Sound and Touch

Sound and Touch December 2023

Library News

Welcome to the final Sound and Touch for 2023. It’s starting to feel like summer, the spring winds are slowly starting to settle down and the temperatures have been climbing steadily higher. As usual we have been busy adding new books for you to enjoy so we’d like to share with you more books we think you might enjoy over the summer months.

Produced in our very own studios we have plenty of current and popular New Zealand titles. These include, Dressed: fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840 to 1910 by Claire Regnault, winner of New Zealand Ockham Book Awards for illustrated non-fiction, 2022, Mrs Jewell and the wreck of the General Grant by Cristina Sanders, short list for fiction at the New Zealand Ockham Book Awards 2023, There’s a cure for this: a memoir by Emma Espiner, Pet by Catherine Chidgey, The deck by Fiona Farrell, The pain tourist by Paul Cleave and A good winter by Gigi Fenster.

We have also obtained two very popular New Zealand titles from a commercial provider WaveSound that include, The dressmaker and the hidden soldier by Doug Gold and Everything is beautiful and everything hurts by Josie Shapiro. You will find more about these books and their book numbers in the following pages.

We will continue to add new books right up to the chrimstas break.  The best way to find these new books on Alexa in the Blind Low Vision Library is by giving the commands…

“Alexa – Blind Low Vision”

“Alexa – New Books”

This will give you a list of the books along with the synopsis, to move to the next title in the list just say “Alexa – Next”.

Just a reminder of all our services we offer from the Blind Low Vision NZ Library. You can access books via an Amazon Alexa, via the EasyReader app on a smart phone or tablet. You can even download audiobooks and Braille files from the library website There are even solutions for people that do not have internet access.

From us here at the library we wish you all the best for the summer, we’ll be busy making sure our services continue through Christmas and the New Year.

Happy holidays everyone!

Book Reviews

The following book review has been written by book producer Simon Lynch, and produced by Blind Low Vision NZ.

Molesworth: Stories From New Zealand’s Largest High-Country Station by Harry Broad

The name Molesworth has huge national recognition, not only because it is NZ’s largest high-country station but also the remarkable story how legendary manager Bill Chisholm rebuilt a ruined landscape and turned it into a flourishing and profitable farm. Brought to life by narrator Madeleine Lynch, Molesworth – Stories from New Zealand’s Largest High-Country Station is a fascinating story that will appeal to a wide range of readers, and the photo captions describe a vast and varied landscape populated with characters found only in New Zealand.  Book number: 141777

Adult Non-Fiction

Authors (Biography)

There’s a cure for this: a memoir by Emma Espiner. From award-winning writer Dr Emma Espiner comes this striking debut memoir. Encompassing whanau, love, death, ’90s action movies and more, Espiner charts her life in a dozen poised, interconnected chapters, from her childhood shuttling between a ‘purple lesbian state house and a series of man-alone rentals’ to navigating parenthood on her own terms; and from the quietly perceived inequities of her early life to hard-won revelations as a Maori medical student and junior doctor during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read by Anne Speir in 5 hours. RNZFB. Book number 141972.

Making it: how love, kindness and community helped me repair my life by Jay Blades. Making It is an inspirational memoir about beating the odds and turning things around even when it all seems hopeless. In this book, Jay Blades shares the details of his life, from his childhood growing up sheltered and innocent on a council estate in Hackney, to his adolescence when he was introduced to violent racism at secondary school, to being brutalized by police as a teen, to finally becoming a beloved star of the hit primetime show The Repair Shop. Read by John Callen in 8 hours, 6 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141915

Crime and the Law

Black hands: inside the Bain family murders by Martin Van Beynen. Journalist Martin van Beynen has covered the Bain story closely for decades. Now, his book brings the story completely up to date: exploring the case from start to finish, picking through evidence old and new, plumbing the mysteries and motives, interviewing never-before-spoken-to witnesses and guiding readers through the complex police investigation and court cases, seeking to finally answer the question: Who was the killer? Read by Bruce Hopkins in 9 hours, 58 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141913

Gay and Lesbian Non Fiction

Downfall: the destruction of Charles Mackay by Paul Diamond. 1920. New Zealanders were shocked by the news that the brilliant, well-connected mayor of genteel Whanganui had shot a young gay poet, D’Arcy Cresswell, who he thought was blackmailing him. They were then riveted by the trial that followed. The outcome of years of digging by historian Paul Diamond, Downfall: The destruction of Charles Mackay shines a clear light on the vengeful impulses behind the blackmail and Mackay’s ruination. New Zealand Ockham Book Awards 2023, short listed for Non-fiction. Read by Anne Speir in 11 hours, 11 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141591

Health and Wellbeing

The better boundaries workbook: a CBT-based program to help you set limits, express your needs, and create healthy relationships by Sharon Martin. This evidence-based workbook will show you how to set healthy boundaries across all aspects of life-without sacrificing your kindness or compassion for others. You’ll learn to define your boundaries and discover why they’re so important for your emotional well-being. You’ll also find a wealth of tips for maintaining boundaries in a “constantly-connected” world, strategies for what to do when people get upset or threatened by your assertiveness, and ways to make sure your needs are met. Read by Christina Cie in 6 hours, 31 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141437

Life after life by Raymond A. Moody. Dr Moody reveals his ground-breaking study of people who experienced ‘clinical death’ – and were revived. Their amazing testimonies and surprising descriptions of ‘death’ and ‘beyond’ are so strikingly similar, so vivid and so overwhelmingly positive they have changed the way we view life and death, and the spiritual hereafter. Introducing the revolutionary concepts of the NDE (Near Death Experience), the bright light and the tunnel, Life After Life and a new Afterword by the author. Read by Wendy Karstens in 5 hours, 31 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141938

Gentle yoga for the absolute beginner by Sue Fuller. If you are new to yoga or have had a long break from exercising, the floor-based yoga classes in Gentle Yoga for the Absolute Beginner are perfect for you. These classes are easy to follow and allow you to experience the many benefits of yoga without applying unnecessary stress on the body. Gentle Yoga consists of two different 30-minute guided yoga sessions. These gentle, easy-to-follow sessions are not physically demanding and have been created to gently mobilize and release tension from the body without placing stress on any joints. Gentle Daily Yoga consists of five different 15-minute yoga sessions designed to be used once per day in rotation. Each class will mobilize the body, release stress and tension, and help to relax and calm the mind. These classes provide the many benefits a regular yoga practice offers without taking up too much time. Gentle Yoga for Mindfulness is a 35-minute guided session that combines an effective series of gentle, floor-based yoga postures with the practice of mindfulness. The body is moved with care and awareness, bringing you the benefits of both practices. Read by Sue Fuller in 2 hours, 59 minutes. VisAbility. Book number 141888

Being mortal: medicine and what matters in the end by Atul Gawande. Surgeon and author of Complications and The Checklist Manifesto examines the state of end-of-life care in the twenty-first century. Discusses medical advances which have extended life expectancy, limited training of physicians to discuss mortality with patients and family members, and ways to be honest. Bestseller. Read by Gary Telles in 9 hours, 34 minutes. Adult content advised. NLS. Book number 140950

New Zealand History

Dressed: fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840 to 1910 by Claire Regnault. This illustrated social history explores the creation, consumption and spectacle of fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand’s 19th century dress culture was heavily shaped by international trends and interactions with Māori, the demands of settler lifestyle and the country’s geographical and environmental conditions. Dressed shows dresses and fashionable accessories from museums around Aotearoa New Zealand. Winner of New Zealand Ockham Book Awards for illustrated non-fiction, 2022. Read by Christina Cie in 18 hours, 15 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141660

NZ and Pacific Non-Fiction

New moons for Sam: becoming Kiwi, life of a New Zealand diplomat by Peter Hamilton. In 1961, Peter Hamilton embarked with his family on a six-week voyage from Somerset to New Zealand. He left behind an English village where generations of his family had lived, to make a new home in a remote country that was still closely tied to the one he’d left. Despite challenges adapting as new immigrants, these were good times to be growing up in rural New Zealand. But the country was about to embark on its own change as ties with Britain were loosening and a more outward-looking, confident and diverse nation was emerging. Peter Hamilton joined the diplomatic service as this change was getting underway and his four-decade career saw him leading diplomatic and free trade efforts with traditional and new partners at a time of unprecedented international change for his adopted country. This book is a rare insider’s account of how New Zealand conducts its diplomacy, forges alliances and makes the most of its position as a small South Pacific country on a global stage. Read by Paul Barrett in 14 hours, 2 minutes. Kindly donated by Peter Hamilton. Book number 141479

Life, loss, love by Lorraine Downes. As well as the Miss Universe fairy-tale and her busy career, Lorraine shares details of her first marriage to All Black Murray Mexted, her delight in her two children, her success in Dancing with the Stars and her blissful relationship with cricketing legend Martin Crowe. Along the way Lorraine has faced many challenges including rebuilding her life after divorce and, the cruellest blow of all, Martin’s devastating illness and death. Read by Romy Hooper in 7 hours, 24 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141914


Sleeping with Stones by Serie Barford. In Sleeping with Stones, beloved Pasifika poet Serie Barford navigates seasons of grief. As she moves through autumn, winter, spring and summer, she traverses the pain, anger, longing and heartache of losing a loved one in poetry that is both steely with resolve and exquisitely tender. This is Serie’s fourth poetry collection. Read by Rex Duis in 49 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141714

Lay studies by Steven Toussaint. A collection of poems of profound contemplative inwardness that conjure and converse with a vast tradition of literature, scholarship, and art. Pitched to that precarious interval between love and rage, these poems depict scenes of domestic life in the poet’s adopted home of New Zealand, a transient year of religious and artistic soul-searching in the United Kingdom, and a growing sense of dislocation from his native United States in the Trump era. Read by Rex Duis in 57 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 133380


Chums: how a tiny caste of Oxford Tories took over the UK by Simon Kuper. A damning look at the university clique-turned-Commons majority that will blow the doors of Westminster wide open and change the way you look at our democracy forever. Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Cameron, George Osborne, Theresa May, Dominic Cummings, Jacob Rees-Mogg: Whitehall is swarming with old Oxonians. They debated each other in tutorials, ran against each other in student elections, and attended the same balls and black tie dinners. They aren’t just colleagues – they are peers, rivals, friends. And, when they walked out of the world of student debates onto the national stage, they brought their university politics with them. Eleven of the fifteen postwar British prime ministers went to Oxford. In Chums, Simon Kuper traces how the rarefied and privileged atmosphere of this narrowest of talent pools – and the friendships and worldviews it created – shaped modern Britain. A searing onslaught on the smirking Oxford insinuation that politics is all just a game. It isn’t. It matters. Read by Mark Elstob in 5 hours, 17 minutes. Wavesound. Book number 142069

Politics (Biography)

Annette King: the authorised biography by John Harvey and Brent Edwards. Annette King is New Zealand’s longest-serving woman MP – 1984-2017, less three years in the wilderness from 1990-1993. In her 30 years in Parliament, she spent 15 in government (10 as a cabinet minister) and 15 in opposition. She is a former deputy leader of the Labour Party, and held a number of senior cabinet portfolios. This book takes a dual approach to her life and political career. Read by Romy Hooper in 8 hours, 23 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141766

Religious History

The ten commandments: still the best moral code by Dennis Prager. The Ten Commandments are humanity’s recipe for a good world – and it’s a recipe we’ve had and handed down for 3,000 years. Even atheists have to admit that God’s Ten Commandments are a valuable moral code. In The Ten Commandments, noted ethicist and popular talk show host Dennis Prager provides a rich, in-depth analysis of each commandment, showing readers how powerful these 3,000-year-old rules are and how following them will better our world. Read by Rex Duis in 2 hours, 26 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141859

The Environment

Regenesis: feeding the world without devouring the planet by George Monbiot. Regenesis is an exhilarating journey into a new possible future for food, people and the planet. Drawing on the revelatory, rapidly advancing science of soil ecology, Monbiot shows how the hidden biological universe beneath our feet could transform what we eat and how we grow it. He travels to meet the people who are unlocking these methods, from the fruit and vegetable growers who cultivate pests as well as potatoes; through producers of perennial grains who are liberating their fields from ploughs; to the scientists pioneering new forms of protein and fat that can be cooked into rich golden pancakes and much, much more. Read by Margaret Blay in 21 hours, 41 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141667

Adult Fiction

Adventure Stories

Gone forever by Scott Blade. In order to solve a personal murder, elite NCIS Agent Jack Widow is forced to return home from a covert undercover assignment. He goes home to a place that he hasn’t been in sixteen years. Taken to be a worthless drifter and forgotten by the people he grew up around. Widow goes undercover to investigate the murder of his sheriff mother. Jack Widow series, book 1. Has sequel: Winter territory, 141589. Read by Dr John Reynolds in 9 hours, 54 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141539

Crime Fiction

Thin air by Ann Cleeves. A group of old university friends leave the bright lights of London and travel to Shetland to celebrate the marriage of one of their friends to a local. But late on the night of the wedding party, one of them, Eleanor, disappears, apparently into thin air. Shetland series, book 6. Sequel to: Dead water, 139286. Has sequel: Cold earth, 139166. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 10 hours, 42 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 139280

Big sky by Kate Atkinson. You know what killed the cat, don’t you?’ Julia said. Yeah, Jackson thought, but it had eight more lives left, didn’t it? Did he? He’d fallen off a cliff, been attacked by a mad dog, almost died in a train crash, been crushed in a bin lorry, blown up – his house had been, anyway – and that wasn’t counting a couple of near misses when serving in the police and the Army. Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido, both at the discretion of his former partner Julia. It’s a picturesque setting, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes. Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for a suspicious wife, seems straightforward, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him across a sinister network and back into the path of his old friend Reggie. Read by Jason Isaacs in 11 hours, 20 minutes. VisAbility. Book number 141948

General Fiction

A durable fire by Barbara and Stephanie Keating. Hannah is struggling to preserve her heritage at Langani Farm, where a series of violent attacks threaten her security and recent marriage. Langani trilogy, book 2. Sequel to: Blood sisters, 141614. Has sequel: In borrowed light, 141616. Read by Wendy Karstens in 26 hours, 41 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141615

After Darke by Rick Gekoski. Released from prison after serving his sentence for the assisted death of his wife, his health failing and his chronic impatience exacerbated, Dr James Darke self-isolates. But on his return he understands that he is now a displaced person, lost in a new world for which his education and inclinations have not prepared him. Irascible, misanthropic, intensely bookish, fastidious in his tastes and rich enough to indulge them. He feels quite content to be busy writing oppositional pamphlets and coming up with a literary hoax. James Darke series, book 3. Sequel to: Darke matter, 138528. Read by Owen Scott in 9 hours, 51 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141516

The girl you left behind by Jojo Moyes. France, 1916. Sophie Lefèvre treasures the portrait her husband painted of her before going off to war. So does the German commander who takes over Sophie’s hotel. Ninety years later the painting hangs in the home of London widow Liv Halston – and Sophie’s descendants want it back. Read by Martha Harmon Pardee in 14 hours, 37 minutes. Adult content advised. NLS. Book number 141708

Historical Novels

Pet by Catherine Chidgey. Like every other girl in her class, twelve-year-old Justine is drawn to her glamorous, charismatic new teacher, and longs to be her pet. However, when a thief begins to target the school, Justine’s sense that something isn’t quite right grows ever stronger. With each twist of the plot, this gripping story of deception and the corrosive power of guilt takes a yet darker turn. Young as she is, Justine must decide where her loyalties lie. Read by Janice Finn in 10 hours. RNZFB. Book number 141952

Mrs Jewell and the wreck of the General Grant by Cristina Sanders.  It’s 1866 and the three-masted sailing ship General Grant, is on the southern route from Melbourne to London, with gold from the diggings secreted in returning miners’ hems and pockets. In the fog and the dark, the ship strikes the cliffs of the Auckland Islands, is sucked into a cave and wrecked. Only fourteen men make it ashore and one woman – Mrs Jewell. Stuck on a freezing and exposed island, the castaways have to work together to stay alive. New Zealand Ockham Book Awards short list for fiction 2023. Read by Margaret Blay in 9 hours, 28 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141612

Heather’s gold: a chronicle of a pioneer family in the Otago goldfields by Donald Offwood. This historical novel picks up the Otago story from where Oatcakes to Otago finished; with the discovery of gold in Central Otago. Read by Anne Speir in 12 hours, 45 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141077

The tea planter’s daughter by Janet MacLeod Trotter. Clarissa Belhaven and her sister Olive have grown up on their widowed father’s tea plantation. When he dies after a row with brash young business rival Wesley Robson, the sisters are forced to return to their father’s family in Tyneside. Then Wesley Robson comes back into her life, bringing with him the power to change Clarissa’s life for ever. India Tea series, book 1. Has sequel: The tea planter’s bride, in production. Read by Christine Hewton in 13 hours, 26 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141071


Lessons in chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans, the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with of all things her mind. True chemistry results. Like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother but also the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because, as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo. Read by Christine Hewton in 12 hours, 50 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141632

The echo chamber by John Boyne. The Cleverley family live a gilded life, little realising how precarious their privilege is, just one tweet away from disaster. George, the patriarch, is a stalwart of television interviewing, a ‘national treasure’ (his words), his wife Beverley, a celebrated novelist (although not as celebrated as she would like), and their children, Nelson, Elizabeth, Achilles, various degrees of catastrophe waiting to happen. Together they will go on a journey of discovery through the Hogarthian jungle of the modern living, where past presumptions count for nothing and carefully curated reputations can be destroyed in an instant. Read by Christina Cie in 15 hours, 31 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 140883

Blott on the landscape by Tom Sharpe. The landscape is flawless, the trees majestic, the flora and the fauna are right and proper. All is picturesquely typical of rural England at its best. Sir Giles, an MP of few principles and curious tastes, plots to destroy all this by building a motorway smack through it, to line his own pocket and at the same time to dispose of his wife, the capacious Lady Maude. But Lady Maude enlists a surprising ally in her enigmatic gardener Blott, a naturalised Englishman in whom adopted patriotism burns bright. Lady Maude’s dynamism and Blott’s concealed talents enable them to meet pressure with mimicry, loaded tribunals with publicity and chilli powder, and requisition orders with wickedly spiked beer. Read by Christina Cie in 9 hours, 11 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141768

Modern Women’s Fiction

Apples never fall by Liane Moriarty. From the outside, the Delaneys appear to be an enviably contented family. Even after all these years, former tennis coaches Joy and Stan are still winning tournaments, and now that they’ve sold the family business they have all the time in the world to learn how to ‘relax’. Their four adult children are busy living their own lives, and while it could be argued they never quite achieved their destinies, no one ever says that out loud. But now Joy Delaney has disappeared and her children are re-examining their parents’ marriage and their family history with fresh, frightened eyes. Is her disappearance related to their mysterious house guest from last year? Or were things never as rosy as they seemed in the Delaney household? Read by Caroline Lee in 18 hours, 4 minutes. VisAbility. Book number 141860

Mystery And Detective Stories

The quiet people by Paul Cleave. Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful crime-writers. They have been on the promotional circuit, joking that no-one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living. So when their seven year old son Zach goes missing, naturally the police and the public wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time – are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime? Read by Catriona MacLeod in 10 hours, 42 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141763

The love letter by Lucinda Riley. 1995, London. When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of ninety-five he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, so devastating that it could rock the English establishment to its core. Joanna Haslam is an ambitious young journalist, assigned to cover the legendary actor’s funeral. The great and the good of the celebrity world are there. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind, the contents of which others have been desperate to conceal for over seventy years. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 14 hours, 48 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141759

Whatever it takes by Paul Cleave. When seven-year-old Alyssa is kidnapped, Deputy Noah Harper decides he will do what it takes to find her – but that means crossing lines he can never come back from. Finding the girl safe isn’t enough to stop Noah from losing his job, his wife, and from being kicked out of Acacia Pines. He’s told if he ever returns, he’ll be put in jail and left there to rot. Now, twelve years later, comes a phone call. Alyssa is missing again and her father wants him to honour the promise he made to her all those years earlier, that he would never let anything bad happen to her again. Read by Owen Scott in 10 hours, 44 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141762

The C Clef by Andrew Harris. The World Health Organisation has offered a US$7.5bn reward for irrefutable proof of a scientific cure in response to the epidemic of 13 million new cases of cancer. A leading oncologist discovers a secret buried in a London research laboratory that will change medical science and raise new questions about the cause of the disease but she is not the first to make the discovery. And lives, including her own, could be at stake as acts of cruelty perpetrated in the name of medical science are uncovered. Human spirit series, book 1. Read by Gary Denvir in 12 hours, 48 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 135940

The department of sensitive crimes by Alexander McCall Smith. The reader is introduced to Ulf Varg (Wolf Wolf in Swedish/Danish), a detective in the Malmo CID. Ulf is the typical, brooding Scandinavian detective of the popular imagination. He is unlucky in love, a bit inclined to seasonal affective disorder, and, as a result, melancholic during the long winters. His wife has left him for a stage hypnotist, although he still feels fondness for her and would take her back in a heartbeat. He likes Scotch whisky, and has a collection of rare malts. He shares his flat with his dog, Marten, who is deaf. Marten has been trained to lip-read, a fact that intrigues Else Horghaven, a freelance journalist. She has long wanted to write an article about Marten, but Ulf has resisted this, not wanting Marten to get public attention. Else pursues Ulf, but with little success. Detective Varg series, book 1. Has sequel: The talented Mr Varg, 141665. Read by John Leigh in 8 hours, 3 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141664


Nature And Animal Stories

The Dalai Lama’s cat by David Michie. Not so much fly on the wall as cat on the sill, this is the warm hearted tale of a small kitten rescued from the slums of New Delhi who finds herself in a beautiful sanctuary with sweeping views of the snow capped Himalayas. In her exotic new home, the Dalai Lama’s cat encounters Hollywood stars, Buddhist masters, Ivy league professors, famous philanthropists, and a host of other people who come visiting His Holiness. Each encounter offers a fresh insight into finding happiness and meaning in the midst of a life of busy-ness and challenge. Drawing us into her world with her adorable but all too flawed personality, the Dalai Lama’s cat discovers how instead of trying to change the world, changing the way we experience the world is the key to true contentment. Featuring a delightful cast of characters, timeless Buddhist wisdom, and His Holiness’ compassion pervading every chapter, The Dalai Lama’s Cat is simply enchanting. Dalai Lama’s Cat series, book 1. Has sequel: The art of purring, 142200. Read by Jim Limerick in 5 hours, 48 minutes. VisAbility. Book number 141887

NZ and Pacific Novels

The dressmaker and the hidden soldier by Doug Gold. The Dressmaker & the Hidden Soldier is based on the extraordinary true story of Peter Blunden, the New Zealand soldier, and Thalia Christidou, the young Greek dressmaker, and Tasoula Paschilidou, the resistance heroine. What follows is an epic love story set in a country under Hitler’s oppressive regime. Read by Jared Turner in 7 hours, 13 minutes. Wavesound. Book number 142051

Everything is beautiful and everything hurts by Josie Shapiro. Can you ever truly run away from your past? Mickey Bloom: five foot tall, dyslexic, and bullied at school. With a mostly absent and hostile father, Mickey feels she’s no good at anything. Until she discovers running. Mickey’s new-found talent makes her realise she’s everything she thought she wasn’t – powerful, strong, and special. But her success comes at a cost, and the relentless training and pressure to win leaves Mickey broken; her dream in tatters. Years later, when Mickey is working in a dead-end job with a drop-kick boyfriend, her mother becomes seriously ill. While nursing her, Mickey realises the only way she can overcome her grief – and find herself – is to run again. A chance encounter with a former Olympian sees Mickey re-ignite her dreams. The two women form an unbreakable bond, as Mickey is shown what it means to run in the right direction. An unforgettable debut novel about change, family, and grit, and one that shows the power of following your dreams. Read by Ruby Hansen in 8 hours, 20 minutes. Wavesound. Book number 142068

The deck by Fiona Farrell. A little way off in the future, during a time of plague and profound social collapse, a group of friends escape to a house in the country where they entertain themselves by playing music, eating, drinking and telling stories about their lives. There are tales of thieves and pirates, deaths and a surprise birth, a freak wave and many other stories of misadventure resulting in unexpected felicity. Read by Cheryl Lawton in 9 hours, 14 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141823

The pain tourist by Paul Cleave. James Garrett was critically injured when he was shot following his parents’ murder, and no one expected him to waken from a deep, traumatic coma. When he does, nine years later, Detective Inspector Rebecca Kent is tasked with closing the case. But between that, and hunting for a murderer on a spree, she’ll need the help of Theodore Tate, especially when they learn that James has lived out another life in his nine-year coma. Read by Christine Hewton in 11 hours, 52 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141764

The house of Peine by Sarah-Kate Lynch. When curmudgeonly Clementine’s miserable papa meets his end one frosty French night, she assumes the family Champagne house will finally be hers. Salut! But her celebration is shortlived. Suddenly the broken-down Peine chateau is heaving with unwanted visitors, unpaid debts and secrets best left buried. Read by Christina Cie in 9 hours, 55 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141078


The Italian girl by Lucinda Riley. Rosanna Menici is just a girl when she meets Roberto Rossini, the man who will change her life. In the years to come, their destinies are bound together by their extraordinary talents as opera singers and by their enduring but obsessive love for each other – a love that will ultimately affect the lives of all those closest to them. Read by Janice Finn in 16 hours, 18 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141761

In borrowed light by Barbara and Stephanie Keating. Fourteen years after independence, the enduring childhood friendship of three women has carried them through times of violence and loss in Kenya, their chosen homeland. Langani trilogy, book 3. Sequel to: A durable fire, 141615. Read by Wendy Karstens in 27 hours, 24 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141616

Redeeming Grace by Emma Miller. With nowhere to turn, penniless widow Grace Yoder travels with her young son to the Amish community of Seven Poplars. She hopes to reunite with the Plain father she never knew – and become part of the community. Though her father is deceased, his new family still welcomes her. Grace is overcome with gratitude. But when handsome family friend and Mennonite John Hartman offers her a job in his veterinarian office, Grace discovers a beautiful bridge between the two worlds. Hannah’s Daughters series, book 5, 117028. Sequel to: Leah’s choice. Has sequel: Johanna’s bridegroom, 117863. Read by synthetic speech in 5 hours, 2 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141780

Short Stories and Essays

Word of mouth by Rex Bradley. An inside view into the life of a dentist. This book of twenty-one short pieces records the emotions and concerns of patients and dentist. It is funny, but it will rattle a few cages. Loosely chronological, the story begins with the fear of pain and finishes amidst retirement and the morrow. Between, there are tales of feelings and minds. The personality of the new patient must be assessed in minutes – How? Comments from dental colleagues: ‘Thoroughly entertaining. It will rattle a few cages.’ ‘I enjoyed it immensely. I haven’t read anything like it.’ ‘It’s too good to vanish into a drawer, somewhere. Read by Bruce Hopkins in 2 hours, 27 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141912

The Family

Atlas: the story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley and Harry Whittaker.1928, Paris. A boy is found, moments from death, and taken in by a kindly family. Gentle, precocious, talented, he flourishes in his new home, and the family show him a life he hadn’t dreamed possible. But he refuses to speak a word about who he really is. As he grows into a young man, falling in love and taking classes at the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris, he can almost forget the terrors of his past, or the promise he has vowed to keep. But across Europe an evil is rising, and no-one’s safety is certain. In his heart, he knows the time will come where he must flee once more. 2008, the Aegean. The seven sisters are gathered together for the first time, on board the Titan to say a final goodbye to the enigmatic father they loved so dearly. To the surprise of everyone, it is the missing sister who Pa Salt has chosen to entrust with the clue to their pasts. But for every truth revealed, another question emerges. The sisters must confront the idea that their adored father was someone they barely knew. Seven sisters series, book 8. Sequel to: The missing sister, 139322. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 21 hours, 46 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141676


A good winter by Gigi Fenster. When Olga’s friend Lara becomes a grandmother, Olga helps out whenever she can. After all, it’s a heavy burden on Lara, caring for her bereaved daughter and her baby grandson. And the new mother is not exactly considerate – she’s taken to her bed and all but rejected her little boy. But simmering beneath Olga’s sensible support and loving generosity brews a deep jealous need to be the centre of Lara’s attention and affection. New Zealand Ockham Book Awards – Short List – Fiction – 2022. Read by Marguerite Vanderkolk in 7 hours, 31 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141599

Simple genius by David Baldacci. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are back, and struggling in the emotional aftermath of the events that brought them to the brink. Dogged by personal demons, Maxwell agrees to treatment in a psychiatric institution, after barely surviving a violent barroom brawl. And King, to right their partnership, accepts an offer to investigate a murder in a scientific think tank named Babbage Town. Feeling cured, Michelle joins him on the case, and they penetrate this secret enclave of geniuses working to surpass the capabilities of the most sophisticated microprocessor in the world. Sean King & Michelle Maxwell sereis, book 3. Sequel to: Hour Game, 133725. Has Sequel: First Family, 134038. Read by John Callen in 13 hours, 5 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 134153

War Stories

The forest of vanishing stars by Kristin Harmel. After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. Read by Cheryl Lawton in 11 hours, 46 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141916

eBraille and Braille Books

This issue contains e-Braille and Braille books added to the collection. Adult Braille books have an e-Braille 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
  • e-Braille 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.

Braille Adult Non-Fiction

Actors and Entertainers (Biography)

Yes please by Amy Poehler. A collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haiku from one of America’s most beloved entertainers, offers Poehler’s thoughts on everything from her “too safe” childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and “the biz,” the demon that looks back at all of us in the mirror, and her joy at being told she has a “face for wigs.” Bestseller. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125054

Authors (Biography)

Intolerable: a memoir of extremes by Kamal Al-Solaylee. As a gay man living in an intolerant Middle East, Al-Solaylee escaped first to England and eventually to Canada, where he became a journalist and academic. While he was enjoying the cultural and personal freedoms of life in the West, his once-liberal family slowly fell into the hard-line interpretations of Islam that were sweeping large parts of the Arab-Muslim world in the 1980s and 1990s. The differences between his life and theirs were brought into sharp relief by the 2011 revolution in Egypt and the civil war in Yemen. Bestseller. CNIB, 2 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125023

Canadian Non Fiction

The come back by John Ralston Saul. Presents a powerful portrait of modern Aboriginal life in Canada, in contrast with the perceived failings so often portrayed in politics and in media. The author illustrates his arguments by compiling a remarkable selection of letters, speeches and writings by Aboriginal leaders and thinkers, showcasing the extraordinarily rich, moving and stable indigenous point of view across the centuries. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125067

Crime and the Law

Ghetto side: a true story of murder in America by Jill Leovy. On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant jumps into an SUV and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes. But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift. Here is the story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder-a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another-and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Bestseller. CNIB, 5 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125056

General  (Biography)

Eichmann before Jerusalem: the unexamined life of a mass murderer by Bettina Stangneth; translated from the German by Ruth Martin. A total re-assessment of the life of Adolf Eichmann that reveals his activities and notoriety amongst a global network of National Socialists following the collapse of the Third Reich, and permanently challenges Hannah Arendt’s notion of the “banality of evil.” Smuggled out of Europe after the collapse of Germany, Eichmann managed to live a peaceful and active exile in Argentina for years before his capture by the Mossad. Though once widely known by nicknames such as “Manager of the Holocaust,” in 1961 he was able to portray himself as an overworked bureaucrat following orders. How was this carefully crafted obfuscation possible? How did a central architect of the Final Solution manage to disappear? And what had he done with his time while in hiding? 2014.CNIB, 10 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125047

Science and Technology

The people’s platform: taking back power and culture in the digital age by Astra Taylor. The Internet has been hailed as a place where all can be heard and everyone can participate equally. But how true is this claim? In a seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions, the author argues that for all that we “tweet” and “like” and “share,” the Internet in fact reflects and amplifies real-world inequities at least as much as it ameliorates them. Online, just as off-line, attention and influence largely accrue to those who already have plenty of both. What we have seen in the virtual world so far has been not a revolution but merely a rearrangement. Although Silicon Valley tycoons have eclipsed Hollywood moguls, a handful of giants like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook still dominate our lives.  The new world order looks suspiciously just like the old one. CNIB. 4 f,contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125068

The end of absence: reclaiming what we’ve lost in a world of constant connection by Michael Harris. Only one generation in history (ours) will experience life both with and without the internet. For everyone who follows us, online life will simply be the air they breathe. Today, we revel in ubiquitous information and constant connection, rarely stopping to consider the implications for our logged-on lives. The author chronicles this massive shift, exploring what we’ve gained and lost in the bargain. He argues that our greatest loss has been that of absence itself — of silence, wonder and solitude. Winner of the 2014 Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125018

Women (Biography)

One hour in Paris: a true story of rape and recovery by Karyn L. Freedman. Philosopher Karyn L. Freedman travels back to a Paris night in 1990 when she was twenty-two and, in one violent hour, her life was changed forever by a brutal rape. We follow Freedman from an apartment in Paris to a French courtroom, from a trauma centre in Toronto to a rape clinic in Africa. At a time when as many as one in three women in the world have been victims of sexual assault and when many women are still ashamed to come forward, Freedman’s book is a moving and essential look at how survivors cope and persevere. Winner of the 2015 British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. CNIB, 2 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125066

Leaving before the rains come by Alexandra Fuller. Looking to rebuild after a painful divorce, Alexandra Fuller turns to her African past for clues to living a life fully and without fear. Bestseller. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125065

Braille Adult Fiction

Adult Fiction

Historical Novels

A god in ruins by Kate Atkinson. Teddy, the younger brother of Ursula Todd in “Life After Life”, who would be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband, and father, navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is facing the difficulties of living in a future he never expected to have. The book explores the loss of innocence, the fraught transition from the war to peace time, and the pain of being misunderstood, especially as we age. Bestseller. CNIB, 5 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125136

Against a darkening sky by Lauren B. Davis. In 7th-century England, Wilona, the lone survivor of a plague that has wiped out her people, makes her way across the moors to a new life in the village of Ad Gefrin, where she is apprenticed to Touilt, a revered healer and seeress. She blossoms under Touilt’s tutelage and will one day take her place, but as an outsider, she is viewed with suspicion by all except Margawn, a warrior in the lord’s hall. When the king proclaims a conversion to the new Christian religion, Ad Gefrin becomes a dangerous place for Wilona and Touilt. Their very lives are at risk as the villagers embrace the new faith and turn against the old ways, even as Wilona’s relationship with Margawn grows. Wilona’s fate becomes intertwined with that of Egan, a monk sent to Ad Gefrin as part of the Christian mission; both will see their faith and their loyalties tested. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125096

Do not say we have nothing by Madeleine Thien. The author takes us inside two talented families of musicians in China and the lives of two entwined generations, those who weathered Mao’s Cultural Revolution in the mid-twentieth century; and their children, who became the 1989 Tiananmen Square protesters during one of the most important political moments of the past century. Bestseller. Winner of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Winner of the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. CNIB, 6 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125460

Mystery and Detective Stories

Foreign agent by Brad Thor. In a safe house near the Syrian border, a clandestine American operations team readies to launch a dramatic mission months in the making. Their target: the director of social media for ISIS, Abu Muslim al-Naser. But before the team can launch, the safe house is attacked. What unfolds in the bloody aftermath is a political and public relations nightmare. As horrific videos of the Americans are published on the Internet, the blame-storming back in Washington goes into full swing, focusing on how the intel for the raid was developed and how it might have leaked. As the search for answers mounts, half spy, half covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath quickly finds himself at the center of the storm. Bestseller. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125472

The Emperor’s revenge by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison. Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon face their toughest challenge yet when a violent bank heist during the Monaco Grand Prix decimates the Corporation’s accounts. To get the money back, Juan joins forces with an old friend from his days in the CIA so they can track down a rogue hacker and a ruthless former Ukrainian naval officer. It is only after the hunt begins that the enormity of the plan comes into focus: the bank theft is just the first step in a plot that will result in the deaths of millions and bring the world’s economies to a standstill. The catalyst for the scheme? A stunning document stolen during Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Russia. But two hundred years later, it may be the thing that brings Europe to its knees. Bestseller. Oregon Files series, book 11. CNIB,5 f, contracted, UEB.e-Braille number 125469


The moon in the water by Pamela Belle. A vivid tapestry of a family saga set in seventeenth-century England. Born heiress to a fortune and orphaned at ten, lovely Thomazine enjoys a happy girlhood with her cousins and falls in love with the rebellious Francis. When Francis is imprisoned for treason, Thomazine is forced into a bleak, loveless marriage. Followed by “The chains of fate”. Heron series, book 1. CNIB, 7 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125478

The Family

A spool of blue thread by Anne Tyler. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. Abby and Red are growing older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them, and the fate of the house so lovingly built by Red’s father. Bestseller. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125135

Here’s to us by Elin Hilderbrand. Celebrity chef Deacon Rowe is struggling with addiction, depression, and not one, but two scandals. As summer nears, he travels to the idyllic Eastern bluff of Nantucket, where he takes his own life. In the shocking wake of Deacon’s suicide, his first wife and childhood sweetheart, Laurel Rowe, sets out to gather Deacon’s far-flung family, including Deacon and Laurel’s son, and Deacon’s other ex-wives and children, on the island. Bestseller. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125463


The girls by Emma Cline. Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged, a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence. Bestseller. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125481

Before the fall by Noah Hawley. On a foggy summer night, eleven people, ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter, depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs, the painter, and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage. Bestseller. Winner of the 2017 Edgar Award for best novel. CNIB, 5 f, contracted, UEB. e-Braille number 125467

Junior Collection

Things in the sea are touching me! By Linda Jane Keegan. This light-hearted rhyming story follows the experience of a little girl’s day at the beach with her two mums, as she unexpectedly encounters a range of sea life. Read by Rex Duis in 20 minutes. Available as: Audio 140459

Echo by Arlo Kelly. Being visually impaired, Eric loves his quiet life living on a remote beach on the east coast of New Zealand. But his life is about to change in unexpected ways and a chance encounter means this summer will be like no other. Read by Rex Duis in 3 hours, 36 minutes. Available as: Audio 141659

Marmaduke Duck and the Christmas calamity by Juliette MacIver; illustrated by Sarah Davis. Santa and all his elves fall down a ledge in the North Pole the day before Christmas. They become stuck and there is no time to free them as Christmas is fast approaching. Marmaduke Duck and Bernadette Bear, along with a few other land animals, fly at midnight, deliver all the gifts, and return to free Santa and his elves. Read by Rex Duis in 23 minutes. Available as: Audio 141482

The night before Christmas in Wonderland written by Carys Bexington; illustrated by Kate Hindley. Join the Cheshire-Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the reindeer for a tea party with lots of festive fun! Unfortunately, the Queen of Hearts hates Christmas, she’s banned tinsel, mince pies and even good cheer! Read by Joe Peck in 3 hours, 38 minutes. Available as: Audio 141483

Twice magic by Cressida Cowell. This was once the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who had been taught since birth to hate each other like poison. But now, the boy Wizard and girl Warrior have been brought together in the Badwoods and they have witnessed the shocking consequences of the stone that takes away magic. They will need to cast aside their differences once more, for an evil spell has broken free. It’s up to Xar and Wish to find the ingredients. But it means entering the Druids Castle unannounced. Wizards of Once series, book 2. Sequel to: The wizards of Once, not available yet. Has sequel: Knock three times, 141473.  Read by David Tennant in 5 hours, 38 minutes. Available as: Audio 141471

Knock three times by Cressida Cowell. Enter a land of wizards, warriors, mythical creatures, and powerful magic in an exciting new fantasy adventure. Wish and Xar are now outlaws on the run, hunted by Warriors, Wizards, and worst of all, by WITCHES! Can they find the ingredients for the Spell to Get Rid of Witches before the King witch gets his talons on Magic-that-Works-on-Iron? Their next Quest is the most terrifying and treacherous of all. Wizards of Once, book 3. Sequel to: Twice Magic, 141471. Has sequel: Never and forever, 141474. Read by David Tennant in 6 hours, 6 minutes. Available as: Audio 141473

Never and forever by Cressida Cowell. Xar and Wish have found the ingredients for the Spell-to-get-rid-of-Witches. Now the King witch is calling them to the lake of the lost. But first they must mix the potion in the Cup of Second Chances. Can they defeat the hungry Tatzelwerm monster and escape with the cup? Wizards of Once series, book 4. Sequel to: Knock three times,  141473. Read by David Tennant in 6 hours, 8 minutes. Available as: Audio 141474

Youth Collection

Eddy Eddy by Kate De Goldi. Eddy Smallbone is an orphan who is grappling with identity, love, loss, and religion. It’s two years since he blew up his school life and the earthquakes felled his city. His home life is maddening, his pet-minding job is expanding in peculiar directions. Unfortunately, now the past and the future have come calling, in an unexpected form. Read by Owen Scott in 8 hours, 5 minutes. Available as: Audio 141512

Four: A Divergent collection by Veronica Roth. Collection of stories following Tobias Eaton’s life before he left his family’s faction of Abnegation to choose Dauntless and become Four. Some violence and some strong language. Read by Guy Williams in 6 hours, 42 minutes. Available as: Audio 141432

Carve the mark by Veronica Roth. On planet Thuvhe, oracles provide a peaceful way of life for the Thuvhesits who will develop unique powers that shape the future. When the barbaric Shotet people kidnap an oracle’s children, the siblings vow to get back home and restore their world. Violence. Carve the mark series, book 1. Has sequel: The fates divide, not available yet. Read by Carol Jacobanis in 17 hours, 52 minutes. Available as: Audio 141431




  • 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