Louise Glück wins the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020

Louise Glück is today considered one of the most accomplished contemporary poets in the world. She is lauded for her ability to mold experiences of isolation and darkness into aesthetic gold. This year, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (2020) “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.” She also won a Pulitzer Prize for her poem The Wild Iris; and has earned numerous other prizes and high praise for her poetry, short fiction, and essays. Glück is currently writer-in-residence at Yale University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You can find some of her following poetry collections in BARD.

Poems 1962-2012 by Louise Glück. DB 79850
Compilation of collections of poetry previously published by a former Poet Laureate of the United States. Individual collections’ varied themes include nature, beginnings, and death. Contains Wild Iris, winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. 2012

The Wild Iris by Louise Glück. DB 37600
This collection contains a series of “Matins” and “Vespers,” in which the poet appears to address God directly in lines such as “You must see it is useless to us, this silence that promotes belief you must be all things.” Gluck uses another voice to communicate with her husband about the garden they tend together one summer. And in some poems, she questions human nature, including her own. 1992.

Meadowlands by Louise Glück. DB 43058
A collection of poems that interweaves vignettes from The Odyssey with the story of a dissolving modern marriage. Uses Homer’s characters metaphorically to portray aspects of contemporary family life. Meditates on compulsion and choice and on freedom and restraint.

The Triumph of Achilles by Louise Glück. BR 06473 (1 volume of hard-copy braille)
Collection of eloquent and fiercely honest poems that deal with death, life, loss, and the sense of doom at the borders of erotic experience.

REACH of Plano online meetings

REACH of Plano will be having two Zoom meetings, one this week and one next week.

The first meeting will be a discussion of the book Being Heumann, an autobiography by disability rights activist Judy Heumann. The discussion will take place on Friday, April 24th, from 11 am – noon.

The second meeting will be about COVID-19 resources for Texas residents and individuals who reside in Collin County. Representatives from REACH of Plano, the Talking Book Program, and the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities will each present information on a variety of topics of interest to people with disabilities and health conditions during the current pandemic. This meeting will take place on Thursday, April 30th, at 1 pm.

Please send an e-mail to Julie Espinoza at jespinoza@reachcils.org if you are interested in one or both of these meetings.

LAMBDA Award Finalists 2020

Since 1988, the Lambda Literary Awards, or the Lammys, have been awarded to the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender writing. Here are the finalists for 2020 that are in the TBP collection.

Lesbian Fiction


Carolina De Robertis

DB 96434

Mostly Dead Things

Kristen Arnett

DB 95794

On Swift Horses

Shannon Pufahl

DB 97348


Nicole Dennis-Benn

DB 96109

Red at the Bone

Jacqueline Woodson

DB 96652

Stay and Fight

Madeline Ffitch

DB 97166

Gay Fiction


Jean-Baptiste Del Amo

Translated from the French by Frank Wynne

DB 97193

In West Mills

De’Shawn Charles Winslow

DB 96796

Lot: Stories

Bryan Washington

DB 94624

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Ocean Vuong

DB 95459

Bisexual Fiction

Big Familia: A Novel

Tomas Moniz


The Man Who Saw Everything

Deborah Levy

DB 97314

The Remainder

Alia Trabucco Zerán

Translated by Sophie Hughes


Transgender Nonfiction

Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States

Samantha Allen

DB 96338

LGBTQ Nonfiction

In the Dream House: A Memoir

Carmen Maria Machado

DB 97881

When Brooklyn Was Queer: A History

Hugh Ryan

DB 95686

Beloved African American Novelist Ernest J. Gaines dies at 86

Author Earnest J. Gaines passed away on Tuesday, November 6th at his home in Louisiana. He was the author of many novels, the most famous being The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. He won the National Book Critics Award in 1993 for his novel A Lesson Before Dying.

Gaines’ work portrays the struggles and experiences of African Americans in the United States from slavery-times to the civil rights era. Gaines received many awards “including a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was named a MacArthur Fellow — the coveted ‘genius grant’– in 1993. President Bill Clinton awarded Gaines the National Humanities Medal in 2000. In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts” reports NPR. Ernest J. Gaines work is available for download on BARD.


A Louisiana ex-slave recounts her life from the end of the Civil War to the mid-twentieth-century civil rights movement. Also includes a speech by Sojourner Truth, a short story by Pearl S. Buck, and related memoirs, poems, and essays. Some strong language. 1971.


When a black man kills and shoots a Cajun farmer in rural Louisiana, a young white woman rallies the other black men in the area to his defense. The “gathering of old men” face the local sheriff–each with an identical shotgun, each claiming to be guilty. Meanwhile, across town the youngest brother of the murdered man argues with his father against organizing a lynch mob to take revenge against the old men. Some strong language. For junior and senior high and older readers.

IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE                 DB 12116

In a small, rural, black community in the deep South, a confrontation occurs between the Reverend Phillip Martin, an important civil rights leader, and a callow, young, unkempt stranger, who brutally exposes the minister’s buried past. Some strong language.

A LESSON BEFORE DYING              DB 36694

Bayonne, Louisiana, 1948. A young, naive black man has been sentenced to death for the murder of a white man–a murder that he did not commit. His attorney argues that he is too stupid to plan a crime. “Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair…” Galled by this defense, Jefferson’s godmother, Miss Emma, turns to Grant, the plantation schoolteacher, to teach Jefferson to die like a man. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.


Brady Sims pulls out a gun in a courtroom and shoots his own son, who has just been convicted of robbery and murder. A cub reporter learns that Sims had been tasked with keeping the black children of Bayonne, Louisiana, in line to protect them from the unjust world. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2017.

Staff Pick – John – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE by David Finkel, DB 77869

Texas Center for the Book, via Read Across Texas, is encouraging Texans to use books to engage in tough but important conversations about what happens when veterans come home. More information about Read Across Texas is at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/readacrosstexas.

To help launch Read Across Texas, the Texas State Library hosted best-selling author Ben Fountain for a discussion on his critically acclaimed work, BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK. (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/readacrosstexasresources.)

In addition, the Talking Book Program’s Phone-in Book Club tackled YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE, by Siobhan Fallon (DT 07103).

Fountain and Fallon use fiction to explore what happens when soldiers return stateside. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel offers an intense but moving nonfiction account of veterans coming home in THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE (DB 77869).

Finkel chronicles the lives of soldiers from the 2-16 Infantry Battalion readjusting to civilian life—and families readjusting to soldiers. As the soldiers battle the physical and emotional aftereffects of war, we develop a deeper understanding of the price soldiers pay for serving their country—and a fuller accounting of the debt we owe.

Discover why Ben Fountain calls THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE “one of the best and truest books I have ever read.”

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE by David Finkel (DB 77869):

NLS Annotation: Journalist who was embedded with the U.S. Army in Iraq describes what life was like for some of the veterans from THE GOOD SOLDIERS (DB 70623) after they returned stateside. Portrays issues the men and their families dealt with, including suicide, PTSD, and financial strains.  Violence and strong language.  2013.

Listen to an October 2013 NPR interview with author David Finkel:


Dream Works Pictures is currently producing a movie adaption of THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. Jason Hall, who wrote the screenplay for “American Sniper,” is both its screenwriter and director.  Due for release in 2017, information about the movie version of THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE is here:


Richard Adams, Author of “Watership Down,” Dies at age 96

Watership Down, first published in 1972, became one of the bestselling children’s books of all time and was made into an animated film in 1978. The book, which critics have credited with redefining anthropomorphic fiction with its naturalistic depiction of the rabbits’ trials and adventures, won Adams both the Carnegie medal and the Guardian children’s prize. The following titles are available through Talking Books.


Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1990

The author of “Watership Down” (BR 2514, RD 9707) writes of growing up in the English countryside. Adams was influenced by his father, an amateur naturalist, and sprinkles his memoirs with references to the flora and fauna of his youth. Military service interrupts his studies at Oxford and alters his idyllic life as he mourns the wartime deaths of his friends. The memoirs end as young Adams meets his future wife.

DB   34326   DX   34326



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1980

Fablelike erotic story of mystery centers on Alan Deslandes, a quiet, thirtyish English bachelor who runs his father’s ceramic shop and a beautiful young German woman, Kathe, whom he impulsively marries. A  series of disturbing incidents suggest some form of evil is at work. Some strong language. Bestseller.

DB   15780   DX   15780


Title: MAIA

Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1984

A sprawling tale of Bekla, a mythical decadent empire. Beautiful Maia’s nobleman lover lends her out to pleasure other men and to spy on them. Sent out to seduce a rebel leader, Maia falls in love with the handsome renegade and must betray either her country or her heart. Sequel to “Shardik” (BR 02852).

DB   21237   DX   21237



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1977

A dramatic novel of the struggle against evil demonstrates genuine concern for animals. Two talking dogs, a terrier and a mongrel tortured in an English government-owned medical laboratory, manage to escape. With the aid of a canny fox and their animal instincts, they survive. After an irresponsible journalist declares that the animals may be carriers of the bubonic plague, an intensive and cruel manhunt for the dogs begins. Strong language.

BR   03875      DB   11620            DX   11620



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1974

In this fantasy of adventure, horror, and romance the author of “Watership Down” tells of the gigantic bear Shardik and his appearance among the Ortelgan people, to whom he was a god.

BR   02852



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                           Original Date: 1965

Twenty-four years after writing “Watership Down” (DB 35730, BR 2514), Adams now offers nineteen short stories about the lives of the rabbits since they defeated General Woundwort. Many of the stories   focus on the hero El-ahriarah, and all deal with the theme of the human enemy versus the animal.

BR   10905            DB   43864            DX   43864



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1988

A combination of historical fiction and animal fable, this book by the author of “Watership Down” tells the story of the horse Traveller and “Marse Robert,” Robert E. Lee. Told in a southern dialect, the story begins with Traveller’s life as a young colt and examines the events of the Civil War.

BR   07470 DB   28136   DX   28136



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1982

Adams, the author of “Watership Down”, and Lockley, a renowned ornithologist, collaborate on a lyrical account of their extraordinary journey through the least-explored area on earth. They describe landscapes and icescapes that exist nowhere else on earth and the brilliance of the southern lights, as well as the astounding array of animals, birds, and sea creatures.

DB   19092   DX   19092



Author: ADAMS, RICHARD, 1920-                             Original Date: 1972

This is a story of rabbits–seen through their eyes, smelling the scents of the countryside and living their terrors and triumphs. It tells of a band of rabbits who set out bravely for a new home in the English countryside. They encounter many dangers and adventures along the way, and finally make it to safety after rescuing some does who become their mates.

BR   02514    BR   10851    DB   35730   DX   35730    3            LB   03217


Gloria Naylor, Award Winning Author of “Women of Brewster Place,” Dies at Age 66

American novelist Gloria Naylor died Wednesday September 28th at 66 years of age. Her debut novel, “The Women of Brewster Place” is a best-seller and a National Book Award winner (1983), as well as a TV miniseries (1989). The following titles are available through Talking Books.

NAYLOR, GLORIA                                   Original Date: 1980
Seven women live on Brewster Placer. Each has a story that is uniquely hers but also touches the concerns of the other women of Brewster Place and of women everywhere. A perceptive commentary on the experience of black women in the United States.  National Book Award 1983.
BR   11906    DB   25314    DX   25314

Author: NAYLOR, GLORIA                                   Original Date: 1985
The affluent African-American suburban community depicted in “Linden  Hills” is the fulfillment of Luther Nedeed’s dreams. But the success  of most of its residents does little for two street-smart boys, LesterTilson and Willie Mason, whose dialogue and poetry punctuate this story about the middle-class world where they live. By the author of  American Book Award-winning “The Women of Brewster Place” Strong language.
DB   36299   DX   36299

Author: NAYLOR, GLORIA                                   Original Date: 1988
Mama Day is the aged black matriarch and medicine woman of a small island off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. Her niece “Cocoa” has left the island and is now married and living in New York. The story alternates between Mama Day and the   couple, and tells how the lure of New York and the magic of the island pull at the couple and change their relationship.
BR   07587        DB   73535      DX   73535

Author: NAYLOR, GLORIA                                  Original Date: 1992
Bailey’s Cafe, an enigmatic little 1940s eatery, Somewhere, U.S.A.  Bailey (not his real name) is the maestro who begins by telling of his love for Negro League baseball and his wife, Nadine. Then, one by one, he spins the stories of the cafe’s regulars: Mariam, an ostracized Ethiopian Jew; Sadie the wino; Iceman Jones; the recovering junkie Jesse Bell; Peaches, the nymphomaniac; and Miss Maples, a cross-dressing male.   Strong language and descriptions of sex.
DB   37586    DX   37586

Author: NAYLOR, GLORIA                                   Original Date: 1998
In this companion to “The Women of Brewster Place” (RC 25314), African American men who live in the tenement describe their lives and daily frustrations trying to make a living while coping with their women and children.  Strong language.
DB   48779    DX   48779