Baggott, Julianna. Pure. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14 hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9781611131369. $84.99; Playaway digital; digital download. SF
In a creepy dystopian future, the detonation of nanotechnology bombs causes people to fuse with whatever was near them during the explosion‚ animals, other people, or, sometimes, objects. Since the blast, the unaffected Pures live inside the Dome in isolation and under rigid control. In swirling ash and constant fear, the misshapen Wretches live outside, eking out meager existences, hiding from the local militia, and plotting to attack the Dome. Partridge the Pure wants to find his mother and the truth about his past. Pressia the Wretch seeks safety and salvation. When the two meet, they find something else entirely. Baggott’s imagery is matchless in this freakish and compelling tale of love and revolution. A full-cast narration (Khristine Hvam, Joshua Swanson, Kevin T. Collins, and Casey Holloway) transports the listener thoroughly into Baggott’s imaginative and substantial details. VERDICT A sure hit for fans of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games and Stephenie Meyer’s The Host. [The Grand Central pb will publish in December.‚ Ed.]‚ Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix P.L.
Hannah, Kristin. Home Front. 12 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 15 hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781427215581. $39.99; 5 CDs. retail ed. abridged. 6¬Ω hrs.; digital download. F
In the aftermath of the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, listeners will find themselves immersed in a fictional but very real story of the war’s cost to National Guard families serving in this elongated conflict. Jolene Zarkades, a 41-year-old Black Hawk helicopter pilot and mother of two young girls, is sent to Iraq with Tammy, her next-door neighbor and best friend. The impact on the two soldiers, their loved ones, and their fellow crew members is captured in a whirlwind of emotions that never preaches but gives faces to the reality of the dangers in the war and afterward. VERDICT The novel’s second half, a moving exploration of the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on an already shaky family dynamic, is especially well read by Maggi-Meg Reed, who inhabits all the voices and characters with skill and heartfelt emotion. A timely book that is highly recommended for all audiences. [Hannah has written a remarkable tale of duty, love, strength, and hope…. Buy multiples for her many fans, read the similarly starred review of the St. Martin’s hc, LJ 1/12.‚ Ed.] ‚ Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo
Friend, Catherine. Hit by a Farm: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Barn. 6 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Dog Ear Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781935061137. $36.95; digital download. MEMOIR
The average person usually acquires most of their knowledge about farms from singing Old McDonald or reading Charlotte’s Web. Friend’s experience was not that much different when she agreed to start a small farm with her partner Melissa. The former city dweller and self-proclaimed bookworm quickly discovered she was out of her element when having to deal with the hard, messy, backbreaking‚ and sometimes heartbreaking‚ work that accompanied her new way of life. The author narrates in her strong accent, adding some Minnesota flavor to her honest and touching story about trying to support her partner’s dream without sacrificing her own. VERDICT This behind-the-scenes look at the real work farmers do will have listeners simultaneously grossed out, hysterical, and fascinated. Friend’s story will appeal to city slickers and country folks alike. [Not quite so enthralled was the review of the Marlowe: Avalon pb, LJ 4/1/06: Although some books…can transform the woes of farming and rural life into entertaining, sparkling tales, this one lacks such charm. ‚ Theresa Horn, St. Joseph Cty. P.L., South Bend, IN
The Best-Kept Secret in U.S. Libraries:
Services to Patrons with Vision and Learning Disabilities
At the recent Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia, March 14‚ 17, a trio of librarians delivered an eye-opening talk on what Keri Wilkins, administrator, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the Free Library of Philadelphia, dubbed the best-kept secret in the United States. Along with moderator Patrice Johnson of the Chicago Public Library and the Library of Congress’s Jill Garcia, Wilkins offered an inspiring talk on the free materials available to the vision-impaired and learning-challenged during the session Digital Access, the Future Is Now! The Next Dimension of Accessible Audio Media.
Reaffirming that these services aren’t just for the blind, the panelists provided a laundry list of government-funded programs
open to every public library. Stating that one in five Americans suffers from some vision loss, and one in ten severely so,
Garcia said that the materials are customizable for each person’s needs and reading tastes. If you like romance novels but don’t want descriptions of sex, no problem. If you like thrillers without severe violence or harsh language, that’s available, too.
Not just audiobooks
And these materials are not limited to audiobooks, although those are included; musical scores, magazines, and more all can be had in Braille, refreshable Braille (a strip with cells that move along like ticker tape), and more. Materials also are offered in 52 languages. Since 13 percent of vets returning from Iraq have eye injuries, they are given special priority to receive the digital audio players, with content that is updated weekly, if not daily.
Levels of need
The free services are divided by levels of need, with materials for those born blind, those slowly going blind owing to age or illness (newly blind), and people suddenly blinded in accidents, etc. Forget the white cane and dark glasses, said Johnson. These services are for everyone with vision or learning disabilities, she said. Additionally, anyone with dyslexia or other conditions that are an impediment to learning also qualify for the service.
Johnson also said there is a surplus of materials available, so entire communities can easily be accommodated. The National
Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped’s website (ow.ly/a1QLl) has all the information needed to start.
‚ Mike Rogers
For all the latest reviews in this subject area and more, see LJ‘s new Reviews Center (Beta)!The Reviews Center (Beta) is available free through March 1, 2012 to all users with a Library Journal or School Library Journal online account (this includes current recipients of our email newsletters). Don’t know if you have an account with us? It’s easy to check and verify your email, or create a new account.Log in to the Reviews Center (Beta) now.
The following titles are reviewed in the May 1 print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.
Baer, Neal & Jonathan Green. Kill Switch. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9 hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455126217. $57; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; 8 CDs. retail ed; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Barnes, Julian. The Sense of an Ending. 4 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 4¬Ω hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792784647. $49.95; 4 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. F
Fletcher, Susan. The Highland Witch. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 12 hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455117161. $105; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Haymore, Jennifer. Confessions of an Improper Bride. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781452636092. $83.99; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; 8 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Lescroart, John. The Hunter. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11¬Ω hrs. Brillance Audio 2012. ISBN 9781611064070. $84.97;
10 CDs. retail ed.; 5 CDs. retail ed. abridged. 6 hrs.; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. MYS
Poe, Edgar Allan & others. Short Stories: After Dark Classics. 5 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 6 hrs. CSA Word. 2012.
ISBN 9781906147884. $25.95. HORROR
Proust, Marcel. Swann’s Way. 17 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 21¬Ω hrs. Naxos Audiobooks. 2012. ISBN 9781843796060. $98.98;
digital download. CLASSIC
Sharp, Zöe. Fifth Victim. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 12¬Ω hrs. Dreamscape Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781605982762. $47.99;
2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. THRILLER
Matthews, Chris. Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero. 12 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 13¬Ω hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781442350458. $39.99; digital download. BIOG
Maxwell, John. The Five Levels of Leadership.6 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Hachette Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781607885177. $26.98; 6 CDs. library ed. Recorded Bks.; Playaway digital; digital download. BUS
Weiner, Tim. Enemies: A History of the FBI. 15 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 18¬Ω hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307933959. $45; 15 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio;digital download. HIST
Religion in America
Barry, John M. Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty. 14 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 17¬º hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781464004247. $123.75; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. HIST/REL
Bowman, Matthew. The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11¬Ω hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780449010631; 9 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; digital download. HIST/REL