Giving Gifts

Posted on December 1, 2013 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 4 Comments on Giving Gifts

Well, it’s the season where people are happy to give… So, staying with the tradition, we give to you 10 exclusive gems from our catalog.

Giving books is probably as old as books themselves. Meant as a “gift book” to highlight the facets of the writing of G. K. Chesterton,  The Wit and Wisdom of Chesterton is a collection of his non-fiction essays.

Once books became mass produced, you had to find something else for the more excentric recipient. So it came that Thomas Dallam, on order of Queen Elizabeth I, had to deliver an organ across Europe. Dallam’s Travels with an Organ to the Grand Signieur, 1599 – 1600 describes his exciting journey.

Assume you have found the perfect gift to impress a woman – and then it disappears during delivery! What happened to The Stolen White Elephant and whether it could be recovered can be read in the short story by Mark Twain.

Not quite stolen, but not in the right hands either is Lady Windermere’s Fan, a present from her husband. Will she be able to get it back in time without her husband noticing its absence? Have fun with the twisted plot of Oscar Wilde’s play.

Another fun story is the one of The Dragon of Wantley. Owen Wister retells the “true” story of the dangerous dragon that terrorized Yorkshire in the 13th century, and how it was slain just in time for Christmas.

Imagine you know the one thing your partner wishes for – but you cannot afford it. Would you give up your own most prized possession – like Jim and Della do in O. Henry’s short story The Gift of the Magi – to make your beloved happy?

More short stories suitable for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were written by Edward Everett Hale and collected together in this little book – a true gift!

Another collection – this time of poems – is Christmas Roses. They were written by Lizzie Lawson and Robert Ellice Mack, not all of them revolve around Christmas, but they are beautiful in any case.

A somewhat more sober but still humorous view on what he calls The Feast of St. Friend has Arnold Bennett. Especially his opinions on giving gifts are as modern as if written yesterday and not more than 100 years ago.

Nobody wants to be sick during the holidays, but that’s exactly what happens to Lloyd in The Little Colonel’s Christmas Vacation, which turns out to be longer than expected. However, there is a lot to do – and to learn – in the book by Annie Fellows Johnston.

Enjoy – and Happy Gift Giving and Receiving too!



  1. Gurdjieff says:

    Thanks for these recommendations. O Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” has always been a favorite, but I never had the chance to listen to an audio recording of it till now.

    And thank you for keeping libriVox going…

  2. Jon David Proper says:

    Thank the IS that is for Librivox . . .

  3. H. F. Spirer says:

    How do I use a credit card to send money to you?

    Thank you.

  4. LibriVoxer says:

    @H.F. – Details on how to donate can be found here:

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