Merry Christmas Season!

Posted on December 1, 2023 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 0

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!


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!


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