense of place, Black River won the 2015 Reading the West Book Award and was nominated for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize in 2015.

NLS Annotation: Wes Carver has not returned to Black River since he was held hostage in a prison riot while serving as a corrections officer. Now his former captor, Bobby Williams, is up for release, and Wes must consider what he believes and whether he can let Williams walk away. Some violence and some strong language. 2014.

If you have already read this book, or simply enjoy modern westerns told in a lyrical style that delve into the thoughts of the characters, you might also enjoy The Plainsong series by Kent Haruf.


Please join us on Tuesday, March 20 at 7 pm (Central Time) for our Book Club discussion of HILLBILLY ELEGY: A MEMOIR OF A FAMILY AND CULTURE IN CRISIS, by J. D. Vance (DB   85796, LB   08948).

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  (RSVP preferred by January 4.)

HILLBILLY ELEGY is available by mail in digital cartridge or large print formats.  It is also available to download on BARD.

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


J. D. Vance

DB 85796, LB 08948

Memoir of growing up in the Ohio Rust Belt in a family culture rooted in Scots-Irish Appalachia. Explores political themes affecting these community cultures through the lens of personal and familial experiences. Discusses what it took to go from nearly failing high school to graduating from Yale Law School. Some strong language.  Bestseller.  2016.

We look forward to having you join us on Tuesday, March 20th!

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– AGAINST THE TIDE by Elizabeth Camden, DB 77493

Do you enjoy Christian Historical fiction with a romantic twist? You might enjoy AGAINST THE TIDE by Elizabeth Camden. Winner of both the RITA Award for romantic fiction and the Christy Award for Christian fiction, this suspenseful and atmospheric novel follows immigrant and translator, Lydia as she struggles with her beliefs and the persistent problems caused by her tumultuous childhood. She also wrestles with her growing attraction to Lieutenant Banebridge, “Bane”, a man with a difficult past of his own.


NLS Annotation: Boston, 1891. Lydia Pallas works as a translator for the Navy Yard. When Lieutenant Alexander Banebridge requires Lydia’s skills for a case, she becomes his assistant. As Lydia is drawn deeper into Bane’s mission to end the opium trade, a relationship develops between them. RITA Award, Christy Award. 2012.

Set in Boston during the last decade of the 19th century, Ms. Camden describes the role that the legal opium trade played at this time in the United States. It was a fascinating backdrop against which to set Lydia and Bane’s story.

If you already read this book or simply enjoy gentle historical romances with an independent female lead in an urban setting, you might try the RITA Award winner for 2016, TIFFANY GIRL by Deeanne Gist, DB 83138.

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– BEST TO LAUGH: A NOVEL by Lorna Landvik, DBC 02662

If you like books that have a nostalgic and upbeat tone, similar to FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLESTOP CAFÉ by Fannie Flagg, you may really enjoy BEST TO LAUGH by Lorna Landik.

You can get a sense of Ms. Landvik’s sense of humor and writing style from the Bio and FAQ section on her webpage. She explains how she gets ideas for her books with the following quote: “I buy them from the Idea Man; two for a dollar. Early in my career, he tried to sell me an idea about a girl with a dragon tattoo, but I bought the idea for The Tall Pine Polka instead. When he’s out on the road, selling stuff I declined to J. K. Rowling or Suzanne Collins, I scavenge around and find ideas in roadside cafes, in a whiff of pipe smoke or ripe peaches, in an autumn vista, in a song fading out on the car radio, in the stillness of my monkey mind.”

Ms. Landvik brings this same wit and whimsy to the protagonist in BEST TO LAUGH, Candy, who with the help of an ensemble of zany friends and her personal “life saber”, embraces her new life in 1970s Hollywood.


NLS Annotation As a child, Candy Pekkala seemed to get unhappy experiences in Minnesota, so when a cousin called with a Hollywood apartment, Candy jumped at it. Her new fellow tenants include a female bodybuilder, a ruined nightclub impresario, and a well-connected old Romanian fortune-teller. Candy figured if she always lived by her wits here, she would have a chance to live with them. There are game show appearances, temp jobs and the allure of stand-up comedy. For high school and adult readers.

If you enjoyed this book or generally like humorous books with a host of quirky characters, you might try BIG STONE GAP by Adriana Trigiani, DB 52742.

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– BOY KINGS OF TEXAS: A MEMOIR by Domingo Martinez, DT 07183

New York Times Best Seller and 2012 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction, BOY KINGS OF TEXAS is a memoir about growing up in the rural area around Brownsville, Texas during the 1980s. Written in an engaging and gritty, yet at times lyrical style, Mr. Martinez is unflinchingly and brutally honest about the poverty and abuse he endured during his childhood. However, he is able to see what causes his family’s behavior as well as his own. It results in a fascinating view into the lives of a Mexican American family.

NLS Annotation: Brownsville, Texas. Domingo Martinez lays bare his interior and exterior worlds as he struggles to make sense of the violent and the ugly, along with the beautiful and the loving. Partly a reflection on the culture of machismo and partly an exploration of the author’s boyhood spent in his sister’s hand-me-down clothes, this book delves into the enduring and complex bond between Martinez and his deeply flawed, but fiercely protective older brother. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2012.

If you enjoy this book there is a sequel, MY HEART IS A DRUNKEN COMPASS: A MEMOIR (DB 80854)

October 2017 TBP Book Club Title Announced!

Texas Talking Book patrons: please join us on Thursday October 12th at 7 pm (Central Time) for our book club discussion of ROAD TO CHARACTER by David Brooks (DB   81325, LB   08536)

Our book club meetings are hosted via toll free conference call, so all you need is a telephone to participate.  To RSVP call the Talking Book Program at: 1-800-252-9605 (RSVP preferred by September 21st) 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:

The author of The Social Animal (DB 72914) looks at the lives of ten famous men and women known for having overcome personal weakness to achieve outward success and inner worth. Each exemplifies humility, hard work, and devotion to a cause. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. Some violence, some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2015.