Audio Book Studio

Recording books in the Audio Book StudioRecording books in the Audio Book StudioThe Audio Book Studio uses state of the art technology to digitally record books to supplement the National Library Service's collection. These recordings are listed in the National Library Service's catalog and in the Andrew Heiskell Library's PAWS catalog.

Volunteers — many of whom are professionals from the theater, academia, and the business world — record, monitor, and proofread the books. If you are interested in volunteering, please call the library at 212-206-5400. People interested in recording talking books will be asked to audition.


                      Recorded in our Audio Studio and Available to Borrow:





DBN  005458  Already Dead by Charlie Huston. From the Battery to the Bronx, and from river to river, Manhattan is crawling with vampires.  Joe is one of them, and he’s not happy about it.  2005. Read by Joshua Parrillo.

DBN 005640  Azorno by Inger Christensen. Translated from the Danish by Denise Newman. An interplay of perception, language, and reality, as the main character, a writer named Sampel, narrates the events of his novel—or are they his life.  2011. Read by Rhoda Russell. DBN 005399   Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago. Translated from the Portuguese by Giovanni Pontiero. Portugal, 1711. In the midst of the terrors of the Inquisition and the plague, a mismatched couple discovers the wonders of love. Some descriptions of sex. Some violence.  2005. Read by Sharon Carter Dunn. 

DBN 005427  The Bay of Angels by Anita Brookner. When Zoe Cunningham’s mother decides to remarry, Zoe is thrilled with her prospective stepfather, who is not only wealthy, but generous, allowing Zoe to pursue what she thinks is an independent life.  Zoe learns that her idyllic freedom has come at a steep price.  2006. Read by Rhoda Russell.  2006

DBN 005444  Bloodshed and Three Novellas by Cynthia Ozick. Three stories demonstrate the wry humor, the quirky intelligence, the affection for Jewish myth, and the eccentric beauty of language that make up the author’s talent for story-telling.  2006. Read by Rhoda Russell. 

DBN 00019  By Night in Chile by Roberto Bolaño. Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. The novel is Read entirely in the first person by the sick and aging Father Urrutia.  Taking place over the course of a single evening, the book is a feverish monologue of a flawed man and failed priest.  The story ranges from Opus dei to falconry to private lessons on Marxism for Pinochet and his generals.  Contains descriptions of violence.  2009. Read by AJ Stetson. 

DBN 00018  The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan. First father died, then mother.  Now the four children are left alone in a house that looks like a castle stranded among grim high-rises.  McEwan excavates the ruins of childhood and uncovers things that most adults have spent a lifetime forgetting.  2009. Read by Pete Larkin. 

DBN 005468  Channeling Mark Twain by Carol Muske-Dukes. Holly Mattox is a young poet with a mission: to successfully teach a poetry workshop at the Women’s House of Detention on Rikers Island.  One inmate, Polly Lyle Clement, announces that she is a descendant of Mark Twain and is capable of channeling his voice.  This begins Holly’s descent into the dark recesses of the criminal justice system.  Contains descriptions of violence and strong language.  2010. Read by Kathleen Frazier. 

DBN 005448  Anton Chekhov: The Complete Short Stories, translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Anton Chekhov, widely hailed as the supreme master of the short story, also wrote five works long enough to be called short novels. In this new translation, they are brought together in one volume for the first time.  Read by William Rogers. 

DBN 005408  Clock Without Hands by Carson McCullers. Race, class, and individual responsibility intertwine the stories of a dying middle-aged druggist, a corrupt old judge who cherishes his grand Southern lifestyle, and an angry Black youth in search of his identity.  2005. Read by Scott Gabriel Knowles.  .

DBN 005410  The Colossus of New York by Colson Whitehead. With this masterful evocation of the city that never sleeps, Whitehead conveys the city’s inner and outer landscapes in a series of vignettes, meditations, and personal narratives.  2004. Read by Margaret Maloney. 

DBN 005495  The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan.  On their vacation, Colin and Maria, locked in their own intimacy, become weary of one another.  When they meet a man with a disturbing story to tell, they become drawn into a fantasy of violence and obsession.  1981. Read by Rhoda Russell.

DBN 005414  Consent by Ben Schrank.   Schrank’s fierce examination of a young heart—how it loves, how it grieves, and how it tries to figure everything out.  It’s this last element that makes this book an emotional whodunit.  2002. Read by Scott Gabriel Knowles.

DBN 005475  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W by Gabriel BrownsteinThis collection captures the disparate lives of the residents of Manhattan’s West 89th Street.  The title story reworks F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” whose hero is born as an old man and ages in reverse.  2002. Read by AJ Stetson.  

DBN 005453  Don’t I Know you? by Karen Shepard. In 1976 in New York City, Gina Engel was murdered in her front hall.  The police believed that the victim had known her attacker, but the case remained unsolved.  Yet the suspicions of those who knew Gina continue to plague them.  Contains descriptions of violence.  2006. Read by Laura Esterman. 

DBN 005477  The Double by José SaramagoProfessor Tertuliano Maximo Afonso, while viewing a video discovers that one of the minor actors is his identical twin.  Tertuliano becomes obsessed with the idea of meeting his double and tracks him down.  Contains descriptions of sex and violence.  2002. Read by AJ Stetson. 

DBN 005426  The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood.  Ever since her engagement, the strangest thing has been happening to Marian McAlpin—she can’t eat.  Worse yet, she has the crazy feeling that she’s being eaten.  1969.  Read by Sandra Kazan. 

DBN  005634   From A to X  by John Berger.   A’ida and Xavier are lovers who have accepted their separation in body, but not in spirit.  Xavier is in prison serving two life sentences, however, the two life sentences that he is serving are not consecutive; one is his and one is hers.  2008. Read by Sandra Kazan.

DBN 005439  The Glass Virgin by Catherine Cookson.  Set in rural Edwardian England, Annabella Lagrange is a lovely 17-year-old lady-to-be... or not to be, whose aristocratic childhood comes to a crashing halt when her womanizing papa, who has just bankrupted his wife Rosina's glass factory, reveals that Annabella is actually the daughter of a local whorehouse madam.  Contains descriptions of sex.  1969.  Read by Christine Donnelly. 

DBN 005400  Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner. In the novel that won her the Booker Prize, Brookner tells the story of Edith Hope, a writer of romance novels.  When her life begins to resemble the plots of her own novels, Edith flees to Switzerland, where the luxury of the Hotel du Lac promises to restore her to her senses. 1984. Read by Carole Wehberg. 

DBN  005630  How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millet.  T undergoes a series of painful loses that causes him to nurture a curious obsession with rare and vanishing species that culminates in a Conradian trip deep into the jungle. Read by Allen Tipton.  2008. 

DBN 005485  I Was Told there’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. Essays that reminisce about growing up strange.  2008. Read by Joan Lunoe. 

DBN 005486  In the Driver’s Seat by Helen Simpson.  A masterly collection of short stories by which delve into terminal illness, untimely death, grief, and war.  Contains explicit descriptions of sex.  2005. Read by Rhoda Russell.

DBN 005467  Manhattan Noir  edited by Lawrence Block. In this anthology, which takes us through the neighborhoods of New York, crime-fiction titan Lawrence Block features the stories of Jeffrey Deaver, Carol Lea Benjamin, John Lutz and more.   Contains descriptions of violence.  2006. Read by Joshua Parrillo.

DBN 005474   N Judah by Len Jenkin. A San Francisco woman learning of the death in New Orleans of her son, travels with an old lover to the American South.  What they encounter in pre-Katrina New Orleans is a maze of deception that eventually erupts into violence. Contains descriptions of violence.   2006. Read by Len Jenkin.

DBN 005470  The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine.  A farcical roundup of people and dogs on a New York block.  2008. Read by Melissa Exelberth.

DBN 005407  The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge  by Rainer Maria Rilke. Malte Laurids Brigge is a young Danish nobleman and poet living in Paris.  Obsessed with death and with the reality that lurks behind appearances, Brigge muses on his family and their history, and on the teeming, alien life of the city.  1983. Read by Asa Siegel.

DBN 005484  Providence by Anita Brookner.   Brookner’s romantic comedy that recounts the story of a woman's efforts to create a new life for herself.   1982. Read by Rhoda Russell.

DBN 005413  The Rings of Saturn  by W.G. Sebald. A walking tour of England's southeast coast frames a wide-ranging series of meditations on literature and stories from Britain's imperial past. A stay in a Norwich hospital prompts the protagonist to search for naturalist Thomas Browne's skull.  1998. Read by Joshua Parrillo.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­DBN 005465  Runaway Horses by Yukio Mishima.  A novel about the roots and nature of Japanese fanaticism in the years that led to war--an era marked by depression, the upheaval of radical social change, political violence, and assassination.  Contains descriptions of violence.  1973. Read by Allen Tipton

DBN 005437  The Sandcastle by Iris Murdoch.   The quiet life of schoolmaster Bill Mor and his wife Nan is disturbed when a young woman, Rain Carter, arrives at the school to paint the portrait of the headmaster.  1957. Read by Margaret Maloney.

DBN 005654  Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross.   Stanger-Ross writes about the intimacy among women whose lives are defined by their Orthodox Jewish community.  2009. Read by Charlotte Booker.

DBN 00020  Strange Forces by Leopoldo Lugones. Twelve short stories by Argentinean fiction writer and poet Leopoldo Lugones whose baroque style and paranormal fixations link him with kindred spirits Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.  2001. Read by Laura Esterman.

DBN 005406  Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. A tennis star and a psychopath meet by chance on a train and “swap” murders.  Highsmith’s  novel was the source for  Hitchcock’s film masterpiece. Contains descriptions of violence. 1950. Read by Allen Tipton.

DBN 005403 Three Lives & Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein.  “Three Lives,” Stein’s most accessible work, is the psychological portrait of three immigrant women in a new country.  “Tender Buttons,” is a collection of prose poems which employ repetitive sentences and simple language to build images.  2003. Read by Joan Lunoe.

DBN 005432  The Violent Bear It Away  by Flannery O’Connor. The orphaned Francis Tarwater and his cousin, the schoolteacher Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle—that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber’s young son, Bishop.  Contains descriptions of violence.  1960. Read by Laura Esterman.

DBN 005415  The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargas Llosa.   In 1844 the famous socialist agitator Flora Tristan embarked on a tour of France to campaign for workers’ and women’s rights.  In 1891 her grandson Paul Gauguin set sail for Tahiti, determined to escape civilization and paint primitive masterpieces. Flora died before her grandson was born, but their lives unfold side by side.  2003. Read by Rhoda Russell.

DBN 005463  When the Spirits Dance Mambo by Marta Moreno Vega.  In this lively memoir, Marta Moreno Vega calls forth the spirit of Puerto Rican New York and the music, mysticism, and traditions of her remarkable American childhood.  2004. Read by Melissa Exelberth.

DBN 005446  Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor. Hazel Motes, a twenty-two-year-old caught in an unending struggle against his innate and desperate faith, falls under the spell of a ‘blind” street preacher named Asa Hawks and his degenerate fifteen-year-old daughter, Lily Sabbath.  Contains strong language.  1990. Read by Joshua Parrillo.



  DBN 005459  Alfred H. Barr, Jr., and the Intellectual Origins of the Museum of Modern Art  by Sybil Gordon Kantor. Growing up with the twentieth century, Alfred Barr, founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, harnessed the cataclysm that was modernism.  Part intellectual biography, part institutional history—Sybil Gordon Kantor tells the story of the rise of modern art in America and of the man responsible for its triumph.  2002. Read by Pete Larkin.  DBN 005443  February House by Sherrill Tippins. Imagine W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee all living under one roof.  On the eve of the U.S. involvement in World War II, “February House” became a live-in salon for some of  the great creative minds of the twentieth century.  2005. Read by Sandra Kazan. DBN 00021  The Food Wars by Walden F. Bello. Bello examines the food crisis and the obscene imbalance in the most basic of human commodities.  He presents an ethically grounded argument for the de-globalization of food production.  2009. Read by Pete Larkin.

DBN 005455  Lower East Side Memories by Hasia R. Diner.  A richly researched and informed account of the distinctive role New York's Lower East Side holds in American Jewish memory.  2000. Read by Rhoda Russell.

DBN 005476 New York Burning by Jill Lepore. Jill Lepore's meticulous reconstruction casts new light on the well-known but still mysterious slave conspiracy of 1741 in New York City.  A gripping tale and groundbreaking investigation into the slave plot to destroy New York City.  Contains descriptions of violence.  2005. Read by Pet Larkin.   2005.   MEMOIR & BIOGRAPHY DBN 005489  A Pickpocket’s Tale by Timothy J. Gilfoyle.  An alternative history of nineteenth-century New York, featuring George Appo, pickpocket, victim, and chronicler of crime.  Gilfoyle uses Appo’s unpublished memoirs to re-create the Dickensian world of old New York.  Contains descriptions of violence.  2006. Read by Pete Larkin.

DBN 005454   All in Good Time:  A Memoir by Jonathan Schwartz.   Schwartz’s luminous memoir about growing up in the shadow of the golden age of songwriting and Sinatra.  At the center of this memoir is Arthur Schwartz, his famous father who composed such tunes as “That’s Entertainment,” and “Dancing in the Dark.”  2004. Read by Pete Larkin.

DBN 00022  China’s Son: Growing Up in the Cultural Revolution by Da Chen. A candid memoir about growing up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.  For junior and senior high readers. 2001. Read by David Beck. DBN 005499  Kurt Weill on Stage:  From Berlin to Broadway by Foster Hirsch. Hirsch has given us a vivid portrayal of a remarkable artist and a fabulous era of American musical theater.  Using Weill's letters, journals, notes, and interviewing Weill's friends and colleagues, Hirsch writes about his life, and his experimental and political composing in Germany, and his relationship with his leading lady, wife, and primary musical interpreter, Lotte Lenya..  2002. Read by Carole Wehberg.

DBN 005464  Impresario: The Life and Times of Ed Sullivan by James Maguire. Ed Sullivan's life was a mirror of its time, and Impresario, the first major biography of this iconic showman, tells his story as an engaging narrative.  From his birth in a Jewish-Irish ghetto in Harlem to his career as a Broadway gossip columnist, his years in the vaudeville circuit, his stint in Hollywood, and his struggles in television, the man behind the scenes is revealed.  2006. Read by Peter Larkin.

DBN 005411  James Joyce by Edna O’Brien. An Irish writer pays tribute to the author of Ulysses in this short biography. She describes him as "a tragic man with a staggering genius for whom humor was a weapon.”  She discusses his self-imposed exile and his elopement with an uneducated girl, and evaluates their influence on his writing. 1999. Read by Sandra Kazan.

DBN 005496  Song of Brooklyn by Marc Eliot.  An oral portrait of America's favorite borough in the words of those who know Brooklyn best--Mel Brooks, Spike Lee, Arthur Miller, Joan Rivers, and many other current and former inhabitants.  2008. Read by Pete Larkin.

DB 75550  Two Seeing Eye Dogs Take Manhattan by Lloyd Burlingame. Blind Broadway set designer and artist Burlingame adopts the point of view of his dogs, Hickory and Kemp, to recount their adventures in New York City.  Describes training at The Seeing Eye guide-dog school, and includes exchanged between Hickory, near the end of his service, and successor, Kemp.  2012. Read by AJ Stetson.

DBN 005639  Will & Me: How Shakespeare Took Over My Life by Dominic Dromgoole.   Dromgoole recounts the story of his life through Shakespeare, and shows us what the Bard can tell us about the world.  2006. Read by A.J. Stetson.


DBN 005441  Hiatus by Evelyn Reilly. These intentionally wayward and witty poems are about exploration--the pleasure of the search.  Enlisting a dazzling array of literary and cultural references from Vallejo to Stein to Eva Hesse, Reilly has created a playful and scholarly collection of poems. Read by Evelyn Reilly.

DBN 005395  Miracle Fair:  Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska. Translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak. This long-awaited translation of the works of the Nobel Prize-winning poet includes an introduction by Czeslaw Milosz.  2001. Read by Gabriela Chinnock.   CHILDREN”S BOOKS   DBN 005471  Elizabeti’s Doll by Stephanie Stuve-Boden. Upon the arrival of her new baby brother, Elizabeti decides she needs a doll she can care for the way Mama cares for the new baby.  After looking around her village, Elizabeti finds the perfect doll to love. For preschool-grade 2.  1998. Read by Julie Pasqual.

DBN 005442  The Fisher King by Paule Marshall. In 1949, Sonny-Rett Payne, a jazz pianist, fled New York for Paris to escape both his family's disapproval of his music and the racism that shadowed his career.  Decades later, his eight-year-old grandson is brought to Payne's old Brooklyn neighborhood to attend a memorial concert in his honor. For high school and adult readers.  2000. Read by Julie Pasqual.

DBN 005418  The Mud Flat Mystery by James Stevenson.  When a large box is delivered to Duncan while he is away, the other animal inhabitants of Mud Flat are consumed with curiousity about what might be inside. For grades 2-4.   1997. Read Sandra Kazan.



Titles recorded in the Audio Book Studio of the Andrew Heiskell Braillle and Talking Book Library are available for free loan to registered patrons of the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and for loan through the NLS's Interlibrary Loan Program to registered borrowers in the United States.

If you live outside the New York City area, you may request any of these titles by contacting your local National Library Service network library. To locate the network library that serves your geographic area, call (800) 424-8567 or check the National Library Service's Find a Library web page.