Monthly Picks

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!


Summer Nature

Posted on June 1, 2023 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Summer Nature

Summer is approaching, and what’s better than spending it outside in nature? Prepare for your holidays with 10 gems from our catalog.

The Turquoise Story Book is a treasure trove for all things summer and nature related. Find it in 101 stories, legends, and poems carefully selected by Ada and Eleanor Skinner.

Great preparation is also the handbook On the Trail: An Outdoor Book for Girls by Lina and Adelia Beard, co-founders of the first American girls scouting group. Learn about trailing, camping, encounters with animals…

Enos A. Mills had plenty of experience with all of this. He describes his trips in and up the Colorado mountains in The Adventures of a Nature Guide, and was instrumental in the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Jules Michelet may have had similar intentions when he penned his book La mer in the 19th century. It is one of the first treatises on ecology and promotes the protection of the oceans.

A Girl of the Limberlost, Elnora Comstock, never dreamed that her beloved Indiana swamp could disappear. The novel by Gene Stratton-Porter is about her yearning for education and love.

Walter Gregory, sick from his fast-paced Wall Street job, wasn’t looking for love when he returned to his home in the country. But there, he meets Annie Walton… Find out what happens next in the novel Opening a Chestnut Burr by Edward P. Roe.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream definitely has a happy ending – it wouldn’t be a Shakespeare comedy otherwise. It doesn’t start out well, though, when two lovers flee to a forest where they encounter a quarrelling fairy king and queen…

The opposite is true for the scientists sent to Veridis, The Green World, who aim to discover the secret of its accelerated evolution. But it is dangerous and lurks deep within the planet in the story by Hal Clement.

Oh yes, nature can be very dangerous. Robert W. Chambers‘ masterful use of nature imagery brings The Mystery of Choice – a collection of 8 horror stories – to life, or rather: death.

While the Great Lakes in Ontario certainly hold their own mysteries, William Campbell prefers to stay on their surface. His Lake Lyrics and Other Poems collects 67 pieces on the natural beauty of the area.

Enjoy – and don’t let Mother Nature waiting!


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