Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille S
March 2005                            Vol. 29 No. 2

Narrators Receive Scourby Awards

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has presented its 18th annual Alexander Scourby Narrator of the Year Awards to three renowned narrators. Established in 1986, the Scourby Awards honor excellence in the narration of talking books and are named after the late Alexander Scourby, one of the most admired narrators in the history of the talking books program. 

Categories and award recipients this year included: 

Fiction: Martha Harmon Pardee, a narrator for Talking Book Publishers, Inc., for her recording of The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michael Faber (RC 54941). This bestselling novel, about a young prostitute in 1870s London, contains some explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. 

Nonfiction: Mark Ashby, a narrator for Potomac Talking Books, Inc., for his recording of Perfect I'm Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches, and Baseball, by David Wells (RC 56059). Professional baseball pitcher describes his life in the bullpen from the minor leagues to the majors. Strong language.

Multilingual Nonfiction: Steven Carpenter, a narrator for Potomac Talking Books, Inc., for his recording of The Age of Sacred Terror, by Daniel Benjamin and Steve Simon. This book explores the origins of Islamist terrorism and al-Qaeda. (RC 55953).

Web Sites for Seniors

Government For Seniors, an official government site, provides easy, one-stop shopping for seniors looking for government information of interest to older adults. Reach the site at www.firstgov.gov/Topics/Seniors.shtml. 

www.generationsonline.org pulls together many state and federal online resources and features information on many topics. The site is also a product for learning to use computers on the Internet, guiding users through e-mail, search, and links to other sites. Self-training software is available for a fee to senior centers, libraries, and retirement communities. There is no cost for individuals. 

The American Association of Retired People (AARP) is a national organization for people ages 50 and older. Their Web site features information about AARP, its policies, activities, and benefits. Visit the site at www.aarp.org. 

Adapted from Hoosier Highlights.

One Book One State: My Antonia

Citizens across Nebraska will celebrate One Book One State by reading the classic novel by Nebraskan's own Willa Cather, My Antonia. They will also participate in local discussions in their own communities throughout the spring.  

My Antonia, RC 13491, is a timeless classic published in 1918. In this novel, a lawyer recalls his Nebraska boyhood and the girl who was a strong influence on his life. It is a novel about pioneers and the assimilation of the immigrant. In addition to being on cassette, it is available in Braille as BRA 11964.

My Antonia can also be downloaded from Bookshare.org, for those with access devices for Braille files or DAISY speech-to-text software. Because the book is in public domain, membership in Bookshare.org is not required for download. 

As part of the April 29-30 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Willa Cather Memorial and Educational Foundation in Red Cloud, Cather scholars from across the United States will lead discussions and answer questions about My Antonia. A writing competition will be conducted for secondary school students.

Nebraska's Own, Johnny Carson: 1925-2005

Born in Corning, Iowa, Johnny Carson lived in Norfolk, Nebraska, from the age of 8 until he joined the U.S. Navy after graduation from high school. He later earned a bachelor degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and worked at Lincoln's KFAB Radio. He became a beloved national celebrity as the host NBC's "Tonight Show," a position he held for a remarkable thirty years. 

Here are some cassette books from our collection about Nebraska's very own Johnny Carson: 

RC 27258 Johnny Carson: An Unauthorized Biography, by Ronald L. Smith 

A biography of America's popular talk show host. After his boyhood in a small Iowa town where he was the class clown and magician, Carson broke into radio, served in World War II, and became a TV comedy writer and host of a daytime quiz show before his rise to stardom on "The Tonight Show." The author also writes of Carson's four marriages and three divorces, and his feuds with Joan Rivers and others. 

RC 30185 King of the Night: The Life of Johnny Carson, by Laurence Leamer 

An unauthorized biography of one of television's best-known personalities. The man revealed is not the warmhearted clown of the late night show, but a man who is cold and retiring, uptight and nervous. The author interviewed 700 people, including Johnny's first girlfriend, his navy buddies, and his family, as well as Hollywood personalities, show business associates, and three ex-wives. 

RC 44110 The Playboy Interviews, by Alex Haley, edited with an introduction by Murray Fisher

Subjects of the interviews, conducted by Haley and originally published in Playboy between 1962 and 1990, include Miles Davis, Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Martin Luther King Jr., George Lincoln Rockwell, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Carson, and Quncy Jones. Some strong language. 

Free Cassette Magazines Celebrate Family Life

Here is an assortment of free cassette magazines to help us celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Humpty Dumpty's, produced by the Florida Regional Library, is a magazine full of stories, poems, puzzles, activities and more to engage children age 4 to 6. The magazine's philosophy is to help kids have fun through creative ways to exercise, eat right, and play safely. 

An interfaith magazine, Guideposts offers inspirational stories of human interest. This magazine is recorded by American Printing House for the Blind. 

NCompass, produced by the Talking Book and Braille Service, is a newsletter highlighting the activities of the Nebraska Library Commission and Nebraska libraries and media centers. This newsletter also provides information about national library and information service issues. 

Providing an overview of proposed federal and state legislation, regulations, and policies, Report on Disability Law contains articles of interest to individuals with disabilities. It is produced by the Talking Book and Braille Service. 

The Saturday Evening Post, produced six times a year, is a general-interest magazine containing humor, fiction, and non-fiction articles. It is recorded by the Braille and Talking Book Division of the Arizona State Library, this magazine is now available free of charge to any Nebraska talking book reader. 

To sign up for any of these free cassette magazines, please use the order form below or contact your Readers Advisor.

New Cassette Books


Those Were the Days: More Tales from the "Good Old Days'
RC 948

by Van C. Duling and Jerry Mapes

read by B. J. Dennis

 2 cassettes

Long-time residents of Nebraska's capital city offer their favorite memories of bygone days in Lincoln. Continuation of The Good Old Days (RC 936).

The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy
RC 973

by Charley Hester

read by Dennis Lorance

1 cassette

A sixteen-year-old runaway, Charley Hester left his Illinois home in 1869 to make a life for himself on the American frontier. Seventy years later, he dictated an account of his experiences, which included encounters with robbers and with Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday, and Wyatt Earp. After years as a cattle driver on the Chisholm and Western Trails, he eventually settled as a rancher in Dundy County, Nebraska.

Helpful Hint...

Question: What steps can I take to make sure cassette books arrive back at the library in the best possible condition? 

Answer:  Library staff open and inspect every incoming cassette book, with the goal that every book be complete and in good operating condition for the next reader. It is always helpful for readers to be careful not to spill food or beverages onto the cassettes or into their mailing containers. Also, it is helpful to open only one mailing box at a time, so there is less chance that a cassette tape will end up inside the wrong mailing box. 

Another helpful hint is for readers to rewind cassette tapes. If readers listen to all four tracks of a cassette, the tape would virtually be rewound already. To make sure a tape is rewound, place the tape inside the cassette player label side up and use the rewind key. If readers encounter a tape that doesn't play properly, they should place a string or rubber band around the problem tape so staff will know to inspect it closely.

Helpful Hint...

Question: My books are sent automatically, and sometimes I receive book two or three in a series before book one. How can I receive books in series in the correct order?

Answer: Our computer system select books for you according to your interest codes, along with book availability. The system does not know if a book is part of a series. To be sure you receive books in proper sequence, please contact your Readers Advisor. We will make it a point to send a certain book to you right away, or to reserve the book for you, so you will receive it as soon as a copy is available.

Warm Books for Cold Nights

On these late winter nights, it might help to read books that soothe and comfort. Here are some titles about warm thoughts or favorite foods and beverages. 

RC 39870 Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart & Rekindle the Spirit, compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen 

Collection of true stories, poems, and several checklists that readers might use to help them through bad times. The seven sections include love, parenting, living your dream, and overcoming obstacles. They include works by Bennet Cerf, Art Buchwald, Robert Fulghum, and Theodore Roosevelt 

RC 45286 Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirits of Mothers, compiled by Jack Canfield and others 

Heartwarming stories on the theme of motherhood. Selections touch on such facets as a mother's love, courage, and intuition; her guiding hand; her special moments; and the bittersweet time when she must release her child to the world. 

RC 47318 Chocolate for a Woman's Heart: Seventy-seven Stories of Love, Kindness, and Compassion to Nourish Your Soul and Sweeten Your Dreams, by Kay Allenbaugh

Collection of heartfelt essays by a wide variety of female contributors, including ministers, professional speakers, novelists, and mothers. Topics range from divine intervention to falling in love to overcoming depression. 

RC 49855 The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry from the Crop to the Last Drop, by Gregory Dicum and Nina Luttinger 

Examines the coffee industry, from the beverage's origins up through the specialty coffee craze. Discusses aspects such as caffeine addiction, marketing techniques, working conditions for coffee farmers, and international trade. 

RC 50762 The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars, by Joel Glenn Brenner 

Behind-the-scenes examination of two rivals in the secretive chocolate industry. History of the business empires and the dictators who built them: Forrest Mars, Sr. and Milton Hershey. Discusses the production of chocolate, its financial market, and social customs associated with it. 

RC 52660 Chicken Soup for the Father's Soul: Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirits of Fathers, by Jack Canfield and others 

A collection of true stories by or about fathers. In "Riding Tandem," blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer discusses his bond with his father. He recalls the insights he gained on a twelve-hundred-mile bicycle trek they made together in 1998 in Vietnam.

"Golden Oldies' for Great Reading

Here are some more books recorded in past years that are still great to read. To order, please check the box next to the RC number and mail this page to the Talking Book and Braille Service; or contact your Readers Advisor. 

Order Form and Ordering Instructions

You may place your order by mailing or e-mailing it to the Talking Book and Braille Service, or by calling your Readers Advisor.

For mailing, please mark the magazines and books you wish to order and enclose this page in an envelope. Instead of using a stamp, you may put "Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped" on the corner of your envelope. Send your request to the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln NE 68508-2023. Be sure to include your name, address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number.

For e-mailing, send your order information to the Talking Book and Braille Service. Please include your name, address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number.

You may reach a Readers Advisor toll free by calling 1-800-742-7691. Be prepared to give your name, address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number.

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