Animals are People, too!

Posted on October 1, 2023 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Animals are People, too!

World Animal Day on October 4 seeks to protect animals and their habitats. Learn about all sorts of beings that live among us with 10 gems from our catalog.

Before there were humans, strange animals roamed the planet. George Langford weaves palaeontological research about prehistoric elephants, squirrels or horses into his Stories of the First American Animals.

Horses also play a substantial role in the Short Stories by William Murray. The clergyman, journalist and avid outdoors man speaks about people, animals, and their interactions.

Most people’s interaction with Spiders starts with a piecing shriek, a shame, really. Zoologist Cecil Warburton explains their mating rituals, web architecture, and even mental capacities in this interesting book.

Insects are the least problem that Andy and his Swamp Cat Frosty are facing in Jim Kjelgaard’s book. In the swamp they live in, trigger-happy poachers and other unwanted dangers visit them daily.

As far as diving goes, a Pirate Shark must be a most unwanted danger. Still, the crew of the Seamew must dive to find the treasure they have been told about. Harry Sayler sets his underwater adventure just off the coast of Malaysia.

“Bear of the Sea” is the scientific name for The White Czar, a huge species of polar bear? Clarence Hawkes writes about the involvement of this stunning animal with the Eskimo who share the Arctic with him.

In the time of Aristophanes, sharing the skies with The Birds was unthinkable. Yet, they build a city in the clouds for two Athenians who want to rule the world by preventing gods and people from communicating directly…

If animals could talk, what would they tell us? Jean the La Fontaine had his thoughts about that and his Fables are famous worldwide. 240 of them were translated into English verse here, but we also have the original in French and an Italian version as well.

Ravens speak among each other in a variety of dialects. Warrior ants devise battle strategies. And some worms are unkillable. These are just some of The Strangest Things in the World collected by Thomas R. Henry.

Modern Technology makes collecting data so much easier. The US Fish and Wildlife Service investigated the Migration of Birds and shows flight routes and speed, and rates of migration in this interesting study from 1989.

Enjoy – and give your pets an extra treat!


Of War and Peace

Posted on September 1, 2023 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 2 Comments on Of War and Peace

World Peace Day is on September 21, but it’s unlikely the world will be pacified by then (and if, not for long…) Get a mostly historical view on War and Peace with 10 gems from our catalog.

War and Peace – we wouldn’t know one without the other. And sometimes the distinction is not that clear-cut. Michael Earls, Jesuit priest, writer, poet, and teacher wrote Ballads of Peace in War about WWI.

When the world’s secretaries of war receive a threatening message, “disarm within one year or see your battleships destroyed”, only reporter Jim Orrington takes it seriously. See if he can find The Man Who Ended War before it’s too late in the book by Hollis Godfrey.

Speaking of battleships, the naval battles of WWI are often overlooked in favour of the war in the trenches. Lewis R. Freeman collected Stories of the Ships from people who fought on the seas for the British and US navy.

But what if you don’t want to fight, like British officer Harry Feversham? He is promptly labelled a coward by his friends and even fiancée. Can he overcome the stigma of The Four Feathers in the novel by A. E. W. Mason?

Trygaeus is definitely not a coward, otherwise he wouldn’t dare to climb Mt. Olympus and question the gods about the ongoing Peloponnesian War. There he finds no gods but the God of War, and an unexpected prisoner… Aristophanes’s comedy Peace tells us the outcome of his journey.

Less clear is the result in the story by Poul W. Anderson. Captain Flandry hears that the Scothanis plan to conquer the Terran Empire. The ace saboteur is ready, but is taking the Tiger by the Tail such a smart move after all?

It’s certainly not a good idea to have only a small part of the inhabitants defending a city during a siege. G. A. Henty retells the historical facts from 70 AD in his adventure novel For the Temple: A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem.

The fall of the French kings opened a new chapter in European history. But the French Revolution soon descended into the rule of terror. The last novel of Victor Hugo, Quatrevingt-treize, leads you to the streets of Paris in 1793. This book is also available in an English translation.

Joseph H. Alexander takes to a small Japanese island in March 1945. While his true account Closing In: Marines in the Seizure of Iwo Jima naturally focuses on the US perspective, the Japanese point of view is examined as well.

The best viewpoint on peace lies in the aftermath of war. Henry van Dyke penned his three short sermons on What Peace Means shortly after WWI, but they remain relevant to this day.

Enjoy – and have a peaceful September!


18 Years and Counting

Posted on August 2, 2023 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on 18 Years and Counting

LibriVox is turning 18, and we’ve just got another year older better! In the last year, our volunteers have created over 1200 new audiobooks, so let’s celebrate our anniversary with 10 of the latest gems from our catalog.

The most exciting thing of last year was the addition of another language to our catalog: Indonesian. The new book in Indonesian is Mengelilingi Doenia Dalam 80 Hari, a translation of Jules Verne’s ever popular “In 80 Days Around the World”.

Not quite that far was the trip of Three Gringos in Venezuela and Central America. However, the list of countries Richard Harding Davis and his friends visited in still impressive. Even more so since this was the 1890s and he travelled with steamships and horses.

Animals would’ve shied away from the works of Alan St. Hill Brock. After all, he was a pyrotechnist of the 8th generation. His book Pyrotechnics: The History and Art of Firework Making tells you all you need to know to get started in the business.

Letty’s business as a shop assistant is going very well. But she doesn’t want to do this job forever and looks for better opportunities. Marrying her boss may just do the trick, but this is where things get complicated in the drama by Arthur Wing Pinero.

A tragedy is having to deal with a dragon of a mother-in-law, even more so if she decides to move in with her beloved son and his family. And the brunt of all this is usually borne by The Mother of the family. See how this particular one deals with the problem in the novel by Pearl Buck.

A whole string of problems arise when Victor Ballau is found dead. The police shrug it off as suicide. Ballau’s daughter and her fiancé believe it’s murder. But if so: Who would have a motive? Help with sleuthing in Ben Hecht’s crime novel The Florentine Dagger.

Avtandil and Tauriel need plenty of help on their quest to find fair maiden Nestan-Darejan. The setting of this epic poem is the Golden Age of Queen Tamar of Georgia. Find out if there is a happy ending for The Man in the Panther’s Skin by Shota Rustaveli.

When Claire, The Mistress of Court Regna, finds Gerald, all seems to point to a happily ever after. Except that Gerald is poor. Not able to deal with her rejection, he disappears – will love conquer even the class difference here in the romance by Charles Garvice?

Heart, mind, and body – Buddhism strives for balance in all things of life. Among the most important Buddhist texts are the Diamond Sutra and the Heart Sutra, presented here in two 19th-century translations.

A different type of analysis of the human psyche is the book Totenmesse by Stanislaw Przybyszewki. This short, interesting novella inspired Edvard Munch to his famous painting “The Scream”.

Enjoy – and a big THANK YOU to all our LibriVox volunteers! Want to give it a try yourself? See you in the forums!


Relaxing Holidays!

Posted on July 1, 2023 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 1 Comment on Relaxing Holidays!

It’s July already and high time to think about summer vacation! Take a break with 10 relaxing gems from our catalog.

Carruthers of the British Foreign Office needs to get away from it all, and he does so on a yachting holiday with a friend. But something sinister is going on in the Frisian Islands they are visiting – will they be able to solve The Riddle of the Sands in the novel by Erskine Childers?

Alec McNamara has nothing good in mind when he bribes a judge to steal the goldmine of the Glenisters. However, they are ready to hit back with the help of other miners. The Spoilers by Rex Beach, set in Nome, Alaska, is based on a true story.

Another true story: Rose Wilder Lane and two other American women visited the Peaks of Shala in Northern Albania shortly after WWI. There, instead of borders, they encounter local customs and legends and prehistoric cities.

When the City of London was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, Sir Christopher Wren was charged with rebuilding it. He created 52 churches, among them St. Paul’s Cathedral. Lawrence Weaver’s biography also includes some of Wren’s own writings.

Grant Overton reviewed many “artistically fine” writings for his book The Women Who Make Our Novels. You’ll find some LibriVox favorites like Edith Wharton, Anna Katherine Green, Edna Ferber, and 29 other female novelists.

Not on the list, however, is Maria Firmina dos Reis, a black woman from Brazil. In her novel, Tancreda falls in love with Úrsula who has to escape her uncle’s schemes. The couple’s only help are their slaves – will there be a happy ending?

One is already on the horizon for Brighton and Amy. But for their wedding, Brighton’s old flame shows up, as well as his philandering friend Billy. Throw in a burglar who’s after the family jewels, and there’s quite a Hoodoo at hand. Thankfully, it’s a comedy by Walter Ben Hare.

Lots of fun is in store for the young cadets who stage The Riverpark Rebellion. After all, the main goal is to take an unauthorized holiday to go to the circus. But when they return to the academy in the book by Homer Greene, they must work hard to redeem themselves.

Redemption lies also at the heart – Kokoro in Japanese – of this novel by Soseki Natsume. Two men meet at Kamakura, but despite a mutual desire for friendship, Sensei keeps the younger man at arm’s length – too heavily weighs the memory of an old mistake…

What awaits all of us this holiday season – will it be a Summer of Love? This is a collection of 59 early, fairly sentimental poems by Joyce Kilmer, who later became famous for “The Trees”.

Enjoy – and have a relaxing holiday!


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