Sound and Touch

Sound and Touch March 2023

Library News

Welcome to the first Sound and Touch for 2023. Usually, we write a piece about the weather, and that nearly all weather is a good reason to get stuck into a good book. However, this time our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. While we appreciate the scale of what has happened and all the work that needs to be done, we hope that even in a small way, a good read provides some comfort.

In addition, just a reminder that last year we updated our Alexa skill with some features to help you discover books. You can say “Alexa, recommendations”, or “Alexa, recommend a book” to get a list of ten book titles suggested by Alexa, based on the books you have been reading before. Would you believe we are already working on some new features we hope to tell you about in the next Sound and Touch.

The library team would like to wish you all the very best, and to those in Northland and Hawke’s Bay, Kia Kaha and stay safe.

Book Reviews

The following book reviews have been written by book producer Simon Lynch, and produced by the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind.

Her Country by Marissa R. Moss

Subtitled “How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be”, Her Country casts a steely gaze on the Nashville-based Country Music establishment. This non-fiction book looks at the rise to stardom for female artists since the new millennium, the challenges they faced overcoming stereotypes and forcing the industry to confront both gender and racial biases. Top-notch narration from Romy Hooper, Her Country is recommended for those with an interest in modern country music and the industry politics at play in 2023. Read by Romy Hooper in 10 hours, 51 minutes. Book number: 141324

Death Of A Friend by Desmond Kelly

Death of a Friend is an emotional rollercoaster of a story, combined with a whodunnit crime mystery. Expertly brought to life by great NZ actor John Callen, this book will draw readers into a story set in Sydney locations, where ordinary people by circumstance become extraordinary characters. This debut novel from Desmond Kelly bears all the hallmarks of a great read, a definite page-turner and memorable. Read by John Callen in 10 hours, 36 minutes. Book number: 140928

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

This debut novel by Richard Osman caused a sensation upon release. It is not often TV presenters turn their hand to writing fiction so successfully, yet The Thursday Murder Club has proved wildly popular. The story is set around four friends in a retirement village, where a brutal murder takes place and they find themselves ensnared in trying to unravel the clues to solve the crime. Narrated by Janice Finn in 11 hours, 8 minutes, The Thursday Murder Club is a gripping story that is actually worthy of all the hype. Wonderfully paced and highly entertaining. Book number 141288

Adult Non-Fiction


The Boy From Gorge River From New Zealand’s Remotest Family to the World Beyond by Chris Long.

Chris Long grew up in New Zealand’s remotest family, two days’ hike from the nearest road. While the media decried Chris’s parents for raising him outside of society, Chris remembers a rich and idyllic childhood living off the land, learning resourcefulness and courage. At age 17, Chris left Gorge River – the hardest decision of his life. He’s now 29. In that time he’s travelled to over 60 countries, from the Arctic to Antarctica. In this two-part book, Chris first tells the story of growing up at Gorge River, followed by the story of how his upbringing equipped him to take on extreme adventures around the world.  Read by Cheryl Lawton in 9 hours, 51 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 140505

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby.

The wry account of an Englishman who leaves the London fashion industry for the adventure of hiking into Nuristan, a remote corner of Afghanistan. Accompanied by a Foreign Service friend, he takes a four-day beginner’s course in mountain climbing in Wales before departing on their expedition. Read by Graeme Malcolm in 7 hours, 15 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141041

Blindness and Vision Impairment (Biography)

WONDERlust a True Life Fairy Tale of Julie Jane and Ronald Visiting the Seven Wonders of the World by Julie Woods; Illustrated by Ron Esplin

When Julie Jane was a little girl in a faraway land, she dreamed of travelling the world. But when she grew up, Julie Jane went blind and thought she would never do anything meaningful again….Then one day she met Ronald, they fell in love and together visited the Seven Wonders of the World. This true life fairy tale is about how people who are blind can sight-see through their other senses and that dreams really can come true!  Adult content advised. Read by Christina Cie in 38 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 141303

Nature And Animals

The Herring Gull’s World: A Study of the Social Behaviour of Birds by Nikolaas Tinbergen.

A naturalist shares his observations on the characteristics and habits of the herring gull and the major forces that influence its behaviour.  Read by Kevin Keys in 9 hours, 12 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 139256

New Zealand (Biography)

And the Piano Came Too! My Life & Times by Kara (Kit) Nelson.

Kara’s stamina and determination, and her astonishing powers of recall have produced a narrative saga.  Some of the episodes from her early life in England will resonate with older readers; others will relate to her peace activism, her travels, or her battles with her husband’s alcoholism, and through it all the piano came too!  Read by Christina Cie in 7 hours, 15 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 119726

New Zealand History

No Maori Allowed New Zealand’s Forgotten History of Racial Segregation by Robert E. Bartholomew.

There was a time when Māori were: barred from public toilets, segregated at the cinema & swimming baths, refused alcohol, haircuts & taxi rides, forced to stand for white bus passengers, not allowed to attend school with other students. It happened in the South Auckland town of Pukekohe. From 1925 to the early 1960s, hundreds of Māori infants and children died there in the racially segregated slums where they were forced to live in shacks and manure sheds on the edge of town, away from European residents. Using records from the National Archives and firsthand interviews, “No Maori Allowed” looks at what happened at Pukekohe and the extent of racial intolerance across the country at this time. Adult content advised. Read by Margaret Blay in 10 hours, 48 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 141110

As It Was: Final Story of a Rural History Trilogy by John Foley.

This book explores rural stories in Waimate between 1910 and 1980. It explores what life used to be like in rural and urban Waimate, and takes a humourous look at heartland New Zealand.  Read by Paul Barrett in 4 hours, 1 minute. RNZFB. Book number: 141200

NZ and Pacific Non-Fiction

Bridled Power: New Zealand’s Constitution and Government by Geoffrey Palmer and Matthew Palmer.

The previous editions of Bridled Power have provided a guide to New Zealand’s constitutional system for more than 20 years. This new edition is updated to reflect New Zealand’s experience of the MMP system of proportional representation. The book covers elections and the formation of governments, the Governor-General and the prospects of becoming a republic, how Executive Government works, and should work, how Parliament works, and should work, how laws are made, and the checks on government, including the Treaty of Waitangi. Read by Christina Cie in 27 hours, 8 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 140376

Jumping Sundays by Nick Bollinger.

A remarkable story of beards and bombs, freaks and firebrands, self-destruction and self-realisation, during the 1960s and ’70s. Read by Paul Barrett in 16 hours, 19 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 141108

Royal Families (Biography)

Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.

It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow – and horror. As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling – and how their lives would play out from that point on. For Harry, this is that story at last. With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.  Read by multiple narrators in 17 hours, 9 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 141371

The Queen by Andrew Morton.

Her dream was to live in the country surrounded by children, dogs and horses. She longed to be spared her destiny as Britain’s future Queen. But Elizabeth did her duty, the young princess pledging before her people that she would dedicate her whole life to the service of Britain and the Commonwealth. Only twenty-five when she became Queen after the premature death of her father, King George Vl, Elizabeth has become the stuff of superlatives: the longest reigning, most travelled and, for a shy woman, the Queen who has shaken more hands and made more small talk than any other monarch in history.  Read by Andrew Morton and Judy Bennett in 14 hours, 21 minutes. BA. Book number: 141370

War Memories  (Biography)

The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland.

In April 1944 a teenager named Rudolf Vrba was planning a daring and unprecedented escape from Auschwitz. After hiding in a pile of timber planks for three days while 3,000 SS men and their bloodhounds searched for him, Vrba and his fellow escapee Fred Wetzler would eventually cross Nazi-occupied Poland on foot, as penniless fugitives. Their mission: to tell the world the truth of the Final Solution. Vrba would produce from memory a breathtaking report of more than thirty pages revealing the true nature and scale of Auschwitz – a report that would find its way to Roosevelt, Churchill and the Pope, eventually saving over 200,000 Jewish lives. Read by Jonathan Freedland in 11 hours, 49 minutes. BA. Book number 141364

General Fiction

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver.

This book is set in the mountains of southern Appalachia. It’s the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. In a plot that never pauses for breath, relayed in his own unsparing voice, he braves the modern perils of foster care, child labour, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Adult content advised. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 20 hours, 15 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 141169

A Garden of Earthly Delights by Joyce Carol Oates.

In A Garden of Earthly Delights, Oates presents one of her most memorable heroines, Clara Walpole, the beautiful daughter of Kentucky-born migrant farmworkers. Desperate to rise above her haphazard existence of violence and poverty, determined not to repeat her mother’s life, Clara struggles for independence by way of her relationships with four very different men: her father, a family man turned itinerant laborer, smoldering with resentment; the mysterious Lowry, who rescues Clara as a teenager and offers her the possibility of love; Revere, a wealthy landowner who provides Clara with stability; and Swan, Clara’s son, who bears the psychological and spiritual burden of his mother’s ambition. Adult content advised. Wonderland quartet series, book 1. Read by Judith Ann Gantly in 17 hours, 16 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141224

Foxfire Confessions of a Girl Gang by Joyce Carol Oates.

Middle-aged Maddy Wirtz transcribes her journals from the 1950s when she belonged to a female gang called Foxfire. The zealous leader of the upstate-New York teenagers is Legs Sadovsky, who empowers the girls by exacting revenge against domineering, lecherous males. But when they make money from these lessons, their unity is threatened. Adult content advised. Read by Laura Giannarelli in 11 hours, 6 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141228

Historical Novels

The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell.

In the last years of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth. The Danes, who have failed so many times to conquer Wessex, smell opportunity! First comes Harald Bloodhair, a savage warrior leading a Viking horde, who is encouraged to cruelty by his woman, Skade. But Alfred still has the services of Uhtred, his unwilling warlord, Last kingdom: Saxon Chronicles book 5. Sequel to: Sword song, 115413. Has sequel: Death of kings, 136837.  Read by Robert Sams in 12 hours, 57 minutes. NLS. Book number: 137699


Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich.

Bounty hunter Stephanie and her sidekick Lula are assigned to bring in mobster “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi–the godfather of Stephanie’s cop boyfriend. Meanwhile, security expert Ranger needs Stephanie’s help investigating the suspicious death of a bingo buddy of Stephanie’s grandmother. Stephanie Plum series, book 20. Sequel to: Notorious nineteen, 99762. Has sequel: Top secret twenty-one, not yet in collection.  Adult content advised. Read by Mary Kane in 6 hours, 20 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141033

Modern Women’s Fiction

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult.

Shortly after her unfaithful husband leaves her, heartbroken Mariah White is shocked when, with no religious education, their seven-year-old daughter Faith begins conversing with spirits, quoting the Bible, exhibiting stigmata, and performing miracles. The media attacks and Faith’s father sues for custody. Adult content advised. Read by Martha Harmon Pardee in 17 hours, 39 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141206

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult.

Maine. Assistant district attorney Nina Frost has prosecuted hundreds of sexual abuse cases, but now her five-year-old son becomes mute after being raped and the evidence points to the family’s priest. Nina takes matters into her own hands. Adult content advised. Read by Martha Harmon Pardee in 14 hours, 11 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141207

Mystery and Detective Stories

The Disappeared by Kristina Ohlsson.

The body of a young woman is found carved up and buried in a forest glade in an innocuous Stockholm suburb. As Fredrika Bergman and her colleagues in the Stockholm Police continue to excavate the site, several more bodies are unearthed. Meanwhile, the name of a children’s fiction author keeps cropping up in the investigation. All the bodies in the mass grave appear to have some connection to the old author and her enigmatic circle of friends The Guardian Angels who formed an elitist film club in the 60s. But the elderly writer is mute and incapable of helping Fredrika with the investigation. But the complex case starts causing rifts within Alex Recht’s team and new revelations cause them to enter morally ambiguous territory. Now under investigation by Internal Affairs, the unit approach the case’s resolution with a sense of impending doom. The author has kept a dark secret under wraps for decades, but now that the truth is seeping out only one question remains: which will be the next body to turn up in the grave when the killer returns to the forest? Fredrika Bergman and Alex Recht series, book 3. Sequel to: Silenced, 131675. Has sequel: Hostage, 136849. Read by Mare Trevathan in 12 hours, 34 minutes. NLS. Book number: 140615

NYPD Red 7 by Marshall Karp.

Lower Manhattan: A sniper’s bullet ends the life of a high-profile New Yorker. Five miles uptown, a second prominent victim has his throat slashed. And that’s only the beginning. A network of professional assassins is on the loose in New York City. Trained by the US military, they’re on their own now, with a new unit called Kappa Omega Delta. Killers On Demand. NYPD Red detectives Kylie MacDonald and Zach Jordan are called in to hunt them down, but these mercenaries are as gifted in the art of escape as they are in snuffing out lives. NYPD Red series, book 7. Sequel to: NYPD Red 6, 140019. Read by Eduardo Vallerine and Jay Schneider in 8 hours, 9 minutes. BA. Book number 141365

Trouble is my Business by Raymond Chandler.

In the four long stories in this collection, Marlowe is hired to protect a rich old guy from a gold digger, runs afoul of crooked politicos, gets a line on some stolen jewels with a reward attached, and stumbles across a murder victim who may have been an extortionist. Philip Marlowe series: book 8. Sequel to: Playback, 139439. Has sequel: Poodle Springs, 139574. Read by Romy Hooper in 7 hours, 30 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 139438

Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death by M. C Beaton.

A water bottling company looking to tap the historic Ancombe spring incites controversy among town residents and the parish council. When the still uncommitted council chairman turns up dead, feisty amateur sleuth Agatha Raisin, who is also the company’s new public relations woman, investigates. Agatha Raisin series, book 7. Sequel to: Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist, 133660. Has sequel: Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham, 134091. Read by Patricia Kilgarriff in 6 hours, 5 minutes. NLS. Book number: 134092

The High Window by Raymond Chandler.

Search for a priceless gold coin takes private detective Philip Marlowe into the California underworld and the tangled affairs of a murdered coin collector. Philip Marlowe series, book 3. Sequel to: Farewell, My Lovely, 70579. Has sequel: The lady in the lake, 139441.  Read by Conrad Feininger in 6 hours, 31 minutes. Produced by NLS. Book number: 140156

Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie.

When Pakistani lawyer Naz Malik is found dead one summer Saturday, Gemma James – drawn into the case by mutual friends who take in Naz’s small daughter – is alarmed to learn Naz’s wife, artist Sandra Gilles, had vanished without a trace that May. Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James series, book 13. Sequel to: Where Memories Lie, 134099. Has sequel: No Mark Upon Her, 133992. Adult content advised. Read by Gabriella Cavallero in 12 hours, 5 minutes. NLS. Book number: 140170

NZ and Pacific Novels

Harvest by Ian Middleton.

“Harvest” is a 1995 novel by Ian Middleton. He was a New Zealand author, born in New Plymouth and brought up in Taranaki, Te Kuiti, and war-time Auckland. This book was hand made by Dale Copeland in a limited edition of 100 copies. Adult content advised. Read by Paul Barrett in 6 hours, 18 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 141150

Harbouring by Jenny Pattrick.

It is 1839 and Huw Pengellin is desperate to find a better life for his family than the one he ekes out in Wales. His wife, Martha, is fully aware just how foolhardy Huw’s schemes can be, but she is keen to escape the foundry slums, as well as Huw’s brother Gareth, with his hot eyes and roving hands. Might Colonel Wakefield’s plans to take settlers to the distant shores of New Zealand offer a solution? On the other side of the world, watching the new arrivals, is Hineroa, who is also desperate to find a better life. Will she be a slave for ever, will she ever be reunited with her people, and will the ships that keep sailing into the bay bring further trouble? Change is underway, not just for these characters but also for the crescent of beach, thick bush and steep hills that are about to become the bustling settlement of Wellington. Adult content advised. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 8 hours, 49 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 140988

Isobar Precinct by Angelique Kasmara.

A chain of events sparked by a murder in a cemetery sends tattoo artist Lestari Cassidy into the orbit of an unpredictable drug. Its connection to several deaths amongst the local transient community, along with the uncovering of illegal clinical trials in the 1980s, sends her a clear message: stay away. Read by Marguerite Vanderkolk in 8 hours, 48 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 139577


Second Glance by Jodi Picoult.

Vermont. Developers acquiring property from an elderly scientist spark protests from Native Americans claiming the site is a burial ground. After a rash of unexplained phenomena, ghost hunter Ross Wakeman – suicidal since his fiancée’s death – investigates. The paranormal activity shows disturbing links to eugenics projects in the 1920s-1930s. Adult content advised. Read by Jack Fox in 16 hours, 39 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141205

The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates.

Elihu Hoopes has had amnesia since he contracted encephalitis at age thirty-seven. Neuroscientist Margot Sharpe has been studying Eli for thirty years, and she loves him despite his inability to remember anything after the onset of his illness for longer than seventy seconds. Adult content advised. Read by Martha Harmon Pardee in 13 hours, 21 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141214

Fishing for Stars by Bryce Courtenay.

Nicholas Duncan is a semi-retired shipping magnate who resides in idyllic Beautiful Bay in Indonesia. He is grieving the loss of his beautiful Eurasian wife, Anna, and is suffering for the first time from disturbing flashbacks to WWII, the scene of their first meeting and early love. His other wartime lover is the striking Marg Hamilton, a powerful and influential political player in Australia who has remained close to Nick. Marg suspects Nick is suffering the onset of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and organises for a specialist to meet with him in Sydney. But when they meet, Tony Freedman stirs long-buried emotions in Nick.  Adult content advised. Read by John Leigh in 23 hours, 57 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 139221

Romantic Suspense

Barefoot in the Dark by Suzanne Enoch.

While on a simple pre-wedding getaway in the Scottish Highlands with her wealthy British fiancé, while spending time amidst his contentious family in a crumbling Scottish castle, a ‘retired’ jewel thief extraordinaire uncovers a legend of buried treasure and soon realises that she isn’t the only one searching for the famous highwayman’s loot. Samantha Jellicoe series, book 6. Adult content advised. Read by Liz Barry in 9 hours, 52 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 135681

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult.

Following a prison stint for a crime he didn’t commit, former private-school teacher Jack St. Bride moves to Salem Falls and accepts a dishwasher job from diner owner Addie Peabody. As Jack and Addie become close, he is again falsely accused. Adult content advised. Read by Martha Harmon Pardee in 16 hours, 45 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141208

Science Fiction

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson.

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage, and the threat of a betrayal by Dalinar’s crafty ally Taravangian looms over every strategic move. Now, as new technological discoveries by Navani Kholin’s scholars begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength. At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure. Storm light Archive series, book 4. Sequel to: Oathbringer, not yet in collection. Read by Owen Scott in 52 hours, 48 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 140497

Short Stories and Essays

Heat, and Other Stories by Joyce Carol Oates.

Stories that explore events touched with violence or despair. In the title story a young girl tells her version of the deaths of her friends, identical twins molested and murdered by a retarded youth. In “The Knife” a woman is robbed and raped in her home, while “Shopping” uses a trip to the mall to illustrate the emotional strain between a mother and her teenage daughter. Adult content advised. Read by Laura Giannarelli in 16 hours, 22 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141212


Three Weeks to Say Goodbye by C. J Box.

Denver couple Jack and Melissa McGuane learn that the birth father of their adopted nine-month-old baby is federal judge John Moreland’s creepy teenaged son, who now demands custody. The McGuanes and their friends frantically look for ways to stop the Moreland family. Adult content advised. Read by David Hartley-Margolin in 9 hours, 47 minutes. NLS. Book number: 133728

The Death Trade by Jack Higgins.

Former IRA enforcer-turned-British special agent Sean Dillon and the rest of the prime minister’s private army come up with a plan to save an Iranian nuclear scientist who is being blackmailed into designing a weapon. Sean Dillon series, book 20. Sequel to: A devil is waiting, 136853. Has sequel: Rain on the dead, not yet in collection.  Adult content advised. Read by Andy Pyle in 9 hours, 10 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141038

A Book of American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oates.

In a small Ohio town in the late 1990s, Luther Dunphy assassinates Augustus Voorhees, a doctor who has performed abortions. The families of both the murderer and the doctor must deal with the aftermath. Adult content advised. Read by Madelyn Buzzard in 28 hours, 36 minutes. NLS. Book number: 141221

The Judas Gate by Jack Higgins.

Helmand Province, Afghanistan: a lone convoy edges its way towards a deserted mountain village, led by US Army Rangers. They are hit by a massive roadside bomb, and as half the patrol lie dead or injured, the rest are ambushed with military precision. A nearby British medical team responding to the call for back-up are also killed. What’s worse, it seems not all the Taliban voices are Afghan – some are English. Can the perpetrators be found before another attack? Sean Dillon is put in charge of hunting the traitor down. Sean Dillon series, book 18. Sequel to: The wolf at the door, 131796. Has sequel: A devil is waiting, 136853. Read by David Hartley-Margolin in 9 hours, 25 minutes. NLS. Book number: 138263

Eve by Iris Johansen.

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan has one more name left on the list of suspects in her daughter Bonnie’s abduction years ago: Paul Black. Then Eve learns shocking news from CIA agent Catherine Ling – Bonnie’s long-missing father is also a suspect. Eve Duncan series, book 12. Has sequel: Quinn, not yet in collection. Sequel to: Chasing the Night, not yet in collection. Adult content advised. Read by Madelyn Buzzard in 11 hours, 35 minutes. NLS. Book number: 139559

War Stories

The Last Green Valley by Mark T. Sullivan.

March 1944. Emil and Adeline Martel come from a family of German heritage whose ancestors have farmed in Ukraine for more than a century. As Stalin’s forces push into Ukraine, the young siblings must make a terrible decision: Do they wait for the Soviet intrusion and risk being sent to Siberia? Or do they reluctantly follow the Nazi officers who have pledged to protect ‘pure-blood’ Germans? Caught between two warring forces, they will have to overcome horrific trials to pursue their hope of immigrating to the West and seeing their dreams realized. Read by Wendy Karstens in 17 hours, 41 minutes. RNZFB. Book number: 140989

eBraille and Braille Books

This issue contains eBraille and Braille books added to the collection since the December 2022 issue of Sound and Touch. 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 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)

Sick in the Head Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow.

Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At 16, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station – a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory. Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd – and he’s still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do. Here are 30 years’ worth of Apatow’s most memorable and revealing conversations in one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. CNIB, 6 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125336

Canadian Non-Fiction

History’s People Personalities and the Past by Margaret MacMillan.

The acclaimed historian gives her own personal selection of the great figures of the past who have changed the course of history and even directed the currents of their times – sometimes with huge consequences, as in the cases of Hitler, Stalin, and Thatcher. Then there are those like Samuel de Champlain: the dreamers, explorers, or adventurers who stand out in history for who they were as much as for what they did. Finally, there are the observers, such as Michel de Montaigne, who kept the notes and diaries that bring the past to life for us. “History’s People” is about the important and complex relationship between biography and history, individuals and their times, and the transformative moments that have shaped the world today. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125331

Crime and the Law

Honour thy Mother the Search for Jeannine Durand by Rick Boychuk.

In 1968, Raymond “Frenchy” Durand murdered his wife Jeannine and hid her body near Houston, Texas. More than two decades later, the case of the woman known as Jane Doe was finally solved, owing to the perseverance of the victim’s son and daughter, who were schoolchildren when their mother disappeared. Boychuk tells of how these children lost their mother under mysterious circumstances, then had to depend on a father they could not trust. Some strong language and some violence. CNIB, 5 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125314

Musicians (Biography)

Not Dead Yet the Memoir by Phil Collins.

The Genesis front man and successful solo artist presents a reflective memoir that shares insights into the remarkable experiences behind many of his iconic songs and performances, discussing his early years, relationships with fellow artists, and struggles with addiction. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB.  Ebraille number: 125536


Even This Page is White by Vivek Shraya.

Vivek’s debut collection of poetry is a bold, timely, and personal interrogation of skin – its origins, functions, and limitations. Poems that range in style from starkly concrete to limber break down the barriers that prevent understanding of what it means to be racialized. Shraya paints the face of everyday racism with words, rendering it visible, tangible, and undeniable. CNIB, 1 f, contracted, UEB.  Ebraille number: 125571


Unaccountable Truth and Lies on Parliament Hill by Kevin Page; with Vern Stenlund.

In March 2008, Kevin Page was appointed by the federal Conservatives to be the country’s first Parliamentary Budget Officer. The move fulfilled a Tory campaign promise to deliver greater government transparency and accountability. He was later denounced by the same people who appointed him to scrutinize their spending. When he challenged the government on several issues – most notably about the true costs of the F-35 fighter planes – and publicly claimed the government was misleading Canadians, Page was vilified. In this shocking insider’s account, Page argues that democracy is being undermined by an increasingly autocratic government that does not respect facts that run counter to its political agenda – something Canadians should be concerned about. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB.  Ebraille number: 125356

Politics  (Biography)

A Full Life Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter.

In this autobiography, former President Carter tells what he is proud of and what he might do differently. He discusses his regret at losing his re-election, but how he and Rosalynn pushed on and made a new life with second and third rewarding careers. He is frank about the presidents who have succeeded him, world leaders, and his passions for the causes he cares most about, particularly the condition of women and the deprived people of the developing world. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125334

Social Sciences

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race”, a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men – bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? In a letter to his adolescent son, the author shares the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. CNIB, 2 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125368

Women (Biography)

Rethinking Normal a Memoir in Transition by Katie Rain Hill with Ariel Schrag.

Katie never felt comfortable in her own skin. She realized very young that a serious mistake had been made; she was a girl who had been born in the body of a boy. Suffocating under her peers’ bullying and the mounting pressure to be “normal,” Katie tried to take her life at the age of eight years old. After several other failed attempts, she finally understood that “Katie” – the girl trapped within her – was determined to live. She reflects on her pain-filled childhood and the events leading up to the life-changing decision to undergo gender reassignment as a teenager. She reveals the unique challenges she faced while unlearning how to be a boy and shares what it was like to navigate the dating world and experience heartbreak. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125333

Braille Adult Fiction

Crime Fiction

Where All Light Tends To Go by David Joy.

Set in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains, eighteen-year-old Jacob McNeely is torn between appeasing his meth-dealing kingpin father and leaving the mountains forever with the girl he loves. Can he muster the strength to rise above the only life he’s ever known? CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125364


The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg.

Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. Tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbours and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways. Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbours yet to come. “Resting place” turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125576

Mystery and Detective Stories

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D. James.

D. James was frequently commissioned to write a special short story for Christmas. Four of the best have been collected together here for the first time. P. D. James’s understanding of human nature illuminates each of these stories, making them ideal reading for the darkest days of the year. Each treats the reader to her masterfully atmospheric storytelling, a mystery to be solved, and enjoyable puzzles to keep the reader guessing. With wry humour, she pays tribute to her English crime-writing forebears, delighting in the secrets that lurk beneath the surface at enforced family gatherings and in old country houses – from the title story about a strained family reunion on Christmas Eve, to another about an illicit affair that ends in murder, and two cases that introduce James’s poet-detective Adam Dalgliesh as a young detective sergeant. CNIB, 1 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125574

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben.

Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe – who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband, and herself. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB.  Ebraille number: 125455


The Obsession by Nora Roberts.

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up, especially the determined Xander Keaton. Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away. CNIB, 6 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125459


Conclave by Robert Harris.

The pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on Earth. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125573

The Last Mile by David Baldacci.

Melvin Mars awaits his fate on Death Row. He was one of America’s most promising football stars until, aged twenty-years-old, he was arrested and convicted for the murder of his parents just as he was due to begin a very lucrative contract with the NFL. When Amos Decker, newly appointed special agent with the FBI, hears the news that Melvin was saved in the final seconds before his execution because someone has confessed to the killings, he persuades his boss to allow him to carry out an investigation into the Mars murders. Amos Decker series,  book 2. CNIB, 5 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125457

Junior Collection

Junie B Jones is Captain Field Day by Barbara Park.

As captain of Room Nine’s field day team, Junie B. Jones tries to rally her troops after they lose several events. Available as: Braille 140077, Etext 140078

Moose the Pilot by Kimberly Andrews.

Pilot Moose lives up high in a treehouse and has a very important job delivering goods in his bush plane through sun, snow and rain, landing in all kinds of terrain. But on this day, his adventures are even more exciting than usual – three fluffy youngsters need his help! Available as: Twin Vision 140630

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Diane Namm.

Who’s been sitting in the chairs, eating the porridge and is still sleeping in the bed? Three bears discover a little intruder in their home. Available as: Twin Vision 141338

The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories by O. Henry.

A young man and his wife each make a drastic decision in order to surprise the other at Christmas. A dying girl attaches her fate to that of a leaf. A writer sobs at the sight of a menu. A detective tracks a thief to an unexpected hideout. An unforgettable collection from O. Henry, a master of the short story. Available as: Braille 139966, Etext 139967

How Do You Say Good Night? By Cindy Jin.

From Mexico, Vietnam, Kenya, and beyond, this charming board book teaches little ones how to say “good night” in ten different languages: Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swahili, Arabic, Vietnamese, German, and Korean! Available as: Twin Vision 141340

Battle Born by Amie Kaufman.

Anders and his friends have delayed a war between ice wolves and scorch dragons, but their mission is not over. With adults on both sides seeking them, they sought refuge in Cloudhaven, a forbidden stronghold that could hold the key to saving their home before the damage done is beyond repair. Elementals #3. Sequel to: Scorch dragons 136631. Read by John Reynolds in 7 hours, 49 minutes. Available as: Audio 136381

Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Ugly Truth.

Greg Heffley has always been in a hurry to grow up. But is getting older really all it’s cracked up to be? Greg suddenly finds himself dealing with the pressures of boy-girl parties, increased responsibilities, and even the awkward changes that come with getting older – all without his best friend, Rowley, at his side. Can Greg make it through on his own? Or will he have to face the ‘ugly truth’ ? Diary of a wimpy kid #5. Sequel to: Dog days 102483. Has sequel: Cabin fever 92478. Read by Marguerite Vanderkolk in 1 hour, 49 minutes. Available as: Audio 93242

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee.

New York, 2118. Leda is haunted by memories of what happened on the worst night of her life. Watt wants to put everything behind him – until Leda forces him to start hacking again. Rylin wins a scholarship to an upper-floor school, but being there means seeing the boy who broke her heart. Avery is tormented by her love for the one person in the world she can never have. Calliope arrives determined to cause a stir – and knows exactly where to begin. But someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. Thousandth floor #2. Sequel to: The thousandth floor 138737. Has sequel: The towering sky – not available yet. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 12 hours, 11 minutes. Available as: Audio 138741

Code of Honor by Erin Hunter.

After an act of betrayal rocks the Bravelands, baboon Thorn must find a way to confront treachery in his own troop, while elephant Sky searches for answers and lion Fearless contends with the usurper who conquered his father’s pride. Bravelands #2. Sequel to: Broken pride 136958. Has sequel: Blood and bone – not available yet. Read by Christine Hewton in 9 hours, 58 minutes. Available as: Audio 136961

Funny Kid Slapstick by Matt Stanton.

Every kid wants to laugh, but Max is the boy who can make it happen. Only now he’s been forced to join the local ice-hockey team, and there’s nothing funny about slipping over and getting a frozen bum. Or is there? Max is the funny kid, and this time he’s skating on thin ice! Funny kid #5. Sequel to: Funny kid get licked 138365. Has sequel: Funny kid kicks butt – not available yet. Read by Dominic Lewis in 3 hours, 5 minutes. Available as: Audio 138368


  • 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