Author Archive

Poor Classes

Posted on October 1, 2015 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 0

October 17th is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go, although conditions do have improved since the writing of the following 10 gems from our catalog.

Poverty pushes people to the fringes of society. D. H. Lawrence paints a sensitive picture of the ones that usually go unnoticed in urban life, in this case just before the beginning of WWI, in his poem Embankment at Night, Before the War: Outcasts.

A haunting description of the abject living conditions and rampant violence in the East End of London is A Child of the Jago. The novel by Arthur Morrison takes his cues from real life in the Old Nichol Street Rookery.

There is always somebody profiting from people’s misery, and Harry Trench is shocked when he finds out that his fiance’s father is one of them. However, he is not quite in the position to take the high road in George Bernard Shaw’s unpleasant play Widowers’ Houses.

Hunger is a terrible feeling, and the unnamed protagonist of Knut Hamsun’s novel is suffering greatly. His physical and mental breakdown and his resulting delusional existence are realistically detailed, after all, they are loosely based on the author’s own experience.

Openly autobiographic is John Barleycorn or Alcoholic Memoirs by Jack London. The famous author recounts his life as an addict, both the phases of white light alcoholic inspiration and lucidity, and the brutal negative effects brought on by his so called best friend.

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets has only one place to go when her alcoholic mother turns her out of the house. Find out whether her life improves when she seeks shelter with her boyfriend in the first novel by Stephen Crane.

A voluntary descent among the lower classes was undertaken by Robert Louis Stevenson on his 1879 trip from Glasgow to the US. Buying almost the cheapest ticket available, he documents his encounters with the poorest of passengers in The Amateur Emigrant.

Once off the boat, life does not miraculously improve though, especially when you are the target of racism. Mark Twain, in his famous satirical fashion, highlights the bad treatment of Chinese immigrants in San Francisco in Goldsmith’s Friend Abroad Again.

Frank Owen knows how to make things better, and he tries to convice his fellow workers that the root of their poverty lies in capitalism. Will he succeed to convert his friends to the socialist cause in the famous novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell?

Poverty is not the end though, often work and will are much more important. Sarah Knowles Bolton recounts 28 Lives of Poor Boys Who Became Famous, among them Samuel Johnson, Mozart, Oliver Goldsmith, and Abraham Lincoln.

Enjoy – and enough for everybody!


Travel Stories

Posted on September 1, 2015 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off

September 27 marks World Tourism Day, and this month is generally a good time for taking a trip somewhere. Alternatively, you can listen to other people’s travel stories, like those in the following 10 gems from our catalog.

These days, travelling has become a safe and easy pastime for everyone. That was not so in the Victorian era, when going abroad was only for hardened adventurers like Sir Francis Galton. In The Art of Travel, he will tell you everything you need to know when preparing a safari.

Much less prepared are Jim and Lou, unexpected travel companions in Douglas Grant’s short novel. The orphan Lou has just run away from hard work on a farm, and Jim, with his strange rules and odd skills, puzzles her. Anyway, together they will try Anything Once on their week-long walk to New York.

The most unusual guide anybody has ever had is the White Rabbit who accompanies Alice in Wonderland. The classic book by Lewis Carroll is enjoyable for both young and old, and here we present a drama version adapted to the stage by Alice Gerstenberg.

Another children’s classic was written by Margaret Sidney. In Five Little Peppers Abroad, the third book in the series, the Pepper kids travel to Europe, where they explore countries like Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and France.

Not a child, but a young man is the protagonist of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (Canto IV). His travels in many countries in order to find distraction from the worldly life is a classic example of a knight errantry tale in the form of a narrative poem, written by Lord Byron.

What brought Amy Wilson Carmichael to the Far East is not a pilgrimage, although God has something to do with it. The Protestant missionary spent more than 50 years working in India, but she also visited other countries. From Sunrise Land is her view on Japan.

Class distinctions also play a role in the witty novel by Sinclair Lewis about a father-daughter roadtrip in America, which is greatly disturbed by the arrival of a young man. The romance between the aristocrat and the commoner seems doomed from the start, but then again, both of them breathe the same Free Air

Joam Garral travels Eight Hundred Leages on the Amazon on a timber raft to his daughter’s wedding – and to clear his name from a crime he did not commit. A man promises to help by presenting an encrypted letter, but then he dies… Find out if Joam will be exonerated in time, in the novel by Jules Verne.

The Nile is the scene set by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for The Tragedy of the Korosko. A group of tourists on a boat cruise is abducted by a marauding band of Dervish warriors when approaching the southern border of Egypt. And this is only the start of their adventure.

Not quite as dangerous as the title implies is travelling in Wild Wales. George Barrow lovingly paints a picture of the British countryside, and he shares his views on the Welsh people and their language as well as his own experiences with both in his classic travel book.


LibriVox completes its 9000th project

Posted on August 19, 2015 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, News, Uncategorized | Comments: 1 Comment

Today, hot on the heels of our 10th anniversary, LibriVox reached another milestone: the release of our 9000th project.

And the lucky project is…

Michael Armenta’s solo recording of The Origin Of Species by Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin.

Michael chose to record the 6th and last edition, often considered the definitive edition, of this seminal scientific work.

Of the 9000 works now available at LibriVox, 1233 are in a language other than English, and 5037 were recorded by a soloist. We currently have over 600 projects in progress.

Now onward to 10,000, and we hope to announce that achievement within the next twelve months.


LibriVox 10th Anniversary Podcast No. 140

Posted on August 10, 2015 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, in the press, Librivox Community Podcast, News, Podcast | Comments: 5 Comments

Listen to LibriVox Community Podcast #140 celebrating LibriVox’s tenth birthday,  hosted by Ruth Golding (RuthieG).

Duration: 25:57

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Featuring SonoftheExiles, chocoholic, commonsparrow3, Peter Why, commonsparrow3, hugh, mhhbook, smike, GregGiordano and a host of others.

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00:00 Song: Ten years, ten years and still going strong!
03:22 Introduction
03:37 SonoftheExiles offers advice from Bachelor 1, a truly amazing reader!
05:04 So you think recording is straightforward…
06:33 Laurie Anne (chocoholic): the tribulations of recording with dogs and children around.
07:48 Freudian slips.
08:53 Peter Yearsley (Peter Why) takes us through his (nearly) 10 years with LibriVox.
10:13 A tweet and blog post from a listener.
12:17 Maria Kasper (commonsparrow3) tells us of the liberation of her voice.
14:31 Message from Hugh McGuire (hugh).
16:50 Mary from Arkansas (mhhbook) tells us of 10 favourite listens.
18:58 Claudia Salto (smike) sings her celebrations!
20:57 Greg Giordano (GregGiordano) tells us how he discovered LibriVox, and the benefits it has brought to him.
22:00 Mary in Arkansas (mhhbook) on how YOU can help LibriVox, even if you don’t have time to record.
23:26 Reprise of the Boomdeyada song.

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We are interested in whatever feedback – positive or constructively critical – anyone has about our podcasts. Add a comment below or pop over to this forum thread. Any member of the community who has contributed readings to the LibriVox catalog can host a podcast and is most welcome to do so. Visit this thread on the forum to express an interest and float your ideas.

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To Subscribe to the Librivox Community Podcast, go to: Or hit this itunes link to get you to the subscribe page:

Recent past LibriVox Community Podcast files can be found at our spot on: and archived shows for previous years can be found at: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Archived shownotes for the Community Podcast can be found at: And the rss feed for those shownotes is:



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