All Fun & Games

Posted on February 1, 2024 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on All Fun & Games

February – the month of carnival, Mardi Gras, Shrovetide, Shrove Tuesday… Whatever it’s called where you are from, let’s have fun with 10 hilarious gems from our catalog.

Humor is best delivered in short bursts. And it can’t get any pithier than Frontier Humor in Verse, Prose and Picture, little vignettes from 19th century Canada by Palmer Cox.

Mody Coggin Boatright remembers his good ol’ dialect for his Tall Tales From Texas. These eight stories feature horses, cowboys, campfires, and Pecos Bill.

What once was the pinnacle of behavior leaves us chuckling today. Then again, already in 1753, Jane Collier’s Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting was meant tongue-in-cheek.

Mark Twain was the master of humor – but in this one he might even be serious: Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offences lists 114 (out of 115) offenses against literary art.

Humor is when you laugh regardless, says a German proverb, obviously inspired by the country’s bureaucracy… Rudolf Greinz writes about Der heilige Bürokrazius, a saint residing in public offices.

When Marc dreams up a lovely girl, he couldn’t have imagined that she’d come to life one day. Henry Farrell chronicles The Early Misadventures of Toffee in great detail.

The term misadventures doesn’t quite fit Roxy Hart’s crime – we’re talking murder after all. Maurice Watkins took the case from 1924 Chicago and turned it into a Broadway musical – and we made a play out of it.

How to exhibit Perfect Behavior at musicals, concerts, or in the opera was researched by Donald Ogden Stewart. This is an interesting glimpse what kind of social crises were feared in 1922.

No matter when, getting lost in New York counts as a crisis. Then again, since this is one of five Follies in Fiction penned by master humorist Stephen Leacock, it can’t be too serious.

Laughter is universal and independent of language and culture. Russian writer Nikolai Leskov collects seven short Святочные рассказы (Yuletide stories) on things that may not be as serious as they sound at first.

Enjoy – and do try to “laugh regardless”!



Posted on January 1, 2024 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on First!

Happy New Year! A new year brings fresh starts, a chance to try something again or to go for something entirely new. Get inspired with 10 gems from our catalog.

Let’s start at the beginning – of humankind. C. H. Robinson follows the development of human society from the discovery of fire and working all the way to religions, architecture, and government in Longhead: The Story of the First Fire.

“Fire” had quite a different meaning in Eddie Rickenbacker’s life, as the recently invented airplane changed warfare forever. He received a medal of honor for Fighting the Flying Circus of Manfred from Richthofen in WWI.

From the Red Baron to the King of England, Richard III; both men haven’t been treated kindly by history. See what Jacob Abbott thinks of the king in his biography and find out why Shakespeare made him the main character in his first play.

Our very first dramatic reading was a short story by W. W. Jacobs. The Monkey’s Paw grants three wishes to its owner, but there’s a catch every time… Maybe the Whites are the first to break the curse, loving couple that they are?

Love is a wonderful feeling, possibly the only thing we can all agree upon. Five short stories by Spanish authors show the lighthearted and fun side of First Love and Spanish Life.

When foreign secretary Sir Ramon receives a letter from The Four Just Men, he knows this is no laughing matter. He and Scotland Yard are ready to fight – and even the press get involved in this early novel by Edgar Wallace.

When Sherlock Holmes arrives at the scene, the fighting is usually over. In A Study in Scarlet, he uses his wits to solve the case. Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1888 story marks the first appearance of the master sleuth – and of a magnifying glass.

Holmes and Watson never went “in search of lost time”, that was left to Marcel Proust. His seven-book masterpiece starts with the narrator’s childhood memories in Swann’s Way.

When Antonio Pigafetta set out with Magellan in 1519, the goal were the Spice Islands. Three years later, they had become the first people to circumnavigate the globe, a journey chronicled in Primer viaje en torno del globo by the Venetian.

Wheels make the world go around one could say, and maybe this is true for poetry as well. This first of six anthologies collects 40 poems by nine authors, notably the Sitwell siblings Edith, Osbert, and Sacheverall.

Enjoy – and good luck with your new beginnings!


Merry Christmas Season!

Posted on December 1, 2023 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Merry Christmas Season!

So many celebrations this month! Whether you celebrate Christmas, the winter solstice or just the end of the year, get in the mood with 10 gems from our catalog.

Every year, kids anxiously await Christmas. “How many days left” can be easily deduced from an Adventskalender counting down the days with little daily gifts. This is a German tradition – and one of the oldest on LibriVox.

Gertrude Landa’s collection of Jewish Fairy Tales and Fables goes even further back in time. These parables from Talmud and Midrash teach ancient yet timeless lessons to kids and adults alike.

On Christmas Eve, Marie and Fritz find an old nutcracker under their tree. They are lucky to have Alexandre Dumas as guest who, after some prodding, readily tells them the Histoire d’un casse-noisette.

A bit later that night, presents can be found under that same tree. But how do they get there? William Walsh traces The Story of Santa Klaus through folklore and customs from all over the world.

Most adults don’t believe in Santa, or the afterlife, for that matter. But when recently widowed Esther stays with friends over Christmas, she must face The Irtonwood Ghost – and her hidden fears in the novel by Elinor Glyn.

Marian harbors many fears on the way to meet Patsy. Will she get along with her? Can she handle the reindeer farm without her father? And what is that Purple Flame haunting her? Find out in the novel by Roy Snell, set in the Alaskan winter.

Have the five Favorite American poets contained in this collection ever sat in a reindeer sleigh? That’s not sure, but their Winter Poems speak of experiences from the first snowfall to midnight mass for the dying year.

Before, however, a child must be born, and this one is announced by magicians, spirits, even a comet! It’s The Birth of Merlin that William Shakespeare and William Rowley imagine in this fun Jacobean play.

Much more serious is Thomas Guthrie, 19th century Presbyterian minister from Scotland. In The Angel’s Song, he reflects on the birth of Jesus Christ and its implications for his day and the future.

Lots of parties lie ahead, always the perfect reason to indulge in great food. Santa’s Sampler by the Kappa Alpha Theta. St. Louis Alumnae Chapter has recipes for hors d’oevres with a special section on Christmas gifts.

Enjoy – and have a wonderful December!


The World of Men

Posted on November 1, 2023 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on The World of Men

It’s International Men’s Day on November 19, a perfect time to celebrate all men: Fathers and sons, brothers and husbands, or simply loved ones outside of family ties. Here are 10 gems from our catalog to do just this.

Whether son or daughter, the closest man in everybody’s life is their father. Mamie Dickens, oldest daughter of the famous novelist, collected her memories in My Father as I Recall Him.

Karl Duschek’s father is more of the overbearing kind, and the artistic son struggles for recognition. But is assassinating the Russian Czar the right way to go about things? See what happens in Nicht der Mörder, der Ermordete ist schuldig by Franz Werfel.

Scotland Yard had been warned, yet Superintendent Sinclair has to deal with the murder of the home secretary. He enlists Sylvester Collins to help solve the case and try to figure out if the Wrong Letter had something to do with it in Walter Masterman‘s story.

Everything goes wrong for Silvio Astis in the novella by Roberto Arlt: He fails at friendship, jobs, even suicide. Only when he meets Rengo, things seem to go better, but will Silvio be able to tame el juguete rabioso (the mad toy)?

No matter what, nature cannot be tamed. Six members of the British expedition who attempted the Assault on Mount Everest in 1922 would certainly agree. The mountain was not climbed until May 1953.

Monsieur Jourdain also tries to climb … the social ladder. But is it enough to learn how a gentleman behaves to become one? Moliere’s satire The Bourgeois Gentleman is full with biting wit and social commentary.

Stingaree, of lesser British nobility, took the opposite direction in the social hierarchy. Subsequently, he finds himself a bush ranger in Australia. E. W. Hornung tells his adventures in 10 short stories.

Great adventures lie ahead for Richard of Woodville when he meets King Henry V and is entrusted a letter. Upon delivering it to Ghent, however, Richard is caught up in the Battle of Agincourt. Will he ever see his beloved Mary again in the novel by George P. R. James?

Richard Lovelace has similar worries, and he describes them in poetry from the viewpoint of a soldier going to war. Addressed to his Lucasta (Pure Light), he pleads for her loyalty and love while he is away.

Scientist’s partners also have to get used to a lot of absences, and only in rare cases does all the work lead to a Nobel Prize. In 1908, they were awarded to researchers of radioactivity and immunity, among others. Listen to biographies and Nobel speeches in this multilingual project.

Enjoy – and celebrate the men in your life!


Browse the catalog