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Monday, August 26, 2013

Talking Book Review

For our next Talking Book review Erica has chosen August's Independent Living for the Adult Blind (ILAB) Book Club's selection The Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R.A. Scotti.

     In Paris at the start of a radically new century, the most famous face in the history of art stepped out of her frame and into a sensational mystery. On August 21, 1911, the unfathomable happened—Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa vanished from the Louvre. More than twenty-four hours passed before museum officials realized she was gone. The prime suspects were as shocking as the crime: Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire, young provocateurs of a new art. As French detectives using the latest methods of criminology, including fingerprinting, tried to trace the thieves, a burgeoning international media hyped news of the heist.

     Part love story, part mystery, Vanished Smile reopens the case of the most audacious and perplexing art theft ever committed. R. A.Scotti’s riveting, ingeniously realized account is itself a masterly portrait of a world in transition. Combining her skills as a historian and a novelist, Scotti turns the tantalizing clues into a story of the painting’s transformation into the most familiar and lasting icon of all time.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Talking Book review

This post marks the first installment of a series of weekly book reviews submitted by a long-time Talking Book customer, Erica. She will be reviewing books written by and about people who have a visual disability, the Independent Living for the Adult Blind Book Club monthly selection as well as fiction and nonfiction titles of interest.

Book Review on Taking Hold: My Journey Into Blindness by Sally Hobart Alexander

RC/DB 40247 (DB available for download only). Alexander's story of her adjustment to blindness reads like a gripping suspense novel with all the makings. She was a fit and healthy third-grade teacher when she first noticed a black line flit across her eye and disappear. After a series of various doctor appointments, temporary vision losses, and numerous hospital stays, she gradually realized that at some point she would be completely blind. She began to learn Braille and eventually checked into a center to learn new life skills. Her emphasis is not on the hospitals and the rehab center but on coming to grips with her disability and all the accompanying emotions of fear, anger, despair, loneliness, and acceptance. Her tension-filled relationship with her boyfriend is realistically portrayed. Since the ending downplays the serious obstacles she has yet to face, the story is uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging. Readers will find the pages turning quickly not wanting the book to end.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Attention Braille Volunteers!!!

The Temple Sisterhood Braille Group is looking for volunteers to train as Braille transcribers. The group meets at Congregation Ahavath Chesed at 8727 San Jose Blvd. For many years this group of volunteers has transcribed all different types of printed material into Braille. The Talking Book Library often refers students who need education materials such as textbooks to this group. Throughout the year the group works to transcribe printed materials for local organizations such as the Florida Instructional Material Center, Duval and Clay County Schools, and the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind as well as filling requests submitted from other parts of the country. Training classes for men and women over 18 are on Thursday mornings. You can reach the Temple Sisterhood Braille Group at (904) 955-8831.