Sound and Touch

Sound and Touch March 2024

Library News

Summer 2024 has had many more hours of sunshine than this time last year so, find a nice cool shady spot and enjoy some of the many New Zealand titles that have been narrated for you in our Blind Low Vision New Zealand studio.

Ruth Shaw, New Zealand author of The Bookseller at the End of the World has recently published Bookshop dogs, book number 142259, in October 2023. While our narrator Anne Speir was reading this title, she came across a paragraph that caught her attention, it reads … “I also keep a few separate shelves of “holiday reading” fiction paperbacks for sale at modest prices that I sometimes lend to my regular readers who go through at least a book a week. They drop a donation into the collection box for Blind Low Vision NZ. Each year we raise around $600.” It’s always heartening to hear of individuals and communities coming together to support important causes like Blind Low Vision NZ. We would like to extend our gratitude to Ruth and her readers for making a positive contribution.

Another popular book worth mentioning in the introduction is Empire of Pain: the secret history of the Sackler dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe, book number 142193. This was narrated by Catriona MacLeod, here is what she had to say about it …”Empire of Pian is an amazing example of investigate journalism by Patrick Radden Keefe and so well written it’s more like a riveting page turning thriller, even though it’s a work of Non-Fiction. It reads like a gripping historic novel about a family dynasty and the billion-dollar empire they built and fiercely defended no matter the damage their pharmaceutical products caused”.

Last year New Zealand author and playwright Renée passed away in December 2023, peacefully at home at the age of 94. Renée Gertrude Taylor was born in 1929, at the age of 50 she took up writing seriously and published her writings solely under her first name. Renée continued to write into her 90s and published her first crime novel The Wild Card which is available in the Blind Low Vision Library. This was followed by a sequel Blood Matters, currently being narrated in our studios. Both titles were shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh

Awards. For those that would like to discover or revisit her work you will find these books listed below in the Blind Low Vision Library.

  • Does this make sense to you – Book number 55956, Braille 43733
  • Daisy and Lily – Book number 56091
  • These two hands – Book number 139576
  • Wild Card – Book number 139581
  • Blood Matters – currently being recorded in studios

For all those living at one of the many Summerset Retirement Villages around the country we have recently added a new title to the magazine list, the Summerset Scene quarterly magazine narrated in the Blind Low Vision New Zealand studios for you to enjoy.

Book Reviews

The following book reviews have been written by book producer Simon Lynch and produced by Blind Low Vision NZ.

Voices From the New Zealand Wars by Vincent O’Malley

One of the most notable and worthy additions to the library is acclaimed author Vincent O’Malley’s Voices from The New Zealand Wars. Published in 2021, with widespread public interest in the New Zealand Wars reaching an all-time high, these formative conflicts had as much influence on shaping Aotearoa New Zealand’s history and society as the two world wars. With extracts from diaries, letters, memoirs, and official documents (with several extracts in te reo), O’Malley’s meticulous scholarship effortlessly depicts the complexities of Māori history and colonization. Brilliantly narrated by Paul Barrett and Kayne Peters (te reo), Voices of The New Zealand Wars is essential reading for anyone looking to gain further understanding of the formative conflicts in Aotearoa New Zealand’s history. Read by Paul Barrett and Kayne Peters in 21 hours, 40 minutes. Book number 141588.

The English Text of The Treaty of Waitangi by Ned Fletcher

Winner of the 2023 Ockham Book Awards for General Non-Fiction, The English Text of The Treaty of Waitangi is both an extraordinary work of scholarship and an engaging story, well told. Expertly narrated by John Leigh, this outstanding book poses the question as to how the English text of the Treaty was understood by the British in 1840 and emphasizes that the original drafting by British officials cannot be separated from the wider circumstances of that time. While Fletcher proves that the English text intended Māori to have continuing rights to self-government (rangatiratanga) and ownership of their lands, the original understanding was lost in the face of powerful forces in the British Empire post-1840, with increased hostility and intolerance towards indigenous people. This magnificent book enriches our understanding of the original purpose and vision of the Treaty of Waitangi. Read by John Leigh in 46 hours, 24 minutes. Book number 141586.

Member Book Review

The library web page has had a makeover and you can now amongst other things recommend books to your fellow readers. Go to and submit your recommendation. Below is our first book review from a library member.

Cricket Kings by William McInnes

Book number 50551

Sometimes behind an unprepossessing title and a pedestrian description, there may be found a treasure that is wonderfully fragrant with real life and real people. “Cricket Kings” hardly attracts attention but overcome your doubts and have a listen. Yes, it’s a cricket game, but it’s a sensitive and intricate portrayal of a day in the life of well-formed and consistent characters. The story line connects several cameos of individual earnestness, or angst, or comedy, and the various leads are cleverly tied together without loose ends. The narration is superb, clear, and sympathetic to the characters and to the story. There are surprises of emotion, humour and depth that elicit loyalty to the individuals and to the team, and the men, women and youngsters are neatly inscribed. The cricket takes care of itself; it’s merely a context for a lovely, gentle portrait of urban life. I was enchanted; treat yourself to a satisfying listen. Rated a 10 out of 10 read.

Adult Non-Fiction


Adventurer at Heart: An Autobiography by Nathan Fa’avae

In this book, world champion adventure racer Nathan Fa’avae, considered by many to be the best in the history of the sport, shares his life story, and provides a unique insight into this remarkable pursuit. Part-Samoan, Nathan was raised in Nelson, and it was as a wayward adolescent that he discovered outdoor adventure. Since then he has never looked back, and has been a full-time adventurer working as an outdoor educator, the owner of multiple adventure-based businesses, and a professional athlete. His career has taken him all over the world, and he has raced in the deserts of Africa, Mexico and the Emirates, the plains of Tibet and China, and the peaks and valleys of Nepal, Ecuador, Brazil, Patagonia, Russia, the European Alps, and New Zealand. Read by Bruce Hopkins in 13 hours, 25 minutes. Book number 141953.

Authors (Biography)

The Nest Builders: Stories and Paintings by Janet Williamson

Like a colourful postcard sent to you with a colourful picture on the front and a brief message on the back, this book is about a journey. Flitting from nest to nest, you are invited to see the stories, hear about the weather, look at the pictures, and conclude that nest building is an Art. It is the intriguing Art of homemaking. Read by Marguerite Vanderkolk in 1 hours, 5 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142355.

From There to Here by Joe Bennett

The first 30 years—the informative ones—of one of New Zealand’s most popular columnists and commentators. This, his first memoir, confronts and reflects on the journey from childhood to manhood, and his long and fruitless struggle against teaching for a living. Read by Owen Scott in 6 hours, 40 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142047.

Blindness and Vision Impairment (Biography)

The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight by Andrew Leland

We meet Andrew Leland as he’s suspended in the strange liminal state of the soon-to-be blind: He’s midway through his life with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that ushers those who live with it from complete sightedness to complete blindness over a period of years, even decades. He grew up with full vision, but starting in his teenage years, his sight began to degrade from the outside in, such that he now sees the world as if through a narrow tube. Soon—but without knowing exactly when—he will likely have no vision left. Full of apprehension but also dogged curiosity, Leland embarks on a sweeping exploration of the state of being that awaits him: not only the physical experience of blindness but also its language, internal debates, politics, and customs. Read by Christina Cie in 12 hours, 2 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142046.

Business and Economics

Reimagining Capitalism: How business can save the world by Rebecca Henderson

Free market capitalism is one of humanity’s greatest inventions, and the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen. But it’s also on the verge of destroying the planet and destabilizing society in its single-minded pursuit of maximizing shareholder value. Rebecca Henderson, McArthur University Professor at Harvard University, argues for a new framework; one that can simultaneously make a positive societal impact by confronting the realities of the environment and the need to address social and economic inequality, while also delivering sustained financial performance to ensure economic growth that brings prosperity and wellbeing to society as a whole. Read by synthetic speech, in 10 hours, 10 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141997.

Country Living

Farm for Life: Mahi, mana and life on the land by Tangaroa Walker

Tangaroa Walker never read a book in his life and only went to school to play rugby. His early years were pretty rough. Adopted twice, he went to six different schools by the time he was six. Today, he is a true community and industry leader, running a successful dairy farm in Southland, NZ and reaching millions as the much-loved face of Farm4Life with his practical, inspiring, often hilarious videos covering everything from cow farming to goal-setting; fishing to family life; management to mental health. This is the story of how he did it—the good and the bad times, and all the lessons learned along the way. Read by Cheryl Lawton in 7 hours, 4 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142042.

Crime and the Law

Missing Persons by Steve Braunias

Twelve extraordinary tales of disappearance: a collection of true crime writing by New Zealand’s award-winning master of non-fiction. Former journalist Murray Mason, found dead in the Auckland Domain; the mysterious death of Socksay Chansy, found dead in a graveyard by the sea; the tragic disappearance of backpacker Grace Millane, victim of public enemy #1; the enduring mystery of the Lundy family murders … These are stories about how some New Zealanders go missing—the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. Read by Janice Finn in 8 hours, 51 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142041.

General Non-Fiction

The Light Beyond by Raymond A. Moody

Further accounts of persons who have had near-death experiences. The author describes the effects on people’s lives and explains some of the new research in medicine, psychiatry, and sociology that may help answer the question of what happens after death. Read by Andy Chappell in 4 hours, 50 minutes. NLS. Book number 141881.

Health and Wellbeing

Empire of Pain: The secret history of the Sackler dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe

The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions Harvard; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Oxford; the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations in the arts and the sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing Oxycontin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis-an international epidemic of drug addiction which has killed nearly half a million people. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 19 hours, 47 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142193.

Letters to you: Words of support and inspiration for difficult times by Jazz Thornton

This book was designed to be read not just once, or in order, letter by letter, but to be used again and again as a tool when you encounter difficult emotions and experiences, to help you feel less alone. It is based on something that helped Jazz Thornton on her own journey towards mental health. A good friend wrote her a set of letters each in a separate labelled envelope. Every letter was specifically designed to help fight a particular feeling or situation, and Jazz read them all many times. Read by Christina Cie in 5 hours, 23 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 140601.

Maori Spirituality

Wawata Moon Dreaming: Daily wisdom guided by Hina, the Maori moon by Dr Hinemoa Elder

Hina, the Maori moon goddess, has 30 different faces to help illuminate lifes lessons—a different face and a different energy for each day of the month. And with her changing light, new insights are revealed. This book gives us the chance to connect to the ancient wisdom of the old people, who reach forward into our lives, with each of the moons names as their offerings. Their reminders are a source of strength in our strange modern world, where we have been stripped of much of the connection and relationships we need for our wellbeing through successive lockdowns. We now see just how important these things are! Read by Romy Hooper in 4 hours, 22 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142050.

Musicians (Biography)

The Redhead Gets the Gig: A musical memoir by Linn Lorkin

You may have heard Auckland’s beloved “Piano Bar Lady” Linn Lorkin performing live, or reading her racy memoir on National Radio. Standing Room Only recently featured her hilarious recounting of her time with David Lange at Otahuhu College and her subsequent musical OE in Europe in the ’60s, from swinging times in London, Copenhagen and Paris to an unfortunate fall from grace in an Italian jail. Read by Margaret Blay in 9 hours, 29 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 142339.

Untouchable Girls: The Topp Twins’ story by Jools and Lynda Topp

The incredible story of how a couple of country kids from Huntly became much-loved Kiwi icons and TV stars, with their own unique brand of original country music and comedy that has captivated audiences in New Zealand and overseas for over 40 years. Jools and Lynda Topp aka The Topp Twins tell this story in their own words, describing their adventurous lives through laugh-out-loud anecdotes and heart-warming tales. Read by Anne Speir in 7 hours, 3 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142167.

Nature And Animals

Stories from the Kokako Management Area by Lenny van Heugten

This is the story of the remarkable recovery of a very special, at-risk native bird, the North Island Kōkako. Prolific in the Hūnua Ranges in the early 1900s, by the 1950s habitat loss and predation had put the population under pressure. Around that time, an ex-World War One soldier found a nest and ensured it was immortalised in the first ever photographs of Kōkako on a nest. By 1994, only one breeding pair of Kōkako remained in the Hūnua Ranges. In a herculean effort by the Auckland Regional Council, the Department of Conservation and an army of volunteers, the tides were turned and by 2022, 4,000 traps and bait stations over 200 kilometres of tracks hosted the second largest mainland Kōkako population at more than 250 breeding pairs, all within an hour of downtown Auckland, the most populous city in New Zealand. Read by Marguerite Vanderkolk in 6 hours, 5 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141940.

NZ and Pacific Non-Fiction

From the Pilot’s Seat: Kiwi adventurers in the sky by Fletcher McKenzie

Put yourself in the pilot seat and experience the intense thrills, the pleasures and the near misses of lifetimes spent in the air! The pilots represent a range of flying eras, aircraft and experiences—from the Second World War to the present day, from one of the original Dambusters to flying Richard Branson’s private jet. Read by John Callen in 11 hours, 13 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142279.

Bookshop Dogs by Ruth Shaw

Dogs of all shapes and sizes visit Ruth Shaw’s three wee bookshops in Manapouri in the far south of Aotearoa New Zealand. Local dogs, holiday house dogs, travelling dogs: many have great stories, be they funny, sad, strange, bemusing, quirky or sweet. Woven throughout are tales of the very special Hunza, the dog who worked with troubled teens alongside Ruth when she was a youth worker. This is a window into the wonderful world of Ruth and her generous love of people, books and dogs. It’s a must-read for dog fans, book fans and anyone who loved her first book, The Bookseller at the End of the World. Read by Anne Speir in 4 hours, 44 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142259.


Actions and Travels: How Poetry Works by Anna Jackson

Through illuminating readings of one hundred poems, from Catullus to Alice Oswald, Shakespeare to Hera Lindsay Bird, Actions & Travels is an engaging introduction to how poetry works. Ten chapters look at simplicity and resonance, imagery and form, letters and odes, and much more. Read by Christina Cie in 9 hours, 37 minutes. RNZFB. Adult content advised. Book number 140610.

People Person by Joanna Cho

People Person is a debut collection by Joanna Cho. These adventurous, funny and dissonant poems are about the endless work of fitting in when the goalposts are constantly changing. They ask: how can we nail the perfect routine? How can we be a people person in the world? What parts of ourselves must we leave behind? Read by Margaret Blay in 1 hour, 58 minutes. RNZFB. Adult content advised. Book number 141609.

Politics (Biography)

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

The award-winning author chronicles the life of the foremost American founding father who never became president. Describes Hamilton (1757-1804) as self-pitying, cynically manipulative, yet compassionate. Documents his membership in the Constitutional Convention, service as Treasury secretary, and prolific authorship that helped shape U.S. political agendas and institutions. Read by Roy Avers in 38 hours, 33 minutes. NLS. Book number 142297.

Short Stories and Essays

How to be a Bad Muslim and Other Essays by Mohamed Hassan

From Cairo to Takapuna, Athens to Istanbul, How To Be A Bad Muslim maps the personal and public experience of being Muslim through essays on identity, Islamophobia, surveillance, migration and language. Traversing storytelling, memoir, journalism and humour, Hassan speaks authentically and piercingly on mental health, grief and loss, while weaving memories of an Egyptian immigrant fighting childhood bullies, listening to life-saving ’90s grunge and auditioning for vaguely-ethnic roles in a certain pirate movie franchise. Read by Rex Duis in 5 hours, 44 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142165.

Social Sciences

Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality by Helen Joyce

Gender identity ideology is about more than twitter storms and using the right pronouns. In just ten years, laws, company policies, school and university curricula, sport, medical protocols, and the media have been reshaped to privilege self-declared gender identity over biological sex. People are being shamed and silenced for attempting to understand the consequences of redefining “man” and “woman”. While compassion for transgender lives is well-intentioned, it is stifling much-needed inquiry into the significance of our bodies, particularly with regard to women’s rights, fairness in sport, same sex attraction and children’s development. Read by Christine Hewton in 12 hours, 3 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142116.

Sportspeople (Biography)

The Art of Winning: Ten Lessons in Leadership, Purpose, and Potential by Dan Carter

Ten timeless truths on leadership, purpose and potential—from the unique culture of the All Blacks, and the mind of a living legend. You might think success at the highest level insulates you from pressure and doubt. But nothing could be further from the truth. In this book, I take you inside a journey that has forced me to look inwardly in a way I’ve never had to before. Read by John Leigh in 7 hours, 34 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142049.

War Memories (Biography)

Searching for Charlie: In Pursuit of the Real Charles Upham VC and Bar by Tom Scott

Charles Upham was the most highly decorated soldier in the Commonwealth forces of WWII, and could arguably be called the bravest soldier of the war. An unassuming stock worker/valuer at the beginning of the war, he stormed through Crete and the Western Desert amazing and confounding his comrades with his exploits. He won two Victoria Crosses (the only combat soldier ever to do so) and in the opinion of his superiors deserved many more. Captured, he became an escape artist and ended his war in the famous Colditz POW camp. Shy and reluctant to take credit for his actions, he deflected all praise onto his soldiers and was described as “distraught” that he had been honoured. He then farmed in North Canterbury until his death in 1994, avoiding the limelight wherever possible. Read by John Leigh in 13 hours, 54 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141767.

Adult Fiction

Adventure Stories

Winter Territory by Scott Blade

Jack Widow is thrown neck-deep into a conspiracy that spans from Washington’s most secretive agency to the mountains of Wyoming. Deep in Northern Wyoming, in the dead of winter, CIA Agent Alex Shepard is desperate. A few days ago, he sent an undercover agent to the Red Rain Indian Reservation to investigate a secret terrorist plot. But when his man was supposed to check-in, Shepard heard nothing. No report. No communication. No sign that his agent was still alive. Jack Widow series, book 2. Sequel to: Gone forever, 141539. Has sequel: A reason to kill, 141590. Read by John Reynolds in 6 hours, 26 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141589

A reason to kill by Scott Blade. Drifting along a sweltering Texas landscape, Jack Widow waits at a dusty bus station, when he meets Claire Hood, a grandmother, clearly in distress. Turns out, Claire is on a solo mission to rescue her abducted granddaughter. If that wasn’t enough, the next thing that happens is unthinkable. Read by John Reynolds in 8 hours, 49 minutes. Jack Widow series, book 3. Sequel to: Winter territory, 141589. Has sequel: Without measure, in production. RNZFB. Book number 141590.

Crime Fiction

What Bloody Man is That? by Simon Brett

Charles Paris is on his way up again, career-wise. No longer “resting” and no longer just a corpse in a cupboard, he blossoms in the play dreaded by superstitious theatre folk, who will not even speak its name: “the Scottish play”—Macbeth. It’s only in the provincial rep, but you have to start (or re-start) somewhere. And his agent has promised that though what’s offered is not much of a part, “other good parts are in the offing”. Read by Owen Scott in 5 hours, 47 minutes. Charles Paris series, book 12. Sequel to: Dead giveaway, 84606. Has sequel: A series of murders, 71422. RNZFB. Book number 142036.

The Discreet Charm of the Big Bad Wolf by Alexander McCall Smith

The Department of Sensitive Crimes is downsizing in light of a recent downturn of sensitive crime, and staff members are wondering who among them will be transferred elsewhere. As the bickering between colleagues intensifies, Ulf tries his best to stay above the fray. But when Anna, a longtime friend and coworker, appears to blame him for an old case that went sideways, it seems she may be putting her own job prospects above their friendship. In the midst of all this, Ulf embarks on an important inquiry: a man’s cabin has mysteriously disappeared and Ulf is tasked with finding out what happened. Read by John Callen in 7 hours, 16 minutes. Detective Vargbook series, book 4. Sequel to: The man with the silver Saab, 141666. RNZFB. Book number 141954.

Historical Novels

A History of Loneliness by John Boyne

Father Odran Yates served as a chaplain at a boys school for almost thirty years, and he was always content. But when scandal begins to engulf the church, Odran is taken from the school to serve in a parish, whose priest was removed. That priest was his best friend from seminary. Now Odran is weary about being out in public, and begins to wonder about events over the years that he had noticed and ignored. Does he carry some of the blame? Read by Tom Speich in 12 hours, 10 minutes. NLS. Book number 141162.

The Bookbinder of Jericho by Pip Williams

In 1914, when the war draws the young men of Britain away to fight, it is the women who must keep the nation running. Two of those women are Peggy and Maude, twin sisters who work in the bindery at Oxford University Press in Jericho. Peggy is intelligent, ambitious and dreams of going to Oxford University, but for most of her life she has been told her job is to bind the books, not read them. Maude, meanwhile, wants nothing more than what she has. She is extraordinary but vulnerable. Peggy needs to watch over her. When refugees arrive from the devastated cities of Belgium, it sends ripples through the community and the sisters’ lives. Peggy begins to see the possibility of another future where she can use her intellect and not just her hands, but as war and illness reshape her world, it is love, and the responsibility that comes with it, that threaten to hold her back. Read by Annabelle Tudor in 13 hours, 39 minutes. VisAbility. Book number 142416.

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

In 1901, the word “Bondmaid” was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it. Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the “Scriptorium”, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word “bondmaid” flutters to the floor. Esme rescues the slip and stashes it in an old wooden case that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world. Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. While she dedicates her life to the Oxford English Dictionary, secretly, she begins to collect words for another dictionary: THE DICTIONARY OF LOST WORDS. Read by Suzanne O’Mahoney in 16 hours, 15 minutes. VisAbility. Book number 142415.

The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley

For her hundredth-year celebration, Anahita Chavan reflects on her lifelong friendship with the maharajah’s daughter, Princess Indira. Meanwhile, her great-grandson, Ari Malik, delves into Anahita’s past in England and involves a young American film star, Rebecca Bradley. Read by Gabriella Cavallero in 17 hours, 13 minutes. NLS. Adult content advised. Book number 141740.

Modern Women’s Fiction

A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman

Marvellous Ways is eighty-nine years old and has lived alone in a remote Cornish creek for nearly all her life. Lately she’s taken to spending her days sitting on a mooring stone by the river with a telescope. She’s waiting for something—she’s not sure what, but she’ll know it when she sees it. Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the Second World War. When his promise to fulfil a dying man’s last wish sees him wash up in Marvellous’ creek, broken in body and spirit, the old woman comes to his aid. As an unlikely friendship grows between the two, can Drake give Marvellous what she needs to say goodbye to the world, and can she give him what he needs to go on? Read by Janice Finn in 8 hours, 13 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142337.

Mystery And Detective Stories

The Talented Mr. Varg by Alexander McCall Smith

The Department of Sensitive Crimes, renowned for taking on the most obscure and irrelevant cases, led by Ulf Varg, their best detective, is always prepared to take on an investigation, no matter how complex. So when Ulf is approached by the girlfriend of Trig Oloffson, who claims her beau (the infamous bad boy of Swedish letters) is being blackmailed, Ulf is determined to help. Read by Owen Scott in 7 hours, 54 minutes. Detective Varg series, book 2. Sequel to: The department of sensitive crimes, 141664. Has sequel: The man with the silver Saab, 141666. RNZFB. Book number 141665.

The Doctor’s Wife by Fiona Sussman

Nothing in Stan Andino’s unremarkable life could prepare him for the day he discovers his wife in the living room, naked except for a black apron, bleaching out a stain in the carpet that only she can see. A CT scan one week later explains the seemingly inexplicable; Carmen Andino has a brain tumour. As Stan and their teenage sons grapple with the diagnosis and frightening personality changes in their wife and mother, Austin Lamb, close friend and local doctor, does everything possible to assist the family in crisis. Read by Janice Finn in 9 hours, 58 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142239.

NZ and Pacific Novels

How to Loiter in a Turf War by Coco Solid

Like nothing you’ve read before, How to Loiter in a Turf War is a lucid, genre-bending, cinematic work of fiction from one of Aotearoas most versatile artists. It’s a day in the life of three friends beefing with their own city, Tamaki Makaurau. With gentrification closing in and racial tensions sweltering, the girls must cling to their friendship like a life raft, determined not to let their neighbourhood drift out to sea. Longlisted for fiction in the 2023 Ockham NZ Book Awards. Read by Christine Hewton in 2 hours, 36 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 142237.

The Bone Tree by Airana Ngarewa

After the death of both parents, Kauri and Black must find a way to survive in a world that doesn’t care much about them. Kauri embarks on a journey into his father’s past, to come to terms with the trauma he’s experienced in his short life, and to break the cycle of violence he fears perpetuating as he raises his younger brother. Read by Anne Speir in 7 hours, 20 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 142044.

On Top of Everything by Sarah-Kate Lynch.

When Florence Darling’s childhood sweetheart and husband, Harry, leaves her for another man, she doubts she will be able to survive the heartache. Only the thought of her son Monty returning from his gap year Down Under keeps her from death by chocolate cupcake. But when Monty emerges into the arrivals hall at Paddington Station, he is not alone. He is with a woman. An older woman. A woman he introduces as his wife, Crystal. Worse, bad things always happen in threes in Florence’s family, so when her doctor leaves a message to ring him urgently, she knows it won’t be about a miracle anti-ageing serum. Read by Christina Cie in 9 hours, 51 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141079.

The Waters by Carl Nixon

The Waters kids—practical, athletic Mark; the physically beautiful dreamer Davey; and the baby of the family, Samantha—have had to face more than their fair share of challenges. 1979 was the year their father sold up the farm and invested all the family’s money in a doomed property development next to the ocean in Christchurch. Is that when “everything started going wrong”, as Mark believes? Will their bond survive the passage of time or will the three siblings succumb to their parents’ legacy of failure? Can the past be overcome and forgiven? Read by Wendy Karstens in 8 hours, 13 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142048.


The Tea Planter’s Bride by Janet MacLeod Trotter

1922: cousins and best friends, Sophie and Tilly, are looking for love and adventure. Sophie, orphaned at six, when her tea planter parents died suddenly of fever in India, has been brought up by a radical aunt in Edinburgh. Tilly meanwhile has lived a sheltered life in Newcastle. Tilly surprises everyone with a whirlwind marriage to confirmed bachelor and tea planter, James Robson, following him to India. Thinking herself in love with the charming but enigmatic forester Tam, the passionate, independent Sophie decides to follow him when he also goes to India. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 11 hours, 43 minutes. India Tea series, book 2. Sequel to: The tea planter’s daughter, 141071. Has sequel: The girl from the tea garden, 141073. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 141072.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Fallon is about to move across the country from Los Angeles to New York when she meets Ben. The two spend her last day in LA together, and when they go their separate ways they decide to meet again every year on the same date. Read by Pilar Witherspoon in 9 hours, 25 minutes. Adult content advised. VisAbility. Book number 142376.

The Family

The Pretty Delicious Café by Danielle Hawkins

On the outskirts of a quiet hamlet on the New Zealand coast, Lia and her friend Anna work serious hours running their restored “villa” café. The busy season, they know, is just around the corner. However, there are plenty of other things distracting them too. Read by Wendy Karstens in 9 hours, 58 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142201.

Pencarrow by Nelle M. Scanlan

The first novel in the Pencarrow quartet, about the lives of the Pencarrow family. Read by Margaret Blay in 11 hours, 2 minutes. Pencarrow Quartet, book 1. Has sequel: Tides of youth, in production. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 142224.

Spy Stories

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Can you commit the perfect crime? Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation. But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder—and Pilgrim wrote the book. What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God. Read by Christopher Ragland in 22 hours, 41 minutes. VisAbility. Book number 142334.

The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva

Israeli spy Gabriel Allon is retired when he is called in on one last case. His Palestinian nemesis, Tariq, is on a mission to derail the Middle East peace talks. Gabriel enlists his former lover, French supermodel Jacqueline Delacroix, to assist him. Read by Chuck Benson in 11 hours, 17 minutes. Gabriel Allon series, book 1. Has sequel: The English assassin, on order. Adult content advised. NLS. Book number 141173.

The Family

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala’s long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. Read by Wendy Karstens in 29 hours, 21 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 142338.

Necessary Secrets by Greg McGee

Story of a father of three sons contemplating his mortality on the day of his 70th birthday. The year ahead is told from four different points of view, and paints a searing picture of NZ society today, and all the issues that Kiwis deal with daily. Read by Madeleine Lynch in 8 hours, 56 minutes. Adult content advised. RNZFB. Book number 131244.

eBraille and Braille Books

This issue contains eBraille and Braille books added to the collection. Adult braille books have an EBraille number as they are embossed upon request. Titles with more than five volumes will only be provided as eBraille. Please contact us to enquire as to whether a particular title is available for embossing.


  • UEB: Unified English Braille Code
  • EBraille: Electronic braille books
  • CNIB: (Formerly known as) Canadian National Institute for the Blind
  • f.: Computer file available for embossing

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

Braille Adult Non-Fiction

Food and Beverages

Lighthearted Everyday Cooking by Anne Lindsay

Anne Lindsay provides over 200 recipes ranging from informal to formal dishes, each of which is low in fat and high in fibre. Includes family dinner menus, one dish dinners, dinners which can be made ahead of time, and recipes for the microwave. Each recipe includes nutritional analysis, as well as the Canadian Diabetes Association Food Choice Values. Contracted, 5f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 125313.


Tragedy in the Commons: Former Members of Parliament speak out about Canada’s failing democracy by Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan

The authors draw on an astonishing eighty exit interviews with former Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum to unearth surprising observations about the practice of politics in Canada. Our elected officials make critical choices concerning how the country functions, and how it will succeed in the future. But citizens voters have become increasingly disenchanted with the political process. How did one of the world’s most functional democracies go so very wrong? In part, it is due to what MPs see as the domineering influence of their political party. From the manipulation of the nomination process to enforced voting in the House and in committees, the unseen hand of the party overshadows every aspect of the MP’s existence. Bestseller. Contracted, 3f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 124938.

Nature And Animals

Birding with Yeats: a memoir by Lynn Thomson

The author is the mother of a blended family of four children. The book documents the five-year period when she and her youngest son start bird watching, when he’s 13, as a way to spend time in nature and away from everyday stress. Over the course of these five years, she learns a lot more about birds than she ever dreamed possible, but she also experiences a unique closeness with her son and the wonder that comes with the beauty of the natural world. Contracted, 3f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 124935.

Politics (Biography)

Gandhi Before India by Ramachandra Guha

Takes us from Gandhi’s birth in 1869 through his upbringing in Gujarat, his 2 years as a student in London, and his 2 decades as a lawyer and community organizer in South Africa. The author has uncovered myriad previously untapped documents, including private papers of Gandhi’s contemporaries and co-workers; contemporary newspapers and court documents; and secret files kept by British Empire functionaries. Guha describes the social, political and personal worlds in which Gandhi began his journey to become the modern era’s most important and influential political actor. And Guha makes clear that Gandhi’s work in South Africa—far from being a mere prelude to his accomplishments in India—was profoundly influential on his evolution as a political thinker, social reformer and beloved leader. Contracted, 11f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 124773.

Duffy Stardom to Senate to Scandal by Dan Leger

Mike Duffy made his name as a political reporter, and in the process became one of Prince Edward Island’s most famous exports. He cast himself as the ultimate insider, Parliament Hill’s man in the know. It made him a household name and one of Canada’s best-paid journalists. But Duffy wanted to get even closer and lobbied his way into the Canadian Senate. Here is the story of Duffy’s rise to the top in Canadian media, his entanglement with the Harper Conservatives, and the scandal that made him one of the most controversial figures in contemporary politics. Contracted, 3f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 124758.

Health and Wellbeing

Parenting Your Parents Straight Talk About Aging in the Family by Bart J. Mindszenthy and Michael Gordon

There is now an increasing awareness of the complex challenges posed by the expanding aging population in North America. When our parents reach a certain age and have difficulty coping, we find ourselves wondering how to provide them with the kind of love, care, support, and attention they need, just as they have done for us all our lives. This book offers crucial advice to help you, a new Vulnerability Index to measure what level of need your parents may have right now, as well as a financial planning section and resource directory. Contracted 5f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 124757.

Braille Adult Fiction


Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

This novel is narrated by our descendants 1000 years hence, looking back on “The War of the Worlds” that began with “the time of the strangenesses”: a simple gardener begins to levitate; a baby is born with the ability to detect corruption in people; the ghosts of two long-dead philosophers begin arguing once more; and storms pummel New York so hard that a crack appears in the universe, letting in the destructive djinns of myth (as well as some graphic superheroes). A djinn princess who centuries before had learned to love humankind resolves to help us, and raises an army of endearing characters who come together to save the world in a battle waged for 1,001 nights—or, to be precise, two years, eight months and twenty-eight nights. Bestseller. Contracted, 3f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 125328.

The Wind Through The Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel by Stephen King

Gunslinger Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are forced to seek shelter during a storm as they travel toward the Dark Tower. Roland tells stories of his early years, including that of the Skin Man a shapeshifter Roland’s father sent him to hunt down. The Dark Tower series, book 8. Bestseller. Contracted, 4f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 125071.

Blood Magick by Nora Roberts

Branna O’Dwyer, the successful proprietor of the Dark Witch shop, which carries special handmade items, yearns for a forbidden love with Finbar Burke, descendant of evil sorcerer Cabhan. One final battle remains. Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy, book 3. Sequel to Shadow Spell. Bestseller. Contracted, 4f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 124999.

Historical Fiction

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

Franklin Starlight is sixteen years old and has had the most fleeting of relationships with his real father, Eldon. The rare moments they’ve shared haunt and trouble Frank, but when he is called to visit his father, he answers it as a son’s duty. He finds Eldon decimated after years of drinking, dying of liver failure in a small town flophouse. Eldon asks his son to take him into the mountains, so he may be buried in the traditional Ojibway manner. What ensues is a journey through the rugged and beautiful backcountry of the B.C. Interior, and a journey into the past, as the two men push forward to Eldon’s end. Bestseller. Winner of the 2015 Evergreen Award. Contracted 3f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 124761.

Mystery and Detective Stories

Dr. No by Ian Fleming

On assignment in the Caribbean, James Bond finds a worthy adversary in Dr. No, a man whose mind is as hard and cold as his solid steel hands. Uncontracted braille, 4f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 125308.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Follows three mothers, each at a crossroads, and their potential involvement in a riot at a school trivia night that leaves one parent dead in what appears to be a tragic accident, but which evidence shows might have been premeditated. Bestseller. Contracted, 5f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 125052.

Gray Mountain by John Grisham

The Great Recession of 2008 left many young professionals out of work. Promising careers were suddenly ended as banks, hedge funds, and law firms engaged in mass lay-offs and brutal belt tightening. Samantha Kofer was a third year associate at Scully & Pershing, New York City’s largest law firm. Two weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed, she lost her job, her security, and her future. A week later she was working as an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic deep in small town Appalachia. There, for the first time in her career, she was confronted with real clients with real problems. She also stumbled across secrets that should have remained buried deep in the mountains forever. Bestseller. Contracted, 5f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 125016.

Trigger Mortis: A James Bond Novel by Anthony Horowitz; with original material by Ian Fleming

James Bond has just returned victorious from his showdown with Auric Goldfinger in Fort Knox. By his side is the glamorous and streetwise Pussy Galore, who played no small part in his success. As they settle down in London, the odds of Galore taming the debonair bachelor seem slim—but she herself is a creature not so easily caught. Meanwhile, the struggle for superiority between the Soviet Union and the West is escalating. In an attempt to demonstrate Soviet strength, SMERSH plans to sabotage an international Grand Prix in the hot zone of West Germany. At the Nürburgring Racing Circuit, Bond must play a high-speed game of cat and mouse to stop them. When he observes a secretive meeting between SMERSH’s driver and a notorious Korean millionaire, it becomes clear that this is just the infamous organization’s opening move. Bestseller. Contracted, 3f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 125337

Science Fiction

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in for six months out of the year. Bestseller. Contracted, 4f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 125335.

The Family

Leaving Time: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

Jenna Metcalf has never stopped searching for her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe that Alice, a scientist who studied grief among elephants had abandoned her young child. Jenna now enlists the help of a psychic and a PI. Bestseller. Contracted, 5f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 125062.

All my Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Elf and Yoli are sisters. While on the surface Elfrieda’s life is enviable (she’s a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, and happily married) and Yolandi’s a mess (she’s divorced and broke, with two teenagers growing up too quickly), they are fiercely close—raised in a Mennonite household and sharing the hardship of Elf’s desire to end her life. After Elf’s latest attempt, Yoli must quickly determine how to keep her family from falling apart, how to keep her own heart from breaking, and what it means to love someone who wants to die. Bestseller. Winner of the 2014 Roger’s Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Contracted, 3f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 124762.


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel’s train commute to London passes her former house, now inhabited by her ex-husband and his new family. She also observes a happy young neighbouring couple, but then the wife goes missing. Rachel believes she witnessed a critical clue, but her alcoholic blackouts make her an unreliable witness. Bestseller. Contracted, 4f, UEB. CNIB. EBraille 125064.

Junior Collection

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

Xar is a Wizard boy who has no Magic and will do anything to get it. Wish is a Warrior girl, but she owns a banned Magical Object, and she will do anything to conceal it. In this whirlwind adventure, Xar and Wish must forget their differences if they’re going to make it to the dungeons at Warrior Fort. Where something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring. Wizards of Once, book 1. Has sequel: Twice magic, 141471. Read by Dominic Lewis in 5 hours, 58 minutes. Available as: Audio 140701.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney

Snow shuts down Greg Heffley’s middle school and his neighbourhood transforms into a wintry battlefield. Rival groups fight over territory, build massive snow forts, and stage epic snowball fights. In the neighbourhood meltdown, when the snow clears, will Greg and Rowley emerge as heroes? Or will they even survive to see another day? Diary of a Wimpy Kid #13. Sequel to: Diary of a wimpy kid, The getaway, 139978. Has sequel: Diary of a wimpy kid, Wrecking ball, in production. Read by Rex Duis in 2 hours, 24 minutes. Available as: Audio 139979.

The Dark Secret by Tui T. Sutherland

When Starflight, one of the dragonets of destiny, is kidnapped by the Night Wings he finds that the kingdom of his birth is a miserable place, full of terrible secrets and that, with his fellow dragonets too far away to help, the fate of two kingdoms rests in his talons. Wings of fire, book 4. Sequel to: The hidden kingdom, 140714. Has sequel: The brightest night, in production. Read by Wendy Karstens in 8 hours, 21 minutes. Available as: Audio 140718.

From Nerd to Ninja by Anh Do

Nelson’s a nerd. Unfit, uncool, and totally awkward. But when he wakes up on his tenth birthday, he discovers that not only he is a ninja, but he’s the last ninja on earth. How’s he going to save the world when he can’t even get his undies on the right way? With the help of Grandma’s inventions and his wild cousin Kenny, can Nelson master his new ninja skills and save Duck Creek? Ninja Kid, book 2. Has sequel: Flying Ninja!, not yet available. Read by Robert De Graauw in 46 minutes. Available as: Audio 142357.

Young Adult collection

The Tomo by Mary-Anne Scott

Phil has the responsibility of looking after Blue, the family dog, while helping on a farm. One day, when trying to round up a ram, Blue disappears. The area is littered with deep holes, or tomos, and Phil knows that’s where she is. He is convinced she is still alive, but the farmer says it is too risky to rescue a dog. Phil can’t leave Blue. He is determined to find a way to bring her home. Read by Therese Woodham in 4 hours, 39 minutes. Available as: Audio 142363

Brother Wulf by Joseph Delaney

When young novice monk Brother Beowulf is sent to spy on Spook Johnson, he has no idea of the trouble he’s about to find himself in. Johnson boasts to Wulf of his battles against demonic creatures, and even seems to imprison local witches, though Wulf is sceptical not least because the church has taught him that Spooks are a force for evil, and not to be trusted. But then the monsters Johnson claims to fight turn out to be very real indeed, and soon Wulf is forced to seek help from another young Spook, Tom Ward, who terrifies and charms him in equal measure. Spook’s apprentice: Brother Wulf, book 1. Has sequel: Wulf’s bane, in production. Read by Dominic Lewis in 5 hours, 40 minutes. Available as: Audio 141285.

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Griffin steals a Cadillac Escalade SUV only to discover sixteen-year-old Cheyenne Wilder huddled in the backseat. While Griffin tries to figure out what to do with her, Cheyenne attempts to escape, using her blindness to her advantage. Some strong language. Girl, Stolen, book 1. Has sequel: Count all her bones, 142424. Read by Kate Kiley in 4 hours, 46 minutes. Available as: Audio 130631.

Count all her Bones by April Henry

Griffin is set to testify at his father’s trial. Meanwhile his dad, Roy, plots his revenge from behind bars. Some violence and some strong language. Girl, Stolen, book 2. Sequel to: Girl, stolen, 130631. Read by Gabriella Cavallero in 4 hours, 55 minutes. Available as: Audio 142424


  • 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