Remembering Disability Rights Pioneer: Judith Heumann

Judith “Judy” Heumann died on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at the age of 75.

Judy was an American disability rights activist. She was recognized internationally as a leader in the disability community. Heumann was a lifelong civil rights advocate for people with disabilities.

Judy wrote two books that are in our National Library Service Collection.



She also starred in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Crip Camp” and had a podcast called “The Heumann Perspective.”

Her funeral will be on Wednesday, March 8, at 10 a.m. (EST) in Washington, DC. It will be livestreamed here:

To read about her life and numerous accomplishments the field of disability rights, click on this link:

The Many Faces of BARD Program: The NLS Braille E-Reader

Join the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) on Thursday, March 9, 2023, for the Many Faces of BARD program, featuring the new NLS Braille E-Reader. The program begins at 6:00 p.m. (Central) and lasts for one hour. NLS staff will provide an overview of both the Humanware and Zoomax braille e-readers, and then take questions from participants.

No registration is required.

Use this Zoom link to attend:

You can also call in by dialing 1-646-828-7666. The Meeting ID is 161 892 7125.

New Large Print Books Added in January 2023


LB           14177    LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS: A NOVEL            JEFFERS, HONOREE FANONNE, 1967-      

Ailey Pearl Garfield spends summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother’s family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. From an early age, Ailey fights a battle for belonging while the women of her family urge Ailey to succeed in their stead. Unrated.

LB           14181    WOMAN IN THE LIBRARY: A NOVEL          GENTILL, SULARI              

“The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quietuntil the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation, and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer. Award-winning author Sulari Gentill delivers a sharply thrilling listen with this unexpectedly twisty literary adventure that examines the complicated nature of friendship and reveals that words can be the most treacherous weapons of all.” — Provided by publisher. Unrated.

LB           14169    BLOWBACK         PATTERSON, JAMES, 1947-          

US President Keegan Barrett has swept into office on his success as Director of the CIA. Six months into his first term, he devises a clandestine power grab with deadly consequences. Barrett personally orders Special Agents Liam Grey and Noa Himel to execute his plan, but their loyalties are divided. The CIA serves at the pleasure of the president, yet they’ve sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. When the threat comes directly from the Oval Office, that’s where the blowback begins. Unrated.  Related names: DuBois, Brendan, author.            

LB           14157    CHALLENGE: A NOVEL    STEEL, DANIELLE              

“Fishtail, Montana, is home to Anne and Pitt Pollock, local royalty, high school sweethearts, and owners of the successful Pollock ranch. The sprawling foothills of the Beartooth Mountains surround the town, overlooking the Pollocks’ property and the nearby ranch belonging to Bill and Pattie Brown. The two couples have known each other since childhood. Their sons Peter Pollock and Matt Brown are also the best of friends. When they and two other local kids meet Juliet Marshall, new to town after her parents’ bitter divorce, the five of them are soon inseparable, spending their summer days swimming, horseback riding, hiking, and fishing. But one August afternoon, their latest adventure takes a dangerous turn—and quickly escalates into a battle for survival—when they find themselves trapped on Granite Peak. Fear reverberates through the town as their parents grow ever more desperate to hear word that their children have been found. They must place their own trials aside amid a massive search-and-rescue operation. As they come to lean on one another for support, a media frenzy ensues, heightening tensions and testing some already fragile relationships. In the aftermath of this one fateful event, devastating secrets are revealed, new love appears on the horizon, and families are forced to reconsider what they once held dear.” — Provided by publisher. Unrated. Bestseller.


“When Juan Cabrillo fails to capture the leader of Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartel and loses an Oregon crew member in the process, he’s determined to get revenge. Little does he know that the explosion he just narrowly escaped was merely the latest flash of violence from a machine of war that has existed for decades, dating from the bloodiest episode in Armenia’s history. Cabrillo’s Corporation of mercenaries may have finally met its match in The Pipeline—a criminal syndicate passed down from father to son across generations. A group that sits with its finger on the trigger of a torpedo so deadly it could level entire cities. With millions of innocent civilians hanging in the balance, the Oregon’s crew must unravel a tangle of drug-smuggling routes and international conspiracies spanning from the Aegean Sea to the Indian Ocean, putting their lives on the line to find the weapon before its countdown hits zero.” — Provided by publisher. Unrated. Commercial audiobook.

LB           14172    SMILING COUNTRY         KELTON, ELMER

Texas, 1910. In this sequel to The Good Old Boys, Hewey Calloway settles down and, with his nephew Tommy, runs the Circle W ranch. Hewey is seriously injured trying to prove he can still break a horse. The mishap has one benefit, though; he gets reacquainted with an old girlfriend.

LB           14187    LAST CHAIRLIFT     IRVING, JOHN, 1942- 

“In Aspen, Colorado, in 1941, Rachel Brewster is a slalom skier at the National Downhill and Slalom Championships. Little Ray, as she is called, finishes nowhere near the podium, but she manages to get pregnant. Back home, in New England, Little Ray becomes a ski instructor. Her son, Adam, grows up in a family that defies conventions and evades questions concerning the eventful past. Years later, looking for answers, Adam will go to Aspen. In the Hotel Jerome, where he was conceived, Adam will meet some ghosts; in The Last Chairlift, they aren’t the first or the last ghosts he sees. John Irving has written some of the most acclaimed books of our time—among them, The World According to Garp and The Cider House Rules. A visionary voice on the subject of sexual tolerance, Irving is a bard of alternative families. In The Last Chairlift, readers will once more be in his thrall.” — Provided by publisher. Unrated. 

LB           14161    DREAMLAND     SPARKS, NICHOLAS        

“Colby Mills once felt destined for a musical career, until tragedy grounded his aspirations. Now the head of a small family farm in North Carolina, he spontaneously takes a gig playing at a bar in St. Pete Beach, Florida, seeking a rare break from his duties at home. But when he meets Morgan Lee, his world is turned upside-down, making him wonder if the responsibilities he has shouldered need dictate his life forever. The daughter of affluent Chicago doctors, Morgan has graduated from a prestigious college music program with the ambition to move to Nashville and become a star. Romantically and musically, she and Colby complete each other in a way that neither has ever known. While they are falling headlong in love, Beverly is on a heart-pounding journey of another kind. Fleeing an abusive husband with her six-year-old son, she is trying to piece together a life for them in a small town far off the beaten track. With money running out and danger seemingly around every corner, she makes a desperate decision that will rewrite everything she knows to be true. In the course of a single unforgettable week, two young people will navigate the exhilarating heights and heartbreak of first love. Hundreds of miles away, Beverly will put her love for her young son to the test. And fate will draw all three people together in a web of life-altering connections…forcing each to wonder whether the dream of a better life can ever survive the weight of the past.” — Provided by publisher. Some violence. Bestseller.

LB           14182    CHOICE                 ROBERTS, NORA              

“Talamh is a land of green hills, high mountains, deep forests, and seas, where magicks thrive. But portals allow for passage in and out—and ultimately, each must choose their place, and choose between good and evil, war and peace, life and death… Breen Siobhan Kelly grew up in the world of Man and was once unaware of her true nature. Now she is in Talamh, trying to heal after a terrible battle and heartbreaking losses. Her grandfather, the dark god Odran, has been defeated in his attempt to rule over Talamh, and over Breen—for now. With the enemy cast out and the portal sealed, this is a time to rest and to prepare. Breen spreads her wings and realizes a power she’s never experienced before. It’s also a time for celebrations—of her first Christmas in both Talamh and Ireland, of solstice and weddings and births—and daring to find joy again in the wake of sorrow. She rededicates herself to writing her stories, and when his duties as taoiseach permit, she is together with Keegan, who has trained her as a warrior and whom she has grown to love. It’s Keegan who’s at her side when the enemy’s witches, traitorous and power-mad, appear to her in her sleep, practicing black magick, sacrificing the innocent, and plotting a brutal destruction for Breen. And soon, united with him and with all of Talamh, she will seek out those in desperate need of rescue, and confront the darkness with every weapon she has: her sword, her magicks–and her courage…” — Provided by publisher. Unrated. Bestseller.

LB           14183    HUNTING TIME                 DEAVER, JEFFERY             

“THERE ARE TWO FUNDAMENTAL RULES OF SURVIVAL. #1: NEVER BE WITHOUT A MEANS OF ESCAPE.     Allison Parker is on the run with her teenage daughter, Hannah, and Colter Shaw has been hired by her eccentric boss, entrepreneur Marty Harmon, to find and protect her. Though he’s an expert at tracking missing persons—even those who don’t wish to be found—Shaw has met his match in Allison, who brings all her skills as a brilliant engineer designing revolutionary technology to the game of evading detection.   #2: NEVER BE WITHOUT ACCESS TO A WEAPON.     The reason for Allison’s panicked flight is soon apparent. She’s being stalked by her ex-husband, Jon Merritt. Newly released from prison and fueled by blinding rage, Jon is a man whose former profession as a police detective makes him uniquely suited for the hunt. And he’s not alone. Two hitmen are also hot on her heels—an eerie pair of thugs who take delight not only in murder but in the sport of devising clever ways to make bodies disappear forever. Even if Shaw manages to catch up with Allison and her daughter, his troubles will just be beginning. SHAW IS ABOUT TO DISCOVER RULE #3: NEVER BELIEVE ANYTHING.     As Shaw ventures further into the wilderness, the truth becomes as hard to decipher as the forest’s unmarked trails…and peril awaits at every turn.” — Provided by publisher. Unrated.

LB           14184    HOPE CREEK       DAILEY, JANET  

For Kit Teague, the island of Hope Creek, South Carolina, is filled with joyful memories of being out on the water with her beloved father. But her small hometown is also the place where her mother battled mental illness—and lost. Returning home to put her mother to final rest, Kit discovers a family divided by grief—and wounds so deep her twin sister has turned against their father—and Kit. Not only has Viv moved up the creek to join a rival fishing business, she’s barricaded herself behind Beau Sutton, the boy Kit once loved from afar. The man who stirs something deep within Kit even now… Unrated.

LB           14185    LIBERATION DAY: STORIES            SAUNDERS, GEORGE, 1958-        

The “best short story writer in English” (Time) is back with a masterful collection that explores ideas of power, ethics, and justice, and cuts to the very heart of what it means to live in community with our fellow humans. With his trademark prose—wickedly funny, unsentimental, and perfectly tuned—Saunders continues to challenge and surprise: here is a collection of prismatic, deeply resonant stories that encompass joy and despair, oppression and revolution, bizarre fantasy and brutal reality. Unrated.


“1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel. Babel is the world’s center for translation and, more importantly, magic. Silver working—the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars—has made the British unparalleled in power, as its knowledge serves the Empire’s quest for colonization. For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide. Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?” — Provided by publisher. Unrated. Bestseller.

LB           14158    WHITTIERS          STEEL, DANIELLE              

Preston and Constance Whittier have built a happy life together, with a brood of six children raised in a beautiful historic Manhattan mansion. Now, with a nearly empty nest, it’s easier than ever for the Whittiers to maintain their tradition of a solo romantic “Wintermoon” ski trip. But with this year’s trip comes tragedy, and suddenly the Whittiers’ adult children find themselves reuniting in the family home without their parents for the first time ever. The oldest, Lyle, is reaching a breaking point in his marriage and must decide whether a divorce would be best for him and his two children. Gloria’s big job on Wall Street has kept her single at thirty-nine, and growing ever more cynical. The twins, Caroline and Charlie, moved out long ago to start a fashion business that may now be faltering. Benjie, with special needs, is hit hard by the loss of his parents and needs his siblings’ help. And Annabelle, the youngest, drops out of college and starts to spin out of control. The eldest four are forced to put aside their personal issues and their grief to keep the family together and support each other and their two youngest siblings. Selling the house, along with all the memories that live in its walls, feels like yet another devastating loss. Could there be another way, as unconventional as it seems? Unrated.


LB           14178    CHASING HISTORY: A KID IN THE NEWSROOM     BERNSTEIN, CARL, 1944-               

The Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of All the President’s Men (DB 50574) reflects on his formative years as a teenage newspaper reporter at the Washington Star and the subsequent trajectory of his career. He discusses covering grisly crimes, political rallies, the civil rights movement, and more. Unrated. Bestseller.

LB           14179    DEAF UTOPIA: A MEMOIR–AND A LOVE LETTER TO A WAY OF LIFE             DIMARCO, NYLE, 1989-  

“A heartfelt and inspiring memoir and celebration of Deaf culture by Nyle DiMarco, actor, producer, two-time reality show winner, and cultural icon of the international Deaf community. Before becoming the actor, producer, advocate, and model that people know today, Nyle DiMarco was half of a pair of Deaf twins born to a multi-generational Deaf family in Queens, New York. At the hospital one day after he was born, Nyle “failed” his first test—a hearing test—–to the joy and excitement of his parents. In this engrossing memoir, Nyle shares stories, both heartbreaking and humorous, of what it means to navigate a world built for hearing people. From growing up in a rough-and-tumble childhood in Queens with his big and loving Italian-American family to where he is now, Nyle has always been driven to explore beyond the boundaries given him. A college math major and athlete at Gallaudet—the famed university for the Deaf in Washington, DC—Nyle was drawn as a young man to acting, and dove headfirst into the reality show competitions America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars—ultimately winning both competitions. Deaf Utopia is more than a memoir, it is a cultural anthem—a proud and defiant song of Deaf culture and a love letter to American Sign Language, Nyle’s primary language. Through his stories and those of his Deaf brothers, parents, and grandparents, Nyle opens many windows into the Deaf experience. Deaf Utopia is intimate, suspenseful, hilarious, eye-opening, and smart—–both a memoir and a celebration of what makes Deaf culture unique and beautiful.” — Provided by publisher. Unrated. Bestseller. Related names: Siebert, Robert, author.


“Following his explosive #1 New York Times bestseller, Red Notice, Bill Browder returns with another gripping thriller chronicling how he exposed Vladmir Putin’s campaign to steal and launder hundreds of billions of dollars from Russia—and how Putin is willing to kill anyone who stands in his way. When Browder’s young Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was beaten to death in a Moscow jail in 2009, Browder cast aside his business career and made it his life’s mission to pursue justice for Sergei. One of the first steps of that mission was to uncover who had killed Sergei and profited from the $230 million corruption scheme that he had exposed. As Browder and his team tracked the money that flowed out of Russia—through the Baltics and Cyprus and on to Western Europe and the Americas—they discovered that Vladimir Putin himself was one of the beneficiaries of the crime. After Western law-enforcement agencies began freezing the money, Putin retaliated. He and his cronies set honey traps for Browder, hired agents to chase him around the globe, murdered more of Browder’s Russian allies, and enlisted some of the West’s top lawyers and politicians in an attempt to bring Browder down. Putin will stop at nothing to protect his wealth and power. As Freezing Order reveals, Browder’s campaign was a main impetus for Putin’s intervention in the 2016 US presidential election. At once a financial caper, an international adventure, and a passionate plea for justice, Freezing Order is a stirring morality tale about how one man can take on one of the most dangerous and ruthless villains in the world.” — Provided by publisher. Unrated. Bestseller.                            

LB           14188    PUTIN   SHORT, PHILIP  

The first comprehensive, fully up-to-date biography of Vladimir Putin, woven into the tumultuous saga of Russia over the last sixty years. Vladimir Putin is the world’s most dangerous man. Alone among world leaders, he has the power to reduce the United States and Europe to ashes in a nuclear firestorm and has threatened to do so. He invades his neighbors, most recently Ukraine, meddles in western elections, and orders assassinations inside and outside Russia. His regime is autocratic and deeply corrupt. But that is only half the story. Unflinching, hard-hitting, and objective, Philip Short’s biography gives us the whole tale, up to the present day. To the fullest extent anyone has yet been able, Short cracks open the strongman’s thick carapace to reveal the man underneath those bare-chested horseback rides. In this deeply researched account, readers meet the Putin who slept in the same room as his parents until he was twenty-five years old, who backed out of his wedding right beforehand, and who learned English in order to be able to talk to George W. Bush. Vladimir Putin is wreaking havoc in Europe, threatening global peace and stability and exposing his fellow citizens to devastating economic countermeasures. Yet puzzlingly many Russians continue to support him. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the many facets of the man behind the mask that Putin wears on the world stage. Unrated.


An acclaimed rock and roll journalist evokes the legacy of The Rolling Stones—iconic, granitic, commercially unstoppable as a collective; and fascinating, contradictory, and occasionally disturbing as individuals. As Lesley-Ann Jones writes, the Rolling Stones are “still roaming the globe like rusty tanks without a war to go to. Jumping, jacking, flashing, posturing, these septuagenarian caricatures with faces that might have been microwaved but coming on like eternal thirty-year-olds.” On 12th July 1962, the Rollin’ Stones performed their first-ever gig at London’s Marquee jazz club. Down the line, a ‘g’ was added, a spark was lit and their destiny was sealed. No going back. These five white British kids set out to play the music of black America. They honed a style that bled bluesy undertones into dark insinuations of women, sex, and drugs. Denounced as ‘corruptors of youth’ and ‘messengers of the devil,’ they created some of the most thrilling music ever recorded. Now their sound and attitude seem louder and more influential than ever. Elvis is dead and the Beatles are over, but Jagger and Richards bestride the world. The Stones may be gathering moss, but on they roll. Yet how did the ultimate anti-establishment misfits become the global brand we know today? Who were the casualties, and what are the forgotten legacies? Can the artist ever be truly divisible from the art? Lesley-Ann Jones’s new history tracks this contradictory, disturbing, granitic and unstoppable band through hope, glory and exile, into the juggernaut years and beyond into rock’s ongoing reckoning . . . where the Stones seem more at odds than ever with the values and heritage against which they have always rebelled. Good, bad, and often ugly, here are the Rolling Stones as never seen before. Unrated.

Staff Pick – WHITE NOISE by Don DeLillo, DB 23512

The recent adaptation of WHITE NOISE to the small screen via Netflix has brought renewed interested in this 1985 National Book Award-winning novel. Stylistically complex, Don DeLillo expertly lampoons modern American late 20th century life in this offbeat comedic masterpiece. Talking Book Collection DB 23512.

NLS Annotation This black comedy zeroes in on the absurdities of life and the fear of death in contemporary America. Jack Gladney, professor at a small Midwestern college, created the discipline of “Hitler studies” even though he knows no German. He lives happily with his wife, Babette, and their children from former marriages. Both share a pervasive dread of death that is justified when a cloud of lethal fumes threatens to engulf their quiet college town. Some strong language. National Book Award for Fiction.1985.

If you enjoy satire of American life and the human condition, you might also like Jonathan Franzen’s book FREEDOM (DB 71329).

TBP Collection Spotlight: Black Cowboys

For Black History Month, we have compiled a short list of some of the titles available in the Talking Book Program collection on the topic of African American cowboys.

Adult Nonfiction


This history of Black cowboys in Texas draws largely on interviews done for the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration during the depths of the Great Depression. Because these interviews were with African Americans who had been working cowboys during the heyday of Texas ranching in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, their remembrances give us particularly personal views into past life on the range. Some violence and some strong language. 2005.


A journalist profiles a group of Black men and women in Compton, California, who are known as the Compton Cowboys and are part of a centuries-old tradition of Black cowboys. Also recounts the founding of the Compton Jr. Posse to connect youth with this legacy. Strong language and some violence. Commercial audiobook. 2020.


This rare autobiography of Black life in the American West provides the reader with a view of the frontier that differs considerably from the romantic version provided by Hollywood and the Western. Nat Love began life in slavery, spent 20 years as a cowboy, and later worked for the railroad. In 1907, he looked back on his life, especially the years on the range, fondly and with an eye for the telling detail. 1988.


A biography of the cowboy and former slave, whose skill with horses was renowned and whose curiosity led him to discover important archaeological relics. 1973.

Adult Fiction

GABRIEL’S STORY by David Anthony Durham (DB 54372)

A fifteen-year-old African American comes of age on the 1870s frontier. When his widowed mother remarries and takes him from Baltimore to Kansas, Gabriel broods over lost opportunities and resents the hard farm life. He runs off with a band of cowboys, but the journey turns desperate and dangerous. Violence and strong language. 2001.

PARADISE SKY by Joe R Lansdale (DB 82034)

Willie, an African American cowboy, flees his farm after his father is murdered. After a mentor teaches him a variety of skills, he makes a new life as a buffalo soldier, calling himself Nat Love. When his woman is attacked, however, he faces a final, deadly showdown. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

WAGONTONGUE by Elmer Kelton (DBC 11954, LB 04567)

As a slave, Isaac Jefford went to war with his owner, Major Lytton, and saved the man’s life. As a free man in post-Civil War West Texas, Isaac became one of the major’s top ranch hands. When the major hires Pete Runyan, a bitter ex-Confederate, Isaac has to deal with Runyan’s hostility. Gunmen attack Pete and Isaac as they try to deliver the cash profit from the sale of the herd to the Fort Worth bank before a foreclosure deadline. The two cowboys must decide whether to fight alone–or to survive together.1972.

Juvenile Nonfiction

HOLT AND THE COWBOYS by Jim McCafferty (DBC 16891)

Recounts the experiences of the African American soldier who, after serving in the Civil War as a Confederate cavalry scout, traveled to Texas and became a cowboy. For grades 2-4. 1993.


Explores the legacy of Black cowboy George Fletcher, who bonded with horses at an early age. When he unfairly lost the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up to a white man, the outraged audience declared Fletcher as People’s Champion and honor him to this day. For grades 3-6. 2019.


Lariat Adult Fiction Reading List 2023

Since 2009, the Texas Library Association has created a list that highlights outstanding fiction published during the year that merits special attention from adult readers. This list is the Lariat Adult Fiction Reading List. Here are the items from the 2023 list that are in the TBP collection.

For More Information:

BLACK CAKE by Charmaine Wilkerson (DB 106558, BR 24489, LB 13604)
BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry (DB 107926, BR 24476, LB 13928)
CARRIE SOTO IS BACK by Taylor Jenkins Reid (DB 109886)
CITY ON FIRE by Don Winslow (LB 14102)
HACIENDA by Isabel Canas (DB 107997)
HESTER by Laurie Lico Albanese (DB 110506)
HIGH HOUSE by Jessie Greengrass (DB 109138)
LINCOLN HIGHWAY by Amor Towels (DB 105197, LB 13514)
MAID by Nita Prose (DB 106298, LB 13614)
MERCURY PICTURES PRESENTS by Anthony Marra (DB 109568, LB 14036)
MURDER OF MR. WICKHAM by Claudia Gray (DB 107945)
PARIS APARTMENT by Lucy Foley (DB 107433, LB 13618)
REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES by Shelby Van Pelt (DB 107924, LB 24204)
SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Emily St. John Mandel (DB 107705, BR 24500, LB 13744)
THIS TIME TOMORROW by Emma Straub (DB 108110, BR 24331, LB 14019)
TOMORROW AND TOMORROW AND TOMORROW by Gabrielle Zevin (DB 109032, LB 14018)
TWO NIGHTS IN LISBON by Chris Pavone (DB 108663)
WEST WITH GIRAFFES by Lynda Rutledge (DB 102687, BR 24571)
WHAT MOVES THE DEAD by T. Kingfisher (DB 109294)

Join us March 21 for TBP Book Club: WILDER GIRLS

Image of books, audio book on cell phone, and headphones, with text "Talking Book Program Phone-In Book Club," 1-800-252-9605

Please join us on Tuesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. (Central) for our TBP Book Club discussion of WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power.

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

To RSVP, please call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605. (RSVP preferred by March 6.)

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

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.

WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power DB 96341

Teens Hetty, Byatt, and Reese go to extremes trying to uncover the dark truth about the Tox, a mysterious disease that has them in quarantine at their boarding school on a Maine island. Violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2019.

We look forward to having you join us on March 21!

17 New Texas Titles Now on BARD!

Start 2023 by resolving to read more Texas titles on BARD!

This assortment of Texas titles features notorious outlaws, a free thinking preacher, and Texas League baseball. A dash of mystery, train robbing, and Beatlemania guarantees a rousing start to your New Reading Year.

Read Up!

ABOVE US ONLY SKY by Michele Young-Stone
DBC 26717

Prudence Eleanor Vilkas was born with heart-shaped wings on her back. Although they were removed, the adult Prudence searches for a greater connection to her past. When she reunited with her long-estranged Lithuanian grandfather, they set off on a journey to discover a lineage of miraculous bird-women who traversed continents and fought wars to unearth their extraordinary place in the world. Commercial audiobook. Some violence. 2015.

DBC 25008

Lyndon B. Johnson is President, Beatlemania is in overdrive and gasoline costs 30 cents a gallon when Ned Parker retires as constable in Center Springs, Texas. But his plan to live a quiet life as a cotton farmer is torpedoed. A phone call leads Ned to a body in the Red River and into the urgent investigation headed by his nephew, the newly elected constable Cody Parker. Together they work to head off a multi-state killing spree that sets northeast Texas on fire. As the weeks pass, Ned’s grandchildren, ten-year-old Top and his tomboy cousin Pepper, struggle with personal issues resulting from their traumatic experiences at the Rock Hole only months before. They now find themselves in the middle of a nightmare for which no one can prepare. Cody and Deputy John Washington, the law south of the tracks, follow a lead from their small community to the long abandoned Cotton Exchange warehouse in Chisum. Stunned, they find the Exchange packed full of the town’s cast off garbage and riddled with booby-trapped passageways and dark burrows. Despite Ned’s warnings, Cody enters the building and finds himself relying on his recent military experiences to save both himself and Big John. Unfortunately, the trail doesn’t end there and the killing spree continues. Commercial audiobook. Strong language and some violence. 2012.

DBC 26859

This is the story of Ernesto Cortes, a community organizer determined to change the structure of Texas. It is also about a new kind of intervention in politics by working poor people who incorporate their religious values into a struggle for power and visibility. Cortes and his groups have transformed the politics of San Antonio, ninth largest city in the country, and are part of a new American grass-roots politics for the 1990s.

DBC 26734

At the tail end of 1967, the Parker family once again finds it impossible to hide from a world spinning out of control. Fourteen-year-old Top still can’t fit in with their Center Springs, Texas, community or forget recent, vicious crimes. His near-twin cousin Pepper, desperate to escape her own demons, rashly joins the Flower Children flocking to California—just as two businessmen are kidnapped and murdered in the Red River bottoms on the same night a deadly hit and run kills a farmer. Constable Ned Parker wonders if these crimes are connected, but he goes after Pepper, leaving the investigation in the hands of Sheriff Cody Parker. Parker hires Deputy Anna Sloan, an investigator with an eye toward detail as everyone is eyeing her. Yet it is instinct that propels her after killers through a world nearly forgotten. What of Pepper? Out on Route 66, the Mother Road to California, a man named Crow isn’t what he seems. Lies, deceptions, and a band of outlaw motorcyclists proves to the Parkers that no matter where you turn, no matter what you do, the world is full of such darkness that even grandmothers are capable of unspeakable deeds. Commercial audiobook. Strong language and some violence. 2015.

HANDS UP!: THE HISTORY OF A CRIME by Alfred Rasmus Sorenson
DBC 26852

This was the first account written about notorious outlaw Sam Bass and his gang, published in 1878, just months after the infamous train robbery at Big Springs, Nebraska. The story begins with the robbery of $60,000 in freshly minted gold pieces, covers the pursuit of the six gang members, and ends with the shooting of half the gang. Violence and strong language.

HAWKE’S PREY by Reavis Z. Wortham
DBC 26810

It’s a stunning attack, lightning quick and chilling in its execution. A merciless gang of terrorists seizes the Presidio County Courthouse in the midst of the worst blizzard West Texas has seen in a century. Loaded down with enough firepower to outfit an army, the attackers slaughter dozens, take all survivors hostage, and assume complete control. The nation—and the US government—are at their mercy. Or so they think. They don’t know that a seasoned Texas Ranger is also inside the courthouse. Sonny Hawke has hauled in some of America’s most wanted. Now he’s up against his most dangerous adversary yet. Sonny likes his chances. The enemy is his to take down—one by one. Until he’s face-to-face with the ruthless mastermind gunning for our very freedom. Commercial audiobook. Unrated. 2017.

DBC 18619

Jim Fontaine wants to get a new start in life by settling on his own piece of land near the town of Redwillow. He isn’t there very long, though, when a saloon girl named Emma turns up dead and a friend of his, Charley Drake, gets thrown in jail for the murder. Nora Winterborne, who is new in town, confides to Fontaine that she is Emma’s sister, but has to keep quiet. After the disappearance of another woman and a trespasser on his homestead, Fontaine must follow a trail of twisted stories, old crimes, and new murders to help bring about justice in Redwillow. Some violence and some strong language.

DBC 26848

Suspenseful story of Vietnamese gangs in Houston and the innocent people who get caught in their crossfire. Also the story of one man’s metamorphosis from laid-back product of the sixties to fearless and clever warrior; his confrontations with the gangsters will have readers cheering at the climax. Strong language and violence.

DBC 25007

It’s a whole other country out there. In 1964, when Ned Parker, farmer and part-time constable, is summoned to a cornfield one hot morning to examine the remains of a tortured bird dog, he discovers that there is a dark presence in their quiet community of Center Springs, Texas. Ned is usually confident handling moonshiners, drunks, and instances of domestic dispute. But when it comes to animal atrocities—which then turn to murder—the investigation spins beyond his abilities. Ned combines forces with John Washington, a well-known black deputy sheriff from nearby Paris, Texas, to track down a disturbed individual who has become a threat to their small community. As the case takes a dizzying series of twists and brings forth eccentric characters as well as several dead ends, Ned’s cranky friend, Judge O. C. Rains, is forced to contact the FBI. Then, sinister warnings that his family has been targeted by the killer lead Ned to the startling discovery that he knows the murderer very well. After the failed abduction of his precocious grandchildren, Top and Pepper, the old lawman becomes judge and jury to end what has become a murder spree in the Red River bottomlands. And it signals the end of an era in Center Springs. In bald-headed, pot-bellied Ned Parker, Wortham has created an authentic American hero reminiscent of the best heroes and antiheroes in a story that blends country humor with heart-pounding suspense and ends with a stunning climax that may well shock our civilized sensibilities. Commercial audiobook. Violence and strong language. 2011.

DBC 26849

The period after Texas’ Revolution was turbulent as Texans contended with religious issues, family life on the frontier, and the Civil War. Migrating to Texas in 1851, Renfro enrolled in fledgling Baylor University and became a Baptist preacher. Later, inspired by the writings of such men as Thomas Paine and Spinoza, Renfro embraced the Free Thought Movement and was disenfranchised by the Church. This biography tells the reader much about the era’s social mores.

DBC 26732

In 1965 Constable Cody Parker’s frightening dreams of gathering storm clouds for the tight-knit Parker family from Center Springs, Texas, proved accurate. Cody is ambushed and nearly killed on a lonely country road during an unusually heavy snowfall. With that attack, the locals fear that a disturbed murderer the Skinner has returned to their community. While his nephew recovers, Constable Ned Parker struggles to connect a seemingly unrelated series of murders. As the summer of 1966 approaches, rock and roll evolves to reflect the increasing unrest in the country, and the people of northeast Texas wonder why their once peaceful community has suddenly become a dangerous place to live. Ned’s preteen grandchildren, Top and Pepper, are underfoot at every turn. The two lawmen, along with the Deputy John Washington, cross paths with many colorful citizens, including cranky old Judge O. C. Rains, the jittery farmer Isaac Reader, and the Wilson boys, Ty Cobb and Jimmy Foxx. And then there’s the arrival in their small community of a mysterious old man named Tom Bell. Now recovered, Cody decides to follow his main suspect across the Rio Grande and into Mexico. Ned understands that to save his nephew, he will have to cross more than a river-he will have to cross over to the right side of wrong. Humor, suspense, horror, precognition, and life in the tumultuous 1960s all play a part in the solving of this mystery. Commercial audiobook. Violence and strong language. 2013.

TEXAS BAD BOY by Jean Brashear
DBC 18644

Everyone thinks Lacey DeMille is the next thing to royalty, a society girl with beauty, brains and money–but bad boy Devlin Marlowe knows better. Twenty years after being exiled in disgrace for daring to want her, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks has sweet revenge in his grasp…for only he knows that her whole life is built on a lie. And revenge may be more costly than either of them can imagine. Commercial audiobook. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2011.

DBC 26844

A must for any baseball fan who wants to know who played where and when. Thirty-eight cities in eight states have held franchises in the Texas League. The author visited these ballparks, studied newspaper accounts and statistics from every season, and interviewed players, fans, and journalists.

DBC 26853

A factual history of the life of outlaw Eugene Bunch based on primary research, including court and family records. Although Bunch is often mentioned as a shadowy outlaw figure, this is the first account of his life, allowing the reader a view of 19th century America for those who lived in violence. Violence.

DBC 26735

The small, rural Northeast Texas community of Center Springs has seen its share of troubles during the 1960s, everything from kidnapping, murder, and bank robbery. By 1968, the residents think life has finally quieted down, but they find their peaceful way of life is quickly spinning out of control as a decades-long family feud between the Clays and Mayfields once again flares to life. Fourteen-year-old Top Parker who lives with his grandparents Constable Ned Parker and Miss Becky in a little farmhouse near the Red River finds himself caught up in another adult situation sparked by a mysterious fatal single car accident involving the white mayor of Chisum and his black female assistant. Questions and accusations arise about their relationship as the families wreak vengeance on each other. But what is the significance of a man calling himself the Wraith, who moves through region at will, invading homes and watching the Parkers? What is Maggie Clay s secret? That she’s half white and married to a black man with a long criminal past? And was Mayor Frank Clay, the only bright spot in a dark and cruel family, really what everything thinks he is? It’s a busy time for Sheriff Cody Parker, who finds himself a possible suspect in the murder of several residents. He takes the advice from his Deputy John Washington and removes himself from the investigation, giving free reign to both John and Deputy Anna Sloan as they try and unravel the answers by following different paths. Commercial audiobook. Strong language and some violence. 2016.

DBC 26733

In October of 1967, the Summer of Love is history, rock and roll is dark and revolutionary, and people in the small east Texas community of Center Springs simply want to live their lives as quietly as possible. But a handsome darkness in the form of Las Vegas gangster Anthony Agrioli has left the business to hide out in their tiny backwater settlement with his blond bombshell girlfriend. Two years earlier, Agrioli met newlyweds Cody and Norma Faye Parker in a Vegas casino and heard their enthusiastic descriptions of the perfect place to settle down and raise a family. At least it was perfect, before their peaceful world found itself in the crosshairs of a coming confrontation. Back in Center Springs, thirteen-year-old Top Parker has what his grandmother, Miss Becky, calls a poisoned gift: his dreams, though random and disconnected, always seem to come true. This time Top dreams he’s a wagon hub with spokes converging from all directions. To him, the spokes symbolize that something is coming. He doesn’t know their quiet community will soon be a combat zone when the gangsters arrive. But they’re after something else, not Agrioli…yet. A sheriff crooked as a dog’s hind leg, an unsolved murder in the river bottoms, counterfeit money, and a bank robbery all wrapped in a country Shakespearean comedy once again bring together Constables Ned and Cody Parker, Deputy John Washington, Judge O. C. Rains, and the rest of Wortham’s real and sometimes wacky cast of characters. Commercial audiobook. Violence and strong language. 2014.

WALLS RISE UP by George Sessions Perry
DBC 24929

A hilarious novel combining dead-pan humor with shrewd observation as three Texas vagabonds Jimmy, Eddie and Mike, philosophical wayfarers, follow their destinies along the banks of the Brazos River.

GoodReads 2022 Choice Awards Announced

The social cataloging website for book lovers, Goodreads, has just announced their readers’ Choice Awards for 2022. The Texas Talking Book Program has a number of them in our collection.

Are you looking for something scary? Goodreads members chose HIDDEN PICTURES by Jason Rekulak (DB 108427) as their favorite horror book for this past year.

Or are you more interested in non-fiction? ATLAS OF THE HEART by Brene Brown (DB 106540, LB 13602) was chosen as the best non-fiction book.

  Perhaps you’ve had a busy holiday season and don’t want to tackle an entire novel. Goodreads readers declared CALL US WHAT WE CARRY by Amanda Gorman (DB 106426, LB 13601) as the best poetry collection.

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:

Short Stories for Shorter Days

Winter is here. The days are shorter, and you’re still recovering from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, so ease back into reading with these quick and accessible novellas and short story collections:

TENTH OF DECEMBER: STORIES by SAUNDERS, GEORGE (DB 76097, BR 19818; 5 hours 46 minutes)
Collection of ten short stories by the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant winner. In “Home” a veteran deals with reuniting with family members who have no clue about the man he has become. In the title story a suicidal cancer patient crosses paths with an imaginative boy. Strong language. Bestseller. 2013.

SWIMMERS: A NOVEL by OTSUKA, JULIE (DB 107007 and LB 13711; 4 hours 8 minutes)
The swimmers are unknown to one another except through their private routines (slow lane, medium lane, fast lane) and the solace each takes in their morning or afternoon laps. But when a crack appears at the bottom of the pool, they are cast out into an unforgiving world. Commercial audiobook. 2022.

A collection of stories exploring the ties that bind parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers, and friends to one another and to the places they call home. Commercial audiobook. Adult. Unrated.

CAT WHO SAVED BOOKS by NATSUKAWA, SOSUKE (DB 106176 and LB 13877; 5 hours 8 minutes)
Bookish high school student Rintaro Natsuki is about to close the secondhand bookstore he inherited from his beloved bookworm grandfather. Then, a talking cat named Tiger appears and demands the teenager’s help in saving misused books. Translated from the original 2017 Japanese edition. Unrated. 2021.

WHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS by OYEYEMI, HELEN (DB 85048 and BR 23506; 7 hours 42 minutes)
Themes of keys and locks abound in this collection of nine loosely linked short stories. In “Books and Roses,” a baby is left at a monastery with a golden key around her neck. Some strong language. 2016.

In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving coffee for more than one hundred years. Local legend says that this shop also offers the chance to travel back in time. Over the course of one summer, four customers hope to make that journey. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

FIVE TUESDAYS IN WINTER: STORIES by KING, LILY (DB 106197 and LB 13872; 6 hours 12 minutes)
A collection of short stories both fresh and previously published from the author of WRITERS & LOVERS (DB 98766) and EUFORIA (DB 103589). The author explores themes of desire and heartache, loss and discovery, moments of jolting violence, and the inexorable tug toward love. Unrated. 2021.

HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by ADAMS, DOUGLAS (DB 18339 and BR 14438; 5 hours 49 minutes)
When the Earth is demolished to make room for a galactic freeway, sole earth survivor Arthur Dent is forced to take up a life of hitchhiking around the cosmos with the aid of an alien friend and a book called “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Deadpan science fiction parody.

AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE: STORIES by ELLIS, HELEN (DB 83382; 3 hours 48 minutes)
A collection of short stories exploring the dark world of domesticity, and featuring, among others, murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and a bra fitter. The story settings include a haunted prewar apartment building, a book club initiation ritual, and a pageant princess’s getaway car. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2016.

GIRL WHO READS ON THE METRO by FERET-FLEURY, CHRISTINE (DB 97251 and BR 23536; 4 hours 49 minutes)
One morning in Paris, Juliette walks through a rusty gate wedged open with a book, into the bizarre and enchanting lives of Soliman and his young daughter, Zaide. Soliman hires Juliette to take used books into the world and match them with readers. Translated from the 2017 French edition. 2019.