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Licentious Literature

Posted on September 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 2 Comments on Licentious Literature

The worst heat waves should be over, so we can think about getting “hot” in a … ahem … different kind of way. Let’s explore classic adult-rated literature with 10 sexy gems from our catalog.

From the very beginnings of humanity, Phallic Worship had its fixed place in religious practices. Follow Hargrave Jennings through times, cultures and countries and see how both male and female genitalia became deified.

The Garden God is the only friend of lonely boy Graham. When he finally enters boarding school, he meets Harold, who is the statue’s spitting image. A loving friendship soon blossoms – until tragedy strikes in the novel by Forrest Reid.

“Tragic” is the perfect summary of Mathilda’s life: Her mother dies soon after her birth and her father disappears. When the girl is 16, her father re-emerges to confess his – not quite paternal – love for her… Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel was considered so scandalous that it was only published 100 years after her death.

Pierre Louÿs claimed to have rediscovered the works of a Greek poetess from Sappho’s circle. Whether this is true or not, Les Chansons de Bilitis are one of the prime examples of poetry with lesbian themes. We also have this book in a German translation.

A great variety of themes are found in The Perfumed Garden, a 15th-century Arabic sex manual. Sheikh Nafzaoui skilfully mixes aphrodisiac recipes, descriptions of sexual techniques and intercourse with erotic stories to get in the mood.

“The mood” is a fickle thing, as Severin knows, and so he demands to be treated as a slave from his lover Wanda… Venus in Furs, or rather, its author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch lends his name to a whole range of sexual preference.

Similarly immortalized is Giacomo Casanova. Chiefly known for his womanizing, the Venetian was also an adventurer and a writer – a pretty good one too, if his Memoirs are any indication.

George Bernard Shaw’s Overruled shows perfect indications of a love quadruple: Two couples meet unexpectedly at a hotel. But they are all married to the partners of the others… A serious conversation leads to an unexpected result.

The only serious thing about Nana is that she destroys every man who pursues her. No wonder, she’s a prostitute, after all. Émile Zola shows in his famous novel that the life of even a high-class courtesan is no fairy tale.

Fairy tales are already in the name here: Braune Märchen are a mix of Grimm’s fairy tales and the Decameron, with a sprinkle of erotic on top. These 20 fairy tales stem from the pen of Alexander von Ungern-Sternberg.

Enjoy – and be naughty!

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17 Years – 17,000 Audiobooks

Posted on August 9, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, News | Comments: 1 Comment on 17 Years – 17,000 Audiobooks

Today, LibriVox celebrates its 17th anniversary, and we do it in style with 17,000 completed audiobooks.

The lucky winner dropped about 10 days ago, and it’s Eva – Lilith, a book of poetry exploring love by Austrian writer Bruno Ertler. It is read in German by lorda.

Of course, all our books are winners, not just this one, and all our volunteers are too! Each and every one of them made life a bit easier for visually impaired people, people with tedious jobs, students with a busy schedule, or simply anyone who loves (audio-) books.

Thank you to all our 12,000+ volunteers who contributed recordings in 100 languages (45 if you count our 2,166 stand-alone projects that are not in English) in the past 17 years. Thank you so much for making LibriVox what it is today – and what it will become.

Because: We’re not done yet! After all, our goal is to

make all books in the public domain available, narrated by real people and distributed for free, in audio format on the internet.

That will keep us busy for a while! We always welcome new voices, proof listeners, book suggestions… so if you’d like to help out or just keep listening – enjoy!

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Another Year!

Posted on August 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Another Year!

Next week, LibriVox will turn 17! In the last year, our volunteers have worked together to create more than 1300 new books for our catalog. Let’s have a look at 10 of these gems to kickstart our celebrations.

What would the world look like if people worked together? 12 German authors gave it a try and wrote Der Roman der XII, one chapter each. Interestingly, who wrote which chapter isn’t known – can you figure it out?

International understanding would be easier with a common, easy to learn language. In comes Esperanto, the only “created” language in the world. Edmont Privat tells more about its creator in Vivo de Zamenhof.

Alternatively, you could just hope for a genie to set things right, like the one Aladdin found in his lamp. Adam Oehlenschläger took the story and added a few twists – and we added a dramatic reading.

Things get very dramatic when Mr. Catesby is hit by a bird carrying a tin box. In it, he finds clues about The Wreck of the Corsaire including chests of gold… Expect a great adventure in the novel by William Clark Russell.

Gallant knights are always looking for adventures, and when The Lavender Dragon roams the lands and abducts lonely people, he must be stopped. But not everything is what it seems in the little book by Eden Phillpotts.

Nabakumar’s hunting trip takes an unexpected turn when he becomes a sacrifice for the goddess Kali. Young Kopal-Kundala comes to his rescue and follows him to the city, with tragic consequences. This is considered the best work by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.

Another masterpiece is The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. In this roman à clef, a group of expats travels from Paris to Pamplona for the bull run, but not everybody escapes unscathed…

Nobody is safe in war, not people, not property. The Nazis systematically looted the countries they had attacked and hid many priceless art pieces in Salt Mines and Castles. After WWII, Thomas Carr Howe helped return the stolen art to their rightful owners, a process that is still not settled.

Neither is the Russian-Ukranian conflict, which has been brewing for decades. Already after WWI, Ukraine struggled for independence. Our Friends of Ukraine Publications collects 9 essays by various authors about the situation in the country at that time.

Let’s end this on a positive note – we’re celebrating, after all – and poetry by Harold Vinal. His collection White April showcases in 5 different sections his deep feelings towards people, places, and the eternal beauty of nature.

Enjoy – and a big THANK YOU! to all our volunteers who keep making audiobooks!

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Safe Travels!

Posted on July 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Safe Travels!

It’s that time of the year again: next item on the schedule is a holiday. Or get out of the house and travelling with 10 gems from our catalog.

Any favourite destinations? For Russian writer Nikolay Gumilyov, it was Africa. His poetry inspired by giraffes and hippos is collected in “The Tent”, which is a part contained in Романтические Цветы, Шатер.

Riding a white goose as part of a flock of wild geese? Selma Lagerlöf was asked to write a geographic reader for Swedish school kids. The result is her most famous book: The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. We also have this novel in Spanish, German and in Dutch.

In contrast, the Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands is a true story of a woman who travelled to help wounded soldiers. Jamaican-born, of Scottish-Creole descent, Mary Seacole was born adventurous!

Much less so is the Moulton family, travelling through Europe. But their relative Catalina has more exciting ideas for the trip… Find out if doom and disaster really lie ahead in Gertrude Atherton’s novel The Travelling Thirds.

You never know what lies ahead when you go to unknown places. When a young woman, an Exile From Space, visits Earth for the first time, it takes a while to find her way around. But then, the unexpected happens… Judith Merril’s sci-fi story tells you more.

Surely, nothing out of the ordinary could happen on a train trip? Then again, when travelling through the night, the supernatural is never far off. Stefan Grabiński explores what could happen in 8 stories collected in Wybrane opowiadania.

Many passengers find their way onto the cross-country train from Chicago, and not a few have something to hide. But Excuse Me! when those secrets are revealed in Rupert Hughes’ comedy.

Uncovering secrets may have been the reason for The Pilgrimage of Etheria in the 4th century. In this voyage to the Holy Land, Etheria follows the footsteps of Christ to Mt. Sinai, Constantinople and Jerusalem.

Decidedly not Christlike was Robert Louis Stevenson, even though he Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. Together with Modestine, he walks through South-west France, always with a keen eye for the landscape, the people, and their lives.

Tristan Bernard’s travelling companion has more donkey…, sorry, horsepower – it’s a car. In the 53 vignettes of Les veillées du chauffeur he tells us of little trips on four wheels when the car was still young.

Enjoy – and have a great vacation!

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