Monthly Picks

Positive Outlook

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

Happy Brand New 2022! Let’s hope that this year will finally allow us to overcome the pandemic that has held the world hostage for 2 years now… Lift your spirits with 10 gems from our catalog.

Nowhere better to start than with the Outlook Odes by T.W.H. Crosland. His 31 poems in free verse are written as letters addressed to people like the Pope, the Tsar, and also: to Everybody.

These days, everybody should know about Infection and Immunity. George Sternberg writes about disease prevention, and many of his examples in this 1903 book have lost their terror today.

Little Caro loses her fear of the dark when she moves in with her aunt and grandpa. Instead, she learns to shine a light in other people’s lives in the delightful children’s book The Candle and the Cat by Mary F. Leonard.

Nine-year-old Margaret leaves her friends in the New York slums behind to return to her mother. But her troubles are not over, she now has to get to know her new stepfather and his family. Can she face The Turn of the Tide in the novel by Eleanor H. Porter?

The tides bring everlasting change, something that is not allowed in the Empire. Even Emperor Paul is powerless, but then a plot against him is revealed. Is the Ministry of Disturbance behind it? Find out in H. Beam Piper’s surprising novella.

When Helen Keller was born deaf and blind, her outlook on life seemed truly bleak. But her life changed when she met a teacher who believed in her, and she was allowed to study at Radcliffe College. The Story of My Life is the autobiography of this remarkable woman.

De Consolatione PhilosophiaeThe Consolation of Philosophy – is a remarkable book on the changes of life’s fortunes and how to take them with humility. It was written in 524 by Boethius while in jail awaiting his trial for (alleged) treason…

Many centuries later, Annette Harcourt also lives a life of hardship. However, holding on to her strong moral compass and values, she is able to see both Trial and Triumph in the novel by Frances E. W. Harper.

To escape the law after killing his master, Ichikurou flees from Edo. He soon repents, however, and becomes a monk. 20 years later after his crime, he meets the son of his dead master… Find out what happens next in the novella Onsyuu no kanata ni by Kikuchi Kan.

A wide range of characters meet at the sanatorium called Sunshine, and they all are seeking cures for their various ailments. Brighten your day with this comedy by playwright Walter Ben Hare.

Enjoy – and have a Happy and Healthy 2022!

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The World’s Heroes and Heroines

Posted on December 1, 2021 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on The World’s Heroes and Heroines

Two years of the Corona pandemic, and never before have we needed heroes and heroines more than now. Let’s take a look at some classic heroes and their deeds with 10 gems from our catalog.

Siegfried the dragon slayer is the archetypical hero. Born into a noble German family, he sets out on adventures from a young age. Read about his early Heroic Life and Exploits and how he became (almost) invincible.

Invincible monsters and giants, Elves and Heroes all made their home in the rugged scenery of Scotland. Donald Mackenzie took folk tales and local characters and turned them into unique poetry.

With 80 air combat victories, Manfred von Richthofen was unique among Germany’s WWI air force. In this autobiography, The Red Battle Flyer talks about his path to becoming a national hero in Germany, until he was shot down in 1918.

In the same year, Roy Chapman Andrews took a journey Across Mongolian Plains. In this memoir, he recounts his adventure for the general public, without scientific jargon. By the way, this palaeontologist was the inspiration for Indiana Jones!

Being The Hero is not always easy. When James Parsons returns from the Boer War decorated with the Victoria Cross, his fellow villagers look up to him. But he finds it hard to readjust to life in Little Primpton. Read W. Somerset Maugham’s novel and see how James deals with his dilemma.

Even worse are the circumstances the King of Argos finds himself in in the play by Thomas Noon Talford. The Oracle of Delphi has prophesied that only the extinction of the reigning family will end the plague in the country. Will Ion voluntarily sacrifice himself?

In time of war, many people are willing to die for their country. J. Thomas Warren tells the story of a Union soldier who becomes The Northern Spy and infiltrates a Confederate battalion to help conquer South Carolina.

For centuries, conquering the seas has been a major adventure. Nobody knew what kind of treasures could be found at distant shores – and what price one had to pay for them. Follow one who set out to find out in the famous Historia de Simbad el marino.

Many dream of being a hero. When Teddy is recuperating from an illness and his mom needs a break, The Counterpane Fairy steps up to the task. Katharine Pyle has gotten hold of the stories the fairy told with Teddy as the hero.

And where are the women in all this? Throughout history, they were mostly supposed to work behind the scenes. This changes with the 19th century, when many women became Heroines of Service. Mary Rosetta Parkman introduces 11 women who worked as missionaries, nurses, social workers and more.

Enjoy – and watch out for the heroes and heroines around you!

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Wrongfully Imprisoned

Posted on November 1, 2021 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Wrongfully Imprisoned

In the darkening days of November, we shine a light at those who had to suffer unjust accusations. Let’s look at people who were wronged by the law (or others) with 10 gems from our catalogue.

The classic story of a man wrongly imprisoned is by Alexandre Dumas. Edmond Dantes is sent to the Château d’If for a crime he didn’t commit. Years later, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo shows up to avenge him… We also have several English versions of this book.

Accusing a woman of witchcraft often also was done for revenge. When Mother Elizabeth Sawyer is thus accused, she takes the devil by the horns and truly turns into The Witch of Edmonton. Find out what happens next in the play by Thomas Dekker, based on a true story.

Religious zealotry hardly has positive outcomes, as The Spanish Brothers Juan and Carlos get to realize. The novel by Deborah Alcock details the horrendous tortures meted out to so-called heretics by the Spanish Inquisition.

Herman Merivale was not mentally ill when he was committed to a madhouse in 1860. His Experiences in a Lunatic Asylum are riddled with episodes of physical and psychological abuse by his appointed caretakers.

In 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to 2 years of hard labour for his crime of homosexuality. His Ballad of Reading Gaol is probably the best known meditation on capital punishment ever written.

Capital punishment by the government is bad enough, even worse if it handed out by your fellow citizens. June 1900 saw Mob Rule in New Orleans after a black man shot a white policeman. Ida B. Wells-Barnett reports on the incident and the aftermath of a week’s violence.

Col. Hetherbill of the confederate States has just taken a new POW and holds him at Fort Defiance. Arthur West is nonplussed, after all, the Civil War ended 30 years earlier… Find out more about The Last Rebel in the novel by Joseph A. Altsheler.

In 1719, Princess Clementina is on her way to England, when she is kidnapped by Emperor Charles VI, to prevent her marrying James Stuart. A. E. W. Mason spins a gripping yarn based on a true story.

Equally true and no less gripping is the story of the American suffragettes. Starting around 1840, they campaigned for the right to vote, which was finally granted in 1920. Doris Stevens recalls the years from 1912 to 1919 in her book Jailed For Freedom.

Not quite for freedom, but because he has discovered a dark secret of his master, is Caleb Williams imprisoned. See how much further the English squire Ferdinand Falkland will go to protect his name in the novel by William Godwin.

Enjoy – and stay on the “right” side…

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Nobel Laureates

Posted on October 1, 2021 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 1 Comment on Nobel Laureates

The winners of the 2021 Nobel Prizes will be announced this month. What a great opportunity to look back at winners from the prize’s early years with 10 gems from our catalogue.

The earliest laureate on our list is Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. He tells the story of Oyvind, who is in love with Marit, who only has eyes for Jan. When Oyvind decides to go to agricultural school like Jan did, he is on track to become A Happy Boy.

Happy together are Pierre and Luce, who meet in Paris, the city of love, and, in 1918, of war. Will the newly conscripted pacifist and the free-spirited artist see the end of it, together? Find out in the novella by Romain Rolland.

Berta von Suttner was one of the greatest figures of the pacifist movement. She makes her sentiments clear in Die Waffen nieder!, a story of the noble Althaus family, who is involved in no less than 4 wars between 1859 and 1870. We also have an English translation of this novel.

Another important peace activist was Jane Addams, the first female American laureate. Her memoir Twenty Years at Hull House details the founding of this important charity for immigrants in Chicago.

Most immigrants are looking for The New Freedom. This was also the name of the political program of US president Woodrow Wilson. In this book, however, he goes beyond a mere explanation of his political views.

Zenon reaches far beyond the natural world at his first spiritistic meeting, and he’s not stopping there. When he meets the Wampir in Wladyslaw Reymont’s novel, he must fear for his life’s blood – in a metaphysical sense. We also have this book in a German translation.

If you’ve now become interested in An Introduction to Metaphysics, look no further than the book by French philosopher Henri Bergson. According to him, reality is fluid and can only be grasped through intuition.

It is only intuition that tells Dona Mercedes that her friend Teodora is unfaithful to her husband. But even though Don Julian trusts his wife, their marriage is going downhill quickly in the play The Great Galeoto by José Echegaray y Eizaguirre.

Jenny also knows many ups and downs. She’s happy as an art student in Rome, but upon her return to Norway, she gets involved with the wrong man… Find out if there’s a happy ending in the early novel by Sigrid Undset.

Giosue Carducci goes back in time to life in ancient Rome with his poetry. His Odi Barbare is the first book in a cycle of poems, and our edition comes with a special note from the author.

Enjoy – and check out the other Nobel Prize winners in our catalogue!

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