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Celebrations!

Posted on August 1, 2018 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 2 Comments on Celebrations!

Happy Anniversary! On August 9, LibriVox will have been around for 13 years! In this time, we have produced 12.000 audiobooks that have been downloaded millions of times. Let’s celebrate with all our volunteers and all our listeners – and 10 gems from our catalogue.

Naturally, we have to start celebrating our volunteers, without whom LibriVox would never have been possible! LibriVox has always been open to people from everywhere, and 55 of our readers joined in our Celebration of Dialects and Accents Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, reading a short fable from Aesop.

The Birthday Party – A Story for Little Folks is a very short book for children by Oliver Optic. It tells about little Flora Lee and her birthday and about the surprises her parents have for Flora.

Lots of surprises happen during The Tinker’s Wedding, a comedy by John Millington Synge. Irish Traveller Michael only wants to marry Sarah because otherwise she’d run off with another man. But then Sarah’s mother runs off with part of the wedding money…

Elizabeth North is determined: money must not be an obstacle in her married life! Her future husband however, sees that differently and tries to mend her spendthrift ways in the novel by Florence Morse Kingsley: And so they were married.

In Jolanthes Hochzeit, it is unclear who is getting married. Freiherr von Hanckel promised a dying friend to find a wife for his son, but when he falls in love with the chosen one himself, things are getting complicated. Will there be a happy ending in the novella by Hermann Sudermann?

5-year-old Bobby is In Search of a Birthday. Not just that, the little orphan is also in search of a new family to celebrate it with! Hopefully, the determined boy gets all he wants in the little book by Lebbeus Mitchell.

Come visit Katharine Mansfield’s Garden Party! This is a collection of 15 short stories by the famous author from New Zealand.

Modern Rule of Law is certainly worth a celebration! Our collection of Magna Carta Commemoration Essays showcases various aspects of this important document.

LibriVox is 13 years old, and we hope to go on strong for a long time to come! Who knows if we’ll ever put out a 200th Anniversary Collection like that for Robert Browning, but nothing is impossible. Only 187 years to go!

On an occasion like this, we cannot let you leave without a little present! We have chosen Princess Mary’s Gift Book for you – a collection of short stories and essays by famous authors like J. M. Barrie, A. Conan-Doyle, R. Kipling, K. Douglass Wiggin, H. Rider Haggard

We want to say a big Thank You! to everybody who has made LIbriVox a success: to all our readers, proof listeners, coordinators, cover makers, admins and technical staff, and of course: to our listeners.

Happy 13th Anniversary, LibriVox!

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Crimes and Passion

Posted on July 1, 2018 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Crimes and Passion

It’s July – time for the summer holidays! When on the beach, most people seem to read romances or crime fiction, so why not join them with 10 gems from our catalog?

If you can’t decide what to start with, try this 2-in-1: August Strindberg lets fellow playwright and recently engaged Maurice fall in love with Henriette, the mistress of a friend. As if that wasn’t bad enough, both are subsequently accused of murder… Find out what will become of them in the play There are Crimes and Crimes.

Often we know very well what becomes of crime victims, but many other people can be affected too: family and friends of both victim and criminal, police and judges… Walter Wood conducted interviews with such people and published them in Survivor’s Tales of Famous Crimes.

Famous is also Dorothy Osborne, amongst others for her extended, clandestine courtship with Sir William Temple. Unfortunately, only half of this 17th century correspondence has survived, but those are all the Love Letters of Dorothy Osborne.

At least that affair had a happy ending. It doesn’t look quite so good for seamstress Lene and Baron Botho, who fall in love over summer. Once the heat subsides, will they overcome their class difference? The novel Irrungen, Wirrungen by Theodor Fontane caused quite a stir when first published.

Time Crime always causes a stir – it is strictly forbidden to cross time lines and probability boundaries in the story by H. Beam Piper. Paratime Police agent Kiro Soran is ready to track down the gangsters – but in what time exactly should he start looking for them?

Finding the criminals was not a problem that Camden Pelham had when compiling The Chronicles of Crime, Vol. 1. He meticulously and chronologically lists famous crimes from the years 1700 to 1816. Read about 275 cases and their perpetrators, from the cold-hearted murderer to the slow-witted petty criminal.

If this is not enough crime for you, try La Fabrique de crimes. Author Paul Auguste Feval prides himself on having written a novel where in each chapter there are on average 73 murders! And that’s on top of theft, burglaries, swindles, forged documents…

Hopefully much tamer are the 14 stories penned by E. F. Benson and compiled in The Countess of Lowndes Square and Other Stories. The stories are grouped under headings like “Blackmailing Stories”, “Spook Stories” and, interestingly, “Cat Stories”.

If some of the titles of the collection Poems of Passion are brought in a certain order – Solitude, Attraction, Progress, Resolve, Impatience, Love’s coming – Ella Wheeler Wilcox could trace several relationships from beginning to end, including both the good and the bad parts.

Nothing is perfect, there is always a Flaw in the Crystal. When Agatha falls in love with married man Rodney, she can summon him at will with her paranormal abilities. However, once she tries to use them to do good, things turn out more complicated. Read the novel by May Sinclair to see if there is a happy ending after all.

Enjoy – and have happy holidays!

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Travel Plans

Posted on June 1, 2018 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Travel Plans

Summer has come and it is time to make plans for the perfect vacation. Have a look at 10 gems from our catalog for a bit of inspiration!

What about taking a really big trip with Toson Shimazaki? Buying a pair of Megane (glasses) in Tokyo is just the first stop on a nine month round trip, visiting many interesting spots in Japan.

Of course, time or distance are no measure for adventure. In 1907, James Edmund Vincent took a number of short trips Through East Anglia in a Motor Car. This was a time when cars were a thing for the wealthy only.

Money is no obstacle for Lord Loam, as he likes to mingle with the lower classes, something his butler strongly disapproves of. But how will The Admirable Crichton react when they all strand on an island and the master-servant roles are reversed? Find out in the comedy by J. M. Barrie.

Not much fun might Theodore and Mabel Bent have had on their four-month journey through Southern Arabia. In particular, they visited North-Eastern Ethiopia in the 1890s, when, especially for Westerners, time and place were very dangerous.

Not the best timing was chosen for a reasearch team of three English men and three Russians. They were working together in South Africa, when the Crimean War broke out and they suddenly became enemies. Read the novel Meridiana by Jules Verne to see if they can resolve their conflict.

In The City of the Sun, there is no conflict – it is a veritable utopia. A sea-captain from Genoa is going there, and before he sets sails, he discusses the place with a Grandmaster of Knights Hospitaller. See what they were philosophising about in the 16th century book by Tomaso Campanella.

Not one place but many are on the itinerary entitled Dave Dashaway – Around the World. Alaska and Siberia are only two of the stops on the great air flight around the planet. Find out where else Dave is going and what his adventures are in the book by Roy Rockwood.

Afraid of flying? Then there’s always the bicycle. Even though you can’t go far, you may still have adventures this way! The Wheels of Chance is a fun H. G. Wells story about a trip to the countryside by a young Draper’s Assistant.

Wherever you go, hopefully your vacation will not turn into The Worst Journey in the World. Right now, this title is held by the 1910 – 1913 British Antarctic Expeditions led by Robert F. Scott. This memoir was written by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, one of the survivors of the ill-fated journey.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter how things turn out (the worst things make the best stories), there are many Poems on Travel by various authors, and who knows, you might be inspired to write your own upon your return.

Enjoy your trip!

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Revolutions

Posted on May 1, 2018 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 1 Comment on Revolutions

Look at the grassroots movements going on these days, from Black Lives Matter, to #metoo, to Catalonian independence, and you might think the cry for change is a current invention. Not so – let us prove the opposite with 10 gems from our catalog.

The sleepy little town Branton Hill is in steep decline, but Gadsby will not look on any longer. He secures the help of he town youth, and together, they turn the place into a bustling city of 60.000 inhabitants. How? Read the book by Ernest Vincent Wright, which is revolutionary in itself, since it does not contain the letter E.

The fight for a brighter future can begin very early. Only 12 years old is Gloriana, when she swears that she will bring equality to womankind. A few year later, one mysterious Hector D’Strange appears to fulfil her dream, in the book by Florence Dixie.

Sometimes, things change without our help. Annie L. Burton was born a slave in the South and lived through Civil War and Emancipation. Read about her struggles before and after she was a free woman in her Memories of Childhood’s Slavery Days.

Oceana refuses to be a slave to modern conventions. Raised as a Naturewoman on a tropical island, she immediately clashes with the Bostonian relatives who take her in, in the drama by Upton Sinclair. Things look good, but when she catches the eye of a married man, all hell breaks loose…

We don’t know his name, but we do know that he lived through the hell of World War I. For 14 months, then he had enough and got out. Published in 1917, A German Deserter’s War Experience recounts the life on a common soldier on the battlefield.

The members of the Scottish Gordon family are no soldiers, and yet they fight their own war. Called The Outlaws of Ravenhurst, they try to hold on to their Catholic faith in the middle of 17th century Protestant revolution. Read the novel for kids by Sister Imelda Wallace to find out if they were successful.

Francis A. Bruton writes about an unsuccessful demonstration in The Story of Peterloo. On August 16, 1819, 60.000 people gathered in Manchester for a peaceful rally demanding parliamentary reform. Attacked by Hussars, 18 died and more than 700 were wounded in what became a significant event in the British Labour Movement.

Surely some of all these people must have chanted paroles and Rebel Verses, just like those penned by Bernard Gilbert. In this short collection, there are 35 poems, entitled for example “Song of Revolt” or “The Rebel”.

Jenny Clegg’s battle cry is No Surrender! The young mill girl, wearied by her hard life as underpaid laborer, joins the British Women’s Movement. Constance Elizabeth Maud paints a lively picture of the struggle for women’s suffrage in the UK.

In 1840 Italy, Arthur Burton fights against Padre Montanelli and the Austrian Rule. Will he be able to his love Gemma safe in the midst of the struggle? Find out in the thriller The Gadfly by Ethel L. Voynich.

Enjoy – and keep fighting for a better world!

 

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