Disaster Books

Books about disasters make for compelling true stories that give us a look into real events. They can be difficult reads as we journey with both heroic and flawed characters through the story.  The moral choices that these types of book can offer really can get us thinking about how we might respond or act in the different situations.  They provide us with those character tests.  Here is a list of some of our books found in our non-fiction collection:

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer DB 44525

A journalist’s first-hand report on the ill-fated Mt. Everest expedition of May 1996 in which a freak storm claimed the lives of nine adventurers. Describes the grueling ascent of the climbers, their sense of elation at reaching the peak, and the tragic events that followed. Strong language. Bestseller. 1997.


Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Paul Piers Read DB54741

The ordeal of sixteen young Uruguayan men who survived seventy days in the Andes after a plane crash in 1972. Facing starvation, they were forced to make an agonizing choice between cannibalism and death. 1974.


Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home by Nando Parrado   BR 16868, DB65781

A Uruguayan rugby player recounts surviving the 1972 plane crash that is remembered for causing acts of heroism and cannibalism. Discusses the physical perils of subzero weather, the group’s reaction upon hearing that the rescue operation was called off, and the author’s hike over the mountains for help. 2006.


Zeitoun by Dave Eggers DB 69795

Describes the experiences of the owner of a New Orleans house-painting business during the 2005 Katrina hurricane and flood. Recounts the fleeing of Syrian American Abdulrahman Zeitoun’s wife and children, Zeitoun’s decision to stay and help neighbors and clients, and his consequently inexplicable imprisonment and inability to contact family. Bestseller. 2009.


102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer     DB 59954

Reporters interview survivors and read radio transcripts, phone messages, e-mails, and other accounts to describe conditions inside the World Trade Center between the first terrorist attack and the towers’ collapse on September 11, 2001. Documents communication problems, agency in-fighting, and building structural failures that caused unnecessary deaths. Bestseller. 2005. Co-author is Kevin Flynn.


A Night to Remember by Walter Lord LT5408, BR11461, DB09698

A detailed portrayal of what happened aboard the Titanic when it struck an iceberg and began to sink in the North Atlantic on April 14, 1912. Based on account of the survivors from first class passengers to steerage and crew. Bestseller. 1955.


The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough DB50905

A vivid description of the causes and effects of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, flood of 1889 that killed thousands. Based on first-person accounts of the tragedy that occurred when a man-made dam broke, flooding the entire valley with twenty million tons of water and debris. 1968.


Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink   DB77656

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist reports on the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans. Reconstructs the five days it took to rescue the hospital’s staff and patients and examines the life-and-death decisions made and the lawsuits that followed. 2013.


Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo DB59335

Chronicle of the Boston waterfront’s molasses tank collapse that flooded the city’s North End with a sticky twenty-five-foot-high tidal wave, killing twenty-one people. Explores the tragedy from the tank’s 1915 construction to a civil lawsuit decided in 1925 and touches larger issues of immigration, WWI, Prohibition, and labor.

Clarinda Vision Loss Resource Fair

Information and items on display will include:

  • Library services – receive large print and audio books free by mail
  • Free newspaper reading services
  • Resources to assist with completing schoolwork
  • Vocational rehabilitation services for retaining or seeking employment
  • Computer screen readers, CCTV’s,  and text-to-speech technology
  • Aids & devices to help with everyday activities – talking clocks, handheld magnifiers and more.
  • Tips on how to complete everyday tasks when vision loss makes them difficult

Questions?  Contact Rick Dressler, (515) 281-1314, rick.dressler@blind.state.ia.us

Popular Braille on BARD

BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) is a web-based service that provides access to thousands of special-format books, magazines, and music scores provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). If you need to set up a BARD account, please contact the library.

Here are some of the most popular braille books on BARD in the last 30 days:


Blue by Danielle Steel  BR21467

One summer by David Baldacci  BR21321

Away in a manager by Rhys Bowen  BR21405

The double by George P. Pelecanos  BR21399

Orphan train by Christina Baker Kline  BR21369

Non Fiction

The lost art of reading nature’s signs: use outdoor clues to find your way, predict the weather, track animals–and other forgotten skills by Tristan Gooley  BR21333

My kithen year:  136 recipes that saved my life by Ruth Reichl  BR21351

How to knit socks that fit:  techniques for toe-up and cuff-down styles  BR21486

The edge of the world:  a cultural history of the North Sea and transformation of Europe  BR21249

Blind:  a memoir by Belo Miguel Cipriani  BR21392


10 Ways to Use Your Library Card

Library Card Sign Up 2016 Banner

What’s Cooler Than Being Cool?  Having a library card.  Get yours today!  September is Library Card Sign Up Month.

10 Ways to Use Your Library Card

  1. Get to know your librarian, the ultimate search engine.
  2. Join a book discussion group.
  3. Get homework help.
  4. Prepare you resume.
  5. Call the library if you have a question or need information.
  6. Find a new recipe.
  7. Ask your librarian for a recommended reading list.
  8. Check out your favorite books in audio, braille and large print.
  9. Try one of our many audio magazine subscriptions.
  10. Find a quiet spot, curl up with a good book and enjoy!