Xavier Society for the Blind Hosts Zoom Event with Author Robert Hanley

Book jacket for Do You See What I See? Discovering the Obvious by Robert Hanley

The Xavier Society for the Blind is hosting a virtual meet and greet with actor/author Robert Hanley on Thursday, October 21, at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets are $25 each and will benefit the mission of the Xavier Society for the Blind.

The author of one of the society’s most popular audio books, DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE? DISCOVERING THE OBVIOUS, Hanley will discuss his book and answer questions from the audience.  The Texas Talking Book Program has copies of Hanley’s book on audio cartridge. To request a copy, please call us at 1-800-252-9605 or 512-463-5458, or send an email to tbpral@tsl.texas.gov.

Robert Hanley is an author, comedian, singer, and actorIn addition, he founded The Fireside Fellowship – a spiritual supplement to his book, providing a space for people to share their everyday experiences, feelings, and faith as they pertain to pertinent universal topics (e.g., gratitude, coincidence, humor, work) and offering practical and spiritual perspectives to effect a positive change in the life and faith of each person.

The Texas Talking Book Program has copies on audio cartridge. Call us at 1-800-252-9605 or 512-463-5458 or email us at tbpral@tsl.texas.gov to request a copy.

For more information about the event visit: An Evening of Storytelling with actor/author Robert Hanley (donorview.com)

Robert Hanley is an author, comedian, singer, and actor who founded The Fireside Fellowship, a spiritual supplement to his book. The fellowship provides a space for people to share everyday experiences, feelings, and faith and offers practical and spiritual perspectives in hopes of providing positive changes.

Virtual Meet and Greet with Author, Robert Hanley Hosted by the Xavier Society for the Blind
Date: Thursday, October 21st
Time: 6:00 PM EST

September 2021 Book Club Title Announced

Texas Talking Book patrons: please join us on Thursday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. (Central) for our book club discussion of SAM HOUSTON AND THE ALAMO AVENGERS by Brian Kilmeade (DB 97726, LB 12663).

Book Cover for Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers

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 (RSVP preferred by March 5) or email us at: tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov. Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge or if you prefer to download it from BARD.

NLS Annotation:

An account of America’s continued fight for Texas after the crushing massacre at the Alamo. The author describes how that defeat galvanized Texans to ultimately win independence for the state. Violence. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.We request that everyone remember the following:

  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.
  • Be courteous. Be succinct so as to give everyone a chance to talk; be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.

We look forward to the discussion on September 23!

Bonus TBP Book Club Title Announced for June 2021!

Logo for Center for the Book

The Talking Book Program is participating in the Read Across Texas initiative sponsored by the Texas Center for the Book. In honor of this event, we will be hosting a bonus book club meeting so that our patrons can participate in this year’s event. For more information visit https://www.tsl.texas.gov/readacrosstexas.

Please join us on Thursday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m. (Central Time) for our book club discussion of WHAT UNITES US: REFLECTIONS ON PATRIOTISM by Dan Rather (DB 90479).

Please join us on Thursday June 24 at 7 pm (Central Time) for our book club discussion of WHAT UNITES US: REFLECTIONS ON PATRIOTISM by Dan Rather.

NLS Annotation: Essays from the television journalist and his longtime collaborator that celebrate the values that tend to be shared throughout America, particularly those related to patriotism. Topics discussed include public institutions such as parks and libraries, the drive for innovation, and more. Narrated by Dan Rather. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2017.

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 (RSVP preferred by May 27) 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.

Nebula Awards Finalists 2021

The Nebula Awards were established by the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) in 1965  in order to create an annual anthology of the best science fiction stories of the year. The finalists were announced March 15. Winners will be announced June 5.

https://nebulas.sfwa.org/sfwa-announces-the-56th-annual-nebula-award-finalists/

Here are the finalists for 2021 that are in the TBP collection.

NOVEL


PIRANESI
CLARKE, SUSANNA
Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, and an ocean is imprisoned within its walls. He shares the house with the Other, who asks Piranesi for help but hides his true intentions. Strong language. 2020.
DB 100700 

CITY WE BECAME
JEMISIN, N.K.
Every great city has a soul. New York City? She’s got six, all newly awakened to their power. But every city also has a dark side. An ancient evil stirs, threatening to destroy New York and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together to stop it. Strong language, explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
DB 98901
 
MEXICAN GOTHIC
MORENO-GARCIA, SILVIA
Mexico City, 1950. After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, socialite Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. Both the home and its owners seem to have a dark past. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.
DB 99404
 
BLACK SUN
ROANHORSE, REBECCA
In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice celebration is coinciding with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event the Sun Priest believes will lead to an unbalancing of the world. As the priests prepare, a ship heads towards Tova with a seemingly harmless passenger. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
DB 101429
 
NETWORK EFFECT: THE MURDERBOT DIARIES
WELLS, MARTHA
Murderbot’s human associates that are definitely not its friends are captured and another not-friend from its past also requires urgent assistance, leaving Murderbot no choice but to take drastic action. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
DB 100216

NOVELLA

RING SHOUT: OR, HUNTING KU KLUXES IN THE END TIMES
CLARK, P. DJELI
In 1915, the Ku Klux Klan spread fear and violence in their plan to bring Hell to Earth. Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan’s demons straight to Hell. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
DB 101148
 
RIOT BABY
ONYEBUCHI, TOCHI
Siblings Ella and Kev have extraordinary power, but they face structural racism and brutality while growing up. When Kev is put in prison, Ella works to inspire him to fight against America’s broken society. Strong language and some violence. 2020.
DB 98546; BR 23284

THE ANDRE NORTON NEBULA AWARD FOR MIDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION

RAYBEARER
IFUEKO, JORDAN
Raised in isolation, Tarisai yearns for the closeness she could have as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of Eleven. But her mother, The Lady, has magically compelled Tarisai to kill the Crown Prince. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020.
DB 100566
 
ELATSOE
LITTLE BADGER, DARCIE
In an America shaped dramatically by magic and monsters, seventeen-year-old Ellie uses her ability to raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family, to find out who murdered her cousin. Some violence and some strong language. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020.
DB 101473
 
GAME OF FOX & SQUIRRELS
REESE, JENN
After an incident shatters their family, eleven-year-old Samantha and her older sister, Caitlin, are sent to live with an aunt they’ve never met. When Aunt Vicky gives Sam a mysterious card game, Sam is swept up in the dangerous quest, where the line between magic and reality grows thin. For grades 5-8. 2020.
DB 100744

African American Authors – Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs

From classic African American authors from the early 20th century like James Baldwin and Langston Hughes to newer authors such as Saeed Jones and Nnedi Okorafor, the National Library Service (NLS) has books that tell the stories of their lives.

Biographies

ALICE WALKER: A LIFE
WHITE, EVELYN C.
Chronicles the life of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple (DB 58842, BR 12265). Traces Walker’s experiences as the daughter of Georgia sharecroppers, an acclaimed writer, and wife of a white NAACP lawyer. Explores her feminist and civil rights activism. Strong language. 2004.
DB 59554
 
CHESTER HIMES: A LIFE
SALLIS, JAMES
Discusses the African American novelist’s Missouri childhood, the inception of his writing career from prison, and the failure of his early works in a racially charged climate. Explains that Himes became famous writing crime stories while an expatriate in Europe. Some strong language.
DB 52754
 
LIFE OF LANGSTON HUGHES, VOLUME 1: 1902-1941. I, TOO, SING AMERICA
RAMPERSAD, ARNOLD
Rampersad’s biography of the American poet and writer takes Hughes from a tumultuous childhood in the Midwest, through worldwide travels and ramblings, to the early literary successes in New York. Tracing Hughes’s development and experiences, the book highlights the character of the artist, portraying him as a driven man devoted to his writing. 1986. Followed by LIFE OF LANGSTON HUGHES: VOLUME 2, 1941-1967: I DREAM A WORLD which continues the story of the noted poet (DB 28699)
DB 27535
 
LOOKING FOR LORRAINE: THE RADIANT AND RADICAL LIFE OF LORRAINE HANSBERRY
PERRY, IMANI
A portrait of the activist and writer best known for A Raisin in the Sun (DB 15750). Discusses Hansberry’s bold stances on civil rights, the prominent figures with whom she associated, her involvement in one of the nation’s first lesbian organizations, and the attention she drew from the FBI. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
DB 92981
 
NEVER WOULD HAVE MADE IT: THE RISE OF TYLER PERRY, THE MOST POWERFUL ENTERTAINER IN BLACK AMERICA (AND WHAT IT REALLY TOOK HIM TO GET THERE)
CHILDS, MELVIN
Entertainment producer describes the rise of African American comedian Tyler Perry as his career expanded from the “chitlin’ circuit” of black Southern clubs into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. Highlights the financial side of show business and the author’s estrangement from Perry. Strong language. 2012.
BR 19674
 
RALPH ELLISON: A BIOGRAPHY
RAMPERSAD, ARNOLD
Professor analyzes the life of African American writer Ralph Ellison, whose only novel, Invisible Man (DB 56346, BR 14988), won the 1953 National Book Award. Uses Ellison’s correspondence to detail the personal and artistic struggles he endured, as well as his social and cultural milieu. 2007.
DB 65148
 
RICHARD WRIGHT: THE LIFE AND TIMES
ROWLEY, HAZEL
Interweaving journals, letters, and personal recollections, biographer Rowley illuminates the important African American novelist’s life, work, and ideas. Portrays Wright as a self-taught intellectual, an independent thinker, and an outspoken critic of racism. Examines his relationships with other writers, such as Ralph Ellison and Langston Hughes. Bestseller.
DB 53071
 
STREET POISON: THE BIOGRAPHY OF ICEBERG SLIM
GIFFORD, JUSTIN
Literature professor chronicles the life of Robert Beck (1918-1992), better known as Iceberg Slim, author of Pimp (DB 79726), Doom Fox (DB 80092), and Trick Baby (DB 80284). Discusses Slim’s criminal lifestyle and how it influenced his later writings, and appraises his significance in popular culture. Strong language. 2015.
DB 83628
 
SORROW’S KITCHEN: THE LIFE AND FOLKLORE OF ZORA NEALE HURSTON
LYONS, MARY E.
Lyons inserts samples of Hurston’s fiction, autobiography, and folklore collected in Florida, Louisiana, and the West Indies into this account of the African American anthropologist and Harlem Renaissance writer of stories, plays, essays, and articles.
DB 41455
 
SURPRISED QUEENHOOD IN THE NEW BLACK SUN: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF GWENDOLYN BROOKS
JACKSON, ANGELA
Biography of author of Bronzeville Boys and Girls (DB 63916). Discusses Brooks’ early years in Chicago, personal relationships, racism she experienced, and publishing career. Examines the influence of her experiences on specific pieces of her work. Commercial audiobook. 2017.
DB 88823

Autobiographies and Memoirs

AMERICAN HUNGER
WRIGHT, RICHARD
Compelling autobiographical continuation of BLACK BOY (DB 20415, BR 04398) covering Wright’s struggle to make his way in Chicago and New York. Traces his experience with poverty and racism, his development as a writer, and his conversion to and estrangement from the Communist Party. Some strong language.
DB 10660
 
BROKEN PLACES & OUTER SPACES: FINDING CREATIVITY IN THE UNEXPECTED
OKORAFOR, NNEDI
The author recounts how a simple operation took her from track star to paralyzed. Confined in a hospital bed for months, she began to imagine fantastical things and turn those experiences into writing. Also discusses her childhood and other authors who have used hardship to fuel their work. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
DB 96603
 
FATHERALONG: A MEDITATION ON FATHERS AND SONS, RACE AND SOCIETY
WIDEMAN, JOHN EDGAR
A collection of six essays examining a strained father son relationship in terms of social issues about race and family. Wideman, an award-winning novelist who wrote about his brother and himself in “Brothers and Keepers” (DB 23360), here combines a memoir of his father with observations about African-American life. Some strong language.
DB 40624
 
HOW WE FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES: A MEMOIR
JONES, SAEED
A poet describes his experiences growing up as black and gay in the American South through a series of vignettes. Describes familial relationships, romantic flings, and friendships. Examines what people do for and to each other in the search for identity. Strong language and some descriptions of sex.  Commercial audiobook. 2019.
DB 98361; BR 21014)
 
I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS
ANGELOU, MAYA
The first book in an autobiographical series. The author describes the childhood and adolescence of a black girl in rural Arkansas, St. Louis, and San Francisco.  She is a strong and sensitive young woman who endures and overcomes many horrors in her life. 1969. Followed by GATHER TOGETHER IN MY NAME (DB 56481; BR 16910).
DB 24959; BR 15665)
 
NO NAME IN THE STREET
BALDWIN, JAMES
Best known for GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN (DB 33488, BR 08734 ), in this personal statement Baldwin tells of his years of self- exile and renewal abroad, of his activities in the civil rights movement, and his road back to complete involvement in the cause of black people in America.
DB 25147
 
REGION NOT HOME: REFLECTIONS FROM EXILE
MCPHERSON, JAMES ALAN
First African American winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for ELBOW ROOM (DB 16996; BR 12600), in this collection of essays the author discusses his pursuits, from the segregated South to Morris Brown College, Harvard Law School, the University of Virginia, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Reflects on his love for his daughter, the experiences of Americans, life’s sorrows and delights, and works by other authors. Some strong language.
DB 52007
 
WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKENHEARTED: A MEMOIR
HARRIS, E. LYNN
Autobiography by gay, African American, bestselling author of Invisible Life (DB 38731). Describes his humble beginnings in Arkansas, his career development, failed romantic relationships, bouts with depression, and deep faith in God. Strong language and some violence. Bestseller. 2003.
DB 56881
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