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Spirituality & Christmas

Posted on December 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 0

Happy December, month of Christmas! Whether you’ll be celebrating it or not, here are 10 gems from our catalog to lift your spirits.

Given the time of the year, The Spring of Joy may seem an odd choice. But Mary Webb was passionate about nature, and this collection of essays helped her through a bout of serious illness.

Even more serious is the mission of centurion Marcellus: eradicate the Christians of Rome. But when he delves deeper into their world and hears about The Martyr of the Catacombs, his own life is soon on the line too. Find out what happens in our dramatic reading of the book by James de Mille.

Not only Jesus is seen as the god of protection, compassion, and tenderness. In Hinduism, it is Sree Krishna, the Lord of Love, who has these attributes. Baba Premanand Bharati explains the circular life of the universe in this introduction to Hinduism.

Christie Tucker is introduced to the new railway in her town in a most exciting way: By a birthday train ride to visit her uncle for a day. But Christie’s Christmas doesn’t go as smoothly as planned in our brand-new novel by Pansy.

A soldier’s duty is never easy, especially during holidays. In La navidad en las montañas by Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, a soldier and a priest meet unexpectedly and proceed to celebrate Christmas together.

A group of colorful people come together on a missionary trip to northern Siberia. But На краю света (On the Edge of the World), life takes on a new meaning. Nikolai Leskov expresses rare ideas of freedom of faith in this Russian novel.

Although Buddhism is one of the largest faiths in the world, the absence of a god makes it more of a philosophy, rather than a religion. H. S. Olcott gives a very brief introduction to its history and morals in The Buddhist Catechism.

Some moral lessons are timeless and transcend culture. The Baital Pachchisi (aka the Vikram Betal) from 11 century India uses 25 short stories to teach children moral and social lessons. This edition is by Duncan Forbes.

For many kids, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Santa Claus. But honestly, what do we really know about the guy on a reindeer sleigh who brings presents? L. Frank Baum lifts the mystery in his book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.

No matter if you’re still a kid or already grown, you can prepare for your very own Christmas in Poetry. This is a collection of 40 Christmas carols and poems by many authors from different lands and different times.

Enjoy – and have a wonderful and merry Christmas!

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A Bit of Quiet

Posted on November 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on A Bit of Quiet

With its early evenings and foggy mornings, November is the perfect month to slow down a little. Get some peace and quiet with 10 gems from our catalog.

Lately, most of us spent more time than we wanted In the Closed Room. But for a shy girl whose family does some house sitting in the suburbs, this becomes a blessing when she discovers a new playmate there. Find out more in the story by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

When Bliss Perry wanted to be left alone, he went out to the river for a bit of fishing and thinking. However, as he was Fishing With a Worm, he found himself lured just as much as the fish he was trying to catch…

Being a loner is perfectly fine, just try not to count among The Bores when you do socialize. Moliere penned this comedy to entertain the king of France in only 15 days. What’s it about… well, listen for yourself!

15-year-old Maude is serious about finding out what to do with her life. So, she writes poetry contrasting religious devotion and her budding wordly desires. This novella by Christina Rossetti is believed to be autobiographical.

No doubt a biography is The Quiet Flame by Eva K. Betz. It is about the quiet heroine Mother Marianne of Molokai, who spent 30 years working tirelessly in the leper colony of the same name.

When an idealistic American went to fight in WWI, he may have wanted to return as a hero in the novel by Claude Washburn. Instead, The Lonely Warrior comes home disillusioned, and, leaving his fiancée to fend for herself, he retreats into apathy.

Army captain Randolph B. Marcy was positioned in the vanguard at the time of the American pioneers. His 1859 guide book The Prairie Traveller gives 28 itineraries and explains what to do on a solo trip through the wilderness.

Not entirely on his own is Harry Walton, the new vicar of Marshmallows. However, there is something wrong in the little town… He lays out his suspicions in Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood, a novel by George MacDonald.

Even more quiet are the surroundings of the protagonist in Bruno Frank’s novella Im dunkeln Zimmer. Suffering from an eye disease, he is advised to stay in a darkened room, with only the doctor and a nurse coming to visit. Soon, his imagination runs wild…

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps had lots of imagination, and 64 of her poems are collected under the title Songs of the Silent World and Other Poems. Plenty of topics to think about!

Enjoy – and take some time out if you can!

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On Disabilities

Posted on October 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on On Disabilities

October is World Blindness Awareness Month, and thanks to our volunteers, we have a number of books that deal with blindness and other disabilities. Let’s have a look at 10 of these gems from our catalog.

When it comes to Blindness Awareness, few have done more here than Helen Keller. An illness took her sight at an early age, and she had to learn to use her other senses to find her way around The World I Live In.

The world Sir Gibbie lives in is a dreary one. The motherless boy roams the Scotland moors to avoid his alcoholic father. But even though he can’t speak (and may be autistic), he finds ways to touch everybody he meets in the novel by George MacDonald.

The story of Kaspar Hauser, the foundling of Nuremberg, still touches people. His early childhood was spent in a dark bunker, deprived of any human contact. Anselm von Feuerbach became Kaspar’s guardian and tells the story as he knows it.

Judith doesn’t know how her cousin was murdered in her very presence – of course not, since she is deaf. Detective Ferguson is called to solve what he thinks is an inside job in The Unseen Ear by Natalie Sumner Lincoln.

Private detective Max Carrados takes on numerous cases, the more difficult, the better. His blindness is not an obstacle, as he trusts the observations of his butler, Parkinson, in the well-loved series by Ernest Bramah.

Trusting somebody is fine – until you’re taken advantage of. The Blind Hannah finds this out when her parents arrange her marriage. Her husband obviously has a secret, but what is it? Jacob Steinberg tells you in his short story.

Overcoming the limits of disabilities can be the secret to success in life. In The Privilege of Pain, Carolin Everett discusses the lives of disabled artists, politicians, philosophers, scientists, poets…

Alfred Castner King is one of them. A mining accident blinded him, and with insufficient education and money, he feared to be completely useless. Until he picked up a pen during convalescence and opened up in Mountain Idylls and Other Poems.

Vladimir Korolenko tried to analyse the inner life of the blind in what he calls a psychological study. The Blind Musician weaves together the stories of several blind people, all with their own struggles, setbacks, and successes.

The lives of 14-year-old Tom and his Blind Brother Bennie are equally intertwined. Together they work in Pennsylvania coal mines to pay for Bennie’s surgery. But in Homer Greene’s novel, which we made into a dramatic reading, life isn’t easy…

Enjoy – and remember: it’s Blindness Awareness Month!

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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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