CELEBRATE WITH PRIDE

Pride month is celebrated each year during the month of June. The first Pride march was held in New York City on June 28, 1970, on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Since then, this single day has grown into a nationwide, month-long series of events celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. Read more about Pride Month on the Library of Congress website: https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/ and mark this month yourself by checking out one of these Pride books by and about LGBTQIA+ individuals:

FICTION

LESS by Andrew Sean Greer (DB 88794, LB 10273, BR 22198)
A failed novelist turning fifty is invited to his ex-boyfriend’s wedding. Instead of attending, he decides to accept every other invitation he has received, even if it means traveling the world for random, odd literary events. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Pulitzer Prize for fiction, 2018. 2017.

LIAR’S DICTIONARY by Eley Williams (DB 103312, LB 13379)
Peter Winceworth, Victorian lexicographer, is toiling away on Swansby’s multivolume Encyclopaedic Dictionary, but boredom leads him to insert fictitious entries. In the present day, Mallory, a young intern employed by the publisher, is tasked with uncovering these fake words before the work is digitized. Unrated. 2021.

HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by TJ Klune (DB 98951)
As a case worker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, Linus Baker spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. He is unexpectedly given a highly classified assignment: travel to a remote island orphanage where six dangerous children reside. Some strong language. 2020.

MEMORIAL by Bryan Washington (DB 101143)
Japanese American chef, Mike, and African American daycare teacher, Benson, begin reevaluating their stale relationship after Mike departs for Japan to visit his dying father and Benson is suddenly stuck with Mike’s mom, who becomes an unconventional roommate. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. 2020.

GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER by Bernadine Evaristo (DB 98756)
Twelve characters lead vastly different lives in modern Britain. From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, they all intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class. Unrated. Booker Prize. 2019.

GUNCLE by Steven Rowley (DB 103560)
It’s been years since Patrick O’Hara left behind the life of a sitcom star for retirement in Palm Springs. Now a family tragedy has left him in charge of his niece and nephew. While he has always loved being Gay Uncle Patrick, this new responsibility is overwhelming. Unrated. 2021.

NONFICTION

QUEER HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES by Michael Bronski (DB 00573)
Using numerous primary documents and literature, as well as social histories, takes the reader through the centuries, from the American Revolution’s radical challenging of sex and gender roles, to the violent and liberating 19th century, to the transformative social justice movements of the 20th century. A QUEER HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is not so much about queer history as it is about all American history–and why it should matter to both LGBTQIA+ people and heterosexuals alike. Some strong language and explicit descriptions of sex.

HERE FOR IT: OR, HOW TO SAVE YOUR SOUL IN AMERICA: ESSAYS by Eric R. Thomas (DB 98878)
A collection of essays in which the author reflects on his experiences reconciling his Christianity with his sexuality, the exhaustion of code-switching, gaining accidental internet fame, and covering the 2016 election and its aftermath. He reexamines the meaning of “normal” and discusses how to care about an increasingly bleak future. Strong language. 2020.

SISSY: A COMING-OF-GENDER STORY by Jacob Tobia (DB 94505)
Tobia discusses their difficulties with a binary gender system while growing up as someone who did not fit the stereotypical mold for masculinity. Tobia seeks to discount the notion that all individuals can be easily sorted into the categories of “men” and “women”. Strong language and descriptions of sex. 2019.

UNTAMED by Glennon Doyle (DB 98981, LB 13258)
The author of CARRY ON, WARRIOR (DB 87208) and LOVE WARRIOR (DB 85522) suggests that trusting one’s inner voice and ignoring the world’s expectations can lead to joy and peace. She speaks of her own experiences learning to listen to herself at key moments and reclaim her true, untamed self. Strong language. Bestseller. 2020.

TOMORROW WILL BE DIFFERENT: LOVE, LOSS, AND THE FIGHT FOR TRANS EQUALITY by Sarah McBride (DB 90649)
Activist author discusses her journey as a teenager struggling with gender identity, her marriage to fellow trans individual Andy, her commitment to advocacy, and more. Examines issues such as bathroom access and healthcare, political milestones, and the historical context of the transgender movement. Bestseller. 2018.

Happy Pride Month, and happy reading!

MAY 2022 BOOK CLUB TITLE ANNOUNCED!

Please join us on Thursday, May 19 at 7 p.m. (CST) for our Book Club discussion of RULES FOR VISITING by Jessica Francis Kane (DB 95255 and BR 22927)

We host our Book Club meetings via toll free conference call. All you need to participate is a telephone!

To register, please call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605; or email us at tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov.

RULES FOR VISITING is available by mail as a digital cartridge. It is also available to download on BARD.

Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge, or if you will download it from BARD.

We ask that everyone remember the following:

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

RULES FOR VISITING byJessica Francis Kane

When May Attaway is granted leave from her job as a university gardener, she decides to try to reconnect with friends she has neglected. One by one, she seeks out four of them, and her outward quest for connection also becomes an inward journey of self-discovery. Some strong language. (DB 95255 and BR 22927)

We look forward to having you join us on May 19!

NLS Aspiring Leaders Internship Program Accepting Applications for Summer 2022

The National Library Service (NLS) is now accepting applications through March 1, 2022, for the Summer 2022 NLS Aspiring Leaders Internship Program.

Established through the National Library for the Blind Endowment, this paid internship offers legally blind individuals the opportunity to work at NLS in areas that support services for the blind, including collections building, program delivery, and business oversight and management. Interns will gain valuable experience and explore potential career options while being guided through mentorships and developmental activities. The program has spring, summer, and fall sessions, between ten to twelve weeks each session. All interns work remotely.

Application Process

Currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students and those who have graduated within the past five years from an accredited two-year or four-year college or university are eligible to apply. In addition, applicants must be:

  • US citizens
  • legally blind
  • able to work remotely

A complete application package includes a cover letter expressing interest, a federal-style resume, a recent official or unofficial transcript, and an application form that is completed online.

Applicants interested in the Summer 2022 session should submit a completed application by March 1.

To learn more about the program and the application process, visit www.loc.gov/nls/about/internship-program

For more information, please contact: Erica Vaughns, Head, NLS Administrative Services, NLSInternships@loc.gov

February is Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month with these contemporary fiction and nonfiction books centered on Black voices, experiences, struggles, triumphs, and joy.

FICTION

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead (DB 85212, BR 21819, LB 08943)
Cora, a third-generation slave, flees the plantation where she lives. She escapes with a man who claims to know how to get to the Underground Railroad. Once there, she discovers it is an actual railroad, and every stop shows her moments of horror and joy. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex.

IN WEST MILLS by De’Shawn Charles Winslow (DB 96796)
The lives of Azalea “Knot” Centre and her best friend, Otis Lee Loving, are intertwined through their lives. Otis Lee and his wife Pep help Knot hide her pregnancy and deliver the baby. Later their children become involved. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex.

GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN by Talia Hibbert (DB 97496)
Chloe has decided it’s time to stop letting her chronic illness keep her from living her life. She makes a list of things she wants to experience, but needs a teacher. Red, the sexy artist who works as her building superintendent, is just the man to help her. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex.

THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett (DB 99791, LB 13035)
Desiree Vignes and her daughter return home to Louisiana in 1968, fourteen years after Desiree and her identical twin sister Stella ran away. The sisters ended up on different paths, and as Desiree struggles with the racial tensions of her hometown, Stella lives her life passing as white. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex.

TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM by Yaa Gyasi (DB 100528, BR 23443, LB 13019)
Sixth-year PhD candidate Gifty searches for the answers to addiction in the mice she works with, hoping to understand what tore her family apart. Even as she leans on science to understand, she longs for the evangelical faith she was raised in. Strong language and violence.

DEACON KING KONG by James McBride (DB 98819, LB 12938)
1969. On a cloudy September morning, Deacon Cuffy Lambkin–known as Sportcoat to his friends–walks into the plaza of a Brooklyn project and shoots the local drug dealer point blank in the face. His reasons for this uncharacteristic act of violence slowly unfold. Strong language.

IT’S NOT ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE by Terry McMillan (DB 98947, LB 12948)
On the eve of her sixty-seventh birthday, Loretha Curry has a booming beauty-supply empire, a gaggle of lifelong friends, and a husband whose moves still surprise her. She certainly doesn’t think her best days are behind her. But an unexpected loss turns her world upside down. Strong language.

THE PROPOSAL by Jasmine Guillory (DB 92335, BR 22608)
When Nik Paterson receives an unwanted wedding proposal via the Jumbotron at a Dodgers game, she’s rescued by Carlos Ibarra and his sister. This leads to a friends-with-benefits arrangement between Nik and Carlos, but the pair have to decide if they are willing to try for more. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.

NONFICTION

HOW THE WORD IS PASSED: A RECKONING WITH THE HISTORY OF SLAVERY ACROSS AMERICA by Clint Smith (DB 103908 and LB 13361)
The author tours the monuments and landmarks that tell the story of slavery’s central role in shaping America’s collective history and culture. He explores historical plantations, prisons, cemeteries, holidays, and entire neighborhoods, revealing their ties to this painful aspect of America’s past and present. Unrated.

LIFE IN MOTION: AN UNLIKELY BALLERINA by Misty Copeland (DB 78843)
Ballerina recounts her experiences as the first African American soloist for the American Ballet Theatre in New York City. Explains her status as a latecomer to dancing at the age of thirteen and details her personal struggles with food, racism, and self-doubts.

YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED TO LACEY: CRAZY STORIES ABOUT RACISM by Amber Ruffin (DB 102254)
A writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers and host of The Amber Ruffin Show and her sister relay absurd anecdotes of everyday experiences of racism they have encountered. Strong language and some violence.

FOUR HUNDRED SOULS: A COMMUNITY HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICA, 1619-2019 (DB 102425)
A “community” history of African Americans spanning the four centuries between 1619 and 2019 that contains pieces from ninety writers, each covering the span of a few years. Each period of time is explored in a variety of ways, including essays, short stories, vignettes, and polemics. Some strong language.

A PROMISED LAND by Barack Obama (DB 100966)
The first volume of Barack Obama’s presidential memoirs, recounting his journey from youth to president of the United States of America. He discusses his early aspirations, the trajectory of his political career, landmark moments of his first term, and reflections on American politics. Strong language.

UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A BLACK MAN by Emmanuel Acho (DB 103446)
The host of a similarly titled viral video series discusses the concepts of systemic racism in America, white privilege, cultural appropriation, and more. The author also examines the need for compassionate and understanding discussion when exploring such fraught yet essential subjects. Includes supplemental material. Unrated.

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates (DB 82201, BR 21183, LB 08280)
Columnist and editor for the Atlantic Monthly examines the history of contentious race relations in America. He reflects on the ways racial inequality plays out in his personal past and in the twenty-first century, and imagines the world his teenage son may inherit. Some strong language.

BLACK FORTUNES: THE STORY OF THE FIRST SIX AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO SURVIVED SLAVERY AND BECAME MILLIONAIRES by Shomari Wills (DBC 17809)
Nearly all the unforgettable personalities in this amazing collection were often attacked, demonized, or swindled out of their wealth. Black Fortunes illuminates as never before the birth of the black business titan. Some violence.

New Braille Magazines Added in January 2022

It is a new year, with five new braille magazines now available for subscription. Here they are:

CRICKET (CRI1)
Stories, poems, and articles by internationally known authors, plus songs, jokes, and crafts. For ages nine through fourteen. 9 issues per year.

DELL SUNDAY CROSSWORDS (DEL1)
Enjoy more of your favorite themed puzzles! Featuring Sunday-size puzzles, Dell Sunday Crosswords is the perfect way to hone your solving skills while matching wits with today’s top constructors. 4 issues per year.

INTERWEAVE KNITS (INT1)
Interweave Knits Magazine inspires and informs the modern knitter with projects and articles that celebrate the handmade life. 4 issues per year. Note: this magazine will be available soon, but you can subscribe now to receive issues as they come available.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS (NGW1)
National Geographic Kids is a children’s magazine published by the National Geographic Society. 10 issues per year.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED FOR KIDS (SPK1)
Sports news and articles for ages eight through thirteen. Features sports personalities, events, and cards; youths who are excelling in athletics; and a regular column by youths discussing controversial sports-related issues. 12 issues per year. Note: this magazine will be available soon, but you can subscribe now to receive issues as they come available.

If you would like to subscribe to any of these braille magazines, please call us at 1-800-252-9605 or 512-463-5458, or send an email to tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov. We will be happy to help.

New Year, New You

2022 is going to be your year! We will help you keep your New Year’s resolution to become your own best friend and better yourself with this selection of titles on how to improve your perception, habits, and relationships.

RADICAL RESILIENCY by Steve Welker (DBC 05871)
After the authors were severely injured in an auto accident in 1994 they built a new life with their twins, despite blindness and numerous physical challenges. Now a motivational speaker and professional counselor, the Welkers teach how to become “radically resilient” in the face of adversity.

THINK LIKE A MONK by Jay Shetty (DB 102147)
Podcast host presents life lessons he learned while following the path of Vedic monks and then coaching others on the concepts of well-being, living life with a purpose, and mindfulness. Topics covered include overcoming negativity, learning from others, stopping overthinking, and the importance of kindness.

THE HAPPINESS PROJECT by Gretchen Rubin (BR 18710 and DB 70275)
Author shares her personal reflections on a monthly plan to improve her quality of life by the end of one year. Analyzes missteps, challenges, and successes in reaching her goals and shares the often unexpected lessons she learned.

GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION by Brene Brown (DB 76888)
The author of DARING GREATLY (DB 75619), a research professor who has studied shame and fear, emphasizes the importance of loving yourself. Discusses ten guideposts and daily practices for embracing life, releasing stress, and resisting the temptation to overdo. Some strong language.

REINVENTING THE BODY, RESURRECTING THE SOUL by Deepak Chopra (DB 69980)
Alternative-medicine advocate Chopra offers ten steps to connect body, mind, and soul. Uses his patients’ case studies to illustrate lifestyle transformations. Explains ways to achieve deeper awareness, focus on relationships, and transcend obstacles.

ATOMIC HABITS by James Clear (DB 92857)
An expert on habit formation reveals practical strategies for creating good habits, breaking bad ones, and mastering the tiny behavioral changes that lead to positive results. Shares inspiring true stories while drawing on ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience. Some strong language.

YOU CAN IF YOU THINK YOU CAN by Larry P. Johnson (BR 18602, DBC 04881 and DT 06967)
Motivational speaker and author Larry P. Johnson offers his advice on overcoming adversity. Johnson outlines his step-by-step approach to achieving one’s dream goals.

MINDFULNESS SOLUTION by Ronald D. Siegel (DB 71957)
Psychology professor maintains that practicing mindfulness can help us lead more enjoyable lives, while avoiding uncomfortable situations increases problems and misery. Suggests ways to identify bad habits and provides exercises, meditations, and techniques to benefit the mind and body.

RESILIENT: HOW TO GROW AN UNSHAKABLE CORE OF CALM, STRENGTH, AND HAPPINESS by Rick Hanson (DB 91235)
A psychologist gives advice on how to develop inner strength, based on the concept of neuroplasticity. Discusses how resilience is not simply enduring terrible things, but it’s also coping with everyday challenges like work, raising a family, dealing with stress and health problems, healing old pain, and more.

MINDFUL PATH TO SELF-COMPASSION by Christopher K. Germer (DB 73040)
Clinical psychologist discusses the Buddhist concept of mindfulness meditation–a technique to focus on and accept one’s feelings and thoughts, bring harmony into one’s life, and improve relationships. Uses case studies to illustrate methods of becoming self-compassionate and developing the ability to treat oneself and others with loving-kindness.

Classics with a Twist

The security of all things familiar can be a steady rock in uncertain times, but exploring new things outside your comfort zone is also important for true growth. Find an intriguing balance with these diverse titles that are inspired by or expand upon classic novels.

ON BEAUTY by Zadie Smith (DB 61204)
Inspired by E.M. Forster’s “Howard’s End.” Philandering liberal Englishman Howard Belsey teaches art at a New England college. When Howard’s biracial son Jerome falls in love with the daughter of the conservative Trinidadian Monty Kipps, Howard is dismayed. But Howard’s and Monty’s wives become friends. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.

AYESHA AT LAST by Uzma Jalaluddin (DB 95458)
In this twenty-first-century Muslim retelling of “Pride and Prejudice,” Ayesha is lonely but does not want an arranged marriage. She meets Khalid, who is smart and handsome, but also conservative and judgmental. Ayesha is torn when Khalid becomes engaged to her flighty young cousin.

THE PENELOPIAD by Margaret Atwood (BR 16454 and DB 63014)
Retelling of Homer’s “The Odyssey.” Penelope is in Hades recalling the events of her life in this contemporary retelling of the ancient Greek tale of the faithful wife of Odysseus and her twelve hanged maids.

THE INNOCENTS by Francesca Segal (BR 20247 and DB 77527)
Retelling of “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton. London. Adam Newman is engaged to his long-time girlfriend Rachel Gilbert and works at her father’s firm. When Rachel’s cousin Ellie returns from New York, Adam is drawn to her and her scandalous reputation. But Adam’s tight-knit Jewish community impedes his infatuation. Some strong language.

THE ART OF FIELDING by Chad Harbach (DB 73791)
Inspired by Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.” Henry Skrimshander is a baseball star at his small Wisconsin college, but his life goes awry after he throws a wayward ball. Meanwhile, Henry’s gay roommate has a risky affair with the school president, Guert Affenlight. Guert’s long-lost daughter returns home after a divorce. Strong language.

BOY, SNOW, BIRD by Helen Oyeyemi (LB 07864 and DB 78650)
Retelling of “Snow White” by The Brothers Grimm. 1950s. A woman named Boy Novak flees Manhattan for suburban Massachusetts. There, she falls in love and marries Arturo Whitman, father to six-year-old Snow. When Boy and Arturo’s own daughter, Bird, is born, it is revealed that Arturo and Snow are African Americans passing for white. Some violence.

BRAZIL by John Updike (DB 38064)
A variation on the famous legend “Tristan and Isolde” in which Tristan is an uneducated black youth who meets Isabel, a convent-trained blond girl, on the beach in Rio. Convinced their fate is to be together, the young lovers marry and run away. Isabel’s diplomat father brings her home and sends her to college. Reunited two years later, the couple embarks on a life of passion that leads to tragedy. Strong language, violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex.

FRANKENSTEIN IN BAGHDAD by Ahmad Saadawi (DB 90221)
Retelling of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” In US-occupied Baghdad, scavenger Hadi stitches together found human body parts as a message to the government that the dead need proper burial. After the corpse disappears, however, a string of murders occurs, and witnesses report a monster who cannot be killed. Some violence and some strong language.

THE GOLDEN HOUSE by Salman Rushdie (DB 89015)
Inspired by Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire of Vanities.” A filmmaker insinuates himself into the Greenwich Village mansion of the Golden family. Nero Golden is an eccentric billionaire with three adult sons: alcoholic Petya, artist Apu, and D, whose mother is known only to Nero. Nero’s new wife, Russian expat Vasilisa, enters the household. Some violence and some descriptions of sex.

HOME FIRE by Kamila Shamsie (DB 89016)
Retelling of “Antigone” by Sophocles. After years in London taking care of her siblings, Parvaiz and Aneeka, Isma gets a chance to study in America. While there, she meets Eamonn, son of a powerful London politician. When headstrong Parvaiz runs off to Syria to become a jihadi, Aneeka turns to Eamonn for help. Violence and some strong language.

JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye (DB 84049)
In a reimagining of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre,” orphaned Jane Steele escapes to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law, Jane discovers her childhood home has a new master who seeks a governess, and she takes the position incognito. Violence, explicit descriptions of sex, and some strong language.

KILLING COMMENDATORE by Haruki Murakami (DB 92509)
Inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” After finding himself abandoned by his wife, a portraitist hides away in the mountain retreat of famous painter Tomohiko Amada. While exploring the house, he discovers an unseen painting that opens a circle of mysterious circumstances that he must solve. Unrated.

MARCH by Geraldine Brooks (DB 64617)
Spin-off of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.” Reverend March leaves Connecticut to become an army chaplain during the Civil War. An assignment to teach freed slaves on a plantation changes March’s view of humanity while hardship hurts his family. Strong language and some violence.

THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE (BR 17799 and DB 66656)
Retelling of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Wisconsin, 1970s. Gar and Trudy Sawtelle raise an intuitive and intelligent dog breed on their farm. One dog, Almondine, can communicate with the Sawtelle’s mute son Edgar. After Gar’s brother arrives, Gar dies, and fourteen-year-old Edgar flees into the forest with three of the dogs. Some strong language.

WHEN SHE WOKE by Hillary Jordan (DBC 08668)
A dystopian reimagining of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,” set in a future theocratic America where rather than being imprisoned and rehabilitated, criminals are punished by being “chromed”—having their skin color genetically altered to signal their crime—and released into the general population to survive as best they can. Some descriptions of sex and some violence.

We hope you find something newly familiar within this selection. Happy reading!

Holiday Reads

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and holiday music is suddenly blaring through every radio station, convenience store, and shopping mall. That’s right, December has arrived. To welcome the season, we’ve gathered some of our favorite titles in a few genres. So, gather your coziest blanket and warmest beverage and get into the holiday mood with these novels.

Festive Favorites:

STORY OF HANUKKAH by Amy Ehrlich (BR 08929 and DB 33242)
Retells the biblical story that is celebrated by Jewish people in the feast of Hanukkah.

SEVEN SPOOLS OF THREAD by Angela Shelf Medearis (BR 13078 and DB 97859)
Tale about seven argumentative Ashanti brothers, who are given the seemingly impossible task of turning spools of silk thread into gold. They join together to solve the problem, thus exhibiting the spirit of Kwanzaa.

LETTERS FROM FATHER CHRISTMAS by J.R.R. Tolkien (DB 63808)
A collection of Christmas letters penned by J.R.R. Tolkien and signed as Father Christmas that were sent to Tolkien’s children from 1920-1943. Each recapped activities of the preceding year at the North Pole, including reindeer running amok and the North Polar Bear breaking the moon into four pieces.

MR. DICKENS AND HIS CAROL by Samantha Silva (LB 09285 and DB 87973)
Depressed about the failure of his most recent book, feeling pressured by his publisher to write a Christmas book, and worried over his family’s financial stability, Charles Dickens seeks refuge in nightly walks. On one, he meets Eleanor Lovejoy, who takes him on a Scrooge-like journey.

Hallmark Holiday:

ROYAL HOLIDAY by Jasmine Guillory (BR 22879 and DB 96768)
When her daughter gets a job styling a member of the British royal family for the holidays, Vivian Forest jumps at the chance to travel with her. She is intrigued by Malcolm Hudson, a private secretary to the Queen, but Vivian is supposed to return home after Christmas. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.

TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS by Jenny Bayliss (DB 101994)
The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn’t exactly brimming with dating prospects, but thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner’s best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. With twelve dates with twelve different men, she hopes for love by Christmas. Unrated.

WINTER NIGHTS by Francis Ray (DB 52196)
Compilation of three short African American Christmas novels. In “Until Christmas” Samantha becomes a housekeeper for Principal Rawlings and his twins. “Kwanzaa Angel” finds Erin being reintroduced to an old high school crush. In “Round Midnight” radio talk-show host Summer falls in love with her director. Some descriptions of sex.

Family Fiascos:

SEVEN DAYS OF US by Francesca Hornak (DB 89399)
The Birch family are under the same roof at Christmas for the first time in years, including Olivia, a doctor usually off saving the world. When Olivia is told she must stay in quarantine for a week, it means she and her family are stuck together for the duration. Some strong language.

CHRISTMAS STORY by Jean Shepherd (DBC 13520)
This edition of A Christmas Story gathers in one hilarious volume the gems of autobiographical humor that Jean Shepherd drew upon to create this enduring film. The pieces that comprise A Christmas Story coalesce in a magical fashion to become an irresistible piece of Americana, quite the equal of the film in its ability to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.

SKIPPING CHRISTMAS by John Grisham (BR 13636, DB 52929, and LB 04959)
Tax accountant Luther Krank calculates that a Caribbean cruise will cost less than what he and his wife, Nora, spent celebrating the holidays last year. Since daughter Blair is in the Peace Corps, they plan to skip Christmas. Luther, however, doesn’t anticipate the town’s reaction. Some strong language.

Murder, Mystery, and More:

FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK by Georgette Heyer (DBC 11081 and LB 07187)
Locals claim it is haunted and refuse to put a single toe past the front door, but to siblings Peter, Celia, and Margaret, the Priory is nothing more than a rundown estate inherited from their late uncle and the perfect setting for a much-needed holiday. But when a murder victim is discovered in the Priory halls, the once unconcerned trio begins to fear that the ghostly rumors are true, and they are not alone after all. Some strong language and some violence.

MISTLETOE AND MURDER by Carola Dunn (DB 73122)
England, 1923. Daisy Dalrymple, her husband Alec, and other relatives spend Christmas at Brockdene, Lord Westmoor’s Cornish estate, which Daisy is writing about. They are hosted not by Westmoor but by his poor Indian relations who reside there. Daisy and Alec investigate when a visiting Indian cleric is murdered.

IN A HOLIDAZE by Christina Lauren (DB 101089)
With her life a mess, Maelyn Jones is looking forward to spending one last Christmas at her family’s cabin in Utah. On her way, she is in an accident, and wakes to find herself in a time loop where she relives the same holiday over and over. Descriptions of sex and some strong language.

Nonfiction Noel Narratives:

CHRISTMAS MEMORY by Truman Capote (DB 30913)
A late November morning and the exclamation “Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather,” conjure up for Truman Capote the memory of a beloved cousin, Miss Sook Faulk, and Queenie, a little rat terrier “who has survived distemper and two rattlesnake bites.”  They make fruit- cake on this, their last Christmas together.

MIRACLE ON 10TH STREET AND OTHER CHRISTMAS WRITINGS by Madeleine L’Engle (DB 63705)
Selections from forty years of the award-winning author’s reflections on Christmas themes conveyed in stories, poems, essays, letters, and journal entries. Topics follow the Christmas season: Advent, Incarnation, Epiphany, Glorious Mystery, Redemption, and Celebration. The title piece recalls a past Christmas when L’Engle feared her daughter had leukemia.