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Talking Books Talk

Talking Books Talk provides news and updates about the Kansas Talking Books Service (KTBS). Talking Books staff will highlight relevant announcements from KTBS and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Questions: KTB@ks.gov or 800-362-0699

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May 25

Book Club Faves

Posted on May 25, 2022 at 1:14 PM by Maggie Witte

Kansas Talking Books facilitates two book clubs held virtually so all KTB patrons can participate. We use the Zoom meeting platform to run the book clubs because Zoom is accessible and can be accessed online or by calling in.

The Manhattan VIP (visually impaired persons) book club started as an in-person book club held in Manhattan, but, with COVID, we had to move to a virtual format and decided to open the book club to all patrons. It meets at 1:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month.

We created the Kansas Talking Books Quarterly Phone Book club in 2018 to reach the patrons across the state. Originally meeting twice a year, we increased the number of meetings in 2019 to once a quarter. Discussions are held the second Wednesday of March, June, September, and December. Our June discussion always ties in to that year’s summer reading theme.

For both book clubs, we read in a variety of genres, both fiction (not real) and nonfiction (true stories). We’ve all had our preferences, but we’ve learned that some books we would never pick to read on our own often become our favorites. So we asked our book club members what some of their favorite books are and shared list with you.

Black and white photo of five women in uniforms standing together.

DB 89397 Code girls: the untold story of the American women code breakers who helped win World War II by Liza Mundy

An account of the work of the thousands of women who served as codebreakers in the US during World War II. Discusses the ramifications of their work for the war and in the larger field of cryptanalysis. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2017.

Mountains under a red sky.

DB 90012 Beneath a scarlet sky by Mark Sullivan

Milan, 1943. Teenager Pino Lella becomes involved in the resistance movement to ferry Jews out of Italy. To save him, Pino's family enlists him in the German army. When he is assigned as a driver for General Hans Leyers, Pino begins spying. Violence and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller.  2017.

Illustration of a house perched on a cliff over ocean with van parked in front of the house.

DB 98951 The house in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

As a case worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, Linus Baker spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. He is unexpectedly given a highly classified assignment: travel to a remote island orphanage where six dangerous children reside. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Painting of a girl with dark hair in a red coat next to yellow flowers.

DB 96739 The Dutch house by Ann Patchett

Through a canny investment at the end of World War II, Cyril Conroy lifts his family out of poverty. His first order of business is to buy the lavish Dutch House. But this purchase brings only heartache to his loved ones--including children Danny and Maeve. Commercial audiobook. 2019.

The Great Alone cover. Road run through a pink hued costal forest landscape with mountains

DB 90090 The great alone by Kristin Hannah

An historical saga that begins in the seventeenth century with Luka, a Russian fur trader, who settles in the Aleutian Islands and takes a gentle Aleut woman as his concubine. The story follows the stalwart family and their descendents as they move through the harsh landscape and play their parts in Alaskan history. Explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. 1986.

Woman standing in tropical forest with sun shining through blocking her face.

DB 97880 A madness of sunshine by Nalini Sinh

After her husband's death, Anahera Rawiri returns to her remote New Zealand hometown of Golden Cove. She learns a local woman has disappeared and cop Will Gallagher fears there might be a connection to another missing persons case from years before. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.

The only plane in the sky book cover. Book title in gold on top of a black background.

DB 96933 The only plane in the sky: an oral history of 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff

An account of the 9/11 al-Qaeda terrorist attack on America through the voices of the people who experienced it. Draws on transcripts, declassified documents, interviews, and oral histories from government officials, first responders, witnesses, survivors, friends, and family members. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.

Person sitting on the edge of a dock looking at the sun low in the sky reflecting on the water.

DB 102149 This tender land by William Kent Krueger

Odie, his older brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and little Emmy escape from the Lincoln School and the harsh superintendent. They use a canoe to travel down the Mississippi River, intent on finding a new place for themselves, and cross paths with other drifters. Contains some strong language and violence. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.

The Wrecking Crew Book Cover

DB 74698 The Wrecking Crew: the inside story of rock and roll’s best-kept secret by Kent Hartman

Music-industry insider profiles the Los Angeles-area studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, who in the 1960s and '70s secretly played instruments on such hits as "California Dreamin'" and "Bridge over Troubled Water." Discusses group members Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, and others who forged their own successful careers. 2012.

Oil well silhouetted in front of the sun with a red and orange sky.

DB 87767 Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI by David Grann

An examination of the 1920s murders of wealthy Osage Indian Nation members in Oklahoma. When the newly-formed FBI bungled the investigation, Director Hoover turned to ex-Texas Ranger Tom White, who put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the Bureau. Contains some strong language and some violence. Commercial audiobook. 2017.

Title Crazy Rich Asians in pink letters on top of gold glitter background.

DB 77099 Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Nicholas Young brings his girlfriend Rachel Chu home to Singapore to meet his wealthy family. But Rachel finds herself unable to cope with his rich and spiteful relatives--especially his mother. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2013.