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.

Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth
Lorraine Kindred has lost her husband of many years.  The book switches back and forth from present day to the 1940’s when Lorraine met her husband as a young girl. The iconic Surf Ballroom figures into the story where Lorraine attended many dances. Lorraine’s son-in-law is very intrigued with the history of the Surf Ballroom.  He has done some research and found that the original Surf Ballroom was destroyed by fire in 1947.  It was later rebuilt. Knowing that Lorraine had attended dances about that time, he asks her about the fire.  Lorraine remains evasive. This is great love story with an Iowa setting and a little bit of mystery.  DBC15165

The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up by Rich Blake
This is the true story of Donny Herbert, a Buffalo, New York fire fighter who was injured on the job and went into a coma in December 1995. He woke up from his coma in April 2005 and talked to his family for 16 hours straight.  Was it the family’s faith in God, the doctor’s drug cocktail or Donny’s own determination to come back to his family or a combination of those things? Soon afterwards, Donny slipped back into his comatose state and died in February 2006 of pneumonia.  A wonderful story of a miracle, faith, and courage.  DB64976

Link to Title on BARD

Tisha by Robert Specht
Based on the true story of Anne Hobbs who traveled to Alaska in 1927, on horseback to become a teacher in the small town of Chicken, Alaska.  Anne faces harsh weather and has some harrowing experiences as she finds love in this in this isolated wilderness.  She takes in two children when their mother dies of tuberculosis.  The boy calls her “Tisha” instead of teacher. She and her husband, Fred, adopt the two children along with several others. This is one of 100 Favorite Novels Recommended by Librarians.  DB41798

Link to Title on BARD

The All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, the superstar whose Life Ended of Murderer’s Row by James Patterson
Aaron Hernandez was an extremely talented young man drafted by the New England Patriots.  He was a rising star on the team. On June 18, 2013, for unknown reasons he killed his friend, Odin Lloyd who was the boyfriend of his fiancée’s sister.  All evidence pointed to Hernandez and he was convicted and sentenced to death row.  While on trial for Lloyd’s murder he was charged with shooting two men in their car.  Almost two years to the day of Odin Lloyd’s murder, Hernandez hung himself in his prison cell.  Recommended for football fans and readers of true crime.  DB90220

Link to Title on BARD

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
J.D. Vance grew up in a poverty-stricken area in Ohio. His mother was a drug user and abusive. When things got too bad at home he would go to his grandparent’s house.  Despite his situation, J.D. grew up and joined the Marines and eventually graduated from Yale Law School. This is a touching memoir of overcoming the odds and becoming an inspiration to others.  DB85796
Link to Title on BARD

Top Ten Fiction Titles on BARD

Are you a BARD (Braille Audio Reading Download) user?  See below for the top ten fiction downloaded digital books on BARD this week.  Do you want to be a BARD user or learn more about BARD?  Go to our BARD page to find out more information or get signed up!

Golden in death: an Eve Dallas novel DB98498 by J.D. Robb

Pediatrician Kent Abner received a package containing a cheap golden egg that could be opened into two halves. When he pried it apart, highly toxic airborne fumes entered his body and killed him. After Eve Dallas calls the hazmat team, it’s time to look into Dr. Abner’s past and relationships. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.

Hit list DB98834  by Stuart Woods

When Stone Barrington finds his name on a hit list, he plans to lie low until the culprit is caught. But when this foe shows no signs of stopping until his deadly objective is realized in full, Stone is left with no choice but to face the problem head-on. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Long range DB98717  by C.J. Box

When the wife of a prominent local judge is wounded on Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett’s turf, signs point to the shot having been taken from an impossible distance. Joe’s best friend, Nate Romanowski–who is adjusting to parenthood–is a suspect. Meanwhile, Joe attempts to decipher a startling grizzly attack. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.

Country strong DB98494  by Linda Lael Miller

Montana rancher Cord Hollister is shaken when a girl arrives in Painted Pony Creek who looks like Reba, the woman who broke his teenage heart. Even though Shallie Fletcher had an unrequited crush on Cord in school she still seeks his help starting a therapeutic riding program for kids. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Blindside DB98664  by James Patterson and James O. Born

New York’s mayor has a daughter who’s missing and Detective Michael Bennett has a son who’s in prison. The two strike a deal. Sources lead Bennett to a homicide in the Bronx. The victim has ties to a sophisticated hacking operation–and also to the mayor’s missing twenty-one-year-old computer prodigy daughter. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Desperate DB98868  by Daniel Palmer

Gage Dekker–who still blames himself for the car accident that claimed the lives of his first wife and son–now marries Anna. After a heartbreaking miscarriage, they meet young, pregnant, and homeless, Lily, who agrees to give her baby to Gage and Anna in exchange for financial support. But something isn’t right. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.

The passengers DB98514  by John Marrs

Eight people are riding in self-driving cars when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and they have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells them they are going to die. From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.

House on fire DB98500  by Joseph Finder

Nick Heller learns his old army buddy Sean has died of an overdose. Sean, who once saved Nick’s life, got addicted to opioids after returning home wounded from war. At Sean’s funeral, a stranger approaches Nick with a job, which may be a way for Nick to hold someone accountable. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

In five years DB98798  by Rebecca Serle

Newly engaged Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan has a plan for the next five years. But when she goes to sleep she wakes up in a different apartment, beside a very different man. It’s the same night, five years in the future. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.

The numbers game DB98732  by Danielle Steel

Eileen Jackson was happy to set aside her own dreams to raise a family with her husband, Paul. But when Eileen discovers that Paul is having an affair with a younger woman, she wonders whether it is too late for her to start over. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.

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

 

 

 

 

Beyond the Book

This month we are going Beyond the Book with Northfield by Johnny Boggs.  It is a fictional account of the 1876 robbery of the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota, by the James-Younger gang. Some strong language is involved. The James-Younger gang consisted of Cole and Bob Younger and Frank and Jesse. Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of a different character involved in the raid from the robbers themselves to the lawmen to everyday citizens in the town.  Including those viewpoints of the James and Younger brothers.  Even though this book is considered western fiction, it is great for non western fans as well.  Jesse James and his gang are fascinating historical characters and this book would be enjoyed by historical fiction or true crime stories fans also!

The author, Johnny D. Boggs, is an award winning western author.  He has won a record of eight Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America and the winner of the Western Heritage Wrangler award!  Booklist magazine called him “among the best western writers at work today. He also received the 2020 Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Contributions to Western Literature.   Boggs grew up in South Carolina and now lives Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife and son.  He knew from an early age that he wanted to be a writer and got an interest in the West when he watched Gunsmoke as a kid with his dad.*

If you would like to discover more about the robbery gone bad of the First National Bank in Northfield from everyone involved, call the library at 515.281.1323 to request this book!  Once you have read it, call or email with your review or thoughts.  You might hear your words in the next Beyond the Book segment in the July Library News. We would love to hear from you!  Call 515.452.1329 or email library@blind.state.ia.us.

*Source: www.johnnydboggs.com

Thanks for reading with us!

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

Beyond the Book

If you listen to the Library News Podcast on your circulation cartridge or through this blog, you may have heard of Beyond the BookBeyond the Book is a segment we do every other month in Library News that highlights an audiobook in our collection.  We introduce the book, give readers a chance to request that book, and then readers have an opportunity to offer a review or their thoughts on the book by calling in or emailing the library.  A few select reviews or thoughts will be read in the next installment of the Beyond the Book on Library News.  In addition, we could also go Beyond the Book by discussing the author, setting of the book, or characters in the book or more!

Currently, we are going Beyond the Book with a western by Johnny Boggs titled Northfield (DB67254)Northfield is a fictional account of the 1876 robbery of the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota, by the James-Younger gang. The raid unfolds from various perspectives, including those of outlaws Frank and Jesse James, Sheriff James Glispin, the daughter of a murdered teller, and the gun-toting town residents. There is some strong language.

Call the library at 515-281-1323 to request this title or head over to BARD and download it.  Once you have read it, contact us and give us a review!  We would love to hear from you!  Call Leslie at 515-452-1329 or email library@blind.state.ia.us with your opinions!  You may hear your thoughts on a segment of Beyond the Book.  You can choose to remain anonymous if you would like.

Past Beyond the Book titles have been:

Check out our BARD page for more information on how to use the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD).

Thanks for reading with us!

Top Five Fiction and Nonfiction Titles on BARD

Are you a BARD (Braille Audio Reading Download) user?  See below for the top five fiction and nonfiction downloaded digital books on BARD this week.  Do you want to be a BARD user or learn more about BARD?  Go to our BARD page to find out more information or get signed up!

FICTION TITLES

Lost DB98503 by James Patterson and James O. Born

Detective Tom Moon attended University of Miami on a football scholarship before becoming a Miami PD officer. Now–as the new leader of an FBI task force–Moon discovers that two opportunistic Russian nationals have built a vast, powerful, and deadly crime syndicate throughout Europe and metropolitan Miami. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Blindside DB98664 by James Patterson and James O. Born

New York’s mayor has a daughter who’s missing and Detective Michael Bennett has a son who’s in prison. The two strike a deal. Sources lead Bennett to a homicide in the Bronx. The victim has ties to a sophisticated hacking operation–and also to the mayor’s missing twenty-one-year-old computer prodigy daughter. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Suicide run: three Harry Bosch stories DB97953 by Michael Connelly

LAPD Detective Harry Bosch in three never-before-collected stories. In the title entry, the apparent suicide of a beautiful young starlet turns out to be much more sinister than it seems. Also includes “Cielo Azul” and “One Dollar Jackpot. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2011.

The wives DB98148 by Tarryn Fisher

Imagine that your husband has two other wives. None of you know each other, and you can see your husband only one day a week. But one day, while doing his laundry, you find an appointment reminder for a woman you realize is another of the wives. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.

The museum of desire DB98667 by Jonathan Kellerman

Four people have been slaughtered and left displayed horrifically in a stretch limousine. None of the victims seems to have any connection to any other, and a variety of methods have been used to dispatch them. Psychologist Alex Delaware and LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis investigate a crime that stretches the definitions of evil. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.

NONFICTION TITLES

A very stable genius: Donald J. Trump’s testing of America DB98392 by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonning

Washington Post’s White House Bureau Chief and a fellow investigative journalist analyze patterns in President Trump’s behavior during his time in the White House and present theories on his tactics and motivations. Draws on interviews with witnesses and members of the Trump administration. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.

Sizing people up: a veteran FBI agent’s user manual for behavior prediction DB98403 by Robin Dreeke and Cameron Stauth

Behavior analyst formerly with the FBI presents a guide to identifying if someone is a friend or foe and understanding the six signs of behavior prediction. The signs are: vesting, longevity, reliability, actions, language, and stability. Uses examples from his work to illustrate his arguments. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
 

The third rainbow girl: the long life of a double murder in Appalachia DB98420 by Emma Copley Eisenberg

In 1980 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, twenty-six-year-old Vicki Durian and nineteen-year-old Nancy Santomero were murdered in an isolated clearing while hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering. Follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

No encore: musicians reveal their weirdest, wildest, most embarrassing gigs DB98409 by Drew Fortune

A collection of stories spanning four decades that chronicle what can go wrong–onstage or offstage–when musicians play live. Contributors include members of The Police, Garbage, Ministry, Linkin Park, Insane Clown Posse, Ween, Van Halen, and many more. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.

Custer’s fall: the Native American side of the story DBC13851 by David Humphreys Miller

This is the story of the famous Battle of the Little Big Horn as told by the only ones who survived to recount it–the Indians. Based on the oral testimony of seventy-two Native American eyewitnesses, the story reconstructs the events of a battle that has become legend.

BARD and BARD Express

BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) is a free library service of downloadable braille and audio reading material provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS). BARD provides our patrons access to thousands of special-format books, magazines, and music scores. The site is password-protected. All files are downloadable as compressed audio or formatted ebraille files. BARD is a partnership between NLS and its network of cooperating libraries.

BARD Express provides patrons with an easy way to access BARD. Use BARD Express to browse thousands of audio books and magazines, download them to your Windows-based computer, and transfer them to a cartridge.

For more information on BARD and BARD Express go to our BARD information page and check out these videos on our YouTube channel.  Below is one of our videos on how to sign up for BARD.

 

Popular Books on BARD

BARDBARD 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 digital audio books on BARD in the last 30 days:

Fiction

The Couple Next Door: a novel by Shari Lapena  DB85538

Tom Clancy Duty and Honor by Grant Blackwood and Tom Clancy DB84914

Escape Clause by John Sandford DB85774

Sting by Sandra Brown DB85376

Troublemaker by Linda Howard DB84875

Non Fiction

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part I & II by Jack Thorne DB85528

In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett  DB85597

Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan  by Bill O’Reilly  DB85755

Good Vibrations: My Life As a Beach Boy by Mike Love  DB85547

The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped By the Nazis  by Elizabeth Letts  DB85593

Alphabet and Number Soup

You may have noticed that the books in the library collection have letter and numbers assigned to them, this is called a Title ID.  The Title ID is a unique number proceeded by two or three letters.  They can be found in Talking Book Topics and the library’s online catalog.  Many library borrowers use these IDs when requesting books from the library.  Libraries use abc-blocksTitle IDs to add requests to patron accounts and to know where a book is located on the library’s shelves.

Here are some examples of what these letters and numbers mean; DB at the beginning means it is a digital book and BR at the beginning means it is a braille book produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).  There are other prefixes that you might see as well.  A DBC and a BRC are books that were produced by cooperating libraries in the NLS network.  So, books that our library produced and made available to the network have the DBC or BRC Title ID.  An M indicates the book is part of the NLS Music collection, which consists of music scores, music instruction, and books about music.  DBO indicates a book that our library has recorded, but has not made available to other libraries in the NLS network.  BRN indicates a Braille book that the library has purchased from a vendor for the collection.

Here is a quick look at the Title IDs you might see in the library’s online catalog and what they can tell you about the book:

DB – Digital Book

BR – Braille Book

LT – Large Type Book

KIT – coming soon and will be used for early literacy kits that will be available for check out

3D – coming soon and will be used for 3D tactiles that will be available for check out