Sound and Touch

Sound and Touch June 2023

Library News

Welcome to the second Sound and Touch for 2023. As I write the rain and wind is pouring outside, and the signs of winter are fast approaching. A great time to find a warm spot, make a nice tea or coffee and escape into a good book. Meanwhile, here at the BLVNZ library, we’ve been busy adding new books for you to enjoy so we’d like to share with you more books we think you might like. Here’s a quick reminder of all the ways you can access BLVNZ library content.


Our Alexa skill offers information on Blind Low Vision NZ’s services, including news, events, office locations, and call back requests. The skill’s Library service enables voice-controlled access to a vast collection of over 36,000 audiobooks, magazines, and newspapers from Blind Low Vision NZ. You can easily search, listen online, and enjoy daily newspaper articles from 60+ local newspapers.


EasyReader is a free reading app available on Android and iOS devices. It is purpose built for individuals with print disabilities such as blindness, low vision, or dyslexia. It’s used by Vision Australia, RNIB, CELA, and other organizations to access library collections and electronic texts. The Blind Low Vision NZ Library in EasyReader offers over 35,000 audiobooks recorded in our studios and obtained from overseas partners. You can also explore our entire audio magazine collection, including back issues. The latest release includes newspaper content and new features for our library books, allowing you to download daily newspaper issues in accessible text format with speech options like Dolphin’s automatic speech, VoiceOver, and TalkBack.

BookLink Web

You can also access our library content by using BookLink web. Once registered, you can go to  to download and read books, magazines, and newspapers. With BookLink web you can download DAISY files to play them on devices such as the Victor Stream player. Braille brf files are also available to download to emboss or read on a braille display. There is also an advanced search feature to help find specific content. Call our national contact centre on 0800 24 33 33 for more information.

Narrators in our BLVNZ studios

We would like to continue to introduce you to our extraordinary narrators that make our studio a haven of storytelling excellence. This quarter we feature our newest narrator to the team, Māori narrator, Kayne Ngātokowhā Peters.

Ko Tongariro te maunga, ko Taupō-nui-a-Tia te moana, ko Te Heuheu te tangata, ko Ngāti Tūwharetoa te iwi. He uri hoki tēnei nō Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Taranaki, Te Nehenehenui, Waikato, Ngāti Whātua me Te Rarawa.

Kayne graduated with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts from UNITEC in 2007 and he went on to become the first presenter for TVNZ’s Kidzone24. He also has a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism and in 2020 he won the Voyager Media Award for best current affairs long form (video) for Rediscovering Aotearoa which he co-produced with Re: News.

Kayne has been a student of Te Aupikitanga me Te Pīnakitanga o Te Reo Kairangi full immersion courses at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Following a rugby injury in 2022, Kayne has started losing vision in one eye and decided to contribute to the blind and low vision community as a reo Māori narrator. He is currently directing for various Whakaata Māori and TVNZ reo Māori programmes, and is also developing further as a kaikōrero for his hapū and as a drama producer.

Kayne’s most recent contributions to our talking book library is a book called, Huia short stories 13: contemporary Maori fiction by various authors. Kayne narrated this along side narrator, Janice Finn. Book number 137301

Ockham Book Awards

We are currently adding books from the 2022 and 2023 Ockham Book Awards.  Books that you will find in this edition of Sound and Touch include:

From the centre: a writer’s life by Patricia Grace, short listed in 2022 for General Non-fiction, Book number 141083.

Tumble by Bruce Howat, Winner of the 2022 Ockham Book Awards for Poetry, 2022, Book number 141605.

Book Reviews

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

Rosie’s Story: a Tale Of Taming an Inconvenience by Vivienne Ray Curry Pritchard.

This 2021 non-fiction book tells the remarkable life story of Rosie Pritchard, born in Tonga in 1904 to Irish businessman Robert Fletcher and Manu Gostrey, a woman of Tongan parentage. Aged nine, a failed operation to cure a rare life-threatening disease resulted in her complete loss of sight. From her arriving at Parnell’s school for the blind, Rosie’s Story chronicles the full life and achievements of a remarkable woman determined not to be confined by circumstances. Excellent narration by Romy Hooper in 3 hours, 51 minutes, Rosie’s Story is not lengthy but packed full of wonderful tidbits. Inspirational story many Members will thoroughly enjoy. Book number: 141502

The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive by Phillipe Sands.

Published in 2020, The Ratline garnered plaudits and critical acclaim far and wide, a gripping real-life story described as a feat of exhilarating story telling. The story of senior Nazi SS officer Otto Freiherr von Wachter and his attempted escape to Argentina after World War Two is nothing short of an electrifying page-turner. The twists and turns and intrigue encompasses deals made with the Vatican, all set against the backdrop of the worst war crimes of the 20th century. Narrated by Romy Hooper in 13 hours, 10 minutes, The Ratline is a triumph and proof that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, and in this case even more engrossing. Book number: 140506

Adult Non-Fiction


Cresting the Restless Waves: North Island kayak odyssey by Paul Caffyn.

The seas of the westcoast of the North Island of New Zealand are always restless. An endless succession of waves dash their might into the reefs, cliffs and beaches of this rugged coast. A similar restlessness in Paul Caffyn set him to match his skills and wits in a 1,700 mile odyssey around the coast of the North Island. Paul began his odyssey in late December 1978 from Makara, near Wellington, in an 18 foot long fibreglass sea kayak named Isadora. In the South Taranaki Blight the trip nearly ended in disaster when his kayak ‘end over ended’ in a storm surf onto a boulder beach. Struggles with the west coast surf continued until Paul rounded Cape Reinga and began the downhill leg back to Makara. Encounters with sharks, killer whales and a tourist launch in the Hole in the Rock near Cape Brett are but a few of the daily highlights. Read by Bruce Hopkins in 7 hours, 9 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141018

Authors (Biography)

The Bookseller at the End of the World by Ruth Shaw.

Ruth Shaw weaves together stories of the characters who visit her bookshops, musings about her favourite books, and bittersweet stories from her full and varied life before bookshops. Read by Nicolette McKenzie in 7 hours, 55 minutes. Ulv. Book number 141408

The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald.

Reminiscences of life on a remote, run-down chicken farm in the Olympic mountains of Washington state. The author, survivor of an adventurous childhood but still unprepared for the realities of frontier life, keeps her sense of humor amidst the hard work, loneliness, and general denial of the constant struggle to accept her part of the bargain that her marriage requires. Read by Pam Ward in 8 hours, 24 minutes. NLS. Book number 141468

Blindness and Vision Impairment (Biography)

The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found by Frank Bruni.

“From New York Times columnist and bestselling author Frank Bruni comes a wise and moving memoir about aging, affliction, and optimism after partially losing his eyesight. One morning in late 2017, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni woke up with strangely blurred vision. He wondered at first if some goo or gunk had worked its way into his right eye. But this was no fleeting annoyance, no fixable inconvenience. Overnight, a rare stroke had cut off blood to one of his optic nerves, rendering him functionally blind in that eye – forever. And he soon learned from doctors that the same disorder could ravage his left eye, too. He could lose his sight altogether. In The Beauty of Dusk, Bruni hauntingly recounts his adjustment to this daunting reality, a medical and spiritual odyssey that involved not only reappraising his own priorities but also reaching out to, and gathering wisdom from, longtime friends and new acquaintances who had navigated their own traumas and afflictions. The result is a poignant, probing, and ultimately uplifting examination of the limits that all of us inevitably encounter, the lenses through which we choose to evaluate them and the tools we have for perseverance. Bruni’s world blurred in one sense, as he experienced his first real inklings that the day isn’t forever and that light inexorably fades, but sharpened in another. Confronting unexpected hardship, he felt more blessed than ever before. There was vision lost. There was also vision found” – Publisher’s description. Read by Cheryl Lawton in 9 hours, 20 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 140613

See it My Way by Peter White.

The autobiography of one of the BBC’s correspondents who happens to have been totally blind since birth. Peter White was the second blind son born to sighted parents just after the war. His education took place before the days of integrated schooling for all (for which he is extremely grateful) and he describes with honesty and humour the peculiar regimes of the special boarding schools he attended. Accepted into university he found the world outside more difficult to adapt to but, with a combination of despair and determination, forced his way into radio broadcasting. Read by Paul Barrett in 10 hours, 44 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141538

Country Living

The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen.

Amanda Owen is living a life that has almost gone in today’s modern world, a life ruled by the seasons and her animals. She is a farmer’s wife and shepherdess, living with her husband Clive and seven children at Ravenseat, a 2000 acre sheep hill farm at the head of Swaledale in North Yorkshire. It’s a challenging life but one she loves. In this book, she describes how the rebellious girl from Huddersfield, who always wanted to be a shepherdess, achieved her dreams. Adult content advised.  Read by Wendy Karstens in 10 hours, 41 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141075

Health and Wellbeing

The Peanut Allergy Epidemic: What’s causing it and how to stop it by Heather Fraser; foreword by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr; preface by Woodrow Fraser-Boychuk.

Why is the peanut allergy an epidemic that only seems to be found in western cultures? More than four million people in the United States alone are affected by peanut allergies, while there are few reported cases in India, a country where peanut is the primary ingredient in many baby food products. Where did this allergy come from, and does medicine play any kind of role in the phenomenon? After her own child had an anaphylactic reaction to peanut butter, historian Heather Fraser decided to discover the answers to these questions. Read by Donna Brookbanks in  10 hours, 5 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141082

The Patient Doctor by Dr Ben Bravery.

At the age of twenty-eight, with his Beijing-based science communications business doing well and a new relationship blossoming, Ben Bravery woke from a colonoscopy to be told he had stage 3 colorectal cancer. As a scientist, Ben understood the seriousness of his condition. Cancer had quite literally whacked him in the guts, after all. But what he didn’t expect was how being a patient, and a young one at that, would make him feel. During eighteen long months of treatment, including aggressive chemotherapy, Ben felt scared, overwhelmed, sometimes invisible and often alone. As he recovered, it struck Ben that after everything he’d been through he couldn’t go back to his former career. He needed a change – and he wanted to make change. Read by Dr Ben Bravery in 9 hours, 4 minutes. Ulv. Book number 141410

New Zealand (Biography)

From the Centre: A writer’s life by Patricia Grace.

Patricia Grace begins with her grandparents and parents and takes us through her childhood, her education, marriage and up to the present day in this touching and self-deprecating story of her life, the life of a writer, of a Maori woman and of a teacher. It expresses the love for family and for ancestral land; shows the prejudices she had to face and that made her stronger; and tracks her career as a writer. Adult content advised. Read by Anne Speir in 7 hours, 34 minutes. Short listed at the 2022 Ockham Book Awards for general non-fiction. RNZFB. Book number 141083

New Zealand History

Voices of World War II: New Zealanders Share Their Stories by Renee Hollis.

“We are only a small and young nation, but we are one and all a band of brothers and we march forward with a union of hearts and wills to a common destiny.” – Michael Joseph Savage, Prime Minister of New Zealand, upon the outbreak of WWII in 1939. Voices of World War II shows the human side of war through dozens of first-hand memories, stories, and reflections on life during wartime in New Zealand and overseas. A visually captivating compendium of photographs and written accounts, it provides a snapshot of what life was like during WWII, from the point of view of those who lived through it. Descriptions are given by a solider lying in his tent, hearing bombs land close by; young school children explain what it was like to have bomb shelter practices at school; a Land Girl meets the farmer she would work with for the first time. Stories are shared about leaving New Zealand and heading into the unknown, as well as WWI-veteran fathers refusing to send their sons to war. Women share what life was like as a WAAF, Wren or nurse overseas. In this collection of memories sent in by families across New Zealand, you will find a rare insight into wartime life across generations and vocations. Fascinating and genuine, it is both a tribute to the resilience and bravery of those who served in WWII, and a historical account which will teach younger generations about the lives of their ancestors. Read by John Leigh in 19 hours, 24 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 140371

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 an humourous look at heartland New Zealand. Read by Paul Barrett in 4 hours, 1 minute. RNZFB. Book number 141200

NZ and Pacific Non-Fiction

Pilot on the Run: The epic escape from occupied France of Flight Sergeant L.S.M (Chalky) White, RNZAF by Errol Brathwaite.

Pilot on the run is the story of an ordinary New Zealander, copying with apparently insurperable difficulties in a peculiarly Kiwi manner.  Flight Sergeant L.S.M. (Chalky) White was shot down over northern France one evening in August 1943. His education would not, today, be considered to be even elementary, yet he became a Spitfire pilot. He found himself in a foreign country, with which he was unfamiliar, whose language he did not speak, and which was occupied by the Germans. He had only his uniform, a set of escape maps on Europe, and two small pocket compasses. An additional danger was the fact that he is of part Jewish descent, and looked it. Chalky White was caught by the Germans within half an hour of crash-landing. Within a further three quarters of an hour he had laid out an armed guard and escaped, making it imperative that he did not fall into German hands again. He walked, took trains, received help from French people, avoided one attempt to betray him, and made his way through Paris to the south of France, without any assistance from the Underground. Read by Owen Scott in 7 hours, 4 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 140968

Musicians (Biography)

The Beautiful Ones by Prince, edited by Dan Piepenbring.

Prince was a musical genius, one of the most beloved, accomplished, and acclaimed musicians of our time. He was a startlingly original visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds, from the sexy, gritty funk paradise of “Uptown” to the mythical landscape of Purple Rain to the psychedelia of “Paisley Park.” But his most ambitious creative act was turning Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minnesota, into Prince, one of the greatest pop stars of any era. Read by Romy Hooper in 4 hours, 17 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141523

Nature And Animals

Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat.

Light-hearted account of the author’s experiences as a young biologist tracking a wolf family in a desolate, sub-Arctic area. Read by Andy Chappell in 4 hours, 44 minutes. NLS. Book number 141466


Tumble by Bruce Howat.

This remarkable second collection by award-winning poet Joanna Preston charts a course for the journey from child to woman. Her bold and original voice swoops the reader from the ocean depths to the roof of the world, from nascent saints, Viking raids and fallen angels to talking cameras and an astronaut in space. Always, the human heartbeat is at stake. Read by Christina Cie in 1 hour, 23 minutes. Ockham Book Awards Winner for Poetry, 2022. RNZFB. Book number 141605


Democracy in Aotearoa New Zealand: A survival guide by Geoffrey Palmer and Gwen Palmer Steeds.

This book aims to unravel the mysteries of our political system and show how ordinary people can navigate the political world and influence decisions made by our government. Read by Paul Barrett in 16 hours, 38 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141434

Royal Families (Biography)

Do Let’s Have Another Drink: The singular wit and double measures of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother by Gareth Russell.

This is a biography of the Queen Mother with all the dull bits stripped out. When told that Lady Mountbatten was being buried at sea, the Queen Mother replied cheerfully. “Dear old Edwina, she always did like to make a splash!”. During her lifetime, the Queen Mother was as famous for her clever quips, pointed observations and dry-as-a-Martini delivery style as she was for being a member of the Royal Family. The book is a skimming-stone biography – the story of a life without the boring bits – and a travel guide to a world that no longer exists. Read by Christina Cie in 8 hours, 8 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141574

Prince Philip Revealed: a man of his century by Ingrid Seward.

Born into the Greek and Danish royal families in 1921, a descendant of Queen Victoria, Prince Philip’s aristocratic credentials were second to none. But, only 18 months after his birth, the family had to be rescued by a British warship from the island of Corfu after his father was exiled. His nomadic childhood was spent in Germany, Paris and eventually England where he was sent to boarding school. At the age of 18, while studying at Dartmouth Naval College, he was asked to look after the King’s two daughters, 13-year-old Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, during a royal visit. It was their first proper meeting and, only eight years later, their marriage in 1947 brought new light to the country after the perils of the war. But, within a few years, their lives were transformed when in 1952 she became Queen Elizabeth II. Read by Julie Teal in 12 hours, 5 minutes. Ulv. Book number 141409

Sportspeople  (Biography)

Straight Up by Ruby Tui.

After a childhood filled with neglect Ruby yearned for another path. Determined not to let her upbringing limit her, she survived abuse, drugs and tragedy to become one of the most successful women’s rugby players in the world. The explosion of women’s rugby on the global stage has matched the rise of Ruby’s stellar career, as she has grown with the game from amateur to professional. Adult content advised. Read by Catriona MacLeod in 10 hours, 1 minute. RNZFB. Book number 141194

The Environment

Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic marvels, evolution’s creativity, and the crisis of sensory extinction by David George Haskell.

The Earth’s sounds are wonderfully diverse, complex and beautiful – but they are under threat. A lyrical exploration of the diverse sounds of our planet, the creative processes that produced these marvels, and the perils that sonic diversity now faces. We live on a planet alive with song, music and speech. Starting with the origins of animal song and traversing the whole arc of Earth history, Haskell illuminates and celebrates the emergence of the varied sounds of our world. Yet we are also destroyers, now silencing or smothering many of the sounds of the living Earth. Haskell shows that sonic crises are not mere losses of sensory ornament. Sound is a generative force, and so the erasure of sonic diversity makes the world less creative, just and beautiful. Sounds Wild and Broken is an invitation to listen, wonder, belong and act. Read by Christina Cie in 20 hours, 43 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 140612


Stalingrad by Antony Beevor.

The author uses primary sources, interviews with survivors, and Russian archives to portray the siege of Stalingrad by the German Sixth Army in 1942-1943. Describes the suffering of Russian and German soldiers and the brutal methods used to control the starving and demoralized troops. Violence. Adult content advised. Read by Steven Carpenter in 16 hours, 11 minutes. NLS. Book number 141469

Red Runs the Vistula by Ron Jeffrey.

A first hand account of a British soldier working for the Polish Underground. The book captures the tensions and dangers of underground work in German occupied Poland. Read by Wendy Karstens in 20 hours, 21 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141522

General Fiction


The Last Druid by Terry Brooks.

As the Four Lands reels under a brutal invasion from across the sea, spearheaded by a nation determined to make this land their own, our heroes must decide what they will risk to save the integrity of their home. For as one group remains to defend their homeland, another undertakes a perilous journey across the sea to the homeland of the invaders, carrying with them a new piece of technology that could change the face of the world forever. For both groups, the stakes could not be higher. Adult content advised. The Fall of Shannarabook series, book 4. Sequel to: The Stiehl assassin, not yet in collection. Read by Wendy Karstens in 17 hours, 42 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141070

General Fiction

The Road Home by Rose Tremain.

After his wife’s death, forty-two-year-old unemployed Lev emigrates from his Eastern European homeland to seek a better life in London – leaving behind his mother and daughter. Lev, working in a low-level restaurant job, endures xenophobia and homesickness while pondering his fate and forming friendships. Adult content advised. Read by Joe Peck in 15 hours, 43 minutes. NLS. Book number 141453

Historical Novels

Lessons by Ian McEwan.

When the world is still counting the cost of the Second World War and the Iron Curtain has closed, 11-year-old Roland Baines’s life is turned upside down. 2000 miles from his mother’s protective love, stranded at an unusual boarding school, his vulnerability attracts piano teacher Miss Miriam Cornell, leaving scars as well as a memory of love that will never fade… Now, when his wife vanishes, leaving him alone with his tiny son, Roland is forced to confront the reality of his restless existence. Read by Margaret Blay in 16 hours, 54 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141374

The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas.

The story of a fictitious patient of Freud’s. Anna, an intelligent and sensitive musician, suffers from recurring pains in her left breast and ovary, with no organic cause. The “white hotel” is the setting of her vivid sexual fantasies and visions of death. Bestseller. Adult content advised. Read by Anne Chodoff in 7 hours, 47 minutes. NLS. Book number 141577

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton.

1862. Painter Edward Radcliffe gathers artists together for a month-long house party at Birchwood Manor that ends in tragedy. Through the years, others become fascinated by Radcliffe and the Birchwood. In 2017, archivist Elodie Winslow uncovers a satchel that once belong to Radcliffe and reveals secrets kept. Read by Kristin Allison in 16 hours, 38 minutes. NLS. Book number 141531


Love Untold by Ruth Jones.

Grace is about to turn ninety. She doesn’t want parties or presents or fuss. She just wants to heal the family rift that’s been breaking her heart for decades. But to do that she must find her daughter Alys – the only person who can help to put things right. And when she finds her – if she does – she risks betraying granddaughter Elin. Read by Ruth Jones in 12 hours, 43 minutes. Ulv. Book number 141407

Māori Language and Literature

Huia Short Stories 13: contemporary Maori fiction by various authors.

Here are the best short stories from the Pikihuia Awards for Māori writers 2019 as judged by Scotty Morrison, Robyn Bargh, Tuehu Harris, Whiti Hereaka, Poia Rewi and Carol Hirschfeld. This competition, run by the Māori Literature Trust and Huia Publishers, is held every two years to promote Māori writers and their work. This year, the awards sought short fiction from first-time, emerging and published writers in te reo Māori and English. The competition attracts several hundred entries each year from writers of all ages and those who are starting out to seasoned authors. This collection of finalists’ fiction celebrates Māori writing, introduces new talent and gives an opportunity for Māori writers to shine. Read by Janice Finn and Kayne Peters in 5 hours, 30 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 137301

Mystery And Detective Stories

The Man who Died Twice by Richard Osman.

It’s the following Thursday. Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster and a very real threat to his life. As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus? The Thursday Murder Club series, book 2. Sequel to: The Thursday murder club, 141288. Has sequel: The bullet that missed 141290. Read by Janice Finn in 10 hours, 55 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141289

Murder Before Evensong by Richard Coles.

Canon Daniel Clement is Rector of Champton. He has been there for eight years, living at the Rectory alongside his widowed mother – opinionated, fearless, ever-so-slightly annoying Audrey – and his two dachshunds, Cosmo and Hilda. When Daniel announces a plan to install a lavatory in church, the parish is suddenly divided: as lines are drawn, long-buried secrets come dangerously close to destroying the apparent calm of the village. Read by Reverend Richard Coles in 6 hours, 1 minute. Ulv. Book number 141406

Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson.

When property developer Connor Clive Blaydon is found dead, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his Yorkshire team dive into the investigation. As luck would have it, someone had installed a cache of spy-cams all around his luxurious home. The team hope that they’ll find answers and the culprit among the video recordings. Instead of discovering Connor’s murderer, however, the grainy and blurred footage reveals another crime: a brutal rape. If they can discover the woman’s identity, it could lead to more than justice for the victim; it could change everything the police think they know about Connor and why anyone would want him dead. Meanwhile, tensions are rising between Banks and his friend, Zelda. Inspector Banks series, book 27. Sequel to: Many rivers to cross, 137915. Has sequel: Standing in the shadows, on order. Read by Simon Vance in 11 hours, 31 minutes. BA. Book number 141366

Dick Francis’s Gamble by Felix Francis.

After his colleague Herb Kovak is murdered in front of him at the racetrack, financial advisor Nicholas “Foxy” Foxton, a former jockey, investigates. Foxy learns that he is the executor of Kovak’s estate – and the killer’s next target. Adult content advised. Read by Bill Quinn in 10 hours, 32 minutes. NLS. Book number 141489

Dick Francis’s Damage by Felix Francis.

When undercover investigator Jeff Hinkley is assigned by the British Horseracing Authority to look into the activities of a suspicious racehorse trainer, the last thing he expects to witness is a gruesome murder. Is it connected to the trainer’s administration of illegal drugs to his horses? Adult content advised. Jefferson Hinkley series, book 1. Read by Joe Wilson in 11 hours, 11 minutes. NLS. Book number 141490

The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith.

PI Precious Ramotswe of Botswana’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency investigates a case involving a woman seeking family members who may not actually exist. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe’s mechanic husband, J.L.B. Matekoni, falls under the influence of a secretive doctor who promises to cure their foster daughter’s medical condition. No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, book 9. Sequel to: The good husband of Zebra Drive; on order. Has sequel: Tea time for the traditionally built, on order. Read by Robin Miles in 7 hours, 17 minutes. NLS. Book number 141575

The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith.

Scotland. A sudden tax audit and the mysterious gift of a funeral wreath lead investment banker Minty Auchterlonie to believe she’s being blackmailed. As Isabel Dalhousie, philosopher and editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, investigates these suspicions, she receives an unexpected marriage proposal from her child’s father. Isabel Dalhousie book series, book 6. Sequel to: The comforts of a muddy Saturday, on order. Has sequel: The charming quirks of others, 72391. Read by Mitzi Friedlander in 9 hours. NLS. Book number 141576

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.

Grace Bradley has long-held secrets about a young poet’s alleged suicide near an English manor in 1924. When a film director contacts ninety-eight-year-old Grace about the tragic incident, she thinks back to the years she worked as the Hartford family maid and was their daughters’ confidant. Read by Corrie James in 16 hours, 52 minutes. NLS. Book number 141529

NZ and Pacific Novels

The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare.

What do you do when you think no one is watching? Lina and Cain are doing their best to stay afloat. Money has been tight since Cain returned from active duty, and starting a family is proving harder than they thought. Putting Lina’s inherited lakehouse on Airbnb seems like the solution. The secluded house is more of a burden than a retreat, anyway, and fixing up the old place makes Cain feel useful for once. But letting strangers stay in their house might not be the best idea. Read by Anne McCaffery in 9 hours, 22 minutes. Ulv. Book number 141404

Lullaby Beach by Stella Duffy.

Journey through three generations of a complicated, close-knit clan whose joys and misfortunes track many of the most pressing conflicts and concerns of post-war Britain, from the promise and hypocrisies of 1950s London to the political divides and risky freedoms of the present day. Read by Antonia Beamish in 7 hours, 31 minutes. Ulv. Book number 141405


Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky.

The story of two strong women, Caroline MacAfee, a skilled carpenter, and her daughter Jamie, a talented architect. The day after her 56th birthday, Caroline is told the network wants Jamie to replace her as the host on their family-based home construction TV show. The resulting rift couldn’t come at a worse time. For Jamie, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his new wife die in a car accident that orphans their two-year-old son. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, their challenge comes not only in remaking themselves, but in rebuilding their relationship with each other. Read by Laurel Lefkow in 13 hours, 48 minutes. Ulv. Book number 141403

When he was Wicked by Julia Quinn.

England, 1820. Notorious rake Michael Stirling finally falls for beautiful Francesca Bridgerton, but she marries his cousin John. When John suddenly dies, Michael flees, afraid to comfort the grieving widow. Four years later he returns to claim his inheritance – and Francesca’s heart. Adult content advised. Bridgertons series, book 6. Sequel to: To Sir Phillip, with love,  99238. Has sequel: It’s in his kiss, 87681. Read by Kristin Allison in 8 hours, 43 minutes. NLS. Book number 130865

Romantic Suspense

The Persuasion by Iris Johansen.

The hunt is finally over. FBI agent Atlee Pine is at the end of her long journey to discover what happened to her twin sister, Mercy, who was abducted when the girls were just six years old – an incident which destroyed her family and left Atlee physically and mentally scarred. She knew her sister and parents were out there somewhere. And she had to find them. Dead or alive. Eve Duncan series, book 26. Sequel to: Smokescreen, 140021. Has sequel: The bullet, on order. Read by Elisabeth Rodgers in 17 hours, 20 minutes. BA. Book number 141367

Science Fiction

Voyage by Stephen Baxter.

In 1986 three American astronauts, including an African American and a female geologist, step onto the planet Mars. Their success results from the efforts of ex-President John F. Kennedy, who retired after being wounded in Dallas to become a space lobbyist. He uses his influence to push the space program beyond the 1969 moon landing. Read by Robert Sams in 26 hours, 39 minutes. NLS. Book number 134145

Foundation and Chaos by Greg Bear.

Hari Seldon is on trial for treason and the Galactic Empire’s migration is about to begin. But R. Daneel Olivaw, the mission’s robot leader, discovers a deadly enemy, one of his own kind. Second Foundation Trilogy series, book 2. Sequel to: Foundation’s Fear 140840. Has sequel: Foundation’s triumph, 140841. Read by Roy Avers in 13 hours, 29 minutes. NLS. Book number 134150


No Plan B by Lee Child.

Gerrardsville, Colorado. One tragic event. Two witnesses. Two conflicting accounts. One witness sees a woman throw herself in front of a bus – clearly suicide. The other witness is Jack Reacher. And he sees what really happened – a man in a grey hoodie and jeans, swift and silent as a shadow, pushing the victim to her death, before grabbing her bag and sauntering away. Reacher follows the killer, not knowing that this was no random act of violence. It is part of something much bigger. Jack Reacher series, book 27. Sequel to: Better off dead, 140375. Read by John Reynolds in 10 hours, 49 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141109

Desert Star by Michael Connelly.

A year has passed since LAPD detective Renee Ballard quit the force in the face of misogyny, demoralisation and endless red tape. Yet after the chief of police himself tells her she can write her ticket within the department, Ballard takes back her badge, leaving ‘the Late Show’ to rebuild the cold case unit at the elite Robbery-Homicide Division. For years, Harry Bosch has been working a case that haunts him but that he hasn’t been able to crack – the murder of an entire family by a psychopath who still walks free. Ballard makes Bosch an offer: come work with her as a volunteer investigator in the new Open-Unsolved Unit, and he can pursue his ‘white whale’ with the resources of the LAPD behind him. Adult content advised.  Harry Bosch series, book 24. Sequel to: The dark hours, 140032. Also part of the Renee Ballard series, book 5. Read by John Leigh in 10 hours, 32 minutes. RNZFB. Book number 141291

Thick as Thieves by Sandra Brown.

Twenty years ago four individuals pulled a heist and almost walked away with half a million dollars. By daybreak one was in the hospital; one was in jail; one was dead. And one got away with it. Arden Maxwell, a daughter of the man who disappeared, has never reconciled with her father’s abandonment of her and her sister. Returning to her family home near Caddo Lake, she finally get answers to the many questions that torment her. Read by Kyf Brewer in 10 hours, 26 minutes. BA. Book number 141369

Dick Francis’s Refusal by Felix Francis.

Sir Richard Stewart, chairman of the racing authority, begs retired PI Sid Halley to investigate a series of suspicious horse races. Halley refuses, but when Stewart is found dead and Halley begins receiving threats, he has no choice. Some strong language. Sid Halley series, book 5. Sequel to: Under Orders, 65308. Has sequel: Hands Down, not yet in collection. Read by Joe Wilson in 10 hours, 38 minutes. NLS. Book number 141491

The Hades Factor by Robert Ludlum.

Dr. Jon Smith and his fiancée, Dr. Sophia Russell, at the army’s institute for infectious diseases investigate a virus that is creating a deadly epidemic. Jon is soon warned off by the FBI, while Sophia contacts a colleague in Peru where a similar disease wiped out a tribe. Some violence. Covert-One series, book 1. Has sequel: The Cassandra compact, 130621. Read by Bob Askey in 14 hours, 49 minutes. NLS. Book number 141517

The Lake House by Kate Morton.

In 1930s Cornwall, the Edevane family are preparing for their annual midsummer ball, when baby Theo is kidnapped from his crib. Seventy years later, Detective Constable Sadie Sparrow stumbles upon the long-abandoned Edevane estate and digs into the cold case, with the help of Alice Edevane, Theo’s sister. Read by Kristin Allison in 17 hours, 30 minutes. NLS. Book number 141530

Rune by Christopher Fowler.

London is shaken by a mysterious increase in freak accidents. After ad-man Harry Buckingham is questioned about the death of his estranged father, who was run over by a punk driver, he pursues his own investigation into the runic messages received by the late Mr. Buckingham. Meanwhile, the police turn to a librarian for assistance in cracking an apparent alliance between ancient magic and modern technology. Adult content advised. Read by James DeLotel in 12 hours, 5 minutes. NLS. Book number 141535

Roofworld by Christopher Fowler.

Above the streets of London exists a whole new world, Roofworld, where two societies are doing battle with each other. Robert Linden’s search for a missing child takes him to this life in the sky made up of people practicing alchemy and preparing for a new age, and outcasts looking for a safe life above a city that has deserted them. But their utopian world is about to be shattered as one group plans a brutal act against the other. Read by James DeLotel in 10 hours, 23 minutes. NLS. Book number 141536

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

Adult non-fiction

African Countries

The Last Bonobo : A journey into the Congo by Deni Béchard.

The bonobos, alongside chimpanzees, are our closest relatives. The author investigates the problems facing the bonobos – industrial and urban encroachment, aggressive resource extraction by foreign companies, the civil war and genocide which had wreaked havoc on the Congo, the trade in bush-meat. In the Bonobo Conservation Institute, he recognizes a unique post-colonial model for conservation initiatives which, if replicated, might provide one of the only hopes for making the world a better, more equitable place. CNIB, 5 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125171

Blindness and Vision Impairment

One is Fun: Guidelines for better braille literacy by Marjorie Troughton.

Examines the use of grade one braille in relation to braille literacy. Grade 1 braille. Uncontracted braille. CNIB, 3 f, uncontracted, UEB. Ebraille number:  125306

Canadian Non Fiction

Canoe Country the Making of Canada by Roy MacGregor.

From the earliest explorers on the Columbia River in BC to a doomed expedition of voyageurs up the Nile to rescue Khartoum; from the author’s family roots deep in the Algonquin wilderness to modern families who have canoed across the country, this is a celebration of the essential and enduring love affair Canadians have with our first and still favourite means of getting around. Famous paddlers have been so enchanted with the canoe that one swore God made Canada as the perfect country in which to paddle it. Drawing on MacGregor’s own decades spent whenever possible with a paddle in his hand, this is a story of high adventure on white water and the sweetest peace in nature’s quietest corners, from the author best able to tell it. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number:  125355

Women (Biography)

The Prison Book Club by Ann Walmsley.

An attack in London left Ann Walmsley unable to walk alone down the street, and shook her belief in the fundamental goodness of people. A few years later, when a friend asked her to participate in a bold new venture in a men’s medium security prison, Ann had to weigh her curiosity and desire to be of service against her anxiety and fear. But she signed on, and for eighteen months went to a remote building at Collins Bay, meeting a group of heavily tattooed book club members without the presence of guards or security cameras. There was no wine and cheese, no plush furnishings. But a book club on the inside of a prison proved to be a place to share ideas and regain a sense of humanity. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125354

Braille Adult Fiction

Canadian fiction

Wenjack by Joseph Boyden.

An Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian School. He realizes too late just how far away home is. Along the way he’s followed by Manitous, spirits of the forest who comment on his plight, cajoling, taunting, and ultimately offering him a type of comfort on his difficult journey back to the place he was so brutally removed from. Bestseller. CNIB, 1 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number:  125531

Historical Novels

The Underground Rail Road by Colson Whitehead.

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey – hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. Bestseller. Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number:  125515

Historical Romance

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman.

A forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas, about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro, one of the Fathers of Impressionism. CNIB, 5 f, contracted UEB. Ebraille number:  125348

The Family

The Party Wall by Catherine Leroux translated from the French by Lazer Lederhendler.

Ties together stories about siblings joined in surprising ways. A woman learns that she absorbed her twin sister’s body in the womb and that she has two sets of DNA; a girl in the deep South pushes her sister out of the way of a speeding train, losing her legs; and a political couple learn that they are non-identical twins separated at birth. Winner of the Quebec Bookseller’s Prize and the Prestigious France-Quebec Prize. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125507

Mystery and Detective Stories

The Obsidian Chambera Pendergast Novel by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

After a harrowing, otherworldly confrontation on the shores of Exmouth, Massachusetts, Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is missing, presumed dead. Sick with grief, his ward, Constance, retreats to her chambers beneath the family mansion at 891 Riverside Drive – only to be taken captive by a shadowy figure from the past. Proctor, Pendergast’s longtime bodyguard, springs to action, chasing Constance’s kidnapper through cities, across oceans, and into wastelands unknown. And by the time Proctor discovers the truth, a terrifying engine has stirred, and it may already be too late. Bestseller. Agent Pendergast series, book 16. CNIB, 5 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125538

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti.

Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan’s social elite. She is on the board of one of the city’s most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips. What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her.  As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she – whoever she is – vanishes completely. CNIB, 4 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number:  125517


The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena.

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all – a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story. Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Bestseller. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125514

Short Stories and Essays

Willem de Kooning’s Paint Brush Stories by Kerry Lee Powell.

Ranging from an island holiday gone wrong to a dive bar on the upswing to a yuppie mother in a pricey subdivision seeing her worst fears come true, these stories are populated by barkeeps, good men down on their luck, rebellious teens, lonely immigrants, dreamers and realists, fools and quiet heroes. Each character, no matter what their choices, is deeply human in their search for connection. Powell holds us in her grasp, exploring with a black humour themes of belonging, the simmering potential for violence and the meaning of art no matter where it is found, and revealing with each story something essential about the way we see the world. CNIB, 2 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125518


Blue by Danielle Steel.

Ginny Carter and her husband, Mark, were a golden couple – she, a rising on-air reporter, and he, the most popular anchorman in the business. They had it all: the gorgeous home in Beverly Hills, a marriage and life that were the envy of all, and a cherished, darling three-year-old son, Chris. But everything changed one fateful night, when Mark and Chris were killed in a car crash just two days before Christmas. Bestseller. CNIB, 3 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125403

The Family

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf.

In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf’s inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbour, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis’s wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. CNIB, 1 f, contracted, UEB. Ebraille number: 125385

Junior Collection

Macca the Backpacker by Matt Cosgrove.

Macca the Alpaca dreams of exploring, so he packs his backpack and sets off on a mountain adventure. But when things get tough, how will Macca make it to the top? Read by Rex Duis in 23 minutes. Available as: Audio 141244

Macca’s Makeover by Matt Cosgrove.

Macca the Alpaca desperately wants to be cool, just like his friends. Will a new hair-do cut it? Maybe a trip to the gym will work out? Or perhaps he needs the latest accessories? Macca’s makeover shows him what it is that makes him truly special. Read by Rex Duis in 18 minutes. Available as: Audio 140748, Kit 140747

Macca and Al, Super Pals by Matt Cosgrove.

When these best-pal alpacas decide to dress up as superheroes and do good deeds, things don’t go quite as planned. But with some help from their friends, the dynamic duo learn that you don’t always need to wear a cape to be a hero. Read by Rex Duis in 23 minutes. Available as: Audio 140745, Kit 140744                                                                       

BatKiwi by Melinda Szymanik; illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White.

Kiwi lives in the forest amongst the kākāpō, kunekune pigs, ruru, wētā and kerurū. He longs to be fast enough to come to the aid of his friends when they are in need. There is just one problem, Kiwi is pretty fast….but his sturdy legs are just not fast enough….and they can’t carry him up trees! Read by Janice Finn in 25 minutes. Available as: Audio 141281

Wonky Donkey’s Big Surprise by Craig Smith; illustrations by Katz Cowley.

In this adventure, Wonky has a wonderful surprise for Dinky Donkey. Wee Dinky woke one weekend with wonder in her eyes. Today her daddy Wonky promised such a big surprise. Wonky Donkey wakes up Dinky Donkey to let her know a surprise is coming her way. Is it warm? Is it washable? Is it wise? Is it wrinkly? Read by Christina Cie in 16 minutes. Available as: Audio 140767, Kit 140766

The Story of Swoop by Matt Owens; illustrated by Emma Gustafson.

Volunteer firefighter Matt Owens stops to rescue a lost magpie chick on the side of the road. He named the magpie ‘Swoop’ and took it home to care for it. Surprisingly, Matt’s black cat, Mogli, and Swoop formed a close relationship. They went everywhere together and even snuggled up together to sleep at night. Then, one day, Swoop disappeared. Available as: Audio 140664, Kit 140663 

The Proudest Blue: A story of hijab and family by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S. K. Ali; art by Hatem Aly.

Asiya’s hijab is like the ocean and the sky, no line between them, saying hello with a loud wave. It’s Faizah’s first day of school, and her older sister Asiya’s first day of wearing hijab – made of a beautiful blue fabric. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful. In the face of hurtful, confusing words, will Faizah find new ways to be strong? This is an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond shared by siblings and of being proud of who you are, from Olympic medallist Ibtihaj Muhammad. Available as: Audio 141402, Etext 141085

Raising Lumie by Joan Bauer.

Newly orphaned and living with the half sister she hardly knows, twelve-year-old Olive rediscovers her hope when she starts training a guide dog puppy. Read by Anne Speir in 5 hours. Available as: Audio 141278

The Unimaginary Friend written by Guy Bass; illustrated by Pete Williamson.

Greetings! My name is Skeleton Keys and these fantabulant fingers of mine can open doors to hidden worlds? Join me for the curious tale of Ben Bunsen, whose only friend is a figment of his imagination, until now. Ben’s imaginary friend is about to become unimaginary, and his world will never be the same again. Prepare for monsters, pirates, and a story so truly unbelievable. For strange things can happen when imaginations run wild. Skeleton Keys #1. Has sequel: The haunting of Luna Moon, 141301. Read by Christina Cie in 3 hours, 1 minutes. Available as: Audio 141300

The Haunting of Luna Moon written by Guy Bass; illustrated by Pete Williamson.

Luna is the only one to mourn the death of her grandfather Old Man Moon – the rest of her family couldn’t be happier to see the back of the bad-tempered old miser. But as they celebrate his demise with a giddy jig, Aunt Summer vanishes….only to reappear as a painting. While Luna is convinced her grandfather has kept his word to haunt them from beyond the grave, Skeleton Keys is certain that this is the work of an unimaginary. Can he get to the bottom of the mystery before the whole of Luna’s family disappears? Skeleton Keys #2. Sequel to: The unimaginary friend, 141300. Has sequel: The legend of Gap-tooth Jack, not available yet. Read by Christina Cie in 2 hours, 54 minutes. Available as: Audio 141301

Code Name Bananas by David Walliams.

London: 1940. Britain is at war with Nazi Germany. Eleven-year-old Eric spends his days at the place that makes him most happy: London Zoo. And there’s one animal in particular he loves: Gertrude the gorilla. With bombs falling all over London, Eric must rescue Gertrude. Together with his Uncle Sid, a keeper at the zoo, the three go on the run. Read by Christina Cie in 7 hours, 2 minutes. Available as: Audio 141460

Grandpa’s Great Escape written by David Walliams; illustrated by Tony Ross.

Jack’s Grandpa wears his slippers to the supermarket, serves up Spam a’ la Custard for dinner and often doesn’t remember Jack’s name. But he can still take to the skies in a speeding Spitfire and save the day. Read by Christina Cie in 6 hours, 7 minutes. Available as: Audio 141499


  • 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