Latest D-List: Is the Book Better Than the Movie?

We are announcing our latest D-List (Digital List Including Special Titles)!

Is the movie better than the book or is the book better than the movie?  You be the judge with books from our newest D-List.  This list is comprised of books that have been made into movies over the years.  Call the library to request this most recent D-List and we will send you special cartridges filled with books that have been made into good and some not so good movies.

Call (515-281-1323) or email (library@blind.state.ia.us) the library today to request the newest D-List and we will send you special cartridges with those books included.

Past D-Lists are also still available to receive on cartridge.  Just let us know which ones you would like.

  • The Great American Reads – features 100 books from the Great American Read list featured on PBS.
  • VOICE (Voices of Iowa Connecting Everyone) – features the library’s volunteer narrators and the books they have recorded for our collection.
  • Bookmark Series – if you are a fan of Hallmark movies this list is for you.
  • Staff Picks – comprised of 60 books, all filled with our staffs’ all-time favorite books.
  • Plants in Name Only – is a list includes books with a kind of plant or flower in the title.

Using Your Digital Audio Book Player: Sequential Play and Bookshelf Mode

Image of the Natonal Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled digital audio playerOur digital audio book players and cartridges allow the library to download multiple books to each audio cartridge for our patrons.  The library is currently putting 20 books on each patron audio cartridge.  There are two ways to access the books on cartridge: sequential play and bookshelf mode.

Sequential Play

Sequential play will play your books in the order they were downloaded to the cartridge.  To use sequential play feature, put your cartridge into the player and listen to your first book.  At the end of the book, the closing announcements will play; when they are finished, a voice will say “end of book, press play/stop to go to the next book.”  Press the green, rectangle play/stop button and the next book on the cartridge will begin to play.  Repeat this step after each book.

Bookshelf Mode

Bookshelf mode lets you pick what book you want to listen to.  To use bookshelf mode, turn your player on and put in your cartridge.  Next, hold down the green, square “play/stop” button until your player beeps and says “bookshelf”. Once in bookshelf mode, you can use the white, right arrow “fast forward” button and white, left arrow “rewind” button to scroll through the books downloaded to the cartridge.  When you have located the book you would like to read, press the green, square “play/stop” button again and it will start to play the book you have selected.  Repeat this process after you select the titles on the cartridge.

Battery Life of Your Player

When you receive your player or when you are not using it on battery power, plug it in and leave it plugged in as much as possible. This will maintain the battery life of the player.  If you experience problems, call the Library at 515-281-1323 and we will assist resolving the issue.

 

Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena, a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your book list or head over to BARD to download the titles now.

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!  by Fannie Flagg
Dena Nordstrom’s life is out of control.  She is drinking too much, cannot maintain a relationship and it is affecting her health. Dena is beautiful and has a high powered job as a TV personality.  She goes into therapy. As the therapist pushes, she learns Deana’s mother, Marian Chapman abandoned her at age 15.  As Dena digs deeper into her past, she finds out Marian Chapman did not exist.  Who was her mother?  Why did she leave Dena alone? What happened to her?  DB47006, LT5786
Link to Title on BARD

Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon
Rhonda Farr was at a gas station when she sees someone in a rabbit suit get out of a car and go over to a car with a young girl, take her by the hand and lead her to his car and take off. Rhonda can’t believe what she has just seen.  Thinking back, Rhonda remembers a similar rabbit costume from long ago. Her best friend, Lizzie’s father dressed up as the Easter bunny. Lizzie’s father, Daniel disappeared almost three years after that and Lizzie disappeared several years later. The last time Rhonda heard from Lizzie was a number of years ago, when she was in high school. Lizzie sent a postcard claiming to be with Daniel. Rhonda feeling guilty, turns “detective” to find out who took the little girl from the car.  DB67786
Link to Title on BARD

Losing It and Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli
This is a gossipy book about the girl next door and her tumultuous marriage to a rock star.  Valerie Bertinelli, star of “One Day at a Time”, writes of her dysfunctional marriage to Eddie Van Halen.  The couple always seemed to be going in different directions with their careers, never taking time to be together and work on their marriage. Valerie suffered from body image problems from her teens into adulthood. She learned she always tried to solve her problems with food.  She later became a spokeswoman for Jennie Craig and learned to love herself as she was.  DB66058
Link to Title on BARD

 

 

 

 

Latest D-List: Plants in Name Only

We are announcing our latest D-List (Digital List Including Special Titles)!  Summer is a time for planting, flowers blooming and time spent outdoors.  So to celebrate summer, our staff member, Deena, has put together a D-List titled “Plants in Name Only.”  This list includes books with a kind of plant or flower in the title.  The variety of genres in this list is remarkable. Call (515-281-1323) or email (library@blind.state.ia.us) the library today to request the newest D-List, “Plants in Name Only” and we will send you special cartridges with those books included.

Here is a taste of what you might expect:
Violets of March by Sarah Jio
Picture of flowersBlue Dahlia by Nora Roberts
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Crime by Tamar Myers
Peony in Love by Lisa See
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie

Past D-Lists are also still available to receive on cartridge.  Just let us know which ones you would like.

  • The Great American Reads – features 100 books from the Great American Read list featured on PBS.
  • VOICE (Voices of Iowa Connecting Everyone) – features the library’s volunteer narrators and the books they have recorded for our collection.
  • Bookmark Series – if you are a fan of Hallmark movies this list is for you.
  • Staff Picks – comprised of 60 books, all filled with our staffs’ all-time favorite books.

Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena, a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your book list or head over to BARD to download the titles now.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
This book is told through the viewpoint of three women in the 1930’s and 1940’s as World War II begins. Caroline is a New England socialite whose passion is saving the orphaned children of France, Kasia, is a 16 year old Polish girl who eventually joins the resistance movement, Herta is a strong believer in the Nazi movement and wants to become a doctor. As the story progresses these three women’s stories cross paths. The story is based on the true story of Caroline Ferriday and her philanthropy for the children of France and those who survived the war.  DB84356
Link to Title on BARD

Caroline: Little House, Revisted by Sarah Miller
If you loved Laura Ingalls Wilder as a child or enjoyed the TV show Little House on the Prairie this book might appeal to you.  The book Caroline is a fictionalized account of how life might have been for Caroline Ingalls, mother of Laura Ingalls. The Ingalls family left their home in Wisconsin and set out by covered wagon while snow was still on the ground, for Kansas with two little girls.  The book tells the story of the hardships they faced in Kansas away from civilization and family. The book was researched by Miller and the reasons they left and later moved from Kansas is well-documented.  DB89267
Link to Title on BARD

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
Pino Lella, as a teenager becomes involved in the resistance movement to ferry Jews out of Italy and over the Italian mountains into the safety of Switzerland.  Rather than be drafted into the Italian army his parents convince him to sign up for the German army.  Pino becomes a driver for Nazi General and a spy for the Allied forces. He faces several terrifying moments when he is nearly caught by the General working for the Allies. This is based on a true story.  DB90012
Link to Title on BARD

Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim
California 1923:Mei Ling comes to America through a matchmaker for an arranged marriage.  Her husband, Kai Li is a merchant and a U.S. citizen needing a wife for his son. On board the ship to America Mei Ling meets a young orphan girl, who coming to America with an “uncle”.  Mei Ling comes to care about the girl.  Mei Ling and Kai Li have both been untruthful with each other. Can their marriage survive and will they learn to love each other?  DB93176
Link to Title on BARD

Adding Audio Titles from the Past

Most of the first books our library recorded in audio were created by the library’s volunteer narrators. The recording was done in the volunteers’ homes using cassette recorders. These cassette “master” tapes were hard to edit because it was so easy to inadvertently record over good sections of tape, so minor mistakes were often left on the original master and overlooked! It was fairly common to hear background noises on the tape like sounds from clocks, pets, appliances etc. and the tape itself would produce a slight “hiss” when playing it back – and the hiss problem would increase each time the tape was duplicated from this master.

As things do, technology progressed and in 2006 we began to record books “digitally” instead of using the cassette recorders. These digitally recorded books were much easier to correct when mistakes were made, and had virtually no “noise” in them. Now with the digital recorders, and using better quality microphones and equipped with a little more understanding and awareness of their audio surroundings, the home narrators audio recording quality was much improved.

During this time while transitioning our home narrators from the analog cassette based recordings to the new much higher quality digital audio recordings, there was a dream to have a voiceover studio here in Des Moines where narrators could come to record books in a very pristine audio environment. That dream was realized in 2005 when the library constructed its own recording studio. The first digitally mastered book from our studio, Wanted by Caroline B. Cooney, was recorded by the library in March 2006. Hundreds of books have been recorded in the Library’s studio since.

We still had one minor obstacle: the National Library Service did not have a “Digital Talking Book Machine” created or available yet that would play back our high quality digital audio books. So our digital recordings still needed to be “formatted for and transferred to” cassette tapes for playback.

After digital talking book players became available (around 2010) the library had hundreds of “digitally recorded and mastered” cassette titles. Now to make these titles available and playable on the new digital players, they need to be edited, marked up for navigation, and converted in the proper format needed for the digital cartridge and digital players.

As library staff and our amazing volunteers have transitioned to working from home during our current situation, they began to focus on the titles that still needed to be converted from the digitally mastered cassette format to the digital book format. The wonderful news is that digitally recorded books can be stored for many years and do not lose their initial quality, as cassettes will after being stored for years.

Over 40 titles have been converted and more are being done every day. The books include westerns, romances, science fiction, children’s books, religious books, history, and more.

In addition to providing different titles to the collection, this project also helps the library offer books that were recorded by different narrators. Some of the narrators of these books only recorded books for cassettes.

Here are some highlighted authors and titles:

Loren Zane Grey’s Lassiter Series:
Lassiter Gold  DBC15177
Lassiter Tough  DBC15180
Lassiter’s Ride  DBC15188
Lassiter on the Texas Trail  DBC15179

Titles by Grace Livingston Hill
Marcia Schuyler  DBC15192
Mary Arden  DBC15181
Phoebe Deane  DBC15173
Lone Point  DBC01680
The White Flower  DBC15190

History:
Reflections Along the White Pole Road   DBC15183
Last Man Out:  Glenn McDole, USMC, Survivor of the Palawan Massacre in World War II by Bob Wilbanks  DBC15175
Partners in Command:  George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in War in Peace by Mark Perry  DBC15178

Biographies and Autobiographies:
Lute!: the Seasons of My Live by Lute Olson  DBC15170
Abigail Adams:  First Land of the Faith and Courage by Evelyn Witter  DBC15102

Other Titles:
The Night Angel by T. Davis Bunn  DBC15189
This Loving Land by Dorothy Garlock  DBC15184
Cause for Alarm by Erica Spindler  DBC15191