April, 2013

Love and Marriage

Posted on April 30, 2013 by | Posted in For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off

May is a good time to fall in love – but not everything starting out on cloud #9 has a happy landing on the ground of reality, as 10 gems from our catalog show…

Abelard and Heloise are a medieval couple famous for their Love Letters. Starting out as teacher and pupil, they became lovers, were brutally separated and ended in monasteries, where they relive their love in their correspondence.

The next book by an unknown author, where a young knight falls in love with a former slave girl is not quite so tragic. Obviously his father is not happy with the match, and so begins a long period of trials for Aucassin and Nicolette – will they get their happy ending?

As an anonymous writer find out after the wedding, it’s better to marry a woman without family. This way, there will be no intrusions on happiness as That Mother in Law of Mine is doing during his honeymoon.

Not much longer lasts the happiness of Gwendolyn, who must marry because she lost her fortune. Her husband is cold and abusive, and Daniel Deronda is the only one she can reach out to – but he is in love with somebody else… Read about their fate in the famous novel by George Eliot.

A young woman falls for a vampire – not an unusual story these days, but at the time Joseph Sheridan LeFanu published his book, the shock was great – because the vampire is a woman called Carmilla.

Sex is still a taboo topic for many people. Clearly there must be a way to change this, thought Henry Stanton 90 years ago and he wrote Sex – Avoided Subjects Discussed in Plain English, where he discusses sex for all ages, from the young to the old.

No inhibitions whatsoever plague Kate Percival whose “autobiography” The Life and Amours of the Beautiful and Dashing Kate Pericival caused a mixture of embarrassment and mirth in the readers of our dramatic version.

No fun at all in her marriage has Rosalie. When her sister Bettina comes to visit her years later, she sets out to save Rosalie from her husband, but that is not as easy as she thought. Find out the details in The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The Pastor’s Wife is finally freed from her family life and now goes on to search out all things feminist. Written at the onset of WW I, the book by Elizabeth von Arnim may just as well be autobiographical.

What about you – still looking for somebody despite those warnings? To help you in your search, read The Spinster Book by Myrtle Reed who offers advice on how not to become a spinster yourself.

Enjoy – and go get your own happy ending!

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Mother Nature

Posted on April 1, 2013 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off

Mother Earth is celebrated wordwide on Earth Day, April 22nd. Have a great party with 10 gems from our catalogue!

No feat(ure) of nature is so widely discussed, praised and condemmed as – the weather. J. G. M’Pherson explains all its details in his 1905 science book Meteorology.

Mostly monotone weather is expected by Mary, who spends her Christmas vacation in dry Arizona. But she’s up for a surprise in Ethel Twycross Foster’s charming children’s book Little Tales of the Desert.

Another lovely read for children is The Book of Nature Myths, where Florence Holbrook collected stories told by the North American Indians to explain the secrets of nature and her animals.

A similar goal on a much higher level was Charles Darwin’s when he wrote his seminal book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Simply a must read!

Not quite so natural is the selection a gardener has to make to guarantee a satisfying outcome. In Elizabeth and her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim, the protagonist learns gardening – and writes a diary about it.

But what to do with all the things you don’t want in your garden? Mother Nature will take care of it in The World’s Lumber Room. Selina Gaye wrote what can be seen as the story of the world’s rubbish – and it is fascinating!

None of those issues worry little Mary Lennox who is simply delighted about the Secret Garden she finds at her uncle’s place. This is our brand new dramatic reading of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic.

Freckles, the orphan, is not so lucky – he finds himself in Limberlost Swamp as guard for timber. But he soon begins to love the harsh environment in the novel by Gene Stratton-Porter.

Stewart Edward White tells a similar story about early lumbermen in Michigan. While focusing on the life of newcomer Harry Thorpe, the vanishing wilderness also plays a major part in The Blazed Trail.

The River Duddon once formed the boundary between Lancashire and Cumberland in north-west England. This is a collection of more than 40 Sonnets written about it by William Wordsworth.

Enjoy – and go outdoors!

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