Free Workshops on Accessible Tech from New York’s Talking Book Library


A fellow NLS network library in New York is hosting several Tech and Culture workshops virtually this summer. They are inviting patrons from all libraries to attend for free! You can read about each session below, and there will be a contact person or a sign-up link for you to follow. Please note you will need to call the New York library for assistance with these workshops, their contact information is in their introduction. All times are listed in Eastern time.

Tech and Culture Workshops from the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library in New York:

Join our vibrant community for free, interactive remote workshops every week covering tech topics for beginners and seasoned users, book discussions, a Braille study group and more. Below, you will find offerings for August: just use the link within each listing to register. To receive a reminder about each upcoming workshop or find out about additional pop-up offerings, email heiskelltech+subscribe@googlegroups.com or contact our tech team to join our announcement list. Email chanceyfleet@nypl.org or call (212) 206-5400 and ask for zoom links for tech workshops, where available.


iPhone Chat for Voiceover Beginners

First Saturdays (July 2, August 6, September 3), 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. (EST)

If you’re new to using Voiceover on the iPhone or if you’re still working toward confidence, this discussion group is for you. We will spend some time going over the theory of how screen readers work, gestures everyone needs to know, and some strategies for getting help. Then, we will open it up for questions and networking.

This event will take place online.  

Join the Zoom for Voiceover Beginners

iPhone Chat for Voiceover Users: Beyond the Basics

First Saturdays (July 2, August 6, September 3), 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. (EST)

Talk about customizing gestures and settings, exploring new apps, choosing accessories, dealing with bugs, and whatever else comes to mind. This is a space for any and all Voiceover topics that go beyond the basics of using common gestures and built-in apps. 

This event will take place online.  

Join the Zoom for Voiceover: Beyond the Basics

The Zoom about Zoom: What Participants and Hosts Need to know

Friday July 1, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. (EST) 

Get ready to manage microphones, cameras, chat messages, raised hands, polls and breakout rooms with confidence. We will show you everything you need to know to bring your best self to virtual gatherings, whether you’re attending or hosting.

This event will take place online.

Register for Zoom about Zoom

Descriptive Origami

Friday July 1, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (EST)

We will use effective verbal communication and teamwork to learn origami models like a lotus, a goldfish and a card holder. This hands-on event will take place in person: kindly RSVP to ChanceyFleet@nypl.org to reserve your spot!

Intro to NVDA: a Ten-day Summer Immersion 

August 8 through 19, Monday through Friday, 3 – 5 p.m. (EST)

There are several Windows screen readers to choose from. Come discover how this free, open-source option compares. If you know how to type, understand Windows basics, can commit to attending ten sessions, and would like to become more confident and proficient with the NVDA screen reader, this workshop is for you! Please plan to join us each week for a hands-on lesson and discussion. This workshop also includes a group mailing list where you can post your questions and discoveries for other members of your cohort to read and respond, as well as a weekly recap that is optional to attend half an hour before the official start of each class. We will cover the basics of customizing NVDA settings, getting around in Windows 10 or 11, working with text, managing files and folders and exploring the web. This workshop will be limited to 30 participants, so please apply to participate soon!

This event will take place online.  

Register for NVDA Summer Immersion

Getting Started with Podcasting

Saturday July 16, 2 – 3:30 p.m. (EST)

Join volunteer Brian Fischler from That Real Blind Tech Show to find out how you can get started producing your own podcast. Brian will walk you through the supplies you will need to get started podcasting, easy ways to record both you and guests, hosting services, editing, and publishing your own show.

This event will take place online.

Register For Getting Started with Podcasting

Making Videos with Clips

Saturday July 23, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (EST)

Learn how to use this popular mobile app to create, edit and share your own videos.

This event will take place online.

Register For Making Videos with Clips

Getting Started with Podcasting

Thursday August 4, 7 – 8:30 p.m. (EST)

You probably have heard people discussing fantasy football at school or around the office. What is it, and why are millions of people playing it? Volunteer, Brian Fischler, will share his 20 years of knowledge playing fantasy football with you. He will explain the game and how to play for free on Yahoo Fantasy, discuss different strategies to the game, the live draft where you pick your own players, following your team, making trades of players, and how live scoring works. The great thing about fantasy football is that you can put as little or as much time into it as you want. And as Brian says, fantasy football is the world’s greatest waste of time, but wow is it fun.

This event will take place online. 

Register for Getting Started with Podcasting

High- and Low-tech Organization and Labeling Tips

Monday August 15, 7 – 8:30 p.m. (EST)

We all have items around that we need to identify. Whether a document, file folder, containers, books, or clothing, there are eyes-free strategies for identifying things around the home or office. Join this workshop to learn about and share resources and methods for labeling as a blind person. We will cover resources for adhesive labeling with a slate and stylus, Perkins brailler, as well as more high-tech tools to label clothing for laundry and identification, and more.

This event will take place online. 

Register for High and Low Tech Organization

Using Braille Displays with iOS

Monday August 22, 7 – 8:30 p.m. (EST)

Your Braille display can be a powerful companion to your iPhone or iPad, but there is so much to know as you begin. We will go through common Braille display commands, settings and customizations, known bugs and workarounds, and apps that work especially well with Braille.

This event will take place online. 

Register for Using Braille Displays with iOS

Google Apps with Accessibility in Mind

Let’s explore popular free tools that you can use on the web or with mobile apps to manage your time, share your work and collaborate. Participation in all sessions is encouraged, since we’ll be building your knowledge from week to week.

All sessions meet on Wednesdays, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. (EST)

August 24: Drive and Docs Basics

August 31: Drive and Docs: Formatting, organization, editing, and version control

September 7: Docs: Commenting, Collaboration, Track Changes, Sharing Permissions and Publishing 

September 14: Calendar (including invitations, shared calendars, and Meet)

September 21: Sheets

September 28: Slides 

This event will take place online.

Register for Google Apps with Accessibility in Mind

Announcing Braille on Demand Service from NLS

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) just announced the launch of Braille on Demand. This new service allows braille readers to request one title per month in paper braille format that patrons are allowed to keep.

You may begin requesting titles on June 20, 2022.

To request the one monthly title, patrons of the Talking Book Program will fill out the request form that goes directly to NLS:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NLSbrailleondemand

Once NLS processes your request, they will mail the braille book straight to you.

The link to theform is also available on our website at: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/bibliographies/bibindex.html and here https://www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/news/index.html

Guidelines for requesting titles:

  • Braille titles will be limited to books that are currently available on BARD. You can either search BARD for titles here https://nlsbard.loc.gov or call us to check if the title you would like is available.
  • Only complete titles will be distributed. Requests for partial titles (for example, volume one of a three-volume book) will result in receiving the entire book.
  • As of now, patrons may request one title per calendar month.

If you fill out the request form on your own, you will need to know the following:

  • The book title
  • The BR number of the title from BARD
  • Your patron ID number (it begins with TX1A. Call us to get that number if you don’t know it)
  • The name of your network library: Texas Talking Book Program

We hope that our braille patrons will take advantage of this new service.

Please call us if you have any questions or if you would like us to fill out the form for you.

July 19 Book Club Title Announced

Blue background with image of 2 books stacked on top of each other with an iPhone on top displaying the BARD Mobile app, and headphones over the stack. Text reads: Taking Book Program Phone-In Book Club 1-800-252-9605"

Please join us on Tuesday July 19, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. for our book club discussion of GREENLIGHTS by Matthew McConaughey (DB 101312).

Fun fact: Matthew McConaughey is a native Texan and a Texas resident!

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 book in digital cartridge or if you prefer to download the audio version from BARD, and if you’d like the discussion questions mailed to you instead of sent by email.

RSVP preferred by July 2.

NLS Annotation for GREENLIGHTS:

Memoir from Academy Award-winning actor in films including Dazed and Confused and Dallas Buyers Club shares his experiences and his philosophy on life. He describes “greenlights” as the times when the universe gives us permission to try new things. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020. Narrated by the author. 6 hours, 45 minutes.

We request that everyone remember the following:

  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.
  • Be courteous. Be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.

We look forward to having you join us on Tuesday, July 19!

Gardening for People with Disabilities

Spring is here, and it’s prime gardening time. Enjoy this information and book list created by NLS to make gardening more accessible to all.

“Gardening is a deceptively active hobby. Lawns, trees, and flowers stay in one place, but the gardener has to do a lot of bending, stretching, and moving around to tend to them, which can be difficult for people with mobility issues. Blind and visually impaired gardeners need to be able to recognize what is growing. The titles in this mini-bibliography suggest techniques and types of plants to make gardening easier.”—NLS (https://www.loc.gov/nls/braille-audio-reading-materials/lists-nls-produced-books-topic-genre/listings-on-narrow-topics-minibibliographies/gardening-people-disabilities/ )

The digital braille and audio titles can be downloaded from the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website. All titles can also be requested from your local library.

Like this list? More topic lists are available here: https://www.loc.gov/nls/braille-audio-reading-materials/lists-nls-produced-books-topic-genre/


ACCESSIBLE GARDENING FOR PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES by Janeen R. Adil (DB 52241)

An avid gardener provides tips and techniques for adapting garden format and methods for people with limited mobility. Explains advantages of containers, raised beds, and vertical gardens. Chapters discuss appropriate tools; choosing vegetables, herbs, flowers, vines, and ornamentals; and starting children in gardening. 1994.

THE NATURE-FRIENDLY GARDEN: CREATING A BACKYARD HAVEN FOR PLANTS, WILDLIFE, AND PEOPLE by Marlene A. Condon (BR 16677)

BIRDS AND BLOOMS magazine field editor’s guide to cultivating an ecological, low-maintenance garden to serve as a habitat for native species. Environmentally conscious techniques stress reducing lawn area and eliminating chemicals. Discusses using natural fertilizers and pesticides, creating ponds, and observing wildlife. Offers tips for elderly and disabled gardeners. 2006.

GARDENING WITHOUT STRESS AND STRAIN by Jack Kramer (BR 02556)

The author explains how to adapt various methods, and how to use some tricks and shortcuts which allow one to garden whatever one’s age or physical limitations. Mr. Kramer offers alternate choices of container gardens and wheelchair gardens. 1973.

THE ENABLING GARDEN by Gene Rothert (DB 43253)

A step-by-step guide to barrier-free gardening for people with disabilities and older adults. Provides a checklist for assessing one’s gardening abilities, then offers advice on selecting appropriate structures, tools, equipment, plants, and garden designs. 1994.

GARDENING THROUGH YOUR GOLDEN YEARS by James W. Wilson (DB 57787)

Former cohost of PBS television show The Victory Garden shares wisdom gathered from “seasoned” gardeners on the benefits of continuing this hobby into old age. Includes tips to minimize fatigue and other ailments, describes laborsaving methods, and offers all kinds of advice. 2003.

ACCESSIBLE GARDENING by Joann Woy (DB 49080)

Advises gardeners with special needs on ideas, tools, and methods. Topics include garden design and layout, raised beds, container and tabletop gardening, easy composting, watering, lawn care, and accessories to facilitate physical tasks. An appendix lists sources of tools, supplies, and information. 1997.

THE ABLE GARDENER by Kathleen Yeomans (DB40311)

Nurse and gardener Yeomans covers general aspects of gardening while emphasizing adaptive techniques such as using raised beds, back-saving tools, and easy-care plants. If the gardener is visually impaired, she suggests designing with plants that are fragrant, textured, edible, or even audible. Included are exercises for gardeners and mail-order sources for plants, seeds, and supplies (including adaptive tools). 1992.

April is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month. “Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and—of course—poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.”- From https://poets.org/national-poetry-month  

Poets.org offers “Poem-a-Day”: 

Sign up here and they will email you a poem each day in April. 

Or you can subscribe to their “Poem-a-Day” Podcast:  

https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/poem-a-day?selected=POETS4875982945#:~:text=

We have curated a small taste of the poetry we have in our collection below. These titles are available to download from BARD, or you can call us to have them mailed to you. You can also request other poetry! 

Poetry for kids and teens: 

APPLE: SKIN TO THE CORE: A MEMOIR IN WORDS AND PICTURES by Eric Gansworth (DB 101947) 

Memoir-in-verse by award-winning author and artist, Eric Gansworth. Gansworth, a member of the Onondaga Nation, tells his story of growing up at the Tuscarora Nation. He covers his family’s history and struggles, the impact of boarding schools, racism, and poverty. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020. 

BARK IN THE PARK!: POEMS FOR DOG LOVERS by Avery Corman (DB 95455) 

Poems about different kinds of dogs and their unique traits as they romp about in a park. For grades K-3. 2019. 

BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: THE POETRY OF MISTER ROGERS by Fred Rogers (DB 96626) 

Lyrics to seventy-five songs from the children’s television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, collected and presented as a treasury of poems. Lyrics explore topics such as feelings, new siblings, everyday life, and imagination. Commercial audiobook. For preschool-grade 2 and older readers. 2019. 

EEK, YOU REEK!: POEMS ABOUT ANIMALS THAT STINK, STANK, STUNK by Jane Yolen (DB 98262) 

Collection of poems about the different critters in nature that make a funky impact in their environment. For grades 2-4. 2019. 

EXQUISITE: THE POETRY AND LIFE OF GWENDOLYN BROOKS by Suzanne Slade

(DB 102344) 

A free verse biography of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize. From a young age, Brooks found inspiration from her family, in nature and her Chicago neighborhood, and began writing poetry at the age of seven. Includes her poem “Clouds.” For grades K-3. 2020. 

HILL WE CLIMB: AN INAUGURAL POEM FOR THE COUNTRY by Amanda Gorman

(DB 102763) 

National Youth Poet Laureate delivers an empowering and hopeful poem for the nation. Originally read on January, 20, 2021, at the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden. Foreword by Oprah Winfrey. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021. 

NO MORE POEMS!: A BOOK IN VERSE THAT JUST GETS WORSE by Rhett Miller

(DB 94332) 

Humorous poems about such subjects as disco bath parties, sneaky sisters, nose hairs, and wanting a dog. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3. 2019. 

NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY by Various Authors (DB 103950) 

Joseph Bruchac, Nikki Grimes, Janet Wong, and others present poems about young activists who have stepped up to make changes in their community and in the United States. For grades 2-4. 2020. 

PLACE INSIDE OF ME: A POEM TO HEAL THE HEART by Zetta Elliot (DB 103759) 

A young Black boy skateboards and ponders his deep emotions, from joy to sorrow and anger to compassion, but above all, love. For grades K-3. 2020. 

SHOUT: A POETRY MEMOIR by Laurie Halse Anderson (DB 94454) 

A memoir in verse shares the author’s life, covering her difficult early childhood, her rape at thirteen, and her experiences surrounding the publication of her 1999 novel Speak (DB 49958). Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2019 

SUPERLATIVE BIRDS by Leslie Bulion (DB 94751) 

Poems in a variety of verse forms with accompanying science notes introduce readers to eighteen unusual birds. For grades 2-4. 2019. 

THEY CALL ME BUERO: A BORDER KID’S POEMS by David Bowles (DB 106023) 

A novel in verse. Güero and his misfit crew—los Bobbys—discover girls and occasionally get into trouble by the Mexican border. Güero copes with life’s challenges by writing poetry, after encouragement from his teacher. Commercial audiobook. For grades 5-8. 2018. 

WOKE: A YOUNG POET’S CALL TO JUSTICE by Various Authors (DB 99980) 

A collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice. Topics include ableism, body positivity, empathy, equality, justice, privilege, resistance, and more. For grades 3-6. 2020. 

Poetry for adults: 

BEST AMERICAN POETRY, 2019 by Various Authors (DB 96983) 

Seventy-five previously published poems. Includes works by Margaret Atwood, Ocean Vuong, Naomi Shihab Nye, and former United States poet laureates Natasha Trethewey, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Tracy K. Smith. Violence and strong language. 2019 

BLACK FROM THE FUTURE: A COLLECTION OF BLACK SPECULATIVE WRITING by Various Authors (DB 97405) 

A collection of stories by Black women writers from across the spectrum of Black speculative writing, including science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and Afrofuturism. Includes stories from, among others, Jewelle Gomez, Eden Royce, Nicole Sconiers, Morgan Christie, Vernita Hall, Stefani Cox, and Leila Green. 2019. 

CALL US WHAT WE CARRY: POEMS by Amanda Gorman (DB 106426) 

A collection of more than seventy poems written by National Youth Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author Amanda Gorman. Reflects on the past, present, and future, exploring history, language, identity, grief, and hope. Includes The Hill We Climb, which was read during the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, in 2021. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021. 

CRYING BOOK by Heather Christle (DB 98483) 

A poet wrestles with the concepts and impacts of death, mental illness, grief, joy, impending motherhood, and the role of crying in female agency. Some strong language. 2019. 

FELON: POEMS by Reginald Dwayne Betts (DB 97471) 

Collection of poems examining the ways prison viscerally effects a person’s sense of identity. Each poem follows a single man through his experiences, which include homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, and fatherhood, and his emotional reactions to them. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019. 

HERMOSA by Yesika Salgado (DB 97983) 

Collection of 55 poems exploring relationships, romance, sex, grief, survival, life in Los Angeles, fighting for a better future, and everyday moments. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2019. 

HOMIE: POEMS by Danez Smith (DB 99206) 

Collection of thirty-six poems exploring the meaning and importance of friendship. Examines the impact of violence, xenophobia, and disparity on those defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis. Reflects on the loss of one the author’s closest friends. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2020. 

MAGICAL NEGRO: POEMS by Morgan Parker (DB 95008) 

Collection of forty poems exploring the everyday black experience in America. Themes include loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification. Also examines tropes and stereotypes of black Americans. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2019. 

MAKE ME RAIN: POEMS & PROSE by Nikki Giovanni (DB 102243) 

Collection of seventy-four poetry and prose works by the author of Chasing Utopia (DB 77840) and Racism 101 (DB 38687) explore themes of living in America while Black. In “Lemonade Grows from Soil, Too” she reflects on poetry in black culture. Violence and some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2020. 

NOUNS & VERBS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS by Campbell McGrath (DB 9644) 

Collection of more than one hundred poems—some previously published–that explore American spiritual and material hungers. “Reading Emily Dickinson at Jiffy Lube” is a musing on the work and impact of Emily Dickinson and the author himself, geography, Smirnoff Ice, and Bruce Springsteen. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019. 

OCTOPUS MUSEUM: POEMS by Brenda Shaughnessy (DB 97204) 

Collection of twenty-nine poems by the author of Our Andromeda (DB 75566) structured around the concept of visiting exhibits in a museum. Themes explored include environmental destruction, racism, sexism, and divisive politics. 2019. 

TRADITION by Jericho Brown (DB 96974) 

Collection of fifty-two poems exploring the nature and lasting impact of injuries, both personal and on a national level. In the title poem, the author reflects on generational promises given, but which are undercut by state violence. Violence. Pulitzer Prize for poetry, 2020. 2019. 

TRUTH ABOUT MAGIC by Atticus (Poet) (DB 97002) 

Collection of poems, by the author of The Dark between Stars (DB 92580), that explore heartbreaks, falling in love, looking back, and looking inwards. Examines the emotions that romantic relationships engender and the journey of investigating ourselves that they allow. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019. 

Books About Books

As a book lover, there is something special about reading books that convey an even deeper love of books. Here you will find a collection of books about books, libraries, and book shops. Fun fact: we have every title I had in mind for this list, further proving our love of books here at TBP!

Please call us if you’d like any of these titles added to your request list or made into a special cartridge.


FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury

DB 34963

Social satire set in the future, when owning or reading books is a crime. Guy Montag, the fireman-hero, becomes a fugitive when he succumbs to temptation. Some strong language.

EYRE AFFAIR by Jasper Fforde

DB 54764

In an alternate 1985 England, literature is a mass obsession, time travel is commonplace, and literary characters can be killed. When Jane Eyre is kidnapped, literary detective Thursday Next vows to rescue her. But Thursday may find herself trapped forever inside the pages of the classic novel from which Jane has been abducted. 2001.

READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN by Azar Nafisi

DB 56459

Former professor of English literature in Iran relates her experiences, after resigning her university post in 1995, in continuing to teach seven female students who met secretly at her home each week to discuss literary classics. Nafisi describes how the women, reacting to the Islamic republic’s intolerance, resisted oppression and embraced free thought. 2003.

DIARY OF A BOOKSELLER by Shaun Bythell

DBC16580

A funny and fascinating memoir of a year in the life at the helm of The Bookshop, in the small village of Wigtown, Scotland and of the delightfully odd locals, unusual staff, eccentric customers, and surreal buying trips that make up his life there as he struggles to build his business . . . and be polite. Unrated.

THE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean

DB 92869

The author re-opens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in US history. On April 29, 1986, fire broke out at the Los Angeles Public Library and destroyed or damaged more than a million books. Examines the evolution of public libraries while celebrating their value in society. Commercial audiobook. 2018.

THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK by Kim Michele Richardson

DB 95243

Kentucky, 1936. Nineteen-year-old Cussy Mary Carter has been working as part of the Pack Horse Library Project, but her father hopes she’ll marry–despite the family trait of blue skin. In addition to her father’s hopes, Cussy must also face the prejudice of the community she serves. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.

WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR Molly Guptill Manning

DB 80928

Attorney describes the Victory Book Campaign during World War II, which provided American soldiers with selected literature of note in the face of Nazi censorship and destruction of books. Discusses the impact the program had on the titles chosen and on the publishing industry. 2014

MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE by Robin Sloan

DB 75599

While hunting for a new job, Web designer Clay Jannon wanders across Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Bookstore, which sits next to a strip joint. Hired for the night shift, Clay is soon drawn into a world of mystery, intrigue, and kooky customers. 2012.

STORIED LIFE OF AJ FIKRY by Gabrielle Zevin

DB 78978

When his most prized possession, a rare volume of poetry by Edgar Allan Poe, is stolen, bookstore owner A.J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family, and associates. Then he receives a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life. Strong language. Bestseller. 2014.

GOODNIGHT JUNE by Sarah Jio

DB 79544

2005. June Andersen discovers she has inherited her great-aunt Ruby’s bookstore in Seattle. As June settles the estate, she unearths letters between Ruby and children’s author Margaret Wise Brown. Reading the correspondence, June realizes how she needs to change her own life. Some strong language. 2014.

MAN WHO LOVED BOOKS TOO MUCH by Allison Hoover Bartlett

DB 72385

Journalist investigates famed rare-book thief John Gilkey to uncover his motivation for stealing exquisite literature. Retraces the cat-and-mouse game Gilkey played with Ken Sanders, security chair of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 2009.

GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer

DB 67526

London, 1946. Writer Juliet Ashton corresponds with Dawsey Adams and other members of a literary society created as a front during the Nazi occupation of the British channel island Guernsey. Through letters, Juliet learns about their wartime experiences. Intrigued, Juliet sails to Guernsey, where she finds new inspiration. Bestseller. 2008.

LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR by Scott Hawkins

DB 82679

Carolyn and a few others were brought as children to an unusual library that exists outside of time. There, they acquired various special abilities. When the god-like figure they call Father disappears from the library, Carolyn and her siblings search for him. Violence and some strong language. 2015.

LAST BOOKANEER by Matthew Pearl

          DB 81454

In 1890, the implementation of an international copyright law is looming, and competing bookaneers Pen Davenport and his nemesis, Belial, travel to Samoa to steal the final manuscript by Robert Louis Stevenson. On arriving, however, they find the environment to be more dangerous than they expected. Violence and some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

INVISIBLE LIBRARY (1st in Series) by Genevive Cogman

DB 86252

Irene works as an agent for the Invisible Library, tracking down rare manuscripts from alternate realities. She and her assistant travel to a version of Victorian London only to find that the book they seek has already been stolen. Some violence. 2016.

LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP by Nina George

DB 81928

Parisian bookseller Jean Perdu prescribes particular books to cure emotional ills, but he himself is haunted by his lost love, Manon. New neighbor Catherine convinces him to read a letter Manon left behind twenty years ago, setting him on a journey to make peace with his past. Some strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

DB 58940

Barcelona, 1945. Young Daniel Sempere selects Julián Carax’s The Shadow of the Wind when his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel loves the novel, investigates the author’s life and death, and meets a cast of characters hiding deadly secrets. Some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2001.

INK AND BONE (THE GREAT LIBRARY SERIES) by Rachel Caine

DB 85432

In a world where the personal ownership of a physical book is illegal, the Great Library controls content by using alchemy to deliver books via tablets. Black market smuggler Jess Brightwell is sent to the Great Library as a trainee and as a spy. Violence. For senior high and older readers. 2015.

END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB by Will Schwalbe

DB 75762

Journalist and publishing professional chronicles the conversations he had with his mother as he accompanied her on treatments for advanced pancreatic cancer. Discusses books such as Crossing to Safety (DB 49441), The Hobbit (DB 48978), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (DB 67759), and others. Bestseller. 2012.

THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield

DB 63418

Cambridge antiquarian bookseller Margaret Lea is hired by legendary author Vida Winter to pen her life story before she dies. At Vida’s decrepit estate out on the Yorkshire moors, Margaret listens to a family history of ghosts, incest, abandoned babies, and other secrets, but wonders, is it true? Bestseller. 2006.

AN UNNECESSARY WOMAN by Rabih Alameddine

          DB 78325

Beirut. Seventy-two-year-old Aaliya spends her days translating books from English and French into Arabic for her private amusement. Divorced, childless, and godless in the eyes of society, she is shunned. She reflects on the literature that has touched her life and helped her survive the Lebanese Civil War. 2013.

BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

DB 62431

Death narrates the tale of nine-year-old Liesel from 1939 to 1943 in Nazi Germany. Liesel copes with a foster family, air raids, her friend Rudy, and a hidden Jew, sustained by the books she steals. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2006.

LAST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON by Madeline Martin

          DB 103176

In August 1939, London prepares for war. Grace Bennett has always dreamed of moving to the city, and finds a job working at Primrose Hill, a dusty book shop in the heart of London. As Grace rediscovers her love of reading, the store unites a community suffering under the Blitz. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020

LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE by Fiona Davis

DB 99608

1913. Laura Lyons has made a home for her family within the august walls of the New York Public Library thanks to her husband’s job. But her world is opened when she’s accepted to journalism school. Eighty years later, her granddaughter Sadie reckons with choices made. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

MY LIFE WITH BOB by Pamela Paul

DB 88868

Since high school, the editor of the New York Times Book Review has kept a journal of every book she reads. She calls the journal Bob, her “Book of Books.” The author muses on the books that she read at pivotal moments in her life. 2017.

PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by Geraldine Brooks

DB 66059

Australian book conservator Hanna Heath analyzes a Hebrew manuscript created in medieval Spain and saved from destruction in 1990s Sarajevo. Hanna’s discoveries–an insect wing, salt crystals, and wine and blood stains–reveal the codex’s past and the lives of its guardians. Some descriptions of sex and some violence. Bestseller. 2008.

Youth Media Award Winners 2022

Presented by the American Library Association on January 24, 2022 

“Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s experts, the awards encourage original and creative work. For more information on the ALA youth media awards and notables, please visit ala.org/yma” -From the American Library Association 

Titles with a * next to them won multiple awards this year. 


John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:  

*THE LAST CUENTISTA by Donna Barba Higuera  

DB 105729     BR 23967 in process 

Petra Peña’s world is ending, and only the chosen few will journey to a new planet. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to discover that she alone remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity’s past.  

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:  

*WATERCRESS illustrated by Jason Chin; written by Andrea Wang 

(Not yet available from NLS- nominated for print Braille production) 

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults: 

*UNSPEAKABLE: THE TULSA RACE MASSACRE by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper 

DB 103676     BR 23732 in process 

An award-winning author recounts the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, race massacre—one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history. 

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award  

*UNSPEAKABLE: THE TULSA RACE MASSACRE illustrated by Floyd Cooper; written by Carole Boston Weatherford 

DB 103676     BR 23732 in process 

An award-winning author recounts the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, race massacre—one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history. 

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent (Author) Award 

ME (MOTH) by Amber McBride 

DB 105871 in process 

Moth, who lost her family in an accident, and Sani, who is battling ongoing depression, take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors, which helps them move forward in surprising and unforgettable ways. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent (Illustrator) Award 

THE ME I CHOOSE TO BE illustrated by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt; written by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley 

(Not yet available from NLS) 

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:  

Nikki Grimes is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. Grimes has been widely recognized for her distinguished contribution to children’s and young adult literature, winning numerous major awards. After more than 77 books, she has sealed her legacy by weaving poetry and novels in verse into an impressive body of work. Grimes currently resides in Corona, California, where she continues her powerful writing. 

Contact us to reserve her books. 

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults: 

*FIRE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Angeline Boulley 

DB 102762 

Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother. When Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source of a new drug. Unrated. Commercial audiobook 

Schneider Family Book Awards for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:  

Young Children ages 0 to 8:  

MY CITY SPEAKS by Darren Lebeuf, illustrated by Ashley Barron  

(Not yet in NLS-nominated for print Braille production) 

Middle Grades ages 9 to 13:  

A BIRD WILL SOAR by Alison Green 

(TITLE IN PRODUCTION. NOT AVAILABLE YET- BR and DB) 

Teens ages 14-18:  

WORDS IN MY HANDS written and illustrated by Asphyxia 

(TITLE IN PRODUCTION. NOT AVAILABLE YET- BR and DB) 

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:  

LIGHT FROM UNCOMMON STARS by Ryka Aoki 

DB 105930 in process 

Shizuka has made a deal with the devil to deliver the souls of violin prodigies, and when she meets a talented young transgender runaway, she knows she’s found her final candidate. But when Shizuka meets retired starship captain Lan Tran, her plans are soon derailed. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LENNI AND MARGOT by Marianne Cronin  

DB 103815 

Seventeen-year-old Lenni Pettersson lives on the Terminal Ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. Though told she’s dying, Lenni still has plenty of living to do. Joining the hospital’s arts and crafts class, she meets the magnificent Margot, an 83-year-old rebel, who transforms Lenni in ways she never imagined. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 

WITCH’S HEART by Genevieve Gornichec 

DB 102781 

A punishment from Odin leaves witch Angrboda injured and powerless. She flees into a remote forest and meets a man who reveals himself to be the trickster god Loki. They fall in love and have three children, but Angrboda has visions that her family will be present at Ragnarok. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 

LIBRARY OF THE DEAD by T.L Huchu 

DB 103872 

A dropout, Ropa carries messages for ghosts to make a living on the streets of Edinburgh. When the dead begin to whisper about missing and bewitched children, Ropa investigates. Meanwhile, she discovers an occult library, gains a magical mentor, and uncovers dark secrets. Unrated. Commercial audiobook 

HOW LUCKY by Will Leitch  

(Not yet in NLS) 

WINTER’S ORBIT by Everina Maxwell 

DB 102298 

Jainan, the widower of the Imperial Prince is rushed into an arranged marriage with his dead husband’s cousin to avert war. When Jainan is suspected of the Prince’s murder, he must solve the mystery, prevent interplanetary war, and deal with his growing feelings for his new husband. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 

ROSE CODE by Kate Quinn  

DB 102559 

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Debutante Osla, self-made Mab, and local spinster Beth become friends, until rumors circulate of a traitor at Bletchley. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 

CROSSING THE LINE: A FEARLESS TEAM OF BROTHERS AND THE SPORT THAT CHANGED THEIR LIVES FOREVER by Kareem Rosser  

DB 102745 

In this memoir, the author describes growing up in a West Philadelphia neighborhood devastated by poverty and violence. He and his brothers stumble upon a stable run by Lezlie Hiner, who offers to teach them to ride, leading the author to become part of the first all-Black national interscholastic polo championship team. Unrated. Commercial audiobook 

LORE OLUMPUS, VOL. 1by Rachel Smythe  

(Not yet in NLS) 

MALICE by Heather Walter 

(Not yet in NLS) 

Children’s Literature Legacy Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children’s lives and experiences.  

The 2022 winner is Grace Lin. Since the publication of her first book, “The Ugly Vegetables,” in 1999, Lin has written and/or illustrated more than 40 books for children. 

Contact us to reserve her books. 

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:  

The 2022 winner is A.S. King whose books include: “SW/TCH,” “Still Life with Tornado,” “Ask the Passengers,” “Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future” and “Please Ignore Vera Dietz,” among other titles. 

Contact us to reserve their books. 

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States:  

TEMPLE ALLEY SUMMER; originally published in Japanese as Kimyōji Yokochō no Natsu by Sachiko Kashiwaba, illustrated by Miho Satake, translated by Avery Fischer Udagawa  

(Not yet in NLS) 

Odyssey Award for the best audiobooks produced for children and young adults, available in English in the United States:  

Children:  

BOOGIE BOOGIE, Y’ALL; written and narrated by C. G. Esperanza  

(Not yet in NLS) 

Young Adults:  

WHEN YOU LOOK LIKE US by Pamela N. Harris and narrated by Preston Butler III 

DB 103824 

After his sister Nicole disappears, Jay and a friend from church try to piece together what happened to his sister, because he knows the Newport News police department won’t help search for a missing Black girl from public housing. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 

Pura Belpré Awards honoring Latinx writers and illustrators whose children’s and young adult books best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:  

Youth Illustration Award winner: 

¡VAMOS! LET’S CROSS THE BRIDGE illustrated and written by Raúl Gonzalez 

DB 101952 

After lunch requests come in, Little Lobo, a Mexican American, and Bernabé, his dog, gather tacos, frutas picadas, cuernos, and more. They must deliver them to los luchadores at el Coliseo. Commercial audiobook. 

Children’s Author Award winner: 

*LAST CUENTISTA by Donna Barba Higuera  

DB 105729     BR 23967 in process 

Petra Peña’s world is ending, and only the chosen few will journey to a new planet. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to discover that she alone remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity’s past. 

Young Adult Author Award winner: 

HOW MOON FUENTEZ FELL IN LOVE WITH THE UNIVERSE by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland 

(Not yet in NLS) 

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:  

THE PEOPLE’S PAINTER: HOW BEN SHAHN FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE WITH ART by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Evan Turk 

(Not yet in NLS) 

Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience: 

Children’s Award:  

TOO BRIGHT TO SEE by Kyle Lukoff  

DB 105462 

In the summer before middle school, eleven-year-old Bug must contend with best friend Moira suddenly caring about clothes, makeup, and boys; a ghostly haunting; and the truth about Bug’s gender identity. Commercial audiobook. 

Young Adult’s Award:  

*LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB by Malinda Lo  

DB 104015 

1954. McCarthyism and the Red Scare are genuine threats to Lily’s family; her father is already at risk of deportation despite his valid citizenship. Lily, who is Chinese American, could lose everything just for dating anyone white—let alone another girl—but she could lose herself if she isn’t true to her feelings. Includes supplemental material. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:  

FOX AT NIGHT written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor  

(Not yet in NLS) 

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:  

*FIREKEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Angeline Boulley  

DB 102762 

Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother. When Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source of a new drug. Unrated. Commercial audiobook 

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

AMBUSHED!: THE ASSASSINATION PLOT AGAINST PRESIDENT GARFIELD by Gail Jarrow 

(Not yet in NLS) 

American Indian Youth Literature Awards are announced in even years and were established to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians and Alaska Natives. Selected titles present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts. This year’s winners include:  

Picture Book:  

HERIZON by Daniel W. Vandever [Diné] 

(Not yet in NLS) 

Middle Grade Book:  

HEALER OF THE WATER MONSTER by Brian Young [Diné] 

DB 104419 

When Nathan visits his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation, he knows he’s in for a pretty uneventful summer. But things change after he meets a water monster that needs his help. Commercial audiobook. 

Young Adult Book:  

APPLE (SKIN TO THE CORE) by Eric Gansworth [Onondaga] 

DB 101947    BR 23594 in process 

Memoir-in-verse by award-winning author and artist, Eric Gansworth, a member of the Onondaga Nation, tells his story of growing up at the Tuscarora Nation. He covers his family’s history and struggles, the impact of boarding schools, racism, and poverty. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature The award promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and is awarded based on literary and artistic merit. The award offers three youth categories including Picture Book, Children’s Literature and Youth Literature. The award is administered by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association. This year’s winners include:  

Picture Book:  

*WATERCRESS written by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chin 

(not yet in NLS- nominated for print Braille production) 

Children’s Literature:  

AMINA’S SONG by Hena Khan 

DB 103070 

Feeling pulled between two cultures after a month with family in Pakistan, Amina shares her experiences with her Wisconsin classmates through a class assignment and a songwriting project with new student Nico. Sequel to Amina’s Voice (DB 87659). Commercial audiobook. 

Youth Literature:  

*LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB by Malinda Lo  

DB 104015 

1954. McCarthyism and the Red Scare are genuine threats to Lily’s family; her father is already at risk of deportation despite his valid citizenship. Lily, who is Chinese American, could lose everything just for dating anyone white—let alone another girl—but she could lose herself if she isn’t true to her feelings. Includes supplemental material. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 

The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries since 1968, the award encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature. This year’s Gold Medalists include:  

Picture Book:  

PASSOVER GUEST written by Susan Kusel, illustrated by Sean Rubin  

(Not yet in NLS) 

Middle Grades:  

HOW TO FIND WHAT YOU’RE NOT LOOKING FOR by Veera Hiranandani 

DB 105195 

Eleven-year-old Ariel Goldberg must find her own voice and define her own beliefs after her big sister elopes with a young man from India, following the Supreme Court decision that strikes down laws banning interracial marriage. Commercial audiobook  

Young Adult:  

CITY BEAUTIFUL by Aden Polydoros 

(Not yet in NLS) 

The Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award recognizes an author or entity who has made a substantial contribution over time to the genre of Jewish children’s literature.  

This year’s winner is Jane Yolen

Contact us to reserve her books. 

Book Suggestions from our Staff

Staff Recommended Books

With New Year reading goals around the corner, we at the Talking Book Program gathered some personal book suggestions for you. Some of us couldn’t pick just one! All listed titles are available through TBP and are downloadable from the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD). Feel free to contact us to request these titles.


· Kayleigh Matheson, Reader’s Advisory Librarian-

NORSE MYTHOLOGY by Neil Gaiman (DB 87395)

Neil Gaiman is my favorite author and you can pick one of his books at random and be happy. I’m recommending this one to expand people’s mythology horizons beyond the Greek. This is a great retelling of traditional stories and will have you laughing and learning. I named my dog after the Norse goddess, Freya, after reading this!

· Laura Jean, Reader’s Advisory Librarian-

THICKET by Joe R. Lansdale (DBC 00014)

Joe R. Lansdale is a Texas author who writes across several genres. I particularly love his gritty, realistic westerns like The Thicket. This is not for the faint of heart. If you like Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, or western horror as a genre, you’ll most likely enjoy this book too.

· Dina Abramson, Disability Information & Referral Coordinator-

IF YOU TELL: A TRUE STORY OF MURDER, FAMILY SECRETS, AND THE UNBREAKABLE BOND OF SISTERHOOD by Gregg Olsen (DB 98239)

I’m a big true crime fan. I wouldn’t say this is my favorite book, but it is one of the best true crime books I’ve read–a real page turner! It’s about the worst mother in the world and the survival of her three daughters. Note: Not for the faint of heart!

· Victor Hunter, Reader Consultant-

HOW DO YOU KISS A BLIND GIRL? by Sally Wagner (DB 27117)

No, this is not a book about kissing. This is a book by a blind reporter, who describes social interactions that often happen between blind people and sighted people, and the rather humorous results that occur through those encounters. As you read this book, you will not only laugh, but learn a few things along the way.

· Guffie Robinson, Operations Supervisor-

DUTCH HOUSE, by Ann Patchett (LB 12756)

I had never read any of her books before. She was recommended to me as historical fiction, but I would consider this just good fiction in a good setting. The book has well written characters making the plot almost irrelevant.

NO GOOD MEN AMONG THE LIVING, by Anand Gopal (DB 79895).

Embedded journalist tells the stories of US personnel, Taliban members, and local Afghans all amidst the changing warscape in Afghanistan in the early years of the war. Absolutely brilliant and my top recommended read.

LIGHTHOUSE, by P.D. James (LB 12513).

P.D. James is my favorite mystery writer. Her stories are set in the UK and led by recurring characters Detective Dalgliesh and Inspector Miskin. Well written and fleshed out characters bring her mysteries to a higher level of enjoyment.

· Penny Van Horn, Reader Consultant-

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman (DB 87829)

The narrator really makes the book. It’s very funny—and, ultimately, sad. I keep it on hand for whenever I need a laugh.

· Sheila Hubertus, Reader’s Advisory Librarian-

THE ANTHROPOCENE REVIEWED by John Green (LB 13412 and DB 103903):

The Anthropocene Reviewed, expanded from John Green’s podcast of the same name, is a series of essays that review facets of our human-centered planet on a 5-star scale. It sounds like a silly premise, but Green incorporates his personal experiences, giving us an autobiography of sorts and a glimpse at how he manages life with mental illness. A personal favorite line from his review of the Bonneville Salt Flats: “I was thinking about the people I used to be, and how they fought and scrapped and survived for moments like this one.” John Green’s vulnerability in these essays inspires me to fight and scrap and survive for my future moments. I refuse to succumb to the hokey gimmick of leaving a 5-star review for this book of 5-star reviews, so check it out for yourself.

YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED TO LACEY by Amber Ruffin (DB 102254):

You might know Amber Ruffin from her writing gig on Late Night with Seth Meyers or her own Amber Ruffin Show, but have you heard what happened to her sister, Lacey? This book addresses the seriousness of microaggressions and outright racism experienced by Lacey and Amber in a humorous, palatable manner. Nevertheless, this is a sobering and educational book about the realities of American race relations today.

· Darin Spelber, Reader Consultant-

BRING UP THE BODIES by Hilary Mantel (DB 74880)

2012 Man Booker Prize winner.

This is the second book of the trilogy about the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, the chief minister of King Henry VIII. This book, along with the first one in the trilogy (Wolf Hall, 2009), is such a fresh, original take on this well-known historical figure. I love how Mantel brings her readers into Cromwell’s world, providing a fascinating glimpse into his inner life, and into the late Medieval period in England. I’m looking forward to reading the third book of the trilogy, The Mirror & the Light (2020), which I somehow missed when it was published last year.

· Becky Helton, Reader Consultant-

BROTHER SINISTER SERIES by Courtney Milan (DB 84533).

All four books are available on one cartridge. Fun, sweet and happy historical romance. On the steamier end of the genre. I like being taken far away from here and now. I also like that her characters are well-rounded and how she threads the stories together. Always read the postscripts; she tells you where she veers away from history, and how things could have happened the way she has written them. The one about doctors and handwashing is especially poignant. If you want escapism, well-rounded characters, and some steaminess, Courtney Milan is a good author to try.

· Sarah Jacobson, Director-

ISSAC’S STORM: A MAN, A TIME, AND THE DEADLIEST HURRICANE IN HISTORY by Eric Larson (DB 48811)

This is a compelling story of hurricane Isaac, the great Galveston hurricane of 1900. I really enjoyed Eric Larson’s narrative storytelling, chock full of facts and interesting details. It’s a piece of Texas history that changed Galveston forever.

· Sylvia Perry, Bibliographic Control and ILL Librarian-

SERIES: THE YEARS OF LYNDON JOHNSON by Robert Caro

So far, there are four books in the series:

THE PATH TO POWER: THE YEARS OF LYNDON JOHNSON (DB 18676)

MEANS OF ASCENT: THE YEARS OF LYNDON JOHNSON (DB 30837)

MASTER OF THE SENATE: THE YEARS OF LYNDON JOHNSON (DB 54174)

THE PASSAGE OF POWER: THE YEARS OF LYNDON JOHNSON (DB 74635)

This series is very good. Every book is a page-turner even though they are works of biography and history. I like these books because, as the series title indicates, the books talk not only about Lyndon Johnson, but about what was happening in the country and in the world during those years. I can remember many of those years very vividly. Robert Caro is currently working on the last volume of the series, and I look forward to its publication.

· Garrett Bruner, Audio Production Specialist-

COMPLETE POEMS OF ANNA AKHMATOVA. V. I (DB 33626)

COMPLETE POEMS OF ANNA AKHMATOVA. V. II (DB 33627)

It’s hard to find any comparison to Akhmatova’s body of work, due to the times she lived in and the sensitivity with which she documented them. The most significant events of her era the fall of the Russian tsars, the October Revolution and World War I, the rise of Stalin leading to purges and starvations (resulting in the murder of her first husband and the imprisonment of her own son in a gulag), the second World War following it, and the Cold War after that (the author finally outliving Stalin’s reign). Her poetry takes all this in, and is as unflinching as it is lyrical. And Judith Hemschemeyer’s translation is another miracle, rendering it all very familiar and accessible to an American ear. The suffering put to words and the dignity of pulling through the worst. You don’t need to know about Russian history to be moved by Akhmatova’s poems. You will deepen your understanding with the accompanying Introductions–especially the one written by Isaiah Berlin recounting his meeting Akhmatova in 1945, her demeanor, and the paranoid air of the Stalinist period. And though these appear like two massive tomes (like the size of Tolstoy novels), the poems themselves are short pieces, rarely longer than a page or two. The highlight sequence of her poetry, to me the peak of her work, is found in her 1940s book called Reed, in a sequence called Requiem, where she gives voice to those who had fallen in the 1930s and 1940s.

· Linda Buie, Reader Consultant-

GLASS CASTLE: A MEMOIR by Jeanette Walls (DB 61540 and BRC 00809)

I enjoyed it and have recommended it on several occasions to some of our patrons. The message I think it sends is that no matter what your parents or your childhood are like or how poor you may be, that does not dictate your future. Jeannette Walls grew up to be an American author and journalist.

· Jaclyn Owusu, Public Awareness Coordinator-

THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton (DB 22433)

This classic young adult novel is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ponyboy, the fourteen-year-old narrator, tells how it looks and feels to be a Greaser—from the wrong side of the tracks. He vividly describes the guerilla raids into his territory by their traditional, upper-middle-class enemy, the Socs, and of the beating that led to a murder charge and two deaths.

This is not necessarily a recommended book just because it was one of my favorites growing up; but also because of the poem in the book by Robert Frost:

NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY

Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down today. Nothing gold can stay.

Cookbooks to Jazz Up Your Holiday Meals

The holidays, gatherings, and meals are on their way. Whether you are a seasoned pro at making food for groups, or you’re just wanting to try it out, there’s no time like the present to learn a new dish or two. We’ve gathered just a few of our available cookbooks in audio format to help you learn to make new recipes. You’ll find some trendy, modern cookbooks, some for your picky guests, and we’ve even thrown in literary cookbooks. You can find them to download on BARD or contact us to add them to your request list. Cheers to your upcoming feasts!


Popular Cookbooks

The following cookbooks are authored by TV stars, blog award winners, and famous chefs. These are sure to add a modern twist to your holiday meals and keep you on trend!

MAGNOLIA TABLE: A COLLECTION OF RECIPES FOR GATHERING by Joanna Gaines (DB 95673)

Joanna Gaines is the co-host of the TV show “Fixer Upper” and now has her own network. Collection of recipes for gatherings of all sizes. Includes a list of pantry staples, tools, and universal conversion chart. Recipes cover breakfast, lunch, soups and salads, appetizers and starters, side dishes, dinner, and desserts. Instructions include a brief introduction, timing, ingredients, and tips for specific preparation methods. 2018.

MODERN COMFORT FOOD: BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK (DB 101418)

Collection of recipes by the author of Cook Like a Pro (DB 93340) that are geared to evoke an emotionally satisfying experience. Suggests ingredients which support the experiential nature of the food. Courses include cocktails, lunch, dinner, vegetables and sides, dessert, and breakfast. Bestseller. 2020.

PIONEER WOMAN COOKS by Ree Drummond (DB 72395) Award-winning blogger (www.ThePioneerWoman.com) relates her transformation from a city girl to a rancher’s wife after meeting and marrying a cowboy she calls Marlboro Man. Provides step-by-step recipes from appetizers to dessert. Includes vignettes of Oklahoma country living. 2009.


Recipes for folks with special diets

Do you have some picky eaters coming over? Have you recently changed your own diet? These cookbooks will help you make the switch while keeping the food delicious.

CONSCIOUS COOK: DELICIOUS MEATLESS RECIPES THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU EAT by Tal Ronnen (DB 70667)

Noted vegan chef shares his own and guest chefs’ recipes and dinner-party menus for vegan cuisine. Includes starters, salads, soups, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts. Ronnen discusses his favorite “super” foods, myths about veganism, tools and tricks for the kitchen and pantry, and using cashew cream to replace dairy. Bestseller. 2009.

GLUTEN-FREE CHRISTMAS COOKIES by Ellen Brown (DBC 01685)

125 Christmas treats which are made without flour. Includes cookies, brownies, meringues, macaroons and candies like fudge, pralines and truffles.


Literary Cookbooks

Spice up your holiday meal with recipes from favorite authors and recipes based on favorite books. Here are just a few examples.

HALLELUJAH! THE WELCOME TABLE: A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES WITH RECIPES by Maya Angelou (DB 59469)

Author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings shares favorite recipes from her southern childhood and penny-pinching days and from her more-recent repertoire of elaborate feasts. Includes anecdotes and stories of dining at home and with her good friends. Bestseller. 2004. Angelou, Maya — Anecdotes.

DEBBIE MACOMBER’S CEDAR COVE COOKBOOK by Debbie Macomber (DB 71541)

Recipes inspired by the author’s fictional Cedar Cove series. Provides suggestions for breakfast, lunch, tea, appetizers, and dinner, including character Olivia Griffin’s honey nut granola, Grace Harding’s paninis, Justine Gunderson’s crab salad, Zach and Rosie Cox’s ginger chicken skewers, and Bob and Peggy Beldon’s lasagna Bolognese for a crowd. 2009.

BEVERLY LEWIS AMISH HERITAGE COOKBOOK by Beverly Lewis (DB 64311)

Author of numerous novels on Amish life offers a collection of dishes unique to their community, including many from her maternal grandmother. Recipes include shoofly pie, friendship bread, snickerdoodles, apple betty, corn relish, and bread and butter pickles. Also includes kitchen hints and tips, Amish lore, and favorite scriptures. 2004.

2021 National Book Awards

A little about the National Book Awards taken from their website: https://www.nationalbook.org/national-book-awards/how-works/

“The National Book Awards were established in 1950 to celebrate the best writing in America. Since 1989, they have been overseen by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture. Although other categories have been recognized in the past, the awards currently honors the best fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature published each year.

A panel of judges selects a longlist of ten titles per category, which is then narrowed to five Finalists, and a Winner is announced at the Awards Ceremony in the fall. Each Finalist receives a prize of $1,000, a medal, and a judge’s citation. Winners receive $10,000 and a bronze sculpture. The Awards Ceremony is one of the most anticipated events for writers, publishers, and readers eager to celebrate the best books of the year.”

Below you will find lists of the five finalists in each category. If we have the audio book in our catalog, the book numbers are listed. If we do not have it, you’ll find a note that the book is commercially available in either audio or print format. If you want to read any of these contact us and we will get you what we have, or you can find them on BARD.

WINNERS ANNOUNCED NOVEMBER 17TH, 2021

The 72nd National Book Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live on November 17, 2021, at 7:00pm ET/ 6:00pm CENTRAL

Link to sign up to watch the ceremony online: https://www.nationalbook.org/awards2021/


Fiction Finalists:

MATRIX by Lauren Groff (DB 104843)

Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine and deemed too coarse for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England in 1158 to an impoverished abbey. She grows to love her new life and, as abbess, transforms the community. Commercial audiobook. 2021.

ZORRIE by Laird Hunt (DB 102689)

As a girl, Zorrie Underwood’s hardscrabble home county was the only constant in her young life. After losing both her parents, Zorrie moved in with her aunt, whose own death orphaned Zorrie all over again, casting her off into the perilous realities of rural, Depression-era Indiana. Some strong language. 2021.

THE PROPHETS by Robert Jones, Jr. (DB 101843)

Isaiah and Samuel are two enslaved men on a plantation. They work in the barn, caring for the animals. They find comfort and more in each other’s arms. When another enslaved man begins preaching the master’s gospel, tensions build as they try to just love each other. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.

HELL OF A BOOK by Jason Mott (DB 104515)

A Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. His story is intertwined with Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.

CLOUD CUCKOO LAND by Anthony Doerr (commercially available AUDIO through booksellers or local libraries)

Set in Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now, Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous third novel is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope—and a book. In Cloud Cuckoo Land, Doerr has created a magnificent tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness—with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us, and with those who will be here after we’re gone.

Non-Fiction Finalists:

A LITTLE DEVIL IN AMERICA: NOTES IN PRAISE OF BLACK PERFORMANCE by Hanif Abdurraqib (DB 103276)

The author of Go Ahead in the Rain (DB98408) presents a collection of essays connected by the topic of black performance in America. Combining personal stories with history, he explores how African Americans have

contributed to American culture while facing racism and stereotyping. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.

RUNNING OUT: IN SEARCH OF WATER IN THE HIGH PLAINS by Lucas Bessire (commercially available AUDIO through booksellers or local libraries)

The Ogallala aquifer has nourished life on the American Great Plains for millennia. But less than a century of unsustainable irrigation farming has taxed much of the aquifer beyond repair. The imminent depletion of the Ogallala and other aquifers around the world is a defining planetary crisis of our times. Running Out offers a uniquely personal account of aquifer depletion and the deeper layers through which it gains meaning and force.

TASTES LIKE WAR: A MEMOIR by Grace M. Cho (commercially available AUDIO through booksellers or local libraries)

Grace M. Cho grew up as the daughter of a white American merchant marine and the Korean bar hostess he met abroad. They were one of few immigrants in a xenophobic small town during the Cold War, where identity was politicized by everyday details—language, cultural references, memories, and food. When Grace was fifteen, her dynamic mother experienced the onset of schizophrenia, a condition that would continue and evolve for the rest of her life. Part food memoir, part sociological investigation, Tastes Like War is a hybrid text about a daughter’s search through intimate and global history for the roots of her mother’s schizophrenia.

COVERED WITH NIGHT: A STORY OF MURDER AND INDIGENOUS JUSTICE IN EARLY AMERICA by Nicole Eustace (commercially available AUDIO through booksellers or local libraries)

On the eve of a major treaty conference between Iroquois leaders and European colonists in the distant summer of 1722, two White fur traders attacked an Indigenous hunter and left him for dead near Conestoga, Pennsylvania. Though virtually forgotten today, this act of brutality set into motion a remarkable series of criminal investigations and cross-cultural negotiations that challenged the definition of justice in early America

ALL THAT SHE CARRIED: THE JOURNEY OF ASHLEY’S SACK, A BLACK FAMILY KEEPSAKE by Tiya Miles (commercially available AUDIO through booksellers or local libraries)

A renowned historian traces the life of a single object handed down through three generations of Black women to craft an extraordinary testament to people who are left out of the archives.

Translated Literature Finalists:

THE TWILIGHT ZONE by Nona Fernández and Natasha Wimmer (DB 103591)

A preoccupied man arrives at an opposition magazine office, introducing himself as a member of the dictator’s secret police force who is ready to talk. A journalist grabs a tape recorder and must confront her own past as she listens to his disturbing revelations. Translated from the 2016 Spanish edition. Violence and strong language. 2021.

WINTER IN SOKCHO by Elisa Shua Dusapin and Aneesa Abbas Higgins (commercially available PRINT through booksellers or local libraries)

It’s winter in Sokcho, a tourist town on the border between South and North Korea. The cold slows everything down. Bodies are red and raw, the fish turn venomous, beyond the beach guns point out from the North’s watchtowers. A young French Korean woman works as a receptionist in a tired guesthouse. One evening, an unexpected guest arrives: a French cartoonist determined to find inspiration in this desolate landscape.

PEACH BLOSSOM PARADISE by Ge Fei and Canaan Morse (commercially available PRINT through booksellers or local libraries)

In 1898 reformist intellectuals in China persuaded the young emperor that it was time to transform his sclerotic empire into a prosperous modern state. The Hundred Days’ Reform that followed was a moment of unprecedented change and extraordinary hope—brought to an abrupt end by a bloody military coup. Dashed expectations would contribute to the revolutionary turn that Chinese history would soon take, leading in time to the deaths of millions.

WHEN WE CEASE TO UNDERSTAND THE WORLD by Benjamín Labatut and Adrian Nathan West (commercially available AUDIO through booksellers or local libraries)

When We Cease to Understand the World is a book about the complicated links between scientific and mathematical discovery, madness, and destruction. Fritz Haber, Alexander Grothendieck, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger – these are some of the luminaries into whose troubled lives Benjamín Labatut thrusts the listener, showing us how they grappled with

the most profound questions of existence. They have strokes of unparalleled genius, alienate friends and lovers, descend into isolation and insanity. Some of their discoveries reshape human life for the better; others pave the way to chaos and unimaginable suffering. The lines are never clear. At a breakneck pace and with a wealth of disturbing detail, Labatut uses the imaginative resources of fiction to tell the stories of the scientists and mathematicians who expanded our notions of the possible

PLANET OF CLAY by Samar Yazbek and Leri Price (commercially available PRINT through booksellers or local libraries)

Rima, a young girl from Damascus, longs to walk, to be free to follow the will of her feet, but instead is perpetually constrained. Rima finds refuge in a fantasy world full of colored crayons, secret planets, and The Little Prince, reciting passages of the Qur’an like a mantra as everything and everyone around her is blown to bits. Since Rima hardly ever speaks, people think she’s crazy, but she is no fool―the madness is in the battered city around her. One day while taking a bus through Damascus, a soldier opens fire, and her mother is killed. Rima, wounded, is taken to a military hospital before her brother leads her to the besieged area of Ghouta―where, between bombings, she writes her story.

Young People’s Literature Finalists:

LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB by Malinda Lo (DB 104015)

1954. McCarthyism and the Red Scare are genuine threats to Lily’s family; her father is already at risk of deportation despite his valid citizenship. Lily, who is Chinese American, could lose everything just for dating anyone white–let alone another girl–but she could lose herself if she isn’t true to her feelings. Includes supplemental material. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.

THE LEGEND OF AUNTIE PO by Shing Yin Khor (commercially available PRINT through booksellers or local libraries)

Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman’s daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan–reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch.

TOO BRIGHT TO SEE by Kyle Lukoff (commercially available AUDIO through booksellers or local libraries)

It’s the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old Bug’s best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn’t particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Besides, there’s something more important to worry about: A ghost is haunting Bug’s eerie old house in rural Vermont…and maybe haunting Bug in particular. As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of who this ghost is and what they’re trying to say, an altogether different truth comes to light–Bug is transgender.

REVOLUTION IN OUR TIME: THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY’S PROMISE TO THE PEOPLE by Kekla Magoon (commercially available AUDIO through booksellers or local libraries)

In this comprehensive, inspiring, and all-too-relevant history of the Black Panther Party, Kekla Magoon introduces readers to the Panthers’ community activism, grounded in the concept of self-defense, which taught Black Americans how to protect and support themselves in a country that treated them like second-class citizens. For too long the Panthers’ story has been a footnote to the civil rights movement rather than what it was: a revolutionary socialist movement that drew thousands of members—mostly women—and became the target of one of the most sustained repression efforts ever made by the U.S. government against its own citizens.

ME (MOTH) by Amber McBride (commercially available AUDIO through booksellers or local libraries)

Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted. Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she, too, will discover the history she carries in her bones.


Poetry is also a category for the awards, but unfortunately do not have any of the titles in our collection. You can explore that, and the full long lists here: https://www.nationalbook.org/awards-prizes/national-book-awards-2021/?cat=fiction