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Have I got a story for you

For your reading convenients below you will find all the have I got a story for you published in 2018

January 2018

Welcome 2018!
I have exciting news for our Canadian readers! I wrote to C E L A (Center for Equitable Library Access) and received permission to search the library and I can now add the reference or call letters to books in my newsletter articles! Thanks Canada! I may not have each book, but the ones I can post, I will.
Book clubs? I am a terrible book club member. I belong to one online book club and I rarely finish the selections. I enjoy going in and chatting about books and listening to what others have to say about some of their favorites. How do you feel about book clubs?
New year goals? I donít do New Yearís book reading goals or any type of resolutions. I am simply a failure at those things, so why set myself up for disappointment. What about you? I would love to hear about your goals for 2018.
I have 2 very different books for you this month. A not for everyone thriller and yet another animal lover book. Iím just a sucker for these.

The Good Daughter
written by Karin Slaughter
reading time: 16 hours and 14 minutes

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind. Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father; Pikeville's notorious defense attorney devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself , the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again, and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized, Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly 30 years ago won't stay buried forever.

Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling. This one contains violence, strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller 2017.

My comments; I love Karin Slaughter. She writes very intricate stories, filled with strong and timely situations. Like I said, not for the faint of heart.

Animal Magnetism; My Life with Creatures Great and Small
written by Rita Mae Brown
reading time:6 hours and 51 minutes
Rita Mae Brown's first memory is the sound of a deep, rumbling purr. From the cat that slept in her cradle to the horses, hounds, cats, and chickens who live on her Virginia farm today, Brown has always been surrounded by animals. Listeners will meet Mickey, a long-haired tiger cat who joined Rita Mae on childhood exploits; Franklin, her grandmother's parrot with a wicked sense of humor; R.C., a courageous and devoted Doberman who was killed by a pack of coyotes; Baby Jesus, a tiger cat from New York City with sharp teeth to match his attitude; and, of course, her beloved tiger cat Sneaky Pie. Animal Magnetism is a celebration of these wonderful creatures and of their remarkable capacity to enrich our lives and our hearts.

My comments; Rita Mae Brown has been one of my favorite writers for a long time. I love her stand alone books as well as her Mrs. Murphy series that she writes with her cat Sneaky Pie. In this biographical book, we learn how she and Sneaky Pie met.

So, fellow readers, here we are again at the beginning of a new year, I hope all of you have one that is filled with love, good health, new adventures and most of all, great books!
Carla jo

February 2018

Hello book lovers,
I find myself in a bit of a pickle this month. I havenít read anything of particular note lately and so I want to write about comfort books. It is cold here in Northeast Texas and Iíve been in a bit of a funky mood. I want to snuggle in with an old friend, several old friends, books, comfort books.

I automatically went to the Harry Potter books written by J. K. Rowling, The Chronicles of Saint Maryís by Jodi Taylor and The Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon for my comfort books.

I asked several friends what their go to books are and now I have some new books on my to be read list. Here are just a few of the great comments I received;
The Mitford series by Jan Karon
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Hope was Here by Joan Bauer
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Vol. 1
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller
The Sweet Potato Queen books by Jill Conner Browne
The Lord of the Rings books by J. R. R. Tolkien
Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Thrush Green books by Miss Read
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

my go to read is the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones, makes me laugh every time, especially if I'm glum or depressed.

Harold Robbins
John Grisham,
Lisa Scottilini,
any book written about the life and times of Jackie Kennedy.
Lucas Davenport
Virgil Flowers
Jack Reacher
Joe Grey
Homemade mac and cheese and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There's no place like home

And to sum it all up perfectly, a note from my friend Victoria.
I don't think I would answer this way except just a couple of hours ago I said to myself that it felt so comfortable to be reading a John Sandford book. I love all his series and have been reading them since 1989. And, you know me, Carla, there are different kinds of comfort. Like mashed potatoes and gravy vs. pizza; a great detective story vs. a Christian novel.

Oh, how true, chocolate, pizza, Maryís homemade mac and cheese and so many more comforts we run to in times of feeling low. What are your go to books? Or your comfort foods? I love to have an audio book going and get in my kitchen and cook.

Next month weíll be back to our book reviews, there are so many great new releases right now!
Happy reading, Carla jo

March 2018

Hello again book friends,
This month Iím jumping into a bit of the fantastic, a little horror and a solid author and one of his many wonderful books.

For the Fantastic;
The Great Library Series written by Rachel Caine. So far there are 4 books in this series. Below is a summary of the first book and a look at the series. Please find book information at the bottom. This is listed as a young adult fantasy series and I am really enjoying it.

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times best-selling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time. Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly - but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden. Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family's spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the library's service. When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life - and soon both heretics and books will burn.

Book 1, ink and bone
Cela call number; DA51163
reading time: 14 hours and 32 minutes

Book 2, paper and fire
Book 3 ash and quill
And coming soon, book 4, smoke and iron

For the Horror;
This is the Blackwater series written by Michael McDowell. This is a complete series, 6 books with a total listening time of around 25 hours. Originally published as a series of six volumes in 1983, Blackwater is the crowning achievement of Michael McDowell, author of the Southern Gothic classics Cold Moon Over Babylon and The Elementals and screenwriter of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Blackwater is the saga of a small town, Perdido, Alabama, and Elinor Dammert, the stranger who arrives there under mysterious circumstances on Easter Sunday, 1919. On the surface, Elinor is gracious, charming, anxious to belong in Perdido, and eager to marry Oscar Caskey, the eldest son of Perdido's first family. But her beautiful exterior hides a shocking secret. Beneath the waters of the Perdido River, she turns into something terrifying, a creature whispered about in stories that have chilled the residents of Perdido for generations. Some of those who observe her rituals in the river will never be seen again.

Book 1The Flood
Book 2 The Levee
Book 3 The House
Book 4 The War
Book 5The Fortune
Book 6 The Rain

And now for the solid author; Donít Let Go
written by Harlan Coben
reading time: 10 hours and 11 minutes
Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon "Nap" Dumas hasn't been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo's girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks - and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother's death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he's been looking for.

When Maura's fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions - about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana - whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

My comments; If youíve never read a Harlan Coben novel, you are missing out. Whether Itís one of his stand alone books or dipping into one of his series, you canít miss. His books do have strong language, violence and in some cases descriptions of sex. Check him out.

Happy reading,
Carla jo

April 2018

Greetings book friends!
We have something to celebrate and one of my favorite writers I want to talk about this month. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY FRANKENSTEIN!
Mary Shelley wrote the classic story of Frankenstein 200 years ago this year. And she did it at the age of 18! If youíve never read this classic horror book, grab it and get to reading. It really does stand the test of time. What were you doing at the age of 18? It boggles the mind to think about a young woman creating this story at that age.

Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus
Written by Mary Shelley
CNIB or CELA numbers; ET01163 and DZ31627
Reading time: 8 hours and 32 minutes
In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.

My comments; The way the story opens just gives me chills. Mary Shelley tells a story rich in detail and feelings. If you havenít read it, do so, and if you have, read it again.

Now for one of my all-time favorite writers; Wilbur Smith.
Wilbur Smith was born in Central Africa in 1933. He was educated at Michaelhouse and Rhodes University. He became a full-time writer in 1964 after the successful publication of When the Lion Feeds, and has gone on to write many more novels, all meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages.
Wilbur Smith lives in London and continues to have an abiding concern for the peoples and wildlife of his native continent, an interest strongly reflected in his novels.

My comments; Wilbur Smith writes sweeping sagas, telling the story of a country, itís people and the rich history of Africa. He has 4 series and many stand-alone novels. If you enjoy history, these books are for you. He writes about the jungles, savannas, the mountains and the wildlife, oh, the wildlife. Smith paints such pictures that it will carry you away. I canít recommend his books enough. He does write with some strong language, violence and some descriptions of sex. Here is a standalone novel Iíve chosen for this article. He is just a powerful writer.

Elephant Song
Written by Wilbur Smith
CELA or CNIB number; DC15058
Reading time: 17 hours and 49 minutes
Blood was the fertilizer that made the African soil bloom. From under the shadow of the Mountains of the Moon and the deep, brooding Forests of the Tall Trees, to the hidden opulence of Taiwan and the paneled boardrooms of power in the heart of London, a tough, determined man and a dedicated woman begin their fight against the forces of greed, evil and corruption.

In Zimbabwe, Dr. Daniel Armstrong, world-famous TV naturalist, films the slaughter of a herd of elephant: closing in as their blood stains the soil and their death song echoes around the stillness of the valley, his professionalism is tinged with a deep sadness.

In London, anthropologist Kelly Kinnear is forced into violent confrontation with the shareholders of the most powerful conglomerate in the City of London, warning them of the destruction of an African country and of a people Ė the Bambuti Ė she has come to love as her own.

Combining breathtaking realism with thrilling suspense, Elephant Song is a gripping adventure from the world's master storyteller Ė a journey deep into the heart of a wild, magnificent continent, threatened forever by the destructive hand of man.

Thanks go out to those of you who have written to me, it really does make a difference. I love getting book recommendations from all of you.
Until next month, Happy reading,
Carla jo

May 2018

Spring Salutations perspective book lovers!
I am thrilled to bring you some book recommendations of books that have finally hit the BARD website and has long been on the RNIB site. I am also pleased to announce that I have been allowed to research books on the RNIB site for the U K. So, letís get on with the good stuff, the books!

The Chronicles of St. Maryís, books 1, 2 and 3
written by Jodi Taylor
Book 1 from RNIB call number is; TB23851
The first 3 books in The Chronicles of St. Maryís series are book1; Just One Damn Thing After Another, book 2; A Symphony of Echoes and book 3; A Second Chance. These 3 books combined have a reading time of 28 hours and 54 minutes. I read these one at a time and I purchased mine from Audible. I was thrilled when they landed on BARD and I knew I could write about them. Here is a bit more about the writer and the books.

"History is just one damned thing after another."
Behind the seemingly innocuous faÁade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time travel', they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power, especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document, to try and find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions, and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back, to the death. And, as they soon discover, it's not just History they're fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century, London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake.

Jodi Taylor was Born in Bristol and educated in Gloucester (facts both cities vigorously deny). She spent many years with her head somewhere else, much to the dismay of family, teachers and employers, before finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and pick up a pen. She still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.

My comments: Please donít let the words, fantasy or time travel put you off. These are funny, delightful, often times very serious books. Jodi Taylor is a meticulous historical researcher, her characters are believable and engaging. BARD has the first 3 books and the RNIB has several. Canada, write your library and ask for these titles.

Here is a book I just happened to have on my to be read list and then I got a note from the writer. I havenít read this one yet, but didnít want to wait to give it a mention.

Writing out loud: what a blind teacher learned from leading a memoir class for seniors
written by Beth Finke
Reading time: 9 hours and 55 minutes
Journalist who chronicled her loss of sight from diabetic retinopathy in Long Time, No See (DB 56482) reflects on teaching a memoir-writing class to older adults in Chicago. Discusses living in a new city, describes challenges she faces as a teacher, and shares excerpts from her studentsí work.

The CNIB has Bethís first book, Long Time, No See and the call number is DZ29972.

Radio Free Vermont; A Fable of Resistance
written by; Bill McKibben
reading time;5 hours and 18 minutes
A book that's also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben's debut novel Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic.

As the host of Radio Free Vermont, "underground, underpowered, and underfoot", 72-year-old Vern Barclay is currently broadcasting from an "undisclosed and double-secret location". With the help of a young computer prodigy named Perry Alterson, Vern uses his radio show to advocate for a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont, one where the state secedes from the United States and operates under a free local economy. But for now, he and his radio show must remain untraceable, because in addition to being a lifelong Vermonter and concerned citizen, Vern Barclay is also a fugitive from the law.

In Radio Free Vermont, Bill McKibben entertains and expands upon an idea that's become more popular than ever - seceding from the United States. Along with Vern and Perry, McKibben imagines an eccentric group of activists who carry out their own version of guerilla warfare, which includes dismissing local middle school children early in honor of Ethan Allen Day and hijacking a Coors Light truck and replacing the stock with local brew. Witty, biting, and terrifyingly timely, Radio Free Vermont is Bill McKibben's fictional response to the burgeoning resistance movement.

My comments; Pay attention! This is political satire, nothing more, nothing less. I am not discussing politics, just recommending a tongue in cheek book. A fun read. We need more fun in our lives. So perspective readers, go get a book and have some fun! Until next time,
Happy reading, Carla jo

June 2018

Hot Dang Readers! Itís finally summer!
At least it is here in Texas! Summer books abound! Do you have a summer read you are looking forward to? Let me hear about it! Share the summer fun!

This month itís all about blowing your mind! Books that had you so twisted up, reading faster and faster and when it is over, you stood there and said, ďWhat just Happened?Ē.

A book that has stuck with you over time. Here are a couple of books and a list of readers suggestions for brain tangling stories.

Shutter Island
Written by Dennis Lehane
Reading time: 9 hours and 38 minutes
RNIB number; TB17581
CNIB number; DA38753

Summer, 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them.

But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe's radical approach to psychiatry; an approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing, or is there another, more personal reason why he has come there?

As the investigation deepens, the questions only mount. The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island because someone is trying to drive them insane. This one has strong language.

My comments; I was all over the map with this one. I still am not sure of the ending, it could be this, or it could have been that. A nail biter for sure.

Gone Girl
Written by Gillian Flynn
Reading time: 19 hours and 11 minutes
DB 74888
Cela or CNIB number; DA45572
RNIB number; TB 20316

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times best seller Gillian Flynn, takes that statement to its darkest place in this unpausable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work "draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction." Gone Girl's toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.

Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around. This one has strong language, some violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex.

My comments; I loved this one. Flynn is an amazing writer. This one was made into a movie. I had read it, husband Scott had not. We saw the movie. I used the headphones with the audio description. When we got in the car, he looked at me and said, ďAre you kidding me? Thatís the way it ends?Ē. Mind blown. My best friend Mary read it, called me when she finished and said the same thing. Anything by Gillian Flynn will be worth your time, but this one is really a wild ride.

I asked for books that fell into this category and here is what some friends had to say; Amanda loved The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and from Victoria, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Husband Scott said, The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Angela recommends, The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena and Buddy from Miami Manitoba Canada liked Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West.

As always, I love hearing from you, and remember, life is too short to read a book you arenít enjoying. Put it down and move on!
Happy Summer Reading Yíall!
Carla jo

July 2018

Hi Ho book lovers,
Since we have so many new subscribers, I thought I would review how I write my article. I personally get books from both BARD and Audible. I have recently started including reference numbers for both the CNIB or CELA (Canada) and the RNIB (UK). I donít do bookshare, but a lot of you do and good for you. I donít review books I didnít care for, no one wants to read about how disappointed I was with a book, waste of your time. I write about old books and new books. I love hearing from our readers, it really inspires me and gives me a look at how others enjoy books, so keep those emails coming!

This month I am writing about 2 older books, oldies but goodies. So, read on!

The Language of Flowers
Written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Reading time: 10 hours and 50 minutes
RNIB numberTB19909
CNIB did not have this book, sorry Canada
A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.

Now 18 and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning whatís been missing in her life and when she is forced to confront a painful secret in her life from her past, she must decide whether itís worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

My comments; What a beautiful book. I enjoyed learning about the meaning of all the plants and flowers. Heartbreaking at times, but a worthwhile read.

Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt
Written by Beth Hoffman
Reading time: 10 hours and 4 minutes
CNIB and RNIB did not have this one
Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble. For years, she has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille-the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town-a woman trapped in her long-ago moment of glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. But when Camille is hit by a truck and killed, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt, Tootie Caldwell.

In her vintage Packard convertible, Tootie whisks CeeCee away to Savannah's perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricity, a world that seems to be run entirely by women. From the exotic Miz Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in her backyard bathtub and uses garden slugs as her secret weapons, to Tootie's all-knowing housekeeper, Oletta Jones, to Violene Hobbs, who entertains a local police officer in her canary-yellow peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.

My comments; Laugh out loud funny. At times tender, at times, tough. Strong southern ladies fill this coming of age story. I want a deep, claw foot bathtub in my back yard. This is a great summer take along book.

The 2018 Audies were announced on May 31. For all the nominees and winnerís check out:

This led me to consider narrators, for us, a narrator can make or break a book. Who are your winners and losers? Well Patton and Scott Brick are at the top of my list, and I have a long list of favorites.

If you are attending the ACB convention in St. Louis, June 29 through July 6, find us! Several of the blind perspective writers will be there, you canít miss us! We are loud and proud and will be wearing our bp t shirts, you can get one too.

Until next month lovely people, stay safe and read on!
Happy reading, Carla jo.

August 2018

Hot Fun in the Summer Time book lovers!
Jim Morgan and I are doing a friends holding hands type of article this month. Heís writing about the tech side of Audible and Iím adding a bit of color and a great example of how Audible can be handy. But, wait, thereís more! For those of you who we met in St. Louis, it was fantastic! Let us hear from you!!

And now for my opinion of Audible:
The features I use the most with Audible are the wish list, where you can put books for the future, the ability to preorder upcoming books, and check out live recordings, magazines, newspapers, and historical recordings. Research is very easy on this site, you can search by key word, author, genre, narrator and several other filters.

Audible has a free magazine for members, they have a great system of emails, of which I am a fan, and a help line that is second to none. Returning a book, just because you really didnít like it, was no problem. I couldnít live without BARD, but Iím thankful that we have other choices out there for the audio book reader.

Now, here is a perfect example of why I love having an Audible account. Born to Run, written and read by Bruce Springsteen. On BARD it is read by another narrator, not a bad one, a quite popular one. But, heís not the Boss. I wanted to hear this book read by the man.

The Audies, the awards given out by the Audio book Publishing Association were held this past May 31, 2018. Mr. Springsteen won for best Autobiography/Memoir. And he deserved it. I knew I wanted this particular book read by this particular person, thatís why I really love Audible. Read on for my review.

Born To Run
Written and read by Bruce Springsteen
reading time 18 hours and16 minutes
BARD number; DB86228
CELA Number; DT77304

"Writing about yourself is a funny business. But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise: to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I've tried to do this." (Bruce Springsteen, from the audio of Born to Run)

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl's halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That's how this extraordinary autobiography began.

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to this audio the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as "The Big Bang": seeing Elvis Presley's debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar-band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work and shows us why the song "Born to Run" reveals more than we previously realized.

Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star's memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll. Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs ("Thunder Road", "Badlands", "Darkness on the Edge of Town", "The River", "Born in the U.S.A.", "The Rising", and "The Ghost of Tom Joad", to name just a few). Bruce Springsteen's autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.

My comments; If you are a fan, this is a must read. If you are a music historian, early rock and roll lover, or someone who appreciates a look at our nation at this time, this is one for you. I had to read this one in parts, not straight through for me. It was that deep and involving of a story, not a book, a story.

Beautifully written and perfectly read. I cried during some parts, laughed in a lot and danced in a few. This is a book that I will be forever thankful I read.

About the RNIB reference numbers; I checked the RNIB site and found that it is for sale in braille format. If any of our readers who use the RNIB website could let me know if that is the correct information, Iíd appreciate it.

Iíve received so many emails and I am trying to respond to each of you. You have no idea what hearing from our readers does for us here at the newsletter. I get so many great book recommendations and feel I get to know you a bit more each time I hear from you. Books arenít the only thing that inspires me to write each month, it is you, our readers.

Until September, really? September? Slow down Summer!
Happy Reading, Carla jo!

September 2018

Hello again book lovers;
This month itís mythology, magic and a high society novel. Letís get to it!

The title of this book is pronounced Sircy.
Written by Madeline Miller
Reading time:12 hours and 10 minutes
Cela number; DT77694

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur; Daedalus and his doomed son, Icarus; the murderous Medea; and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from or the mortals she has come to love.

My comments; I love mythology. This is an edgy tale full of fantastic characters and a beautifully written story. Miller digs in and gives us an unbelievable world.

The City of Lost Fortunes
Written by Bryan Camp
Reading time:14 hours and 5 minutes
Cela number; DZ56125
Crescent City Series; book 1

The fate of New Orleans rests in the hands of a wayward grifter in this novel of gods, games, and monsters.
The post-Katrina New Orleans of The City of Lost Fortunes is a place haunted by its history and by the hurricane's destruction, a place that is hoping to survive the rebuilding of its present long enough to ensure that it has a future. Street magician Jude Dubuisson is likewise burdened by his past and by the consequences of the storm, because he has a secret: the magical ability to find lost things, a gift passed down to him by the father he has never known - a father who just happens to be more than human.

Jude has been lying low since the storm, which caused so many things to be lost that it played havoc with his magic, and he is hiding from his own power, his divine former employer, and a debt owed to the Fortune god of New Orleans. But his six-year retirement ends abruptly when the Fortune god is murdered and Jude is drawn back into the world he tried so desperately to leave behind.

A world full of magic, monsters, and miracles. A world where he must find out who is responsible for the Fortune god's death, uncover the plot that threatens the city's soul, and discover what his talent for lost things has always been trying to show him: what it means to be his father's son.

My comments; What a wild ride! Iím a sucker for a book set in New Orleans. Fantasy lovers, watch out for Bryan Camp.

The High Season
Written by Judy Blundell
Reading time:10 hours and 45 minutes

The Hamptons hath no fury like a woman scorned. No matter what the world throws her way, at least Ruthie Beamish has the house. Lovingly renovated, located by the sea in a quiet Long Island village, the house is her nest egg - the retirement account shared with her ex-husband, Mike, and the college fund for their teenage daughter, Jem. The catch? To afford the house, Ruthie must let it go during the best part of the year.

It's Memorial Day weekend, and Ruthie has packed up their belongings for what Jem calls ďthe summer bummerĒ: the familyís annual exodus to make way for renters. This year, the Hamptons set has arrived. The widow of a blue-chip artist, Adeline Clay is elegant, connected, and accompanied by a ďgorgeous satelliteĒ stepson. But soon Adeline demonstrates an uncanny ability to help herself to Ruthieís life - her house, her friends, even her husband (okay, ex-husband, but still). And after her job as the director of a local museum is threatened, Ruthie finally decides to fight back.

Meanwhile, away from the watchful eyes of her parents, Jem is tasting independence at her first summer job but soon finds herself growing up too fast. One of Ruthieís employees, a master of self-invention named Doe, infiltrates the inner circle of an eccentric billionaire and his wayward daughter. With a coterie of social climbers and Ruthieís old flame thrown into the mix, the entire town finds itself on the verge of tumultuous change. By the end of one unhinged, unforgettable summer, nothing will be the same.

My comments: A snapshot view of a summer in the Hamptons. Ultra-rich and the working class collide. A fun beach, take along book.

Until we meet again gentle readers,
Happy Reading, Carla jo!

October 2018

Hello again book lovers,
This month I have 1 novel and 1 memoir that all of us can relate to and a book suggestion from a pair of readers. Here we go!

Cockeyed, a memoir
written by Ryan Knighton
reading time: 8 hours and 19 minutes
BARD number: DB62851
RNIB number; TB15812
CELA number; DA28519

On his eighteenth birthday, Ryan Knighton was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a congenital, progressive disease marked by night-blindness, tunnel vision and, eventually, total blindness. Blending mordant wit with intense personal reflection, "Cockeyed" is the story of Ryan's loss of sight. We follow his journey from absolute denial - which lost Ryan his trousers, his girlfriend and, perhaps unsurprisingly, his driving license - to acceptance of life. This one has strong language.

My comments; I read this one several years ago. I bought the paperback for my husband and he just read it this past summer. He was heard laughing, he also asked me several questions about my own eye mishaps. I decided to give this book a mention as it is enjoyable for everyone. If you want someone to more understand where you have been, where you are right now or where any of us might be in the future, this is a great story.

Rick and Pauline write to recommend the following book;
The inner life of animals: love, grief, and compassion: surprising observations of a hidden world.
I have it in my to be read pile, thanks Rick and Pauline.

The Great Believers
written by Rebecca Makkai
reading time: 18 hours and 19 minutes
CELA and RNIB didnít have this one yet.
BARD number; DB91533

A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris. In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying, and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the '80s and the chaos of the modern world as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

My comments; I know it sounds like there is a lot going on in this one, and there is. Makkai writes it so you never feel lost or overwhelmed. I loved this one so much I wrote to the narrator, Michael Crouch and to Rebecca Makkai both to tell them how moving this book experience was for me. They both wrote me back. This is a deep story, but told with sincerity and hope. I would encourage anyone to write to a writer or a reader to show your appreciation for their abilities and for sharing their gifts with us.

Until next time, Happy reading!
Carla jo

November 2018

Hello again book people!
This month I bring you an apocalyptic series, a reader recommendation and a real nail biter story! Letís go!

The After Series written by William Forstchen
Sorry RNIB and CELA, not there yet
There are 3 books in this series and it may be done, not sure. Iím going to list the books and do a bit about the series after.

One Second After
reading time: 12 hours and 31 minutes

One Year After
reading time: 11 hours and 5 minutes

The Final Day
reading time: 12 hours and 13 minutes

In a small North Carolina town, one man struggles to save his family after America loses a war that will send it back to the Dark Ages.

Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States, literally within one second.

This book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future and our end.

My comments: I really enjoyed these books. At times, I was scared silly. This is a very thought provoking story and it makes you ask, what would you do?

Bob recommends;
Bringing Columbia Home, The untold story of a lost space shuttle and her crew
reading time: 11 hours and 11 minutes

On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated on reentry before the nation's eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Author Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find.

Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history. For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the Columbia disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station.

Bringing Columbia Home shares, the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues, and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible.

The Last Time I lied
written by Riley Sager
reading time: 12 hours and 13 minutes
CELA number; DC57544

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. The last she, or anyone, saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings - massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. When the paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, she implores Emma to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor. Seeing an opportunity to find out what really happened to her friends all those years ago, Emma agrees.

Familiar faces, unchanged cabins, and the same dark lake haunt Nightingale, even though the camp is opening its doors for the first time since the disappearances. Emma is even assigned to the same cabin she slept in as a teenager, but soon discovers a security camera, the only one on the property, pointed directly at its door. Then cryptic clues that Vivian left behind about the camp's twisted origins begin surfacing. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing mysterious threats in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and what really happened to those girls, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.

My comments: Fast paced, thrilling, creepy and so much more. I give this one a 5 out of 5.

Thank you to those who have written me with book suggestions, I love reading about the books you enjoy. I save these emails to possibly use in future articles.
Thanks for being a Blind Perspective reader. Until next time, Happy reading!
Carla jo

December 2018

Holiday Greetings lovers of literature!
I have 3 wildly different books for your perusal this month.

Where the Crawdads sing
written by Delia Owens
reading time:12 hours and 14 minutes
BARD number; DB92245
CELA number; DA57446
Not on RNIB yet

How long can you protect your heart? For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So, in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens. Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

My Comments; One of the loveliest books written. Delia Owens is a naturalist and this is her first fiction novel. I loved it. 5 out of 5. I got a copy for my Mother for a gift.

The Outsider
written by Stephen King
reading time: 18 hours and 42 minutes
BARD Number; DB92110
CELA Number; DE77729
RNIB; Itís listed as on demand and for sale

An 11-year-old boy's violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King's propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

My Comments; If you enjoyed the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, you will want to read this. My advice, donít start this one when you are going to be home alone for the weekend! I scared myself silly!

David Bowie made me Gay; 100 years of LGBT music
written by Darryl W. Bullock
reading time: 12 hours and 31 minutes
BARD Number;DB91244
Not on RNIB or CELA

A history and celebration of the many LGBT musicians, composers, and producers who influenced popular music. Ranges from lesser-known artists of the early days of jazz and blues, through more modern icons such as Freddie Mercury and Elton John. Places these musicians in the historical context of the struggle for LGBT rights.

My Comments; This is a music appreciation and history book. Not a sex book! A very interesting look at a time in music that often goes unseen. I learned a lot and enjoyed it immensely.

So until 2019 gentle readers, I wish for you Happy Holidays and a Safe and wonderful start to the New Year!
Books make the perfect gifts!
Happy reading, Carla jo

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