Book Reviews From Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena!

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.

Cemetery Girl by David Bell  DB80299
Tom and Abby’s daughter, Caitlyn has disappeared.  They are still holding out hope of finding her four years later and Caitlyn is returned to them at the age of 16. Tom is bent on finding the man who took her and punishing him, but Caitlyn says she is in love with her kidnapper.  Tom finds the kidnapper and negotiates to return Caitlyn to him in return for finding out what happened to Caitlyn.

Auggie & Me: three Wonder stories by R. J. Palacio  DB93356
This is the companion book to Wonder (DB74228).  Wonder is about Auggie, a middle schooler with a facial deformity, who is going to a new school, Beecher Prep, for the first time. He meets those who accept him and those who bully him.  The companion book, Auggie & Me,  takes a look at three of the characters and their relationship to Auggie. The first section is Julian, the bully. Julian spent the summer with his grandmother who tells him a story of growing up in France during World War II.  Through the story, Julian realizes how he was wrong in his treatment of Auggie and he feels remorse.  The second story is about Auggie’s best friend, Chris. Chris lives in another city and they are not together as much as they used to be.  They become closer again while doing homework and remembering past times.  The third story is about Charlotte, who was Auggie’s friend when he first came to the school.   Charlotte has lost her best friend to another more popular group of girls.  This is a great book for kids and adults alike.

Nora Bonesteel’s Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb  DB80354
Nora Bonesteel is an elderly woman living in the mountains of Tennessee. Nora has the “sight”, which means she knows things before they happen and she also sees ghosts.  Nora is pleased the Havertys from Florida have bought the old Honeycutt place and are fixing it up. The Havertys are “summer people”, but decided to stay for Christmas. The Havertys have put up a Christmas tree, but the tree has been mysteriously knocked over several times. Nora is invited into the old home where she has not been since she was a girl and she remembers attending Christmas parties in the home.  Nora is able to solve the mystery of the tree being tipped over.  In a parallel story the sheriff and his deputy go out on Christmas Eve to arrest an older man for a minor traffic accident.  The old gentleman is not quite ready to be taken to jail.

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.

Library Chat Podcast: June 2021

June’s Library Chat discusses the topic of humor.  This episode we invited special guest, Iowa Department for the Blind Director, Emily Wharton, to share her favorite humorous books and podcasts with us.  We also discuss an episode from the podcast Make My Day with Josh Gondelman Episode 46:  Under the Cheese with Emily Heller.  Check out the library blog for a book list and more from the Library Chat June episode.

Library Chat:  June 2021 Book List

Sick in the head : conversations about life and comedy / Judd Apatow.

What’s so funny? : my hilarious life / Tim Conway ; with Jane Scovell.

Yes Please / Amy Poehler.

Born a crime : stories from a South African childhood / Trevor Noah.

Dear girls : intimate tales, untold secrets, and advice for living your best life / Ali Wong.

I can’t make this up : life lessons / Kevin Hart with Neil Strauss.

If at birth you don’t succeed : my adventures with disaster and destiny / Zach Anner.

Keep moving : and other tips and truths about aging / Dick Van Dyke ; with Todd Gold.

Always look on the bright side of life : a sortabiography / Eric Idle.

The last black unicorn / Tiffany Haddish.

A very punchable face / Colin Jost.

Shrill: notes from a loud woman / Lindy West

Is this anything? / Jerry Seinfeld

Bossypants / Tina Fey

Also, check out the library’s monthly Library News podcast and Braille Bits podcast.  Check out the library’s Podcast Page for information on all the library’s podcasts and episodes.

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

Library Chat Podcast: May 2021

May’s Library Chat discusses the topic of gardening and the books and a podcast that help us to enjoy are gardens, flowers, yards and more. This episode we invited a special guest, library patron, and Master Gardner Roger Erpelding, to share his knowledge with us.  We also discuss an episode from the podcast Let’s Argue about Plants brought to you by the editors of Fine Gardening.  Episode 84 titled Underappreciated Plants for Spring discusses those plants that maybe are overlooked when we are planting.  Check out the library blog for a book list and more from the Library Chat May episode.

Library Chat:  May 2021 Book List

Animal, vegetable, miracle: a year of food life DB64800 by Barbara Kingsolver

The beginner’s guide to starting a garden: 326 fast, easy, affordable ways to transform your yard one project at a time DB87665 by Sally Roth

Climate-wise landscaping: practical actions for a sustainable future DB91615 by Sue Reed and Ginny Stibolt

Container gardener’s handbook: pots, techniques, and projects to transform any space DB96682 by Frances Tophill

Food lover’s garden: growing, cooking, and eating well DB88596 by Jenni Blackmore

Grow your own herbs: the 40 best culinary varieties for home gardens DB95988 by Susan Belsinger and Arthur O. Tucker

Grow: stories from the Urban Food Movement DBC03274 by Stephen Grace

Kitchen garden revival: a modern guide to creating a stylish small-scale, low-maintenance edible garden DB101179 by Nicole Burker

Roots, shoots, buckets & boots: gardening together with children DB78475 by Sharon Lovejoy

A way to garden: a hands-on primer for every season DB99339 by Margaret Roach

The bee-friendly garden: design an abundant, flower-filled yard that nurtures bees and supports biodiversity DB96127 by Kate Frey and Gretchen LeBuhn

Fiction books about gardens, but not gardening how-tos

The secret garden DB23638 by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The language of flowers: a novel DB74148 by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The forgotten garden: a novel DB70900 by Kate Morton

Prodigal summer: a novel DB51048 by Barbara Kingsolver

Also, check out the library’s monthly Library News podcast and Braille Bits podcast.  Check out the library’s Podcast Page for information on all the library’s podcasts and episodes.

Library Chat Podcast: April 2021

April’s Library Chat celebrates National Library Week by reviewing books and a podcast about libraries and librarians. Library staff also discuss an episode from the podcast 99% Invisible hosted by Roman Mars.  Episode 415 titled “Goodnight Nobody” explores the complex figure of Anne Carroll Moore, a New York Public librarian, and her role in making libraries accessible to children.

Library Chat:  April 2021 Book List

The bodies in the library DB97038 by Marty Wingate

The giver of stars DB96907 by Jojo Moyes

Her perfect affair DB100847 by Priscilla Oliveras

Information hunters: when librarians, soldiers, and spies banded together in World War II Europe DB98976 by Kathy Lee Peiss

The Library of the Unwritten DB96922 by A.J. Hackwith

Reading behind bars: a true story of literature, law, and life as a prison librarian DB96548 by Jill Grunenwald

Upright women wanted DB98684 by Sarah Gailey

The midnight library DB100906  by Matt Haig

Syria’s secret library: reading and redemption in a town under siege DB97420 by Mike Thomson

The library book DB92869 by Susan Orlean

The midnight library DB100906 by Matt Haig

Ink and Bone: the Great Library DB85432 by Rachel Caine

The time traveler’s wife DB57102 by Audrey Niffenegger

Dewey’s nine lives:  the legacy of the small-town library cat who inspired millions DB72898 by Vicki Myron

Children’s Titles

The boy who was raised by librarians DBC06351 by Carla D. Morris

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s library DB77918 by Chris Grabenstein

Goodnight moon DB24603 by Margaret Wise Brown

Also, check out the library’s monthly Library News podcast and Braille Bits podcast.  Check out the library’s Podcast Page for information on all the library’s podcasts and episodes.