January Book Club Podcast – No End in Sight

Cover image of No End in Sight with a picture of rachael scdoris in a hate, and the silhouette of a racing dog team and musher inthe background.We had a great book club with author and dog sled musher Rachael Scdoris in January.  She joined us for discussion of her book, No End in Sight: Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer.  

You can read the transcript of the discussion (text format) at the following link or click on the play button below to listen to our discussion with the Rachael.


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

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.]

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 

Staff Picks: Ho, Ho, Ha! – Danielle’s Picks

Picture of green elf shoes and stripped socks from the knee down.I do not like re-reading books or re-watching movies. Usually, once is good enough for me, and I don’t like familiarity or predictability in books that I read. However, overriding my inner curmudgeon, is my desire — every once in a while — to laugh.  So, for the past several years I have re-read my favorite holiday book, Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.  Some people like Christmas carols, but I prefer to listen to the stories of Sedaris’s experiences working as an a department store elf during the holiday.  Many readers may recognize Sedaris as a regular contributor to the NPR radio show,This American Life. Sedaris’s sardonic wit has me regularly laughing so loud at night that I wake sleeping children that were nestled all snug in their beds, disturbing the visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.

Sedaris has more NPR contributions you can listen to on the NPR website, read by the author himself. I have neglected to mention the pleasure of listening to Sedaris read his own material. NLS narrators are great, but  I can think of no better time I have had listening to an author, than when when I listen to Sedaris read his essays and short stories. We have one commercial version of the author reading his own book, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (DB   58825, available for download) in the TBP collection. Please visit the link to NPR web site below to listen to him tell his stories himself, including recent contributions: http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/lists/sedaris/ , or call us to order

HOLIDAYS ON ICE by Sedaris, David (1997)

Six short Christmas tales by humorist, playwright, and National Public Radio commentator. Sedaris relives his stint as a department store elf in “SantaLand Diaries.” In “Seasons Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!,” a housewife facing homicide charges updates loved ones in her annual holiday newsletter. Bestseller. 1997.

BR   15182,  DB   68134,  RC   68134,

If you enjoy Holidays on Ice, he has several other books in our collection that will make make you laugh just as much. Two other books I have recently enjoyed are by women in comedy TV, Tina Fey and Mindy KalingThese women prove exactly why they are queens of comedy TV in these light, smart, and funny books.


Known for her role as Kelly Kapoor on television’s The Office–and her Emmy-nominated writing for the show–Kaling expands on her blog and tweets with tidbits about sitcom life, her “normal American woman” body type, fashion faux pas, and her eleven favorite moments in comedy. Some strong language. Bestseller.  2011.

DB   74046      

BOSSYPANTS  by Fey, Tina (2011)

Creator and star of the sitcom 30 Rock uses humor to describe her home life and career. Discusses her training in improv; celebrating her chubby phase; working on Saturday Night Live as a writer, actor, and Sarah Palin impersonator;  and dealing with breast-feeding fanatics. Strong language. Bestseller.  2011.

DB   72819   17    

TBP Book Club – January: No End in Sight by Rachael Scdoris

Our January phone book club selection is by sled dog racer and Iditarod competitor Rachael Scdoris (with co-author Rick Steber).  We are excited to announce that the author has tentatively agreed to join our book club discussion on January 24th, 7:00-8pm Central.

This is how the story begins:  “My perfect moment:  Dead of winter, dogs running flat out, air so cold I can taste its brittleness on the tip of my tongue. I know this trail…”

No End in Sight details Scdoris’ childhood experiences with her visual impairment and how she trained and developed the skills necessary to compete in the 1,000+ mile Iditarod race.  At 16, she was the youngest athlete ever to finish a 500-mile race that helped qualify her for the big race.  She details her struggle to convince Iditarod officials to allow her to compete and how, in 2005, she became the first legally blind person to do so.

We can’t wait to discuss this book in our TBP Book Club.  If you are a TBP patron, you can RSVP by calling 800-252-9605 or e-mailing tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov.  You  must RSVP so that we can send you the book club phone number and code to attend.

Crosspost: Deadlines Set for Comments to FCCs Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)

Deadlines Set for Comments to FCCs Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) related to access to emergency information by people who are blind or visually-impaired

Office of the Governor Rick Perry Committee on People with Disabilities    The deadlines have been set for you to file comments in response to the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) related to access to emergency information by people who are blind or visually impaired and video description.  This NPRM was first released to the public on November 19, 2012.The FCC asks for public comment on its proposal to make televised emergency information that is conveyed visually (such as through an on-screen text crawl) more accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired by requiring the use of a secondary audio stream to provide that emergency information aurally.  Comment is also sought on the FCC’s proposal to limit the scope of the new rules to television broadcast services and multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) services, and not to Internet-delivered video programming.

The FCC also asks for public comment on how to ensure that television apparatus are able to make video description available and emergency information accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.  In addition, the FCC seeks comment on its proposal to limit the scope of the new rules to apparatus designed to receive, play back, or record television broadcast or MVPD services.

On November 28, 2012, the Media Bureau released a Public Notice announcing the comment deadlines of December 18th for initial comments and December 28th for replies.  Comment filing instructions are provided in the NPRM.

Comment Deadline:  December 18, 2012

Reply Comment Deadline:  December 28, 2012

Links to the NPRM:

Links to the Public Notice announcing the comment deadlines:

For more information, contact Diana Sokolow, Diana.Sokolow@fcc.gov, or Maria Mullarkey, Maria.Mullarkey@fcc.gov, of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-2120.


The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (Committee) provides GovDelivery updates for informational purposes on a variety of disability related issues for a diverse audience. Updates may include information provided by external sources. The inclusion of this external information does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the Committee or the Office of the Governor of any information, policy, product, or service offered by an external source.

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Top 10 Downloaded Books by Texas TBP Patrons

Wondering what other Texas Talking Book Program patrons are reading? Here’s a list of the top 10 books recently downloaded from BARD.





1 74709 The Innocent Baldacci, David
2 74862 The Lost Ones Atkins, Ace
3 74676 Guilty Wives Patterson, James
4 53204 Midnight Bayou Roberts, Nora
5 74517 Come Home Scottoline, Lisa
6 74504 Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed James, E.L.
7 74814 Afraid to Die Jackson, Lisa
8 74937 The Storm: A Novel from the NUMA Files Cussler, Clive
9 74761 Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby: A Spenser Novel Atkins, Ace
10 74633 If You Hear Her Walker, Shiloh



Here is a note from NLS.

TO: All BARD users

FROM: Don Olson, BARD Operations Supervisor

Bard will be shut down for maintenance purposes on November 9 2012 at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard time. Service will not be available until BARD returns no later than 6:00 AM Eastern Standard time on November 13 2012.

Staff Picks — Aundrea

I like all the Jack Davis novels by Joel Goldman. I discovered them by accident. Jack Davis is an ex-FBI agent who was booted out of the FBI because he has a form of Tourette Syndrome. The author has the same condition. The main character teams up with an ex-cop to investigate murders.

Title: SHAKE DOWN: A JACK DAVIS NOVEL                                      

Author: GOLDMAN, JOEL                                     Original Date: 2008

Kansas City. At the scene of a drug-related quintuple murder, FBI    agent Jack Davis experiences the onset of debilitating tremors. Forced to take medical leave, Jack conducts his own investigation and, with help from jury consultant Kate Scranton, finds clues to his daughter’s disappearance. Strong language and some violence. 2008.  

DB   70011

Title: DEAD MAN: A JACK DAVIS NOVEL                                        

Author: GOLDMAN, JOEL                                     Original Date: 2009

Billionaire Milo Harper finances a neuroscience institute in which two brain research study participants die in the exact same ways they had dreamed about. Jack Davis, who retired from the FBI because of a movement disorder, tracks the killer. Some violence and some strong language. 2009.                                                         

 DB   70043   35