Listen to the William B. Travis Letter

On Friday, February 22, the famous letter written by William Travis during the battle of the Alamo was returned to the place where it was written for the first time.  Travis’ appeal for more troops will be on display at the Alamo February 23rd – March 7th  to celebrate the 177th anniversary of the siege and battle.  

You can listen to the Travis Letter read by Governor Rick Perry as part of our Voices of Texas History project. Go to http://www.tsl.texas.gov/voices/perry.html and click on “Listen (MP3 file).”

The return of the Travis Letter to the Alamo is a joint project between the Texas State Archives and Library Commission, the Texas General Land Office, and the Alamo.

For more information about the Battle of the Alamo read:

BLOOD OF HEROES: THE THIRTEEN-DAY STRUGGLE FOR THE ALAMO–AND THE SACRIFICE THAT FORGED A NATION

DONOVAN, JIM, 1954-                               Original Date: 2012

Chronicles Texas’s struggle for independence from Mexico. Describes the events that culminated in the March 1836 massacre, led by General Santa Anna, at the dilapidated mission called the Alamo. Discusses the aftermath and consequences of the attack. 2012.                          

DB   75152                                                  

For more information about the return of the Travis Letter see: http://www.travisletter.com/

Twentieth Century Presidents

Sharing a post from our friends at the Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library in Missouri. Better late than never. Happy reading!!

Twentieth Century Presidents

 

As we prepare to celebrate President’s Day, you may want to listen to some of these books written about the twentieth century presidents. The books in some cases are edited or compiled by others, but are taken from the spoken words or writings of the presidents themselves.

 

Theodore Roosevelt (1901- 1909)

African Game Trails

Read by Robert Sams. Reading time 19 hours, 54 minutes
Roosevelt describes his eleven month safari with his son, Kermit, in East Africa after leaving the presidency in 1909. In spite of the adventurous tone, the former president explains that he undertook the hunting expedition to obtain specimens to further scientific knowledge in the United States.

Download African Game Trails, DB53704

 

River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard

Read by Paul Michael. Reading time 12 hours, 17 minutes
Former writer with National Geographic recounts the adventurous travels of Theodore Roosevelt and his son Kermit through South America in 1913-1914. Relates the expedition’s threats from cannibals, flesh-eating bacteria, wildlife, and rapids. Journey was first described by Roosevelt in Through the Brazilian Wilderness (DB 53848). Commercial audiobook. 2005.
Download River of Doubt, DB60664

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933 -1945)

 

For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s by Alonzo L. Hamby

Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time 21 hours, 33 minutes
History professor recounts U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s handling of the economic disaster of the Great Depression while totalitarian governments rose in Europe. Compares the American response to the crisis with those of Great Britain and Germany and credits FDR with the survival of democracy. 2004.
Download For the Survival of Democracy, DB61774

 

Through the Brazilian Wilderness

Read by Roy Avers. Reading time 11 hours, 17 minutes
Former president and avid naturalist Roosevelt records observations and reflections of his adventurous expedition to the Amazon basin in 1913-1914, accompanied by his son Kermit. Describes his arduous exploration of the Rio da Dçvida, later renamed in his honor, and the insects, wildlife, and jungle environment he encountered.
Download Through the Brazilian Wilderness, DB53848

 

Woodrow Wilson (1913 -1921)

The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson by Kendrick A. Clements

Read by K.D. Henry. Reading time: 13 hours, 9 minutes
A professor of history examined both primary and secondary sources in the United States and abroad to research this study of the principal issues and events of the Wilson administration. Clements traces the evolution of Wilson’s political thought after he was elected president in 1912. He writes about Wilson’s dealings with Congress; his support of agricultural, industrial, and foreign policy reforms; and his controversial role in World War I.

Download The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson, DB35613

 

Harry S Truman (1945 – 1953)

A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel by Allis Radosh

Read by Madelyn Buzzard. Reading time: 16 hours, 41 minutes
Based on archival research, professors assert that President Truman had both personal and political reasons for recognizing the nation of Israel on its first day of sovereignty. They discuss objections from the U.S. State Department, the Arab world, and Britain as well as support from Christian Zionists and others. 2009.
Download A Safe Haven, DB70687

 

Memoirs of Harry S. Truman, Volume Two: Years of Trial and Hope

Read by Randy Atcher. Reading time 24 hours, 11 minutes
Truman wrote of his time in the White House shortly after leaving office. In the final volume of a two volume work, he covers the years 1946-1952, including such topics as the Berlin airlift and the Chinese revolution; and such personalities as Marshall, MacArthur, Chiang Kai-Shek, and Dewey.

Download Memoirs of Harry S. Truman, DB30021

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)

At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends

Read by Lou Harpenau. Reading time 14 hours, 28 minutes
Presidential reminiscences and anecdotes as well as autobiographical recollections covering Eisenhower’s Kansas boyhood, West Point career, and courtship of Mamie.
Download At Ease, DB29223

 

Crusade in Europe

Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 19 hours, 1 minute
Military memoirs of the five star general who led the Allied forces during America’s involvement in World War 2. Eisenhower’s story begins with the planning, continues with accounts of the actual campaigns, and ends with his strategy for peace. In nontechnical language, the author documents his personal service, explains his differences with British and French leaders, and describes the role of the enlisted man on the battlefront.
Download Crusade in Europe, DB38189

 

John F. Kennedy (1961- 1963)

 

Profiles in Courage

Read by Don Hagen. Reading time 8 hours, 17 minutes
Biographical sketches of historic statesmen who demonstrated great political courage at crucial moments in U.S. history. Includes John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, and others. Written by then-senator Kennedy while convalescing from the effects of war wounds. 2003 introduction by Caroline Kennedy; 1964 foreword by Robert F. Kennedy. Pulitzer Prize. 1955.

Download Profiles in Courage, DB58855

 

Richard M. Nixon (1969-74)

The Memoirs of Richard Nixon

Read by Bob Butz. Reading time 47 hours, 22 minutes
This autobiography of the thirty-seventh president of the United States includes recollections of a rural California boyhood and continues through his resignation and departure from the White House. Provides insight into the complexities of the modern presidency. Some strong language.

Download The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, DB11756

 

The Presidency of Richard Nixon by Melvin Small

Read by Kerry Cundiff. Reading time 17 hours, 8 minutes
Review and analysis of the domestic and foreign policies of the thirty-seventh American president. Traces Nixon’s political rise and resignation from office. Posits that his main achievement remains his domestic social legislation on such topics as desegregation of southern schools, women’s rights, and the environment. 1999.
Download The Presidency of Richard Nixon, DB58696

 

Gerald R. Ford (1974-77)

A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford

Read by Bob Butz. Reading time: 17 hours, 5 minutes
Former President Ford discusses his early years and family life, his climb to the presidency, and the import of his controversial decision to pardon Richard Nixon.

Download A Time to Heal, DB13829

 

Write it when I’m Gone: Remarkable off-the-record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford by Thomas M. DeFrank, Gerald R. Ford

Read by Gregory Gorton. Reading time 9 hours, 0 minutes
Former White House reporter DeFrank presents “an anecdotal memoir” of U.S. president Gerald Ford’s life in politics, which Ford asked to remain unpublished until after his death. Using interviews from 1991 to 2006, DeFrank highlights Ford’s character and his candid assessments of contemporaries, including Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. 2007.
Download Write it when I’m Gone, DB66303

 

Jimmy Carter (1977-81)

The Blood of Abraham

Read by Peter Johnson. Reading time 7 hours, 53 minutes
Carter’s experiences negotiating the Camp David Accords, his visits to the Middle East, and portraits of Arab and Israeli leaders. The former president maintains that peace in the Middle East must be based on Israeli recognition of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and Arab recognition of Israel’s right to exist.
Download The Blood of Abraham, DB23146

 

Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President

Read by Hal Tenny. Reading time 24 hours, 57 minutes
The thirty-ninth President of the United States offers his impressions of life in the White House, the crises that confronted him, and the people who worked intimately with or against him. He also tells, with feeling, of his relationship with his wife, Rosalynn.
Download Keeping Faith, DB18686

 

Ronald W. Reagan (1981-89)

 

Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan

Read by Michael Scherer. Reading time 32 hours, 32 minutes

Biographer Morris interjects himself as a fictional contemporary of Ronald Reagan in this authorized account of the fortieth president of the United States. He covers Reagan’s life from his birth in Tampico, Illinois, through his college days, his movie career, his governorship of California, his presidency, and final public appearance. Bestseller.
Download Dutch, DB48814

 

Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan by Del Quentin Wilber

Read by Robert Sams. Reading time 10 hours, 48 minutes
Chronicles the March 30, 1981, assassination attempt on seventy-year-old president Ronald Reagan by mentally ill gunman John Hinckley Jr. Discusses the heroism of Secret Service Agent Jerry Parr and the wounding of D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty, press secretary James Brady, and Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy. 2011.

Download Rawhide Down, DB73178

 

George Bush (1989-93)

A Charge to Keep

Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 8 hours, 42 minutes
DB 51903

Autobiography of George W. Bush written during his campaign for president. Recalls his childhood in Texas, education, military service, business career, and political life. Describes his philosophy of “compassionate conservatism” and his hopes for the future.
Download A Charge to Keep, DB51903

 

A Matter of Character: Inside the White House of George W. Bush by Ronald Kessler

Read by Jack Fox. Reading time 11 hours, 26 minutes
Award-winning ex-reporter and author of The Bureau (DB 55193) presents an inside look at President Bush’s management style, decision-making process, and personal qualities that are often criticized by his opponents and the media. Includes comments of senior officials, secret service agents, former presidential aides, and career White House employees. 2004.

Download A Matter of Character, DB59201

 

William J. Clinton (1993-2001)

Bill Clinton: An American Journey by Nigel Hamilton

Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time 31 hours, 32 minutes
A chronicle of the life of Bill Clinton from family background and childhood to his terms as president. Hamilton examines the highlights of Clinton’s political career as well as the character flaws that undermined his successes. 2003.
Download Bill Clinton, DB57118

 

Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency by Nigel Hamilton

Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 28 hours, 3 minutes
Author of Bill Clinton: An American Journey (DB 57118) details the forty-second president’s first term. Chronicles early setbacks–such as catastrophes in Somalia and Haiti and failed attempts at healthcare reform–and later successes in establishing peace in the Balkans, achieving a balanced budget, and winning reelection in 1996. Some strong language. 2007.
Download Bill Clinton, DB65586

 

George W. Bush 2001 – 2009

Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America by Molly Ivins, Lou Dubose

Read by Erin Jones. Reading time 11 hours, 13 minutes
Examines the impact and legacy of Bush administration policy. Critically dissects the two tax cuts, environmental issues, financial scandals, education and foreign policy, civil and workers’ rights, and workplace standards. Offers suggestions for economic and political reform. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2003.
Download Bishwhacked, DB57075

 

Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush by Robert Draper

Read by Jake Williams. Reading time 18 hours, 49 minutes
Author uses interviews with George W. Bush, his confidantes, and key players in his administration to chronicle Bush’s presidency from the 1999 campaign days through mid-2007. Scrutinizes Bush’s handling of the September 11, 2001, attacks; his 2004 reelection bid; hurricane Katrina; Social Security issues; and the Iraq War. 2007.
Download Dead Certain, DB64984

 

Barack Obama 2008-

Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage by Christopher P. Andersen

Read by Dion Graham. Reading time 11 hours, 0 minutes
The author of Bill and Hillary: The Marriage (DB 48856) chronicles the courtship and marriage of American president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. Analyzes both the struggles and achievements of the biracial politician and his Chicago-born and -bred partner. Commercial audiobook. 2009.
Download Barack and Michelle, DB69408

 

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick Read by Bob Moore. Reading time 27 hours, 10 minutes
DB 70901
Pulitzer Prize-winning author examines President Barack Obama’s life through the prism of America’s racial history. Analyzes his upbringing, education, work as a community organizer, and rise in Illinois politics. Considers Obama’s civil rights heroes, mentors, and campaign strategies. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2010.
Download The Bridge, DB70901

 

 

Staff Picks – Becky: Ready Player One and Redshirts

Ready Player One is great fun for anyone with fond memories of the 1980s, or who loves video games. Set in a dystopian near future, our hero is an inventive schoolboy who has come up with ways to stay connected to the internet (now called the Oasis and it is a more immersive experience in this day) and play a huge online game. The winner of this game will inherit a huge fortune, and power to control the Oasis. The clues to the game come from 1980s pop culture – games, movies and music. There is, of course, danger and excitement in the quest, and things aren’t always as they seem. A movie of this book is in the works, there are lots of permissions to get, but it will be great fun.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Narrated by: Erik Sandvold

2045. Multibillionaire James Halliday dies, leaving his last will and testament online for the world to see. His massively multiplayer online game OASIS has a hidden feature–an Easter egg–and the person who finds the egg first wins Halliday’s fortune. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2011.

DB 73772

Redshirts by John Scalzi is another tribute to nerd-dom. The name is a reference to Star Trek, where characters who died or were gravely injured just to move the plot along were usually wearing a red shirt. The book posits that those characters are real people, and follows along Ensign Andrew Dahl as he begins his new assignment to the flagship of the fleet. When he comes aboard, he is told to avoid being assigned to an away mission, and notices that the injury rate on his ship is much greater than for the fleet in general. With some help from ship mates, and some other people, he figures out something to do about it.

Redshirts  by John Scalzi
Narrated by: Jim Zeiger

Ensigns assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid have a nasty habit of dying while on missions. Linguistics Department ensign Andrew Dahl investigates and discovers a stunning secret behind the deaths. Strong language and some violence. 2012.

DB 73772

Blindness Summit

The first ever Blindness Summit was held at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 12th. Agencies and organizations from across the state provided information based around the three topics of employment, education, and independent living. Each panel presented in both morning and afternoon sessions, and time was saved at the conclusion of each panel for questions and comments from the audience.

The Blindness Summit was sponsored by the American Council of the Blind of Texas (ACBT) and the Alliance of and for Visually-Impaired Texans (AVIT).

Here is a listing of the organizations that presented at the Summit:

Employment Panel:

Albertsons, LLC:
www.albertsonsmarket.com/#1
An equal opportunity employer

Marriott
www.marriott.com
Based in San Antonio, Marriott features a call center, flexible work schedules, and work from home opportunities

Stephen F. Austin State University
www.sfasu.edu
Discussed the importance of training at the school level to prepare students for eventual employment

Texas Workforce Commission:
www.twc.state.tx.us
“Work in Texas” is a an online board for job seekers. Prospective employees can post resumes, search for jobs, and fill out a state of Texas job application.

Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind:
www.wsifb.com
Features seven locations in the U.S., including one in El Paso. Staff complete projects for the federal government. Security clearance is required for employment through the Department of Homeland Security.

Education Panel

ACBT
www.acbt.org
Consumer groups for the blind often differ on their viewpoints
regarding certain issues, but they do feature special interest groups and offer opportunities for activism, social activities, and bonding.

DB-MAT
www.dbmat-tx.org/
The Deaf-Blind Multi-handicapped Association of Texas features networking and support opportunities.

East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind
www.etlb.org
The various lighthouses for the blind across Texas offer various programs and services. The East Texas Lighthouse features assistive technology training, an i-device lending program, a model apartment for learning independent living skills, and a job mentoring/shadowing program called “Careers on the Horizon.”

Texas Education Agency Education Service Centers:
www.tea.state.tx.us/regional_services/esc/
Region 19 in El Paso mentioned some of the their activities, including a Technology Olympics and Sports Extravaganza.

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
www.tsbvi.edu
Located in Austin, TSBVI’s newly renovated campus proudly offers both residential and outreach programs, including vocational, core curriculum, short-term enrichment, summer school, and early intervention classes.

Independent Living

Bexar County Area Agency on Aging
One of more than two dozen AAA’s in the state, the San Antonio Agency operates through the Department of Aging and Disability and offers a wealth of services, including family caregiver support, health and wellness programs, benefits management, and a nursing home ombudsman.

Memorial Hermann Home Sight Low Vision Services
www.memorialhermannhomehealth.org
Offers a wide array of services for homebound seniors in the Houston area.

San Antonio Independent Living Center
www.sailstx.org
Like the lighthouses, independent living centers offer a variety of services. SAILS offers many programs, including information and referral, peer support, benefits management, and telecommunication devices training.

San Antonio Lighthouse
www.salighthouse.org
This lighthouse offers a low-vision clinic, full assessment of needs, and provides adaptive aids.

The Division for Blind Services also particpated in all three panels.
www.dars.state.tx.us/dbs/
Services include independent living and assistive technology training, information and referral, counseling, and diabetes education.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! Celebrating Read Across America Day

108! That’s how old Theodore Geisel, or Dr. Seuss, would be this year. He was born on March 2nd, 1904. Since 1998, every March 2nd , Read Across America Day is celebrated in his honor. Read Across America Day is sponsored by the National Education Association to encourage sharing books with kids in the community and to celebrate reading.

In Texas, schools across Dallas will be celebrating Read Across Dallas ISD Day on March 1st. There will be a birthday party for Dr. Seuss at the Sienna Branch Library in Missouri City, TX at 10:30 a.m. There will also be a birthday picnic at the First Colony Branch Library in Sugar Land, TX at 2:00. Bee Caves Public Library will have its 8th Annual Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the library which will include games, a Reader’s Oath with Caroline Murphy, the Mayor of Bee Caves and a concert with Joe McDermott.  

“It’s your day of all days… Today you don’t have to be tidy or neat. If you wish you may eat with both hands and both feet.” Let’s eat some “Green Eggs and Ham”, or say “I Am Not Going to Get Up Today” but please celebrate with a book by the good doctor.

For more information about Read Across America Day, check this website: http://www.readacrossamerica.org/

Print Braille books by Dr. Seuss available from TBP:

Butter Battle Book   BR 05904

The Cat in the Hat   BR 6724

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back   BR 04655   BR 13451

Dr. Seuss’s ABC   BR 08953   BR 15320   BR 16723

The Foot Book   BR 08949   BR 16722

Fox in Socks   BR 08948

Great Day for Up   BR 08941

Green Eggs and Ham   BR 08956   BR 13450   BR  16721

Happy Birthday to You!   BR 08943

Hop on Pop   BR 08912   BR 16725   BT 03174

Horton Hatches the Egg   BR 08950

Horton Hears a Who!   BR 08946

How the Grinch Stole Christmas   BR 04656   BR 12020   BR 16316

I Had Trouble In Getting to Solla Sollew   BR 08954

If I Ran the Circus   BR 16243                              

If I Ran the Zoo   BR 04661

McElligot’s Pool   BR 08952   BR 16216   BT 03350

My Many Colored Days   BR 10040

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish   BR 06106    BR 08990   BR 13073   BR 16379                                               

Scrambled Eggs Super!   BR 08944

Thidwick, the Big-Heartest Moose   BR 08942

Digital Books by Dr. Seuss available from TBP:

Bartholomew and the Oobleck   DB 34054

The Cat in the Hat   DB 33062

Como el Grinch Robo La Navidad   DB 72998

Daisy-Head Maizey (on BARD)   DB 40706

Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book   DX 34055

Gerald McBoing Boing (on BARD)   DB 52933

Green Eggs and Ham   DB 34056

Happy Birthday to You   DB 35121

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! (on BARD)   DB 47527  

Hop on Pop   DB 44160                     

Horton Hatches the Egg   DB 34057

Horton Hears a Who!   DB  34058                                                 

Huevos Verdes con Jamon   DB 72997         

How the Grinch Stole Christmas   DB 47536                                        

I am Not Going to Get Up Today (on BARD)   DB 34059 

I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew (on BARD)   DB 35123

If I Ran the Circus   DB 60939

If I Ran the Zoo   DB 34725

My Many Colored Days (on BARD)   DB 42897

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 tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov 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 (DT06996.zip)

 [Download link has been deactivated.]

The True Meaning of Valentine’s Day

Image of two read hearts with text, be my friend, on one of them.Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Are you the first in line to buy teddy bears and greeting cards, or do you hold your nose at the scent of flowers and heart-shaped candy? If you are the latter, and you cringe at hyperbolic celebrations of romantic love, you are in luck because the Feast of Saint Valentinus is also a day to celebrate friendship. So, unless you are sworn to absolute misanthropy, you can still allow yourself to share some delicious chocolate with your true pals. Curb your curmudgeonly ways and ponder the value of friendship by reading one of these inspiring titles:

 
PACT: THREE YOUNG MEN MAKE A PROMISE AND FULFILL A DREAM by SAMPSON DAVIS. (2002) DB 54458 DLD DX 54458 RC 54458

Three twenty-nine-year-old African American doctors–two physicians
and a dentist–describe how their friendship helped them to overcome
obstacles and to pursue their career goals. They share how they
motivated each other to leave problem neighborhoods of Newark, enroll
in college, and enter professions. For senior high and older readers.

FIVE SKIES by RON CARLSON (2007)
BR 17520 DB 65452 DLD RC 65452

Three men share their life stories while working on a construction
project in Idaho. Carpenter Arthur Key, who left California after a
betrayal, and Ronnie Panelli, charming but shiftless, are led by ranch
foreman Darwin Gallegos–angry at man, God, and life. Strong language.

JOY LUCK CLUB by AMY TAN (1989)
BR 07747 DB 29021 DLD RC 29021

In 1949 four Chinese women living in San Francisco founded the Joy
Luck Club where they met to play mah-jongg, tell stories, and “feast”
on scraps. Forty years later one of the women dies, her daughter
takes her place at the club, and a secret is revealed that unleashes
in each person the need to reach back and remember. Bestseller.

TRUTH AND BEAUTY: A FRIENDSHIP by ANN PATCHETT (2004)
DB 62610 DLD RC 62610

Author reminisces about her long-term friendship with Lucy Grealy,
whom she met in college at Sarah Lawrence and who wrote Autobiography of a Face (RC 40052) describing her battle with facial cancer. Patchett describes their relationship until Grealy’s 2002 death from a heroin overdose.

Romeo is Not Real

 

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, sometime between 1932 and 1934, when their exploits in Arkansas included murder, robbery, and kidnapping. Contrary to popular belief the two never married. They were in a long standing relationship. Posing in front of an early 1930s Ford V-8 automobile.

Bonnie and Clyde sometime between 1932 and 1934

February is the month for romance, and a great time to read about famous [some infamous] couples.   While the stories of these real-life romances are tempered by politics, tradition, and even the law, they reflect the reality of relationships in very extraordinary circumstances. From a king that abdicated his throne for love to the unconventional relationship of a president and his wife, you will enjoy these books on real romances throughout history.

Cleopatra and Antony : Power, Love, and Politics in the Ancient World by Diana Preston

Dual biography of Cleopatra, the fourth-decade-B.C. Egyptian queen, and Mark Antony, a Roman general, within the political, historical, and military context of the time. Details their love affair, their enemies, and their suicides, which led to the conquest of Alexandria and annexation of Egypt by Roman ruler Octavian. 2009.

DB 71961

Go Down Together : The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Jeff Guinn

Using two unpublished manuscripts and other sources, the author details the lives of outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker–a portrayal different from the glamorous depiction provided by movies and the press. Describes the lovers as inept, homeless crooks from the Dallas slums who both suffered from injuries. 2009.

DB 69767

Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage  by Hazel Rowley

Portrays the marriage of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt as a radical partnership that helped both husband and wife achieve their ambitions and political goals. Discusses their extended family of close companions and lovers as well as Franklin’s polio and Eleanor’s social work. Some strong language. 2010.

DB 73667

That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anne Sebba.

Bestselling British biography of American-born socialite Wallis Simpson (1896-1986) interprets the character and motives of the woman for whom England’s King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936. Biographer Sebba researches Wallis’s background, the psychological and medical disorders of Edward and Wallis, and their affair’s threat to the monarchy. 2011.

DB 74745

Love letters of Great Men & Women From the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day by C.H. Charles

Anthology of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century correspondence between European politicians, poets, and musicians and their wives, mistresses, or intended lovers–from courtly aristocrats’ stilted phrases to Napoleon’s emotional outpourings to Josephine, Alfred de Musset’s declarations to George Sand, and Elizabeth Barrett’s replies to Robert Browning. 1924

DB 67941 

May I have the envelope, please?

The 85th Academy Awards aired on February 24th. The nominees this year, unsurprisingly, included many films that started out as books.

Nominees for Best Picture in TBP’s collection include:

Argo DB 75534 (The Oscar winner for Best Picture!!)

Les Miserables DB 35363

Life of Pi DB 54950

Lincoln (which was based on the book Team of Rivals) DB 61162

Other movies nominated for Best Picture include:

 Amour

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Zero Dark Thirty

Silver Linings Playbook was also based on a book, but that title is not in our collection.

Cowboys and Indians — New Magazine

Announcing our newest shared magazine, “Cowboys and Indians”!!

“Cowboys and Indians” has articles about western photography, travel, art, food, history, music, ranch life and much more. The magazine was founded in 1992 and is published in Dallas, Texas. There are eight issues a year.

Currently on the “Cowboys and Indians” website, an article listed as a reader’s favorite is, “John Wayne: Classic Films and Family Memories 30 Years After His Death”. Other recent articles stories include coverage on food, drink, music, TV / film, and style.

For more information about “Cowboys and Indians” please see their website: http://www.cowboysindians.com/

Shared magazines are titles that are loaned to patrons, but must be returned before the next issue can go out. “Cowboys and Indians”  is produced in the volunteer recording studio at the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

To order your free subscription to “Cowboys and Indians,” contact the Talking Book Program office at 1-800-252-9605 or at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov