Talking Books Plus

From Seed to Your Table in the Summertime

By Andy | May 17, 2017

From your local farm or your own garden, summertime brings fresh food to the your kitchen and table.

We have some books to help you make it the happen.

DB72669 The town that food saved: how one community found vitality in local food by Ben Hewitt

DB84286 The story of seeds: from Mendel’s garden to your plate, and how there’s more of less to eat around the world by Nancy Castaldo

DB66852 Kitchen Literacy: how we lost knowledge of where food comes from and why we need to get it back by Ann Vileisis

DBC03710 A Master Class: sensational recipes from the Chefs of the New England Culinary Institute and Ellen Michaud by Ellen Michaud

DB025597 The frugal gourmet cooks with wine by Jeff Smith

DB64312 Farmer John’s Cookbook the real dirt on vegetables by John Peterson


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Memorial Day – May 29th

By Andy | May 10, 2017

Our national holiday to remember and honor those who served and died while defending the United States. Some titles to reflect on include the following:

DB70623 The Good Soldiers FD216:1 by David Finkel
The book chronicles the experiences of Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Kauzlarich and his men in Iraq as they face firefights, dangerous patrols, death, and injury.

DB71795 Heart of a Patriot: How I Found the Courage to Survive Vietnam, Walter Reed, and Karl Rove by Max Cleland

DB83006 Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice by Adam Makos, Recounts the story of U. S. Navy aviator duo Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, the first black carrier pilot during the Korean War.

DB40283 Band of Brothers: E Company 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest by Stephen Ambrose, Drawing on journals, letters, and interviews with veterans of Easy Company, the author tells the story of the combat rifle unit that parachuted into France early on D-Day.

DB52895 The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys who flew the B24s over Germany during WW ll by Stephen Ambrose, He tells the story of B-24 bomber missions over Nazi-occupied Europe and the men who flew those missions.

DB66325 The Bedford Boys: One American Town’s Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice by Alex Kershaw, The journalist interviews survivors and townspeople of Bedford, Virginia, who lost twenty-two soldiers originally from the local National Guard, who were the first troops at Omaha Beach on D-Day June 6, 1944.


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2017 Bestsellers for Reading

By Andy | May 3, 2017

These titles have recently come into the collection for you to read.

Fiction Bestsellers

DB86736  The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

DB86854  Never Never  by James Patterson

DB86654 Below the Belt by Stuart Woods

Nonfiction Bestsellers

DB86770 Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders

DB86659 Ray and Joan by Lisa Napoli

DB86771 Thank You for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman

To order any of these titles call us at 401-574-9310 or email us your request to

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It’s Boston Red Sox Season

By Andy | April 26, 2017

While we are cheering our local major league team why not read about their past seasons to keep yourself informed. Here are some titles that will help you to know their history.

DBM01131 Behind the Green Monster:Red Sox Myths, Legends, and Love  by Bill Ballou

DB076216 Francona:The Red Sox Years by Terry Francona

DBC03766 Miracle at Fenway: The Inside Story of the Boston Red Sox 2004 Championship Season

by Saul Wisnia

DBM01019 Diary of a Red Sox Season by Johnny Pesky

DB064968 Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits by David Ortiz

DBC03900 Mercy!: A Celebration of Fenway Park’s Centennial Told Through Red Sox Radio and TV

by Curt Smith



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Spring into Exercise and Healthy Behaviors

By Andy | April 19, 2017

Spring brings us opportunities to work on our body and mind. Here are some titles to read and work on your body and mind.

DB70650 Exercise and Physical Activity : Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging by Karen M. Pocinki

DB75696 Life is Your Best Medicine: A Women’s Guide to Health, Healing, and Wholeness at Every Age by Tieraona Low Dog

DB79564 Get Up: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It by James A. Levine

DB74859 The Skinny Rules: The Simple, Nonnegotiable Principles to Thin by Bob Harper

DB81138 No Excuses Fitness: The 30-Day Plan to Tone your Body and Supercharge Your Health by Donovan Green

DB82366 We Have Met the Enemy: Self -Control in an Age of Excess
by Daniel Akst

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Governor Gina Raimondo proclaims April as School Library Month

By Andy | April 12, 2017

Celebrate school library month by reading a book you were assigned in school or a story about school life that you remember well. Here are a few suggestions from our collection.

DB47480 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

DBC03837 My Home Away from Home: Life at Perkins School for the Blind by Robert Branco

DB36414 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

DB74460 Incredibly Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

DB30570 Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

DVD 00528 Dead Poets Society – a descriptive DVD with Robin Williams as passionate English teacher.

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April is National Poetry Month

By Andy | April 5, 2017

Let’s celebrate and read some poetry and biographies of poets.

DB71927 The Poets Laureate Anthology compiled by Billy Collins and Elizabeth Schmidt
DB72362 Poetry in Person: Twenty – Five Years of Conversations with American Poets by Alexander Neubauer
DB82932 Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation by Brett F. Lauer
DBM01271 Swan: Poems and Prose Poems by Mary Oliver
DB66501 Emily Dickinson: A Biography by Milton Meltzer
DB18824 The Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert Frost

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Books Related to Just Mercy, the Reading Across Rhode Island Book

By Donna | April 4, 2017

The Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities offers a list of fiction and non-fiction books related to themes in the 2017 Reading Across Rhode Island selection, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson DB080035 The list includes books for adults and young adults.

Books for Adults, Fiction
Compiled by Cheryl Stein, Rogers Free Library

Magic Seeds by V.S. Naipaul DB060211

Abandoning a life he felt was not his own, Willie Chandran moves to Berlin where his sister’s radical political awakening inspires him to join a liberation movement in India. There, in the jungles and dirt-poor small villages, through months of secrecy and night marches, Willie discovers both the idealism and brutality of guerilla warfare. When he finally escapes the movement, he is imprisoned for the murder of three policemen. Released unexpectedly on condition he return to England, he attempts to climb back into life in the West, but his experience of wealth, love and despair in London only bedevils him further.

Black Girl/White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates DB063828

This painfully intimate depiction of race in America is a double portrait of black and white in America in the years of crisis following the end of the Vietnam War.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee DB0181896

Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch — Scout — struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her. Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go set a watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee DB036414

Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer Atticus, has just started school; but her carefree days come to an end when a black man in town is accused of raping a white woman, and her father is the only man willing to defend him.

The Sellout by Paul Beatty DB081300

Recent winner of the Man Booker Prize, this novel is a biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court.

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines DB036694

Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson’s godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting–and defying–the expected.

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride DB077431

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, the region a battlefield between anti and pro slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town with Brown, who believes Henry is a girl. Over the next months, Henry conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. He finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harper’s Ferry, one of the catalysts for the civil war.  This novel won the National Book Award in 2013.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi DB084732

Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into two different tribal villages in 18th century Ghana. Effia will be married off to an English colonial, and will live in comfort in the sprawling, palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated in England before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the Empire. Her sister, Esi, will be imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle’s women’s dungeon, and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, where she will be sold into slavery.

Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill DB066532

Abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom–and of the knowledge she needs to get home. Sold to an indigo trader who recognizes her intelligence, Aminata is torn from her husband and child and thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan, Aminata helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. There Aminata finds a life of hardship and stinging prejudice. When the British abolitionists come looking for “adventurers” to create a new colony in Sierra Leone, Aminata assists in moving 1,200 Nova Scotians to Africa and aiding the abolitionist cause by revealing the realities of slavery to the British public.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead DB085212

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood–where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape.

Books for Adults, Non-fiction
Compiled by Maggie Browne, Newport Library

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates DB082201

In a series of essays, written as a letter to his son, Coates confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history, many times at the cost of black bodies and lives.

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America by Elizabeth Hinton DB086746 (in process)

Challenging the belief that America’s prison problem originated with the Reagan administration’s War on Drugs, Elizabeth Hinton traces the rise of mass incarceration to an ironic source: the social welfare programs of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society at the height of the civil rights era.

Ghettoside: A True Story of a Murder in America by Jill Leovy DB080674

Discusses the hundreds of murders that occur in Los Angeles each year, and focuses on the story of the dedicated group of detectives who pursued justice at any cost in the killing of Bryant Tennelle.

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist DB080165

Historian Edward Baptist reveals how the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander DB074560

Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race.

Books for Young Adults, Fiction
Compiled by Grace Osmun Palmer, North Kingstown Library

Monster by Walter Dean Myers, 2004

This screenplay-style courtroom drama is one teenager’s exploration of a day that haunts him, and the consequences that came after.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds, 2015 DB083370

Two teenager’s lives are changed forever when one experiences a brutal beating, and another witnesses it.

Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor, 1995 DB017849

The Logan family live in Mississippi, trying to navigate a world of poverty and prejudice during the Great Depression.

Books for Young Adults, Non-Fiction

Black Lives Matter by Sue Bradford Edwards, 2016 DB085862

This book explores the shootings that began the movement Black Lives Matter, and the tensions that brought them to light.

No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin, 2008 DB069540

Inmates sentenced to death as teenagers speak in their own words in this book, discussing their lives in prison and their feelings on how they ended up there.

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A Dog’s Life

By Andy | March 29, 2017

Last week while walking from a local supermarket, I met several University of Rhode Island students who were showing their guide dogs in training. The students and their dogs were part of a program developed by Guiding Eyes for the Blind. We have many books about guide dogs in the collection which you may want to read. Some are for children and some are for adult readers.

DB74833 Guide Dogs: Dog Heroes by Melissa McDaniel (for grades 2-4)

DBM00469 A Guide Dog Puppy Grows Up by Caroline Arnold (for grades 2-4)

DB71937 Through a Dog’s Eyes by Jennifer Arnold (for adults)

DB75550 Two Seeing Eye Dogs Take Manhattan! by Lloyd Burlingame (for adults)

DB75126 Confessions of a Guide Dog: the Blonde Leading the Blind by Mark Carlson (for adults)

DB83921 Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life by Patty L. Fletcher (for adults)

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Two Books for Youth Win Awards

By Donna | March 28, 2017

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the winners of the 2017 Schneider Family Book Awards, which honor an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The awards were announced in January 2017 at the ALA Mid-Winter meeting. Two of the winning books, “Six Dots” and “as brave as you” feature vision impaired characters of different ages.

DB86519 “Six Dots” written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Boris Kulikov won the award for books for young children. (in process, check for availability)

Summary of “Six Dots”: “Becoming blind at a young age, Louis Braille didn’t allow his disability to prevent him from learning about the world around him.  Unsatisfied with the options available, Louis tinkered with French military code to invent an alphabet system that revolutionized communication for people with visual impairments.”

“Bryant & Kulikov combine text and art to transport readers back in time to marvel at young Braille’s genius and tenacity at inventing an alphabet system that has continued through the centuries,” said Award Chair Joanna Tamplin.

DB84720 “as brave as you,” written by Jason Reynolds, won the award for best middle school title. It is available and downloadable on BARD.

Summary of “as brave as you”: Uprooted from Brooklyn, brothers Genie and Ernie spend the summer with their grandparents in rural Virginia. While getting to know each other, Genie discovers the true meaning of bravery as he observes his grandfather navigating the world without sight. Life lessons sprinkled with humor demonstrate the power of family bonds.

“Like any good archaeologist, Jason Reynolds studied the bones of his own family history to create unique characters you will swear you have met, including Grandpop, who is blind but never limited,” (referenced from a presentation by the author at a conference.) said Tamplin.

“as brave as you” is available as an audio book from Ocean State Libraries eZone. You need a public library card to borrow from eZone.

Quoted material is from the ALA Press Release.

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