Sound and Touch December 2021

Blind Low Vision NZ Library—Te Puna Whakamōhio

Blind Low Vision NZ, formerly Blind Foundation

Produced 2021 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 2021 issue of Sound and Touch

In this issue:



Public Library Awareness Project

Blind Low Vision Alexa skill

BookDrive magazine tips

EasyReader app (iOS and Android)

BookLink Web


Telephone Information Service—Did you know?

Many thanks to our generous sponsors


Welcome to the December issue of Sound and Touch. We have been able to continue to provide our services during Lockdown across all our platforms and we have been receiving some nice feedback through the Contact Centre …

“… very happy with my selection and wished to pass on a very big thank you to the Library team for sending out books during lockdown”

We know it has been a trying time, particularly for those in Auckland but we hope you enjoy the new additions into our collection as we head into a season of warmer weather. Have a Safe and Happy Summer.


We would like to introduce you to another one of our narrators. Romy has been part of the narration team since 2016. Romy is an actor, writer, director and voice artist from Tāmaki. Graduating from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, she always loved poetry, and after becoming 2013’s Auckland Champ for the National Poetry Slam was determined to fuse it with her theatrical career. Between being a season regular in TV1’s Nothing Trivial, she worked on many plays such as Closer, devised works and musicals, as well as writing her poetic one-woman show “Love … and Other Noise,” which took her to Bristol’s Boomtown Festival in 2014. She has been teaching Speech and Drama and audition technique for many years, and has been narrating for BLVNZ for nearly a decade.

She was in the 2018 Southampton’s company for the Pop Up Globe, receiving a nomination for Best Actress at the Sydney Broadway World Awards for her role in Comedy of Errors.

She featured in Prime’s Brokenwood, TV3’s The Gulf, and recently completed filming roles in TV3’s Head High and Warner Bros feature film Centrepoint.

She regularly sings and plays melodica to 50s and 60s favourites at events and markets with her duo The Coney Islands—just for fun.

Recent titles she has narrated are Toto among the Murderers and Sprigs

Public Library Awareness Project

While we are always working to improve the Blind Low Vision NZ library services, we are also working to improve the accessibility of Public Library services. We have partnered with LIANZA (Library and Information Association New Zealand Aotearoa) to help improve the accessibility of public library services across the country. As a result, we will be providing workshops so public library staff can better understand the needs of our members and clients. This is an ongoing project to provide greater awareness about the challenges and solutions of print disability.

Blind Low Vision Alexa skill

If you have a smart speaker for Alexa, you can now find out about more of our Blind Low Vision New Zealand services, news and events, alongside your streaming Library services. We released an update to our skill in mid-September, so the Library service is now part of a whole organisation menu, where you can choose from service information, upcoming events in your region, or Blind Low Vision NZ news. You can also use the Contact function to leave your phone number, and automatically request a call back from one of our team.

To use the Library service, you can say “Library” from the main menu, or you can say “Alexa, books” (or magazines, or newspapers) to go straight to the content you want. If you have had any problems with our library on Alexa since September, such as books or magazines not playing correctly, please get in touch with us on 0800 24 33 33.

EasyReader app (iOS and Android)

EasyReader is a free, accessible reading app for people with print disabilities such as blindness, low vision, or dyslexia. It is currently used by Vision Australia, RNIB, CELA, and other international blindness support agencies for their members to access their library collections, as well as international providers of electronic texts, like BookShare. 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. As of November 2020, our audio magazine collection is also available in the app, including back issues and magazines not currently in production. Daily newspapers are not available in EasyReader yet, but you can read these in our Alexa skill, BookLink, and the Telephone Information Service.

BookLink Web

BookLink is our most flexible online lending and reading service. It offers independent access to Blind Low Vision NZ Library’s digital collections, including:

  • New Zealand and international audio books.

  • New Zealand and international audio magazines.

  • Community, regional and national text newspapers.

You can access the BookLink service directly in your web browser, at To request a BookLink account, please give us a call on 0800 24 33 33.

BookLink is also available as an app for use with mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets. The BookLink app for Apple devices (iOS) can be downloaded from the New Zealand App Store, and BookLink for Android is available from the Google Play Store within New Zealand.


Lost our catalogue? Just to let you know that our web address for our online catalogue for finding talking books and other formats has changed to increase the security of our website. If you are reading this online, you can click on the following link to go to our Online Library catalogue:

Otherwise, you can find our catalogue from the Blind Low Vision New Zealand website, from the “Explore our online library” on the home page.

Telephone Information Service—Did you know?

Auckland Emergency Management, along with Blind Low Vision NZ have created a TIS line to inform you and your family about what you can do to be more prepared for emergencies. This line shares information with you about common hazards that are experienced in Auckland, as well as what you need to do to prepare for different emergency scenarios, such as if you are stuck at home or have no power.

Call the Auckland Emergency Management TIS line on menu 4116 to hear about who we are and how you can help yourself and your whanau become more prepared and disaster resilient.

Please see the back page to find your local TIS number

Many thanks to our generous sponsors

We would like to express our appreciation to the following funders. 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.

We would like to thank the following funders for the addition of talking books for our adult library:

West Coast Community Trust

Perpetual Guardian South Canterbury trusts—A & R Edgar and General Charitable Fund

New Plymouth District Council

Otago Community Trust

Whanganui Community Trust

Oxford Sports Charitable Trust

In addition, we would like to thank the following funders for the addition of books in a range of accessible formats for our youth library:

Beatrice Georgeson Charitable Trust

Chenery Memorial Trust

Roy & Jan Mace Charitable Trust

Kingston Sedgfield Charitable Trust

We would also like to thank:

NZVIEW (New Zealand Vision Impaired Empowering Women) for providing funding to produce in our studios the book Worship is a lifestyle: a memoir by Lesley Lilley.

Book reviews for recent titles, from our audio producer, Simon Lynch

Sprigs, by Brannavan Gnanalingam

Brannavan Gnanalingam is a NZ fiction writer of substance, born in Sri Lanka. His 2020 book Sprigs is a powerful and impactful work of fiction, based around an incident that occurs at a party following a Saturday afternoon First Fifteen game of rugby against two boy’s schools. The central character is Priya, a 15 year old girl watching on from the side lines. The story is riveting and familiar, a fine example of the new breed of NZ authors creating remarkable books that reflect the times back to us. Expertly narrated by Romy Hooper in 13 hours, 57 minutes. Sprigs is a gripping read for those with a love of fiction and quality NZ drama. BN 137945

You Have a Lot to Lose: A Memoir, by C.K. Stead

Top-notch narration from John Leigh brings this detailed literary history of acclaimed NZ author C.K. Stead to life. Filled with Stead anecdotes and gossip, confessions and observations, Stead traces his time abroad, from working in rural Australia to studying abroad in London, You Have A Lot to Lose is a tumultuous re-telling of the life of a contrary figure, one who is not above decrying the efforts of more renowned NZ authors. Stead began writing fulltime aged 53 after leaving his position at Auckland University, and his book navigates the personal, political and social changes of the 1960’s and 1970’s with his unique style of writing. For the more literary-focussed members, You Have A Lot to Lose is a lengthy and engaging NZ non-fiction book. Read by John Leigh in 15 hours, 7 minutes. BN 138143

New DAISY audio

This issue contains DAISY audio books added to the collection since the last issue of Sound and Touch in September 2021.


BA: Blackstone Audio Inc.

BN: DAISY audio Book Number

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

NLS: National Library Service

RNIB: Royal National Institute of Blind People

RNZFB/BLVNZ: Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind/Blind Low Vision NZ

Ulv: Ulverscroft

VAILS: Vision Australia Information and Library Service

Adult non-fiction


The adventures of a Pope at sea by Harry Pope. This book is an album of New Zealand maritime history with snapshots of many well-known figures and some ripping yarns about life at sea. Read by Paul Barrett in 16 hours, 30 minutes. RNZFB. BN 137340

African Countries

Skeletons on the Zahara: a true story of survival by Dean King. King blends two first-hand accounts with copious research to recount the 1815 wreck of the U.S. merchant ship Commerce off the west coast of Africa and the crew’s captivity. Describes the desert climate, local customs, nomadic life, heatstroke, starvation, and cruel enslavement endured by the sailors. Read by Ray Childs in 14 hours, 49 minutes. NLS. BN 134116

Authors (Biography)

The wild silence by Raynor Winn. After walking 630 miles along The Salt Path, the windswept and wild English coastline now feels like their home. Despite Moth’s terminal diagnosis, against all medical odds, he seems revitalized in nature—outside, they discover that anything is possible. Read by Christina Cie in 10 hours, 25 minutes. RNZFB. BN 138440

Lost and found: my story of heartbreak and hope, by Toni Street. Toni Street’s easy on-air style and warm personality has made her a firm favourite with thousands of New Zealanders. However, behind the bubbly persona, is a story of heartbreak and resilience. Read by Janice Finn in 6 hours, 39 minutes. RNZFB. BN 139097

Conversations with myself, by Nelson Mandela. South African statesman Nelson Mandela opens his personal archive to reveal private correspondence and meditations. Discusses his 1941 to 1962 antiapartheid activities and 1962 to 1990 imprisonment and separation from his family, doubts and triumphs, and rise to world prominence, including winning the 1994 presidential election. Read by Dan Bloom in 14 hours, 12 minutes. NLS. BN 133724

Biculturalism in New Zealand

This pākehā life: an unsettled memoir by Alison Jones. An autobiographical account for Pākehā and other New Zealanders curious about their sense of identity and about the ambivalences the Pakeha often experience in their relationships with Maori. This is the story of what becoming and being Pākehā means to the author. Read by Madeleine Lynch in 8 hours, 1 minute. RNZFB. BN 136386

Food and Beverages

A high country life: tales and recipes from a New Zealand sheep station by Philippa Cameron. Life on Otematata Station, a 40,000 hectare high country station in Otago, is busy and varied. Philippa Cameron and her husband, Joe, who is the fifth generation to work the farm, help care for this vast tract of land with 30,000 merino sheep and 500 head of cattle. It is a sparse environment completely at the mercy of the elements, bringing with it many challenges and seasonal demands. Read by Karen McLeod in 5 hours, 56 minutes. RNZFB. BN 137859

Veg: easy and delicious meals for everyone by Jamie Oliver. Jamie Oliver is back with brilliantly easy, flavour-packed, and accessible veg recipes. From simple suppers and family favourites to weekend dishes for sharing with friends, this book is packed full of phenomenal food—pure and simple. Sharing simple tips and tricks that will excite the taste buds, this book will also give people the confidence to up their veg intake and widen their recipe repertoire, safe in the knowledge that it’ll taste absolutely delicious. Read by Karen McLeod in 8 hours, 6 minutes. RNZFB. BN 136733

Gay and Lesbian Non Fiction

Mates and lovers: a history of gay New Zealand by Chris Brickell. Chris Brickell tells the evolving story of New Zealand gay men through the lives of clerks, labourers, shop assistants, soldiers, actors and writers of all classes, and he shows that our erotic past was vibrant, complex and often surprising. Read by Paul Barrett in 14 hours, 48 minutes. RNZFB. BN 138412

General (Biography)

Rigged: the true story of an Ivy League kid who changed the world of oil, from Wall Street to Dubai by Ben Mezrich. Biography of an Italian American from Brooklyn who graduated from Harvard Business School and worked at the Mercantile Exchange trading in oil in 2002. Describes his responsibilities establishing a similar oil-exchange market in Dubai. Strong language. Read by Erik Synnestvedt in 10 hours, 7 minutes. NLS. BN 133752

General Non Fiction

Link-ability: 4 powerful strategies to maximise your LinkedIn success, by Lynnaire Johnston. Link-Ability covers all you need to know about current best practice for connecting, posting, engaging and direct messaging. Link-Ability is the ultimate LinkedIn user’s guide, whether you are a novice or an experienced LinkedIn user. Read by Simon Lynch in 4 hours, 41 minutes. RNZFB. BN 138648

Life ascending: the ten great inventions of evolution, by Nick Lane. Biochemist discusses the greatest evolutionary developments, including the beginnings of life, DNA, photosynthesis, complex cells, sex, movement, sight, hot blood, consciousness, and death. Provides insight on the origins of each milestone and the science behind it. Read by Butch Hoover in 15 hours, 16 minutes. NLS. BN 133657

Teach your children well: parenting for authentic success by Madeline Levine. Psychologist Madeline Levine discusses the stages of child development and offers practical tips to raising emotionally intelligent, creative, and successful children. Uses anecdotes from her own clinical practice and family life to illustrate the ways to teach coping skills and core values. Also makes suggestions to improve parenting. Read by Kristin Allison in 9 hours, 46 minutes. NLS. BN 133955

Health and Wellbeing

The teen health book: a parents’ guide to adolescent health and well-being by Ralph I Lopez. Physician Ralph Lopez addresses parents using examples from his practice dealing with physical and emotional concerns of teenagers. Includes information on the onset of puberty, lifestyle and sexual issues, sports injuries, and potential disorders including substance abuse. Read by Erin Jones in 18 hours, 40 minutes. NLS. BN 133777

Maori Language and Literature

Māori made easy: for everyday users of the Māori language, by Scotty Morrison. Māori Made Easy connects the dots, allowing the reader to take control of their language learning in an empowering and effective way. By committing just 30 minutes a day for 30 weeks, learners will progress at their own pace and adopt the language as best suits their individual needs. Read by Scotty Morrison in 29 hours, 58 minutes. RNZFB. BN 138983

NZ and Pacific Non-Fiction

Landmarks by Grahame Sydney, Brian Turner, and Owen Marshall. This book celebrates the work of three of our literary and artistic heavyweights. These three long-time friends showcase a rich selection of their subsequent work, including recently written, previously unpublished pieces. Through their own marks about the land and its people, be it in ink or paint, they offer a love song to the South Island, in particular Central Otago. Read by Madeleine Lynch in 5 hours, 20 minutes. RNZFB. BN 138410

Mountain midsummer: climbing in four continents by Michael Gill. Why do men climb mountains? This book gives one man’s answer to that puzzling question. Read by Simon Lynch in 9 hours, 6 minutes. RNZFB. BN 138411

Cobwebs of memory by Dorothy West. A collection of stories and memories by Dorothy West. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 7 hours, 27 minutes. RNZFB. BN 137342

Specimen: personal essays by Madison Hamill. Madison Hamill looks back at her younger self with a sharp eye. Was she good or evil? Ignorant or enlightened? What parts of herself did she give up in order to forge ahead in school, church, work, and relationships, with a self that made sense to others? Read by Romy Hooper in 6 hours, 2 minutes. RNZFB. BN 137946

Travel Writing

Towards Compostela: walking the Camino de Santiago. One day Catharina van Bohemen left her Auckland home to fly to Spain and walk the Camino de Santiago. Her journal was the most important thing she carried. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 7 hours, 23 minutes. RNZFB. BN 138142


Service: a navy seal at war by Marcus Luttrell. Navy SEAL Luttrell recounts his deployment to Ramadi, Iraq. He reflects on the sacrifices service men and women make for their family, country, and freedom. Violence and strong language. Read by Dennis Rooney in 11 hours, 54 minutes. NLS. BN 133731

World History and Travel

The ottoman centuries: the rise and fall of the Turkish empire by Patrick Balfour Kinross. Comprehensive account of the Ottoman Empire (1288-1918) with sidelights on European history. Read by Jo Marks in 27 hours, 33 minutes. NLS. BN 133897

Adult Fiction

Adventure Stories

A minute to midnight, by David Baldacci. FBI Agent Atlee Pine returns to her Georgia hometown to reopen the investigation of her twin sister’s abduction, only to encounter a serial killer beginning a reign of terror. Atlee Pine series, book 2. Sequel to: Long road to mercy, BN 137917. Has sequel: Daylight, Not yet in collection. Read by Brittany Pressley & Kyf Brewer in 12 hours, 18 minutes. BA. BN 137918


Eleven days by Stav Sherez. A fire rages through a sleepy West London square a few days before Christmas, engulfing a small convent. When DI Jack Carrigan and DS Geneva Miller arrive at the scene, they discover eleven bodies. There were only supposed to be ten nuns in residence. Why did they make no move to escape the fire? Who is the eleventh victim, whose body was found separate from the others? In addition, where is the convent’s priest, the one man who can answer their questions? Carrigan and Miller series, book 2. Sequel to: A dark redemption, BN 99352. Has sequel: The intrusions, BN 137934. Read by Anne Speir in 12 hours, 39 minutes. RNZFB. BN 137937

The 17th suspect, by James Patterson. A series of shootings exposes San Francisco to an unpredictable killer, and a reluctant woman puts her trust in Sergeant Lindsay Boxer. The confidential informant’s tip leads Lindsay to disturbing conclusions, including that something has gone wrong inside the police department itself. Women’s Murder Club series, book 17. Sequel to: The 16th Seduction, BN 95346. Has sequel: The 18th abduction, BN 137921. Read by January LaVoy in 6 hours, 58 minutes. BA. BN 137919


Dai-San by Eric Van Lustbader. Sorcerous hordes gather beneath the sheer walls of Kamado, last outpost of the human race, for the final savage onslaught and the deathless armies of darkness gain ground. Only Ronin stands between earth and the end of days. On the last stage of his desperate mission, he seeks the power of the warrior mages. Only their ancient wisdom and deadly skills can fulfil his destiny and secure salvation for humanity. The swords are drawn for the Last Battle—between the forces of annihilation and the Sunset Warrior. Sunset Warrior, book 3. Sequel to: Shallows of night, BN 133221. Has sequel: Beneath an opal moon, BN 133222. Read by Romy Hooper in 10 hours, 13 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133501

Beneath an opal moon by Eric Van Lustbader. A navigator joins forces with a female warrior to avenge a murder and save a princess in a fantastic world of madness and magic. Terrible death stalks the streets of teeming Sha’angh’sei, and bloody vengeance rides in its wake. Then ghastly terror strikes at Moichi, oath-brother to the Dai-San. Sunset Warrior series book 4. Sequel to: Dai-San, BN 133501. Has sequel: Dragons on the sea of night, not yet in collection. Read by Romy Hooper in 10 hours, 53 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133222

General Fiction

Sorrow and bliss by Meg Mason. This novel is about a woman called Martha. She knows there is something wrong with her but she does not know what it is. Her husband Patrick thinks she is fine. He says everyone has something; the thing is just to keep going. Read by Janice Finn in 9 hours, 22 minutes. RNZFB. BN 137951

The family frying pan by Bryce Courtenay. Around a campfire in Russia, a small group of refugees gather each night to cook and tell stories. Read by John Callen and Anne Speir in 7 hours 36 minutes. RNZFB BN 138545

Toto among the murderers by Sally J Morgan. Jude—known to her friends as Toto—has just graduated from art school and moves into a house in a run-down part of Leeds. Jude is a chaotic wild child who flirts with the wrong kind of people, drinks too much and gets stoned too often. Never happy to stay in one place for very long, her restlessness takes her on hitchhiking jaunts up and down the country. Her best friend, Nel, is the only steady influence Jude has but Nel’s life is not as perfect as it seems. Read by Romy Hooper in 9 hours, 24 minutes. RNZFB. BN 138370

Historical Romance

Untie my heart by Judith Ivory. 1890s. Returning to England to claim his inheritance, Stuart Aysgarth, the new viscount Mount Villiars, accidentally runs over one of Widow Emma Hotchkiss’s lambs. Emma schemes to recoup her loss while Stuart concocts his own plot involving revenge on a usurping uncle. Includes recipes. Some explicit descriptions of sex. Read by Colleen Delany in 13 hours, 43 minutes. NLS. BN 133713

Horror and Supernatural

Phantoms by Dean R Koontz. Young Dr. Jenny Paige arrives with her kid sister in scenic Snowfield, California. The two discover that their cook is dead and that five hundred other residents are either dead or missing. With the help of the sheriff and Army chemical-biological-warfare experts, the sisters soon realize they are up against a malevolent force. Strong language. Read by Bruce Huntey in 13 hours, 38 minutes. NLS. BN 133656

Light Romance

Normal people by Sally Rooney. Two teenagers, boy and girl, grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. They belong to two very different worlds but develop a connection that deepens as they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin. A love story about how a person can change another person’s life. Costa Book Award. 2018. Read by Francis Mountjoy in 7 hours, 55 minutes. RNZFB. BN 136282

Mystery and Detective Stories

Murder must advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers; with an introduction by Peter Robinson. Lord Peter Wimsey joins an advertising firm in order to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a copywriter. Lord Peter Wimsey series, book 8. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 11 hours, 60 minutes. RNZFB. BN 135883

Broken heartland by J.M. Hayes. Benteen County, Kansas, turns frantic on Election Day, as the religious right tries to unseat the sheriff, the deputy rams a school bus, and a student brings a gun to school and starts shooting. Does the sheriff really want to serve another term? A Mad Dog & Englishman Mystery series, book 4. Sequel to: Plains crazy, BN 107540. Has sequel: Server down, BN 58382. Read by Lloyd James in 8 hours, 19 minutes. BA. BN 137908

Careless love, by Peter Robinson. Two suspicious deaths challenge DS Alan Banks and his crack investigative team. As the inconsistencies multiply and the mysteries surrounding these two cases proliferate, a source reveals a piece of information that shocks the team and affects the investigations. An old enemy has returned in a new guise, a nefarious foe who will stop at nothing, not even murder, to get what he wants. Inspector Banks series, book 25. Sequel to: Sleeping in the ground, BN 137920. Has sequel: Many rivers to cross BN 137915. Read by Simon Prebble in 11 hours. BA. BN 137914

Many rivers to cross, by Peter Robinson. In Eastvale, a young Middle Eastern boy is found dead, his body stuffed in a wheelbarrow on the East Side Estate. Detective Superintendent Banks and his team know they must tread carefully to solve this sensitive case. However, tensions rise when they learn that the victim was stabbed somewhere else and dumped. To prevent tensions from reaching a boiling point, Banks must find answers quickly. Read by Simon Prebble in 11 hours, 47 minutes. Inspector Banks series, book 26. Sequel to: Careless love, BN 137914. Has sequel: Not dark yet, Not yet in collection. BA. BN 137915

NZ and Pacific Novels

The absolute book by Elizabeth Knox. Taryn Cornick believes she has put her sister’s violent death and her own complicity in an act of retribution behind her. However, her successful book about the perils that threaten libraries mentions an ancient scroll box, called the Firestarter that has inexplicably survived numerous fires, including one at her own grandparents’ estate, and now powers in both this world and beyond are looking for her. Read by Owen Scott in 20 hours, 10 minutes. RNZFB. BN 137938

Low flying, by John Reynolds. Matt, a naive flying student, and his charming but crooked instructor Jason come to blows over Fleur, Matt’s older girlfriend. All three of them fall foul of Zhukov, a Russian crime boss in Auckland, New Zealand. Zhukov wants to muscle in on Jason’s drug smuggling and he will not stop at kidnapping—or murder. Matt needs all his new flying skills to rescue the kidnap victims and bring both Zhukov and Jason to justice. Read by John Reynolds in 9 hours, 58 minutes. RNZFB. BN 136782

Nothing to see by Pip Adam. It is 1994. Peggy and Greta are learning how to live sober. They go to meetings and they ring their support person, Diane. They have just enough money for one Tom Yum between them, but mostly they eat carrot sandwiches. They volunteer at the Salvation Army shop, and sometimes they sleep with men for money. They live with Heidi and Dell, who are like them. It is 2006. Peggy and Greta have two jobs: a job at a call centre, and a job as a moderator for a website. They are teaching themselves how to code. Heidi and Dell do not live together anymore, and Dell keeps getting into trouble. One day, Peggy and Greta turn around and there is only one of them. It is 2018. Margaret lives next door to Heidi and her family. She has a job writing code that analyses data for a political organisation, and she is good at it. Every day she checks an obsolete cell phone she found under her bed, waiting for messages. She struggles to stay sober. Then, one day, there are two of them again, both trying to figure out where they have come from. Read by Romy Hooper in 10 hours, 28 minutes. RNZFB. BN 137941


The castle of water and woe by Steffanie Holmes. With the fae threat looming ever closer, things at Briarwood are more desperate than ever. In this most desperate of times, every member of the Briarwood coven must confront their own demons in order to unleash the full potential of their magic. Briarwood Witches Series; book 3. Sequel to: The Castle of Fire and Fable, BN 131246. Has sequel: The Castle of Wind and Whispers, not yet in collection. Read by Marguerite Vanderkolk in 9 hours, 52 minutes. RNZFB. BN 131245

Manhunt by Janet Evanovich. Twenty-nine-year-old corporate executive Alexandra Scott trades her upscale New Jersey condo and glam career for a rustic log cabin and hardware store in the Alaskan wilderness. Alex is determined to find a husband, and her wealthy new neighbour Michael Casey, seems attracted to her. Some descriptions of sex. Read by Catherine Byers in 4 hours, 39 minutes. NLS. BN 133668

A wallflower Christmas, by Lisa Kleypas. London, 1845. Wallflowers Daisy and Lillian Bowman’s brother Rafe arrives from America intending to marry heiress Lady Natalie Blandford. Rafe, however, falls in love at first sight with Natalie’s impoverished cousin Hannah Appleton. At Christmas, Rafe has to choose between romance and fortune. Some explicit descriptions of sex. Wallflowers series, book 5. Sequel to: A scandal in spring, BN 133716. Has sequel: Again the magic, BN 133798. Read by Corrie James in 5 hours, 50 minutes. NLS. BN 133715

Christmas Eve at Friday harbour, by Lisa Kleypas. San Juan Island, Washington. Bachelor Mark Nolan has custody of his late sister’s six-year-old daughter Holly, who has not spoken since her mother’s death. However, Holly opens up for toy-store owner Maggie Conroy, a young widow who yearns for companionship, and the three slowly bond. Some descriptions of sex. Friday harbor series, book 1. Has sequel: Rainshadow Road, BN 134171. Read by Madelyn Buzzard in 4 hours, 39 minutes. NLS. BN 133983

The crown, by Kiera Cass. Eadlyn did not think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. However, sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you, and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult, and more important, than she ever expected. The Selection Series, book 5. Sequel to: The heir, BN 136265. Read by Brittany Pressley in 7 hours, 15 minutes. BA. BN 137913

The Family

The telling time by P.J. McKay. The story of two young women, a generation apart, travelling to opposite sides of the world on fraught journeys of self-discovery. One, in 1958, yearns to escape the confines of bleak post-war Yugoslavia and her tiny fishing community, but never imagines the eventual exile to New Zealand. The other, her daughter, in 1989, departs on her own covert quest to Yugoslavia, determined to unpick the family’s past. Read by Romy Hooper in 11 hours, 13 minutes. RNZFB. BN 135929

True colors by Kristin Hannah. Washington State. Winona, Aurora, and Vivi Ann Grey are raised by their widowed rancher father, who dotes on Vivi Ann. After Vivi Ann becomes engaged to the man Winona loves, Winona’s actions threaten to tear the family apart. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. Read by Madelyn Buzzard in 13 hours, 48 minutes. NLS. BN 133993


Pepper Pike: a Milan Jacovich mystery by Les Roberts. Introducing Milan Jacovich, Cleveland’s favourite private eye. Milan, an ex-cop, Vietnam veteran, and former football player, is a private investigator with a master’s degree, and a knack for finding trouble. Milan is offered a huge sum by high-powered advertising executive Richard Amber for twelve hours of bodyguard service. However, when Milan gets to the Amber house in the elegant suburb of Pepper Pike, no one is home. The next morning, Amber’s beautiful but brittle wife hires Milan to find her husband, who, it seems, has disappeared. Milan Jacovich series, book 1. Has sequel: Full Cleveland, BN 130295. Read by Gary Denvir in 6 hours, 58 minutes. RNZFB. BN 135541

A shoot in Cleveland: a Milan Jacovich mystery, by Les Roberts. Hollywood producer Sidney Friedman chose Cleveland as the location for his new film, Street Games. During the “shoot”, Friedman hires Cleveland private investigator Milan Jacovich to watch over the film’s star, Darren Anderson and keep him out of trouble. Milan, still suffering from the tragic loss of his friend, has no interest in moviemaking but signs on to keep himself from going crazy. Milan Jacovich series; book 9. Sequel to: Cleveland Local, not yet in collection. Has sequel: The Best Kept Secret; not yet in collection. Read by John Callen in 10 hours, 44 minutes. RNZFB. BN 135543

Troubleshooter, by Gregg Hurwitz. Den Laurey, the leader of one of the country’s most violent biker gangs, should have been behind bars. However, thanks to a daring escape on the L.A. freeway, several US marshals are dead and Laurey is riding free. Tim Rackley, back on the service’s warrant squad, is in hot pursuit of the outlaw and his ruthless gang, with a media whirlwind and the entire Los Angeles law enforcement community dogging him. Tim Rackley series, book 3. Sequel to: The program, not yet in collection. Has sequel: Last shot, not yet in collection. Read by Erik Steele in 10 hours, 38 minutes. BA. BN 137909

Long road to mercy, by David Baldacci. Special Agent Atlee Pine travels to the Grand Canyon to locate a missing person. However, this is not the only disappearance in the canyon; it may be just the first clue in a series of missing person’s cases. Atlee Pine series, book 1. Has sequel: A minute to midnight, BN 137918. Read by Brittany Pressley and Kyf Brewer in 11 hours, 18 minutes. BA. BN 137917

New braille and ebraille books

This issue contains braille and ebraille books added to the collection since the September issue of Sound and Touch. Adult braille books have a BN number as they are embossed upon request. Titles with more than five 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)

The following braille books are contracted, single-spaced and double sided.

Adult non-fiction

Canadian Non Fiction

The year Canadians lost their minds and found their country: the Centennial of 1967, by Tom Hawthorn. The story of that fun, exciting year, told in the same giddy spirit with which Canadians celebrated. Uncover the strange and unique ways that Canadians marked the occasion, the birth of traditions, and the moment when Canadians discovered who they were and got a hint about who they were to become in this modern age. Once hewers of wood and pliers of water, they discovered a talent for literature, for design, for athletics, for innovation. Above all, it was a party never to be forgotten. Fifty years later, Canadians are again celebrating a major milestone in their history, and once again, things are starting with a collective yawn. Will the national spirit once again burst into flame? 3 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 25670

Gay and Lesbian Non Fiction

The rules do not apply, by Ariel Levy. In 2012, at age 38, when she left on a reporting trip to Mongolia, Ariel Levy thought she had figured it out. She was married, pregnant, and successful on her own terms, financially secure. A month later, none of that was true. “People have been telling me since I was a little girl that I was too fervent, too forceful, too much. I thought I had harnessed the power of my own strength, greed, and love to a life that could contain it. But it has exploded.” Levy describes her own ill-fated assumptions: thinking that anything is possible, that the old rules do not apply; that marriage does not have to mean monogamy; that gender and sexuality are fluid; that aging does not have to mean infertility. This is a story about realizing that life is so often beyond our control and how we forge ahead despite that. 2 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125625

Health and Wellbeing

Hallelujah anyway: rediscovering mercy, by Anne Lamott. Lamott ventures to explore where to find meaning in life. We should begin, she suggests, by “facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves.” It’s up to each of us to recognize the presence and importance of mercy everywhere—”within us and outside us, all around us”—and to use it to forge a deeper understanding of ourselves and more honest connections with each other. While that can be difficult to do, Lamott argues that it’s crucial, as “kindness towards others, beginning with myself, buys us a shot at a warm and generous heart, the greatest prize of all.” 1 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125641

Musicians (Biography)

The most beautiful: my life with Prince, by Mayte Garcia. Garcia shares the deeply personal story of her relationship with Prince, and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together: from their unconventional meeting backstage at a concert (and the long-distance romance that followed), to their fairytale wedding (and their groundbreaking artistic partnership), to the devastating losses that ultimately dissolved their romantic relationship for good. Throughout it all, they shared a bond more intimate than any other in Prince’s life. No one else can tell this story or can provide a deeper, more nuanced portrait of Prince—both the famously private man and the pioneering, beloved artist—than Mayte, his partner during some of the most pivotal personal and professional years of his career. 4 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125635

Social Sciences

One day we’ll all be dead and none of this will matter: essays, by Scaachi Koul. In suburban Calgary, at a young and impressionable age, Scaachi Koul learned what made her miserable. Not just the long commutes you have in the morning: things that make you doubt your humanity. Scaachi shares her observations, fears and experiences as a woman of colour growing up in Canada. These are stories ranging from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone horribly awry, to internet garbage, to parsing the trajectory of fears and anxieties that pressed upon her immigrated parents and bled down a generation. Stories of returning to India where her parents grew up, and ultimately about trying to find her place in the world. 2 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125645

The Environment

Just cool it!: the climate crisis and what we can do: a post-Paris Agreement game plan, by David Suzuki & Ian Hanington. Climate change is one of the most important crisis humanity has faced, but we still confront huge barriers to resolving it. The problem itself is complex, and there is no single solution. However, by understanding the barriers to resolving global warming and by employing a wide range of solutions—from shifting to clean energy to planting trees to reforming agricultural practices—we can get the world back on track. Suzuki offers a comprehensive look at the current state of climate science and knowledge and the many ways to resolve the climate crisis, imploring us to do what is necessary to live in a better, cleaner future. When enough people demand action, change starts happening—and this time, it could be monumental. 4 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125630

Women (Biography)

Option B: facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy, by Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant; with Nell Scovell. After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience everyone can build a muscle. “Option B” goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere and to rediscover joy. 3 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125645

Adult fiction

Historical Novels

Cocoa Beach: a novel, by Beatriz Williams. Burdened by a dark family secret, Virginia Fortescue flees her oppressive home in New York City for the battlefields of World War I France. Driving an ambulance for the Red Cross, she meets a charismatic British army surgeon whose persistent charm opens her heart to the possibility of love. As the war rages, Virginia falls into a passionate affair with the dashing Captain Simon Fitzwilliam, only to discover that his past has its own dark secrets that will damage their eventual marriage and propel her back across the Atlantic to the sister and father she had left behind. 5 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125724

Mystery and Detective Stories

No middle name the complete collected Jack Reacher short stories by Lee Child. A collection of Jack Reacher stories—one never-before-seen novella, plus eleven others collected for the first time in print. In “Too Much Time,” Reacher is in a hollowed-out town in Maine, where he witnesses a random bag snatching but sees much more than a simple crime. “Small Wars” takes readers back to 1989, when Reacher is an MP assigned to solve the brutal murder of a young officer found along an isolated forest road in Georgia—and whose killer may be hiding in plain sight. “High Heat” time-hops to 1977, when Reacher is a teenager in sweltering New York City during a sudden blackout that awakens the dark side of the city that never sleeps. Okinawa is the setting of “Second Son,” which reveals the pivotal moment when young Reacher’s sharp “lizard brain” becomes just as important as his muscle. 4 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125725

The silent corner: a novel, by Dean Koontz. People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and of sound mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why after her husband kills himself, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important that they will exterminate anyone in their way. Not all their power and viciousness may be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless, and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend—because it is born of love. 5 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125722


The duchess: a novel, by Danielle Steel. Angélique Latham has grown up at magnificent Belgrave Castle under the loving tutelage of her father, the Duke of Westerfield, after the death of her aristocratic French mother. When he dies, her half-brothers brutally turn her out. Angélique has a keen mind, remarkable beauty, and an envelope of money her father pressed upon her. She makes her way to Paris, where she rescues a young woman fleeing an abusive madam—and suddenly sees a possibility: Open an elegant house of pleasure that will protect its women and serve only the best clients. With her upper-class breeding, her impeccable style, and her father’s bequest, Angélique creates Le Boudoir, soon a sensational establishment where powerful men, secret desires, and beautiful, sophisticated women come together. However, living on the edge of scandal, can she ever make a life of her own—or regain her rightful place in the world? 4 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125723

Science Fiction

The rise and fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland. When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. Tristan needs Mel to translate some very old documents, which, if authentic, are earth shattering. They prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for centuries. Something about the modern world “jams” the “frequencies” used by magic, and it is up to Tristan to find out why. And so the Department of Diachronic Operations (D.O.D.O.) gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that can bring magic back and send Diachronic Operatives back in time to keep it alive. 8 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125727


Our little secret by Roz Nay. Angela is being held in a police interrogation room, her ex’s wife has gone missing and Detective Novak is sure Angela knows something, despite her claim that she is not involved. At Novak’s prodding, Angela tells a story going back ten years, explaining how she met and fell in love with her high school friend HP. However, as her past unfolds, she reveals a disconcerting love triangle and a dark, tangled web of betrayals. Is Angela a scorned ex-lover with criminal intent? Or a pawn in someone else’s revenge scheme? Who is she protecting? And why? 3 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 125726

Junior Collection

Up the river: explore & discover New Zealand’s rivers, lakes & wetlands by Gillian Candler; illustrated by Ned Barraud. Explore the creeks, rivers, lakes and wetlands of New Zealand and discover the animals and plants that live in freshwater habitats. Learn about the amazing journeys of eel and whitebait, secretive birds, and tiny insects that live underwater. Available as: Braille 139127

Tokelau heroes by David Riley. Inspirational stories of achievers who have Tokelauan ancestry. Available as: Braille 138161, Etext 138160

Steven Adams by David Riley. From Rotorua to the NBA, this is the story of how a troubled young man from small town New Zealand achieved his dream of playing in the best basketball competition in the world. Steven Adams’s story demonstrates how you can achieve the impossible through the power of hope. Available as: Braille 138078

Song of the river by Joy Cowley and Kimberly Andrews. Cameron the mountain boy follows the song of the river from the mountains to the sea, seeing many wonderful sights on the way, and finally making a marvellous discovery. Available as: Braille 138078

Eating by Craig Smith. Animals at a birthday party enjoy many different favourite foods, from pizza with cheese for the mice, to bananas for the monkeys. Available as: Twin vision 137882

The 1000 year old boy by Ross Welford. Alfie Monk is like any other nearly teenage boy—except he is 1,000 years old and can remember the last Viking invasion of England. Obviously, no one believes him. Therefore, when everything Alfie knows and loves is destroyed in a fire, and the modern world comes crashing in, Alfie embarks on a mission to find friendship, acceptance, and a different way to live. Available as: Etext 136949

The colours that blind by Rutendo Tavengerwei. A novel set in Zimbabwe about freedom, inter-generational friendships and forgiving the past. Fifteen-year-old Tumirai desperately wants to make the Zimbabwean national swimming team. Only in swimming does he escape the hatred and exclusion that his albinism brings him. However, when he has to stay with his grandmother for a while, the trauma of the terrible thing that happened to him comes rushing back. Available as: Braille 136184, Ebraille 136183

The sheep on the fourth floor by Leonie Thorpe. Anna is a well-behaved and obedient child who is horrified when she organizes a school trip to her mother’s laboratory and discovers they experiment on live animals. Available as: Braille 137594

Moon cow—Te kau me te Marama nā Kyle Mewburn i tuhi; nā Deidre Copeland ngā pikitia i ta; nā Ngaere Roberts nga kōrero i whakamāori. When Milly the cow looks up at the moon, she knows it must be lonely, so she decides to keep it company. The other cows think she is crazy, but Milly continues trying to win the moon’s friendship. However, this is harder than Milly thinks. Story in Maori and English. Available as: Twin vision 138382

Eliza and the white camellia: a story of suffrage in New Zealand by Debbie McCauley. An account of the life of Eliza a suffragist who actively sought the vote for women, which was granted after a “monster petition” was presented to Parliament in 1893. This bilingual children’s picture book is a Suffrage 125 project and spans Eliza’s life, concluding the month following the start of World War I. The book is illustrated with a mix of original artwork, photographs and ephemera, and includes Fact Boxes, New Zealand Timeline, World Suffrage Timeline, Suffrage Activities, Suffrage Quiz, Glossary and an Index. Available as: Braille 129504, Ebraille 129503

Nowhere boy by Katherine Marsh. Fourteen-year-old Ahmed, a Syrian refugee, and thirteen-year-old Max, an American boy, are bound by a secret that sets them on the adventure of a lifetime. Available as: Braille 138715, Etext 138714

Confessions of a dork lord by Mike Johnston. Meet Wick. He is the son of the Dark Lord, heir to the throne of black and broken glass, and next in line to be the leader of the Grim World. Available as: Braille 136940, Etext 136939

Frog whistle mine by Des Hunt. A twelve-year-old boy has travelled around New Zealand with his mother, and wants somewhere to belong. In Charleston, a gold-mining ghost town, he is almost afraid to hope this might finally be the place. However, things are not as they seem, and he finds himself caught up in mysterious events. Read by Xavier Christensen in 4 hours, 39 minutes. Available as: Daisy 137783

Young Adult Collection

Assault by Brian Falkner. It is 2030, and the world is at war with an alien race. The Bzadians. The battleground: Earth. Recon Team Angel, made up of teenagers from around the world, has been training for years. They have learned Bzadian languages. Learned how to operate their weapons. How to work, eat, and think like them. Now it is time to act. Has sequel: Task Force: 134948 (Braille), 134947 (Ebraille). Available as: Braille 134592

Task force by Brian Falkner. The Angel team are back behind enemy lines, as part of Operation Magnum. The fate of the human race hangs in the balance. But as the ill-fated mission runs into trouble, Lt Ryan Chisnall is forced to make an awful decision that could have dire consequences for the entire human race. Sequel to: Assault: 134952 (Braille), 134951 (Ebraille). Has sequel: Ice war: not yet in collection. Available as: Braille 134948, Ebraille 134947

The thousandth floor by Katherine McGee. Welcome to New York City, 2118. A metropolis of innovation and dreams, where everyone wants something … and everyone has something to lose. The upper floors of a glittering thousand-storey super-tower are home to the rich, beautiful and ruthless. Has sequel: The dazzling heights: 138740 (Braille), 138739 (Etext). Available as: Braille 138736, Etext 138735

Five feet apart by Rachael Lippincott; with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions. The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals. Available as: Braille 136946

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 Low Vision NZ 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)

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 2021