Staff Pick – John – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE by David Finkel, DB 77869

Texas Center for the Book, via Read Across Texas, is encouraging Texans to use books to engage in tough but important conversations about what happens when veterans come home. More information about Read Across Texas is at

To help launch Read Across Texas, the Texas State Library hosted best-selling author Ben Fountain for a discussion on his critically acclaimed work, BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK. (

In addition, the Talking Book Program’s Phone-in Book Club tackled YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE, by Siobhan Fallon (DT 07103).

Fountain and Fallon use fiction to explore what happens when soldiers return stateside. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel offers an intense but moving nonfiction account of veterans coming home in THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE (DB 77869).

Finkel chronicles the lives of soldiers from the 2-16 Infantry Battalion readjusting to civilian life—and families readjusting to soldiers. As the soldiers battle the physical and emotional aftereffects of war, we develop a deeper understanding of the price soldiers pay for serving their country—and a fuller accounting of the debt we owe.

Discover why Ben Fountain calls THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE “one of the best and truest books I have ever read.”

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE by David Finkel (DB 77869):

NLS Annotation: Journalist who was embedded with the U.S. Army in Iraq describes what life was like for some of the veterans from THE GOOD SOLDIERS (DB 70623) after they returned stateside. Portrays issues the men and their families dealt with, including suicide, PTSD, and financial strains.  Violence and strong language.  2013.

Listen to an October 2013 NPR interview with author David Finkel:

Dream Works Pictures is currently producing a movie adaption of THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. Jason Hall, who wrote the screenplay for “American Sniper,” is both its screenwriter and director.  Due for release in 2017, information about the movie version of THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE is here:

Richard Adams, Author of “Watership Down,” Dies at age 96

Watership Down, first published in 1972, became one of the bestselling children’s books of all time and was made into an animated film in 1978. The book, which critics have credited with redefining anthropomorphic fiction with its naturalistic depiction of the rabbits’ trials and adventures, won Adams both the Carnegie medal and the Guardian children’s prize. The following titles are available through Talking Books.


Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1990

The author of “Watership Down” (BR 2514, RD 9707) writes of growing up in the English countryside. Adams was influenced by his father, an amateur naturalist, and sprinkles his memoirs with references to the flora and fauna of his youth. Military service interrupts his studies at Oxford and alters his idyllic life as he mourns the wartime deaths of his friends. The memoirs end as young Adams meets his future wife.

DB   34326   DX   34326



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1980

Fablelike erotic story of mystery centers on Alan Deslandes, a quiet, thirtyish English bachelor who runs his father’s ceramic shop and a beautiful young German woman, Kathe, whom he impulsively marries. A  series of disturbing incidents suggest some form of evil is at work. Some strong language. Bestseller.

DB   15780   DX   15780


Title: MAIA

Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1984

A sprawling tale of Bekla, a mythical decadent empire. Beautiful Maia’s nobleman lover lends her out to pleasure other men and to spy on them. Sent out to seduce a rebel leader, Maia falls in love with the handsome renegade and must betray either her country or her heart. Sequel to “Shardik” (BR 02852).

DB   21237   DX   21237



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1977

A dramatic novel of the struggle against evil demonstrates genuine concern for animals. Two talking dogs, a terrier and a mongrel tortured in an English government-owned medical laboratory, manage to escape. With the aid of a canny fox and their animal instincts, they survive. After an irresponsible journalist declares that the animals may be carriers of the bubonic plague, an intensive and cruel manhunt for the dogs begins. Strong language.

BR   03875      DB   11620            DX   11620



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1974

In this fantasy of adventure, horror, and romance the author of “Watership Down” tells of the gigantic bear Shardik and his appearance among the Ortelgan people, to whom he was a god.

BR   02852



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                           Original Date: 1965

Twenty-four years after writing “Watership Down” (DB 35730, BR 2514), Adams now offers nineteen short stories about the lives of the rabbits since they defeated General Woundwort. Many of the stories   focus on the hero El-ahriarah, and all deal with the theme of the human enemy versus the animal.

BR   10905            DB   43864            DX   43864



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1988

A combination of historical fiction and animal fable, this book by the author of “Watership Down” tells the story of the horse Traveller and “Marse Robert,” Robert E. Lee. Told in a southern dialect, the story begins with Traveller’s life as a young colt and examines the events of the Civil War.

BR   07470 DB   28136   DX   28136



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1982

Adams, the author of “Watership Down”, and Lockley, a renowned ornithologist, collaborate on a lyrical account of their extraordinary journey through the least-explored area on earth. They describe landscapes and icescapes that exist nowhere else on earth and the brilliance of the southern lights, as well as the astounding array of animals, birds, and sea creatures.

DB   19092   DX   19092



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1972

This is a story of rabbits–seen through their eyes, smelling the scents of the countryside and living their terrors and triumphs. It tells of a band of rabbits who set out bravely for a new home in the English countryside. They encounter many dangers and adventures along the way, and finally make it to safety after rescuing some does who become their mates.

BR   02514    BR   10851    DB   35730   DX   35730    3            LB   03217


Gloria Naylor, Award Winning Author of “Women of Brewster Place,” Dies at Age 66

American novelist Gloria Naylor died Wednesday September 28th at 66 years of age. Her debut novel, “The Women of Brewster Place” is a best-seller and a National Book Award winner (1983), as well as a TV miniseries (1989). The following titles are available through Talking Books.

NAYLOR, GLORIA                                   Original Date: 1980
Seven women live on Brewster Placer. Each has a story that is uniquely hers but also touches the concerns of the other women of Brewster Place and of women everywhere. A perceptive commentary on the experience of black women in the United States.  National Book Award 1983.
BR   11906    DB   25314    DX   25314

Author: NAYLOR, GLORIA                                   Original Date: 1985
The affluent African-American suburban community depicted in “Linden  Hills” is the fulfillment of Luther Nedeed’s dreams. But the success  of most of its residents does little for two street-smart boys, LesterTilson and Willie Mason, whose dialogue and poetry punctuate this story about the middle-class world where they live. By the author of  American Book Award-winning “The Women of Brewster Place” Strong language.
DB   36299   DX   36299

Author: NAYLOR, GLORIA                                   Original Date: 1988
Mama Day is the aged black matriarch and medicine woman of a small island off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. Her niece “Cocoa” has left the island and is now married and living in New York. The story alternates between Mama Day and the   couple, and tells how the lure of New York and the magic of the island pull at the couple and change their relationship.
BR   07587        DB   73535      DX   73535

Author: NAYLOR, GLORIA                                  Original Date: 1992
Bailey’s Cafe, an enigmatic little 1940s eatery, Somewhere, U.S.A.  Bailey (not his real name) is the maestro who begins by telling of his love for Negro League baseball and his wife, Nadine. Then, one by one, he spins the stories of the cafe’s regulars: Mariam, an ostracized Ethiopian Jew; Sadie the wino; Iceman Jones; the recovering junkie Jesse Bell; Peaches, the nymphomaniac; and Miss Maples, a cross-dressing male.   Strong language and descriptions of sex.
DB   37586    DX   37586

Author: NAYLOR, GLORIA                                   Original Date: 1998
In this companion to “The Women of Brewster Place” (RC 25314), African American men who live in the tenement describe their lives and daily frustrations trying to make a living while coping with their women and children.  Strong language.
DB   48779    DX   48779