Radio Talking Book – February 2011

Deployment of the Digital Radios There are currently six transmission sites in Minnesota where we are using our new digital […]

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Deployment of the Digital Radios

There are currently six transmission sites in Minnesota where we are using our new digital radios: Thief River Falls, Warroad and Roseau, Bemidji, Moorhead, Saint Cloud, and Austin. Any customers of the Radio Talking Book who live in those areas have now been sent a new digital radio and reports back are very positive. The next area to receive radios will probably be International Falls. Once people have the digital receiver, they should turn that on because the old analog radios will eventually not work. We have already removed the analog signal from Thief River Falls and the analog signal to Bemidji, Moorhead, Saint Cloud and Austin will be dropped soon.

The new digital radio has a different antenna than the old one. The new antenna is a flexible wire antenna that needs to be plugged into the back of the radios and stretched out to resemble a large letter T. If that doesn’t happen, and your wire antenna drapes on the floor, there is the possibility that it will get caught up in a vacuum cleaner or cause problems in other ways. For customers in fringe listening areas, a rabbit ear style of antenna can be supplied which provides more signal reception and might make an otherwise intermittent signal solid. If users have difficulties with their new radios, we invite people to call us with their feedback so we can improve the service. Call Chris at 651-642-0885.


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 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 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. If you live outside of Minnesota, you may obtain copies of books 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.

See interesting information about current RTB events on the Facebook site for the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network. Register for Facebook at


Tuesday – Saturday, 4 a.m.

The Whale, Nonfiction by Philip Hoare, 2010.  Philip Hoare’s obsession with whales was inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. In writing The Whale, he attempts to explain why these strange, beautiful animals exert such a hold on our imagination. Read by Wally Vavrosky. 14 Br. Begins February 2.

Made for Goodness, Nonfiction by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, 2010. Archbishop Tutu has witnessed some of the world’s most sinister moments and chosen to be an ambassador of reconciliation. Read by June Prange.  6 broadcasts. Begins February 22.


Past is Prologue
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m.

A Brave Vessel, Nonfiction by Hobson Woodward, 2009. When William Strachey set out in the Sea Venture in 1609, he was leading a fleet of nine to re-provision and strengthen Jamestown. But a hurricane separated them from the fleet and they spent a year on Bermuda. Read by Judith Johannessen. 9 broadcasts. Began January 25.

The Great Depression, Nonfiction by Benjamin Roth, 2009. As Benjamin Roth began to grasp the economic crisis around him in 1929, he set out to record his impressions in a diary. He formed his own theories of how a person might survive hard times.  Read by Malcolm McLean. 12 broadcasts. Begins February 7.

The State of Jones, Nonfiction by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer, 2009. From 1863 to 1865, residents of Jones County, Mississippi, engaged in an insurrection against the Confederacy. Read by Barbara Struyk. 13 Br. Begins Feb. 23. 



Monday – Friday, 11 a.m.

Union Atlantic, Fiction by Adam Haslett, 2010. Banker Doug Fanning has built a mansion on land Charlotte Graves’ grandfather donated to the town. She has vowed to oust him. Doug is senior manager of Union Atlantic; Charlotte’s brother is president of the New York Federal Reserve. Read by Peter Danbury. 10 Br. Began January 31.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fiction by Helen Simonson, 2010. Major Pettigrew is the quintessential Englishman in Edgecombe St. Mary. But he has fallen in love with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, a Pakistani shopkeeper who the locals regard as a permanent foreigner.  Read by Anne Obst. 13 broadcasts. Begins February 14.


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

Spoken from the Heart, Nonfiction by Laura Bush, 2010. Born in the boom-and-bust oil town of Midland, Texas, Laura Welch grew up as an only child. When she left West Texas in 1964, she never imagined that her journey would lead her to the world stage and the White House. Read by Natasha DeVoe. 17 broadcasts. Begins January 20.

A Mountain of Crumbs, Nonfiction by Elena Gorokhova, 2010. Elena was born with a desire to explore the world beyond her borders and found passion in the English language. But in 1960s Soviet Union, that was verging on subversive.  Read by Jodi Furness.  13 broadcasts. Begins February 14.


Choice Reading
Monday – Friday, 4 p.m.

The Cry of the Sloth, Fiction by Sam Savage, 2009. Living on cupcakes, sardines, and Southern Comfort during an era of economic hardship, Andrew Whittaker – literary journal editor, negligent landlord, and aspiring novelist – writes furiously amid mounting debt and debris. L – Read by David Tofteland. 7 broadcasts. Begins February 3.

Model Home, Fiction by Eric Puchner, 2010. Warren Ziller moved his family to California in search of a charmed life. But unknown to all, he has also squandered the family’s money on a failing real estate venture. When tragedy strikes, the family needs to move into a house in his abandoned development. L – Read by John Beal. 15 broadcasts. Begins February 14.


PM Report
Monday – Friday, 8 p.m.

Googled, Nonfiction by Ken Auletta, 2009. Only eleven years old, Google has transformed the way we live and work, changing how we access information and disrupting the way entire industries operate. L – Read by Lannois Neely. 16 broadcasts. Began January 31.

Bomb Power, Nonfiction by Garry Wills, 2010.  The atomic bomb transformed our nation down to its deepest constitutional roots in ways still felt today. It dramatically increased the power of the modern presidency and redefined the government as a National Security State. Read by Wally Vavrosky. 9 broadcasts. Begins February 22.


Night Journey
Monday – Friday, 9 p.m.

Woman with Birthmark, Fiction by Håkan Nesser, 2009. A mother’s dying wish becomes a deadly promise of revenge by the daughter. The murder that follows leaves the Inspector bewildered because of the dullness of the victim. L – Read by Judy Woodward. 8 broadcasts. Began January 26.

Dark Dreams, Fiction by Michael Genelin, 2009.  Jana and Sofia, school-days best friends, are now a police officer and a member of parliament, respectively. When Jana finds a large diamond at Sofia’s house, it begins a dangerous series of events. L – Read by Adam Johnson. 10 Br. Begins February 7.

The Executor, Fiction by Jesse Kellerman, 2010. Joseph Geist sees an ad seeking a conversationalist. His new elderly employer and her house seem ideal and he would do anything to stay there forever. V,L – Read by Dan Sadoff. 11 Br. Begins February 21.


Off the Shelf
Monday – Friday, 10 p.m.

Elegies for the Brokenhearted, Fiction by Christie Hodgen, 2010. There are five people Mary Murphy will never forget. In five elegies to lost friends and relatives, Mary tells us the story of her life. By the time she leaves for college, she has no one to write home to. L – Read by Pat Lelich. 9 broadcasts. Began January 25.

Last Night in Twisted River, Fiction by John Irving, 2009.  In 1954, a twelve-year-old boy mistakes the constable’s girlfriend for a bear. The boy and his father then become fugitives and spend years pursued by the constable. L – Read by Jack Rossman. 25 Br. Begins February 7.   


Monday – Friday, 11 p.m.

Come Back, Como, Nonfiction by Steven Winn, 2009. When Winn and his wife gave into their child’s plea for a dog, they got a mutt from a shelter. Como turned out to hate men, especially Winn, and proved to be an escape artist. Read by Stuart Holland. 9 broadcasts. Begins February 1.

Happy, Nonfiction by Alex Lemon, 2009. Alex was a fun-loving, hard-partying kid who everyone called Happy. Then he had his first stroke. That was followed by alcohol and drug abuse and more brain bleeds. It was his mother who nursed him back to health after brain surgery. L – Read by Jeff Weihe. 7 broadcasts. Begins February 14.     

The Ninth, Nonfiction by Harvey Sachs, 2010. The Ninth Symphony was Beethoven’s mightiest attempt to help humanity find its way from darkness to light. Yet the work was born in a repressive era, with the premiere of this hymn to universal brotherhood taking place in Vienna, the capital of a nation being turned into a police state.  Read by Ilze Mueller. 9 broadcasts. Begins February 23.



Good Night Owl
Monday – Friday, Midnight

If the Dead Rise Not, Fiction by Philip Kerr, 2010. Bernie Gunther is a detective in 1934 Berlin caught between warring factions of the Nazi apparatus. Then twenty years later, he is in Havana where a vicious killer from his Berlin days shows up – then gets murdered. V,L,S – Read by Don Lee. 17 broadcasts. Began January 27.

A Reliable Wife, Fiction by Robert Goolrick, 2010. Wealthy Ralph Truitt was looking for a wife to live with him in his Wisconsin mansion, so he placed an ad in a Chicago newspaper. Catherine Land answered the ad knowing that she intended to kill her future husband leaving herself a wealthy widow. But she didn’t know that the future husband had a plan of his own.  L – Read by Bob Malos. 11 broadcasts. Begins February 21.    



After Midnight
Tuesday– Saturday, 1 a.m.

All Together Dead, Fiction by Charlaine Harris, 2010.  Having been betrayed by her vampire love, Sookie Stackhouse has a possible new man in her life, the shapeshifter Quinn. She is also dealing with a long-planned vampire summit. The vampire queen of Louisiana will be there. There are factions of vampires who would like to finish what Hurricane Katrina started with New Orleans. With secret alliances and backroom deals, Sookie must decide which side she’ll take.  L,S – Read by Kara Greshwalk.  11 broadcasts. Begins February 3.

In the Heart of the Canyon, Fiction by Elisabeth Hyde, 2009. A group of mismatched tourists and adventurers spends thirteen days rafting down the Grand Canyon. Guiding them is J.T. Maroney, who loves the river and who thinks he has seen everything. But on the first night, a stray dog upsets the tentative equilibrium of the makeshift family. Sometimes the most daunting adventures on a river trip have nothing to do with white-water rapids. L – Read by Carolyn Light Bell. 9 broadcasts. Begins February 18.



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

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