Halloweird Horror

by Abbey Lukiewski,
LBPH Reader Advisor

I recently went to a meeting that discussed horror books, because Halloween is…well…today. Happy Halloween by the way! During the meeting we discussed a variety of types of horror books. There are a LOT of sub-genres. The one though that surprised me the most, was “weird” as a sub-genre. “Weird” horror is defined as horror that has “blended the supernatural, mythical, and even scientific into stories that were ultimately strange, uncanny, or unreal in nature”. The sub-genre actually originated in the early 1900s but has recently been expanding, so there is also “new weird” as well. So in honor of Halloween, and this new lesson (at least for me) about the horror genre, here are some titles that may spook you as you read.

Cover for Annihilation by Vandermeer

by Jeff Vandermeer
DB 78378
After eleven previous expeditions fail, the Southern Reach sends a team of four women–a biologist, a psychologist, an anthropologist, and a surveyor–to investigate the mysterious Area X. But the women soon succumb to the otherworldly influence that threatens their lives. Some violence. 2014.

The Red Tree
by Caitlin R. Keirnan
DB 71450
Rhode Island. After her girlfriend kills herself, lesbian writer Sarah Crowe discovers an unfinished manuscript by a farmhouse tenant who died while researching supernatural folklore about an ancient oak tree. Sarah’s subsequent obsession threatens her sanity–and her life. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2009.

GalvestonCover for Galveston by Pizzolatto
by Nic Pizzolatto
DB 74573
New Orleans, 1987. Roy Cady survives his gangster boss’s double cross and flees town with Rocky, a young prostitute. They head to Texas, where they pick up Rocky’s three-year-old sister and hide out in a trashy motel in Galveston. Violence and some strong language. Spur Award–Best First Novel.   2010.


by Kerry Hanahan & Tony Mareino,
LBPH Reader Advisors

In 1950, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard published a book called Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.  According to Scientology.org, Hubbard claimed to have found the source of “nightmares, unreasonable fears, upsets, insecurities and psychosomatic illness—the reactive mind” and he “laid out a simple, practical, easily taught technology to overcome [the reactive mind] and reach the state of Clear.”  Hubbard called this technology Dianetics and defined Clear as state users’ hoped to achieve where “a being who no longer has his own reactive mind” and “individuals regain their basic personality, self-determinism and, in essence, become much, much more themselves.”

Front Entrance of the Church of Scientology building in Los Angeles

Scientology is the religion that came out of the Dianetics movement.  After two years of work, Hubbard and his team opened up the first Church of Scientology in 1954 in Los Angeles, California and has since expanded throughout the world. The organization with most notoriety being the “Sea Org”, a described private naval force that requires a lifetime commitment to the religion.

We believe that the following is essential reading that about Scientology, not because we ascribe to this or any particular movement, but because of just how fascinating, sordid, and mysterious the organization itself is. In order to get the true essence of Hubbard, Scientology, and the mystique surrounding it – we suggest the following reading, in this particular order.

If you’re unfamiliar with Dianetics and Scientology, check out L. Ron Hubbard’s words for yourself in his book Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science (DB 34349).

There have also been several books questioning Hubbard’s technologies and their effectiveness.  Start with Rolling Stone contributing editor Janet Reitman’s Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion (DB 73558).

Interested in how Scientology made it’s way to Hollywood and became associated with box-office-draws like Tom Cruise and John Travolta?  Then move on to Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright (DB 76200).

Finally, read a memoir written by someone who has publicly left Scientology.  Jenna Miscavige Hill grew up in Scientology and is the niece of David Miscaviage, current Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center and predecessor of Scientology founder Hubbard as the leader of the religion.  Her book is Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and my Harrowing Escape (DB 76369).

Audit your OT levels with these reads:

Dianetics: The Evolutions of a Science
by L. Ron Hubbard
DB 34349
The controversial and bestselling author of ‘Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health” (RD 8295) tells the story of his research in understanding and using the full capabilities ofthe human mind. He also explains how dianetics can be used by individuals to better understand themselves and live happier, more successful lives. Includes glossary, bibliography, and short biographical sketch. 1989.

Cover for Reitman's Inside ScientologyInside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion
by Janet Reitman
DB 73558
Journalist investigates the Church of Scientology’s history from its 1954 creation by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Discusses Hubbard’s beliefs, David Miscavige’s takeover of the organization after Hubbard’s 1986 demise, and lawsuits by defectors. Covers the church’s war against psychiatry and feuds with the IRS. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2011.

Cover for Wright's Going ClearGoing Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
by Lawrence Wright
DB 76200
Pulitzer Prize-winning author examines the inner workings of the church created by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Discusses leader David Miscavige and membership levels. Details celebrities who joined, their rise within the organization, and their endorsement of Scientology. Chronicles filmmaker Paul Haggis’s investigation of the church. Bestseller. 2013.

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
by Jenna Miscaviage Hill
DB 76369
Third-generation Scientologist’s memoir of growing up in the church, which was led by her uncle David. Describes her isolated childhood, separation from her parents, and the abusive punishment for disobedience. Highlights her rise in the organization and later disenchantment and desire for a normal life. Some strong language. 2013.

A Sam Axe Reading List

by Eric Meisberger,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Here is another in our series of reading lists for great fictional characters.Actor Bruce Campbell poses as character Sam Axe

I am an unabashed fan of the underrated television show Burn Notice. One of the best characters on the show was Sam Axe, who was played by the fantastic Bruce Campbell. The character of Sam Axe is a former Navy Seal with spy contacts through many branches of local and federal government. Sam, an old friend of the main character Michael, starts the show off as an informant who is spying on Michael to the FBI. Through a series of events Sam ends up working with Michael and is along for the ride helping him get his career and good name back, taking on freelance jobs around Miami. Sam loves to drink, loves classic cars, and is incredibly loyal to his friends. I present to you, a Sam Axe Reading List:


Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper
by Howard E Wasdin
DB 73316
/ CL 14683
Wasdin, a former Navy SEAL Team Six sniper, chronicles his training and war experiences, including special operations during Desert Storm. Details the mission that almost cost him his life–the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia, the basis for the 2001 movie “Black Hawk Down”. Bestseller.  2011.

Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer
by Maureen Ogle
DB 63591

Traces the history of beer brewing and consumption from the mid-1800s, when an influx of German immigrants energized the industry. Profiles beer entrepreneurs Frederick Pabst, Budweiser’s Carl Conrad, and the Busch and Yuengling families. Examines the impact of Prohibition, World Wars I and II, and the rise of microbreweries. 2006.

Cover for Clancy's Against All Enemies

Against All Enemies
by Tom Clancy
DB 73301 / CL 14751
After his mission to take custody of a high-ranking Taliban prisoner goes horribly wrong, a former Navy SEAL is asked to return to America and investigate an alliance between the Taliban and a Mexican drug cartel. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller. Commercial audiobook. 2011.


Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars
by Paul Ingrassia
DB 76148

Pulitzer Prize winner and author of “Crash Course” (DB 71814) analyzes fifteen iconic cars and their impact on American society and history. Profiles Henry Ford, Ferdinand Porche, Heinz Nordoff, Soichiro Honda, and other industrialists. Also details the development of the Ford Model T, Volkswagen Beetle, and Honda Accord. 2012.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

by Kerry Hanahan,
LBPH Reader Advisor

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

A Pink Ribbon symbolizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with the words "Helping Women Now"

During October in Pittsburgh, you may see support for the fight against breast cancer in many ways throughout the month. Besides pink ribbons, in the past we’ve seen mammogram trucks parked around town, such as in front of the William Pitt Union on Fifth Avenue in Oakland. Our Pittsburgh Penguins have participated in the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer program since 1998, and often have special white and pink rally towels or wear purple jerseys. The Gulf Tower, located Downtown, usually uses the colored lights atop the 44-story building as a weather beacon–however, the lights had been known to flash pink during October. Also Downtown, we’ve even seen the fountain at The Point dyed pink  to support breast cancer awareness.

For more resources about breast cancer, check out the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. and this list of free/reduced cost mammogram resources from CYB.

We also have a reading list available for LBPH patrons:

A Breast Cancer Alphabet
by Madhulika Sikka
DB 79029
News executive and breast cancer survivor offers a navigation guide to the road from diagnosis to treatment and beyond in hopes of demystifying breast cancer for others. Unrated. Commercial audiobook.    2014.

Prevention: The Ultimate Guide to Breast Cancer
by Mary L Gemignani
DB 77703
Basic guide for those with breast cancer. Discusses coming to terms with the diagnosis and sharing the news, treatments and complementary therapies, financial concerns, the importance of good nutrition and exercise, coping with stress, and recovery. Includes personal stories. 2013.

The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book
by Lynn C Hartmann
DB 75600
Mayo Clinic medical oncologists provide a comprehensive explanation of breast cancer from basics to treatment options, side effects, associated cancers, and supportive care. Includes a guide for family members on medical and emotional issues. 2012.

Up and Coming

by Abbey Lukiewski,
LBPH Reader Advisor

I was recently searching online for some good book recommendations. I found these three books and was intrigued by the premise, and that all the main characters were blind. I realized that in the past I hadn’t read many books that had blind main characters. In fact the most recent one I could think of was The Fault in Our Stars. I decided to pick up these books because they seemed different from the traditional story and I’m hoping that they fit the bill because I’m looking forward to something different. She is Not Invisible and Blind are currently being recorded by NLS, and Blindsided is currently available.

She is Not InvisibleShe is Not Invisibly by Sedgwick
by Marcus Sedgwick
DB 79575
Sixteen-year-old Londoner Laureth Peak’s father goes missing while researching his next book. Even though she happens to be blind, she drags her younger brother Benjamin to New York to find their dad and follows the clues. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2013.

by Rachel DeWoskin
DB 79520
After a horrific accident leaves her blind, fifteen-year-old Emma, one of seven children, eagerly starts high school as a sophomore. She finds that nearly everything has changed–sometimes for the better. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2014.

Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings

by Priscilla Cummings
DB 71417
Fourteen-year-old Natalie attends a boarding school for the blind to learn braille, cane use, and self-protection skills. After she and her roommate are attacked by drunks, Natalie must decide whether to retreat to her parents’ home or actively claim an independent life. Some violence. For grades 6-9. 2010.

Best of BARD: September 2014

by Tony Mareino,
LBPH Reader Advisor

September was good month for the big dogs, as the Top Five downloads for the month are all the familiar names we know and love. Making a defiant return to the top of the charts is the one and only King Patterson, after what was a lengthy absence of two months from making a name on the charts. This time he’s joined by the upper echelon of best selling fiction – Clark, Child, Sandford and Jance – all worthy foes, but currently only lying at the feet of greatness. What will happen next month in the Top Five – will Patterson keep his head in the crown? We could wait with baited breath, but I might suggest we just keep on reading what we love and let those big dogs sort it out themselves. Here’s the Top Five:

DB 79192 / CL 15385
by James Patterson
Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved kidnappings, rapes, and murders, Emmy Dockery has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Not even Emmy’s field agent ex-boyfriend believes the cases are connected. Then Emmy finds a piece of evidence he can’t ignore. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2014.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin
DB 78644 / CL 15337
by Mary Higgins Clark
Five years ago someone killed Dr. Greg Moran while he pushed his three-year-old son on a park swing. Now his widow Laurie begins production of a reality television show on the twenty-year-old murder of a socialite, not realizing the two terrifying, unsolved cases will soon merge. Some violence. Bestseller. 2014.

Cover for Personal by ChildPersonal
DB 79349
by Lee Child
Retired military cop Jack Reacher is pulled back into service–this time for the State Department and the CIA–and teamed with rookie analyst Casey Nice. Someone took a shot at the president of France in the City of Light, and the bullet was American. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.

Field of Prey
DB 78933 / CL 15350
Lucas Davenport and other BCA agents work with local law enforcement after the discovery of several bodies in an abandoned Minnesota farmyard cistern–the work of a local serial killer who has been murdering one victim every summer for years. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2014.

Second Watch
DB 78719
by JA Jance
In the hospital after knee-replacement surgery, Seattle private investigator J.P. Beaumont has vivid dreams about his early days on the force and serving in Vietnam. They lead him to revisit an old case–which in turn drives someone to murder. Strong language. 2013.


by LBPH Staff

The Talking Books at LBPH book club will be meeting on Thursday, October 23rd. The book selected is a haunting historical fiction novel.

Cover for the Ghost of Mary Celeste by MartinThe Ghost of Mary Celeste
DB 78202
by Valerie Martin
The Briggs and Cobb families are beset with deaths at sea. In 1859 Maria Briggs and her husband Joseph Gibbs are swept overboard. In 1872 the Mary Celeste, which was commanded by Benjamin Briggs, is found abandoned. In 1881 struggling writer Arthur Conan Doyle’s tale questions the families’ fates. 2014.

The Talking Books at LBPH book club meets every two months at Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. If you are interested in joining the book club please contact us today!