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?”.

CINCO DE MAYO: A MEXICAN HOLIDAY ABOUT UNITY AND PRIDE BY JAMES GARCIA. DB 61994

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.

FIESTA!: CINCO DE MAYO BY JUNE BEHRENS. DB 36792

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.

MEXICO: A HISTORY by ROBERT RYAL MILLER. DB 34427

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.

OXFORD HISTORY OF MEXICO EDITED BY WILLIAM H. BEEZLEY & MICHAEL C. MEYER. DB 90978

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.

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 http://xaviersocietyfortheblind.org/, call 800-637-9193, or e-mail info@xaviersocietyfortheblind.org

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:

INVENTION OF MOREL AND OTHER STORIES by Adolfo Bioy Cásares. DB 50167

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.

WE LOVE GLENDA SO MUCH AND OTHER TALES by Julio Cortázar DB 20793

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.

SUN, STONE, AND SHADOWS: TWENTY GREAT MEXICAN SHORT STORIES. DB 68735

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.

Straight Outta BARD: Rap and Hip-Hop Reads

Did you know we have a large collection of biographies on BARD? Many of those biographies are about people from the entertainment industry, musicians included. And if you like Rap and Hip-Hop, and want to know about the struggles, challenges and triumphs of these awesome and sometimes controversial music legends, BARD is on it. Download these titles or order them on cartridge.

RAW: MY JOURNEY INTO THE WU-TANG by U-GOD  DB 90516

Memoir of one of the founding members of the hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan. He was raised in New York by a single mother and was arrested for dealing drugs in his youth. He relates the story of the formation of the group and their rise to fame. Narrated by the author. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.

DRE: THE BIOGRAPHY by RONIN RO  DB 66387

Music journalist traces the rise of Andre Young, a.k.a. Dr. Dre, of Compton, California, who in 1989 created one of the first “gangsta” rap albums. Details the development of the genre. Discusses the East Coast-West Coast feud and the gangland-style murders of rival rappers. Strong language and some violence. 2007.

DOGGFATHER; THE TIMES, TRIALS, AND HARDCORE TRUTHS OF SNOOP DOGG by SNOOP DOGGY DOGG  DB 50580

Autobiography by rap star Snoop Dogg, describing his youth in a Los Angeles ghetto and his strong belief in God. Recounts his success in the music field during the early 1990s, the murder of his friend Tupac Shakur, and his own trouble with the law. Strong language and some violence. 1999

HIP-HOP DIVAS by TRACY MICKENS-HUNDLEY  DB 56526

Chronicles the struggles and triumphs of women performers in the world of hip-hop music. Includes essays on the lives and careers of fifteen stars, such as Mary J. Blige, Lauryn Hill, Lil’ Kim, and TLC. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2001.

HEY YA! THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF OUTKAST by CHRIS  NICKSON        DB 59691

Journalist details the performing career of the award-winning Atlanta rap group OutKast, describing the team created in 1994 by Antwan “Big Boi” Patton and Andre “Dre” Benjamin. Delves into the singers’ personal lives, their business interests, and the evolution of their music. For senior high and older readers. 2004.

REBEL FOR THE HELL OF IT: THE LIFE OF TUPAC SHAKUR by ARMOND WHITE     DB 59848

Journalist chronicles the life of rapper Tupac Shakur (1971-1996), from his childhood to his unsolved murder in Las Vegas. Describes Shakur’s musical legacy, his brief acting career, and his legal entanglements. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 1997.

TUPAC SHAKUR: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN AMERICAN ICON by TAYANNAH LEE MCQUILLAR     DB 71978

Biography of rap-music star Tupac Shakur (1971-1996) examines the artist’s unstable childhood as the son of a former Black Panther militant. Chronicles Shakur’s rise to fame, the rivalry between East-and West-coast rappers, and Shakur’s unsolved murder in Las Vegas. Strong language. 2010.

FROM PIECES TO WEIGHT: ONCE UPON A TIME IN SOUTHSIDE QUEENS by 50 CENT    DB 61202

Rap star describes the ghetto environment he was brought up in and his experience of dealing drugs when he was eleven. Details his life on the streets of 1980s Queens before hard work and determination helped him achieve fame and money. Violence and strong language. Bestseller. 2005.

WU-TANG MANUAL by RZA   DB 61481

Members of the Brooklyn rap group the Wu-Tang Clan explain their philosophy of life, much of which comes from watching kung fu movies. Introduces the nine members of the band and discusses martial arts, capitalism, and comics. Includes song lyrics. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2005.

SKILLS TO PAY THE BILLS: THE STORY OF THE BEASTIE BOYS by ALAN LIGHT     DB 62931

Follows the career of New York rap musicians the Beastie Boys–white, Jewish teenagers who formed their band in 1981. Interviews Adam Yauch, Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond, and colleagues to explain how they made rap popular on the mainstream music charts. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2005.

WAY I AM by EMINEM  DB 67868

Autobiography of the controversial rapper. Detroit native Eminem, born Marshall B. Mathers III, describes his private life and the development of his Grammy Award-winning hip-hop career. Discusses the lyrics of his greatest hits, the Oscar-winning movie based on his life, and his work as a record producer. Strong language. 2008.

ICE: A MEMOIR OF GANGSTER LIFE AND REDEMPTION–FROM SOUTH CENTRAL TO HOLLYWOOD by ICE-T   DB 73836

Grammy Award-winning rapper and actor on television drama Law & Order: SVU Ice-T, born Tracy Marrow, describes becoming an orphan at age twelve and moving from New Jersey to live with relatives in Los Angeles. Details his life of crime before beginning his music career. Violence and strong language. 2011.

DIRTY VERSION: ON STAGE, IN THE STUDIO, AND IN THE STREETS WITH OL’ DIRTY BASTARD by BUDDHA MONK    DB 80367

Musician and friend of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Monk–with English professor Hess–details the life of the cofounder of the Wu-Tang Clan. Details ODB’s childhood in Brooklyn, his work with Wu-Tang Clan, his solo musical efforts, and the challenges he faced before his early death by drug overdose. Some strong language. 2014.

HIP-HOP SPEAKS TO CHILDREN: A CELEBRATION OF POETRY WITH A BEAT        DB 69380

Fifty-one rhythmic poetry selections from forty-two poets and performers representing a wide range of styles and eras. Highlights works from Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Queen Latifah, and Kanye West. Includes part of Aesop Rock’s “No Regrets”—a ditty about little Lucy’s yellow-chalk drawings on the sidewalk. 2008.

TBP’s Administrative Rules Review / Revisión de las Reglas Administrativas de TBP

TBP’s Administrative Rules Review: All state agencies and their programs have administrative rules, which are reviewed every four years, amended as needed, and then readopted. The notice of the review of TBP’s 18 rules has been published in the July 27, 2018 edition of the Texas Register (https://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/pdf/currview/index.shtml).

You may read the rules here: https://bit.ly/2AABKA4. Comments about the rule review may be made by postal mail, email, or phone to Ava Smith, Director, Talking Book Program, at P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX, 78711-2927, amsmith@tsl.texas.gov, or 512-463-5428. Comments must be received by August 27, 2018.

Revisión de las Reglas Administrativas de TBP: Todas las agencias estatales y sus programas correspondientes tienen reglas administrativas. Estas reglas son sometidas a una revisión cada cuatro años, se modifican como sea necesario, y después son re-adoptadas.

En Julio 27 de 2018, en la publicación Texas Register (https://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/pdf/currview/index.shtml) fue anunciada la revisión de las 18 reglas administrativas de TBP(https://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/pdf/currview/index.shtml). Usted puede leer las reglas aqui: https://bit.ly/2AABKA4.

Sus comentarios sobre la revisión de nuestras reglas pueden ser enviados por correo normal, por correo electrónico, o por teléfono a Ava Smith, Directora. Programa de Libros que Hablan. P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX, 78711-2927, amsmith@tsl.texas.gov, o llame al 512-463-5428. La fecha límite para recibir sus comentarios es August 27, 2018.

 

National Association of Blind Merchants BLAST conference

The National Association of Blind Merchants will host it’s BLAST conference from November 13 – 16, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. Super Early Bird Registration is occurring now until August 13th; the cost to register early is $200. For more information call the National Association of Blind Merchants at 888-687-6226 or click on this link: https://blindmerchants.org/blast-2018-information/

Disability Voter Registration Week is July 16-20

July 16 – 20 has been designated as Disability Voter Registration Week.

You have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen in order to vote.
An application is required to register, but you only have to register once.
You can get a voting application at a public library, tax assessor’s office, high school, post office, or workforce commission office. You can also find the application online at https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp

Three ways to vote if you are elderly or have a disability:
1) Mail in ballot
2) Curbside voting (call ahead for this option)
3) in person voting at a polling location

Persons with disabilities may request an accessible voting machine, an interpreter, or they may bring an assistant to help them vote.

Everyone must bring a form of ID if they vote in person. This may be a voter registration card, Texas ID card, driver’s license, gun license, military ID, passport, paycheck, birth certificate, or bank statement.

For more information on voting for people with disabilities, please visit www.RevUpTexas.org or call the Voting Rights Hotline at 888-796-VOTE (8683)
The last day to register to vote in the November 2018 election is October 9th. Early voting begins on October 22nd. The election is on November 6th.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) Disability-Related Resources

All of the programs within the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department can be adapted for seniors and persons with disabilities. Activities include but are not limited to fishing, archery, boating, kayaking, hiking, and biking.

In addition, organizations can apply for an Accessible Resources in the Community Outdoor Outreach Program grant to fund a variety of needs such as equipment, supplies, transportation, and staff. For more information about the grant, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/grants/recreation-grants/community-outdoor-outreach-program-co-op-grants

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department web site features the following links for wheelchair users:
Wheelchair-accessibility at parks: http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/parks/things-to-do/wheelchair-accessibility-in-state-parks
Wheelchair-friendly events: http://tpwd.texas.gov/calendar/wheelchair-friendly
Please note that inclement weather can affect the accessibility of a park or outdoor space.

Sandra Heath is the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator at TPWD. She can be reached at 512-389-4818.
For more information about what the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has to offer, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/

College Scholarships for Texas Students who are Blind

Two advocacy agencies in Texas offer scholarships for students who are blind:

The National Federation of the Blind of Texas (NFBTX):
Deadline: August 15, 2018
Link: https://www.nfbtx.org/scholarships.php
For more information and questions, call the NFBTX office at 281-968-7733 or send an email to Lara Sowell, NFBTX Scholarship Committee Chair, at scholarships@nfbtx.org

American Council of the Blind of Texas (ACBT):
Deadline: July 7, 2018
Link: http://www.acbtexas.org/financial/financial.htm#ACBT%20Scholarship%20Program
For more information and questions, contact Dianna E. Carter, ACBT Scholarship Committee Chair, at ddcarter2000@gmail.com
Applications may also be obtained at Texas Workforce Solutions offices and Education Service Centers.

Free Diabetes Seminar at the Lighthouse of Houston

The Lighthouse of Houston will host the first in a series of seminars about diabetes on Friday, June 15, 2018, from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Presenters will include an ophthalmologist, a podiatrist, a registered dietician, a low vision doctor, and a behavioral health specialist.

Seating for this event is limited.
Please call Alma Segura at 713-284-8422 to register.

A light breakfast will be served, and there will be gift bags and opportunities for door prizes.