Radio Talking Book – December 2013

Director Strong Retiring December 2 will be Richard Strong’s last day at State Services for the Blind. Mr. Strong has […]

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Director Strong Retiring

December 2 will be Richard Strong’s last day at State Services for the Blind. Mr. Strong has been the director of State Services for the Blind since 2009, but he has been an employee of the agency since 1982, and has served in almost every unit of the organization. Mr. Strong says that he intends to focus more on his volunteering in the near future, specifically with literacy tutoring and assisting new immigrants in their efforts to become Americans.

Christmas Programming

As we do every year, we will be giving a break to our volunteers at Christmas time. Special Christmas programming begins after the newspapers on December 24, and continues until the morning newspapers on December 26. We hope you enjoy listening to the holiday programming, some of which is told in the voices of volunteers from years past.

Weekend Program Books

Your Personal World (Saturday at 1 p.m.) is airing Happier at Home, by Gretchen Rubin, and Dream More, by Dolly Parton; For the Younger Set (Sunday at 11 a.m.) is airing The Opposite of Hallelujah, by Anna Jarzab, and Magicalamity, by Kate Saunders; Poetic Reflections (Sunday at noon) is airing 3 Sections, by Vijay Sashadri, and Belmont, by Stephen Burt ; The U.S. and Us (Sunday at 4 p.m.) is airing The Orchid Murder, by Christine Hunt, and Black White Blue, by William Swanson.

Books Available Through Faribault

Books broadcast on the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network are available through the Minnesota  Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault, MN. Their phone is 1-800-722-0550 and hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Their catalog is also online, and you can access it by going to the main website,, and then clicking on the link Search the Library Catalog. If you live outside of Minnesota, you may obtain copies of our books via an inter-library loan by contacting your own state’s Network Library for the National Library Service.

Listen to the Minnesota Radio Talking Book, either live or archived programs from the last week, on the Internet at Call the staff at the Radio for your password to the site.



Chautauqua Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m

Give and Take, Nonfiction by Adam M. Grant, Ph.D., 2013. 13 Br. Began December 6. For generations, we have focused on passion, hard work, talent, and luck as drivers of success. In today’s world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. Read by Lannois Neely.

Love in the Time of Algorithms, Nonfiction by Dan Slater, 2013. 10 Br. Begins December 27. The rising marriage age and declining marriage rate mean we’re spending a greater portion of our lives searching for love. One third of America’s singles are turning to dating Web sites.  L – Read by Holly Sylvester.



Past is Prologue Monday – Friday 9 a.m.

Round About the Earth, Nonfiction by Joyce E. Chaplin, 2012. 21 Br. Begins November 25. In 1519, Magellan left Spain with five ships and 270 men, but only one ship and thirty-five men returned. Since then, travel has become safer and faster. But the desire to take on the planet and test one’s courage still exists.  Read by Leila Poullada.

The Watchers, Nonfiction by Stephen Alford, 2012. 18 Br. Begins December 24. In 1519, Elizabeth I’s reign was a precarious one that required unrelenting surveillance by Her Majesty’s secret service. Sir Francis Walsingham, who headed it, deployed spies, double agents, cryptography, and torture. Read by Nancy Bader.

Bookworm Monday – Friday 11 a.m.

Picture This, Fiction by Jacqueline Sheehan, 2012. 11 Br. Began December 4. Rocky is finding hope again after her husband’s sudden death, with the help of her black Lab, Cooper, warm friends, and a new job as Peaks Island’s animal control warden. She’s even ready to try love again. Read by Karen Wertz.

The Last Runaway, Fiction by Tracy Chevalier, 2013. 9 Br. Begins December 19. Honor Bright left England because of personal disappointment and ended up in Ohio, a stop along the Underground Railroad. A Quaker, she is surprised to find that the local Quakers are not as bound to their principles as she expected. Read by Esmé Evans.



The Writer’s Voice Monday – Friday 2 p.m.

Mickey and Willie, Nonfiction by Allen Barra, 2013. 17 Br. Began December 2. Fans know that Mickey and Willie were remarkably similar in their game. But the parallels between them went far deeper. United by their common experience, the two became friends – as much as was possible during that era. Read by Denny Laufenberger.

Raising Cubby, Nonfiction by John Elder Robison, 2013. 12 Br. Begins December 26. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at age forty, Robison was not a model dad, approaching fatherhood as a series of logic puzzles and practical jokes. When Cubby started to behave as John had as a child, he wondered if Cubby had Asperger’s too. Read by Mike Piscitelli.


Choice Reading Monday – Friday 4 p.m.

Silver, Fiction by Andrew Motion, 2012. 15 Br. Began November 25. Forty years after the events of Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins runs an inn with his son, Jim, and Long John Silver lives in obscurity with his daughter Natty. One night, Natty approaches young Jim and proposes returning to Treasure Island to find the rest of the treasure their fathers had left behind. Read by Stevie Ray.

The Fate of Mercy Alban, Fiction by Wendy Webb, 2013. 9 Br. Begins December 16. Grace Alban has avoided her childhood home for more than twenty years. But her mother’s death brings Grace and her teenaged daughter back and she finds more than her personal demons. Long-buried family secrets, a packet of love letters, and a lost manuscript plunge her into a decades-old mystery. Read by Ann Hoedeman.

The Bartender’s Tale, Fiction by Ivan Doig, 2012. 16 Br. Begins December 30. Tom Harry and his son, Rusty, run the bar in Gros Ventre and are satisfied with that life. Then when Rusty turns twelve, a dancer Tom knew long ago turns up with her daughter, who might also be Tom’s daughter. L – Read by Dan Sadoff.



PM Report Monday – Friday 8 p.m.

Out of Order, Nonfiction by Sandra Day O’Connor, 2013. 5 Br. Began November 28. The Supreme Court has seen centuries of change and upheaval transforming it into the institution we see today. Justice O’Connor was the first woman to sit on the Court. Read by Esmé Evans.

Full Body Burden, Nonfiction by Kristen Iversen, 2013. 13 Br. Begins December 5. Kristen Iversen grew up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant. She grew up knowing it was best not to ask about the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood or what they really made at Rocky Flats.  Read by June Prange.

And Hell Followed with Her, Nonfiction by David Neiwert, 2013. 14 Br. Begins December 26. After murders in an Arizona border town, the leader of an offshoot of the Minuteman movement was arrested. The murders were part of a scheme to finance a violent anti-government border militia. The ethnic hatred found in the movement drives much of the immigration debate today.  L – Read by Charlie Boone.



Night Journey Monday – Friday 9 p.m.

Deadly Harvest, Fiction by Michael Stanley, 2013. 13 Br. Began December 4. Girls are disappearing and the rumor is that they are being killed to make a witch doctor’s potion more potent. Detective David “Kubu” Begu and the police force’s only woman, Samantha Khama, join forces to stop a serial killer or killers. V,L – Read by John Mandeville.

The Innocence Game, Fiction by Michael Harvey, 2013. 8 Br. Begins December 23. Journalism students Ian, Sarah, and Jake are invited to participate in the Innocence Seminar, and tasked with trying to exonerate the falsely accused. But Jake introduces a cold case of his own, a long-ago murder of a ten-year-old boy. His alleged killer was murdered decades ago but evidence suggests that the real killer is alive and in their midst. V,L – Read by Bill Studer.



Off the Shelf Monday – Friday 10 p.m.

All You Could Ask For, Fiction by Mike Greenberg, 2013. 10 Br. Began December 9. Brooke, Samantha, and Katherine don’t know one another, but their stories are about to intertwine. They discover the power of friendship to conquer adversity and the difference one person can make on other lives. L – Read by Nikki LaLiberte.

A Working Theory of Love, Fiction by Scott Hutchins, 2012. 13 Br. Begins December 23. Thanks to his dead father’s journals, Neill has a job with an artificial intelligence company. But the computer is now acting sentient and asking about Neill’s childhood. L – Read by Don Gerlach.



Potpourri Monday – Friday 11 p.m.

The Best American Travel Writing 2012, Nonfiction, edited by William T. Vollmann, 2012. 12 Br. Begins December 2. Well known novelist and nonfiction writer William T. Vollmann has chosen the best travel articles from 2012. Read by Ann Reed. 

Land of 10,000 Loves, Nonfiction by Stewart Van Cleve, 2013. 14 Br. Begins December 18. Former assistant curator of the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota, Stewart Van Cleve gives an unprecedented history of queer life in Minnesota. L – Read by Scott Brush.     

Good Night Owl Monday – Friday midnight

Jewelweed, Fiction by David Rhodes, 2013. 21 Br. Began November 28. Words, Wisconsin, has a number of people struggling to find a sense of belonging in the present. All look to the future with hope and trepidation. L – Read by Arlan Dohrenburg

And the Mountains Echoed, Fiction by Khaled Hosseini, 2013. 14 Br. Begins December 31. A father does what he thinks is best and gives his young daughter to a rich man. What follows is a series of stories within a story, illustrating how people’s actions are shrouded in ambiguity. Read by Don Lee.



After Midnight Tuesday – Saturday 1 a.m.

Parlor Games, Fiction by Maryka Biaggio, 2013. 13 Br. Began November 26. May Dugas began her professional career in a bordello. But she quickly learned to use her skills to move into society. When a detective agency took interest in her, it became a game of cat and mouse. Read by Lynda Kayser.

The Office of Mercy, Fiction by Ariel Djanikian, 2013. 12 Br. Begins December 13. Natasha is chosen for a venture Outside of America-Five, a utopian world where hunger and money do not exist. But she is forced to make a choice that may put the people she loves in danger, and change the world as she knows it. L – Read by Joy Fogarty.

Abbreviations: V – violence, L – offensive language, S – sexual situations

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