Talking Book News Bulletin, Summer 2014 in Audio and Text

We hope you enjoy this podcast audio recording of the News Bulletin Summer 2014 (TXT), (PDF), (MP3) [includes Disability News and Automatic Selection Categories].

You can find back issues of the English version of our newsletters here: Back to Newsletters

If you would prefer to read or listen to this newsletter (or past issues) in Spanish click here: Boletín de Noticias Verano de 2014 (RTF) (PDF) (MP3) / Españo Archivo


Internal Newsletter Links

Texas Books Now Downloadable on BARD

Some big news from the Texas Talking Book Program! One of our locally-recorded books is now available for download via BARD, and more will soon follow.

As of January 15, 2014, Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall, narrated by Staci Thompson and monitored by Kerry Pivonka, is available on NLS’ Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service. Registered BARD users across the United States can access the book.

NLS Director Karen Keninger said, “The posting of your book to BARD marks an important milestone in our effort to increase the quantity of materials available on BARD. Congratulations.” According to Keninger, TBP is now certified to submit audiobooks that meet NLS requirements once open submission begins this spring.

NLS commented that the technical quality of the book is high.

“Sound quality is excellent. Brief audio samples from all sixty-seven chapters were examined and recording levels were found to be robust and consistent. Background noise is virtually non-existent. Edit points are unobtrusive with the narrative flow and audio continuity well maintained as corrected material is integrated.”

Narration also received praise.

“Narrator Staci Thompson does an excellent job with this book. She maintains steady projection energy and mic proximity, which helps to ensure consistent recording levels. Furthermore, she articulates clearly without sounding overly precise. All of this said, Thompson’s interpretive skills are the real asset here: She’s very well matched to this story and skillfully conveys the first-person “voices” of its two principal characters, who also happen to be the book’s co-authors. Character nuances and dialects are faithfully rendered with ease and authority at every turn, making for a compelling read…. Overall, this book’s narration is well above average in the world of locally produced books.”

Want to read more about what’s going on in the TBP Volunteer Recording Studio? You can view the Studio’s newsletter here: Scroll down until you find this heading: *****VRS News!*****



Talking Book News Bulletin, Spring 2014

We hope you enjoy this podcast audio recording of the Talking Book News Bulletin, Spring 2014. (TXT), (PDF), (MP3)

You can find back issues of the English version of our newsletters here: Back to Newsletters

If you would prefer to read or listen to this newsletter (or past issues) in Spanish click here: Boletín de Noticias Primavera de 2014 (TXT)  (PDF) (MP3) / Españo Archivo

Internal Links:


Texas Talking Books will be closed for these holidays.

Monday, May 26, 2014 – Memorial Day

Of course, you can leave a voicemail message or send e-mail on a holiday.


Upcoming Book Club Meeting

All you need to participate in Book Club is a telephone.  Please call 1-800-252-9605 or email to RSVP.  Dates are subject to change.  You can find the 2014 Book Club titles listed in one of the inserts of this newsletter.

Thursday, May 22, 2014, 7:00 p.m. Central (RSVP by May 1, 2014) Let The Great World Spin DB 70450 by Colum McCann.  New York City, 1974.  Disparate residents–including Philippe Petit, who performs an illegal high-wire walk between the Twin Towers; the judge who hears Petit’s case; and a grieving mother–encounter death, love, and salvation.  Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex.  National Book Award.  2009.

Staff Pick — Shannon — When Angels Sing

I look forward to the South by Southwest Film and Music Festival each spring in Austin, TX. This year, the Austin author, Turk Pipkin’s book When Angels Sing is being released as a movie starring Harry Connick Junior and Connie Britton. Other cast members in the movie include Lyle Lovett,  Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson.

With that kind of line up and many Texas familiar faces and I’m a sucker for Christmas no matter what time of year, I look forward to seeing this movie (but first I’m going to read the book!!)

I am currently reading:

WHEN ANGELS SING: A CHRISTMAS STORY                                  

PIPKIN, TURK                                      Original Date: 1999

When Michael Walker was a child, he’d wished that every day could be Christmas. But that was thirty years ago, before a tragic accident changed his life one Christmas morning. He still can’t muster any spirit for the holidays. For him, it will always be a time of pain, a memory of that day. But when his young son faces a sadness as profound as his own, Michael is the only one who can save him. It takes nothing short of a miracle to give Michael the courage to make peace with his past and find the hope, joy, and spirit he lost.                 

CT   06703

TBP Book Club – March: Outlaw Tales of Texas (Download No Longer Available)

TBP Book Club Logo, the image is a star over and open book with audio signals coming from it.

The Talking Book Program will host a “phone in” book club on Tuesday March 19th at 7 pm to discuss “Outlaw Tales of Texas” by Charles Corvis. Please contact Shannon at 1-800-252-9605 or by email at by March 5th  to RSVP for the discussion.

This month’s selection was recorded in our Texas TBP Recording Studio and so it is not available on BARD. Patrons can download Outlaw Tales of Texas at the link below or call 1-800-252-9605 to order on digital cartridge. The book can be played only on authorized devices such as the DTBM. It cannot be played on your computer or iPod.

Downloading from the link below is similar to downloading from BARD. The file is in a compressed format that will need to be unzipped. Only TBP patrons may download the book.

Download the book here: Outlaw Tales of Texas (

 [Download link has been deactivated.]

Spotlight on Texas Books – The Homesteader and Monuments

Here are two new books recorded by staff and volunteers in the Texas Talking Book Program recording studio:

Cover to Homesteader bok. Picture of field with a single house.HOMESTEADER

By Jack Ballas

Narrated by Cindy Johnson. Monitored by Stephanie Childs.(2005)

Settlers on the plains of the Lone Star state are being brutally attacked and driven off their rightful claims and hardened Texas Ranger Trey Bonner is on a mission to find the man behind the marauding. Going undercover, Bonner acquires a plot of land and announces his plans to build a house, hoping to draw out his quarry.

Cover of Monuments book. Looks like wooden scaffolding.MONUMENTS: THE SANDHILL CHRONICLES
By Clay Reynolds

DT 7014

Narrated by Linda Fox. Monitored by Becky Smith.(2000)

Fourteen-year-old Hugh Rudd had his summer planned: mow lawns, practice baseball, buy a new mountain bike, get ready for high school. But the Burlington Northern Railroad’s determination to demolish the Hendershot Grocery Warehouse, a symbol of Hugh’s small Texas home town since the turn of the century, makes Hugh reexamine his plans. Contains strong language, some descriptions of sex, and some violence.

TBP patrons can order these books by calling 1-800-252-9605 or emailing

Spotlight on Texas Books – European Texans

European Texans book cover Today we are highlighting a book recorded in our TBP sound studio in Austin at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. We primarily record books in our studio that are by Texan authors, or are about or based in Texas .


 By Allan O. Kownslar.

Narrated by Dianna Dorman. Monitored by Judy MacKenzie.

 (Texans All: A Series from the Institute of Texan Cultures) This book highlights the contributions of those who immigrated to the Lone Star State from all over Europe. Readers are introduced to the life and culture of French, English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, Belgian, Swiss, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Wend, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Greek, and Slavic Texans. (See also: Indian Texans, Mexican Texans, African Texans, and Asian Texans.)
To read this book call 1-800-252-9605 and ask for book number DT   07052