Sound and Touch December 2020

Blind Low Vision NZ Library—Te Puna Whakamōhio

Blind Low Vision NZ, formerly Blind Foundation

Produced 2020 by Accessible Formats Service, Blind Low Vision NZ, Auckland.

Please keep this issue of Sound and Touch so that you can refer back to it.


Transcriber’s Note

If reading this etext on a portable braille device, please note that it is unproofed by touch.


Welcome to the December 2020 issue of Sound and Touch

In this issue:

CD retirement

Read your newspapers with Alexa

MSD Echo Dots still available

Magazines and improved search now in EasyReader app

Christmas closing dates

Our archival volunteer

Victoria University student practicum

Studios have moved to new West Auckland office

Callout for DAISY players

Update on Accessible Books Consortium pilot

Book Reviews

Many thanks to our generous sponsors


CD retirement

Talking books will always have a place at Blind Low Vision NZ, but the way we are delivering them is changing. We are retiring our book delivery on CD by 30 June 2021. While we are aware that many of you love receiving your talking books on disc, this is unfortunately now an obsolete technology the same as cassette tapes and video cassettes from earlier times, and becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.

Blind Low Vision NZ has been preparing for this moment by developing a skill to provide our library service through the Alexa smart speaker. Also, if you don’t have an Internet connection, you can still receive talking books by post. We can offer you a new USB alternative to discs, which we are calling BookDrive. You can play books and magazines from BookDrive on your DAISY player, or other compatible devices. We know there will be a period of adjustment as people adapt to the new systems, and we are here to support you.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Library team by calling 0800 24 33 33 or emailing


Callout for DAISY players

For our clients who do not have Wi-Fi and in a few other situations we are providing library members with a USB containing our Library content, called a BookDrive. This can be used with DAISY players in the same way that CDs previously were. We have a shortage of DAISY players and so are appealing to all members of our community to return any that are not being used. We would really appreciate this.

If you have a DAISY player to send us, please either email our library on or phone us on 0800 24 33 33. We will arrange with you for a box and a courier ticket to be sent to you to send the DAISY player back in.


Read your newspapers with Alexa

Thousands of our Blind Low Vision NZ clients are already enjoying their audio books and magazines through the Alexa smart speakers on Echo dots from Amazon with our Library skill. The latest update to our service provides daily newspaper articles from 52 local newspapers, by kind permission of their publishers. These are the same newspaper feeds available from our Telephone Information Service or BookLink services, now accessible entirely by voice.

Search for a newspaper title, or browse through the full list of newspapers, and keep your favourite papers easy to find with the Blind Low Vision skill for Alexa.

Please note, content is updated automatically each day and is based on printed newspapers only. The exact time of content updates may vary depending on the publisher. If your requested newspaper is not current, please check back later. Also, please be aware that some News sections may not be available in the NZ Herald. We are working with our content providers to improve this service. For more information say “help” from the newspaper menu.

We would appreciate your feedback on this new newspaper service through Alexa. Please call the Library team on 0800 24 33 33.


MSD Echo Dots for Alexa still available

We still have Echo Dots on offer for our clients free of charge, so you can also enjoy Alexa. These are funded by our generous supporters, and the Ministry of Social Development, as we work to bring our members the latest technology to connect with the digital community. We are also partnering with Noel Leeming to supplement our staff and volunteer support for getting everything set up.

If you have a reliable Wi-Fi connection, access to smart devices (phone, tablet, or laptop), and would like to try Alexa in your home, please call the Library team on 0800 24 33 33.


Magazines and improved search now in EasyReader app

EasyReader is a free, accessible reading app for people with print disabilities such as blindness, low vision, or dyslexia. The Blind Low Vision NZ Library in EasyReader gives you direct access to our collection of over 35,000 audiobooks, with all of the books recorded in our studios and received from our overseas partners. With EasyReader, you can download copies of books and magazines to your phone or tablet to read offline or on the go.

We have continued to work with the Dolphin Company to improve our library service in the EasyReader app, and have just released some new features in the November update.

The main improvement has been adding our magazine collection to the app. The Magazines menu in our library page gives you an alphabetical list of all our current magazines, and some no longer in production. Choose a magazine title to get the latest issue, or browse through all of our available back issues.

You can now also browse for audiobooks by subject or genre from the Books menu in our library page. All of our available subject headings are listed alphabetically, or you can use the main search to find an author or title. You can now search for the title number if you want to find a particular book from our newsletters.

Again we would appreciate your feedback on these changes. Please call the Library team on 0800 24 33 33.


Christmas closing dates

The last dispatch day for library books to be sent in the mail will be on Wednesday 16 December 2020. To ensure you have enough books for the Christmas break please have your requests in by Friday 11 December 2020. The magazine studio will be closed during the Christmas break with the last magazines recorded on Thursday 17th December 2020. Full library and studio service will resume on Monday 11 January 2021.

On behalf of the Library and Accessible Format Services staff, we wish you a very happy Christmas, and look forward to providing you with great reading material in 2021.


Our archival volunteer

Over the last 18 months, our archival volunteer Amy Luxton-Esler has been working tirelessly in our office writing descriptions for historic records in the Blind Low Vision NZ Archive. What started as a student project has turned into an ongoing commitment to completing this. Amy goes through boxes of correspondence recording the information she finds, noting essential things like the main facts being discussed, the main subject headings, and other key facts that can be used for search purposes. This means that anyone searching for historical information about our organisation has a much greater chance of finding what they are looking for, thanks to Amy’s work.

She has now described 50-60 years’ worth of records. This has taken an enormous effort from her and we are extremely grateful. This has enabled us to go back to clients about questions they had previously asked where we hadn’t known where the answer was. Please contact us with any historical queries at


Victoria University student practicum

In December, a Victoria University student studying her Master of Information Studies is undertaking her practicum in our library. The practicum is to be centred on collection development. We want to extend our collection to try to improve our range of the top books in a variety of different languages around the world. As New Zealand’s population is so diverse we would like our collection to reflect this and be relevant to all New Zealanders. Once we have more books in other languages, we can advertise this to our greater BLVNZ membership. This student will conduct research to compile a list of award winning titles in a variety of different languages so that we can try to source those titles from Accessible Books Consortium for our collection. In addition, she is going to look at the most popular genres with our members and suggest improvements.


Studios have moved to new West Auckland office

The Studios have now moved to our new office in Henderson. The office is in close proximity to motorways, public transport, the North-western cycle way, a variety of cafes, and local amenities. The new office includes purpose built recording studios, narration booths, a variety of meeting rooms and a service delivery facility. The final touches in acoustics are being completed. The Library team will also relocate to the Henderson office in the New Year.


Update on Accessible Books Consortium Pilot (ABC)

Thank you to the members who have contacted us to be part of our pilot with ABC. This will involve you being able to search the ABC catalogue, and see titles available for immediate download. We have now received the test accounts from ABC for our team to test this service before we make it available. Unfortunately, upon testing we found that it was not downloading the books correctly so we have gone back to ABC to discuss this.


Three book reviews by our audio producer, Simon Lynch

First up are two 2020 books relevant to all members on NZ’s two foremost women in politics, both narrated by star narrator Romy Hooper.

Jacinda Ardern: A new kind of leader by Madeleine Chapman

This 2020 account of the extraordinary rise and popularity of New Zealand’s internationally-beloved Prime Minister makes fascinating reading. Written by acclaimed author Madeleine Chapman, this book traces the early childhood and humble roots of Jacinda Ardern, raised in small-town Waikato. Taking an early interest in politics through her high-school years, a youthful Jacinda joins the Labour Party, thus beginning a journey that culminates in her becoming Prime Minister of New Zealand. A revealing and engaging book, Jacinda Ardern: A new kind of leader offers new perspective and fresh insights into one of the defining political figures of the millennium. Read by Romy Hooper in 8 hours, 22 minutes. Book number 135682.

Pull no punches: memoir of a political survivor by Judith Collins

Pull no punches is Judith Collins telling her own story. From rural roots in South Waikato to becoming leader of the National Party, forthright and fearless Collins reveals the rigours of surviving over two decades at the forefront of New Zealand politics. Always resilient in the face of diversity, as a senior female politician Collins has faced her share of challenges and personal criticism yet throughout this book, her sense of humour and warmth shines through, including interesting asides such as how she came to be involved in politics in the first instance. This book makes a wonderful companion piece for those looking to dig further into the stance, story and thought processes of the 2020 leader of the National Party. Read by Romy Hooper in 6 hours, 12 minutes. Book number 134936.

The World Blind Union Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty: Facilitating access to books for print-disabled individuals by Laurence R. Helfer, Molly K. Land, Ruth L. Okediji and J. H. Reichman

The World Blind Union Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty is essentially a full and lengthy legal document, put together over many years and designed to empower members worldwide by (in short) removing all barriers to accessible information, literature, and media. Every minute detail is listed in this book (5 levels deep) with clauses, articles, and legalese that leaves no stone unturned. A thorough and comprehensive document, the scale of which is unprecedented in dealing with copyright and accessibility, this book is the culmination of years of drafting and think-tanks and legal machinations. For those members wishing to become fully acquainted with every detail within the Marrakesh Treaty, this is essential reading. Read by Christina Cie in 10 hours, 51 minutes. Book number 135902.


Many thanks to our generous sponsors

We would like to express our appreciation to the following funder for an accessible book for our Library, since the previous issue of Sound and Touch. These funds have helped to make print material accessible to people who are blind or have low vision and without their support, it would not be possible to meet the reading needs of library users.

The Datt family for Rich enough?: a laid-back guide for every Kiwi by Mary Holm.



New DAISY audio

This issue contains DAISY audio books added to the collection since the last issue of Sound and Touch in September 2020.


BA: Blackstone Audio Inc.

BN: DAISY audio book ordering number

CNIB: (formerly known as) Canadian National Institute for the Blind

NLS: National Library Service

RNIB: Royal National Institute of Blind People

RNZFB: Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind

Ulv: Ulverscroft

VAILS: Vision Australia Information and Library Service

Adult non-fiction

Asian Countries

The great successor: the secret rise and rule of Kim Jong Un. Portrait of North Korea and its leader. The country with the oddest and most secretive political regime in the world; isolated yet internationally relevant, bankrupt yet in possession of nuclear weapons. Its ruler, and the self-proclaimed Beloved and Respected Leader, Kim Jong Un. Read by Paul Barrett in 11 hours, 33 minutes. RNZFB. BN 134897


Blindness and Vision Impairment (Biography)

Bright sunlight dark shadow, by Judy Hale. A story of the author’s life. Story of 78 years of joy and pain, tragedy and triumph … a life characterised by a determination to prevail against all odds. Read by Gary Denvir in 3 hours, 56 minutes. RNZFB. BN 120813


Crime and the Law

Whale oil, by Margie Thomson. In May 2012, Auckland businessman Matt Blomfield found himself the target of a vicious online attack, the work of Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater. The attack came out of the blue destroying Blomfield’s reputation and career, stealing his identity, turning him into a social outcast. Two years after the online attack began, an armed gunman came to Blomfield’s house and tried to kill him. He only survived because the intruder’s shotgun misfired. Many people have been smeared by Whale Oil over the years. Matt Blomfield decided to fight back. He spent seven years and many hundreds of thousands of dollars taking a defamation case against Slater. It conclusively established that Slater’s vendetta was based entirely on lies. A chilling account of the inadequacy of current protection in the face of a digital attack; an exposé of police indifference to a citizen’s predicament, but also, a story of courage and tenacity and the importance of standing up to bullies. Read by Gary Denvir in 10 hours, 7 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133311


Fine Arts and Architecture

Finding Frances Hodgkins, by Mary Kisler. Frances Hodgkins, our most celebrated artist, left New Zealand in 1901, determined to succeed. In this engaging book, curator Mary Kisler follows in Hodgkins’ footsteps through England, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Wales to discover the locations in which Hodgkins constantly pushed her exploration of modernism. Warm, insightful, fresh, expert and richly illustrated, this handsome book sheds new light on Hodgkins’ life, art and social milieu. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 11 hours, 54 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133373


Food and Beverages

So delish!: super easy, fresh meals for every day, by Simone Anderson. A book full of delicious, healthy recipes for every day. Read by Karen McLeod in 3 hours, 15 minutes. RNZFB. BN 135494


General Non Fiction

The quick and the dead: true stories of life and death from a New Zealand pathologist, by Cynric Temple-Camp. The author, a pathologist, former medical officer, and self-confessed death-aficionado, shares stories and seeks answers to the questions posed by disease and death. Read by Paul Barrett in 9 hours, 41 minutes. RNZFB. BN 135733


Health and Wellbeing

Memory rescue: supercharge your brain, reverse memory loss, and remember what matters most: the official program of the Amen Clinics, by Daniel G. Amen, MD. A healthy brain is the key to good life, and one of the most important markers of an unhealthy brain is declining memory. The problem increases with age but is not inevitable. Memory loss can be treated most effectively in the early stages. This book is based on the idea that the best way to sharpen your memory and reverse brain aging is to eliminate, prevent, or treat all of the risk factors that steal the mind. Read by Gary Denvir in 19 hours, 10 minutes. RNZFB. BN 131770

Stop surviving start fighting, by Jazz Thornton. A hard-hitting, thought-provoking account of surviving suicide and moving on to a better life. The book provides practical help and inspiration to those affected by depression or suicide, and aims to create greater understanding of those grappling with mental illness, and those around them who desperately want to help. Read by Bruce Hopkins in 3 hours, 20 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132481



The divorce diaries, by Sarah Quigley. A hard-hitting, frank, and entertaining reflection on divorce and starting all over again. Read by Owen Scott in 7 hours, 49 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132482


Musicians (Biography)

Book of Cohen, by David Cohen. The story of two Cohens, the famous singer and his lifelong New Zealand fan. The biography spans several generations and locations from the refugee waves of Europe of the 19th century to suburban New Zealand in the 1970s. Read by Paul Barrett in 5 hours, 21 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132504


Nature Writing

Going bush, by Kirsty Gunn. In this autobiographical nature narrative, the author revisits the vistas of her childhood in New Zealand. Revisiting with words the landscapes she once explored by sight, sound, and touch, she uncovers what is wild about these places, in particular the bush. Interweaving essay, memoir, and narrative, she recalls the ways in which the landscape’s very foreignness might have provided a child an escape from the suffocating cultural norms of the colonial society. Her words are accompanied by a series of images made especially for the cahier by her sister. Read by Christina Cie in 1 hour, 9 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132561


New Zealand (Biography)

A nurse on the edge of the desert: from Birdsville to Kandahar: the art of extreme nursing, by Andrew Cameron with John McCrystal. The author is a New Zealander working as Red Cross Nurse and winner of the coveted Florence Nightingale Medal. In this book, he recounts his life nursing in some of the world’s most dangerous and challenging locations—including some of Australia’s most remote settlements, South Sudan, Yemen, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Told with humour, wisdom and insight, this book offers a glimpse of the challenges, excitements, and huge rewards of a nursing life. Read by Paul Barrett in 8 hours, 49 minutes. RNZFB. BN 131032

Journey towards justice, by Kim Workman. A book that explores a seventy-year journey of the author’s life full of passion and spirit, research and writing, action and commitment. He grew up in the Wairarapa, son of a Pākehā mother and Māori father, and went on to become a jazz musician, police officer, public servant, prison manager, prominent campaigner for restorative justice. Working as a police officer in the 1960s prompted his engagement with justice reform—and brought into sharp relief the racism that he has challenged throughout his working life. Read by John Reynolds in 15 hours, 57 minutes. RNZFB. BN 128516

I am Vanessa Ryan and I have something to say, by Vanessa Ryan. After a long battle with cancer, the author lost her eyesight, her ability to write and to speak. This autobiography highlights the triumph of the human spirit amidst a medical tragedy. A three-part narrative covering Vanessa’s medical journey, accompanied by photography of her early work and her exceptional poetry, and then her time in Australia. Read by Christina Cie in 3 hours, 18 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133585


New Zealand History

The welcome of strangers: an ethnohistory of southern Maori A.D. 1650-1850, by Atholl Anderson. Maori in the south and Maori in the north of New Zealand had quite distinct lifestyles. Their experiences of contact with the Europeans were different too. This book explores Maori history of the South Island for the period 1650-1850. Read by Paul Barrett in 11 hours, 59 minutes. RNZFB. BN 129717

The first migration: Māori origins 3000 BC-AD 1450, by Atholl Anderson. Thousands of years ago, migrants from South China began the journey that took their descendants through the Pacific to the southernmost islands of Polynesia. In a synthesis of research and tradition, this book charts this epic journey of New Zealand’s first human inhabitants. Taken from Tangata Whenua: an illustrated history, this text weaves together evidence from oral traditions, archaeology, genetics, linguistics, ethnography, historical observations, paleoecology, climate change and more. Read by Paul Barrett in 5 hours, 12 minutes. RNZFB. BN 130002


NZ and Pacific Non-Fiction

A long and winding road, by Les Vincent. Anecdotes from the author’s career spanning thirty-two years at the Ministry of Works and Development and as overseer at the Rangitikei Country Council. Includes first-hand account of the construction of Mokai Bridge and the special bridge across Rangitikei River built to carry the pipe for Erewhon Water Supply. Read by John Leigh in 10 hours, 33 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133586

The book of overthinking: how to stop the cycle of worry, by Gwendoline Smith. The word overthinking means worrying but also ruminating, a form of anxiety that many people suffer from. The author, a psychologist, uses her broad scientific knowledge and experience to explain the concepts of positive and negative overthinking, the myths of worry and the What If Cycle. Based on Cognitive Behavioural Theory, this book offers help in the key areas of relationships, work and money. Read by Christina Cie in 3 hours, 13 minutes. RNZFB. BN 135732



Are friends electric?, by Helen Heath. An award winning collection of poems. Read by Margaret Blay in 1 hour, 23 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133371

How I get ready, by Ashleigh Young. A collection of poems. Read by Christina Cie in 1 hour, 48 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132539

I thought we’d be famous, by Dominic Hoey. A collection of poems looking back on the poet’s life before and after a chronic illness. Read by Simon Lynch in 1 hour, 29 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132456

How to live, by Helen Rickerby. A collection of poems that takes readers among ‘the unsilent women’, from Hipparchia to J. K. Rowling. It takes readers on a journey into women’s writing, a quest for philosophical answers, and an investigation of poetic form. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 2 hours, 39 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133381

Wild honey: reading New Zealand women’s poetry, by Paula Green. In this landmark book, the author—a poet and anthologist herself—celebrates 201 New Zealand women to have published poetry over the past 150 years. They include emerging poets, household names, and those who have slipped from public view or were not paid the honour they were due in their lifetimes. The book’s chapters follow the structure of a house, with different poets being discussed and assessed in each of the house’s rooms. Read by Margaret Blay in 26 hours, 36 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133370


Politics (Biography)

Pull no punches: memoir of a political survivor, by Judith Collins. A political memoir of the National MP Judith Collins. An account of the highs and lows of her life from humble beginnings as the daughter of Labour-voting farming parents to almost the very top of politics. The author shares what it is like to survive—and thrive—as a senior female politician for two decades. Read by Romy Hooper in 6 hours, 12 minutes. RNZFB. BN 134936


Science and Technology

The reality bubble: blind spots, hidden truths and the dangerous illusions that shape our world, by Ziya Tong. A book that illuminates the hidden world, and takes us on a journey to examine ten of humanity’s biggest blind spots. The author reveals not only the things we didn’t evolve to see but, more dangerously, the blindness of modern society. Read by Cheryl Lawton in 12 hours, 49 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132458


Social Sciences

The final choice: end of life suffering: is assisted dying the answer?, by Caralise Trayes. This book is an account of a Kiwi journalist’s hunt for the truth about assisted dying and the End of Life Choice Act. Join the author on a journey of discovery as she tells the stories of those with terminal illness, and as she interviews lawyers, doctors, ethicists and clerics around New Zealand and the world. Read by Christina Cie in 6 hours, 46 minutes. RNZFB. BN 135078



Dead letters: censorship and subversion in New Zealand, 1914-1920, by Jared Davidson. Using their confiscated mail as a starting point, this book reveals the remarkable stories of people caught in the web of wartime surveillance. Military censorship within New Zealand meant that their letters were stopped, confiscated and filed away, sealed and unread for over 100 years. This account of wartime censorship weaves together the personal and political. In an age of growing state power, new forms of surveillance and control, and fragility of the right to privacy and freedom of opinion, this book reminds us that these issues are neither history nor dead. Read by Romy Hooper in 9 hours, 42 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132538


War Memories (Biography)

From darkness into light: the biography of a holocaust survivor family, by Marco Manfre, Ronald Isaacson. The story of a German-Jewish family that endured years of unmitigated anguish during the Holocaust, first in their homeland and then in Occupied Belgium. A coldly, brutally accurate depiction of the harshness of life during the time of the Third Reich. Read by Francis Mountjoy in 8 hours, 29 minutes. RNZFB. BN 131081

From Cairo to Cassino:
a memoir of Paddy Costello, by Dan Davin; edited with introduction and notes by Robert McLean. This memoir of Paddy Costello is an account of the friendship between him and the author. A friendship that deepened as the two men talked tippled and fought their way through North Africa and Italy. Read by John Leigh in 2 hours, 56 minutes. RNZFB. BN 130090


Women (Biography)

Shirley Smith: an examined life, by Sarah Gaitanos. This book tells the story of a warm and generous woman with an implacable sense of principle, and a complex personality of formidable energy. Shirley Smith, one of the most remarkable New Zealanders of the 20th century, was a woman with lifelong commitment to social justice, legal reform, gender equality and community service. Having had a privileged upbringing including Oxford education, she qualified as a lawyer at the age of 40 and worked for human rights and social causes as a champion of the marginalised and vulnerable. Read by Romy Hooper in 15 hours, 55 minutes. RNZFB. BN 130037

Women mean business: colonial businesswomen in New Zealand, by Catherine Bishop. New Zealand’s nineteenth-century towns, from Kaitaia in Northland to Oban on Stewart Island, were full of entrepreneurial women. Contrary to what most might expect, a surprising number of colonial women were not just wives and mothers or domestic servants. They ran their own businesses, supporting themselves and their families, sometimes in productive partnership with husbands, but in other cases compensating for a spouse’s incompetence, intemperance, absence—or all three. This book tells the stories of these hard-working women, who were middle and working class; young and old; Māori and Pākehā; single, married, widowed and sometimes bigamists. Read by Anne Speir in 21 hours, 12 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133409



Adult Fiction

Adventure Stories

The system of the world, by Neal Stephenson. 1714. Daniel Waterhouse has returned to England, hoping to mediate the feud between Sir Isaac Newton and Leibniz, both of whom claim to have discovered the calculus. Meanwhile, political instability has led to the rising influence of heroine Eliza de la Zour; outlaw Jack Shaftoe oversteps the boundaries of both law and good sense far enough to narrowly escape the hangman. Reluctant hero Waterhouse prevails against these machinations, and scientific reason wins the day. Read by Vera Pordage in 35 hours, 15 minutes. Baroque Cycle series; book 3. Sequel to: The Confusion, BN 88868. CNIB. BN 88870


Canadian Fiction

Eye of the beholder, by Janice MacDonald. Randy and Steve have finally tied the knot and head south to Puerto Vallarta for their honeymoon. However, their romantic beach walks and candlelit dinners will have to wait as a student is found dead in an elaborately staged scene. Read by Wendy Karstens in 9 hours, 27 minutes. Randy Craig series; book 7. RNZFB. BN 135495

If angels fall,
by Rick Mofina. A homicide detective and a crack news reporter race against the clock to uncover the truth behind a string of chilling child abductions that has rattled San Francisco. Read by Kathleen Miller in 13 hours, 10 minutes. CNIB. BN 133028


Crime Fiction

Depraved heart, by Patricia Cornwell. Dr. Kay Scarpetta receives a series of text messages with video links to film clips with frightening secrets about Lucy, the niece she has loved and raised like a daughter. The legal implications isolate and leave Scarpetta confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn. Read by Anne Speir in 14 hours, 25 minutes. Kay Scarpetta series; book 23. Sequel to: Flesh and blood, Not yet in collection. Has sequel: Chaos, BN 134882. RNZFB. BN 134881


General Fiction

The world according to Bertie, by Alexander McCall Smith. Follows the adventures of eccentric residents in an Edinburgh neighbourhood. Six-year-old Bertie and artist Lordie joins forces to rescue Lordie’s beloved dog Cyril from the pound. 44 Scotland Street series; book 4. Sequel to: Love over Scotland BN 131273, Has sequel: The unbearable lightness of scones, BN 131275. Read by Annie Wauters in 11 hours, 35 minutes. NLS. BN 131274

Halibut on the moon, by David Vann. Story of a middle-aged and deeply depressed man who comes to live with his brother and wanders ghost-like through the remains of his old life attempting to find meaning in his frayed relationships with family and friends. Story of a man struggling to escape from the grip of dark logic of depression. This book has language and sexual material that may offend some. It deals with mental health issues and suicide and we have included support material at the end of the book. Read by John Callen in 8 hours. RNZFB. BN 133584



The castle of earth and embers, by Steffanie Holmes. Maeve Crawford has her life planned down to the last detail but it all comes crashing down when her parents are killed in a freak accident, and she discovers she has magical powers and has inherited Briarwood, a real English castle, along with a coven of four men to fight evil foes and dark forces. Some explicit descriptions of sex and strong language. Read by Marguerite Vanderkolk in 9 hours, 47 minutes. Briarwood Witches Series; book 1. RNZFB. BN 131250


Historical Novels

Mamur Zapt and the girl in the Nile, by Michael Pearce. The body of a girl disappears, and Captain Gareth Owen, head of Cairo’s Political Secret Police, wants answers. However, there are plenty of people around him who do not want him to know certain things. Historical mystery. Read by Janice Finn in 7 hours, 9 minutes. RNZFB. BN 131664

Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson. Tale of science, alchemy, and an absurd adventure in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and America. Features great minds and historical figures—mathematician Dr. Daniel Waterhouse, who experiences the scientific revolution, and vagabond king “Half-Cocked” Jack Shaftoe, who rescues a young woman from a harem. Read by Martin Johnston in 40 hours, 34 minutes. Baroque Cycle series; book 1. Has sequel: The confusion, BN 88868. CNIB. BN 88865


Historical Romance

Into the dreaming, by Karen Marie Moning. Caught in a deadly game between the light and dark courts of the Fae, Jane must find a way to the heart of her Highlander, but will the love of one mortal woman be enough to defeat the ancient and ruthless immortal enemies? Read by Catriona MacLeod in 6 hours, 51 minutes. Highlander series; book 8. RNZFB. BN 131665


Modern Women’s Fiction

In the distance with you, by Carla Guelfenbein; translated from the Spanish by John Cullen. A literary thriller inspired by the life of the ground-breaking Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. The story of three characters whose lives are intertwined with that of an enigmatic author. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 10 hours, 54 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132479

How to start a fire, by Lisa Lutz. A story of an unexpected friendship. Three women thrown together in college who grow to adulthood united and divided by secrets, lies, and a single night that shaped all of them. Read by Tavia Gilbert in 11 hours, 13 minutes. BA. BN 133194

Trendy but casual, by Paula Morris. Story of a flippant and world-weary woman who lives in New York City, works in PR and is labelled Ugly-On-The-Inside. Is it time for her to acknowledge defeat and accept life as is? Read by Donna Brookbanks in 12 hours, 10 minutes. RNZFB. BN 131179


Mystery and Detective Stories

In a dark house, by Deborah Crombie. Superintendent Duncan Kincaid is called to investigate the shocking death of a woman found burned beyond recognition in a Victorian warehouse in south London. When his lover and partner, Gemma James, is asked to trace a friend’s missing roommate, she and Duncan discover that their cases have several disturbing links. Police procedural. Read by Terry Donnelly in 13 hours, 14 minutes. Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series; book 10. Sequel to: Now may you weep, BN 133188. RNZFB. BN 133188

Lion’s Head revisited: a Dan Sharp mystery, by Jeffrey Round. A five-year-old autistic boy disappears while on a camping trip with his mother and her partner. Reluctant to involve the police, they call in private investigator Dan Sharp when a ransom demand arrives. When a suspected kidnapper is found dead, Dan is left chasing ghosts of the present as well as the past. Read by John Reynolds in 7 hours, 27 minutes. Dan Sharp mystery series; book 7. Sequel to: Shadow puppet, BN 131663. RNZFB. BN 133201

Lights! Camera! Puzzles!, by Parnell Hall. The puzzle lady is filming her life story on location in New York City, and things couldn’t be worse. She doesn’t like the script, she doesn’t like the director, and she absolutely hates the actress who is playing her in the movie. She does need the money but is almost relieved when the first dead body shows up on the set. If only it didn’t come with a crossword puzzle! Cosy mystery. Read by John Callen in 6 hours, 49 minutes. Puzzle Lady Mystery series; book 20. RNZFB. BN 131249

Revenge of the Spellmans, by Lisa Lutz. Izzy, private investigator Isabel Spellman, is on hiatus from Spellman Inc. and in court-ordered therapy after getting a little too close to her previous subject. But when her boss introduces her to a friend looking for a private eye, Izzy reluctantly finds herself with a new client. Read by Francis Mountjoy in 9 hours, 39 minutes. Izzy Spellman mysteries series; book 3. Sequel to: Curse of the Spellmans BN 113574. RNZFB. BN 133220

by Lynda La Plante. The driver of a suspicious van is pulled over and questioned. A woman on the street never makes it home after a long night of drinking. A suspect, an arrest, a confession follows, but is the case closed? Detective Chief Inspector Anna Travis isn’t so sure that she has her man. Police procedural. Read by Kim Hicks in 13 hours, 8 minutes. Anna Travis series; book 8. BA. BN 133196

Have his carcase, by Dorothy L. Sayers. Harriet Vane finds a corpse on the seashore and Lord Peter Wimsey solves the crime. Cosy mystery. Read by Stephen Jack in 13 hours, 45 minutes. Lord Peter Wimsey; book 8. RNZFB. BN 135699



All the colours of the town, by Liam McIlvanney. A journalist receives a phone call promising unsavoury information about Scottish Justice Minister, Peter Lyons. As his curiosity grows and his leads proliferate, his investigation takes him from Scotland to Belfast. Read by John Leigh in 10 hours, 5 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132459

The girl in the spider’s web,
by David Lagercrantz; translated from the Swedish by George Goulding. Late one night, journalist Blomkvist is contacted by renowned Swedish Scientist Professor Balder. Warned that his life is in danger, but more concerned for his son’s well-being, Balder wants Millennium to publish his story. Balder claims to have information vital to the United States and has been in contact with a young female superhacker—a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, desperate for a scoop, turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. Read by Liz Barry in 12 hours, 59 minutes, RNZFB. Millenium series; book 4. Sequel to: The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest, BN 64487. BN 126135

Broken promise, by Linwood Barclay. A newspaper reporter, a single parent with no job, is forced to return with his young son to the small town of Promise Falls to live with his parents. When his mother asks him to look in on his cousin, who was still not quite right after losing her baby, it feels almost a relief to put the disaster his own life had become to one side but not for long. Read by Wendy Karstens in 14 hours, 15 minutes. Promise Falls series; book 1. RNZFB. BN 133393




New braille and ebraille books

This issue contains braille and ebraille books added to the collection since the last issue of Sound and Touch in September 2020. Adult braille books with less than 5 volumes may be embossed upon request, titles with more than 5 volumes will only be provided as ebraille. Please contact us to enquire as to whether a particular title is available for embossing.


UEB: Unified English Braille code

Ebraille: Electronic braille books held at Parnell Library

RNZFB: Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind

CNIB: (Formerly known as) Canadian National Institute for the Blind

SE: Seeing Ear

f.: Computer file available for embossing

v.: volume(s)

Braille books are contracted, single-spaced and double sided.

Adult non-fiction

Business and Economics

The nature of economies, by Jane Jacobs. Jacobs examines the similarities between the growth and change that occurs within an economy, and the growth and changes that occur within nature. She argues that through the study of systems found in nature we can better understand economic development. 2 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121495


Food and Beverages

Karena & Kasey: for the love of … cooked in New Zealand, by Karena & Kasey; photography by Deborah Aspray. This first cookbook by the authors contains recipes that have helped them fall in love with food. The recipes include everyday favourites, more glamorous dishes, desserts, recipes created by the authors as well as those passed down from their family. The book offers an insight into their lives-all for the love of food, family and friends. 4 f, UEB. RNZFB. Ebraille 129696


General Non Fiction

Living things we love to hate: facts, fantasies & fallacies, by Des Kennedy. Kennedy examines our relationships with everything we are supposed to hate—from dandelions to snakes. With anecdotes and interesting facts, he talks about our war against pests and tries to reconcile humanity to the natural world. 4 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121128



The poetry of Robert Frost: the collected poems, complete and unabridged, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Comprehensive collection of Frost’s published verse, including the contents of all eleven of his individual books of poetry. 13 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121155


Social Sciences

Kids are worth it! giving your child the gift of inner discipline, by Barbara Coloroso. Coloroso presents her approach to parenting, based on three ideas: kids are worth the effort parents give to raise them well, parents should treat children in a way that they themselves would want to be treated, and parents should act in a way that preserves the dignity of both parent and child. 4 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122021


World History and Travel

Ireland, a bicycle and a tin whistle, by David A. Wilson. Cycling around Ireland in search of traditional music, David Wilson followed the coastline from Presbyterian Island Magee to Gaelic Cape Clear, then from Dublin to Belfast. He explores the Ireland of fiddles, harps, and storytelling ’til dawn, sharing tales of the towns he visited and the people he met. Some strong language. 4 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122047


World Religions

Price of honor: Muslim women lift the veil of silence on the Islamic world, by Jan Goodwin. Goodwin became interested in the plight of Muslim women because of her relationship with a Pakistani girl who became like her daughter and who was bartered in marriage at age eleven. Goodwin interviewed women, and some men, in ten Islamic countries. She examines the lives of women of various stations and the effects of changing Islamic attitudes in the late twentieth century. Descriptions of violence. 5 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122077



Adult fiction

Authors (Biography)

Always give a penny to a blind man, by Eric Wright. Born into a family with ten children during the Great Depression in England, Eric Wright managed to earn a scholarship which enabled him to get an education and rise above his circumstances. At the age of twenty-one, he decided to emigrate to Canada and ended up living in the wilderness of the Canadian northwest. He now writes crime novels. Winner of the 2000 CNIB Talking Book of the Year Award. 3 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121398


Canadian fiction

A recipe for bees, by Gail Anderson-Dargatz. As Augusta Olsen waits for news about the surgery of her beloved son-in-law, she reflects on her life. Bereft after her mother’s death, she marries Karl, her first suitor. Her marriage is difficult and she battles with Karl’s father, but when they move to a farm of their own, she begins to find her independence. She is soon at work on her mother’s old beekeeping equipment. 2 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121175


Crime Fiction

The chamber, by John Grisham. The chamber is of the gas variety, and Klan member Sam Cayhill is only weeks away from spending his last moments in one. After two mistrials, he has been convicted of the murder of the two sons of a Jewish civil rights activist in 1967. Adam Hall, a Chicago lawyer and Cayhill’s grandson, sets out to prove that Cayhill is innocent. Strong language and some violence. 7 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121405


General Fiction

Reading in the dark, by Seamus Deane. In post-war Northern Ireland, a boy tries to uncover the secrets of the adult world, a world in which every adult seems to have a secret. 2 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121174


Horror and Supernatural

The drawing of the three, by Stephen King. Roland, the Last Gunslinger, pursues his quest for The Dark Tower. Finding himself in 1980s America, he joins forces with Eddie Dean and Odetta Holmes in a savage struggle against underworld evil. Violence and strong language. The Dark Tower series; book 2. Sequel to: The gunslinger, Ebraille 123378. Has sequel: The waste lands, Ebraille 123400. 4 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121171


Mystery and Detective Stories

They came to Baghdad, by Agatha Christie. When Victoria Jones’ boyfriend leaves London for a cultural conference in Baghdad, she decides to follow him. Once there, she becomes involved in a spy and counter-spy operation. 3 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121201



The ring, by Danielle Steel. A rich German woman, the breathtaking beauty Kassandra von Gotthard, falls in love with a Jewish writer, Dolff Stern. Their happiness is short-lived for the Nazis soon murder Stern. Some strong language. 4 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121189


Short Stories and Essays

The tent, by Margaret Atwood. A collection of short stories, including parodies of fairy tales and fables. Atwood dissects our habit of seeing the world in terms of “we” and “them,” and our refusal to face the facts of environmental degradation. 1 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121784


The Family

Next of kin, by Joanna Trollope. The Meredith family owns a dairy farm in the heart of English farmland. When Robin Meredith’s Californian wife dies, each family member is affected in different ways. Everyone becomes vulnerable to change and Judy’s friend Zoe from London seems to be the catalyst for that change. 3 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121187



The client, by John Grisham. The client is eleven-year-old Mark Sway, who retained lawyer Reggie Love with a one-dollar bill. The reason Mark needs a lawyer is the same reason his eight-year-old brother is comatose in the hospital from shock—they witnessed a suicide. The victim was a lawyer and unfortunately he told Mark something before he died—something the police, the FBI, and the mafia are very interested in. Strong language and some violence. 7 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121561


War Stories

Between mountains, by Maggie Helwig. Daniel, a cynical Canadian journalist and Lili, a conscientious Serbian-Albanian interpreter who grew up in Paris, meet again at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Lili is sworn not to betray the confidences of the court while Daniel, as a journalist hungry for his next story, uses every means at his disposal to reveal the truth. They are drawn into a fragile relationship that could destroy everything they have both worked for. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex and violence. 3 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121868



Junior Collection

All about New Zealand machines and inventions, by Dave Gunson. Discover all about machines in New Zealand, their history, present use and their future. Available as: Braille 133263.

Aroha’s way: a children’s guide through emotions, by Craig Phillips. The book traces Aroha’s journey as she wards off negative emotions with simple, yet effective tools that everyone can use. Available as: Twin Vision 133255.

Brian saves Christmas, by Yvonne Morrison & Deborah Hinde. Brian the sheep is a perpetual disappointment to his father, until one foggy Christmas Eve, he saves the day. A New Zealand-style adaptation of ‘Rudolf the red nose reindeer’ and ‘Night before Christmas’. Available as: Daisy 71615, Kitset 63303.

The Christmas caravan, by Jennifer Beck; [illustrations by] Robyn Belton. Simon sees a competition in the newspaper for the best-decorated Christmas house and is keen to enter. When his mother says she can’t afford expensive lights and decorations, Simon decides to decorate their caravan in his own way. Read by Heather Warne. Available as: Daisy 71617.

The champion, by Maurice Gee. The summer of 1943 in a small New Zealand town. The story of the dramatic events when a wounded American soldier comes to stay with a local family. Available as: Braille 131308, Etext 131307.

Treasure hunters, by James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein, and Mark Shulman. Following clues left by their missing father, twelve-year-old twins Bickford and Rebecca Kidd sail from the Caribbean to New York City with their siblings to finish the dangerous quest of their world-famous treasure-hunting parents. Has sequel: Danger down the Nile: 101889. Available as: Braille 128678.

A crystal of time, by Soman Chainani; illustrations by Iacopo Bruno. A false king has seized Camelot’s throne, sentencing Tedros, the true king, to death. While Agatha narrowly escapes the same fate, Sophie is caught in King Rhian’s trap. With her wedding to Rhian approaching, she’s forced to play a dangerous game as her friends’ lives hang in the balance. Sequel to: Quests for glory: 131604. Available as: Braille 131608, Etext 131610.

First geography encyclopedia: DK, written and edited by Wendy Horobin and Caroline Stamps. This encyclopedia covers the subjects of human geography, physical geography and geology together in one volume. Full of bite-sized facts, curiosity quizzes and special ‘did you know’ features alongside stunning photographs and illustrations to make it easier for you to understand how climate works, what different ecosystems are all about and how to use maps. Available as: Braille 127105, Etext 127106.

There’s a snake in my school! by David Walliams; illustrated by the artistic genius Tony Ross. Miranda loves to be different, and on Bring-your-pet-to-school Day brings Penelope, the snake to school with her. Book and Audio CD. Available as: Large print 136285.


Young Adult Collection

Between, by Adele Broadbent. Olly has always lived alone with his mum, who lets Aunty Claire make all the decisions in the family. When he is grounded and unable to go to soccer camp he keeps running into Mad Martha who walks the streets with her shopping trolley. He is forbidden to see or speak with her. But his obsession with the weird and paranormal leads him to approach Mad Martha, an encounter that reveals unexpected family secrets and intrigue. Available as: Braille 133339, Etext 133337.

Everneath, by Brodi Ashton. A story loosely based on the “Hades and Persephone” myth. A teenaged girl regrets her decision to forfeit her life on Earth to become an immortal on Everneath, a world between Earth and Hell. She is given the chance to return to the Surface for six months. Available as: Braille 133345, Etext 133342.

Empire of storms, by Sarah J. Maas. For Aelin Galathynius, the long path to the throne has just begun. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, she can save her loved ones only if enemies become allies. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down? Sequel to: Queen of shadows: 131311. Has sequel: Tower of dawn: 131313. Available as: Etext 135086.

The crossover, by Kwame Alexander. 12-year old Josh Bell and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But they must come to grips with growing up on, and off, the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price. Available as: Large Print 127574.

Dragon hero, by Eileen Mueller. Tomaaz doesn’t believe in dragons, until the dragon queen abducts his twin sister, Ezaara. When she goes missing, his parents reveal dangerous family secrets. That night, his father is wrongly imprisoned while his mother heads deep into Death Valley to atone for a dreadful crime. To make things worse, an army of bestial tharuks attacks his village. Tomaaz has to act fast to save the Dragon’s Realm. Sequel to: Ezaara: 126617. Available as: Braille 126630, Etext 126632.

Ironside: a modern tale of faerie, by Holly Black. A rash declaration, an impossible quest. Kaye is forced to find the one thing she knows doesn’t exist; a faerie who can tell a lie. Miserable and convinced that she belongs nowhere, Kaye is propelled back to the dangerous world of faerie and finds herself caught up in the rivalries of the Seelie Court. Sequel to: Valiant: 132601. Available as: Etext 132603.

Cat tales for Christmas, edited by Mark Bryant. From the English countryside to the streets of New York; writers as diverse as Ellis Peters, Damon Runyon, Italo Calvino and Roald Dahl spin stories by turns cosy and macabre, sentimental and strange. Between them, they offer a collection that captures the essence of feline charm and, like every cat, is a source of surprise and delight. Read by multiple narrators. Available as: Daisy 67375.



Contact details

Blind Low Vision New Zealand Library

Postal Address:


Blind Low Vision New Zealand

Private Bag 99941

Newmarket, Auckland 1149

Street Address:

Awhina House

4 Maunsell Road

Parnell, Auckland 1052

Phone during working hours: 0800-24-33-33 (Toll free)


Fax: 0800-24-33-34 (Toll free)


Blind Foundation Library—Youth

Homai Campus
Blind & Low Vision Education Network NZ
Private Bag 801
Manurewa, Auckland 2243


Phone during working hours: 0800-24-33-33 (Toll free) or 268-3215 (Auckland callers)

Fax: 09-268-3216


Library Newsline on the Telephone Information Service (TIS)

Free calling areas:

Whangarei: 929-9099

Auckland: 302-3344

Hamilton: 834-2288

Tauranga: 929-6199

Napier-Hastings: 835-9136

Gisborne: 929-1033

Palmerston North: 354-8316

Wanganui: 348-4403

New Plymouth: 929-3088

Wellington: 389-3858

Nelson: 929-5033

Christchurch: 355-8381

Timaru: 688-6921

Oamaru: 433-1026

Dunedin: 455-8833

Balclutha: 418-3332

Gore: 203-3001

Invercargill: 218-6470

All other areas: 0800-36-33-44 (Toll free)

Sound and Touch is available in print, DAISY Audio over Alexa, on Bookdrive, email, braille or on TIS176. To change your format or cancel, please contact the Library. To receive Sound and Touch by email, send an email to

End of Sound and Touch December 2020