Radio Talking Book – August 2020

Radio Talking Book is back  After several months’ absence, Radio Talking Book returns to the air Monday, August 10. Listeners […]

Find out what we're reading this month on the Radio Talking Bok

Radio Talking Book is back 

After several months’ absence, Radio Talking Book returns to the air Monday, August 10. Listeners will welcome back regular programming, made possible with the help of many talented volunteers. If a favorite program isn’t heard right away, stay tuned as it is taking time to get everything on the air again. 

Books that were underway prior to the COVID-19 shutdown will be resumed from their first pages. That gives listeners a chance to get caught up or jump in at the beginning. 

Special thanks go out to the University of Kansas Audio-Reader Network for providing their programming to State Services for the Blind/Radio Talking Book during the shutdown. Audio-Reader is a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired, and print-disabled individuals, and broadcasts daily newspapers, magazines, and books 24 hours a day. Thanks again, Kansas Audio-Reader! 

Changes on the way 

Radio Talking Book is changing with the times. Beginning October 1, RTB will no longer be available via closed-circuit radio. Instead, listeners will have several options: use the Internet, the new RTB apps for iOS and Android, or a digital assistant like an Alexa-enabled smart speaker. The innovations will keep RTB available to Minnesotans for years to come. Find out more by calling toll-free at 1-800-652-9000, or email at [email protected].

There’s an app for that!

Access RTB anytime and anywhere on a hand-held mobile device, for either iOS or Android. Just visit the Apple App Store for iOS, or Google Play for Android, and download the Minnesota Radio Talking Book app. It’s quick, it’s easy, and provides a convenient way to tune into RTB anytime and anyplace. 

“Alexa, play Radio Talking Book” 

RTB’s live broadcast stream is now available on Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, and other Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speakers. It’s easy to get started. First, tell the smart speaker to “Enable Radio Talking Book.” Once confirmed, tell the smart speaker to “Play Radio Talking Book” to hear the current broadcast. Ask “What is playing now?” for a description of the current program, and “What is the Radio Talking Book schedule?” to hear what’s coming up. 

Call RTB staff to learn more about Alexa-enabled speakers, apps and other news to access programing. 

Books available through library services 

Books broadcast on the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network are available for loan through the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault. The catalog is online at, click on the link Search the Library Catalog. Call the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library at 800-722-0550, Monday-Friday, 9 am – 4 pm CST for details. Persons living outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books via an inter-library loan by contacting their home state’s Network Library for the National Library Service. 

Learn more 

To find more information about Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network events go to the Facebook site, Minnesota Radio Talking Book. Audio information about the daily book listings is also on the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) Newsline. Register for the NFB Newsline by calling 651-539-1424. 

The NFB-NEWSLINE service provides access to more than 500 magazines and newspapers, plus information on COVID-19 in the “Breaking News” section.  

The sampling published monthly in Access Press doesn’t represent the full array of programming. Many more programs and books are available. 

Donate to the State Services for the Blind online. 

You can listen to RTB’s live or archived programs online.



Monday – Friday 6 a.m. 

Our Towns, nonfiction by James and Deborah Fallows, 2018. Two writers traveled across America in a small airplane, visiting towns and cities and meeting the people. Read by Judy Woodward. 17 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. 

Past is Prologue* 

Monday – Friday 11 a.m. 

Presidents of War, nonfiction by Michael Beschloss, 2018. A look at a procession of American leaders; each one mobilizing our nation through conflict and into victory. Read by John Potts. 28 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. 


Monday – Friday noon 

The Beantown Girls, fiction by Jane Healey, 2019. Fiona, Dottie, and Viv volunteer as World War II Red Cross “Clubmobile Girls.” They soon discover courage they didn’t know they had, and the importance of friendship. Read by Pat Muir. 14 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. 

Late in the Day, fiction by Tessa Hadley, 2019. A thirty-year bond between two couples comes apart when one of the friends dies unexpectedly. Read by Judy Woodward. 9 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 31. (L). 

The Writer’s Voice* 

Monday – Friday 1 p.m. 

Edison, nonfiction by Edmund Morris, 2019. One of history’s most prolific inventors receives his due from one of the world’s great biographers, the late Edmund Morris. Read by Yelva Lynfield. 35 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. 

Choice Reading* 

Monday – Friday 2 p.m. 

Sold on a Monday, fiction by Kristina McMorris, 2018. During the Great Depression a writer takes a photo of two children with a sign that says, “Two Children for Sale.” Read by Tom Speich. 11 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. 

The House of Brides, fiction by Jane Cockram, 2019. A woman returns to her family’s estate and poses as the new nanny, as she pieces together the family’s history. Read by Carol McPherson. 13 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 25. 

Afternoon Report* 

Monday – Friday 4 p.m. 

The World As It Is, nonfiction by Ben Rhodes, 2018. Presidential aide Ben Rhodes offers an account of life in the Obama White House. Read by Scott Brush. 20 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. 

Night Journey* 

Monday – Friday 7 p.m. 

The Current, fiction by Tim Johnston, 2019. Two Iowa college friends set out for a trip to Minnesota on a winter night. After a dangerous encounter at a gas station, their car goes off the road and into a river. Read by Gary Rodgers. 15 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. V 

When Father and Son Conspire, nonfiction by Joseph Amoto, 1988. History professor Joseph Amoto examines in depth the murders of two southwestern Minnesota bankers, by a man and his 18-year-old son. Read by Stevie Ray. 10 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 31. V, L 

Off the Shelf* 

Monday – Friday 8 p.m. 

The Right Way, fiction by Skyler Anderson, 2018. A man who grew up in the US sees his life change when it is discovered he’s not an American citizen. Read by Don Lee. 11 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. L, R 

This Could Hurt, fiction by Jillian Medoff, 2018. Five coworkers in the corporate world support each other, while seeking to keep their jobs in a changing economy. Read by Carol McPherson. 15 broadcasts; begins Tue, Aug. 25. 


Monday – Friday 9 p.m. 

The War on Science, nonfiction by Shawn Otto, 2016. Minnesota author Shawn Otto reveals a decades-long attack on science, threatening societies around the world. Read by Jack Rossmann. 23 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. 

Good Night Owl* 

Monday – Friday 10 p.m. 

Us Against You, fiction by Frederik Backman, 2018. A new coach revitalizes a Swedish town’s junior hockey team, while a sly politician manipulates the residents. Read by Don Gerlach. 18 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. L, S 

RTB After Hours* 

Monday – Friday 11 p.m. 

Milkman, fiction by Anna Burns, 2018. During “The Troubles” a young Irish woman tries to retreat from the political conflict, until she attracts the romantic interest of a revolutionary leader. Read by Laura Young. 14 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 10. V 

Small Secrets, fiction by Joan Jacobson, 2017. A wayward Minnesota farm girl redeems her life through the kindness of strangers. Read by Judith Johannessen. 10 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 31. (L, S) 

Weekend Books 

Your Personal World, 1 p.m. Sat, presents Renia’s Diary: A Holocaust Journal by Renia Spiegel and Elizabeth Bellak, read by Beverly Burchett (L). 

Rated R, 11 p.m. Sat, presents What We Did in Bed by Brian Fagan and Nadia Durrani, read by Scott McKinney (L, S). 

For the Younger Set, 11 a.m. Sun, presents Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian, read by Connie Jamison. 

Poetic Reflections, noon Sun, presents Little Glass Planet by Dobby Gibson, read by Cintra Godfrey; followed by Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, read by Myrna Smith. 

The Great North, 4. Sun, presents In Winter’s Kitchen by Beth Dooley, read by Michelle Juntunen.

  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself & others from the COVID-19 virus."
  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself, & others from the COVID-19 virus."

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