Radio Talking Book – January 2017

Interesting Statistics Over Fiscal Year 2015-2016, volunteers for the Minnesota Radio Talking Book recorded 258 books. If we include all […]

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Interesting Statistics

Over Fiscal Year 2015-2016, volunteers for the Minnesota Radio Talking Book recorded 258 books. If we include all the pages of newspapers and programs that get aired, that gives us a total of 186,269 pages recorded during the year. Some people may say, “but I don’t think I heard 258 books.” No, you didn’t. If books get recorded but don’t get aired on the radio, they are available through the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library, or copies from our office itself. Feel free to call Dan at 651-539-1422 to inquire about a book you are interested in.


Weekend Program Books

Your Personal World (Saturday at 1 p.m.) is airing The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness, by Amit Sood, MD, and The Way of Rest, by Jeff Foster; For the Younger Set (Sunday at 11 a.m.) is airing House of SecretsBattle of the Beasts, by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini; Poetic Reflections (Sunday at noon) is airing The Rain in Portugal, by Billy Collins, and There Now, by Eamon Grennan; The Great North (Sunday at 4 p.m.) is airing A Good Time for the Truth, ed. by Sun Yung Shin, and Pothole Confidential, by R.T. Rybak.


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.  

Audio information about the daily book listings is also on NFB Newsline. Register for NFB Newsline by calling 651-539-1424.


Chautauqua Tuesday,  Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m

The Geography of Genius, Nonfiction by Eric Weiner, 2016. 15 Br. Began January 3. Author Eric Weiner investigates why genius seems to flourish at specific places and times. It seems it is not just about genetics but more about creating a culture that encourages ingenuity. Read by Myrna Smith.

A Crude Look at the Whole, Nonfiction by John H. Miller, 2016. 8 Br. Begins January 24. Most social scientists study the individual parts of a picture; that is reductionism, the idea that to understand the world, we need study its pieces. But once we begin drawing links between complex systems, we can start solving what appear to be intractable problems. Read by Lannois Neely.


Past is Prologue, Monday –  Friday 9 a.m

Bind Us Apart, Nonfiction by Nicholas Guyatt, 2016. 14 Br. Began January 4. Why did the Founding Fathers fail to include blacks and Native Americans in their proposition that “all men are created equal?” The usual answer is racism, but the reality is more complex and unsettling. Read by Alvin Apple.

Blood, Bullets, Bones, Nonfiction by Bridget Heos, 2016. 7 Br. Begins January 24. Ever since the introduction of DNA testing, forensic science has been in the forefront of the public’s imagination, thanks especially to popular television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But forensic analysis has been practiced for thousands of years. Read by John Potts.


Bookworm, Monday – Friday 11 a.m.

Dear Emma, Fiction by Katie Heaney, 2016. 9 Br. Began January 3. Harriet writes an advice column for her college newspaper but has difficulty taking her own advice. It becomes especially trying when she ends up giving advice to the woman who has become her romantic rival. Read by Carol Lewis.

The Heart, Fiction by Maylis De Kerangal, 2016. 8 Br. Begins January 16. Driving back from an early-morning surfing trip with two friends, Simon Limbres is involved in a fatal car accident on a deserted country road. While no one could claim to really know Simon Limbres’s heart, it gave life to a woman close to death. L,S – Read by Sue McDonald.

Hearth Song, Fiction by Lois Greiman, 2016. 10 Br. Begins January 26. Bravura has a daughter to raise, a house to restore, a business to run, and a husband who shows up when he needs money. Then Tonk Redhawk comes into her life, and he is charming and helpful. Read by Nan Felknor.


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

Your Story Is Your Medicine, Nonfiction by Shelli Stanger Nelson, 2016. 11 Br. Began January 2. Shelli Stanger Nelson was trained as a nurse. When a series of medical conditions began to change her life, she was aware of what this meant, though the emotional acceptance hadn’t yet happened. Over time, Nelson has learned to integrate devastation into her life in a way that honors the insanity of the experiences and the tenacity of her spirit. Read by Rachael Freed.

Lord Willing?, Nonfiction by Jessica Kelley, 2016. 9 Br. Begins January 17. When her young son was diagnosed with brain cancer, Jessica couldn’t stomach Christian clichés. God’s will? Divine design? The Lord’s perfect plan? She meditated on “If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why do we suffer?” Read by Pat Muir.

Cursed Legacy, Nonfiction by Frederic Spotts, 2016. 17 Br. Begins January 30. Novelist, playwright, essayist, and journalist, Klaus Mann, son of novelist Thomas Mann, was one of the most provocative German writers of the last century. Even before Hitler came to power, Klaus fought the Nazis through his writing. L – Read by Dan Sadoff.


Choice Reading, Monday, Monday – Friday 4 p.m.

Champion of the World, Fiction by Chad Dundas, 2016. 17 Br. Began January 3. Disgraced former lightweight champion Pepper Van Dean and his cardsharp wife, Moira, are marooned in Oregon, so he agrees to become a trainer for a heavyweight in search of a comeback. But nothing is what it seems. L – Read by Robb Empson.

All the Time in the World, Fiction by Caroline Angell, 2016. 13 Br. Begins January 26. Charlotte has taken a babysitting job to tide herself over until she makes her next move as a musician. It turns out that she is good with children. When a tragedy hits the family she cares for, Charlotte is the key to holding the children’s world together. She is faced with an impossible choice between her life-long dreams and the torn-apart family she’s come to love. L – Read by Connie Jamison.


PM Report, Monday – Friday 8 p.m.

No House to Call My Home, Nonfiction by Ryan Berg, 2015. 9 Br. Began January 4. Over 4000 youth are homeless in New York City and 43 percent of them identify as LGBTQ. Author Ryan Berg writes of being a caseworker in a group home for these disowned teenagers, witnessing their struggles, fears, and ambitions as they resist the pull of the street. V,L,S – Read by Scott Brush.

Blood and Earth, Nonfiction by Kevin Bales, 2016. 11 Br. Begins January 17. Where modern slavery exists, so does massive, unchecked environmental destruction. Even as it destroys individuals, families, and communities, new forms of slavery in the world’s lawless zones pose a grave threat to the environment. Read by John Gunter.


Night Journey, Monday – Friday 9 p.m.

I Shot the Buddha, Fiction by Colin Cotterill, 2016. 11 Br. Began January 2. In 1979’s Laos, Dr. Siri Paiboun can never turn down an adventure – or turn away a misfit. Siri and his wife have a small house with an assortment of homeless people and oddballs, including Noo, a Buddhist monk who leaves one day and never returns. Read by Jim Tarbox. 

The Devils of Cardona, Fiction by Matthew Carr, 2016. 17 Br. Begins January 17. It’s March, 1584, and the priest in this small town is murdered. Most of the town’s inhabitants are Muslims who converted to Catholicism. An adviser to King Philip II is eager to avert a backlash so he appoints Bernardo de Mendoza to investigate. V,L,S – Read by Mike Piscitelli.


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

The Hilltop, Fiction by Assaf Gavron, 2015. 20 Br. Began January 9. On a West Bank hilltop, Gabi is joined by his American brother whose plan is to sell Palestinian olive oil to Tel Aviv yuppies. It becomes an international scandal. Read by Audray Rees.


Potpourri, Monday – Friday 11 p.m.    

City Squares, Nonfiction by Catie Marron, 2016. 7 Br. Began January 3. Over half the world’s citizens live in cities. At the heart of these municipalities is the city square, the defining urban public space since ancient Greece. Read by Judith Johannessen.

Street Poison, Nonfiction by Justin Gifford, 2015. 10 Br. Begins January 12. From a career as a pimp and criminal, Robert Beck refashioned himself as Iceberg Slim, the first and greatest of street lit masters. A lot of L – Read by Joe Sadowski.

The Art of History, Nonfiction by Christopher Bram, 2016. 5 Br. Begins January 26. The lure of the past is as seductive as ever. But incorporating historical events and figures into a shapely narrative is no simple task. Read by Stuart Holland.


Good Night Owl, Monday – Friday midnight

Guapa, Fiction by Saleem Haddad, 2016. 13 Br. Began January 5. Rasa is a gay man living in an Arab country, trying to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and social upheaval. He sneaks his lover, Taymour, into his room until the night his grandmother catches the two of them in bed together. S – Read by Arlan Dohrenburg.

Church of Marvels, Fiction by Leslie Parry, 2015. 11 Br. Begins January 24. Several people connect in New York City in 1895: Sylvan Threadgill who finds a newborn in a privy; Odile Church, looking for her sister; Alphie trapped in Blackwell’s Lunatic Asylum; and another woman on the ward who does not speak. V,L – Read by Judy Woodward.


After Midnight, Tuesday – Saturday 1 a.m.

Stork Mountain, Fiction by Miroslav Penkov, 2016. 10 Br. Began January 4. It began as a search for the grandfather who suddenly and unexpectedly cut off all contact with the family. What he didn’t expect was to fall in love with an unobtainable Muslim girl. Read by Greg Olson.

Almost Everything Very Fast, Fiction by Christopher Kloeble, 2016. 12 Br. Begins January 18. Albert’s father, Fred, is a child trapped in the body of an old man. Now Fred has been given five months left to live and Albert senses that Fred is the only one who can help him learn more about his background. L – Read by Don Gerlach.


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

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