Monthly Picks

Cold, Cold Winter

Posted on February 1, 2018 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Cold, Cold Winter

February is usually the coldest month in the Northern Hemisphere. That means: lots of opportunity to stay home with 10 gems from our wintery catalogue.

The Bobbsey Twins at Snow Lodge is the main topic of conversation among the family, so busy is everybody planning their Christmas vacation. But before, they have to try and clear Bert form an untrue accusation in the novel by Laura Lee Hope.

There’s no way Fridtjof Nansen will stay home either, regardless of the weather. In his short book Auf Schneeschuhen übers Gebirge he tells about a hiking trip in the Norwegian mountains – from Bergen to Kristiania to Voss.

Bob Sumner on the other hand would rather be home in St. Louis. But he has been shangaied and is now on his way to The Land of Frozen Suns, where he must learn to survive both the environment and the unfriendly fellows he travels with. Read the adventure by Bertrand W. Sinclair to find out if he will!

Definitely a survivor is Sir Wilfred Grenfell. While he was crossing a frozen bay on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, he was caught Adrift on an Ice-Pan – and lived to tell the tale!

“How I was murdered” is the tale that comes to the ears, or rather: eyes, of detective Muller of the Austrian Police. Will he be able to solve The Case of the Pocket Diary Found in the Snow, written by Auguste Groner and Grace Isabel Colbran?

Equally in the dark – literally – is Snow Blind Sylvie, who was rescued at the last minute by fugitive Hugh. Brought to the small cabin where he lives with brother Pete and cook Bella, Sylvie is forced to rely on her ears to unravel the story. Katharine Newlin Burt tells a story of expectations – will they be met?

Matthew A. Henson surely never expected to be A Negro Explorer at the North Pole. This is his exciting memoir of Robert Peary’s expedition, of which he was a very important part.

Part of the poorest people was Yosef Haim Brenner, a Russian Jew who emigrated to Palestine in 1909. The four stories of בחורף – In Winter tell about the struggles of poor Jewish families during the Russian Anti-Jewish massacres of that time.

In The Snowflake and Other Poems, Canadian poet Arthur Weir deals with everything winter related with a focus on the end of the old year and the beginning of the new.

Don’t worry – winter won’t last forever! Just like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has a happy ending, so will the cold give way to spring. While you’re waiting, listen to the dramatic adaptation of the famous fairy tale by Jessie Braham White.



Sounds Great!

Posted on January 1, 2018 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 2 Comments on Sounds Great!

Happy New Year! One of the favourite pastimes on New Year’s Day – especially in Europe and Asia – is listening to the Vienna New Year’s Concert. So, why not read about music too with 10 gems from our catalog?

One of the earliest ways kids are exposed to music is by listening to – and later singing themselves – old local songs. Thirteen can be found in our Folk Ballad Collection 001, both read and sung by LibriVoxers from all over the world.

If you prefer a more formal approach to music appreciation, Henry E. Krehbiehl will teach you How to Listen to Music. Written for what he calls “untaught lovers of the art”, you will learn, among others, when really to believe the critics.

Everyone’s a critic in the novella by Franz Grillparzer: Der arme Spielmann is obviously a dreadful violin player. But tread softly, and he will tell you the reasons behind it, buried with a long lost love.

Kaspar is also in a reminiscent mood. After his mother’s death, he, his uncle, and his cousin talk about his youth. Find out what’s behind the Confidences d’un joueur de clarinette in the French play by Erckmann-Chatrian.

Not in the mood for big revelations is Aaron. In the aftermath of WWI, he is unhappy and indifferent to most things, and just wants “to be left alone”. Aaron’s Rod by D. H. Lawrence sketches the life of somebody who has lost everything but his flute.

On the way to happiness is poor May Wedderburn in the book by Jessie Fothergill. After all, a wealthy landowner wants her hand in marriage. But she prefers to flee to Germany, where she hears her First Violin, and everything changes.

Lots of changes lie ahead for the Quire, a group of church musicians, when the new pastor decides to buy an organ. And their member Dick is in love with the new school mistress… Read the early novel by Thomas Hardy to see how things pan out Under the Greenwood Tree.

Big changes to music were brought by a composer and pianist from Poland. In Chopin: The Man and his Music, James Hunecker produces both a biography of the famous artist and a critical analysis of his works.

No need to be famous, to become a Cathedral Singer, is all a little boy from New York wants. He has the voice of an angel, a devoted mother, and everything’s possible in the US in the early 20th century… Or so we hope, in the novel by James Lane Allen.

If after all this, you want to learn more about music, we recommend the first formal book on Music Notation and Terminology, a 1914 classic by Karl W. Gehrkens. There you’ll find everything you need: musical terms, history, excerpts, examples…



…Into the Light

Posted on December 1, 2017 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on …Into the Light

It’s December, and although this is a very busy month, it’s also a good time to take a few spiritual breaks. Here are 10 gems of our catalogue helping you to do exactly that.

The heroine of Marie Corelli’s Romance of Two Worlds suffers from depression and suicidal thoughts. So, her doctor sends her off on a vacation where she meets a mysterious Italian. And he guides her on the way to divine visions and spiritual healing…

Islamic theologian Al Ghazali had a similar experience: When he could not reconcile his inner self and his beliefs, he went into seclusion on the search for divine truth. His Confessions are an autobiographical description of this time in his life.

A false accusation sent Judah Ben Hur to the galleys, and when he finally escapes, he seeks revenge… But he didn’t quite expect what he does find instead in our dramatic reading of the famous novel by Lew Wallace.

Karl Gjellerup sends a German scientist and his daughter through India in search of an old manuscript that may contain the secret of reincarnation. Find out if they can discover it in the German novel Die Weltwanderer.

According to Shantideva, The Path of Light is not an easy one to travel. It requires quite some work from the very first thought of enlightenment to achieve full Buddhahood.

Reverend Thomas Owen has his work cut out for him when he travels to Africa as a missionary. However, The Wizard of the tribe challenges him to a duel – their gods against his. Who will finally prevail in this “tale of victorious faith” by H. Rider Haggard?

We don’t know what John Wesley would have done in such a case. However, the founder of the Methodist Church has given numerous Sermons on Several Occasions, so we’re confident he would have found the right words.

While looking for the right words for his Hofgedachten, Jacob Cats was strolling through his property. His religious poetry about God and the world was extremely popular in the Netherlands.

Extremely unpopular is Christmas with the merchants of a small town. So, they try to convince everyone not to celebrate it this year. However, if Christmas hadn’t been invented yet, we people would do it in an instant in the cute book by Zona Gale.

What if… Jesus hadn’t been born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago? What if… he had come to earth in early 20th century America instead? Would he have been Rejected of Men? Read the story by Howard Pyle to find out if things would have been different.

Enjoy – and Happy Holidays everyone!


From the Darkness…

Posted on November 1, 2017 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on From the Darkness…

November has come, and with it long and cold and dark nights. Best to huddle up inside with 10 spooky gems from our catalog.

Who knows what hides out there in The Night Land, as earth is called after the sun has burnt out. The remains of the human race, living in a pyramid called The Last Redoubt, send out a rescue expedition, but is there anyone left to save in the novel by William H. Hodgson?

In order to save people from shipwreck, a new lighthouse is built in Cornwall. Celebrating its completion, the locals gather on the Eddystone in a dark November night in 1703. But it seems they are in need of the light more than anyone else in the story by Wilhelm Jensen.

A damsel in distress and a hero to save her from the bad aristocrat – a pretty standard story … were it not for The Castle Spectre who is sticking his bony fingers in as well. Find out what role he plays in the dramatic romance by Matthew Lewis.

Algernon Blackwood writes about The Man Who Found Out, but what exactly? Well, two researchers finally discover the artifacts known as the Tablets of the Gods, containing nothing less than the true purpose of the human race. Some things better stay hidden…

Just like the abysses of the human soul. Famous Spanish author Gustavo A. Becquer explores them masterfully in his collection of 22 Leyendas. We also have a selection of those stories in a German translation.

When dealing with bad people, wouldn’t it be nice if one could recognise them immediately? Elsie and Ralph Benedict believed they could teach others How to Analyse People on Sight. Try their methods and tell us if they work!

The victims of Antoine-Francois Desrues found out too late about his character. He poisoned a wealthy woman and her son to get to their estate – but was eventually caught and executed. Read the details of this true and Celebrated Crime in the biography by Alexandre Dumas.

Also a lot to say about crime – though probably not from own experience – has Harry Houdini. In his book The Right Way to do Wrong the master contortionist explains the many ways how criminals try to take advantage of their victims.

In the novel by Daniel A. Lord, it seems that somebody is trying to get the better of the Erkenwolds, a family with proud history complete with family ghost who appears before a death in the family. But there is something odd about these current Red Arrows in the Night

A bit weird is the poetry by William T. Parkes. In a humorous parody of “ye olde poetry”, he writes … creepy ghost stories. Read The Spook Ballads and see if you’ll end up laughing for fright.

Enjoy – and stay warm and safe!


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