Check Out the Top Ten Fiction Books from BARD Last Month

Here are the top ten fiction audiobooks downloaded from BARD last month.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

Baseball Mini-Bibliography

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) creates mini-bibliographies on various subjects.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

NLS created a mini-bibliography on the subject of Baseball.  Here it is:

Baseball has long been deeply embedded in American culture. In 1889 Walt Whitman said that baseball “has the snap, go, fling of the American atmosphere.” Many are drawn in as children through Little League games and the hobby of collecting baseball cards. No other sport has inspired so many songs or developed its own distinctive menu. This minibibliography lists some titles for adults and children about baseball history and the basics of the game. These represent only a small fraction of the more than three hundred nonfiction titles about baseball in the NLS collection, which also includes baseball schedules (American and National Leagues) in braille.

Game Time: A Baseball Companion by Roger Angell
Sportswriter Steve Kettmann compiles his favorite Roger Angell baseball essays, spanning 1962 to 2002. The pieces profile players such as Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Pete Rose, and David Cone, as well as the various teams and spring training camps that he’s studied. Introduction by Richard Ford. 2003.   Download DB 58307

A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti  by A. Bartlett Giamatti
Essays by the former Yale president who was the commissioner of baseball when he died in 1989. The articles convey Giamatti’s lifelong devotion to the sport and his belief in the integrity of the game. One, “Baseball and the American Character,” interweaves the history of the country with that of its national pastime. 1998.     Download DB 47461

When Women Played Hardball by Susan E. Johnson
Author Johnson was a fourteen-year-old fan when the All-American Girls Baseball League died in 1954 after a twelve-year span. To recreate the spirit of the league that fascinated her, Johnson interviews twenty-six of the women who played for the 1950 Rockford Peaches and Fort Wayne Daisies. Their recollections of the 1950 series are supplemented by newspaper accounts of each of the seven games. 1994.     Download DB 39231

The Head Game: Baseball Seen from the Pitcher’s Mound by Roger Kahn
Author of The Boys of Summer (DB16430) discusses the psychology and physics of baseball pitching, as well as some of the major personalities immortalized in the history of the sport. 2000. Download DB 51995

The Game: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers by Jon Pessah
Focusing on the owners and officials rather than the superstar players, ESPN founding editor Pessah examines the world of baseball during the era of Commissioner Bud Selig, 1992 to 2015. Labor disputes, steroid scandals, and boardroom battles are covered. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.     Download DB 82022

The Hall: A Celebration of Baseball’s Greats by Hank Aaron
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum lists every inductee from the first class in 1936, which included Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson. Includes essays and player bios. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.     Download DB 79365

Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame by Ze’ev Chafets
Journalist chronicles the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and alleges that politics affects the induction of players. Discusses the makeup of the selection committee and associated scandals and controversies. Some strong language. 2009.

Download DB 70370

Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball by Lawrence D. Hogan
Chronicles African American baseball from the nineteenth century until Jackie Robinson broke into the major leagues in 1947. Uses first-person accounts to profile the teams and players. Covers the business aspects of the league. Commissioned by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Foreword by Jules Tygiel. 2006.     Download DB 67203

Voices from the Negro Leagues: Conversations with 52 Baseball Standouts of the Period 1924–1960 by Brent P. Kelley
Interviews with African American athletes from the segregated baseball teams of the twentieth century. Includes players from before and after 1947, when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Includes Rodolfo Fernandez, now in the Cuban Hall of Fame, and Frazier Robinson, Satchel Paige’s favorite catcher. 1998.     Download DB 54770

24: life stories and lessons from the say hey kid by Willie Mays and John Shea
This biography of the legendary African American centerfielder includes interviews with the many players and non-players he inspired (including Barack Obama) and personal stories from Mays himself. Mays shares the inspirations and influences responsible for guiding him on and off the field. Commercial audiobook. 2020.     Download DB99789 

Curveball: the remarkable story of Toni Stone, the first woman to play professional baseball in the Negro League Martha Ackman
A journalist presents a biography of the first woman to play professional baseball on men’s teams. It chronicles her baseball career, which included years in the semi-pro circuit and a stint in the Negro Leagues in the 1950s. It also details her experiences of racial and gender descrimination. Some strong language. 2010.     Download DB97982

Homegrown: how the Red Sox built a champion from the ground up by Alex Speier
A Boston Globe baseball reporter looks at the 2018 Red Sox season. He believes their success was the result of careful, patient planning and shrewd decision-making that allowed Boston to develop a golden generation of prospects–and then build upon that talented core to assemble a juggernaut. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.     Download DB98472

K: a history of baseball in ten pitches by Tyler Kepner
The baseball columnist for the New York Times presents a history of the sport, told through the ten major pitches of the game. Includes commentary from some of the best pitchers in baseball history, such as Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Bob Gibson, and Mariano Rivera. Some strong language. 2019.     Download BR23069

Ten innings at Wrigley: the wildest ballgame ever, with baseball on the brink by Kevin Cook
A former Sports Illustrated editor looks at a dramatic baseball game in 1979 between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs. The game went ten innings and the two teams racked up forty-five runs between them. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.     Download DB95375

Children’s Books

The Good Guys of Baseball: Sixteen True Sports Stories by Terry Egan
Sixteen biographies describing men in baseball who exemplify some of the best traits an athlete can possess on or off the field: loyalty, decency, determination, and the willingness to work hard. Included are Don Wardlow, a sportscaster who is blind, and Jim Abbott, a pitcher who was born with only one hand. For grades 3–6. 1997.     Download BR 11625     Download DB 46409

World Series Classics by Dan Gutman
Play-by-play narrations of what the author considers to be the five most exciting World Series in the history of baseball: 1912, 1924, 1947, 1975, and 1991. Conveys the drama and suspense of the action-filled games, complete with interesting facts and anecdotes. For grades 5–8. 1994.     Download DB 43418

A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Sue Macy
A history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during and immediately following World War II (1943–1954). The league was born during a period when the nation’s men were away at war and women enjoyed unprecedented freedom in employment and activities, including sports. For grades 6–9 and older readers. 1993.     Download BR 09473

How Baseball Works by Keltie Thomas
Facts and figures about the basics of baseball, its rules, strategy, and history. Describes bats, baseballs, mitts, and uniforms. Explains a slugger’s stats, a pitcher’s throws, including recipes for spitballs and mud balls. Discusses great players, major ballparks, and even ballpark sounds. For grades 4–7. 2004.     Download BR 15898

A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson by Michelle Y. Green
Mamie Johnson recalls her playing days, stating she was one of three women to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues. Depicts Johnson’s overcoming racism and sexism in 1948 to pitch at age twelve for an all-white boys’ team and at eighteen for the Indianapolis Clowns. For grades 4–7. 2002.     Download DB 60256

Stars in the Shadows by Charles R. Smith
A story in rhyme recounts the second Negro League baseball all-star game in Chicago. Recaps each of the nine innings in which legendary players such as Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, and Turkey Stearnes brought fans to their feet. For grades 2­–4 and older readers. 2012.     Download DB 74753

Baseball history for kids: America at bat from 1900 to today with 19 activities by Richard Panchyk
Investigates the history of the sport and recounts stories about former major league players. Includes activities such as calculating the Earned Run Average (ERA) and throwing a palmball. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 2016.     Download DB96687

A big day for baseball: Magic tree house, book 29 by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie use the magic tree house to travel back in time to 1947 Brooklyn, New York, where they pretend to be batboys at Jackie Robinson’s first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Braves. For grades 2-4. 2017.     Download BR23124

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 (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts (DB94079)
The story flips back and forth from the making of the movie of The Wizard of Oz in 1939, to the love story of L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz and Maud Gage.  Maud, a long time widow in 1939, goes to the studio to see that the movie being filmed stays true to the story written by her husband.  Frank Baum was a man before his time, always imagining what the future would hold. He enthralled children with his stories of fantasy. Frank and Maude were deeply in love, but struggled financially until Frank wrote his first book of nonsense poetry. He later found greater success with the book The Wizard of Oz. This book was well researched and although fiction, much of the story is based on fact. Recommended for those who grew up seeing the movie The Wizard of Oz on television once a year.
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Mistaken Identity by Don and Susie Van Ryn and Newell, Colleen and Whitney Cerak (DB66537)
In 2006, in Indiana a Taylor University van carrying five students and one staff member was hit by a semi that crossed the median and struck the van.  The lone survivor was a female student, Laura Van Ryn. Laura was taken to a hospital with a broken collar bone, elbow and leg and severe head trauma. The Van Ryn family rushed to the hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana and the family stood by Laura, while she endured physical therapy as well as, speech therapy.  Her sister, Lisa learned how to perform simple procedures to make Laura more comfortable. Laura at first, was in a coma and as the weeks past she became more aware and talkative. Five weeks after the accident the physical therapist asked Laura to write her name. She wrote Whitney.  The nurses assured the Van Ryn’s that the head trauma can cause the brain to misfire.  The next day as Lisa was wheeling Laura down the hall she asked Laura her name and she said Whitney.  She then asked for her last name and who her parents were. Lisa was convinced that for the last five weeks they had been loving, praying for mistakenly been identified as Laura Van Ryn. The Van Ryns were devastated and the Cereks were questioning how this happened as they drove to the hospital. Whitney was glad to see her family. The Van Ryns and the Cereks formed an unbreakable bond in caring for Whitney and both knowing what it was like to lose a child.
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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (DB84392)
Ove is a curmudgeon.  He keeps to himself and does not involve himself with anyone.  Having been let go at a job he held for many years, he feels useless.  His wife has died and he just wants to be with her.  He visits her grave frequently. He decides to end his life, but every time he tries to commit suicide he is interrupted by neighbors wanting to borrow tools or needing rides.  Ove eventually becomes involved with his neighbors and is teaching one neighbor to drive. A group of neighbors bans together to prevent one neighbor from being sent to a nursing home.  This book is written with humor and compassion.  It can be enjoyed by all ages.
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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.

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
Violet and Daisy are twins and both have psychic abilities. In their teen years, they are not well accepted by their peers. They rely on each other for companionship, but when they go off to college Daisy reinvents herself and becomes Kate and Violet drops out of school. Violet counts on her psychic skills to make a living and Kate marries and has a family. Violet floats through life and Kate feels the need to take care of her. Violet predicts an earthquake for the St. Louis area and is suddenly thrust into the lime light. Kate’s husband, Jeremy is attending a conference on the date of the predicted earthquake. Kate begs him to stay home. While Jeremy is gone Kate does something to jeopardize her marriage. This book is about relationships with parents, siblings, spouses and children. DB77180
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Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
I wanted to read this because, I thought mistakenly, like the author, that soon after the sinking of the Lusitania that the United States entered World War I. My grandfather served in World War I and I was interested in the events that would have happened before my grandparents married. Several things in this book made me angry. Winston Churchill perpetuating the myth that the U-boat fired two torpedoes. The fact that Room 40 knew where that U-boat was every day, days before the sinking of the Lusitania, and yet they provided no security. The blaming of the Captain of the Lusitania for its sinking was ludicrous. Following some of the passengers and learning what happened to them was interesting. If you enjoy history, particularly maritime history, you will enjoy this book. DB80936
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A Mothers Reckoning by Sue Klebold
This book is the raw, emotional journey of Sue Klebold. She took this journey after her son, Dylan along with Eric Harris shot and killed a teacher and 12 students and injuring 20 more at Columbine High School. Sue felt like a failure as a mother and searched her memory to find signs of what Dylan had done. Her family was ostracized for many years after the tragedy. In the end, she was so consumed by trying to understand what went wrong that she and her husband, who just wanted to move on with life, divorced. She finally concluded that Dylan had mental health issues and this was an easy way to die or commit suicide. A thought provoking book. Whether you agree with Sue’s conclusions or not this was painful to all who were touched by it. DB83764
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The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
The story takes place during World War II. Noa was cast out by her family when she became pregnant at a young age. Her baby was adopted. As she makes her way through the countryside she rescues a baby from a train car bound for a concentration camp. She raises the boy as her own. She joins a circus touring Europe and becomes an aerialist. The ringmaster is a kind man hiding several Jewish people in his employ. The circus in Germany at the time, was the only entertainment that kept the people’s mind off the despair of war. This is an interesting tale with a twist at the end. DB89826
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Three Bookish Wishes

What if you could rub a lamp and a Book Genie appeared offering you three wishes….three bookish wishes?  Wishes that had to deal with books and reading.  Maybe you want to meet a certain author?  Wish that your favorite author would write a sequel to your favorite book?  See a character come to life?  Have the time to read all the books you want?

Here are three bookish wishes from Deena, Patron Services Librarian:

1.    Nancy Drew Mystery Stories were one of my favorite genres in my youth.  My favorite story was The Ghost of Blackwood Hall by Carolyn Keene (DB94369).  I wish I could be Nancy’s friend and help solve a mystery.

2.    I loved the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a girl.  I would like to spend a few days with the Ingalls family to learn more about life on the prairie.

3.    I would like to spend one day at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, as portrayed in the book The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson (DB55748).  I would like to the see “new inventions” and see how it compares to the Iowa State Fair. Let’s hope that I don’t run into the serial killer!

What would you wish for if the Book Genie visited you?

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

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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

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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

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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
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