National Book Festival

The Library of Congress National Book Festival will be a virtual event that takes place from September 17 – 26, 2021. The theme of this year’s event is “Open a book, open the world.” All sessions will be available as livestreams and videos on demand. For more information about the festival, visit: https://www.loc.gov/events/2021-national-book-festival

You can also view new information by visiting the National Book Festival blog at: https://blogs.loc.gov/national-book-festival/

New Braille Books Added in June 2021

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

BT           13286    TO GREEN ANGEL TOWER, SEGMENT TWO            WILLIAMS, TAD

In this sequel to “Stone of Farewell” (RC 40338), the Storm King and his undead allies continue to gather strength for a final confrontation with Simon and his companions, who are fighting to help Prince Josua gain the throne now occupied by his brother King Elias. Each will face numerous skirmishes before the final confrontation at the Green Angel Tower. For senior high and older readers. 1993. Unified English Braille Code. Contracted braille.     

JUVENILE FICTION

BT           13287    GOBLINS ON THE PROWL              COVILLE, BRUCE               

When an accidental spell brings a mysterious stone toad to life, and it hops away with her human friend William between its jaws, Fauna must use her magic and her wits to save him, embarking on a journey through dangerous lands filled with fearsome giants, talking bears, and packs of rogue goblins. Unrated. For grades 2-4. 2015. Unified English Braille Code. Contracted braille.

BT           13288    ROBOTS GO WILD!           PATTERSON, JAMES, 1947-          

Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez and his ‘bro-bot’ E are making new friends every day as E works as his bedridden sister Maddie’s school proxy. But disaster strikes when E malfunctions just in time to be upstaged by the super-cool new robot on the block–and loses his ability to help Maddie. Now it’s up to Sammy to figure out what’s wrong with E and save his family! Unrated. For grades 2-4 and older readers. 2015.  Related names:  Grabenstein, Chris, author. Unified English Braille Code. Contracted braille.

BT           13284    CENTERFIELD BALLHAWK              CHRISTOPHER, MATT, 1917-1997              

Jose Mendez believes that he is a disappointment to his father, a former minor-league baseball player with a .375 batting average. Although Jose loves the sport as much as his father and practices very hard, he is not very good at hitting the ball. His sister, Carmen, is a brighter star on his softball team than he is. For grades 2-4. 1992. Unified English Braille Code. Contracted braille.

BT           13285    SPY ON THIRD BASE        CHRISTOPHER, MATT, 1917-1997              

Third baseman TV Adams’s knack for predicting where a batter will hit a ball leads an anonymous phone caller to warn him against using his powers. Should he give in to the caller’s threats or spy to help his team? For grades 2-4. 1990. Unified English Braille Code. Contracted braille.

New Large Print Books Added in June 2021

ADULT FICTION

LB           13292    AND THEY CALLED IT CAMELOT: A NOVEL OF JACQUELINE BOUVIER KENNEDY ONASSIS    THORNTON, STEPHANIE, 1980-           

Jacqueline Bouvier rises to national fame when she marries the well-regarded junior senator from Massachusetts, Jack Kennedy. But the life in the public eye is not easy, especially with a husband like Jack. When Jack is assassinated, she must rebuild her life for herself and her children. Unrated. 2020.               

LB           13297    SEASONS OF AN AMISH GARDEN: FOUR STORIES                CLIPSTON, AMY

A collection of four stories which revolve around an Amish community garden and those who find friendship and love while working there. In “Spring Is in the Air,” the people of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, plan a garden to honor a young widow’s husband. 2019. Contents: Spring is in the air – Home by summer – The fruits of fall – Winter blessings.

LB           13290    FORTUNE AND GLORY    EVANOVICH, JANET       

When the husband of Stephanie’s beloved Grandma Mazur died on their wedding night, he left her a beat-up old easy chair and the keys to a life-changing fortune. But as Stephanie and Grandma Mazur search for Jimmy Rosolli’s treasure, they discover they’re not the only ones on the hunt. Unrated. Bestseller. 2020.

LB           13291    CHRISTMAS RESOLUTION             PERRY, ANNE    

When Celia Hooper discovers that her dear friend Clementine is to marry widower Seth Marlowe–a man with a sinister past–she calls upon her husband, Detective John Hooper of the Thames River Police, to help her find out what really happened to Seth’s first wife several years ago. Rumour has it that she killed herself and Seth’s daughter ran away to live on the streets but no one seems to know the truth. Unrated. 2020. 

LB           13293    BOOK OF TWO WAYS      PICOULT, JODI, 1966-     

Dawn Edelstein is on a plane when they are told to prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her current life. After Dawn miraculously survives the crash, her two possible futures unspool side by side. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2020.               

LB           13296    PRAY FOR DEATH              JOHNSTONE, WILLIAM W.           

U.S. Marshal Will Tanner is a man of the law, not a gun for hire. Except when a friend’s in danger and needs the Tanner brand of help that comes out the barrel of a gun. Unrated. 2020.

LB           13295    JACK      ROBINSON, MARILYNNE

John Ames Boughton–Jack to his friends–is the prodigal son of Gilead’s Presbyterian minister. He has fallen for Della Miles, a high school teacher and fellow preacher’s kid. Jack’s past and their interracial romance cause them heartache and more. Unrated. 2020.            

LB           13294    HOW TO RAISE AN ELEPHANT     MCCALL SMITH, ALEXANDER, 1948-         

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but can Mma Ramotswe and the rest of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency come together to raise a pipsqueak pachyderm? We may find out in this novel. We may not. Who can say? Unrated. 2020.    

LB           13278    LAW OF INNOCENCE      CONNELLY, MICHAEL, 1956-        

Defense attorney Mickey Haller is pulled over by police, who find the body of a client in the trunk of his Lincoln. When Haller is charged with murder and can’t make the exorbitant bail slapped on him by a vindictive judge, he must strategize and build his defense from his jail cell. Violence and strong language. Bestseller. 2020.

LB           13315    SHADOWS OF FOXWORTH           ANDREWS, V.C. (VIRGINIA C.)    

Two generations before Corinne Foxworth locked her children in an attic, the life of her grandmother, a gorgeous young girl named Corrine Dixon, changed forever. At age sixteen, she discovered she was pregnant by the wealthy and handsome Garland Foxworth. Now, trapped in the labyrinthine Foxworth estate, young Corrine is overwhelmed with her stifled life and domineering husband. When an artist is hired to paint her portrait, she immediately falls in love and is convinced to abandon this dark world forever… Unrated. 2020.

LB           13316    BURDEN OF PROOF         BUNN, T. DAVIS, 1952-  

Ethan missed the chance to save his brother’s life. When his brother’s widow reveals that she and her husband were involved in a legal case that threatens the global power structure, Ethan must face his past and join the search for answers to discover how to redeem his future. Unrated. 2021.

LB           13314    NOEL STREET: FROM THE NOEL COLLECTION        EVANS, RICHARD PAUL  1975.

In Mistletoe, Utah, waitress Elle Sheen works at the Noel Street Diner as she raises her biracial son, Dylan, whose father was killed in Vietnam. She meets William Smith, a recently returned POW. As they grow closer, William may have the answer to Elle’s secret pain. 2019.         

LB           13310    KILLER TAKE ALL                JOHNSTONE, WILLIAM W.           

When railroad developer Jacob Freemantle begins buying up land in the cattle town of Chugwater, Duff MacCallister and the other settlers are on board at first. But Duff begins to suspect Freemantle of devious motivations and dirty tactics. Unrated. 2020. Related names: Johnstone, J. A., author.

LB           13308    CRYSTAL CAVE TRILOGY     ALBERT, SUSAN WITTIG           

3 novellas featuring Ruby Wilcox, from the China Bayles series: NoBODY, SomeBODY Else, and Out of BODY. This book is part of the Thorndike Press Large Print Mystery list. Unrated. 2020.      

LB           13311    THOUSAND TEXAS LONGHORNS      BOGGS, JOHNNY D.  

The Civil War is over. The future of the American West is up for grabs. Any man crazy enough to lead a herd of Texas longhorns to the north stands to make a fortune–and make history. That man would be Nelson Story. A bold entrepreneur and miner, he knows a golden opportunity when he sees one. But it won’t be easy. Cowboys and bandits have guns, farmers have sick livestock, and the Army’s have their own reasons to stop the drive… Unrated. 2020.    

LB           13309    HITTING A STRAIGHT LICK WITH A CROOKED STICK: STORIES FROM THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE                 HURSTON, ZORA NEALE

A collection of short stories that examine love, migration, gender, class, racism, sexism, and African American folk culture. Includes eight of the author’s “lost” Harlem stories. 2020. Related names:  Jones, Tayari, writer of foreword. West, Margaret Genevieve, editor, writer of introduction.

LB           13328    AMISH CHRISTMAS WEDDING: FOUR STORIES     CLIPSTON, AMY

From bestselling authors of Amish fiction come four delightful stories perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the everyday miracles Christmas brings. Unrated. 2020. Related names: Irvin, Kelly, author. Fuller, Kathleen, author. Chapman, Vannetta, author.

LB           13331    IN THE LION’S DEN: THE HOUSE OF FALCONER    BRADFORD, BARBARA TAYLOR, 1933-

James Lionel Falconer has risen quickly from a mere shop worker to being the right-hand man of Henry Malvern, head of the most prestigious shipping company in London. With Malvern’s daughter Alexis running away to the country after a terrible tragedy and refusing to return, James’ ascent to head of the company seems inevitable. But even a charmed life like James’ is not without its setbacks. Can James continue to be the master of his own fate? Unrated. 2020.

LB           13322    LOVE YOUR LIFE                KINSELLA, SOPHIE           

After a recent breakup and dating app debacle, Ava decides to put love on hold and escapes to a remote writers’ retreat in coastal Italy. She meets a man and they have a whirlwind love affair, but can their passion survive back in the real world? Unrated. 2020.

LB           13329    ELSEWHERE        KOONTZ, DEAN R. (DEAN RAY), 1945-      

Since his wife Michelle left seven years ago, Jeffy Coltrane focused on raising his eleven-year-old daughter Amity. It’s a quiet life, until a local eccentric known as Spooky Ed shows up on their doorstep. Ed entrusts Jeffy with hiding a strange and dangerous object. Violence and strong language. 2020.

LB           13334    DARK TIDES         GREGORY, PHILIPPA      

Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. Unrated. 2020.

ADULT NON-FICTION

LB           13298    WHY DID I COME INTO THIS ROOM?: A CANDID CONVERSATION ABOUT AGING  LUNDEN, JOAN

Acclaimed broadcast journalist and Baby Boomer Joan Lunden delves into the various phases of aging that leave many feeling uncomfortable, confused, and on edge. Lunden takes the dull and depressing out of aging, replacing it with wit and humor. After all, laughing is better than crying–unless it makes you pee! Unrated. 2020.

LB           13289    GROWING OLD: NOTES ON AGING WITH SOMETHING LIKE GRACE             THOMAS, ELIZABETH MARSHALL, 1931-            

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has spent a lifetime observing the natural world, chronicling the customs of pre-contact hunter-gatherers and the secret lives of deer and dogs. In this book, the capstone of her long career, Thomas, now eighty-eight, turns her keen eye to her own life. Unrated. 2020.

LB           13275    BEST OF ME        SEDARIS, DAVID

A retrospective collection culled from the comic essayist’s previously published volumes and magazine articles. Finding the humor in even the darkest personal events, in these stories Sedaris shops for rare taxidermy, struggles with foreign languages, hand-feeds a carnivorous bird, and more. Unrated. Bestseller. 2020.

LB           13313    MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST NUCLEAR DISASTER                HIGGINBOTHAM, ADAM              

An account of the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Discusses the disaster itself, the immediate ecological consequences, the political and economic ramifications for the Soviet Union, and more. Draws on decades of reporting, archival information, and firsthand interviews with witnesses. Strong language. 2019. Variant title: Midnight in Chernobyl: the story of the world’s greatest nuclear disaster.

LB           13330    EXPEDITION DEEP OCEAN: THE FIRST DESCENT TO THE BOTTOM OF ALL FIVE OF THE WORLD’S OCEANS               YOUNG, JOSH   

Expedition Deep Ocean tells the inside story of this exploration of one of the most unforgiving and mysterious places on our planet, including the site of the Titanic wreck and the little-understood Hadal Zone. The expedition pushed technology to the limits, mapped hidden landscapes, discovered previously unknown life forms and began to piece together how life in the deep oceans affects our planet–but it was far from easy. Unrated. 2021.

LB           13326    NO TIME LIKE THE FUTURE: AN OPTIMIST CONSIDERS MORTALITY              FOX, MICHAEL J., 1961- 

Memoir of the actor and author of Lucky Man (DB 54265) who has lived with Parkinson’s Disease for thirty years. He shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality. Unrated. Bestseller. 2020.

LB           13325    INTIMATIONS: SIX ESSAYS            SMITH, ZADIE    

The author of Feel Free: Essays (DB 90182) examines the experience of lock down during the 2020 pandemic through a series of personal essays. Bestseller. 2020.       

LB           13335    HIS VERY BEST: JIMMY CARTER, A LIFE     ALTER, JONATHAN         

The author of Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies (DB 77347) traces the evolution of President Carter throughout his life, from his childhood, through his various careers and causes. Draws on archival materials and five years of extensive access to Carter and his family. Unrated. 2020.

LB           13333    ME AND WHITE SUPREMACY: COMBAT RACISM, CHANGE THE WORLD, AND BECOME A GOOD ANCESTOR          SAAD, LAYLA F. 

Twenty-eight day guide to examining the ways white supremacy influences your life. Provides exercises to assist in dismantling those thought processes. Topics include definitions, anti-blackness, racial stereotypes, allyship, power differentials, and continuing the work. Includes a foreword by Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility (DB 91860). 2020.

JUVENILE NON-FICTION

LB           13312    TRUTHS WE HOLD: AN AMERICAN JOURNEY        HARRIS, KAMALA, 1964-

With her election to the vice presidency, her election to the U.S. Senate, and her position as attorney general of California, Kamala Harris has blazed trails throughout her entire political career. But how did she achieve her goals? What values and influences guided and inspired her along the way? In this young readers edition of Kamala Harris’s memoir, we learn about the impact that her family and community had on her life, and see what led her to discover her own sense of self and purpose. For grades 2-4. 2021. Related names: Shamir, Ruby, author.

New Large Print Books Added in May 2021

JUVENILE FICTION

LB           13211    WHITE ROSE       WILSON, KIP      

A novel in verse. Sophie Scholl, a young German college student, challenges the Nazi regime during World War II as part of the White Rose, a nonviolent resistance group. For grades 6-9 and older readers. 2019.    

LB           13214    BIRDIE AND ME NUANEZ, J.M.M.             

Ever since their free-spirited mama died ten months ago, twelve-year-old Jack and her gender creative nine-year-old brother, Birdie, have been living with their fun-loving Uncle Carl, but now their conservative Uncle Patrick insists on being their guardian which forces all four of them to confront grief, prejudice, and loss, all while exploring what ‘home’ really means. For grades 2-4 and older readers. Unrated. 2020.   

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

LB           13201    ALL AMERICAN BOYS      REYNOLDS, JASON          

When Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing a bag of chips, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Strong language and some violence. For senior high and older readers. 2015.

LB           13203    DRY        SHUSTERMAN, NEAL     

When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a war zone in the hunt for water. And that’s when her parents go missing. Unrated. For senior high and older readers. 2018. Related names: Shusterman, Jarrod, author.       

LB           13212    AMERICAN STREET          ZOBOI, IBI AANU             

Fabiola’s mother is detained upon their arrival to the United States from Haiti. Fabiola must navigate her loud American cousins, the grittiness of Detroit’s west side, a new school, and a surprising romance all on her own. Strong language and some violence. For senior high and older readers. 2017.

LB           13213    BARELY MISSING EVERYTHING         MENDEZ, MATT                

Three Mexican Americans–Juan, JD, and Fabi–face unique struggles as they grapple with how to make a better life for themselves when it seems like brown lives don’t matter. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2019.     

LB           13216    PRIDE        ZOBOI, IBI AANU         

Zuri Benitez has pride for Brooklyn and her family’s ethnic roots. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with them, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2018.             

LB           13218    TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET              MCMANUS, KAREN M. 

True-crime aficionado Ellery and her twin brother are staying with their grandmother in the small town of Echo Ridge, known for murder and missing girls. When a new friend goes missing, Ellery digs into the community’s secrets. Some strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. For senior high and older readers. 2019.   

LB           13208    PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER              CHBOSKY, STEPHEN        

1991. High school freshman Charlie shares his observations in letters to someone he doesn’t know. After befriending Patrick, who is gay, and Patrick’s stepsister Sam, Charlie becomes more involved in the world around him. For senior high and older readers. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 1999.            

YOUNG ADULT NON-FICTION

LB           13210    WE ARE HERE TO STAY: VOICES OF UNDOCUMENTED YOUNG ADULTS      KUKLIN, SUSAN

Stories of nine undocumented young adults whose families fled violence and poverty in their homelands for a chance at a better life and education in the United States. Among other things, they discuss their fears of losing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection. For senior high and older readers. 2019.               

Bonus TBP Book Club Title Announced for June 2021!

Logo for Center for the Book

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

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

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

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

Our book club meetings are hosted via toll free conference call, so all you need is a telephone to participate. To RSVP, call the Talking Book Program at: 1-800-252-9605 (RSVP preferred by May 27) or email us at: tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov. Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the book in digital cartridge or if you prefer to download the audio version from BARD.

Beverly Cleary Passes Away at Age 104

Celebrated author Beverly Cleary passed away on March 25 at age 104. The author of more than 40 books for children, Cleary was declared a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress in 2000.

Bevely Cleary author

Born on April 12, 1916, in rural Oregon, her family moved to Portland when Cleary was in grade school.  She was placed in the school’s “low reading circle,” an experience which fostered a lifelong affinity for children who had trouble reading.

Cleary grew to love reading, and after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, became a Children’s Librarian. However, she didn’t begin writing until she was in her early thirties. Cleary said she was motivated to become an author by a boy at her library who asked why nobody writes books about kids like him.

Beginning with her first book, Henry Huggins, Cleary wrote books about “kids like him.”  Characters like Ramona Quimby, Ellen Tebbits, and Henry Huggins—not to mention Ralph S. Mouse, Socks the cat, and Henry’s dog, Ribsy—helped generations of children navigate their own often incomprehensible worlds.

Before becoming an author herself, Judy Blume delighted in reading Beverly Cleary books with her children because they were so much fun. However, Cleary didn’t wrap her characters in a cocoon of sugar-coated protective wrapping. The family of her most endearing character, Ramona Quimby, weathers years of financial difficulties. Leigh Botts, the protagonist of Dear Mr. Henshaw, struggles with his parents’ divorce and bullying at school.

Cleary won numerous awards, including the National Book Award for Ramona and Her MotherDear Mr. Henshaw won the Newbery Medal, while Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were both Newbery Honor Books.

In addition to children’s novels, Cleary wrote two autobiographies, including A Girl from Yamhill, which offers a touching portrait of life in the Pacific Northwest during the Roaring Twenties and Great Depression.

Sample some of these favorites and discover why Beverly Cleary was a “Living Legend.”

A GIRL FROM YAMHILL: A MEMOIR

The popular children’s author has written an account of her own early years. Beverly was transplanted to city life in Portland, Oregon, when the family farm failed. There, her father, who loved the outdoors, spent years as a bank guard while her demanding and difficult mother devoted herself to Beverly.

DB 29704; BR 09166

DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Leigh, a sixth grade boy, writes letters to Mr. Henshaw, who has been his favorite author since second grade. Leigh begins writing the letters because of a school assignment, then he discovers that he likes writing, especially when Mr. Henshaw writes back. And Mr. Henshaw’s surprising answers to Leigh’s questions change the boy’s life. For grades 4-7.  Newbery Medal Winner.  1983.

DB 21309; BR 15447

HENRY HUGGINS

A tonsillectomy and a broken arm are the most exciting things in Henry Huggins’ life until a hungry old mutt begs for Henry’s ice cream cone and a home.

DB 35642; DB 58985 (Spanish); BT 02469; LB 04239

MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE

A young mouse named Ralph makes friends with a boy and discovers the joys of motorcycling.

DB 24692; BT 03505; LB 04206

RAMONA AND HER MOTHER

Ramona feels that seven and a half is an awkward age–too young to be home alone but too big to play with pesky little Willa Jean at the sitter’s house. And yet Ramona would like to still be her mother’s “little rabbit.” For grades 2-4.  1979.

DB 24836; BR 09251

RAMONA COLLECTION.  VOL 1

Four previously published books, written between 1955 and 1977, featuring the adventures of young Ramona Quimby. In Beezus and Ramona, Ramona provokes her family when she invites fifteen children to a party unannounced. Includes Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, and Ramona and Her Father. For grades 2-4.  2013.

DB 90198

Nebula Awards Finalists 2021

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

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

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

NOVEL


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

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

NOVELLA

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

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

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

Workshops from the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area will soon offer two workshops of interest to seniors and their caregivers:

  • The Chronic Pain Self-Management workshop is available to seniors age 60 or older. This six-week virtual course is available online or by phone and will run for two and a half hours each Thursday from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. beginning on May 13 and ending on June 17.
  • The Caregiver workshop is for anyone who provides care for a senior who is 60 or older. This six-week virtual course is available online or by phone and will run for two and a half hours each Wednesday from 1:30 – 4:00 p.m. beginning on April 14 and ending on May 19.

Both workshops are free, but registration is required, and class size is limited. Contact Jessica Martone at 512-916-6180, or email jmartone@capcog.org for more information, or to register.

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area serves the counties of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson.

Other Area Agencies on Aging in Texas will have these workshops available at various times. To find the office that serves your county, visit https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/contact/aaa.cfm or call 1-800-252-9240.

Talking Book Program 2020 Poetry Contest Winners

2020 Texas Talking Book Program Poetry Contest Winners Announced!

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Talking Book Program Poetry Contest. Thank you to all that participated this year! We received a wide range of poems – some were inspiring, some were sentimental, and some were downright funny.

First Place

ONE HALLOWEEN NIGHT by Bennie Davis

Have you ever been in the woods on Halloween?
I have, and it’s the spookiest place I’ve ever seen!
There were witches and goblins behind every tree,
And I saw shiny eyes staring out at me.
The wind was blowing and all over the ground,
There was shadows and lights and ghosts dancing around.
And I heard a hoot owl away off somewhere hollering –who, who—
Who goes there?
Now, I wasn’t scared and that’s a fact,
But I thought Mom might be worried, so I hurried back.
I heard the frogs croak, and the crickets sing,
Or was that a witch or a goblin scream?
The limbs on the trees waved and reached for me,
But I didn’t look back, there was nothing to see!
Now I see something up by my house,
With lots of teeth and a great big mouth, with a triangle shaped nose and glaring eyes.
Oh! That’s the jack-o-lantern I made after Mom made her pies.
Now this is all good and I was really having fun,
But it was getting late and I thought I’d better run.
I ran through the door and up to my room,
And I locked out the shadows, the ghost and gloom.
I took off my clothes and jumped into bed.
I snuggled down close and I shook my head,
And all the witches and goblins were gone,
But heck, I wasn’t scared. I was just puttin’ on!

Second Place

LIFE CHANGES by Donna Wilson

My eyes are dim. I cannot see.
My specs are little use to me.

An accident from afar; suddenly a speeding car,
Left my body painfully bleeding and ajar!
My wheelchair became my best friend,
I thought my life was at an end.

My days were long and empty then,
My unread books stared at me from dusty bins.

Then the mail came with a new surprise,
The TALKING BOOK CLUB catalog arrived!
I anxiously scanned its pages,
Filled with adventure and mystery for all ages!

I quickly placed my audio tape,
Into the space I found agape

Now my days fly by with ease,
As I explore deep seas and mysteries.
I would be quite lost and bored,
Without my TALKING BOOK RECORD!


Honorable Mention

A TALKING BOOK READER’S HAIKU by Neva Fairchild

With limitless use
Of stories from my bookshelf,
I experience!

African American Authors – Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs

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

Biographies

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

Autobiographies and Memoirs

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