That ALL May Read: Graphic Novels

For the longest time, I believed graphic novels were not for me. I was born legally blind and came of age around the time that MAUS by Art Spiegelman won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. As a book lover this was troublesome because I want to read ALL THE BOOKS. Just the concept that there were books that were obviously SO GOOD, yet beyond my ability to access, upset me greatly.

So, I tried. I used the vision I did have to read MAUS and later PERSEPOLIS by Marjane Satrapi and FUN HOME by Alison Bechdel. I used a magnifying glass and I asked my roommate for occasional assistance. But here’s the thing: as graphic novels continue to win awards and become a more firmly entrenched format in the public consciousness, it should NOT be so difficult for me to access them. They should be accessible for all.

And the National Library Service (NLS) agrees.

Starting small with books like CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT by Roz Chast (DB 80646) and Brian Selznick’s WONDERSTRUCKk (DB 74157) which is a combination of standard text and full-page illustrations, NLS made the leap into creating audio recordings of full-length graphic novels with the three volume MARCH TRILOGY by John Lewis (DB 87098). 

It’s not a simple process.

According to NLS Senior Selection Librarian, Jill Garcia, “Unlike commercial audiobook producers, when we do graphical material, we describe all the images. Fortunately, Laura Giannarelli volunteered.”

Once NLS selects a graphic novel to be added to their audio collection, the narrator then creates a script. 40-year veteran NLS narrator, Laura Giannarelli, describes the process:

“It takes me probably an hour to write a script for each ten pages. My method is to describe what I see as objectively as possible. Rather than say, ‘He is surprised,’ I’ll say, ‘His mouth is open, his eyebrows are raised, and his eyes are wide.’ You try as much as possible to give the facts and let the reader interpret. But there’s also an art to balancing the details of the pictures with the forward momentum of the text. As a scene heats up, you drop the details and focus on the words.”

I for one truly appreciate the effort taken to not only describe the illustrations accurately, but to consider my desire to interpret the meaning of the scenes myself. And MARCH TRILOGY was merely the first in what has continued to be a steady stream of full-length graphic novels being produced by NLS including FAITHFUL SPY: DIETRICH BONHOEFFER AND THE PLOT TO KILL HITLER by John Hendrix (DB 94260). I’m particularly excited to read this one as it was nominated by YALSA for the excellence in Nonfiction Award for 2019. And I recently learned that NLS is currently working on recording MAUS.

Now if I can just get a self-driving car, I’ll be all set. 

For more information: https://www.loc.gov/nls/about/news/quarterly-newsletter-news/april-june-2017-newsletter/#_graphic


 

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.


African American Women Authors from Texas

Since February is Black History Month and Women’s History Month is right around the corner in March, we decided to highlight five award winning African American women authors from Texas. Whether you enjoy historical nonfiction, romance, or mysteries, these women writers have something for you.

Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Reshonda Tate Billingsley is the national bestselling author of more than 50 books. She writes both adult and teen fiction, as well as nonfiction, and is she is known for her Christian Fiction series SAY AMEN and GOOD GIRLZ. She currently lives in Houston.

More information can be found at www.reshondatatebillingsley.com

Anita R. Bunkley

Anita Bunkley was voted one of the 50 favorite African American authors of the twentieth century by the on-line African American Literature Book Club. Currently a resident of Houston, she writes across several genres with romance, historical fiction, and mysteries she’s written in our collection.

More Information can be found at: https://www.anitabunkley.com/page/page/1042006.htm

Annette Gordon-Reed

Born in Livingston, Texas, Annette Gordon-Reed, is currently a history professor at Harvard University and was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction for her work about Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemmings.

More information can be found at: https://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/10329/Gordon-Reed

Attica Lock

Houston native, Attica Locke, is an award-winning author of the suspenseful Highway 59 series featuring Black Texas Ranger Darren Mathews as well as the Jay Porter Series, a legal thriller.  

More information to be found on her website, www.atticalocke.com

Angela Shelf Medearis

Known as “The Kitchen Diva,” Angela Shelf Medearis is a chef and successful children’s book author. After she realized that there were very few cookbooks that illustrated the contributions of African American culture and cuisine she decided to write her own.

More information can be found at: https://www.kitchendiva.org/about-us

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 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!

Goodreads 2021 Choice Awards Announced

The social cataloging website for book lovers, Goodreads, has just announced their readers’ Choice Awards for 2021. The Texas Talking Book Program has a good number of them in our collection. Are you looking for a thrilling mystery? Goodreads members chose LAST THING HE TOLD ME by Laura Dave (DB 103326) as their favorite mystery & thriller book for this past year. Are you more interested in non-fiction? CRYING IN H MART: A MEMOIR by Michelle Zauner (DB 103413, LB 13446) was chosen as the best autobiography/memoir while EMPIRE OF PAIN: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE SACKLER DYNASTY by Patrick Radden Keefe (DB 102965, LB 13410) was selected as the best historical non-fiction book.  Perhaps you’ve had too much reality in the last couple of years and would like to relax with a popular romance. Goodreads readers declared PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry (DB 103191) as their top choice for this category.  No matter which genre you enjoy, the bibliophiles at Goodreads have chosen a favorite book published this year. Contact us and we can help you find your next favorite book.

For more information: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-fiction-books-2021

NPR’s Book Concierge 2021

National Public Radio (NPR) has just released the Book Concierge for 2021. This is NPR’s annual, interactive, year-end reading guide. They compile their list by requesting staffers and trusted critics to nominate their favorite books of the year. Then, the editors and producers at NPR Books sit down and select their favorites. 

The books on this list cover a variety of genres such as biographies, book club ideas, and nonfiction as well as the more traditional categories like mysteries and thrillers, and historical fiction. We have indicated the categories that NPR assigned each book beneath the title in BOLD.

The Texas Talking Book Program has a good number of them in our collection. No matter which genre you enjoy, the staff at National Public Radio have chosen a favorite book published this year. Contact us and we can help you find your next favorite book.

For more information: https://apps.npr.org/best-books/#view=covers&year=2021

Here are all of the selections in the NLS collection:

CALLING FOR CHARLIE BARNES by Joshua Ferris (DB 105476) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Funny Stuff, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, The States We’re In )  

LITTLE DEVIL IN AMERICA: NOTES IN PRAISE OF BLACK PERFORMANCE by Hanif Abdurraqib (DB 103276) (Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Reads, For Music Lovers, Identity & Culture, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays, & Poetry, The States We’re In)  

LOT LIKE ADIOS: A NOVEL by Alexis Daria (DB 105060, BR 23946) (Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, Staff Picks)  

MARVELLOUS LIGHT by Freya Marske (IN PROCESS) (Historical Fiction, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction)  

PSALM FOR THE WILD-BUILT by Becky Chambers (DB 104764) (It’s All Geek To Me, Rather Short, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks)  

SLOW FIRE BURNING by Paula Hawkins (DB 104949) (Ladies First, Mysteries & Thrillers, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)  

SWIM IN A POND IN THE RAIN: IN WHICH FOUR RUSSIANS GIVE A MASTER CLASS ON WRITING, READING AND LIFE by George Saunders (DB 103448) (Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays, & Poetry, Staff Picks, Tales From Around the World)  

THOUSAND SHIPS by Natalie Haynes (DB 102213) (Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Ladies First, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)  

ACCIDENTALLY ENGAGED by Farah Heron (DB 104016) (Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, Staff Picks)  

ACT YOUR AGE, EVE BROWN by Talia Hibbert (DB 102611, BR 23740) (Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, Staff Picks)  

AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS by B. B. Alston (DB 102312, BR 23699) (Family Matters, Kids’ Books, Ladies First, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks)

AMERICA MY LOVE, AMERICA MY HEART by Daria Peoples-Riley (DB 103935, BR 23893) (Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books, Love Stories, The States We’re In)  

ANTHROPOCENE REVIEWED: ESSAYS ON A HUMAN-CENTERED PLANET by John Green (DB 103903, LB 13412) (Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Nonfiction, Science!, Short Stories, Essays, & Poetry, Staff Picks)  

BEAUTIFUL WORLD, WHERE ARE YOU by Sally Rooney (DB 104825) (Book Club Ideas, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)  

BEWILDERMENT by Richard Powers (DB 105190, Braille IN PROCESS) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Realistic Fiction, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)  

BRIGHT STAR by Yuyi Morales (DB 105410) (Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books, Tales From Around the World, The States We’re In)  

BROKEN HORSES: A MEMOIR by Brandi Carlile (DB 102961) (Biography & Memoir, For Music Lovers, Ladies First, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

BUILD YOUR HOUSE AROUND MY BODY: A NOVEL by Violet Kupersmith (DB 104783) (Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)  

CHAOS ON CATNET by Naomi Kritzer (DB 103385) (Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Young Adult)  

CLOUD CUCKOO LAND by Anthony Doerr (DB 105285) (Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing)  

COMMITTED by Viet Thanh Nguyen (DB 103246) (Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)  

CONCRETE ROSE by Angie Thomas (DB 101950) ROSA EN EL ASFALTO by Angie Thomas (DB 105418) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In, Young Adult)  

CONFIDENCE MEN: HOW TWO PRISONERS OF WAR ENGINEERED THE MOST REMARKABLE ESCAPE IN HISTORY by Margalit Fox (DB 103797) (Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Funny Stuff, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)  

COOK THIS BOOK: TECHNIQUES THAT TEACH & RECPIES TO REPREAT by Molly Baz (DB 104281, BR 23800) (Cookbooks & Food, Staff Picks)  

CROSSROADS by Jonathan Franzen (DB 105192) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)  

CRUELTY IS THE POINT: THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF TRUMP’S AMERICA by Adam Serwer (DB 104242) (Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

CRYING IN H MART: A MEMOIR by Michelle Zauner (DB 103413, LB 13446) (Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Cookbooks & Food, Family Matters, For Music Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)  

CULTISH: THE LANGUAGE OF FANATICISM by Amanda Montell (DB 104075) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)  

DATING PLAYBOOK by Farrah Rochon (DB 104752) (For Sports Lovers, Funny Stuff, Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories)  

DEAR MISS METROPOLITAN by Carolyn Ferrell (IN PROCESS) (Book Club Ideas, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing)  

DEATH OF JANE LAWRENCE by Caitlin Starling (IN PROCESS) (Love Stories, Mysteries & Thrillers, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)  

DEMYSTIFYING DISABILITY: WHAT TO KNOW, WHAT TO SAY, AND HOW TO BE AN ALLY by Emily Ladau (IN PROCESS IN AUDIO & BRAILLE) (Eye-Opening Reads, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Rather Short, Staff Picks)  

DETRANSITION, BABY by Torrey Peters (DB 101806) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)  

DIAL A FOR AUNTIES by Jesse Q. Sutanto (DB 103081) (Family Matters, Ladies First, Love Stories, Mysteries & Thrillers, Staff Picks)  

DREAM GIRL by Laura Lippman (DB 104081) (Ladies First, Mysteries & Thrillers, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)  

EMPIRE OF PAIN: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE SACKLER DYNASTY by Patrick Radden Keefe (DB 102965, LB 13410) (Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Science!, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)  

EX TALK by Rachel Solomon (DB 101962) (It’s All Geek To Me, Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, Staff Picks)  

EYES THAT KISS IN THE CORNERS by Joanna Ho (BR 23755) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books)  

FACING THE MOUNTAIN: A TRUE STORY OF JAPANESE AMERICAN HEROES IN WORLD WAR II by Daniel James Brown (DB 103646; BRAILLE IN PROCESS) (Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Rather Long, The States We’re In)  

FIGHT NIGHT by Miriam Toews (DB 105332) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Ladies First, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing)  

FINAL GIRL SUPPORT GROUP by Grady Hendrix (DB 104247) (It’s All Geek To Me, Ladies First, Mysteries & Thrillers, No Biz Like Show Biz, The Dark Side)  

FINAL REVIVAL OF OPAL & NEV by Dawnie Walton (DB 102932) (Book Club Ideas, For Music Lovers, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)

FIREKEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Angeline Boulley (DB 102762) (Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult)  

FIRST COMES LIKE by Alisha Rai (DB 102474) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Love Stories, Staff Picks)  

FIVE WOUNDS: A NOVEL by Kirstin Valdez QuadE (DB 103802) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

FOLKLORN by Angela Mi Young Hur (DB 103997) (Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Science!, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)  

FOUR LOST CITIES: A SECRET HISTORY OF THE URBAN AGE by Annalee Newitz (DB 104114) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, It’s All Geek To Me, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)  

FROM A WHISPER TO A RALLYING CRY: THE KILLING OF VINCENT CHIN AND THE TRIAL THAT GALVANIZED THE ASIAN AMERICAN MOVEMENT by Paula Yoo (DB 103862) (Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Young Adult)  

FULFILLMENT: WINNING AND LOSING IN ONE-CLICK AMERICA by Alec Macgillis (DB 102818) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, It’s All Geek To Me, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

FUZZ: WHEN NATURE BREAKS THE LAW by Mary Roach (DB 105210) (Eye-Opening Reads, Funny Stuff, Nonfiction, Science! Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)  

GAY BAR: WHY WE WENT OUT by Jeremy Atherton Lin (DB 102233) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Let’s Talk About Sex, Nonfiction)  

GILDED ONES by Namina Forna (DB 104117) (Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks, Young Adult)

GOLD DIGGERS: A NOVEL by Sanjena Sathian (DB 102821) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, The States We’re In)  

GOOD GIRLS: AN ORDINARY KILLING by Sonia Faleiro (DB 102319) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)  

GREAT CIRCLE by Maggie Shipstead (DB 103266, LB 13435) (Historical Fiction, No Biz Like Show Biz, Rather Long, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)  

GUNCLE by Steven Rowley (DB 103560) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Funny Stuff, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)  

HALFWAY HOME: RACE, PUNISHMENT, AND THE AFTERLIFE OF MASS INCARCERATION by Reuben Jonathan Miller (DB 102236) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, The States We’re In)  

HARLEM SHUFFLE by Colson Whitehead (DB 104914) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Seriously Great Writing)  

HAUNTING OF ALMA FIELDING: A TRUE GHOST STORY by Kate Summerscale (DB 103054) (Book Club Ideas, For History Lovers, Ladies First, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around the World, The Dark Side)  

HEART PRINCIPLE by Helen Hoang (DB 104837, BR 23916) (Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, Staff Picks)  

HELL OF A BOOK: OR THE ALTOGETHER FACTUAL, WHOLLY BONA FIDE STORY OF BIG DREAMS, HARD LUCK, AMERICAN-MADE MAD KID by Jason Mott (DB 104515) (Book Club Ideas, Funny Stuff, Identity & Culture, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)  

HONEY GIRL by Morgan Rogers (DB 104321) (Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)  

HUMMINGBIRD SALAMANDER by Jeff Vandermeer (DB 104087) (Mysteries & Thrillers, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Science!, The Dark Side)  

I ALONE CAN FIX IT: DONALD J. TRUMP’S CATASTROPHIC FINAL YEAR by Carol Leonnig (DB 104773) (Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

ISLAND QUEEN: A NOVEL by Vanessa Riley (DB 104936) (Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Ladies First, Rather Long, Tales From Around The World)  

JUST AS I AM by Cicely Tyson (DB 102432) (Biography & Memoir, Identity & Culture, Ladies First, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks)  

KENNEDY’S AVENGER: ASSASSINATION, CONSPIRACY, AND THE FORGOTTEN TRIAL OF JACK RUBY by Dan Abrams (DB 104322) (Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)  

KLARA AND THE SUN by Kazuo Ishiguro (DB 102764, LB 13405) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)  

LANDSLIDE: THE FINAL DAYS OF THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY by Michael Wolff (DB 104337) (Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

LAST BEST HOPE: AMERICA IN CRISIS AND RENEWAL by George Packer (DB 104090) (Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

LAST CALL: A TRUE STORY OF LOVE, LUST, AND MURDER IN QUEER NEW YORK by Elon Green (DB 102827) (Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, The States We’re In)  

LAST CHANCE TEXACO: CHRONICLES OF AN AMERICAN TROUBADOUR by Rickie Lee Jones (DB 103417) (Biography & Memoir, For Music Lovers, Ladies First, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Staff Picks)  

LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB by Malinda Lo (DB 104015) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, The States We’re In, Young Adult)  

LEAVING ISN’T THE HARDEST THING: ESSAYS by Lauren Hough (DB 104267) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)  

LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I MEAN by Joan Didion (DB 102565, LB 13430) (Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry, Staff Picks)  

LIAR’S DICTIONARY by Eley Williams (DB 103312, LB 13379) (Book Club Ideas, Funny Stuff, Historical Fiction, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)  

LIFE OF THE MIND by Christine Smallwood (DB 105168) (Book Club Ideas, Funny Stuff, Ladies First, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)  

LIGHT OF DAYS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF WOMEN RESISTANCE FIGHTERS IN HITLER’S GHETTOS by Judith Batalion (DB 102986, LB 13428) (Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Ladies First, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)  

LINCOLN HIGHWAY by Amor Towles (DB 105197) (Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, The States We’re In)  

LOST VILLAGE by Camilla Sten (DB 102752) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Mysteries & Thrillers, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)  

LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS: A NOVEL by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers (DB 104944) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Rather Long, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

MAGICIAN by Colm Toibin (DB 104906) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)  

MARY JANE: A NOVEL by Jessica Anya Blau (DB 103483) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, For Music Lovers, Historical Fiction, Ladies First, The States We’re In)  

MATRIX by Lauren Groff (DB 104843, BR 23948) (Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Ladies First, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)  

MIKE NICHOLS: A LIFE by Mark Harris (DB 102244) (Biography & Memoir, Funny Stuff, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks)  

MONSTER IN THE MIDDLE by Tiphanie Yanique (IN PROCESS) (Family Matters, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Tales From Around The World, The States We’re In)  

MORNING STAR by Karl Ove Knausgard (DB 105567) (Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)  

MY BRILLIANT LIFE by Ae-Ran Kim (DB 102437) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Tales From Around The World)  

MY BROKEN LANGUAGE: A MEMOIR by Quiara Alegria Hudes (DB 104244) (Biography & Memoir, Family Matters, For Music Lovers, Identity & Culture, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW by Stephen Graham Jones (DB 104847, BR 23937) (Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Staff Picks, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)  

MY MONTICELLO by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson (IN PROCESS) (Book Club Ideas, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

NICKY & VERA: A QUIET HERO OF THE HOLOCAUST AND THE CHILDREN HE RESCUED by Peter Sis (DB 103572) (Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books, Nonfiction, Tales From Around The World)  

NINA by Traci N Todd (DB 105557) (Biography & Memoir, For History Lovers, For Music Lovers, Kids’ Book, Ladies First, Nonfiction)  

NO GODS, NO MONSTERS: A NOVEL by Cadwell Turnbull (DB 105061) (Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, The Dark Side)  

NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS: A NOVEL by Patricia Lockwood (DB 103166) (Book Club Ideas, It’s All Geek To Me, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)  

OH WILLIAM! by Elizabeth Strout (DB 105315) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Ladies First, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, The States We’re In)  

ON JUNETEENTH by Annette Gordon-Reed (DB 103364) (Biography & Memoir,  For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Rather Short, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

ONE LAST STOP by Casey Mcquiston (DB 103484) (Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, Staff Picks)  

ONE THING YOU’D SAVE by Linda Sue Park (DB 103047) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books)  

OTHER BLACK GIRL by Zakiya Dalia Harris (DB 103816) (Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Mysteries & Thrillers, Realistic Fiction, The Dark Side)  

OUR WOMAN IN MOSCOW: A NOVEL by Beatriz Williams (DB 103711, LB 13466) (Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Ladies First, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)  

OUTLAWED: A NOVEL by Anna North (DB 102210) (Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Ladies First, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

PAPER PALACE by Miranda Cowley Heller (DB 104340) (Family Matters, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)  

PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry (DB 103191) (Love Stories, Staff Picks)  

PERSONAL LIBRARIAN by Marie Benedict (DB 103929) (Book Club Ideas, For Art Lovers, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Staff Picks)  

PLAYLIST FOR THE APOCALYPSE: POEMS by Rita Dove (DB 105310, BR 23936) (Biography & Memoir, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry)  

POSTSCRIPT MURDERS by Elly Griffiths (DB 103653) (Mysteries & Thrillers, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)  

PRICE YOU PAY FOR COLLEGE: AN ENTIRELY NEW ROAD MAP FOR THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL DECISION YOUR FAMILY WILL EVER MAKE by Ron Lieber (DB 102317) (Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Nonfiction, Staff Picks)  

PROPHETS by Robert Jones, Jr. (DB 101843, LB 13422) (Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Love Stories, Seriously Great Writing, The States We’re In)  

QUIET IN HER BONES by Nalini Singh (DB 102275) (Family Matters, Mysteries & Thrillers, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)  

RAZORBLADE TEARS by S. A. Cosby (DB 104101, BR 23915) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)  

REDEMPTOR by Jordan Ifueko (DB 105200) (Ladies First, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks, Young Adult)

REMEMBER: THE SCIENCE OF MEMORY AND THE ART OF FORGETTING by Lisa Genova (DB 102911, BR 23798) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Science!, Staff Picks)  

REZ DOGS by Joseph Bruchac (DB 103860) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry, The States We’re In)  

ROBERT E. LEE AND ME: A SOUTHERNER’S RECKONING WITH THE MYTH OF THE LOST CAUSE by Ty Seidule (DB 103117) (Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

ROSALINE PALMER TAKES THE CAKE by Alexis J. Hall (DB 103451) (Cookbooks & Food, Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, No Biz Like Show Biz, Staff Picks)  

SENTENCE by Louise Erdrich (IN PROCESS) (Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, The States We’re In)  

SEVEN DAYS IN JUNE: A NOVEL by Tia Williams (DB 103670) (Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)  

SIX CRIMSON CRANES by Elizabeth Lim (DB 104326) (Family Matters, Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Young Adult)  

SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER: A MEMOIR by Ashley C. Ford (DB 104167) (Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

SUMMERWATER by Sarah Moss (DB 102285) (Family Matters, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)  

SUNNY SONG WILL NEVER BE FAMOUS by Suzanne Park (DB 105267) (Funny Stuff, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, The States We’re In, Young Adult)  

SWEETNESS OF WATER by Nathan Harris (DB 103932) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Seriously Great Writing, The States We’re In)  

TAKE BACK THE BLOCK by Chrystal D. Giles (DB 105558) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books, Realistic Fiction)  

TASTE: MY LIFE THROUGH FOOD by Stanley Tucci (DB 105460) (Biography & Memoir, Cookbooks & Food, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)  

THESE TOXIC THINGS by Rachel Howzell Hall (DB 105221) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Mysteries & Thrillers, The Dark Side)  

THIS IS YOUR MIND ON PLANTS by Michael Pollan (DB 104170) (Cookbooks & Food, Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Science!, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

THREE MOTHERS: HOW THE MOTHERS OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., MALCOLM X, AND JAMES BALDWIN SHAPED A NATION by Anna Malaika Tubbs (DB 104172) (Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Nonfiction, Staff Picks)  

TODAY A WOMAN WENT MAD IN THE SUPERMARKET: STORIES by Hilma Wolitzer (IN PROCESS) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Ladies First, Love Stories, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry)  

TOO BRIGHT TO SEE by Kyle Lukoff (DB 105462) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books, Mysteries & Thrillers, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing)  

TURNOUT by Megan E. Abbott (DB 104549) (Family Matters, For Sports Lovers, Mysteries & Thrillers, No Biz Like Show Biz, Seriously Great Writing, The Dark Side)

TWILIGHT ZONE by Nona Fernandez (DB 103591) (Rather Short, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)  

UNDER A WHITE SKY: THE NATURE OF THE FUTURE by Elizabeth Kolbert, (DB 102448) (Nonfiction, Science!, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)  

UNSPEAKABLE: THE TULSA RACE MASSACRE by Carole Boston Weatherford, (DB 103676) (For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, The States We’re In)  

UNTIL PROVEN SAFE: THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF QUARANTINE by Geoff Manaugh (DB 104749) (Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Nonfiction, Science!)

VELVET WAS THE NIGHT by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (DB 104794) (Book Club Ideas, For Music Lovers, Historical Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)  

VICTORIES GREATER THAN DEATH by Charlie Jane Anders (DB 102993) (Identity & Culture, Ladies First, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Young Adult)  

VIXEN: A NOVEL by Francine Prose (DB 104346) (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Funny Stuff, Historical Fiction, Love Stories, Mysteries & Thrillers, Staff Picks)  

WE DO THIS ‘TIL WE FREE US: ABOLITIONIST ORGANIZING AND TRANSFORMING JUSTICE by Mariame Kaba (DB 103789) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Short Stories, Essay & Poetry, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

WE HAD A LITTLE REAL ESTATE PROBLEM: THE UNHERALDED STORY OF NATIVE AMERICANS AND COMEDY by Kliph Nesteroff (DB 102627) (Book Club Ideas, Funny Stuff, Identity & Culture, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

WE WERE NEVER HERE by Andrea Bartz (DB 104443) (Book Club Ideas, Ladies First, Mysteries & Thrillers, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)  

WHAT STRANGE PARADISE by OMAR EL AKKAD (IN PROCESS) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)  

WHEN EVIL LIVED IN LAUREL: “WHITE KNIGHTS” AND THE MURDER OF VERNON DAHMER by Curtis Wilkie (DB 105586) (For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

WHILE WE WERE DATING by Jasmine Guillory (DB 104313) (Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories, No Biz Like Show Biz, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

WHITENESS OF WEALTH: HOW THE TAX SYSTEM IMPOVERISHES BLACK AMERICANS–AND HOW WE CAN FIX IT by Dorothy A. Brown (DB 102901) (Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)  

WILD RAIN: WOMEN WHO DARE by Beverly Jenkins (DB 102585) (Historical Fiction, Ladies First, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love Stories)   YEARBOOK by Seth Rogen (DB 103565) (Biography & Memoir, Funny Stuff, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry, Staff Picks)  

YELLOW WIFE: A NOVEL by Sadeqa Johnson (DB 102908, BR 23680) (Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Ladies First, The States We’re In)  

YOLK by MARY H. K. Choi (DB 104179) (Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, Young Adult)  

ZORRIE by Laird Hunt (DB 102689) (Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Rather Short, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)        

January 2022 Book Club Title Announced!

Please join us on Thursday, January 27 at 7:00 p.m. CT for our Book Club discussion of THE TIME IT NEVER RAINED by Elmer Kelton (DB 49217, LB 03803).

We host our Book Club meetings via toll free phone-in. All you need to participate is a telephone!

To RSVP, please reply to this email, or call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605.  (RSVP preferred by January 6).

Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge, send a large print copy, 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).

We request that everyone remember the following:

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

NLS Annotation:

A cantankerous, independent-minded Texan, Charlie Flagg, fights to save his medium-sized ranch in Rio Seco during a drought. His problems are compounded by ineffectual federal aid programs and difficulties with Mexican ranch workers. Some strong language. 1973.

DB   49217, LB 03803

We look forward to having you join us on January 27!