Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the ADA!

by Devon Evans,
LBPH LibrarianADA 25 Pittsburgh Logo

July 26th marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Former president George Bush signed the Act into Law and thereby transformed the lives of those within the disability community as well as the friends and family members of persons with a disability. The ADA is a federal civil rights law that protects the rights and all aspects of life for the disabled community – including in public and at work.

Even before the ADA was signed into Law, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) made efforts to increase inclusion for those with disabilities. CLP began circulating braille books in 1911. When the Pratt-Smoot Act passed in 1931, CLP was one of the original thirteen libraries that participated nationwide by circulating braille and talking books for those unable to use standard print materials. Today, Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has grown to serve all of Pennsylvania with audiobooks, playback equipment, audio described DVDs, and large print materials.

If you’d like to see how the City of Pittsburgh as a whole made efforts to increase access and inclusion, a timeline has been provided by the FISA Foundation.

However, despite the implementation of the ADA and all the efforts that came before it, there are still many inequalities that need to be addressed. For example, only about 34% of Pennsylvanians with disabilities are employed, as opposed to a national employment rate of 76% for those without disabilities. The disabled community accounts for 19% of the U.S. population – that’s larger than any nationally recognized minority group.

If you’d like more information about the ADA and the struggles that led up to it, here are some things for your reading list.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
DB 31035 / BR 08232
Text of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement by Fred Pelka
DB 74570
Twentieth-century disability activists describe their political struggles for basic human rights, which led to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. They discuss landmark campaigns, including the demand for a deaf president at Gallaudet University and ADAPT’s struggle for accessible public transit. 2012.

E. L. Doctorow

by Briana Albright,Author E.L. Doctorow
LBPH Reader Advisor

Yesterday we lost an American great. E. L. Doctorow (1931-2015) was an author, essayist, and leading figure in contemporary letters. The author of a dozen novels, three collections of short fiction, a stage drama, and numerous essays and commentary on literature and politics, Doctorow was best known for his genre-bending blend of fiction and fact.

Back in 2013, I attended a reading by Doctorow of his then forthcoming novel, Andrew’s Brain. I hadn’t read much Doctorow at the time, but the experience of hearing what was sure to be another great novel read by its author produced in me a strong desire to run home and read everything he’d ever written.

Doctorow was prolific. His novels fictionalize events and figures of 20th-century America, blending history and myth in a way that subtly subverts the dichotomy of fact and fiction. Since hearing Doctorow read from his last novel, Andrew’s Brain, I’ve read three more of his novels and found that I enjoyed each more than the last. Luckily, almost all of his novels have been recorded by the NLS and are available from us here at LBPH or for download from BARD. Discover Doctorow in some of the titles below:

Andrew's Brain cover

Andrew’s Brain
DB 78414
Andrew, a cognitive scientist, recites the details of his life to Doc, a psychologist. Andrew reflects on his life and failings as a husband and father and questions if he has failed as a human being. Some descriptions of sex. 2014.

Homer & Langley
DB 69642 / CL 13827
Homer Collyer, the blind brother, and his older brother Langley, a WWI mustard-gas victim, become recluses in their Fifth Avenue brownstone, hoarding newspapers and collecting odd things – a model T Ford, typewriters, and surplus Army supplies–until they become imprisoned by their vast accumulations. BRagtime coverestseller. 2009.

DB 44378 / CL 1123
A story set in 1906 New York that incorporates luminaries of the period, including Theodore Roosevelt, Sigmund Freud, and Emma Goldman. A ragtime musician from Harlem falls victim to racist vandalism and seeks redress through violence. Strong language, violence, and some descriptions of sex. 1974.

The March
DB 60676 / CL 12715
This Civil War saga portrays the complex nature of General William Tecumseh Sherman as he leads Union troops through Georgia and the Carolinas. Describes the carnage and destruction that occur as well as the tender feelings that arise as the soldiers proceed. 2005.

Best of BARD: June 2015

by Tony Mareino,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you: there’s a reason we call him the King. Patterson sits on top, but not without a strong threat by Baldacci to run a repeat for number one. Rounding out the top five is Sandford, the ever present Stu Woods, and a nice showing by Diana Palmer.

14th Deadly Sin
by James Patterson
DB 81367 / 15758
As the Women’s Murder Club members gather to celebrate San Francisco Medical Examiner Claire Washburn’s birthday, Detective Lindsay Boxer is summoned to a gruesome crime scene. While Lindsay investigates, shocking video of another crime surfaces–video so horrific that it shakes the city to its core. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

Absolute Power by BaldacciAbsolute Power
by David Baldacci
DB 41882 / CL 5910
At sixty-six, with several jail terms behind him, Luther Whitney has decided this will be his last robbery. Everything goes according to plan–until Christine Sullivan comes home unexpectedly. Luther quickly hides in the walk-in safe and discovers it contains a one-way window. Soon Luther finds himself witnessing a brutal murder involving the president of the United States. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 1996.

Gathering Prey
by John Sandford
DB 81372
Called Travelers, they move from city to city, panhandling but committing no crimes. When Lucas Davenport’s adopted daughter, Letty, learns that a woman Traveler she’d befriended thinks somebody is killing her friends, Lucas accompanies Letty on an odyssey through a subculture unlike any he has ever seen. Unrated. Commercial audiobook.    2015.

Hot Pursuit
by Stuart Woods
DB 81450Hot Pursuit by Woods
While being trailed by his new lady love’s unstable, criminal ex-boyfriend, Stone Barrington must also deal with trouble brewing on the international stage. Several enemy operatives are at large, and only a coordinated intelligence effort will stand a chance of stopping their deadly plot. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

Wyoming Strong
by Diana Palmer
DB 80744
Fate intervenes to bring archenemies Wofford “Wolf” Patterson and Sara Brandon together on neighboring Wyoming ranches. But as love takes root between them, they cast their differences aside and see each other in a whole new light. Explicit descriptions of sex. 2014.

“One Summer” This Summer!

by Eric Meisberger,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Summer is underway! One of our favorite things here at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is a good selection of summer reads. Starting off this summer with a good book is definitely the way to go. I suggest One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. If you are already a fan of Bryson, you know what a great writer he is. If not, this is the perfect chance to get introduced to an excellent writer. One Summer America 1927 by Bryson

One Summer: America, 1927 is a book of history, but it focuses only on the summer of 1927. This pivotal point in 20th Century American history is full of interesting ideas and fascinating facts. Bryson looks into what consumed the public’s attention, the pop culture of the time, the news of the day, sports, and the political landscape of those few months. The author uses newspapers of the day to reconstruct what stories were in the public consciousness. What’s exceptional about this book is that even if you aren’t a huge fan of history, the way Bryson puts this together really draws the reader in. Don’t like one aspect of what was consuming the public imagination in the summer of 1927? No worries! There are many more that are interesting, engaging and worthy of your attention right around the corner. Start off summer 2015 with a book about a summer of fascinating turning points from years ago!

Best of BARD: May 2015

by Tony Mareino,
LBPH Reader Advisor

You know what time it is. Presented without much commentary this time around, are the undisputed champs of the Top Five. Lots of newcomers to the list (it’s good to see the friendly stranger Richard Castle getting some love), and lots of chills and thrills as per usual. Check out the titles below and we’ll see you next time.

Memory Man by BaldacciMemory Man
by David Baldacci
DB 81260
Amos Decker’s pro career ended immediately with a violent helmet-to-helmet collision, which also left him with the inability to forget anything. The second life-altering event happened two decades later, when police detective Decker returned from a stakeout to find his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law murdered. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

Wild Storm: a Derrick Storm Thriller
by Richard Castle
DB 81144
Derrick Storm is returning from vacation when the plane spirals into a nosedive. After Storm uses his climbing gear to tether himself to the wing and heroically save the plane and all the passengers, he is asked to investigate three other planes that crashed under similar circumstances. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

The Stolen Ones
by Richard Montanari
DB 81254
Luther Wade grew up in a warehouse for the criminally insane. Two decades ago the hospital closed, but Luther never left. Meanwhile, a two-year-old girl found wandering the Philadelphia streets late at night by detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano may hold the key to solving a string of murders. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.The Day She Died by McPherson

The Day She Died
by Catriona McPherson
DB 80767
Jessie Constable finds Gus King distraught over his wife leaving him and offers to drive him and his young daughter home from the grocery store. When the police arrive with news that Gus’s wife is dead, Jessie is drawn into the family and the mystery surrounding the event. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2014.

Among Thieves
by John Carlson
DB 80717
James Beck and a few other ex-cons have formed a tight group who watch out for each other. So when Manny Guzman’s niece needs his help after being injured and blackballed at her brokerage firm, Beck begins a dangerous investigation. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2015.

Proud to Read LGBT

by Briana Albright,
LBPH Reader Advisor

It’s Pride Week in Pittsburgh and we here at LBPH are proud to read LGBT. Though this week is by no means the only time to come together in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, it is a time to celebrate. Kiss of the Spider Woman by PuigAnd what better way to celebrate than with an LGBT read? Immerse yourself in one of these LGBT titles this week (or year round if you’re extra proud like us)!

Kiss of the Spider Woman
by Manuel Puig
DB 26783
Depicts the daily conversations between two cellmates in an Argentine prison and the intimate bond they form in the process. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1976.

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
by John Lahr
DB 79920

Biography of Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), author of “The Glass Menagerie” (DB 45893) and “A Streetcar Named Desire” (DB 46212) Details Williams’s personal life and relationships, career as a playwright, and scandals surrounding him–even after his death. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. National Book Award Finalist. 2014.Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Cronin-Mills

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children
by Kristin Cronin-Mills
DB 79854
Gabe is a boy born with a girl’s body. With his new public-access radio show gaining in popularity, Gabe struggles with romance, friendship, and parents–all while trying to come out as transgendered. Descriptions of sex and some strong language. Stonewall Book Award. 2014.

A Sookie Stackhouse Reading List

by Eric Meisberger,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Continuing our series of reading lists for fictional characters, we find ourselves looking at a list for Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie is the main character from the wildly popular “Southern Vampire” Dead Until Dark by Harrisseries by Charlaine Harris. This series went on to inspire the True Blood TV series as well. In consulting with folks who read the books, the following seem like a good reading list for Sookie. Whether she’s repairing her house herself, trying to cook like her Grandma, reading a Bodice-ripper romance, or learning about Bill’s role in the civil war, these books might just be on her bookshelf.

Popular Mechanics: When Duct Tape Just Isn’t Enough: Quick Fixes for Everyday Disasters
by CJ Peterson
DB 66635
Tips for dealing with home plumbing, electrical, gardening, cleaning, and structural problems, as well as issues with tools, furniture, and appliances. Topics include handling noisy sinks and radiators, freeing jammed garbage disposal blades, deodorizing microwaves, watering plants while you are on vacation, and collecting a basic set of tools. 2007.

Southern Living – 40 Years of our Best Recipes
by Jane E Larberau
DB 67322
Cookbook presents “Southern Living”‘s top recipes and test-kitchen secrets since 1966. Reviews four decades of the magazine’s culinary history and includes over two hundred fifty recipes for everyday meals, one-dish wonders, party starters, grilled selections, light fare, holiday favorites, desserts, and, of course, southern classics. 2007.

The Civil War; A Narrative: Fort Sumter to Perrysville
by Shelby Foote
DB 14321
The first of a three-volume historical narrative of the four-year struggle. Opening with Jefferson Davis’ resignation from the Senate and closing with Lincoln’s departure from Springfield, the battles and personalities are presented from the point of view of the participants.

Nobody’s Angel
by Karen Robards
DB 53255 / CL 5213
The Carolinas, 1769.  Susannah Redmon runs her preacher father’s household after her mother’s death.  She buys an indentured servant, but is dismayed to see Ian Connelly transform into a desirable man.  Ian has secrets of his own and soon falls in love.  Explicit descriptions of sex.  1992.