Maryland State Library for the Blind Podcast: NFB-NEWSLINE

Join the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Print Disabled’s podcast on Friday, February 23, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. (Central). Host Ashley Biggs will explore the amazing features and benefits of NFB-NEWSLINE, a free audio and braille information service for anyone who is blind, low-vision, deafblind, or otherwise print-disabled.

Ashley will be joined by Scott White, the Director of Sponsored Technology Programs for the National Federation of the Blind, who will share his insights and expertise on NFB-NEWSLINE and how it can enhance your access to information, entertainment, and independence.

NFB-NEWSLINE offers access to more than five hundred publications, including newspapers, magazines, breaking news sources, online international newspapers, TV listings, job listings, retail ads, and more. You can access NFB-NEWSLINE through various methods, such as the touch-tone telephone, Apple iOS app, website, or Amazon Alexa, and customize your preferences and settings. This podcast is a great opportunity for you to learn more about NFB-NEWSLINE and ask questions.

If you want to sign up for this free service, contact the Texas Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605 or, if you have a non-Texas area code, at (512) 463-5458.

Whether you are a current subscriber or a new user, you will find this podcast informative and engaging. Join us on Friday, February 23, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. (Central). The details on how to join the Zoom presentation are listed below.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Blind and Low Vision Book Characters in Honor of Louis Braille

Louis Braille, who was born on January 4, 1809, and died on January 6, 1852, was a blind French educator who developed the braille printing and writing system to make reading and writing accessible for individuals who are blind or experience low vision. Celebrate his memory this month with these books that feature characters who are blind or have low vision:

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr
DB 79182, LB 08913, BT 13561 (physical braille), BR 23326 (e-braille)

AOSAWA MURDERS by Riku Onda
DB 99103, BRG 04470 (e-braille)

ARRANGEMENT by Mary Balogh
DB 77497

DEAREST ROGUE by Elizabeth Hoyt
DB 81933

FORTUNE FAVORS THE WICKED by Theresa Romain
DB 85434

GREEK LESSONS: A NOVEL by Kang Han
DB 114737

IN THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND: A NOVEL by Edward Hoagland
DB 87210, LB 09100, BR 21809

SIGN FOR HOME: A NOVEL by Blair Fell
DB 116605, BR 24152

SONG OF THE SHANK by Jeffery Renard Allen
DB 79514

SUMMER GUEST: A NOVEL by Alison Anderson
DB 85713

SURRENDER, NEW YORK: A NOVEL by Caleb Carr
DB 86567

WHAT IS VISIBLE? by Kimberly Elkins
DB 78666, BR 20466

January is Blood Donor Month

January is National Blood Donor Month, a time when we honor the generosity of America’s blood donors and highlight the importance of donating blood regularly for those who are able to do so.

Did you know that every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood for surgeries, cancer treatments, childbirth, anemia, serious injuries, blood disorders, and more?

If you are able, consider donating blood. Below are some nonfiction books about blood for adults and children as well as one fiction book that features a blood donor who travels to a small town to donate her rare blood and finds love along the way. 

For more information: https://www.aabb.org/for-donors-patients/national-blood-donor-month

Adult Nonfiction

BLOOD: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION by Chris Cooper (DB 115447)
BLOOD MONEY: THE STORY OF LIFE, DEATH, AND PROFIT INSIDE AMERICA’S BLOOD INDUSTRY by Kathleen McLaughlin (DB 114750)
NINE PINTS: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE MONEY, MEDICINE, AND MYSTERIES OF BLOOD by Rose George (DB 94206)

Juvenile Nonfiction

BLOOD! NOT JUST A VAMPIRE DRINK by Stacy McAnulty (DB 110037) Grades Kindergarten-3
CHARLES DREW: THE INNOVATOR OF THE BLOOD BANK by Aaron Talley (DB 115453) Grades 3-6
SEEING RED: THE TRUE STORY OF BLOOD by Tanya Lloyd Kyi (DBC 06727) Grades 4-7

Adult Fiction

PIECE OF MY HEART by Sharon Sala (DB 94768)

Accessible StoryWalks for National StoryWalk® Week

November 12-18, 2023 is National StoryWalk® Week, sponsored by Let’s Move in Libraries and the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services! This is the third annual week-long event that, as noted in the Let’s Move in Libraries blog, celebrates “the inspiring work of libraries who spearhead StoryWalk® programs—promoting literacy, reading, health, exercise, and movement in communities and neighborhoods across the United States and the world.”

What even is a StoryWalk®? A StoryWalk® is a permanent installation incorporating a children’s story that has been deconstructed, with each page displayed separately along a path for participants to read and enjoy. It is a wonderful way to promote literacy and movement. Libraries are increasingly working to make these StoryWalks® more accessible to individuals of all abilities. Let’s Move in Libraries includes some tips for making StoryWalks® more accessible in their blog post about National StoryWalk® Week. Here are some things to consider when creating a StoryWalk®:

  • Use braille overlays on top of the book displays.
  • Incorporate an audio reading of the story into the StoryWalk®.
  • Provide audio or braille descriptions of the story’s pictures. Depending on the style of your StoryWalk®, you could even outline the pictures with puffy paint for a tactile design that can be felt!
  • Consider the location of your StoryWalk®. Places that are wheelchair accessible with a wide, paved walkway are preferable to uneven, narrow ground.

If you are in Austin, you can visit a braille enhanced StoryWalk® presented through a partnership between the Texas Talking Book Program and Austin Public Library (APL), located at APL’s Windsor Park Branch (833 Westminster Drive). Currently the APL Windsor Park StoryWalk® tells The Three Billy Goats Buenos story by Susan Middleton Elya. You can read more about this braille enhanced accessible StoryWalk® at the Talking Book Program’s June 6, 2023, press release about the launch of this partnership.

Learn more about accessible design and allyship with these books available through the Talking Book Program, and don’t forget to celebrate National StoryWalk® Week!

ACCESSIBLE AMERICA: A HISTORY OF DISABILITY AND DESIGN by Bess Williamson (DB 94027; BR 22552)

WHAT CAN A BODY DO?: HOW WE MEET THE BUILT WORLD by Sara Hendren (DB 100228; BR 23245)

DEMYSTIFYING DISABILITY: WHAT TO KNOW, WHAT TO SAY, AND HOW TO BE AN ALLY by Emily Ladau (DB 105481; BR 23987)

National Mental Illness Awareness Week

October 1 – 7 is recognized as National Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Visit these sites for information and support regarding mental illness:

Mental Health Texas: https://mentalhealthtx.org

Texas Health & Human Services Mental Health and Substance Abuse: www.hhs.texas.gov/services/mental-health-substance-use

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness): https://nami.org/home

Very Well Mind: https://verywellmind.com

If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call or text the number 988, or chat through the site https://988lifeline.org/. Deaf or hard of hearing individuals may access the service by calling 711 and then 988. The hotline also provides Spanish-speaking staff and interpreter services for more than 240 languages and dialects.

October 19, 2023: “TEXAS GREAT READ” BONUS BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION

Please join us on Thursday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m. (Central) for our Great Texas Read book club discussion of WEST WITH GIRAFFES by Lynda Rutledge DB 102687, BR 24571.

Every year, the Library of Congress asks each state Center for the Book to select a title that represents the state’s literary landscape to highlight at the National Book Festival. The event showcases the importance of books and reading. The festival is sponsored by the Library of Congress and takes place during Labor Day weekend in Washington, D.C.

In honor of this event, the Texas Talking Book Program will host a bonus book club meeting so that our patrons can participate in the Great Texas Read initiative. The Great Texas Read is an event sponsored by Texas Center for the Book.

Our Book Club meetings via Zoom, however all you need to participate is a telephone! If you have a land line, we will provide a telephone number for you to dial. If you have a smart phone we will email you an easy “one click” number you can use to join the discussion. We will also email a Zoom invitation to those who prefer to use a computer. This information will be sent to all patrons who RSVP a week prior to the book club meeting.

To RSVP, please call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605. 

Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge or if you prefer to download it from BARD. Also, please let us know if you would like a reminder via email or phone-call (or both).

NLS Annotation: As the Great Depression lingers, Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes who miraculously survive a hurricane while crossing the Atlantic. In a 12-day road trip, Woodrow Wilson Nickel drives a custom truck to deliver the giraffes to the San Diego Zoo. Some violence and some strong language. 2021.

We request that everyone remember the following:

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

We look forward to having you join us on Thursday, October 19!


June 19: Juneteenth

Juneteenth celebrates African American Emancipation. With the following words, General Granger informed the people of Galveston that all slaves had been liberated on June 19, 1865.

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”

Celebrations following the declaration led to an annual acknowledgement and celebration of freedom to African Americans. Celebrations, today, take place around the United States and throughout the rest of the world.

In honor of Juneteenth, we have listed the books specifically about Juneteenth in our collection for a range of reading levels both in fiction and non-fiction.

For more information on Juneteenth: https://www.juneteenth.com/

Juvenile Fiction

JUNETEENTH FOR MAZIE by Floyd CooperKindergarten – Grade 3
DB 105650
FREEDOM’S GIFTS: A JUNETEENTH STORY by Valerie Wilson Wesley Grade 3 – Grade 6
DBC 04831
OSCEOLA: MEMORIES OF A SHARECROPPER’S DAUGHTER by Osceola Mays
Grade 3 – Grade 6
DB 50524

Juvenile Non-fiction

OPAL LEE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FREE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE GRANDMOTHER OF JUNETEENTH by Alice Faye Duncan
Kindergarten – Grade 3
DBC 26479
JUNETEENTH by Vaunda Micheaux NelsonGrade 2 – Grade 4
DBC 10089

Adult Fiction

JUNETEENTH by Ralph Ellison
DB 48438; BR 12277

Adult Nonfiction

ON JUNETEENTH by Annette Gordon-Reed
DB 103364
FOUR HUNDRED SOULS: A COMMUNITY HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICA, 1619-2019
DB 102425, BR 23615, LB 13468

April 2: World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day, held annually on April 2, invites us all to focus on sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering worldwide support.

In honor of World Autism Awareness, we have listed a couple of general books about autism, as well as titles about living with autism by those who understand it best: authors who have autism.

For more information on World Autism Awareness Day: https://www.autismspeaks.org/world-autism-awareness-day

General

IN A DIFFERENT KEY: THE STORY OF AUTISM by John Donvan (DB 83336, BR 21773)

Beginning with the story of Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, who became the first child diagnosed with autism nearly seventy-five years ago, the authors discuss this often-misunderstood condition, the civil rights battles waged by the families, and the controversies surrounding what is sometimes called the autism “epidemic.” Commercial audiobook. 2015.

NEUROTRIBES: THE LEGACY OF AUTISM AND THE FUTURE OF NEURODIVERSITY by Steve Silberman (DB 82931)

A science journalist explores the past, present, and future of autism diagnosis and treatment. Once seen simply as a mental handicap, autism is now considered a spectrum disorder with a wide range in severity and symptoms, and possibly a natural and valuable variation in human cognition. Bestseller. 2015.

Author: Blaze Ginsberg

EPISODES: MY LIFE AS I SEE IT (DB 69969)

Blaze, a high-functioning autistic teenager who was the subject of his mother’s book RAISING BLAZE (DB 55558), describes his life as a series of episodes. Relates experiences like Thanksgiving family dinners and his crush on Hillary Duff. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. Commercial audiobook. 2009.

Author: Temple Grandin

THINKING IN PICTURES: AND OTHER REPORTS FROM MY LIFE WITH AUTISM (DB 43272)

A professor of animal behavior attributes her career success to autism. Her heightened ability to visualize allows her to convert concepts to nonverbal images in a mental “video library.” Among other things, this ability has enabled her to design humane handling equipment for livestock. 1995.

ANIMALS IN TRANSLATION: USING THE MYSTERIES OF AUTISM TO DECODE ANIMAL BEHAVIOR (DB 59860)

Grandin, author of THINKING IN PICTURES (DB 43272), theorizes that autistic individuals experience the world as animals do–through direct sensory perception rather than abstract thinking. Grandin, herself autistic, and Johnson combine insights about autistic people with animal facts and anecdotes to reinterpret the capabilities and strengths of both groups. Bestseller. 2005.

ANIMALS MAKE US HUMAN: CREATING THE BEST LIFE FOR ANIMALS (DB 70209)

Coauthors of ANIMALS IN TRANSLATION (DB 59860) examine emotional needs of animals, from dogs and cats to livestock and zoo creatures. Provides guidelines for ensuring mental well-being by stimulating positive emotions through play and avoiding negative ones–such as fear. Discusses the impact of environment and warning signs of distress. Bestseller. 2009.

AUTISTIC BRAIN: THINKING ACROSS THE SPECTRUM (DB 77046)

Animal scientist Grandin, who is autistic, draws on her own experiences, interviews with others, and neuroscientific research to explore the causes, diagnostic methods, and treatment for the disorder. Warns against labeling people. 2013.

CALLING ALL MINDS: HOW TO THINK AND CREATE LIKE AN INVENTOR (DB 91083)

Explores the science behind inventions, the steps various people took to create and improve upon ideas as they evolved, and the ways in which young inventors can continue to think about and understand what it means to tinker, to fiddle, and to innovate. Commercial audiobook. For grades 5-8. 2018.

Author: Naoki Higashida

REASON I JUMP: THE INNER VOICE OF A THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOY WITH AUTISM (DB 77650)

Autistic thirteen-year-old communicates with a special alphabet grid to explain his behaviors, like why he doesn’t make eye contact or stay still. Originally published in Japan in 2007. Translated by British novelist David Mitchell and his wife, who are parents of an autistic child.  Includes short stories. Bestseller. 2013.

Author: Dara McAnulty

DIARY OF A YOUNG NATURALIST (DB 105404)

McAnulty, an autistic teen from Northern Ireland, shares his experiences over the course of a year in becoming a conservationist and environmental activist while also dealing with being uprooted from the home he has known, school, and managing his mental health. Discusses his sensory experiences while exploring the environment around him. 2020.

Author: John Malatesta

HI, MY NAME IS JOHN: MY STORY OF SURVIVAL WITH AUTISM AND LEARNING DISABILITIES (DBC 19749)

John Mario Malatesta was born in Santa Barbara, California on July 14, 1969. John has lived in Santa Barbara for most of his life. In this book John tells his story of trials and triumphs throughout his life living with autism and a learning disability. Unrated. 2012.

Author: Daniel Tammet

BORN ON A BLUE DAY: INSIDE THE EXTRAORDINARY MIND OF AN AUTISTIC SAVANT; A MEMOIR (DB 6386)

Autobiography of Daniel Tammet, a 26-year-old British autistic savant with Asperger syndrome and synesthesia, who can perform rapid memorization and mathematical calculations and learn an unfamiliar language in days. Describes his impoverished childhood with eight siblings, mainstream education, and adult life as a gay Christian. Bestseller. 2006.
en español DB 65997

EMBRACING THE WIDE SKY: A TOUR ACROSS THE HORIZONS OF THE MIND (DBC 04268)

The author of the acclaimed memoir Born on a Blue Day digs deeper into the mind of the autistic savant—people like himself with astounding intellectual abilities and pronounced social limitations. He explores just how little it differs from the mind of the non-savant. Drawing upon neuroscience, linguistic, and personal experience, he illuminates the immense potential within all of us. 2009.

THINKING IN NUMBERS: ON LIFE, LOVE, MEANING, AND MATH (DB 77461)

Author of BORN ON A BLUE DAY (DB 63862) explores “the math of life” in twenty-five essays. Topics covered include the calendar created by Omar Khayyam in 1074 CE and the concept of zero in Shakespeare’s work. Also discusses why years feel shorter as we age. 2012.

EVERY WORD IS A BIRD WE TEACH TO SING: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE MYSTERIES AND MEANINGS OF LANGUAGE (DB 89083)

Essayist, novelist, and autistic savant, the author of BORN ON A BLUE DAY (DB 63862) examines the intricacy and power of language in a variety of countries and cultures. Discusses chatbots, numerical language, names that have become court cases, telephone grammar, constructed languages, and more. Commercial audiobook. 2017.

Author: Donna Williams

NOBODY NOWHERE: THE EXTRAORDINARY AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN AUTISTIC (DB 36144)

Australian college graduate Williams didn’t realize she was autistic until her early twenties. To understand herself, Williams recorded her memories of a childhood of confusion and “abnormal” behavior, coupled with an abusive mother. This abuse caused her to create “normal” counterparts to present to the world. Bestseller. Some strong language and some violence. 1992.

SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE: BREAKING FREE FROM THE WORLD OF AUTISM (DB 38137)

In the sequel to NOBODY NOWHERE (DB 36144), Australian Williams continues the story of her battle with what she terms an information- processing problem. After giving up her alternate personalities, Williams once more confronts the Big Black Nothingness that they had shielded her from. While trying to remember to breathe and eat, she also must deal with publishing her first book. Strong language. 1994.

LIKE COLOR TO THE BLIND (DB 45872)

This sequel to SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE (DB 38137) continues the life story of an autistic woman as she becomes involved with and marries a man who is similarly challenged. She recounts their struggles to overcome their own emotional barriers, to strengthen their mutual affection, and to establish a life together. Strong language. 1996.


March 25: Tolkien Reading Day

Most of us know about J. R. R. Tolkien from his book THE HOBBIT and his LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy, but he wrote more than 30 thirty books! Aside from writing fantasy-fiction, he also was a poet, translator, medievalist, and professor.

In 2003, the Tolkien Society chose March 25 as Tolkien Reading Day to encourage the reading of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, as well as to inspire readers to learn more about the author himself. The day matches the fall of Sauron in Tolkien’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Celebrate it by reading one of the books by or about Tolkien in our collection:

Fiction

History of Middle Earth Series

BOOK OF LOST TALES: PART I (DB 20827)

Stories the author wrote sixty to seventy years ago are now provided with commentary by his son Christopher. In these tales the traveler Eriol comes to the Lonely Island, Tol Eressea, and is offered hospitality by its elven folk. From them he learns of the gods called Valar, how the world was created, and the early history of the Eldar themselves. 1984.

BOOK OF LOST TALES: PART 2, THE HISTORY OF MIDDLE-EARTH (DB 48494)

Versions of six legends and myths invented by Tolkien as background for his early writing and reworked for later publications. His son has edited the manuscripts and added commentary. Sequel to “THE BOOK OF LOST TALES, PART 1.” 1986.

Stand Alone Tales of Middle Earth

BEREN AND LUTHIEN (DB 88461)

The love story of Beren, a human man, and Luthien, an elf maiden. Set during the First Age of Middle-earth, Luthien’s father’s consent to the couple’s marriage is contingent on Beren surviving a dangerous quest to retrieve the Silmaril jewel. This story was restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts by his son. 2017.

FALL OF GONDOLIN (DB 92472, BR 22395, LB 11427)

Tuor is sent to Gondolin by the god Ulmo, only to fall in love with the elf king’s daughter, Idril. Their bliss is shattered when the evil Morgoth sends an army to destroy Gondolin. This previously unpublished Middle-earth tale was edited by the author’s son Christopher. Bestseller. 2018.

SILMARILLION (DB 60367, BR 11510)

Collection of imaginative tales and legends, and an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of the World. Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwells in Middle-earth, and the High Elves make war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils. Bestseller, 1977.

TALE OF THE CHILDREN OF HURIN: NARN I CHN HURIN (DB 64650, BR 17216)

A tale of the Elder Days of Middle-earth, variations of which appeared in UNFINISHED TALES (DB 65877, BR 17613) and THE SILMARILLION (DB 60367, BR 11510). Describes the fates of Hurin–cursed lord of Dorlomin — and his children Turin and Ninor. Restored, edited, and introduced by the author’s son, Christopher Tolkien. Bestseller. 2007. en español: DB 62999

UNFINISHED TALES: OF NUMENOR AND MIDDLE-EARTH (DB 65877, BR 17615)

Collection of tales and essays, published after the author’s death, that further explore the environment and inhabitants of Tolkien’s special world. It provides a rare glimpse of how he developed his fantasy world over the years. Bestseller. 1980.

Juvenile Fiction

Lord of the Rings Series

HOBBIT: OR, THERE AND BACK AGAIN (DB 48978, BR 11595, LB 04884)

The wandering wizard Gandalf recruits Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit, to be the fourteenth member of an expedition. Hobbits prefer comfort to adventures, but Bilbo joins the quest and encounters many perils including a dragon. For Grades six through nine and older readers. en español: DB 60980; en français: DBG 09502; на русском: DBF 03791

FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: BEING THE FIRST PART OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS (DB 47486, BR 09745, LB 04282)

In this first volume of The Lord of the Rings, Frodo, a home-loving hobbit, inherits the magic ring that his Uncle Bilbo brought back from his adventures in THE HOBBIT (RC 11497). To protect the ring from the powers of darkness, Frodo must make a long, dangerous journey. Prequel to THE TWO TOWERS (DB 47487). For Grades six through nine and older readers. en español: DB 61051

TWO TOWERS: BEING THE SECOND PART OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS (DB 47487, BR 09747, LB 04273)

In this second volume of the Lord of the Rings, the now-separated companions of the Ring meet Saruman the wizard, cross the Dead Marshes, and prepare for the Great War in which the power of the Ring will be undone. Sequel to the Fellowship of the Ring. For Grades six through nine and older readers. en español: DB 61042

RETURN OF THE KING: BEING THE THIRD PART OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS (DB 47488, BR 09749, LB 04274)

In this third volume of the Ring trilogy, Frodo and Sam bear the Ring to Mount Doom. The War of the Ring, fought between the forces for good and the Dark Lord of evil, is ended. Sequel to THE TWO TOWERS. For Grades six through nine and older readers.

en español: DB 62979

Stand Alone Novel

ROVERANDOM (DB 47216, BR 11808)

A young and foolish dog is turned into a toy after biting a sorcerer. As a plaything, Roverandom is owned by a little boy named Two. After many adventures, Roverandom manages to be turned back into a real dog. Grades six through nine. 1998.

Nonfiction by Tolkien

LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRUN (DB 71835, BR 18640)

A retelling in English narrative verse of the epic Norse tales about Sigurd the Volsung and the fate of Gudrun’s family, the Niflungs. First publication, with an introduction and commentary by Christopher Tolkien, his father’s literary executor. 2009.

LETTERS FROM FATHER CHRISTMAS (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. 2004.

LETTERS OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN (DB 17875)

Collection of letters in which the famous author of LORD OF THE RINGS writes about his personal and professional life to family, friends, colleagues, and fans. The letters, arranged chronologically, cover the period of Tolkein’s life from 1914 to 1973.

SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT, PEARL, AND SIR ORFEO (DB 56740, BR 15685)

Three medieval poems from the age of Arthurian legend, translated into modern English by the author of THE HOBBIT (RC 48978, BR 11595) and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 1975.

Nonfiction About Tolkien

FELLOWSHIP: THE LITERARY LIVES OF THE INKLINGS; J.R.R. TOLKIEN, C.S. LEWIS, OWEN BARFIELD, AND CHARLES WILLIAMS by Philip Zaleski (DB 82527)

For three decades, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and their closest associates (namely, Owen Barfield and Charles Williams) formed the Inklings, a weekly literary club. An accounting of the Inklings’ lives and work is provided, along with the ideas, affections, and vexations that drove the group’s members. 2015.

INKLINGS: C.S. LEWIS, J.R.R. TOLKIEN, CHARLES WILLIAMS, AND THEIR FRIENDS by Humphrey Carpenter (DB 105865)

The author discusses the group of friends called the Inklings, which was founded during the 1930s at Oxford and included renowned authors C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. The author, who also attended Oxford at the time, reconstructs the group’s meetings and friendships. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 1978.

INVENTING THE MIDDLE AGES: THE LIVES, WORKS, AND IDEAS OF THE GREAT MEDIEVALISTS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY by Norman F. Cantor (DB 36850)

The medievalist, professor, and author analyzes twentieth-century notions of what the Middle Ages were like and profiles the lives and works of the men who formed modern ideas of that period. Among those represented are C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ernst Kantorowicz, Marc Bloch, David Knowles, Joseph Strayer, Frederic Maitland, and Erwin Panofsky.

TOLKIEN: A BIOGRAPHY by Humphrey Carpenter (DB 52637)

Traces Tolkien’s life from early childhood in South Africa through the lonely period that followed the deaths of both parents and ended with his marriage. Relates his years as a distinguished Oxford professor and his acclaim as the author of the Hobbit series.

Juvenile Nonfiction

MYTH MAKER: J.R.R. TOLKIEN by Anne E. Neimark (DB 47919)

A brief biography of the creator of THE HOBBIT (DB 11497, BR 11595). Presents in narrative form Tolkien’s early childhood in South Africa, his move to England, becoming an orphan, and the importance of religion and education in his development. Discusses his marriage, his career as a professor, and the mythological world he created. For grades five through eight and older readers.


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.