Blind and Low Vision Book Characters in Honor of Louis Braille

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

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

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

ARRANGEMENT by Mary Balogh
DB 77497

DEAREST ROGUE by Elizabeth Hoyt
DB 81933

FORTUNE FAVORS THE WICKED by Theresa Romain
DB 85434

GREEK LESSONS: A NOVEL by Kang Han
DB 114737

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

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

SONG OF THE SHANK by Jeffery Renard Allen
DB 79514

SUMMER GUEST: A NOVEL by Alison Anderson
DB 85713

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

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

Goodreads 2023 Choice Awards Announced

The social cataloging website for book lovers, Goodreads, has just announced their readers’ Choice Awards for 2023. The Texas Talking Book Program has a good number of them in our collection. Are you looking for a new author? Goodreads members chose WEYWARD by Emilia Hart (DB 113239, BR 24933 IN PROCESS) as their debut novel for this past year. Are you more interested in non-fiction? POVERTY, BY AMERICA by Matthew Desmond (DB 113856, LB 14415) was chosen as the best non-fiction book.  Perhaps you’ve had a busy holiday season and don’t want to read anything too heavy. Readers selected HAPPY PLACE by Emily Henry (DB 114742, BR 24897 IN PROCESS) as their favorite romance novel.  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-books-2023

Best Fiction

YELLOWFACE by R. F. Kuang (DB 114930, BR 24934 IN PROCESS)

Best Historical Fiction

WEYWARD by Emilia Hart (DB 113239, BR 24933 IN PROCESS)

Best Romance

HAPPY PLACE by Emily Henry (DB 114742, BR 24897 IN PROCESS)

Best Romantasy

FOURTH WING by Rebecca Yarros (DB 115206)

Best Fantasy

HELL BENT by Leigh Bardugo (DB 112194, BR 24761 IN PROCESS)

Best Science Fiction

IN THE LIVES OF PUPPETS by T. J. Klune (DB 114494)

Best Horror

HOLLY by Stephen King (DB 116600 IN PROCESS, BR 25169 IN PROCESS)

Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction

DIVINE RIVALS by Rebecca Ross (DB 116476 IN PROCESS)

Best Debut Novel

WEYWARD by Emilia Hart (DB 113239, BR 24933 IN PROCESS)

Best Nonfiction

POVERTY, BY AMERICA by Matthew Desmond (DB 113856, LB 14415)

Best Memoir & Autobiography

WOMAN IN ME by Britney Spears (DB 116686 IN PROCESS)

Best History & Biography

WAGER: A TALE OF SHIPWRECK, MUTINY, AND MURDER by David Grann (DB 113965, LB 14399)

Best Humor

BEING HENRY: THE FONZ…AND BEYOND by Henry Winkler (DB IN PROCESS)

Indigenous Voices: Memoirs and Autobiographies

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we have collected some autobiographies and memoirs written by Native Americans. We have memoirs from Metis, Potawatomi, Lakota, and many other Indigenous Americans.

ABANDON ME by Melissa Febos (DBC16562)
BITTEROOT: A SALISH MEMOIR OF TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION by Susan Devan Harness (DBC 13108)
BRAIDING SWEETGRASS: INDIGENOUS WISDOM, SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND THE TEACHINGS OF PLANTS by Robin Wall Kimmerer (DB 92274)
CARRY: A MEMOIR OF SURVIVAL ON STOLEN LAND by Toni Jensen (DB 101608)
CRAZY BRAVE: A MEMOIR by Joy Harjo (DB 97592, BR 22807)
FROM THE ASHES: MY STORY OF BEING INDIGENOUS, HOMELESS, AND FINDING MY WAY by Jesse Thistle (DB 113670, LB 14003)
HEART BERRIES: A MEMOIR by Terese Marie Mailhot (DB 108091)
LAKOTA WOMAN by Mary Crow Dog (DB 32089)
MY BODY IS A BOOK OF RULES by Elissa Washuta (DBC 06942)
PIPESTONE: MY LIFE IN AN INDIAN BOARDING SCHOOL by Adam Fortunate Eagle (DB 113324)
SPIRIT CAR: JOURNEY TO A DAKOTA PAST by Diane Wilson (DBC 19747)
SPIRIT MOVES: STORY OF SIX GENERATIONS OF NATIVE WOMEN by Loree Boyd (DB 46850)
SPIRIT RUN: A 6,000-MILE MARATHON THROUGH NORTH AMERICA’S STOLEN LAND by Noe Alvarez (DB 98794)
THEY CALLED ME NUMBER ONE: SECRETS AND SURVIVAL AT AN INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL by Bev Sellars (DB 113452)
TURQUOISE LEDGE: A MEMOIR by Leslie Marmon Silko (DBC 04945)
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME: A MEMOIR by Sherman Alexie (DB 89576, BR 22175, LB 10335)

Romantic Comedies

Sometimes we just want a little bit of laughter with our love—because, let’s face it, sometimes when things go wrong (as they invariably do with romance), all you can do is laugh at the absurdity of it all.

We have all your favorite romantic tropes: enemies to lovers, opposites attract, holiday romance, workplace romance, small town romance, and so many different types of characters. Some protagonists are overcoming previous traumas, others have physical limitations, and a few are neurodivergent. Some of these books are spicy and some are faith-based with no sex, violence, or profanity. But ALL of them are meant to be humorous. 

Series

BOO SERIES
BOO by Rene Gutteridge (DBC 13587)
BOYFRIEND PROJECT SERIES
BOYFRIEND PROJECT by Farrah Rochon (DB 99855)
BROMANCE BOOK CLUB SERIES
BROMANCE BOOK CLUB by Lyssa Kay Adams (DB 97443)
BROWN SISTERS SERIES
GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN by Talia Hibbert (DB 97496, BR 23327)
DNADUO SERIES
SOULMATE EXPERIMENT by Christina Lauren (DB 103621)
FRIEND ZONE SERIES
FRIEND ZONE by Abby Jimenez (DB 95597, BR 23039)
KISS QUOTIENT SERIES
KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang (DB 91563, BR 23569)
MODERN LOVE SERIES
RIGHT SWIPE by Alisha Rai (DB 96121)
ONLY IN GOODING SERIES
FANCY PANTS by Cathy Marie Hake (DB 89624)
RAJES SERIES
PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND OTHER FLAVORS by Sonali Dev (DB 95480)
SWEET MESS SERIES
SWEET MESS by Jaci Lee (DB 101027)
TOUBLE WITH HATING YOU SERIES
TROUBLE WITH HATING YOU by Sajni Patel (DBC 26468)
WEDDING DATE SERIES
WEDDING DATE by Jasmine Guillory (DB 90130, BR 22416)
WELL MET SERIES
WELL MET by Jen DeLuca (DB 96644)

Stand Alone Novels

BET ON IT by Jodie Slaughter (DB 109571)
BODYGUARD by Katherine Center (DB 109304, BR 24488)
BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry (DB 107926, BR 24476, LB 13928)
MERRY LITTLE MEET CUTE by Julie Murphy (DB 110541)
OOPS I’VE FALLEN by Max Monroe (DB 110060)
NO SHOW by Beth O’Leary (DB 107812)
ROMANTIC COMEDY by Curtis Sittenfeld (DB 113860, BR 24945, LB 14285)
TRES CITAS CON CARTER by Beth O’Leary (DB 114175)
YOU HAD ME AT HOLA by Alexis Daria (DB 100232)

13 Space Horror Novels

Space: Where no one can hear you scream…because sound is just vibrating air, space has no air to vibrate, and therefore there can be no sound.

We have 13 science fiction horror novels set in space. Some feature extraterrestrials like SALVAGED and PITCH DARK. Others like HULL ZERO THREE and SALVATION DAY deal with threats created by members of humanity. ALL of them will make your spine tingle.

ALIEN; ALIENS; AND ALIEN 3: THE OFFICIAL MOVIE NOVELIZATION by Alan Dean Foster (DB 104030, BR 04215)
ALIEN COVENANT by Alan Dean Foster (DB 115465)
DEAD SILENCE by S. A. Barnes (DB 107261)
DEATH TROOPERS by Joe Schreiber (DB 70317, BR 18837)
HULL ZERO THREE by Greg Bear (DB 72718)
LAST ASTRONAUT by David Wellington (DB 96204)
PITCH DARK by Courtney Alameda (DB 90442)
SALVAGED by Madeleine Roux (DB 97865)
SALVATION DAY by Kali Wallace (DB 96354)
SCOURGE BETWEEN STARS by Ness Brown (DB 114290, BR 24888)
SHIP OF FOOLS by Richard Paul Russo (DB 51885)
SIX WAKES by Mur Lafferty (DB 87293, BR 21864)
SOLARIS by Stanislaw Lem (DB 82495, BR 21113)

Mysterious Ways: Religious Mystery Series

Do you enjoy a good mystery with a slightly religious bent? Here is a list of religious mystery series that you may enjoy in the TBP collection. They cover a lot of different denominations as well as a variety of time periods. We have listed the first book in the series to get you started.

AUSTIN-STONER FILES
LOST MANUSCRIPT OF MARTIN TAYLOR HARRISON by Stephen A. Bly (DB 102803)
CHRONICLES OF BROTHER CADFAEL
MORBID TASTE FOR BONES by Ellis Peters (DB 28174, BR 03876)
DAYBREAK MYSTERIES SERIES
STORM AT DAYBREAK by B. J. Hoff (DB 46590)
DETECTIVE OLLIE CHANDLER MYSTERY SERIES
DEADLINE by Randy C. Alcorn (DB 66492)
HELEN BRADLEY SERIES
NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP by Patrica H. Rushford (DB 50603)
HIDDEN SPRINGS MYSTERY SERIES
MURDER AT THE COURTHOUSE by Ann H. Gabhart (DBC 05628)
LAVENDER TIDES SERIES
VIEW FROM RAINSHADOW BAY by Colleen Coble (DB 94499)
LITURGICAL MYSTERY SERIES
ALTO WORE TWEED by Mark Schweizer (DBC 03684)
NEWPOINTE 911 SERIES
PRIVATE JUSTICE by Terri Blackstock (DB 93217, LB 11039)
ROLAND MARCH MYSTERY SERIES
BACK ON MURDER by Mark J. Bertrand (DBC 25483)
SISTER FIDELMA MYSTERY SERIES
ABSOLUTION BY MURDER by Peter Tremayne (DBC 16749)
SISTER MARY HELEN MYSTERY SERIES
NOVENA FOR MURDER by Carol Anne O’Marie (DB 21046)
TY BUCHANAN SERIES
TRY DYING by James Scott Bell (DB 72663)

Weird Westerns

What happens when eerie things occur in the west? You get weird Westerns. Here at the Texas Talking Book Program we have creepy cowboys, ghoulish gunslingers, and paranormal pardners of all kinds. So, consider spending some time on the frontier where fantasy meets the wild weird West.

BLOOD RIDERS by Michael P. Spradlin (DB 76040)
BUNTLINE SPECIAL: A WEIRD WEST TALE by Michael D. Resnick (DB 92468)
DEAD MAN’S HAND: AN ANTHOLOGY OF THE WEIRD WEST (DB 79467)
FLAMING ZEPPELINS: THE ADVENTURES OF NED THE SEAL by Joe R. Lansdale (DBC 04855)
GUNSLINGER: THE DARK TOWER, VOLUME 1 by Stephen King (DB 62356)
HAUNTED MESA by Louis L’Amour (DB 26016)
HERMANO by Carmen Baca (DBC 10279) en español
IN THE VALLEY OF THE SUN: A NOVEL by Andy Davidson (DB 90852; LB 09283)
MAN IN THE BLACK HAT by Melissa Bowersock (DBC 12879)
OF GRAVE CONCERN: AN OPHELIA WYLDE PARANORMAL MYSTERY by Max McCoy (DC 06565)
PORTLANDTOWN: A TALE OF THE OREGON WYLDES by Rob Deborde (DB 75792)
RAZORED SADDLES (DBC 14471)
SILVER ON THE ROAD: A DEVIL’S WEST NOVEL by Laura Anne Gilman (DB 83792)
SIX-GUN TAROT: A GOLGOTHA NOVEL by R. S. Belcher (DB 76240)
THOUSAND CRIMES OF MING TSU by Tom Lin (DB 104311)
UNBURY CAROL by Josh Malerman (DB 90710)
VERMILION: THE ADVENTURES OF LOU MERRIWETHER, PSYCHOPOMP by Molly Tanzer (DB 84396)

Bibliography of American Scientists

Did you know that the recent Christopher Nolan film Oppenheimer was based on a book? Well, it was! It was based on AMERICAN PROMETHEUS by Kai Bird. It even won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2006. This made us wonder, what other great biographies and autobiographies on great American scientists do we have in the TBP collection? So we decided to search the catalog. We even found the autobiography of a scientist who is blind! Here are some of the titles we discovered:

AMERICAN PROMETHEUS: THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER by Kai Bird (DB 61087)
ARBORNAUT: A LIFE DISCOVERING THE EIGHTH CONTINENT IN THE TREES ABOVE US by Margaret Lowman (DB 104556, LB 13833)
ATOMIC WOMEN: THE UNTOLD STORIES OF THE SCIENTISTS WHO HELPED CREATE THE NUCLEAR BOMB by Roseanne Montillo (DB 105401)
AVOID BORING PEOPLE: LESSONS FROM A LIFE IN SCIENCE by James Watson (DB 66912)
FROM IMMIGRANT TO INVENTOR: AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE SERBIAN-AMERICAN PHYSICIST, CHEMIST AND PIONEER OF ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION AND THE LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE LINE by Michael Pupin (DB 98555)
GIRL DECODED: A SCIENTIST’S QUEST TO RECLAIM OUR HUMANITY BY BRINGING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE TO TECHNOLOGY by Rana El Kaliouby (DB 99895)
HIDDEN FROM HISTORY: THE LIVES OF EIGHT AMERICAN WOMEN SCIENTISTS by Kim K. Zach (DB 58587)
LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren (DB 84436; LB 08952)
POISON SQUAD: ONE CHEMIST’S SINGLE-MINDED CRUSADE FOR FOOD SAFETY AT THE TURN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY by Deborah Blum (DB 92502)
PRIVILEGED HANDS: A SCIENTIFIC LIFE by Geerat J. Vermeij (DB 42911, BR 10669)
PROVING GROUND: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE SIX WOMEN WHO PROGRAMED THE WORLD’S FIRST MODERN COMPUTER by Kathy Kleiman (DB 115112)
RISE OF THE ROCKET GIRLS: THE WOMEN WHO PROPELLED US, FROM MISSILES TO THE MOON TO MARS by Nathalia Holt (DB 84440; LB 08653)

Juvenile Nonfiction

ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT: A STORY ABOUT ELLEN SWALLOW RICHARDS by Ethlie Ann Vare (DB 36589)
Grades 2-4.

Explore Music and the Literature That Inspired It in the TBP Collections

By Becky

There are so many books that have inspired musicians. Alice in Wonderland alone inspired everyone from Jefferson Airplane to Tom Petty, Lady Gaga, the Beatles, and others. Check out ALICE IN WONDERLAND; and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by Lewis Carroll (DB 50842; BR 12746) from the Talking Book Program collections.

Tolkien’s Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion have inspired hundreds of songs, such as Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On.” FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: BEING THE FIRST PART OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. Tolkien (DB 47486; BR 09745; LB 04282) and SILMARILLION by J. R. R. Tolkien (DB 60367; BR 11510).

And there are many songs that reference The Master and Margarita. Probably the best known is Rolling Stones: “Sympathy for the Devil.” THE MASTER AND MARGARITA by Mikhail Bulgakov (DB 37107; BR 19148).

Andrew Hozier-Byrne (who performs as Hozier) has a new album coming out in August, inspired by his experience during the pandemic. Several interviews mention that Hozier began to reference epic poetry during lockdown.  Some of Hozier’s new songs are based on Dante’s Inferno and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. We have both in our collection: METAMORPHOSES by Ovid (DB 114243; BR 07318); and INFERNO by Dante Alighieri (DB 76353, BR 19903).Hozier wrote another one of the new songs after hearing Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy talk about feminism; it’s called “Swan Upon Leda,” another call-back to myth. In our collection: ONE HUNDRED ESSENTIAL MODERN POEMS (contains “Leda and the Swan”) (DB 65015).

What are some other literary works that have inspired music? We’ve found quite a few.

Kate Bush has been introduced to a new generation of fans because of her song “Running Up the Hill” being used in a streaming show. She also wrote a song called “Wuthering Heights,” based upon the 19th century English novel. WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Bronte (DB 25178; BR 22475; LB 04699).

Basing a song on Fyodor Dostoevsky seems especially impressive—even a novella. There’s a song called “From Under the Floorboards” by the band Magazine. It is based on Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground–the friend who told me about it says it gets bonus points for condensing the whole spirit of the novella into four minutes! NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (DB 37598).

Of course, I can’t talk about music based on literature without including U2, my favorite band. From their very first album, they were referencing books and poems in the lyrics—”Shadows and Tall Trees” comes from William Golding’s LORD OF THE FLIES (DB 48388, BR 09480, BR 22324), and in “The Ocean,” they refer to Oscar Wilde. BEST OF OSCAR WILDE: SELECTED PLAYS AND LITERARY CRITICISM by Oscar Wilde (DB 62711; BR 16500). Bono used the Bible as inspiration for many of his songs: for example, taking the 40thPsalm as lyrics for the song “40.” A good half of U2’s song lyrics have biblical allusions.

“Exit,” on their album The Joshua Tree, was inspired by Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song; it is probably their darkest song. THE EXECUTIONER’S SONG by Norman Mailer (DB 13985). Bono also wrote a song with Salman Rushdie. “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” was not just influenced by but directly taken from his novel; he sent a copy to Bono and asked him to set some of the words to music. GROUND BENEATH HER FEET by Salman Rushdie (DB 48279).And their latest two albums got their titles from William Blake’s poetry collections. SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE (BT 03983). For audio: SELECTED POEMS by William Blake (DB 20845).

I’m sure I’ve missed a ton of books that have inspired music, so if you’ve been yelling a title while reading this, put it in a comment below.


Summer Vacations Bibliography

Vacation, all we ever wanted. Vacation, time to get away. But sometimes we can’t get away for a vacation. Yet you can always escape by reading. Here is a list of books where the characters go on vacation. They span all genres: romance, horror, historical fiction, fantasy.

Fantasy

DEATH’S EXCELLENT VACATION edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner (DB 71580)
SHARKS IN THE TIME OF SAVIORS by Kawai Strong Washburn (DB 9895)

Historical Fiction

FRENCH BRAID by Anne Tyler (DB 107336)
FRENCH FOR MURDER by Verity Bright (DB 111302)
LIONESS by Chris Bohjalian (DB 107943)

Horror Fiction

CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Paul Tremblay (DB 92126)
GETAWAY by Lamar Giles (DB 111267)
NEVERLAND by Douglas Clegg (DB 72089)
THIRTEEN DAYS BY SUNSET BEACH by Ramsey Campbell (DB 94701)

Romance

HOW TO KEEP A SECRET by Sarah Morgan (DB 93429)
MUCH ADO ABOUT YOU by Samantha Young (DB 102516)
PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry (DB 103191)
UNHONEYMOONERS by Christina Lauren (DB 95304)

Thrillers

GIRL OVERBOARD by Sandra Block (DB 108649)
HOUSE ON FRIPP ISLAND by Rebecca Kauffman (DB 105164)
ISLAND by Adrian McKinty (DB 108002)
RECKLESS GIRLS by Rachel Hawkins (DB 106455)
TAKE ME HIGHER by Pamela Clare (DB 109192)
VACATION by T. M. Logan (DB 100556)

Science Fiction

TROUBLE ON PARADISE by Doug Tisdale, Jr. (DB 105971)

Women’s Fiction

ENCHANTED AUGUST by Brenda Bowen (DB 81867)
SUMMER RENTAL by Mary Kay Andrews (DB 74258)