Sound and Touch March 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 March 2021 issue of Sound and Touch

In this issue:

Content added to our collection

CD retirement update

Alexa update

Alexa development update

BookDrive update

Contact us with device issues

DAISY Direct service retiring

Community Information – audio described national arts events

Amy presents her research about our archives at LIANZA

Many thanks to our generous sponsorss

Content added to our collection

Yesterday I emailed Joe Gilfillan from the studios team for an update on studios for Sound and Touch. I decided to pass on Joe’s reply in his words:

“It’s Feb 24 today. Since Feb 24 last year, 2020, Studios have delivered 1,666 titles to the Library. The bulk of these have been titles Josh has imported from our international partners.

But for books and magazines in our own studios (Booth Magazines and Books, and Simon’s Studio), the numbers are still great and contribute to the several hundred thousand hours of reading material from which our Members can choose.

In the last 12 months, we’ve completed 299 magazines and 224 books.”

Our dedicated, professional studios team of staff and narrators continuously impresses me. If anyone has any books they want to add to our collection please contact or ring 0800 24 33 33.

CD retirement update

If you are a CD user and you are not already aware, we are retiring CDs from 30 June 2021. We have previously announced this information on the CDs you are currently receiving. However we have still got over two thousand CD users who have not got in touch with us to change over to another of our library services. This means that we are now ringing CD users around the country to let them know by phone about this change and the alternative library delivery options available to them. If you are currently using CDs and would like to continue to receive library content, please contact us on or 0800 24 33 33.

Alexa update

Alexa is an up-to-date and ongoing solution to getting information and resources such as books and a multitude of other audio items out to you. With CDs becoming outdated technology, it is all the more important to do so before we are faced with a position of not being able to source any more CDs.

Uptake of our Alexas is growing very steadily. Prior to last June when we received the 3,500 Alexas from MSD, we had sent out 1,941 Alexas over 18 months. During the six-month period of July to December 2020 we have sent a further 1,884 devices to clients. We have had 1,370 of these clients take up our library skill, now totalling 3,311 library users. Previously we only had around 4000 library members in total across all devices, so through development of our Alexa skill we have significantly increased the reach and use of our library.

Our partnership with Noel Leeming, who are undertaking Alexa installations for us, is ongoing. Noel Leeming can also provide basic Alexa training for you. I would like to thank our fundraisers who have worked hard developing this partnership, as this enables us to have Alexa support available for Alexa setup around the country.

The transition for many clients to Alexa has been a positive one. I am collating feedback I have received and am overwhelmed by how many people have contacted me to say they love using the Alexa for both our library skill and its numerous other uses. For some clients who do not have Wi-Fi or it is just not the right option, we have BookDrive available.

We have been approached by our counterparts overseas seeking out our advice and experience so we are seen internationally as something of a leader in the modernisation space.

Alexa development update

As well as transitioning clients onto Alexa we have also been working hard at adding additional features in development for the Alexa. Since the last Sound and Touch we have added into the BLVNZ skill:

  • Access to additional information, training and announcements. We are now adding these features to the beginning of the BLVNZ skill. For example when newspapers were added there was an announcement to clients listening to tell them that newspapers were now available through the skill.

  • Developed a “Book Rating” system. When reading a book you may be asked if you wish to recommend this book to other readers. If you choose yes, then this book will be added to a list of books recommended to other readers. You can also search other recommended books by saying “Recommend something” from the main menu or audio book menu. The information collected is confidential and only used to help other readers find entertaining books and to improve the library collection.

  • We have improved the Magazines functionality in Alexa by providing the issue dates and addition of back catalogue of the previous four copies of each magazine for clients to access.

We appreciate any feedback you would like to give us on all features and changes. Please contact us at or 0800 24 33 33.

BookDrive update

As you are aware for library clients who are unable to or do not want to use Alexa or one of our online services, we have an alternative library delivery service available, BookDrive. Rather than mailing CDs with a few books on each disc, we are delivering 50 books copied to your BookDrive. These are selected automatically according to the subject interest profile set up for you, just like the former CD allocation service.

The USB connector on the BookDrive fits into the USB port on a DAISY player, so once inserted, you use the same buttons on the DAISY player to navigate and read the books and magazines as you would have with CDs.

BookDrive uses the same cardboard mailer envelopes as the CD service for return of books. These are postage paid and pre-printed with our return address, so when you are ready to return yourBookDrive, please place it inside the mailer and send it back by standard post.

BookDrives will be delivered once each month at most, to minimise postage and wait times. In order to avoid gaps between book deliveries, we recommend you contact us before you finish reading the books on you current drive.

Contact us with device issues

We are fully aware that our library delivery devices from time-to-time have issues. Please contact us at or 0800 24 33 33 with any feedback of issues you are aware of or experiencing, and we will try to resolve them. Some known issues with Alexa and ways to resolve them are:

  • What do I do when my book jumps back while I am listening?

This is a reference point issue, where streaming drops out, the book loses its place, and jumps back to its last reference point. Until this is fixed, you need to create more reference points. To do this every so often say “Alexa Pause” and then “Alexa Continue”. To find your way forward to your place in your book you can go forward by either a time interval or section. To go forward in time say “Alexa Ask Blind Foundation to go forward [time interval]” by section say “Alexa, forward”.

  • What do I do when Alexa says “I will leave you with this book” and nothing happens?

This is an issue where the Alexa thinks it is reading the book but you cannot hear anything. You need to find a different point in the book to start listening again. When Alexa says “I will leave you with your book” and nothing happens say “Alexa, back”, and it will start reading again. To find your way forward to your place in your book you can go forward by either a time interval or section. To go forward in time say “Alexa Ask Blind Foundation to go forward [time interval]” by section say “Alexa, forward”.

Daisy Direct service retiring

We are retiring the Daisy Direct service by 28 February 2021.

There are two reasons for this. While we recognise that Daisy Direct is popular with some members, the service is not widely used and therefore no longer viable for us to continue to support. In addition, now with the Alexa and BookDrive available, we are confident that one of these will work for DAISY Direct members.

We know there will be a period of adjustment as people adapt to the way talking books will be delivered but we are here to support you. If you have any questions get in touch with our library team by calling 0800 24 33 33 or emailing

Community Information—audio described national arts events

This is a must read for people who enjoy performing arts including ballet, opera, theatre and other events.

Blind Citizens NZ (BCNZ) Auckland branch—2021 audio described events, by Mary Schnackenberg. Listing of audio-described arts events around the country over the coming year. It’s read by Joe Gilfillan, 43 minutes, 19 seconds. BN 136829

Amy presents her research about our archives at LIANZA—written by Amy

In September last year, I received an email from one of my lecturers at Open Polytechnic about attending the 2021 LIANZA Tertiary and Research Symposium and presenting research I’d gathered during my practicum placement, which was completed with the BLV library team. Pleasingly, my abstract was accepted, and in early February, I found myself on a plane bound for Wellington.

I was not presenting until the second day of the symposium, so I was able to sit in on the other presentations. During my time slot, I explained the work I had done with gathering information from the correspondence archives. I also had time to mention the benefits of Revisionary to keep the archives alive and accessible. Seeing everyone else’s power point presentations, I was slightly concerned mine was a little on the plain side. However, I had wanted the focus to be on the results of the completed project, and not hide it behind colour and images. Overall, it was well received.

Many thanks to our generous sponsors

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

We would like to thank the following funders for supporting the Alexa roll-out:

Kelliher Charitable Trust

Lion Foundation

Internet NZ


Trust House Foundation

Lottery Grants

In addition, we would like to thank the following funders for the addition of talking books for our adult Library:

Redwood Trust

Timaru District Council

Oxford Sports Trust

Dunedin Casino Charitable Trust

West Coast Community Trust

Also we would like to thank the following funders for the addition of talking books for our Youth Library:

N H Taylor Charitable Trust

We would also like to thank:

June Grey Charitable Trust for providing funding for shelves for the youth library

Ray Watts Charitable Trust for providing funding that supports the production of talking books in our studios.

New DAISY audio

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


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: Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind

Ulv: Ulverscroft

VAILS: Vision Australia Information and Library Service

Adult non-fiction

Authors (Biography)

The tattooed girl: the enigma of Stieg Larsson and the secrets behind the most compelling thrillers of our time, by Daniel Burstein. The stories behind the Steig Larsson books “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played with Fire”, and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”. Enter the unique world of Lisbeth Salander, Mikael Blomkvist, and of Larsson himself, discovering the experiences and incidents involving Swedish politics, violence against women, and neo-Nazis that are at the heart of these works. A look into the author’s life, and his ideas for future books—including the mysterious “fourth book” in the series, which Larsson had started but not finished at the time of his death. Includes strong language and violence. Read by Phiroze Dotiwalla and Susanne Tabur in 17 hours, 48 minutes. CNIB. BN 132997

One hundred names for love: a stroke, a marriage, and the language of healing, by Diane Ackerman. Poet and author Ackerman recounts becoming the caretaker of her husband, novelist and critic Paul West, after he suffered a stroke in 2005 that left him with impaired vision, a frozen right hand, and aphasia. Describes the unconventional approach she tried when traditional therapies did not work. Read by Faith Potts in 12 hours, 19 minutes. NLS. BN 133784

Actors and Entertainers (Biography)

The contender: the story of Marlon Brando, by William J. Mann. Among the most influential movie actors of his era, Marlon Brando changed the way other actors perceived their craft. Based on new and revelatory material, William J. Mann explores the star and the man in full, including the childhood traumas that reverberated through his professional and personal life. Read by Will Damron in 22 hours, 58 minutes. BA. BN 136267

Biculturalism in New Zealand

This pākehā life: an unsettled memoir, by Alison Jones. An autobiographical account for Pakeha 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 Pakeha means to the author. Read by Madeleine Lynch in 8 hours, 1 minute. RNZFB. BN 136386

Community Information

Blind Citizens NZ (BCNZ) Auckland branch—2021 audio described events, by Mary Schnackenberg. Listing of audio described arts events around the country over the coming year. It’s a must read for people who enjoy performing arts including ballet, opera, theatre and other events. Read by Joe Gilfillan, 43 minutes, 19 seconds. BN 136829

General (Biography)

Filthy rich; a powerful billionaire, the sex scandal that undid him, and all the justice that money can buy: the shocking true story of Jeffrey Epstein, by James Patterson & John Connolly; with Tim Malloy. Jeffrey Epstein rose from humble origins to the rarefied heights of New York City’s financial elite. However, even after he had it all, Epstein wanted more. This book examines all sides of a case that scandalized one of America’s richest communities. Read by Jason Culp in 7 hours, 26 minutes. BA. BN 136255

Food and Beverages

Supergood, by Chelsea Winter. This book is full of hearty, tasty, family-friendly, and easy plant-based recipes for every occasion. From beautiful brunches to quick mid-week dinners to delectable desserts to versatile sides, sauces, smoothies and snacks. This book has something everyone will love. Vegetarian, egg-free and dairy-free recipes, with loads of gluten-free options and top tips. Read by Christina Cie in 8 hours, 12 minutes. RNZFB. BN 136390

Raw + free: plant-based living for health + happiness, by Sophie Steevens. Packed with over 100 delicious, vibrant plant-based, gluten-free and refined-sugar-free recipes that the author has devised. There are easy, family-friendly wholefood recipes for all meals plus great information to help you get started, with material such as kitchen essentials, ingredient staples and many easy-to-follow tips for a wholesome, plant-based lifestyle. Read by Karen McLeod in 7 hours, 16 minutes. RNZFB. BN 136389

Health and Wellbeing

Dawn light: dancing with cranes and other ways to start the day, by Diane Ackerman. Naturalist explores perceptions of dawn through musings, stories, and observations in nature. Offers descriptive essays on the early morning light that emulate a bird’s migration path from Ithaca, New York, to Palm Beach, Florida, during the four seasons. Read by Gabriella Cavallero in 7 hours, 34 minutes. NLS. BN 133795

Everyday yoga classes for beginners: guided yoga, by Sue Fuller. This book includes, Beginners Daily Yoga, Beginners AM-PM Yoga, and Easy Yoga for Stress. Read by Sue Fuller in 2 hours, 54 minutes. BA. BN 136253

Gentle yoga for the absolute beginner, by Sue Fuller. Floor-based yoga classes for those new to yoga or people who have had a long break from exercising. These classes are easy to follow and allow you to experience the many benefits of yoga without applying unnecessary stress on the body. Read by Sue Fuller in 2 hours, 59 minutes. BA. BN 136258

Māori Spirituality

Aroha: Māori wisdom for a contented life lived in harmony with our planet, by Dr Hinemoa Elder. The author, a Māori psychiatrist, shares the power of aroha (love) and explores how it can help us all every day, through 52 whakatauki—traditional Māori sayings, proverbs, and life lessons. Read by Romy Hooper in 3 hours, 12 minutes. RNZFB. BN 136387

Nature and Animals

Southern nights: the story of New Zealand’s night sky from the southern lights to the Milky Way, by Naomi Arnold. From eclipses to aurorae, comets to constellations, this is the story of the night sky above Aotearoa New Zealand. It explains Polynesian celestial navigation, which brought the first people here, and Maori astronomy or tataiarorangi, which helped people live here once they arrived. It highlights the “family of light”, the major stars and objects of the southern skies and their associated meanings, history and cultural importance. It also delves into modern astronomy, some of New Zealand’s amateur and professional scientific astronomers and their research, and looks at our observatories and the increasing popularity of dark sky tourism. Read by Paul Barrett in 9 hours, 3 minutes. RNZFB. BN 136200

New Zealand (Biography)

One minute crying time, by Barbara Ewing. A vivid memoir of and by the well-known New Zealand actor and novelist. Evocative, candid, brave, bright and darting, this entrancing book takes us to a long-ago New Zealand and to enduring truths about love. Read by Christina Cie in 10 hours, 45 minutes. RNZFB. BN 136388

Through the eyes of a foster child: my childhood in over 30 New Zealand homes, Daryl Brougham. Between 1990 and 1997, Daryl Brougham attended 27 schools, went through over 30 social workers and lived in more than 30 different foster homes. During his 18 years as a state ward, he suffered repeated sexual, physical, emotional and psychological abuse. This book tells us the story of how, rising above all the abuse, Daryl proved himself a survivor. Read by Bruce Hopkins in 5 hours, 51 minutes. RNZFB. BN 136199

NZ and Pacific Non-Fiction

Balance + food, health + happiness, by Rachel Grunwell. A guide on balance and wellness for those who wish to be healthier and happier. The author interviews 30 experts across the world to get tips on how to uplift your mind, body and soul so that you can live your best life. Along the way, she shares her journey from being an unfit, stressed-out investigative journalist and mother, to a multi-marathoner, wellness expert, and fitness and lifestyle coach. The book includes 30 recipes for nutrient-dense, delicious snacks, smoothies and some sweet treats. Read by Karen McLeod in 8 hours, 4 minutes. RNZFB. BN 129303

Politics (Biography)

Too much and never enough: how my family created the world’s most dangerous man, by Mary L. Trump. An insider’s perspective on one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families, the Trumps. The author, Donald Trump’s niece and a trained clinical psychologist, describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who formerly occupied the Oval Office. Read by Cheryl Lawton in 7 hours, 22 minutes. RNZFB. BN 135886

To plea or not to plea: the story of Rick Gates and the Mueller investigation, by Daphne Barak. Daphne Barak tells the story of Rick Gates’ very positive experience as deputy campaign manager for the Trump campaign and deputy Chairman of the Donald Trump inaugural Committee, followed by the ordeal that Gates has been put through by the Mueller investigation, and why he felt he had to plead guilty to protect himself and his family. Read by Ford Enlow in 6 hours, 13 minutes. BA. BN 136277

Social Sciences

The highly sensitive child: helping our children thrive when the world overwhelms them, by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. The Highly Sensitive children are often labelled shy, introverted, fussy or faddy. This practical book provides parents with insights and information so they can understand High Sensitivity, and help their highly sensitive child thrive in the world and avoid the common traps of shyness and withdrawal. Contains questionnaire for parents to find out if their child has the traits common in highly sensitive children. Discusses HSC’s at different ages—infant, toddler, school-age and adolescent. Read by Madeleine Lynch in 13 hours, 25 minutes. RNZFB. BN 131080


Close to the wind: a story of escape and survival out of the ashes of Singapore 1942, David B. Hill. In May 1940, a group of Auckland yachtsmen who were members of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve left for the war, to arrive in Singapore under siege. They manned fast motor launches to raid and rescue Allies from behind enemy lines. This book is an account of one such rescue operation on the night of 13 February 1942, the eve of the fall of Singapore, and its aftermath. Hunted down by the Japanese, most of the almost one hundred men perished. Some became POWs, and only three succeeded in escaping: Leonard Hill, Herbert “Johnny” Bull and Andrew Brough. Read by John Leigh in 10 hours, 39 minutes. RNZFB.BN 133449

War Memories

The survivors: a story of war, inheritance, and healing, by Adam P. Frankel. Adam Frankel’s maternal grandparents survived the Holocaust and built new lives, with new names, in Connecticut. Though they tried to leave the horrors of their past behind, the pain they suffered crossed generational lines, a fact most apparent in the mental health of Adam’s mother. When Adam sat down with her to examine their family history in detail, he learned another shocking secret, this time one that unravelled Adam’s entire understanding of who he is. Read by Adam P. Frankel and Rob Shapiro in 8 hours, 41 minutes. BA. BN 136275

Adult Fiction

Adventure Stories

Walk the wire, by David Baldacci. Amos Decker and Alex Jamison investigate the death of a woman whose body was expertly autopsied and then dumped in the open. This is only the beginning of the oddities surrounding the case. Memory Man series, book 6. Read by Kyf Brewer & Orlagh Cassidy in 12 hours, 5 minutes. BA. BN 136279

Crime Fiction

In a house of lies, by Ian Rankin. Rebus’ retirement is disrupted once again when skeletal remains are identified as a private investigator who went missing over a decade earlier. Rebus series, book 22. Read by James MacPherson in 11 hours, 44 minutes. BA. BN 136262

To dwell in darkness, by Deborah Crombie. Recently transferred to Camden from Scotland Yard headquarters, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his new team are called to a bombing at historic St. Pancras Station. As Kincaid gathers facts, every piece of the puzzle yields an unexpected pattern. Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series, book 16. Performed by Gerard Doyle in 10 hours, 46 minutes. BA BN 136276

Two kinds of truth, by Michael Connelly. As two unrelated cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire, Harry Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness. Harry Bosch series, book 22. Read by Titus Welliver in 9 hours, 56 minutes. BA. BN 136278

The silent wife, by Karin Slaughter. GBI investigator Will Trent needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. However, when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake. Read by Kathleen Early in 18 hours, 40 minutes. BA. BN 136273

Erotic Literature

Never say never: a Sniper 1 Security novel, by Nicole Edwards. Ryan Trexler has devoted his entire life to his family’s security business. Now that he is slated to take over the reins of the company, RT knows his life is only going to get more complicated. It does not help that he is lusting over one of the men who works for him. Sniper 1 Security series, book 2. Read by Steve Rogers, Jay Crow, and Julian Durant in 9 hours, 47 minutes. BA. BN 136263


Midnight riot, by Ben Aaronovitch. After interviewing an unlikely witness a ghost at a crime scene, probationary constable Peter Grant is reassigned to Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale. Nightingale, who is unpopular within London’s Metropolitan Police because he deals with the supernatural and practices magic, takes Grant on as his apprentice. Violence and strong language. Read by Erik Sandvold in 12 hours, 44 minutes. NLS. BN 133746

The monkey wrench gang, by Edward Abbey. Vietnam veteran George Hayduke returns from war to find his beloved south western desert threatened by industrial development. George and an unlikely band of activists—libertarian Doc Sarvis, Bronx native Bonnie Abbzug, and outcast Mormon Seldom Seen Smith—declare war on strip miners, clear-cutters, and highway, dam, and bridge builders. Strong language. Read by Fred Major in 15 hours, 59 minutes. NLS. BN 133791

Gay & Lesbian Fiction

Girl, woman, other, by Bernardine Evaristo. The novel’s twelve central characters lead vastly different lives. Amma is an acclaimed playwright whose work explores her Black lesbian identity; her friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London’s underfunded schools; Carole, one of Shirley’s former students, is a successful investment banker; Carole’s mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter’s lack of rootedness. These unforgettable characters, from a nonbinary social-media influencer to a ninety-three-year-old woman living on a farm, intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class. Read by Anna-Maria Nabirye in 11 hours, 30 minutes. BA. BN136259

General Fiction

Heartland, by Jenny Pattrick. Donny Mac, a loveable simpleton put in prison on trumped-up charges, is released at Eastertime about a month before Pansy Holloway, also known as Nightshade, disappeared for good. When an accident threatens to put Donny back into prison, he and a friend come up with a solution. However, can the secret remain hidden? Read by Christina Cie in 10 hours, 12 minutes. RNZFB. BN 136544

Hitting a straight lick with a crooked stick: stories from the Harlem Renaissance, by Zora Neale Hurston; foreword by Tayari Jones; edited with an introduction by Genevieve West. A collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture. Brought together for the first time in one volume, they include eight of Hurston’s “lost” Harlem stories, which were found in forgotten periodicals and archives. Performed by Aunjanue Ellis in 9 hours, 9 minutes. BA. BN 136261

Historical Novels

The storm sister: Ally’s story, by Lucinda Riley. Gathered at their childhood home to mourn their father’s death, Ally D’Aplièse and her five adoptive sisters receive tantalizing clues to their distinct heritages. Ally soon finds herself in Norway where she begins to make sense of her elusive past. Seven sisters series, book 2. Sequel to, The seven sisters 131513. Has sequel, The shadow sister, Not in collection yet. Read by Christine Hewton in 21 hours, 3 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132599

The pagan lord, by Bernard Cornwell. A dramatic story of divided loyalties, bloody battles, and the struggle to unite Britain. At the onset of the tenth century, England is in turmoil. Alfred the Great is dead and Edward his son reigns as king. The Danes in the north, led by Viking Cnut Longsword, stand ready to invade and will never rest until the emerald crown is theirs. Uhtred, once Alfred’s great warrior but now out of favour with the new king, must lead a band of outcasts north to recapture his old family home, that great Northumbrian fortress, Bebbanburg. Last kingdom series, book 7. Sequel to: Death of Kings136837. Read by Gary Denvir in 10 hours, 3 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133432


A man you can bank on, by Derek Hansen. A small, drought-ravaged country town turns to a former bank manager they trust when they uncover three million dollars stolen from bookies by bandits and buried in the middle of nowhere. This man uses the money and his entrepreneurial skills to rescue the town and set it on a sound economic footing. What will happen though, when the criminals, the cops and many others want the money back? Read by Kevin Keys in 11 hours, 19 minutes. RNZFB. BN 132508

Light Romance

Diamond fire; a hidden legacy novella, by Ilona Andrews. To save her sister’s wedding, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. However, she is a Baylor, and there is nothing she would not do for her sister’s happiness. Hidden Legacy series, book 3.5. Performed by Renée Raudman and Emily Rankin in 4 hours, 9 minutes. BA BN 136252

Sapphire flames, by Ilona Andrews. In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery. To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her house, and her heart. Hidden Legacy series, book 4. Performed by Emily Rankin in 12 hours, 36 minutes. BA. BN 136264


Writers & lovers: a novel, by Lily King. Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the summer of 1997 without a plan. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, mouldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of, the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Read by Stacey Glemboski in 8 hours, 17 minutes. BA. BN 136280

Science Fiction

Frankissstein: a love story, Jeanette Winterson. What will happen, when Homo sapiens is no longer the smartest being on the planet? Jeanette Winterson presents a love story that weaves together disparate lives into an exploration of transhumanism, artificial intelligence, and queer love. Read by John Sackville and Perdita Weeks in 7 hours, 15 minutes. BA. BN 136257

Mystery and detective stories

Season of darkness: a mystery, by Maureen Jennings. First novel in a new trilogy of mysteries set in World War II England. Late summer, 1940. England is at war, still reeling from the disastrous defeat at Dunkirk. Nevertheless, other things—including murders—go on and law must prevail. Inspector Tom Tyler of the Shropshire Constabulary is on the hunt for a vicious killer. Read by Wendy Karstens in 12 hours, 49 minutes. D.I. Tom Tyler mystery series; book 1. RNZFB. BN 134935

Gone to dust, by Matt Goldman. PI Nils Shapiro lands an impossible case: a dead body found covered with dust from hundreds of vacuum cleaner bags, obscuring all potential DNA evidence. It is the ultimate cover-up. How do you solve a murder with no useable evidence? Nils Shapiro series, book 1. Read by MacLeod Andrews in 7 hours, 36 minutes. BA. BN 136260

The midwife murders, by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo. When two kidnappings and a vicious stabbing happen in a university hospital, something has to be done, and Senior Midwife Lucy Ryuan is fearless enough to try. Read by Sophie Amoss in 8 hours, 14 minutes. BA. BN 136270

Liar, by Lesley Pearse. Amelia White only dreamed of being a reporter until the fateful day she stumbles on a truly shocking scoop. A murder victim is found round the corner from her home. She convinces her local paper to let her take up the story but then another body is found. Her investigation may be the only chance of uncovering the truth, and stopping more killings, if only she can work out who the liar is. Read by Janice Finn in 4 hours, 41 minutes. RNZFB. BN 135734

Short Stories and Essays

Dangerous women, edited by Otto Penzler. Evil women ranging from a sniper to a devious housewife populate the seventeen tales in this anthology. Authors include Jeffery Deaver, Nelson DeMille, Elmore Leonard, Laura Lippman, Ed McBain, Jay McInerney, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, and Anne Perry. Violence, strong language, and descriptions of sex. Read by Joe Wilson in 11 hours, 57 minutes. NLS. BN 133902

Collected stories, by Saul Bellow; preface by Janis Bellow; introduction by James Wood. A collection of the author’s favourite stories. Read by Malcolm Hillgartner, Richard Poe, Kate Reading, Dawn Harvey, Robert Fass, Grover Gardner, Arthur Morey, Suzanne Toren, Donald Corren, Elisabeth Rodgers, Sean Runnette, and Joe Barrett in 26 hours, 20 minutes. BA. BN 136250

Spy Stories

Dirty little secret, by Jon Stock. The special relationship between London and Washington is ruined. Salim Dhar, the world’s most wanted terrorist, has disappeared after an audacious attack on an American target in the UK. The CIA believes Daniel Marchant, renegade MI6 officer, was involved. However, Marchant has a bigger secret. Read by John Leigh in 11 hours, 31 minutes. Daniel Marchant series; book 3. RNZFB. BN 133202

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

The new wilderness: a novel, by Diane Cook. Bea, her five-year-old daughter Agnes, and eighteen others volunteer to leave the over-populated metropolis where most of the population resides to live in the Wilderness State, the last swath of wild land left. As the group slowly learns to survive in this dangerous land, its member’s battle for power and control, and betray and save each other. Can they be part of the wilderness and not destroy it? Performed by Stacey Glemboski in 12 hours, 50 minutes. BA. BN 136271


The girl in the mirror, by Rose Carlyle. Twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. However, when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. Iris allows herself to be swept up by Summer’s husband Adam, who assumes that she is Summer. Not only does Iris finally have the golden life she’s always envied, with her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the hundred-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir. Performed by Holly Robinson in 9 hours, 31 minutes. BA. BN 136269

Fair warning by Michael Connelly. Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy makes a shocking discovery that connects a crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. However, his inquiry hits a snag when he himself becomes a suspect. Jack McEvoy series, book 3. Read by Peter Giles and Zach Villa in 9 hours, 57 minutes. BA. BN 136254

The chef, by James Patterson with Max DiLallo. In the days leading up to Mardi Gras, Detective Caleb Rooney comes under investigation for murder. Has his side-line at the Killer Chef food truck given him a taste for murder? Read by Micheal Ziants in 9 hours, 57 minutes. BA. BN 136266

The secrets of strangers, by Charity Norman. Five strangers in a London café, their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage. However, there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and the captives grapple with their own inner demons. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives? Read by Catriona MacLeod in 10 hours, 44 minutes. RNZFB. BN 133438


The survival of Margaret Thomas, by Del Howison. Missouri, 1870’s. Margaret “Peggy” Thomas and her husband, James, lead a simple and peaceful life. However, one day, she watches helplessly as James is gunned down on the sidewalk. Will she seek justice or revenge? Read by Carol Monda in 10 hours, 14 minutes. BA. BN 136274

Junior Collection

Anne Boleyn and me by Alison Prince. 1525. Henry VIII’s reign. Allegiances are divided. Henry wants to divorce his devoted wife Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. Available as: Braille 131325, Etext 131327

Artemis Fowl: the last guardian by Eoin Colfer. Opal Koboi, power crazed pixie is plotting to exterminate mankind and become fairy queen. If she succeeds, the spirits of long-dead fairy warriors will rise from the earth, inhabit the nearest available bodies and wreak mass destruction. Teenaged criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl must stop Opal and save mankind. Sequel to: Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex: 130824. Available as: Daisy 134880

Bear feels kind: illustrated by Garry Fleming. What makes Bear kind? Learn about childhood emotions and behaviours. Available as: Twin Vision131622

Deadly feathers by Des Hunt. A young city boy moves to Stewart Island with his parent and becomes friends with a girl who lives next door and is passionate about the island’s special wildlife. One day he sees a spectacular South American macaw, a bird that should never be in the New Zealand forest. Soon afterwards, he starts seeing sick and dying native parrots. As increasingly more birds die, the two friends must battle against both time and weather to capture the macaw. Available as:Braille 135508

Diamond by Jacqueline Wilson; illustrated by Nick Sharratt. Tanglefield’s travelling circus is proud to present, the incredible, the extraordinary, the magical, Diamond the acrobatic child wonder. Pull back the curtain, enter the big top and discover her amazing story of heartbreak, danger, courage and friendship. Sequel to: Emerald star: 133517. Has sequel: Little stars: Daisy 96146. Available as: Braille 133418, Etext 133416

The unforgettable what’s his name by Paul Jennings; illustrated by Craig Smith. A hilarious story of a boy with an unusual problem; a boy who just wants to blend in. One weekend, he got what he wanted. First, he blended in with things. But on the second day he changed … really changed! Available as: Braille 133331, Etext 133329

The very annoying ghost by Kyle Mewburn; illustrations by Errol McLeary. A family moves into a mansion in a trendy suburb. A resident ghost that wants them out. Available as: Braille 133513, Etext 133512

A world without princes by Soman Chainani; illustrations by Iacopo Bruno. When best friends Sophie and Agatha return to a fairy tale world, they find that old enemies are no longer fighting, but a war begins to brew as an enemy arises from within. Sequel to: The school for good and evil: 126972. Has sequel: The last ever after: 131600. Available as: Braille 131596, Etext 131598

You’re all my favourites by Sam McBratney. Once upon a time there was a Mummy Bear and a Daddy Bear who told their three baby bears that they were the most wonderful baby bears in the whole wide world. However, one day the three baby bears started to wonder which of them their mummy and daddy liked best. They could not all be their favourites … could they? Available as: Daisy 88282

Scorch dragons by Amie Kaufman. After the fateful battle between the ice wolves and scorch dragons, Anders and his twin sister, Rayna, are reunited. However, the dragons are in danger as the wolves have stolen a weather-altering artifact called the Snow stone. They must go on a dangerous quest to find the scattered pieces of the Sun Scepter, the only artifact that can counteract the Snow stone. Sequel to: Ice wolves: 136379. Available as: Braille 136633

Smoking, drugs and alcohol by Anna Claybourne. This book delves into the world of drugs and how these relate to our health. It explores medical, recreational and illegal drugs and includes topics such as smoking, addiction, legal highs and problems with drugs. It is illustrated with bright, graphic illustrations. It is part of the series Healthy for Life, which gives factual information on a range of health issues so teens can get the information they need to be healthy. Available as: Braille 136549

Young Adult Collection

Assault 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. However, as the ill-fated mission runs into trouble, Lt Ryan Chisnallis forced to make an awful decision that could have dire consequences for the entire human race. Has sequel: Task force: 134946. Available as: Daisy 134950

The confidence code for girls: taking risks, messing up, & becoming your amazingly imperfect, totally powerful self by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman with JillEllyn Riley. An empowering and entertaining guide aimed at giving girls the essential yet elusive code to becoming bold, brave, and fearless while teaching them to embrace risk, deal with failure, and be their most authentic selves. It is a paradox that girls are achieving like never before and yet are consumed with self-doubt and worries about their looks, grades, extra-curricular activities, what people think, and how many likes and followers they have online. This book is packed with graphic novel strips; appealing illustrations; fun lists, quizzes, and challenges; and true stories from tons of real girls for girls between tweens and teens. Available as: Braille 126893

Crossfire by Malorie Blackman. Thirty-four years have passed since Sephy and Callum met. Their love was forbidden, powerful—and deadly. Life is seemingly very different now but old wounds from the past are hard to heal. In addition, when you are playing a dangerous game, it is often not long before someone is caught in the crossfire. Sequel to: Nought forever: 128784. Available as: Braille 132614, Etext 132612

Dark souls: a novel by Paula Morris. A sixteen-year-old girl arrives in York, England, with her family, trying to recover from the terrible accident that killed her best friend. While in the haunted city, she meets two boys—one also suffering from a great loss and the other a ghost—fighting for her attentions. Available as: Daisy 131718

Unforgiven by Lauren Kate. Cam knows what it is like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. In addition, his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he cannot stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes. Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. However, if he fails, he will be in a special place in Hell that is just for him. Sequel to: Rapture: 133318. Available as: Braille 133314, Etext 133312

Ursa by Tina Shaw. There are two peoples living in the city of Ursa: the Cerels and the Travesters. Travesters move freely and enjoy a fine quality of life. Cerel men are kept in wild camps and the women are no longer allowed to have children. The Director presides over all with an iron fist. But now the world is changing. Revolution is coming. People will die. Winner of the Storylines Tessa Duder Award. 2018. Available as: Daisy 132634, Etext 132635

Valiant: a modern tale of faerie by Holly Black. Seventeen-year-old Val runs away to New York City where she falls in with a gang of squatters who live in the city’s subway system and consort with fairies, trolls, and other strange creatures. Has sequel: Ironside: 132603. Available as: Etext 132601

When our Jack went to war by Sandy McKay. The story follows the trials of Jack McAllister’s family as they respond to the devastating events of the First World War. It is 1916 and the Great War has been going on in Europe for nearly three years when Jack McAllister enlists. The reality of war becomes apparent through the letters Jack sends home. Available as: Braille 131304, Etext 131303

Stone cold by Robert Swindells. Forced out of home by a brutish stepfather, Link is down-and-out in London. Link’s friend Ginger, a streetwise drifter, helps him survive. When Ginger disappears, Link meets Gail and they find themselves caught up in a horrific series of events involving a man called Shelter. Carnegie Medal 1993 winner. Available as: Daisy 133369

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 December 2020. Adult braille books have a BN number as they are 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


War and the American presidency, by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. The gravest decision in a democracy is the one to go to war. In a book that brings a command of history to the most urgent of contemporary questions, the author explores the war in Iraq, the presidency, and the future of democracy. Describing unilateralism as “the oldest doctrine in American history,” he nevertheless warns of the dangers posed by the fatal turn in U.S. policy from deterrence and containment to preventive war. 2 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122801

Women (Biography)

Bravo! Miss Brown: a world without sight and sound, by Joan Mactavish. Biography of Mae Brown (1935-1973), who was the first deaf-blind person to graduate from a Canadian university, and was a counsellor at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Her college tutor chronicles Brown’s family, education, social and professional life, and triumphs and disappointments.4 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121415

No place for a lady: tales of adventurous women travellers, by Barbara Hodgson. The adventures of both celebrated and unknown women travellers in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries who suffered from Russian bed bugs, unveiled the secrets of Turkish harems, endured Africa’s scorching heat, destructive thunderstorms, and plagues of scorpion, or traversed raging Tibetan rivers. 3 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122647

Social Sciences

Things no longer there; a memoir of losing sight and finding vision, by Susan Krieger. Krieger, a sociologist and writer who is also losing her vision to a rare eye disease, goes bird watching in New Mexico, learns to use a white cane, revisits an old love, and returns to the summer camp of her youth, while reflecting on the nature of blindness and sight. She explains that while outer landscapes may change, the inner visions persist, giving meaning and jarring the senses with a very different picture from what appears before the eyes. Some descriptions of sex. 3 f, UEB. CNIB Ebraille 122634

Adult fiction


The assassins of Tamurin, by S.D. Tower. Orphan Lale grows up abused, unloved, and resented—until, at age 11, she enters Three Springs, a place where the wards of Mother Midnight are trained to become perfect spies and cold-blooded, ruthlessly efficient killers. At age 20, Lale stands poised to play her role and claim vengeance, but she falls in love with the man she must destroy. 6 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122689

General Fiction

The god of small things, by Arundhati Roy. In Kerala, southern India, in 1969, the lives of Rahel and Esthappen change forever when their English cousin and her mother arrive on a Christmas visit. Winner of the 1997 Booker Prize. 5 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121447

Ascension: a novel, by Steven Galloway. As a child, Salvo Ursari finds himself forced to flee a disastrous scenario in Transylvania. From this point, he travels through Europe and eventually to New York, home of the Fisher-Fielding Circus Company. His life sees the rise and fall of the circus era, and the evolution of his own career.3 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122688

Bleachers, by John Grisham. After fifteen years former high school quarterback Neely Crenshaw returns to his hometown, where he learns that legendary football coach Eddie Rake lies dying. With other Spartans, he reminisces about the “glory days” of their youth while contemplating his own lost potential. 2 f, UEB. CNIB Ebraille 122745

A promise of salt, by Lorie Miseck. On a bitterly cold Edmonton day, Lorie Miseck’s sister disappeared. Struggling for words to use in the face of sudden and complete horror, she tries to document the event, and the lonely and painful aftermath. How do you express the truly unimaginable? UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122638

Historical Novels

Black bird: a novel, by Michel Basilières. Holed up in a shambling house at the base of Mount Royal is the family Desouche: three generations of English- and French-Canadians caught in the gears of a national crisis. When one of the eldest, an Anglo Montrealer, dies at the hand of one of the youngest, a militant separatist, so begins a transformative year of misfortune. 3 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122690

Mystery and Detective Stories

Hour game, by David Baldacci. Former Virginia secret service agents and now private detectives Michelle Maxwell and Sean King from “Split Second” attempt to solve a burglary when they are solicited to investigate another case—a series of murders that strongly resemble other infamous crimes. Some violence and some strong language. 6 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122744

Burn barrel, by Charles Larocca. Harry is a Vietnam War vet and an ex-con. When he finds a dead body in a men’s room at work, he wonders if it really happened, or if his old hallucinations are coming back. Soon, Harry comes face to face with the killer and a choice—betray his country or sacrifice the woman he loves. Some violence. 1 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 121423


Miracle, by Danielle Steel. A fierce storm hits San Francisco on New Year’s Eve, bringing together three people who form a unique friendship. Each gradually reveals their personal problems to the group and finds strength in the growing camaraderie, in the end, love blossoms for all. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. 2 f, UEB. CNIB. Ebraille 122741

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 Youth Library

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 March 2021