Autumn has arrived and we have dug deep into our catalog to present 10 gems for your listening pleasure.
October starts out with children’s book week, and what better book to celebrate this than Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. His classic book about the short-nosed, long-nosed marionette has been a kid’s favorite for over 100 years. This recording is also available in the original Italian.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift is often dismissed as a mere book for children. Indeed, there are dwarfs and giants, strange races, places and stories… But in fact, it is a well disguised satire by Swift, attacking government, religion, and people’s behavior in general. Why not try and listen to it with adult ears?
October 2nd is the International Day of Non-Violence, in honor of Mahatma Gandhi, who was born on this day in 1869. Unless you read this message in India, it won’t be a national holiday for you though, but you can still celebrate by listening to 6 pieces of his early writings, collected in Third Class in Indian Railways.
417 years before Gandhi, Richard III of England was born. If you feel more like celebrating his birthday, you can listen to our recently finished recording of the famous play by William Shakespeare, where Richard is the main protagonist. Don’t forget to make cake!
Depending on the cake, it may or may not last until October 16, which is Food Engineer Day. A glimpse into their early work can be found in H. G. Wells novel The Food of the Gods and How it Came to Earth. Watch out for the giant chickens!
Hopefully you kept your good sense during all this feasting and celebrating! Good Sense is also the title of a book on freethought by Baron Paul Henry Thiry D’Holbach, published in 1772. It’s interesting to see how the arguments on both sides of the theological divide have not changed much in all these years.
At the end of October 1818 – or the beginning of November, depending on which calender you use – Ivan Turgenev was born. His work Fathers and Sons made him – and Russian literature as a whole – famous in the West.
To stay with the Russian theme for a moment, Red October 1917 marks the time of the Russian Revolution. If you ever wondered about Russia’s exit of World War I in March 1918, you can read From October to Brest-Litovsk, where Leon Trotsky himself gives an account of what happened.
Try imagine the beautifully colored forests with The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy, a novel set in a small village in the woodlands. Delve into the lives, dreams, problems, and of course, loves of the people in the village of Little Hintock.
As our final recommendation for October, have a listen to “Death of Autumn” by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It is contained in Second April, a collection of 49 of her poems.