Wolfner :: Recommended Readings :: Adult Winter Reading Program 2014

Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library presents
“Broaden your Horizon! Read Locally Produced Books”
Adult Winter Reading Program 2014

The books on the AWRP lists this year are locally recorded books that are produced by volunteers, not the professionals who do the NLS books you are accustomed to, so the quality may be variable. However, they will give you access to books that you would not get to read otherwise.
Wolfner volunteers record books with a Missouri connection, such as novels with a Missouri setting, books by Missouri authors, and books about Missouri. You will be able to read about Maudie (Mae) Wiseman, the first female wrestling star, who grew up in Fulton, Missouri or read the poems of Walter Bargen, the first poet laureate of Missouri, in his own voice. 

From the other libraries that produce locally recorded books, you can read similar books from their regions of the country. Those libraries are: 

  • Perkins Talking Book and Braille Library
  • Utah Library for the Blind
  • Idaho Talking Book Library
  • Colorado Talking Book Library
  • Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • Braille institute of America
  • Kansas Talking Books

When this list was created, Wolfner Library and the above mentioned libraries participated in SHELF, a collection of locally recorded books online.  Wolfner Library is no longer part of SHELF, so the books listed below is reduced from the original list and now contains only the titles which can be found on BARD, the NLS download site.



If you like animal stories, you might also be interested in these books recorded in the Wolfner studio. They are children’s books, but quite interesting, and if you read all these books, they can count as one of your twelve total books. All of these books together are approximately 8 hours reading time, the length of one medium adult book.

The Blue House Dog by Deborah Blumenthal

DBC05728 (10 minutes)

A boy whose beloved dog has died, and a dog whose owner also died, find each other and slowly begin to trust one another. For grades 2-4.  

 Hoofbeats: Margaret and Flynn, 1875 by Kathleen Duey

DBC05460 (3 hours, 30 minutes)

In the Colorado Territory in 1875, orphan Margret and her older sister Libby are staying with the kind-hearted Mrs. Fredrickson when Margret finds an injured horse which she nurses back to health and wants to keep, while Libby is too mistrustful of people to think that they might possibly have found a home.

 Itsy Bitsy & Teeny Weeny by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen

DBC05712 (15 minutes)

A lamb, rejected by its mother, and an injured fawn are cared for by the caretakers of Hazel Ridge Farm; but as they recovered and grew older, it was time for the deer to go back into the wild. For grades 3-6.

 My Chincoteague Pony by Susan Jeffers

DBC05706 (10 minutes)

Julie, having worked year-round to save money to buy her first Chincoteague pony, realizes she doesn't have enough, but when Pony Penning Day arrives strangers help her make her purchase. For grades K-3.

 Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle by Brian Dennis

DBC05714 (20 minutes)

Chronicles the friendship between Marine Major Brian Dennis and Nubs, a pack leader of wild dogs in Iraq who bonded with Dennis, but when Dennis was relocated seventy miles away and could not bring the dog with him, Nubs traveled across the freezing desert to find his human friend. For kindergarten through grade 3.

 Painter and Ugly by Robert J. Blake

DBC05446 (10 minutes)

Painter and Ugly, two sled dogs who are inseparable best friends, are put on different teams for the Junior Iditarod, but they manage to find their way back to one another for the big race. For kindergarten - grade 3. 2011.

 Pierre the Penguin: A True Story by Jean Marzollo

DBC05725 (10 minutes)

Pierre the penguin lost his feathers and was too cold to swim in the water until aquatic biologist Pam came up with an idea to get Pierre to swim again. Preschool - grade 2. 2010.

 Storm Chaser by Chris Platt

DBC06044 (4 hours, 45 minutes)

When a fire forces her family to turn their home into a guest ranch, aspiring horse trainer Jessica finds herself working once again with her favorite horse, Storm Chaser, to tame the wild filly for snobbish, spoiled Ariel, Storm Chaser's future owner. For grades 4-7.

 Titanicat by Marty Crisp

DBC05707 (10 minutes)

A boy who has signed on as cabin boy aboard the Titanic helps ready the ship for its maiden voyage, but when it is time to set sail and he cannot find the ship's cat on board, he leaves the vessel to search for her. For grades K-3.

 Twist of Fate: The Miracle Colt and His Friends by Chris Stuckenschneider

DBC05719 (10 minutes)

Simple text and colorful illustrations tell the story of a colt named Twister, who was born on the Longmeadow Rescue Ranch to a mother who survived a truck accident seven months before. For Kindergarten - grade 3.



 Baseball's First Lady: Helene Hathaway Robison Britton and the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball's First Lady: Helene Hathaway Robison Britton and the St. Louis Cardinals by Joan M. Thomas

DBC05370 (Missouri)

Cardinals’ owner M. Stanley Robison willed his club and ballpark to niece Helene Britton when he died in 1911, making her the first woman owner of a major league baseball club. Helene, a young wife and mother of two, confidently accepted her inheritance. Operating among baseball magnates of the day, she attended owner's meetings as an equal and took an active role in running her club at a time when society dictated that a lady should not attend a baseball game without a male escort. This biography details her influence on the evolution of the St. Louis Cardinals.

 Chasing Normality: With a Little Help from Family and Friends by Richard Weiler

DBC05385 (Missouri)

In this memoir, Dick Weiler tells about being left permanently and almost totally paralyzed by polio at the age of 15. Against all odds, and the expectation of his physician, he finished high school, college and law school. He was able to live independently and was self-supporting, working in the office of the Missouri Attorney General.

 Don’t Let the Fire Go Out by Jean Carnahan

DBC05378 (Missouri)

Jean Carnahan shares how the slogan "Don't Let the Fire Go Out!" helped her confront life's challenges after her husband, son, and longtime friend were killed in a plane crash in 2004.

 The Indomitable Mary Easton Sibley: Pioneer of Women's Education in Missouri by Kristie C. Wolferman

DBC05406 (Missouri)

Louisiana and the Eastons became one of the first American families to settle in St. Louis. At fifteen, she married George Champlin Sibley, the factor of Fort Osage in Western Missouri, where the young bride lived among the Indians on the edge of the frontier and took up teaching. She then went on to found Lindenwood in St. Charles, the first college for women west of the Mississippi, and she also taught classes for African American and immigrant children.

 Jane Froman: Missouri’s First Lady of Song by Ilene Stone

DBC05390 (Missouri)

Jane Froman grew up in Missouri, and earned an associate degree from Columbia College. She became a vocalist for Cincinnati radio station WLW, and in 1934 was voted the top 'girl singer' of the day in a poll of listeners. She traveled with the USO during World War II, and had her own television show from 1952-1955. The author used an unpublished autobiography and other archival sources housed in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri in writing this biography.

 Starr Tracks: Belle and Pearl Starr by Philip Steele

DBC05401 (Missouri)

Belle Starr, known as the "Bandit Queen" of the old West, was a proud and hot-tempered woman who wore six-guns over her velvet skirts and associated with the Younger brothers. Her daughter Pearl operated bordellos in Arkansas. The author looks behind the myths to reconstruct the true story of these two colorful characters, guided by recently discovered papers and family histories.

 Wrestling with Life: The Wisdom and Wit of a Woman Wrestler by Geraldean McMillin

DBC05413 (Missouri)

Story of Maudie (Mae) Wiseman, and her quest in the mid-1900s to find happiness through life at the circus and wrestling. Written by her granddaughter.



Finders Keepers by Catherine Palmer

DBC05382 (Missouri)

Determined to provide a secure home for her adopted son, Nokolai, Elizabeth Hayes sets her sights on a lovely Victorian house in Ambleside, Missouri, for her thriving antiques business. Zachary Chalmers, who is shocked to inherit the Chalmers mansion from his aunt, plans to clear the site for his architectural firm. Even as they clash over the fate of Chalmers House, Elizabeth and Zachary discover dreams of a shared future. Finders Keepers series, book 1.

A Kiss of Adventure by Catherine Palmer

DBC06070 (Missouri)

Tillie, who lives in Kenya, is betrothed to a businesslike man, Arthur. She is bored with her monotonous life. Suddenly she is into an adventure, almost gets kidnapped, and is thrust into a strange partnership with the handsome Graeme. Mystery, romance and suspense deep in the jungles of Africa. Treasures of the Heart series, book 1.

Patchwork Family by Charlotte Hubbard

DBC06046 (Missouri)

Living on the Kansas plains, Mercy Malloy's family endures Indian attacks, a runaway daughter, and an abandoned baby. Through it all, Mercy's faith holds her family together, creating a patchwork of strength and beauty. Angels of Mercy series, book 1


Across Our Wide Missouri, Volume 1 by Bob Priddy

DBC05367 (Missouri)

"On this date in Missouri history" something interesting happened. For more than twenty years, Bob Priddy has been telling us what that something was in a radio series. Now he has published these true stories of Missouri men and women; stories of outlaws and lawyers, sports figures and politicians, cities and small towns, colleges and prisons and more!

Called to Courage: Four Women in Missouri History by Margo Ford McMillan

DBC05372 (Missouri)

Profiles the lives and achievements of four women who played important roles in the history of Missouri, including Native American Ignon Quaconisen, pioneer Olive Boone, African-American Martha Jane Chisley, and businesswoman Nell Donnelly.

 Outlaw Tales of Missouri: True Stories of the Show Me State's Most Infamous Crooks, Culprits, and Cutthroats by Sean McLachlan

DBC01407 (Missouri)

Missouri never had to settle for average everyday gunmen - not when it had such outlaws as Jesse James and Cole Younger to call its own. Outlaw Tales introduces twelve of the most dramatic events and the most daring and despicable desperados in the history of the show Me State.



 Billie Standish Was Here by Nancy Crocker

DBC06094 (Missouri)

The river jeopardizes the levee and most of the town leaves; but Miss Lydia, an elderly neighbor, and Billie form a friendship that withstands tragedy and time. Some violence. Gateway Award nominee, 2009 - 2010

 Bitsy's Bait & BBQ by Pamela Morsi

DBC05369 (Missouri)

After her divorce, Katy moves with her son and her sister to Warbler Lake, Missouri, where the two women buy a bait and barbeque shop and surprise themselves when they get the business running, but Katy's ex-husband poses a problem to their new life when he questions their custody arrangements.

 The Bridge by Stan Crader

DBC05403 (Missouri)

Tommy Thompson is 12 in the summer of 1967, living in a small town in rural America. All he wants in life is a Honda motorbike. Tommy begins a summer-long quest for the Honda and his love, Wendy. Over the summer Tommy helps his best friend, Booger, cope with family tragedy. He is terrorized by Clyde Goodpasture, the biggest bully in the sixth grade, and the town of Colby is shaken by news that its shoe factory will close.

 Down Home Missouri: When Girls Were Scary and Basketball Was King by Joel M. Vance

DBC05379 (Missouri)

Joel Vance describes what it was like to have his life turned upside down after he moved from Chicago to rural Missouri when he was thirteen years old.

 A Good American by Alex George

DBC01391 (Missouri)

In 1904, Frederick and Jette flee Germany for America to escape her disapproving mother. By chance, they find themselves in the small town of Beatrice, Missouri, not speaking a word of English. Poignant, funny, and heartbreaking, A Good American is a novel about being an outsider-in your country, in your hometown, and sometimes even in your own family. Some strong language, some violence, some descriptions of sex For adult readers, 2012.

A Little Help from My Friends...and Other Hilarious Tales of Graying Graciously by Jean Carnahan

DBC05366 (Missouri)

The former First Lady of Missouri, and U. S. Senator, with the help of two imaginary friends, shares her insights about aging gracefully in humorous anecdotes and observations about life. As she says, "Because Laughing at Life Never Gets Old".

 The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carlson

DBC05393 (Missouri)

Chronicles the lives of Matthew and Callie Soames, their four daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren. It tells of a Midwestern family growing old and of their children who left, but found their way back. Despite their troubles, they share a silent recognition that they like each other better than they like anyone else.

 My Folks Depression Days by various authors

DBC05396 (Missouri)

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” was the rallying cry of the Great Depression. In this moving collection of true stories of people who lived through it, it's apparent that they survived by pulling together, not just as families, but as communities. Through cash and food shortages, drought, dust storms and hard times, they stayed afloat in desperate times by helping one another.


 The Canaan Legacy by Michael Kahn

DBC05373 (Missouri)

The senior partner in one of Chicago's prestigious law firms is DOA, and Rachael Gold, a smart and savvy young lawyer is retained to investigate his death. Rachel Gold series, book 1.

 East of Peculiar by Suzanne Ledbetter

DBC05753 (Missouri)

Kissing her high-pressure advertising executive job in Chicago goodbye, Hannah Garvey says hello to Valhalla Springs, a retirement community in the Missouri Ozarks. Thinking she's found a place to rest and recoup, Hannah instead finds herself in the deep-end of a murder with an unlikely victim, and way over her head with the handsome local sheriff!  Strong language.  Hannah Garvey Mystery, book 1.

 Roots of Murder by Janis Harrison

DBC06065 (Missouri)

When Isaac Miller, a quiet Amish farmer, is found dead, his brother asks Bretta Solomon, River City, MO florist, to intervene in the investigation. She enters the world of the devout, isolated Amish, their not-always-so-understanding neighbors, and a thorny patch of deals between flower growers and purveyors. Bretta Solomon series, book 1.

 Scared Blind by Danny Sisco

DBC05398 (Missouri)

Randy Franklin, a 35-year-old blind newspaper columnist, tries to find logic for everything. After working and saving, he has finally purchased his dream home. He is unaware that there are residents already residing in his humble abode. But who, or what, is in this house? Doors slam. Furniture moves. Pictures fall off walls. Should he be scared? Unexplained events, and unusual interviews, unlocked the town's mysterious history.

 Shop Till you Drop by Elaine Viets

DBC06059 (Missouri)

Helen Hawthorne, on the run from her ex-husband and the St. Louis courts, takes a job in a high-end boutique in Fort Lauderdale that is willing to pay her cash, but her attempt to keep her name off the books is put at risk when her boss—a drug dealing embezzler--is found murdered, and Helen is nabbed as the prime suspect in the killing. Dead-end Job Mysteries series, book 1.



Colorado Moonfire by Charlotte Hubbard

DBC05376 (Missouri)

Fleeing to the United States, Irish-born beauty Lyla O'Riley takes a job as a housekeeper at the Golden Rose saloon in Cripple Creek, Colorado, but her vow to fall for no man is soon broken by the embrace of Marshal Barry Thompson, who was enjoying his best friend's wedding celebration at the Golden Rose when he fell for a honey-haired minx with periwinkle eyes. Sexually explicit. Strong language. Violence

 Difficult Decision by Janet Dailey

DBC05377 (Missouri)

Until the day of her job interview, when his totally emotionless eyes fastened on her, Deborah hadn't believed anyone could be as cold and hard as Zane Wilding. He was the most demanding boss she’d ever had, and was also ruthless in his personal life. His good looks didn't make up for the inhuman iciness with which he treated even his wife. But by the time Deborah learned the real facts behind Zane's behavior, it was already too late to stop her headlong plunge into love. Americana series.

Bradleyville Basketball: The Hicks from the Sticks by James Leon Combs

DBC06045 (Missouri)

The true story of country life and high school basketball surrounding the remarkable 1960's championship team from the tiny Ozark Mountain town of Bradleyville, Missouri.  From the team's humble beginnings playing on a muddy outdoor court, to winning three state championships and a 64-game winning streak, a state record still unbroken today.

 Francona: The Red Sox Years by Terry Francona

DB076216 (Massachusetts)

The manager who led the Sox in 2004 to their first World Series Championship in eighty-six years, and to another three years later, joins forces with Dan Shaughnessy, one of Boston's most celebrated sports columnists, in this candid memoir about his eight tumultuous years at Fenway. 2013.



Five Stars: Missouri's Most Famous Generals by James F. Muench

DBC05384 (Missouri)

Profiles five U. S. military generals from Missouri: Alexander Doniphan, who served in the Mexican-American War; Sterling Price, who served in the Civil War; Ulysses S. Grant, who also served in the Civil War, and Omar Bradley, who served in WWII.

 Jeff Thompson, Missouri Swamp Fox of the Confederacy by Doris Land Mueller

DBC05392 (Missouri)

Doris Land Mueller offers an adventurous account of the life of Confederate Army commander Merriwether Jeff Thompson. Thompson's military exploits in the Missouri Boot heel region earned him the nickname of "Swamp Fox" from Union General Ulysses S. Grant, while his writing earned him the nickname "Poet Laureate of the Marshes".


 The Big Bay by Kenny Duncan

DBC05402 (Missouri)

Walt Brandon, born in the mid 1800´s, sets out on a life of his own at an early age. He ends up in the American West at a time when lawlessness ruled west of the big rivers. A young man with a chip on his shoulder, he grows hard and cold and gets too fast with a gun for his own good. Until he meets a woman who captures his heart and molds him into a real man.

Three Valleys Ranch by Kenny Duncan

DBC05411 (Missouri)

After the Civil War, Wade Tavner was a young man with little left. His boyhood home was completely destroyed, his way of life gone, and he was forced to fight and steal, finding himself on a path of destruction. All he owned could be carried on the back of his horse. So he loaded his belongings and headed out to find what life had in store for him in the open country of the west.