New Large Print Books Added in May 2019

LB 10990 WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A VOICE LIKE THAT?: THE STORY OF EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESSWOMAN BARBARA JORDAN BARTON, CHRIS Short biography of Barbara Jordan (1936-1996), whose confident voice led to her successful careers as a lawyer, politician, educator, and civil rights leader. For grades 3-6. 2018. Picture book. Unpaged. Jordan, Barbara, 1936-1996. Related names: Holmes, Ekua, illustrator.

LB 10989 LOVE-SICK SKUNK HAYES, JOE Sometimes it takes a lot to make kids change their ways. It takes even more to make them change their socks! And to make them throw away a trusty old pair of shoes that feels so comfortable on their feet, might take something as scary as a run-in with the south end of a crazy skunk that’s headed north. A lovesick skunk! For grades K-3 and older readers. Picture book. Unpaged. Related names: Castro, Antonio, 1941-, illustrator.

LB 10811 SOURCE OF SELF-REGARD: SELECTED ESSAYS, SPEECHES, AND MEDITATIONS MORRISON, TONI Collection of forty-three essays by the author of Sula (DB 08549), The Bluest Eye (DB 14892), and Beloved (DB 26026). Topics include racism and fascism, literature, women, wealth, Harlem, Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, novelist and poet Chinua Achebe, and director Peter Sellars. Unrated. 2019. 523 pages. Morrison, Toni.

LB 10786 FIRST: SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR THOMAS, EVAN, 1951- The life and career of the first female Supreme Court justice, including her childhood on an Arizona cattle ranch, her years at Stanford University, and her struggle to enter a male-dominated field in 1950s America. Recounts her career trajectory and her 1981 nomination to the Supreme Court. Unrated. 2019. O’Connor, Sandra Day, 1930- 770 pages.

LB 10788 WHEN THE IRISH INVADED CANADA: THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF THE CIVIL WAR VETERANS WHO FOUGHT FOR IRELAND’S FREEDOM KLEIN, CHRISTOPHER The outlandish history of a group of Irish-American revolutionaries who executed a daring set of Civil War-era raids on the British province of Canada to hold the territory hostage in hopes of securing Ireland’s independence. Unrated. 618 pages.

LB 10807 EDUCATED: A MEMOIR WESTOVER, TARA Memoir exploring the author’s path from being raised in a fundamentalist, paranoiac Mormon family where she was homeschooled to eventually working her way to graduate degrees at Cambridge and Harvard. Discusses hardships faced by the family, abuse at the hands of a sibling, and more. Violence and some strong language. Bestseller. 2018. Westover, Tara — Family. 493 pages.

LB 10793 ELEGANT DEFENSE: THE EXTRAORDINARY NEW SCIENCE OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: A TALE IN FOUR LIVES RICHTEL, MATT Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist explores the human immune system, entwining scientific discovery with the stories of four individual lives. Guides readers on a scientific detective tale winding from the Black Death to twentieth-century breakthroughs in vaccination and antibiotics and the cutting-edge laboratories that are revolutionizing immunology. Unrated. 2019. 560 pages.

LB 10803 TRUTHS WE HOLD: AN AMERICAN JOURNEY HARRIS, KAMALA D. California senator and daughter of immigrants discusses how her upbringing informs her political views. Recounts her education and early career as a prosecutor before transitioning into politics. Discusses her views on problem solving, crisis management, and leadership that she feels can aid in uniting Americans. Unrated. Bestseller. 2019. Harris, Kamala D. Harris, Kamala D. –Political and social views. 459 pages.

LB 10813 BRIEF ANSWERS TO THE BIG QUESTIONS HAWKING, STEPHEN, 1942-2018 Author of A Brief History of Time presents his views on a number of topics, which include “Is there a God?,” “How did it all begin?,” “Can we predict the future?,” “What is inside a black hole?,” and “Will we survive on Earth?”. Related names: Hawking, Lucy, writer of afterword. Redmayne, Eddie, 1982- writer of foreword. Thorne, Kip S., writer of introduction. 316 pages.

LB 10787 FIRE AND FURY: INSIDE THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE WOLFF, MICHAEL, 1953- Journalist examines the first nine months of President Trump’s administration. Discusses, among other things, the staff’s opinions of Trump, the reasons for FBI director James Comey’s firing, the story behind Trump’s claims of being wire-tapped by President Obama, and the state of White House strategies following Steve Bannon’s departure. Strong language. Bestseller. 2018. Bannon, Stephen K. Trump, Donald, 1946- 583 pages.

LB 10796 LONGEVITY PARADOX: HOW TO DIE YOUNG AT A RIPE OLD AGE GUNDRY, STEVEN R. Dr. Gundry outlines a nutrition and lifestyle plan to support gut health and live well for decades to come. A progressive take on the new science of aging, he offers an action plan to prevent and reverse disease as well as simple hacks to help anyone look and feel younger and more vital. Related names: Lipper, Jodi, author. 520 pages.

LB 10999 I AM WHAT I ATE…AND I’M FRIGHTENED!!! AND OTHER DIGRESSIONS FROM THE DOCTOR OF COMEDY COSBY, BILL, 1937- Cosby, realizing that he is what he eats (such foods as scrapple, cake, popcorn, and pizza), reflects back on his sixty-five years of dining and the never-ending quest for a healthy lifestyle. Bestseller. 2003. Cosby, Bill, 1937- 184 pages copy 1. 183 pages copy 2. Donated to TSLAC TBP in FY2018

LB 10783 SEE YOU IN THE PIAZZA: NEW PLACES TO DISCOVER IN ITALY MAYES, FRANCES The Roman Forum, the Leaning Tower, the Piazza San Marco: these are the sights synonymous with Italy. But such landmarks only scratch the surface of this magical country’s offerings. In See You in the Piazza, Frances Mayes introduces us to the Italy only the locals know, as she and her husband, Ed, eat and drink their way through thirteen regions–from Friuli to Sicily. Along the way, she seeks out the cultural and historic gems not found in traditional guidebooks. Frances conjures the enchantment of the backstreets, the hubbub of the markets, the dreamlike wonder of that space between lunch and dinner when a city cracks open to those who would wander or when a mind is drawn into the pages of a delicious book–and discloses to us the secrets that only someone who is on intimate terms with a place could find. Unrated. Mayes, Frances — Travel — Italy. 628 pages.

LB 10800 DREAMERS WALKER, KAREN THOMPSON In an isolated college town in California, people begin to fall asleep and cannot be roused. As the condition spreads, so does panic, and a quarantine is established. Those still awake face difficulties, and those asleep display unusual levels of brain activity. Unrated. 2019. 386 pages.

LB 10806 NEXT TO DIE HANNAH, SOPHIE, 1971- DC Simon Waterhouse and his team are dealing with a serial killer who targets sets of friends and leaves each a small, white, mostly blank book. Comedian Kim Tribbeck–who received one of the books but is still alive–aids the investigation. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2016. 598 pages.

LB 10801 FINDING DOROTHY LETTS, ELIZABETH Hollywood, 1938. Maud Baum has arrived at the gates of M-G-M Studios as filming for the adaptation of her late husband`s book begins. When she hears Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow,” Maud`s memories of her past come to life once again. Unrated. 2019. 500 pages.

LB 10805 NIGHT AGENT: A NOVEL QUIRK, MATTHEW No one was more surprised than FBI Agent Peter Sutherland when he’s tapped to work in the White House Situation Room. When Peter was a boy, his father, a section chief in FBI counterintelligence, was suspected of selling secrets to the Russians. Peter has scrupulously done everything by the book, hoping his record will help him escape the taint of his past. At 1:05 a.m. the phone rings. A terrified young woman tells Peter that her aunt and uncle; they gave her this phone number with urgent instructions: “Tell them OSPREY was right. It’s happening.” Now Peter must find a Russian mole–and anyone in the White House could be the traitor. Unrated. 561 pages.

LB 10812 CHEF PATTERSON, JAMES, 1947- Celebrity food truck chef Caleb Rooney is accused of committing murder in his other job: major crimes detective for the New Orleans Police Department. While fighting the charges, Rooney discovers that his beloved city is under threat of attack by would-be terrorists who may be local. Unrated. Bestseller. 2019. Related names: DiLallo, Max, author. 544 pages.

LB 10785 SILENT NIGHT: A NOVEL STEEL, DANIELLE By the age of nine, Emma was starring on a hit TV show, thanks to her ambitious stage mother. But when tragedy strikes, Emma is sent to live with her aunt Whitney, who will have to help the traumatized girl find a way to start over. Unrated. Bestseller. 2019. 338 pages.

LB 10797 IMMORTALISTS BENJAMIN, CHLOE In 1969 New York City, the four Gold children meet a psychic who tells them each the date they will die. They each grow up and live their lives, but always with the knowledge of the psychic’s prophecy hanging over them. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 533 pages.

LB 10779 WOLF PACK BOX, C.J. Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett encounters bad behavior on his own turf–only to have the FBI and the DOJ ask him to stand down. Unrated. Bestseller. 732 pages.

LB 10778 GOOD OMENS: THE NICE AND ACCURATE PROPHECIES OF AGNES NUTTER, WITCH GAIMAN, NEIL Armageddon is scheduled for next Saturday! But demon Crowley and angel Aziraphale aren’t excited. To prevent Armageddon, they must kill the Antichrist, who is living on Earth as a young child. Three children were switched at birth, however, and no one knows which one is the Antichrist. Violence and some strong language. Edition includes an introduction and new material. Related names: Pratchett, Terry, author. 582 pages.

LB 10802 TURNING POINT: A NOVEL STEEL, DANIELLE Bill Browning heads the trauma unit at San Francisco’s busiest emergency room, SF General. With his ex-wife and daughters in London, he immerses himself in his work and lives for rare visits with his children. A rising star at her teaching hospital, UCSF at Mission Bay, Stephanie Lawrence has two young sons, a frustrated stay-at-home husband, and not enough time for any of them. Harvard-educated Wendy Jones is a dedicated trauma doctor at Stanford, trapped in a dead-end relationship with a married cardiac surgeon. And Tom Wylie’s popularity with women rivals the superb medical skills he employs at his Oakland medical center, but he refuses to let anyone get too close, determined to remain unattached forever. These exceptional doctors are chosen for an honor and a unique project: to work with their counterparts in Paris in a mass-casualty training program. As professionals, they will gain invaluable knowledge from the program. When an unspeakable act of mass violence galvanizes them into action, their temporary life in Paris becomes a stark turning point: a time to face harder choices than they have ever made before–with consequences that will last a lifetime. Unrated. 323 pages.

LB 10794 AMERICAN AGENT: A MAISIE DOBBS NOVEL WINSPEAR, JACQUELINE, 1955- When Catherine Saxon, an American correspondent reporting on the war in Europe, is found murdered in her London digs, news of her death is concealed by British authorities. Serving as a linchpin between Scotland Yard and the Secret Service, Robert MacFarlane pays a visit to Maisie Dobbs, seeking her help. He is accompanied by an agent from the US Department of Justice–Mark Scott, the American who helped Maisie get out of Hitler’s Munich in 1938. MacFarlane asks Maisie to work with Scott to uncover the truth about Saxon’s death. As the Germans unleash the full terror of their blitzkrieg upon the British Isles, raining death and destruction from the skies, Maisie must balance the demands of solving this dangerous case with her need to protect Anna, the young evacuee she has grown to love and wants to adopt. Entangled in an investigation linked to the power of wartime propaganda and American political intrigue being played out in Britain, Maisie will face losing her dearest friend–and the possibility that she might be falling in love again. Unrated. Bestseller. 793 pages.

LB 10808 NEVER TELL: A NOVEL GARDNER, LISA A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun. D.D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman – Evie Carter. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many. Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have? Violence and strong language. Bestseller. 523 pages.

LB 10798 HUNTRESS QUINN, KATE Boston, 1946. Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is excited to meet the new woman in her long-widowed father`s life. When introduced to Anneliese Weber and her daughter Ruth, Jordan is entranced. But Anna is hiding secrets, and Jordan becomes suspicious. Meanwhile, a British war correspondent hunts Nazis. Unrated. Bestseller. 823 pages.

LB 10789 HOW TO KNIT A MURDER GOLDENBAUM, SALLY The mysterious Rose Chopra arrives in picturesque Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, and the Seaside Knitters welcome her into their world, until a controversial entrepreneur winds up dead and Rose becomes the prime suspect. Unrated. 439 pages.

LB 10795 SUSPECT BARTON, FIONA When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing in Thailand, their frantic families are thrust into the international spotlight. Journalist Kate Waters does everything to break the story first, but she can`t help thinking of her own son, who left home two years ago to travel. Unrated. 2019. 552 pages.

LB 10804 BLACK ASCOT TODD, CHARLES Alan Barrington–who has evaded capture for ten years–is the suspect in an appalling murder during Black Ascot, the famous 1910 royal horse race. Now it appears that Barrington has returned to England, giving Inspector Rutledge and Scotland Yard a chance to see justice done. Unrated. 2019. 504 pages.

LB 10791 CEMETERY ROAD ILES, GREG Because his father is dying and his mother is struggling to keep the family newspaper from failing, Washington, D. C., journalist Marshall McEwan has returned to his Mississippi hometown. When two homicides rock the community, Marshall secretly investigates with the help of his high school sweetheart. Unrated. Bestseller. 1026 pages.

LB 10792 GINGERBREAD OYEYEMI, HELEN Perdita Lee grew up with her mother Harriet, making gingerbread from a recipe handed down from generations of Harriet`s family in the mysterious country of Druhastrana. When teenaged Perdita sets out to find her mother`s long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriet`s story. Unrated. Bestseller. 372 pages.

LB 10799 KADDISH.COM ENGLANDER, NATHAN The son of Orthodox Jewish parents, Larry lives a secular lifestyle and refuses to recite the traditional Kaddish after the death of his father, to the horror of Larry`s sister. Larry then gets the bright idea to hire someone through the website kaddish. com to recite the prayer. Unrated. 2019. 289 pages.

LB 10810 BOWLAWAY MCCRACKEN, ELIZABETH Multiple generations operate a candlepin bowling alley in Salford, Massachusetts. It began at the turn of the twentieth century with Bertha Truitt, who was found unconscious in a cemetery with only a bowling ball, a candlepin, and fifteen pounds of gold on her person. Unrated. 504 pages.

LB 10781 RIVER HELLER, PETER, 1959- While canoeing the northern Canadian Maskwa River, two friends learn about a nearby wildfire. Hearing a man and woman arguing on the riverbank, they stop to warn them, but find no one. The next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Where is the woman? Unrated. 2019. 401 pages.

LB 10784 FIRST LADY PATTERSON, JAMES, 1947- Secret Service agent Sally Grissom is quietly investigating the disappearance of the First Lady. Her absence may just be a reaction to the scandalous public revelation of the president`s affair. Then the White House receives a ransom note along with her finger. Unrated. Bestseller. 2019. Related names: DuBois, Brendan, author. 520 pages.

LB 10790 NOVEL ART OF MURDER BURNS, V.M., 1964- The small town of North Harbor, Michigan, is just not big enough for the two of them: flamboyant phony Maria Romanov and feisty Nana Jo. The insufferable Maria claims she’s descended from Russian royalty and even once had a fling with King Edward VIII. She’s not just a lousy liar, she’s a bad actress, so when she nabs the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies–a part Nana Jo plays every year in their retirement village production–Nana Jo blows a gasket and reads her the riot act in front of everyone. Of course, when Maria is silenced with a bullet to the head, Nana Jo lands the leading role on the suspects list. Unrated. 409 pages.

LB 10780 CORNWALLS ARE GONE PATTERSON, JAMES, 1947- Army intelligence officer Amy Cornwall arrives home to an empty house. A phone rings with a terrifying ultimatum: locate and liberate an unnamed captive in forty-eight hours or her kidnapped husband and ten-year-old daughter are dead. Amy must employ every lethal tactic she has to save them. Unrated. 2019. Related names: DuBois, Brendan, author. 432 pages.

LB 10959 PARTING GIFT ERICKSON, BEN, 1952- When 17-year-old Josh Bell meets 84-year-old William Davis, an unusual friendship develops between the old man in the last months of his life and a young boy unsure of his future and place in the world. Enlisted to help Davis write his memoir, Josh learns lessons of life, love, and friendship. Unrated. 2000.

LB 10954 WHAT MRS. MCGILLICUDDY SAW! CHRISTIE, AGATHA, 1890-1976 With the assistance of a young woman to do the leg work, Miss Marple solves the mystery of a murder seen from a passing train. 1957. 371 pages. Donated to TSLAC TBP in FY2018 Also published under the title: FOUR-FIFTY FROM PADDINGTON

LB 11089 DANGEROUS KISS COLLINS, JACKIE Lucky Santangelo seeks revenge when her husband and sister-in-law are victims of a violent carjacking. Lucky tries to keep the family to- gether as old flame Alex Woods appears to offer his support. She also discovers secrets about her husband. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 620 pages copy 1. 620 pages copy 2. Donated to TSLAC TBP in FY2018

LB 11091 BEACH MUSIC CONROY, PAT Jack McCall and his daughter, Leah, are living in Rome, having moved there following the suicide of his wife, Shyla, several years ago. Theirs is a peaceful life, but everything changes when his sister-in- law and several old school friends arrive asking for his help with serious personal matters. Soon Jack must face the demons of his past. Bestseller. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 1298 pages copy 1. 1298 pages copy 2. Donated to TSLAC TBP in FY2018

LB 11095 PINK SLIP CIRESI, RITA 1985. Unmarried New Yorker Lisa Diodetto worries her Sicilian family, especially since her best friend is her gay cousin Dodie. Then Lisa finds romantic happiness with her Jewish boss Eben Strauss. But Dodie contracts AIDS and Lisa remembers sharing a needle with him. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 798 pages copy 1. 798 pages copy 2. Donated to TSLAC TBP in FY2018

LB 10993 DARE THE DEVIL CHASE, ELAINE RACO, 1949- From the moment he spied the tawny, near-naked beauty poised on the jagged cliffs, Thor Devlin was stunned. Long the master of his ranch near Glacier National Park, he yearned to make this primal fantasy come true on his own. But Cam Stirling was a movie stunt double who no man could tame — until Thor claimed her with a look. Although their passion was electric, Cam knew she couldn’t dare this devil without having to pay. Unrated. 1987. 231 pages copy 1. 231 pages copy 2. Donated to TSLAC TBP in FY2018

LB 11007 HORNET’S NEST: A NOVEL OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR CARTER, JIMMY, 1924- Former president’s first novel. Philadelphia Quakers Ethan and Epsey Pratt move to North Carolina, where they homestead until political troubles brew between the Regulators and the British. Relocating to Georgia in 1771 they develop local friendships with both Indians and settlers. Ethan joins the militia despite his religious beliefs. Bestseller. 2003. 784 pages copy 1. 784 pages copy 2. Donated to TSLAC TBP in FY2018

LB 10372 UPSTART COOKSON, CATHERINE England, 1898. Samuel Fairbrother is a successful cobbler with factories and stores across the country. Determined to move up in the world, Samuel buys a mansion complete with servants. The educated butler, Maitland, becomes indispensable to the family. As the children grow up and leave home, the eldest daughter Janet remains and falls in love with the lowly servant, Maitland. 571 pages copy 1. 538 pages copy 2. Donated to TSLAC TBP in FY2018

LB 9709 CAT WHO SAID CHEESE BRAUN, LILIAN JACKSON It is autumn in Pickax City, and Qwill, along with other residents, is preparing for the Great Food Expo — a festival of all kinds of happenings related to food. There is also a mysterious female guest at the New Pickax Hotel whose presence is causing quite a stir. But things really get hectic when a bomb explodes in the hotel and the intended victim seems to be the mystery guest. As usual Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum help solve the crime. Bestseller. 1996. 303 pages copy 1. 392 pages copy 2. Donated to TSLAC TBP in FY2018

LB 10945 I OWE YOU ONE KINSELLA, SOPHIE Fixie Farr took over the family hardware business after her father`s death, with little help from her brothers. When she saves a stranger`s laptop at a coffee shop, he gives her an IOU. She plans to use the favor to help her ex-boyfriend, but things get complicated. Unrated. 2019. 575 pages.

LB 10809 WEDDING GUEST: AN ALEX DELAWARE NOVEL KELLERMAN, JONATHAN Psychologist Delaware and Detective Sturgis are summoned to a wild saints and sinners-themed wedding reception. A horrified bridesmaid has discovered the body of a young woman, dressed in haute couture and accessorized with a grisly red slash around her neck. And no one recognizes her. Unrated. Bestseller. 485 pages.


Please join us on Tuesday, July 23 at 7 pm (Central Time) for our Book Club discussion of ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE, by Gail Honeyman.

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

To RSVP, please call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605; or email us at  RSVP preferred by July 2.

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE is available by mail in digital cartridge.  It is also available to download on BARD.

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

We request that everyone remember the following:

  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.
  • Be courteous.  Try not to interrupt or talk over others.
  • Give everyone a chance to talk.
  • Be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, preface your comments with your first name.


Gail Honeyman

Socially awkward and perpetually cranky, Eleanor works a boring office job and avoids dealing with other people whenever possible.  She begins to open up after she develops a crush on a local musician and also becomes friendly with Raymond, the new IT guy.  Strong language.  Commercial audiobook.  2017.  DB 87829; LB 09081.

We look forward to having you join us on Tuesday, July 23!

ALA’s Most Challenged Books for 2018

Celebrate your freedom to read!

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom records all challenges or attempts to ban books.

The titles below are the books that have been challenged the most during 2018 in the Talking Book Program’s collection. For more information on why these books were challenged, visit ALA Frequently Challenged Books for 2018.

GEORGE by Alex Gino DB 82273

Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey


HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas DB 87441


Skippyjon Jones Series by Judith Byron Schachner


ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie DB 65403, BR 21549, BRC 00585

THIS DAY IN JUNE by Gayle E. Pitman DB 85949

TWO BOYS KISSING by David Levithan DB 78286, BR 20465


Please join us on Thursday, May 23 at 7 pm (Central Time) for our Book Club discussion of GOD SAVE TEXAS: A JOURNEY INTO THE SOUL OF THE LONE STAR STATE, by Lawrence Wright.

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

To RSVP, please call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605; or email us  RSVP preferred by May 2.

GOD SAVE TEXAS: A JOURNEY INTO THE SOUL OF THE LONE STAR STATE is available by mail in digital cartridge.  It is also available to download on BARD.

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

We request that everyone remember the following:

  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.
  • Be courteous.  Try not to interrupt or talk over others.
  • Give everyone a chance to talk.
  • Be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, preface your comments with your first name.
Book cover for God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright

An examination of the history, culture, demographics, economics, and politics ofTexas in the early twenty-first century, along with personal reflections by the author of The Looming Tower (DB 63287). Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  2018.  DB 90876.

We look forward to having you join us on Thursday, May 23!

March 2019 TBP Book Club Title Announced!

Texas Talking Book patrons: please join us on Tuesday March 26th at 7 pm (Central Time) for our book club discussion of LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng (DB   89018, BR   22149)

Book Cover for Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Our book club meetings are hosted via toll free conference call,so all you need is a telephone to participate.  To RSVP call the TalkingBook Program at: 1-800-252-9605 (RSVP preferred by March 5th) or email us at:  Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge or if you prefer to download it from BARD.

NLS Annotation:

 Elena Richardson andher family lead an orderly existence in Shaker Heights, Ohio, until Mia and herdaughter rent a house from them. When a neighbor tries to adopt a baby, Elenaand Mia end up on opposing sides of the custody battle. Some strong language andsome descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2017.

 We request that everyone remember the following:

  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.
  • Be courteous. Try not to interrupt or talk over others; give everyone a chance to talk; be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.
  • If comfortable doing so, please preface your comments with your first name.

We look forward to having you join us on Tuesday, March 26!

David Bowie’s Must-Read Books

David Bowie was an original. The world will never see another musician like him. On January 2019 it will be two years since he passed, and the world will continue to remember him by listening to the music he left behind. It’s no surprise that in addition to being an ultra-original musician he was also an avid reader, and left behind an extensive reading list. A year ago, Bowie’s son and film director Duncan Jones, launched the “David Bowie Book Club” through his Twitter feed. He invited folks to visit one of his dad’s favorite books each month. He chose the titles from the official list of Bowie’s Top 100 Must-Read Books, curated by Bowie’s official archivists. You’ll be glad to know that many of Bowie’s recommended books are available on BARD. They are listed below, sorted by publication date from newest to oldest.

  • The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby, 2008. DB 66150
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, 2007. DB 67964
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, 2002. DB 56184
  • Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler, 1997. DB 41918
  • A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1890-1924 by Orlando Figes, 1997. DB45238
  • The Insult by Rupert Thomson, 1996. DB 43935
  • Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon, 1995. DB 42023
  • The Bird Artist by Howard Norman, 1994. DB 38663
  • Kafka Was The Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir by Anatole Broyard, 1993.       DB 37861
  • Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia. DB 34102
  • Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom by Peter Guralnick, 1986. DB 73053
  • The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin, 1986. DB 26608
  • Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd, 1985. DB 24458
  • Nowhere To Run: The Story of Soul Music, by Gerri Hirshey, 1984. DB 23848
  • Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter, 1984. DB 23564
  • Money: A Suicide Note by Martin Amis, 1984. DB 22896
  • White Noise by Don DeLillo, 1984. DB 23512
  • The Life and Times of Little Richard by Charles White, 1984. DB 22861
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, 1980. DB 76953
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, 1980. DB 50482
  • Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler, 1980.  DB 16347
  • Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess, 1980. DB 16527
  • The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels, 1979. DB 60458
  • Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz, 1978. DB 11794
  • Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, ed. Malcolm Cowley, 1977. DB 09853
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, 1967. DB 37107
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, 1965.  DB 22726
  • Herzog by Saul Bellow, 1964. DB 22553
  • The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford, 1963. DB 36324
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, 1963.  DB 12439
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, 1962.  DB 15213
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, 1961.  DB 69464
  • The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, 1958.  DB 18177
  • On The Road by Jack Kerouac, 1957.  DB 31675
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, 1955.  DB 67388
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, 1948. DB 73474
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright, 1945. DB 20415
  • The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker, 1944. DB 17658
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus, 1942.  DB 40902
  • The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West, 1939. DB 12925
  • Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood, 1935.  DB 54128
  • The Bridge by Hart Crane, 1930. DB 10148
  • Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, 1930. DB 12881
  • As I lay Dying by William Faulkner by 1930. DB 11553
  • The 42nd Parallel (Book #1 of U.S.A Trilogy) by John Dos Passos, 1930. DB 42698
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin, 1929.  DB 91015
  • Passing by Nella Larsen, 1929.   DB 40702
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence, 1928.  DB 44295
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925. DB 55714
  • The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, 1922.  DB 19566
  • McTeague by Frank Norris, 1899. DB 12689
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, 1856. DB 13249
  • Inferno, from the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, circa 1308-1321. DB 76353
  • The Iliad by Homer, circa 800. DB 6635

Goodreads 2018 Choice Awards Announced

Goodreads Choice Awards 2018 Logo

The social cataloging website for book lovers, Goodreads, has just announced their readers’ Choice Awards for 2018. The Texas Talking Book Program has a good number of them in our collection. Are you looking for a story that takes place in the past? Goodreads members chose The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (DB 90090) as their favorite historical fiction book for this past year. Are you more interested in non-fiction? Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (DB 90188) was chosen as the best memoir. Perhaps you’re in the market for a new author to explore. Goodreads readers awarded Tomi Adeyemi the honor of Debut Goodreads Author for her young adult fantasy novel, Children of Blood and Bone (DB 90928). 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:


It’s been said that Texas has four seasons: drought, flood, blizzard, and twister.

There’s some truth in that.  But like root canals and head cheese, bad weather is something I’d rather read about than experience.

That’s the beauty of Johnny D. Boggs’ THAT TERRIBLE TEXAS WEATHER: TALES OF STORMS, DROUGHT, DESTRUCTION, AND PERSEVERANCE (DT 07156).  Boggs puts the reader in the middle of stifling droughts, deadly floods, and fearsome storms—but firmly out of harm’s way.  Just the way I like it.

Boggs shares true-life stories of calamitous Texas weather, from the 1882 Ben Ficklin flood and the blizzard of 1886 to the heartbreaking 1987 Saragosa tornado.  Weathering frigid blue northers and dodging softball-sized hail, Boggs highlights unsung Texans who meet death and devastation with courage and heroism.

THAT TERRIBLE TEXAS WEATHER is spiked with delicious nuggets of Texas history.  We meet the utopian namesakes of Reunion Tower in Dallas.  We learn why San Angelo, not Santa Angela, is the seat of Tom Green county.  And we discover the blessings—and the curses—of drift fences.  Boggs even explores the U. S Department of Agriculture’s “concussive” 1891 rainmaking experiment.

Boggs writes award-winning western novels, but he cut his teeth as a sportswriter in Dallas and Fort Worth.  His experience as a reporter is evident in his tight writing and eye for telling detail.  Boggs also displays a novelist’s gift for infusing his narrative with incisive slivers of humanity.

An undercurrent that flows through THAT TERRIBLE TEXAS WEATHER is the certainty that no matter how dire the circumstances, Texans don’t lose faith in the future.  They find the resilience and grit to rebuild and recover.  Resilience and grit are still core Texan attributes.  Even in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Texans continue to persevere despite that terrible Texas weather.

NLS Annotation:  Through a collection of newspaper reports and eyewitness accounts of victims caught up in some of the most devastating weather Texas has ever produced, this is a sampler of Texas weather through the years.  From the hurricanes of Indianola and Galveston to the tornado at Wichita Falls to the drought and heat wave of 1998, these are the stories of the people who perished and the people who endured, and of their Texas-sized courage and heroism.  Contains some violence.

A sampling of Johnny Boggs’ western fiction includes HARD WINTER: A WESTERN STORY (DB 72627); ONCE THEY WORE THE GRAY (DB 80003); SPARK ON THE PRAIRIE: A GUNS AND GAVEL NOVEL (DB 64703); and PURGATOIRE (DB 73519).

More information about author Johnny D. Boggs is at:

A classic account of terrible Texas weather is THE TIME IT NEVER RAINED (DB 49217), by the incomparable Elmer Kelton.  Although a work of fiction, it’s rooted in Kelton’s lived experiences during the 1950s drought.  (Kelton makes cameo appearances in THAT TERRIBLE TEXAS WEATHER.)

ISAAC’S STORM: A MAN, A TIME, AND THE DEADLIEST HURRICANE IN HISTORY (DB 48811), by Erik Larson, is a riveting account of the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

Larson discusses ISAAC’S STORM at the 1999 Texas Book Festival:



Dig deeper into the American Dust Bowl with author Egan:

Experience “Surviving the Dust Bowl”:

WHAT STANDS IN A STORM: THREE DAYS IN THE WORST SUPERSTORM TO HIT THE SOUTH’S TORNADO ALLEY (DB 83439) is a nonfiction weather thriller.  Author Kim Cross chronicles the swatch of 757 tornadoes that ravaged the South in April 2011.


I recently spent a week in northern Minnesota.  When I wasn’t not-catching fish, listening to loons, or feeding the mosquitoes, I spent quite a bit of time walking in the woods.  It was wonderful.  Breathing air that didn’t taste like car exhaust was different, but I got used to it.

Spending time in nature—whether walking in the woods, puttering in the backyard, or strolling in a park—is good for the body.  And the mind.  And the soul.  Being outdoors activates what’s known as the “happiness effect.”

Even a 15-minute walk in the woods—or on the prairie—helps you relax and offers a much-needed break from the chaos and noise of the “real” world.  John Muir got it right when he said, “of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

Travel writer Bill Bryson takes Muir at his word.  Having hiked a good bit of England, Bryson stumbles upon an outcropping of the Appalachian Trail (AT) near his home in New Hampshire and decides to tackle “the granddaddy of long hikes.”

Stephen Katz, a ne’er-do-well friend from Des Moines, volunteers to accompany Bryson, and the “waddlesome” duo hit the trail at Springer Mountain, Georgia, intent on hiking the Trail’s rugged 2,190 miles to Mount Katahdin, Maine.

it’s immediately clear that they have no business on the AT.  Woefully unprepared for its rigors, they come to their senses in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and abandon the lunacy of hiking the entire Trail.  They hopscotch their way via cab and rental car to Virginia, where they hike a more agreeable stretch of the Trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains, before suspending their odyssey.

Smitten with the AT, Bryson continues hiking abbreviated stretches of it on his own.  He samples the Trail in Pennsylvania (home of the meanest rattlesnakes on the AT), climbs Kittatinny Mountain, and survives the deceptively deadly slopes of Mount Washington.

Months later, Bryson and Katz resume hiking the AT in the notorious Hundred-Mile Wilderness of Maine.  Katz gets hopelessly lost, and they mercifully decide to call it a hike.  Later, mellowed by cream soda, they conclude that although they didn’t hike the Appalachian Trail, they DID hike the Appalachian Trail.

By turns whimsical, scholarly, cantankerous, and philosophical, Bryson paints a thoughtful portrait of the Appalachian Trail, recounting its curious history and uncertain future.  He mourns the passing of the “massively graceful” American chestnut and marvels at the astounding biological richness of the Great Smoky Mountains.  Bryson even knits together earthquakes, Alaskan glaciers, and swimming pools in Texas.

Like the best guides, Bryson leads us on surprising and offbeat detours.  We glimpse Stonewall Jackson, meet house proud loons, and explore the strange, sad town of Centralia, PA.  We also meet some of the Trail’s abundant wildlife, from hellbender salamanders to “dopily unassuming” moose.

Zoologist Desmond Morris observed that “the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo.”  A WALK IN THE WOODS is an invitation to escape that zoo, and Bryson is a worthy companion.  Just don’t get him started on cabbies in Gatlinburg, TN.


NLS Annotation: Bryson relates the adventures and misadventures of two totally unfit hikers as he and longtime friend Stephen Katz traverse the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail.  Returning from more than twenty years in Britain, he set out to rediscover his homeland, but the two men find themselves awed by the terrain and stymied by the unfamiliar local culture.  Bestseller.  Some strong language.  1998.

For information about the 2015 movie adaptation, “A Walk in the Woods,” starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte:

Hike back in time and enjoy a June 1998 book talk by Bill Bryson at Olsson’s Books and Records in Washington, DC:

An amazing and altogether different real-life tale of hiking the Appalachian Trail is GRANDMA GATEWOOD’S WALK: THE INSPIRING STORY OF THE WOMAN WHO SAVED THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL, by Ben Montgomery:

Biography of Emma Gatewood (1887-1973), who left her family in Ohio in May 1955, saying only that she was going for a walk.  Four months later she completed a solo hike of the Appalachian Trail, from south to north—the first woman to do so.  Details her trip and subsequent celebrity.  2014.  BR 21504 / DB 80502


The Appalachian Trail’s treacherous West Coast cousin is the star of WILD: FROM LOST TO FOUND ON THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL, by Cheryl Strayed.  (DB 80502).



Are you ready for some Football?

Of course, you are.  The only thing bigger than Football in Texas is Texas itself.

Football season is finally here.  Fans have lots of options when it comes to reading about gridiron glory.  A hard-nosed, old-school book about Football and Texas is JUNCTION BOYS: HOW TEN DAYS IN HELL WITH BEAR BRYANT FORGED A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM, by Jim Dent.

Hired in 1954 to revive Texas A&M’s moribund football program, Paul “Bear” Bryant decided to “separate the quitters from the keepers.”  In the midst of an historic drought, Bryant took 115 Aggie football players to the Hill Country town of Junction for preseason training camp.  10 days later, only 35 players remained.

Brutal doesn’t being to describe what the players endured.  The practice “field” was a rock-strewn, goathead-encrusted patch of sunbaked dirt.  Temperatures soared well beyond 100°, but Bryant forbade water breaks.  One player nearly died of heatstroke.

After returning to College Station, the survivors battled through a 1-9 season. Two years later, they were undefeated Southwest Conference champions.  Bryant not only revived the football program, he may have saved the University itself.

After the 1957 season, Bryant left Texas A&M and returned to his alma mater, the University of Alabama.  The rest is history.  Bryant won six National Championships at Alabama and is considered the greatest college football coach of all time.

But despite all those glorious Crimson Tide championship teams, that gritty 1954 Texas A&M squad was his favorite.  Bear loved the “Junction Boys.”

With cameo appearances by Bonnie & Clyde,the Chicken Ranch, Elvis Presley, and a hay bale stuffed with $10,000 in hundred-dollar bills, JUNCTION BOYS: HOW TEN DAYS IN HELL WITH BEAR BRYANT FORGED A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM is a treasure for college football fans and Texas History buffs alike.

NLS Annotation: The story of Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s legendary training camp in 1954 in the small town of Junction, Texas. In a move that many consider the salvation of the Texas A&M football program, Coach Bryant put 115 players through the most grueling practices ever imagined. Only a handful of players survived the entire ten days, but they turned a floundering football team into one of the nation’s best. Strong language.  1999.

If you view football through burnt orange glasses and prefer a 24-letter alphabet (no A&M, please), turn your Eyes of Texas toward THE DARRELL ROYAL STORY (DT 02830) by Jimmy Banks; or BLEEDING ORANGE: TROOULBE AND TRIUMOH DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS (DT  5515), by John Maher.  Another amazing story of Texans and football is TWELVE MIGHTY ORPHANS: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football (DT 07025), also by Jim Dent.

Elmer Kelton’s novel, THE TIME IT NEVER RAINED (DB 49217; LB 03803), is a superb account of the of the 1950s drought that ravaged west Texas.

Catch a peek of the 2002 television movie, “The Junction Boys,” starring Tom Berenger as Bear Bryant, here: