Let’s Talk about Sacks

by Eric Meisberger,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Author Oliver SacksOliver Sacks is prolific writer. He is also a physician, and a professor of neurology. You might know him from the film adaptation of his book Awakenings. This remarkable man has an equally remarkable way of looking at neurology and the different neurological situations that people find themselves in. He is able to tell their stories and discuss their experiences with both scientific depth and academic rigor. He also uses approachable language and accessible ideas to make these cases come to life for the reader. Whether you already know about Oliver Sacks or are new to his work, be sure to check out some of the titles we have in our collection by this renowned author.

On 19 Feb, 2015, Sacks released a statement in The New York Times about learning that he has a terminal cancer condition. Our thoughts go out to him and his family. You can read his words HERE.

DB 33438
Account of people who fell ill during the great sleeping-sickness epidemic just after World War I. These people with encephalitis lethargica (a form of Parkinson’s disease), were frozen in a catatonic state for decades. But with the introduction of L-DOPA in 1969, they began to experience astonishing ‘awakenings’. Sacks provides case histories on twenty patients. Bestseller. 1990.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
DB 23901Cover: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
A doctor explores neurological disorders with a novelist’s skill and appreciation of his patients as human beings. Sacks suggests that therapy for brain-damaged patients be designed to help restore the personal quality of the individual. Bestseller 1986.

DB 65202
Neurologist and author of the bestselling “Awakenings” (RC 33438) investigates the way music affects the human brain by observing the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and ordinary people.  Describes conditions such as musical seizures and hallucinations and musicogenic epilepsy.  Also explores the calming effects of sound.  2007.

DB 75782
Neurologist and author of “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” (DB/RC 23901) examines the phenomenon, history, and treatment of hallucinations. Investigates visual, auditory, and olfactory events. Discusses drug-induced, mind-altering experiences and diseases with hallucinatory symptoms such as Charles Bonnet syndrome, which affects blind individuals. Bestseller. 2012.

Best of BARD: January 2015

by Tony Mareino,
LBPH Reader Advisor

It’s a new year with new adventures here in the Top Five, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t without some ripping good yarns from the heavy hitters of the industry. Names like Baldacci and Faye Kellerman pepper the top two spots with their latest, and Stu Woods makes a consecutive appearance with a new work (I’m beginning to think his constant presence in the Top Five may warrant a nickname, but we aren’t quite to King Patterson levels just yet). Then, as per usual, we throw a wrench in the whole thing and confuse me with an oldie but goodie from 1995 by Karen Robards, before finally allowing our King, the JPat himself, to hold up the rear so that we have no escape from our excellent list. Let’s keep it going in February and see how it all plays out in the Top Five!

The Escape
by David Baldacci
DB 80178 / CL 15534
U.S. Army special agent John Puller is the man they call to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. But he is unprepared to hunt the most formidable and brilliant prey he has ever tracked–his own brother. Imprisoned for treason and national security crimes, Robert has now inexplicably escaped. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.Murder 101 by Kellerman

Murder 101
by Faye Kellerman
DB 79667
Now with the Greenbury Police Department in upstate New York, former LAPD homicide cop Peter Decker investigates a mausoleum break-in that leads him and his arrogant but unskilled young partner into a world of art forgery and murder. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. 2014.

Cut and Thrust
by Stuart Woods
DB 79857 / CL 15423
Stone Barrington travels to Los Angeles for the Democratic convention with his friend, first lady Kate Lee, who is running to succeed her husband as president. Amid the ambitious attendees are some with more sinister plans. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 2014.

Walking After Midnight
by Karen Robards
DB 41145 / CL 5787
At 2:00 a.m., Summer McAfee, owner of a janitorial service, is on her knees scrubbing the floor of a funeral home. Suddenly thenaked and badly bruised body of a man comes to life, and he takes her hostage. Over the next four days they are on the run, dodging bad cops and a ghost, as the former corpse, a cop working under cover, tries to save himself and Summer. Strong language, some violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 1995.
Hope to Die by Patterson
Hope to Die
by James Patterson
DB 80039 / CL 15498
Stalked by a psychotic genius who rips away his family, detective Alex Cross is forced to play the deadliest game of his career. Terrified and desperate, Cross must give this madman what he wants to save the most important people in his life. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.


by Eric Meisberger,
LBPH Reader Advisor

James McBride is a noted, award winning American author and musician. McBride’s father was an African American Christian minister, and his mother was a white Jew of Polish heritage. He had 11 siblings and grew up in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York. In addition to his fascinating upbringing, McBride worked as a journalist for such well-established papers as The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. He has written songs for artists such as Grover Washington Jr. and Anita Baker. In addition, McBride has written multiple screenplays and worked with award winning film maker Spike Lee. Check out some books by this multi-faceted artist today!

The Good Lord Bird
DB 77431
Henry “Onion” Shackleford is a ten-year-old slave when abolitionist John Brown rolls into town. Henry’s father is killed in a scuffle and John Brown takes in Henry, believing him to be “Henrietta.” Living as a girl, Henry bears witness to Brown’s reign of terror. Violence and strong language. 2013.

Song Yet Sung
DB 67170
Chesapeake Bay area, Maryland; 1850. Wounded and imprisoned by slave hunter Patty Cannon, runaway slave Liz Spocott dreams of the future of her people. Liz escapes and helps fourteen other slaves to flee but is pursued by waterman Denwood Long.  Violence and strong language. 2008.

Talking Books @ LBPH

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the book club scheduled for today (2/19) has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled at a future date to be determined.


The next Talking BoCover for Twelve Years a Slave by Northupoks @ LBPH discussion will be on Thursday, February 19 at 1pm. The topic is African American History Month and the book will be Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup (DB 77891).

About the book: Original nineteenth-century memoir by free-born African American Solomon Northup. Details his life in New York, kidnapping in 1841, and the time he spent as a slave on southern plantations until his rescue in 1853. Basis for the 2013 movie. Violence and some strong language. Bestseller. 1853.

Don’t miss out! If you enjoy discussing the books you read, you can join this group, by either sending an e-mail to the library using the address below:


Or by calling LBPH:
412-687-2440 / 800-242-0586 (toll free)

Mitzi Friedlander

by Tony Mareino,
LBPH Reader Advisor

A legend in our midst is hanging up the microphone after a long and illustrious career in narration. Mitzi Friedlander, the narrator responsible for more titles in the collection than any other, is retiring  over more than a half century of employment.  Mitzi is a voice you are sure to recognize, but in case you missed it, or want to experience her work again, here’s some of the title’s she has worked on:

Narrator Mitzi Friedlander at work in studioCaleb’s Crossing
by Geraldine Brooks
DB 73473
Bethia Mayfield secretly befriends Caleb, a Martha’s Vineyard Wampanoag Indian. After smallpox kills Caleb’s family, Bethia’s minister father takes him in to be educated. Bethia follows Caleb and her brother Makepeace to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1660 as an indentured servant while the boys prepare to attend Harvard College. Bestseller. 2011.

This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women
by Jay Allison
DB 65527
Eighty first-person essays on beliefs, culled from both the National Public Radio show “This I Believe” and the 1950s radio program of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow. The essayists include average citizens as well as notables such as Helen Keller and Albert Einstein. Bestseller. 2006.

The Peaceable Kingdom: An American Saga
by Jan De Hartog
DB 75043
In 1650s England Margaret Fell marries Quaker preacher George Fox despite persecution and imprisonment. Almost one hundred years later Quakers, slaves, and Indians live uneasily together in 1750s Pennsylvania, before a new “peaceable” community forms in the West. 1971.

A short bio and a sample of Mitzi’s work can also be found here. If you want to share your thoughts with Mitzi, please send them to her care of Roberta Williams, APH 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, KY 40206 or by email, rwilliams@aph.org.

Sci-Fi in February

by Eric Meisberger
LBPH Reader Advisor

In celebration of Black History Month, here is a selection of some of the Sci-Fi titles in our collection by African American authors. From stories of a dystopic near future, to prison planets, to the Star Wars universe and beyond, these are some excellent examples of the world-building craft that these writers offer.

Parable of the Sower by ButlerParable of the Sower
by Octavia Butler
DB 39777
In 2024, most well-to-do families live in walled enclaves to protect themselves from the roaming drug addicts who live in squalor and are prone to stealing, rape, and murder. Lauren Olamina, eighteen, suffers from hyperempathy, which means that she feels not only her own pain but that of others. When the addicts overrun Lauren’s community, she and others are forced to seek refuge outside the walls. Strong language and violence. 1993.

Star Wars: A Clone Wars Novel; The Cestus Deception
by Steven Barnes
DB 60487
One year after the attack of the clones, battle-droid manufacturing is banned throughout the Republic. But on Ord Cestus, leaders refuse to honor the ban and prepare to sell hoards of techno-organic Jedi-killers. As Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi’s diplomacy fails, the Republic plans devastating retribution for the disloyal planet. 2004.

The Ballad of Beta-2
by Samuel R DelanyMidnight Robber by Hopkinson
DB 16553
Joneny, a student of galactic anthropology, is assigned the problem of unraveling the true meaning of a folk ballad about the disappearance of Starship Beta-2. His investigations lead him to the truth about man’s ultimate place among the stars.

Midnight Robber
by Nalo Hopkinson
DB 52011
Sixteen-year-old Tan-Tan is forced to leave her planet, Toussaint, and the other Caribbean descendants to live in a prison world with her abusive father, a criminal. But Tan-Tan murders him and escapes to make her way among the indigenous species. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. 2000.

Best of BARD: December 2014

by Tony Mareino,
LBPH Reader Advisor

Just as we have learned to expect, you can never count out the King. Patterson rises to the top with his latest Alex Cross mystery to close out the last Top Five of 2014, but not without some stiff competition from favorites like Fern Michaels and Uncle Stevie. Toss in some classics that never went out of style with a romance by Anderson and a thriller by Stu Woods and we got ourselves a nice looking reading list to get us through the cold drudge of winter. Keep on reading, and as usual let’s see what next month brings us in the Best of BARD!

Hope to Die
by James Patterson
DB 80039 / CL 15498
Stalked by a psychotic genius who rips away his family, detective Alex Cross is forced to play the deadliest game of his career. Terrified and desperate, Cross must give this madman what he wants to save the most important people in his life. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.

Kiss and Tell
by Fern Michaels
DB 79796
When a string of anonymous e-mails suggests shady dealings at a local assisted-living facility, Myra and her best friend, Annie, of the Sisterhood are more than ready to out-hustle a master con-artist. Meanwhile, Myra faces a personal challenge that will rock the Sisterhood to the core. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2014.

Mr. Mercedes
by Stephen King
DB 79570 / CL 15390
Job-fair applicants are mowed down by a man in a stolen Mercedes–and eight die. The killer later sends a letter to ex-cop Bill Hodges, who–with the help of two others–is determined to find him before he strikes again. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2014.

Only By Your Touch
by Catherine Anderson
DB 57588
Divorced from her abusive husband, Chloe Evans starts over with her son Jeremy in Jack Pine, Oregon. She hesitates to get involved with reclusive veterinarian and rumored murderer, Ben Longtree, who helps Jeremy’s sick puppy. However, Ben is not the man she should fear. Explicit descriptions of sex. 2003.

Dead Eyes
by Stuart Woods
DB 39197 / CL 5541
Since she is careful never to give out her address, actress Chris Callaway is alarmed when she receives unstamped fan letters and roses at her home. After Chris falls and loses her eyesight, the stalking continues. Believing someone has entered her house, Chris calls the police. Detective Larsen, Chris, and her friend, pint-sized gay hairdresser Danny Devere, set out to catch her “Admirer”. Strong language and some violence. Bestseller. 1994.