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 https://www.tsl.texas.gov/readacrosstexas.

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. (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/readacrosstexasresources.)

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:

http://www.npr.org/2013/10/01/224493078/thank-you-for-your-service-follows-americas-soldiers-home

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:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2776878/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray, DB 85432

Do you enjoy humorous young adult novels that involve absurd situations and over the top characters? If so, you might like BEAUTY QUEENS. Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Young Adult Novel for 2011, BEAUTY QUEENS describes the trials and travails of several beauty pageant contestants, surviving in the wild. Written with a witty and offbeat tone, I quite often found myself laughing out loud at the outrageous adventures these talented ladies encounter. If you’re a proud Texan, you’ll be excited to note that Miss Texas leads this band of intrepid and inventive ingénues.

NLS Annotation: After their plane crashes and strands them on an island, the fifty beauty contestants for the Miss Teen Dream Pageant channel their talents into surviving. But the arrival of some hot reality-television pirates adds new complications. Descriptions of sex and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2011.

If you already read this book or simply enjoy humorous young adult books with feminist adventures and subtle romance, you might try I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU by Ally Carter (DB 66621).

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– BLACK WATER RISING by Attica Locke, DB 72177

If you like legal thrillers such as those written by John Grisham and Lisa Scottoline, you might try the Jay Porter Series by Attica Locke, starting with BLACK WATER RISING (DB 72177). Nominated for a 2010 Edgar Award, a 2010 NAACP Image Award, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, this story, set in Houston, Texas, follows lawyer Jay Porter as he becomes embroiled in a murder investigation and the labor disputes and racial turmoil of the early 1980s.

BlackWaterRising

Recent winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, Attica Locke, is a native of Houston, Texas and her knowledge of the area reveals itself in her detailed descriptions of the city as well as the social issues that dominated the area in the early 1980s. Her writing is gritty and compelling and she has created an intricately detailed plot with a well-developed protagonist in Jay Porter.

NLS Annotation: Texas, 1981. African American lawyer Jay Porter rescues from the bayou a white woman he later suspects is involved in a murder. Despite his racially charged criminal past and impending fatherhood, Jay investigates and finds links to Houston’s political elite and big oil. Some violence and some strong language. 2009.

If you’ve already read this book and enjoy a good legal thriller series with a suspenseful tone set in the urban south, try the Penn Cage series by Greg Iles, starting with QUIET GAME (DB 49340). If you’d prefer a legal thriller series with a female protagonist, try the Carole Ann Gibson series by Penny Mickelbury, starting with CAROLE ANN GIBSON, BOOKS 1-3 (DB 84707).

February 2017 TBP Book Club Title Announced!

Texas Talking Book patrons: please join us on Tuesday February 7th at 7 pm (Central Time) for our book club discussion of ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes.

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 or email us at: tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov. Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge or if you prefer to download it from BARD.

NLS Annotation:
Working-class English girl Louisa “Lou” Clark is hired as an aide to wealthy Will Traynor, a former mogul who has been paralyzed since a road accident. Lou tries to keep the embittered Will engaged with the world, while Will encourages Lou to expand her horizons. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2012.

Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards Announced

goodreads-choice-awards-2016

The social cataloging website for book lovers, Goodreads, has just announced their readers’ Choice Awards for 2016. The Texas Talking Book Program has a good number of them in our collection. Are you looking for a non-fiction book? Goodreads members chose WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanthithi (BR 21371; DB 83643) as their favorite memoir. Are you more interested in fiction? Try TRULY MADLY GUILTY by Liane Moriarty (DB 85100). Is young adult fiction more your thing? Ruta Sepetys’ book SALT TO THE SEA (DB 83767) was their selection in that category. Perhaps you’re in the market for a new author to explore. Goodreads readers awarded Alwyn Hamilton the honor of Debut Goodreads Author for her book REBEL OF THE SANDS (DB 84465). 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: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2016

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU by Celeste Ng, DB 80393

If you enjoy family dramas written in a moving tone and with a compelling writing style, you may enjoy EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU (DB 80393), the debut novel by Celeste Ng. New York Times Notable Book of 2014 and ALA’s Alex Award winner in 2015, this book reveals the life of teenager, Lydia Lee through the eyes of her parents, older brother Nathan, younger sister, Hannah and ultimately her own.

EverythingINeverToldYou

Book jacket for Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

This book is beautifully crafted and strongly character driven. As the reader learns more about each member of the Lee Family, they are inexorably drawn deeper into the unvoiced hopes, dreams, and fears of each family member and how they affect each other, especially Lydia.

NLS Annotation for EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU by Celeste Ng (DB 80393): Examines the secrets of the Chinese-American Lee family of Ohio before and immediately after the 1977 drowning death of their middle child–high school sophomore Lydia. History professor James and his wife Marilyn–whose medical school plans were aborted by pregnancies–had high hopes for her. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2014.

If you have already read this book or enjoy books that deal with the ways in which a family deals with the death of a loved one try LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold (DB 54698, BR 14806). Or if you’d prefer another book that looks at the complex dynamics of an immigrant family as they struggle to fit into their community and confront difficult emotions when processing personal losses try SLEEPWALKER’S GUIDE TO DANCING by Jacob Mira (DB 79244).

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.

WOMEN OF BREWSTER PLACE: A NOVEL IN SEVEN STORIES
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

Title: LINDEN HILLS
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

Title: MAMA DAY
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

Title: BAILEY’S CAFE
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

Title: MEN OF BREWSTER PLACE
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

Thirteen Classic Tales of Terror

Looking for something scary to read this Halloween? Check out this list of classic horror stories to find something to make your heart race and your spine tingle.

Title: AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS AND OTHER NOVELS
Author: LOVECRAFT, H.P. (HOWARD PHILLIPS)
DB 62005

Title: DRACULA
Author: STOKER, BRAM
DB 31689

Title: EXORCIST
Author: BLATTY, WILLIAM PETER
BR 02230; BR 11946; DB 12688

Title: FRANKENSTEIN; OR, THE MODERN PROMETHEUS
Author: SHELLEY, MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT, 1797-1851
DB 25835; LB 03683; LB 06283

Title: HELL HOUSE
Author: MATHESON, RICHARD, 1926-
BR 18208; DB 68106

Title: INVISIBLE MAN
Author: WELLS, H.G. (HERBERT GEORGE), 1866-1946
DB 09593 (BARD); DB 47064; LB 05997

Title: MONKEY’S PAW AND OTHER TALES OF MYSTERY AND THE MACABRE
Author: JACOBS, W.W. (WILLIAM WYMARK), 1863-1943
DB 46641

Title: ROSEMARY’S BABY
Author: LEVIN, IRA
BR 00521; DB 61169; DB 17695 (BARD)

Title: SHINING
Author: KING, STEPHEN, 1947-
BR 13271; DB 51373; DB 10563 (BARD)

Title: SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
Author: HARRIS, THOMAS, 1940-
BR 13149; DB 27020

Title: SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
Author: BRADBURY, RAY, 1920-2012
BR 12583; DB 50233; DB 09245 (BARD)

Title: TALES OF HORROR AND SUSPENSE
Author: POE, EDGAR ALLAN, 1809-1849
BR 18491; DB 69542

Title: TURN OF THE SCREW
Author: JAMES, HENRY, 1843-1916
BR 06763; DB 18129; LB 00333

New Children’s and Young Adult Braille

Check out the latest additions to our local Braille collection!  These titles are aimed towards children and young adults, but may also be helpful to those learning Braille for the first time.

NURSERY RHYMES
Reading level: Infant – Grade 2
BT  03774

A collection of nursery rhymes. Suitable for babies or young children,
it features such rhymes as: “Humpty Dumpty”, “Little Bo Peep”, “Baa,
Baa, Black Sheep”, “Jack and Jill” and “Little Miss Muffet”. 2009.
Contracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

LITTLE QUACK LOVES COLORS
Author:   THOMPSON, LAUREN
Reading level: Infant – Grade 2
BT  03767

Little Quack and Piddle explore the colorful world around them. 2009.
Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

DUCK AND GOOSE: IT’S TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
Author:   HILLS, TAD
Reading level: Infant – Grade 2
BT   03793

Goose wants to make snow angels and go sledding – but Duck knows
it’s time for Christmas! 2010.
Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

VERY FIRST ABC
Reading level: Infant – Grade 2
BT   03790

This book is the perfect way to introduce young children to the
letters of the alphabet and simple words. 2012.
Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

LLAMA LLAMA JINGLE BELLS
Author:   DEWDNEY, ANNA
Reading level: Infant – Grade 2
BT   03791

Join little llama for lots of Christmas fun! 2015.
Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

YOU MEAN THE WORLD TO ME
Author:   GIBBY, BAYNE
Reading level: Infant – Grade 2
BT  03792

A sweet rhyming book expressing a mother’s love for her child.  2013.
Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

ANIMAL NOISES
Reading level: Infant – Grade 2
BT  03752

Based on the much-loved Farmyard Tales series, this board book has
been especially devised to introduce very young children to animal
sounds. 2015. Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

ROLLING ON THE RAILS
Author:   AWDRY, W.
Reading level: Infant – Grade 2
BT  03769

When Percy breaks down, Thomas the Tank Engine comes to rescue him.
2011. Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

GOOD MORNING, GOOD NIGHT!
Author:   YOUNG, LAURIE
Reading level: Infant – Grade 2
BT  03771

This touchable book is perfect for bedtime! Feel the soft, fluffy fur
of each animal as you say, “good night!”. 2003.
Contracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

THOMAS AND THE FREIGHT TRAIN
Author:   AWDRY, W
Reading level: Infant – Grade 2
BT  03773

Describes the many different items being carried in the freight cars
Thomas the Tank Engine takes to the junction, as well as well as the
live goods he brings back. 1991. Contracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

THAT’S NOT MY DUCK…
Author:   WATT, FIONA
Reading level: Infant – Grade 3
BT  03768

Simple, repetitive text helps children to associate the adjectives
with the sensation of touching the tactile patches. 2013.
Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

THAT’S NOT MY PUPPY…
Author:   WATT, FIONA
Reading level: Infant – Grade 3
BT  03770

A touchy-feely board book with simple, repetitive text, tactile
patches and bold illustrations suitable for babies and toddlers.
2000. Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

SCAT, CAT!
Author:   CAPUCILLI, ALYSSA SATIN
Reading level: Preschool – Grade 2
BT  03751

Will the small cat find a home? 2010. Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

MY NEW BOY
Author:   PHILLIPS, JOAN
Reading level: Preschool – Grade 2
BT  03772

A little black puppy acquires a boy, teaches him some tricks, and
finds him when he is lost. 1986. Contracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

BIG LEAF PILE
Author:   PAGE, JOSEPHINE
Reading level: Preschool – Grade 2
BT  03761

When Clifford the Big Red Dog is left to guard his friend’s leaf
pile, he is very tempted to jump in it! 2000.
Contracted Braille; Print Braille.

FOUNDLING FOX
Author:   KORSCHUNOW, IRINA
Reading level: Preschool – Grade 2
BT  03756

The little orphan fox is frightened, cold, and hungry until he is
found by a kind mother fox, who already has three kits of her own.
For preschool-grade 2. Contracted Braille; Print Braille.

STUART LITTLE: SPOOKY SURPRISE
Author:   EDGAR, AMY
Reading level: Preschool – Grade 3
BT   03796

Join Stuart Little for an adventure that gets a little spooky! 2003.
Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

JUST A BAD DAY
Author:   MAYER, GINA
Reading level: Preschool – Grade 3
BT  03795

It’s a rainy day and things keep going wrong but Little Critter finds
out that even the worst day can always change for the better. 1995.
Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

IT’S NOT EASY BEING A BUNNY
Author:   SADLER, MARILYN
Reading level: Preschool – Grade 3
BT  03757

Unhappy at home, P.J. Funnybunny tries living with various other
animals, only to find that he’s homesick. 1983.
Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

MARLEY’S BIG ADVENTURE
Author:   GROGAN, JOHN
Reading level: Preschool – Grade 3
BT   03797

When Marley’s family gets mad at him for making a mess, he runs
away. Will they find him again? 2009. Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

KNOTS ON A COUNTING ROPE
Author:   MARTIN, BILL
Reading level: Kindergarten – Grade 3
BT  03760

Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses is a young Indian boy who is blind. He
loves to hear his grandfather tell the story of his birth, the
training of his horse Rainbow, and the exciting horse race in which
he participated. Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

TENTH GOOD THING ABOUT BARNEY
Author:   VIORST, JUDITH
Reading level: Kindergarten – Grade 3
BT  03759

A small boy quickly remembers nine good things about Barney, his cat
who died. His father helps him think of the tenth good thing about
Barney, which they agree is “a pretty nice job for a cat.” For grades
K-3. 1971. Contracted Braille; Print Braille.

NATE THE GREAT AND THE STICKY CASE
Author:   SHARMAT, MARJORIE WEINMAN
Reading level: Kindergarten – Grade 3
BT  03758

A stegosaurus stamp is missing and the indomitable Nate the Great
is on the case! 1978. Contracted Braille; Print Braille.

ARTHUR AND THE LOST DIARY
Author:   KRENSKY, STEPHEN
Reading level: Kindergarten – Grade 4
BT  03762

Sue Ellen loses her diary. Did she write about Arthur? Who will find
it, and will they return it to her unread? 1998. Contracted Braille.

HORSE NAMED SEABISCUIT
Author:   DUBOWSKI, CATHY EAST
Reading level: Grades 2 – 4
BT   03794

Seabiscuit didn’t start out as a winner, but he beat the odds and
became a champion racehorse. 2003. Uncontracted Braille; Print Braille; UEB.

MYSTERY AT SNOWFLAKE INN
Author:   WARNER, GERTRUDE CHANDLER
Reading level: Grades 3 – 6
BT  03763

The Boxcar Children are on a special holiday trip to an
old-fashioned New England inn when mysterious things start to happen.
1994. Contracted Braille.

PILGRIM VILLAGE MYSTERY
Author:   WARNER, GERTRUDE CHANDLER
Reading level: Grades 3 – 6
BT  03754

It seems like someone is trying to ruin the colonial Pilgrim
village. But why?  The children are going to find out! 1995.
Contracted Braille.

MYSTERY IN THE COMPUTER GAME
Author:   WARNER, GERTRUDE CHANDLER
Reading level: Grades 3 – 6
BT  03755

The clues in a computer game seem to be about real people and places.
Is someone trying to use the game to send them a message? 2000.
Contracted Braille.

WHO WAS STEVE JOBS?
Author:   POLLACK, PAMELA
Reading level: Grades 3 – 6
BT  03753

Steve Jobs not only co-founded Apple, he changed the world.  2015.
Contracted Braille.

TRUE STORIES OF D-DAY
Author:   BROOK, HENRY
Reading level: Grades 3 – 6
BT  03766

From tank commanders to paratroopers to French Resistance fighters,
they all have D-Day stories to tell. 2006. Contracted Braille.

PEELED
Author:   BAUER, JOAN
Reading level: Young Adult
BT  03764

Eerie occurrences at a house in the apple-growing community of
Banesville, New York, have the local newspaper printing sensational
articles about ghostly activities. But high school reporter Hildy
Biddle is determined to find out the truth–including possible
connections between the paper and a theme-park developer. For senior
high readers. 2008. Contracted Braille.

To request a title please call us at 1-800-252-9605 (toll-free in Texas) or send an email to: tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey, DB 80678

The recent theatrical release of the movie The Girl With All the Gifts, featuring Glenn Close, brings to life the 2014 post-apocalyptic novel, GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey (DB 80678). Nominated for multiple science fiction and horror awards, this story, set twenty years after the event known as The Breakdown, follows a group of survivors as they travel to military headquarters.

The_Girl_with_All_the_Gifts

Intricately plotted, with an atmospheric and creepy tone, this horror novel is written in a compelling manner that inextricably draws the reader into the dystopian landscape of post-apocalyptic England. The point of view shifts between characters, offering the reader a glimpse at the motivations behind their actions and a view into their inner turmoil.

NLS Annotation for GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey (DB 80678): A pandemic has turned countless people into zombies known as “hungries.” The administrators of a military camp studying these hungries must flee when a group of anarchists breach their security. They bring Melanie, a 10-year-old second-generation hungry with incredible strength and intellect, debating the status of her humanity all the while. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller. Commercial audiobook. 2014.

If you’ve already read this book and enjoy post-apocalyptic novels featuring zombies and young protagonists, you may try PASSAGE by Justin Cronin (DB 71422) or if you’d prefer a zombie horror novel that feels more like a political thriller with science fiction elements, try FEED by Mira Grant (DB 77374).