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Good Times

Posted on March 1, 2015 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 0

March 20th is the UN-proclaimed International Day of Happiness in recognition of the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of humans around the world. Let’s get in the mood with 10 gems from our catalog.

Not sure how to do this? Self-help guru James Allen gives profound advice for beginners – or, at least, on how to lay the Foundation Stones to Happiness and Success. From there, it’s up to yourself.

The choice is up to Harriett: She has fallen in love with the man engaged to her best friend. Will she seize what people think is the one chance to happiness for a women of her time? Read all about the Life and Death of Harriett Frean in May Sinclair’s novel.

In The Blue Bird For Children, adapted by Georgette Leblanc from Maurice Maeterlinck’s play, Tyltil and Myltil must find the Blue Bird of Happiness to cure Fairy’s granddaugher. Will they succeed with the help of inanimate things?

The search for happiness is the one thing the nine short stories by Henry van Dyke, which are collected in The Blue Flower, have in common. It’s nice to see how people, no matter when and where, are essentially the same…

Happiness is also the ultimate goal in the fourth, final epistle of An Essay On Man. In this philosophical poem, Alexander Pope tries to find man’s place in the endless chain of being.

If everyone ultimately strives for happiness, then why are we not already living in A Modern Utopia? This proposal for social reform that would in the end lead to a happy life for everyone comes from an unexpected source – H. G. Wells.

Pollyanna’s approach to reform herself and all around her is simple: It’s called glad game; finding something to be glad about in every situation. Learn how infectious this can be in our dramatic reading of Eleanor H. Porter’s novel.

Whether Michael O’Halloran ever met Pollyanna we cannot tell, but the newsboy certainly knows how to play her little game. The optimistic orphan spreads his sunny nature far and wide in the book by Gene Stratton Porter.

Surely equally likable is our next protagonist; after all, what can you expect from somebody called Happy Jack? Follow the squirrel of the Green Forest and his friends through their adventures in another of Thornton W. Burgess‘ nature books.

Final happiness overload? Arthur Schopenhauer obviously had it too. Follow the 19th century German philosopher’s Studies in Pessimism and make your own choice of whether the glass is half full or half empty.

Enjoy – and be well and happy!

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Mother Tongues

Posted on February 1, 2015 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off

On February 21st is the International Mother Language Day. What a great occasion to celebrate with 10 non-English gems from our catalog.

Let’s start with the latest language addition to our catalog. Three short stories – 단편 소설 – by 현진건 (Jin-geon Hyun), finished only in November last year, mark our very first solo project in Korean.

The Indonesian archipelago with its thousands of islands is the home of numerous languages. Puisi Dari Indonesia is a collection of ancient and modern poems in five of them, written by various authors.

Up for something new? Why not learn Dholuo, one of the Kenyan languages spoken around Lake Victoria, with A Handbook of the Kavirondo language. This phrasebook was collected by the Fathers of St. Joseph’s Society.

Equally interesting, but probably much less useful in daily conversation, is Church Slavonic, used during the services of the Orthodox Church. St. Dimitri of Rostov has written about Жития Святых, т. 06 – февруарий – The Lives of the Saints for February in this language.

Apparently no saint was the man who gave the speech recorded by Plato in Ancient Greek. After all, The Apology of Socrates did not save the man from being condemned to Death. This famous work is also available in English, German, and French.

Death may also be unavoidable for Erik Poulsen, a young Danish chemist who discovered a way to turn any metal into gold. Clearly, people in power are not eager to have his knowledge come out in the sci-fi novel Guld og Ære by Otto Martin Møller.

Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri is the story of another fugitive, Apollonius. Having incurred the wrath of a king, he has to flee and survives many adventures. This is an ancient story of unknown origin, which has been translated into many languages, among them Latin.

Languages usually evolve over a long time, but Esperanto has been designed to be especially easy to learn and has many speakers all over the world. La Aventuroj de Alicio en Mirlando is the translation of Lewis Carroll’s famous Alice in Wonderland, which we also have in German.

Benito Pérez Galdós is famous for is National Episodes, a 46 volume work recounting Spanish history. Everything starts out at the Battle of Trafalgar, in which Gabriel Ariceli plays a role. This novel recounts the life of the then 14 year old up to the battle.

Faust: Der Tragödie erster Teil by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is allegedly the most quoted work in German. We have only recently completed – in a tour the force that took 7 years – a dramatic reading of the original. Our English version took much less time.

Enjoy – and brush up your language skills!

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Bright Lights

Posted on January 1, 2015 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off

Happy New Year!
Did you know that 2015 will be the International Year of Light? Let’s get it started properly with 10 gems from our catalog.

Light, especially sunlight, is something wonderful – and mysterious and interesting too! Follow Sir Isaac Newton’s experiments on Opticks, one of the first scientific treatises of light and its properties: reflection, refraction, etc.

Much more simple are the duties of Janet of the Dunes, in her little community of people living round a lighthouse. Her story and how it is intertwined with that of her “Cap’n Billy Daddy” can be found in the novel by Harriet T. Cornstock.

Surely, the people there must have read the Instructions to Light Keepers of the US Lighthouse Board. You can do so too – you’ll never know when there is a summer job on a remote island available.

Even more remote is the moon that Chet Ballard is just passing, but wait – isn’t that a distress signal? Charles W. Diffin describes what happened during The Finding of Haldgren who was not the only inhabitant of that distant place…

The moon and his light play an important part in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta occurs at various places and times. Follow them through fairyland in our production of Shakespeare’s comedy.

Both light and darkness are invoked by Novalis in his Hymns to the Night, a mixture of poetry and prose concerned with life, death, and mourning. This recording is also available in the original German.

Another way to face such things is described by James Allen. In his book Light on Life’s Difficulties he explores diverse topics like self-control and -sacrifice, values, individual liberty, and many more.

Dick Heldar’s life – spent mainly in London, but also in India and the Sudan – is not without difficulties. Find out how he deals with losing the most important thing for a painter: his eyesight. Read the novel The Light that Failed by Rudyard Kipling.

Not allowed to fail is Ruth Thorne, who has been invited to spend time with her aunt. But, why is she not there to greet her niece? And why did her aunt insist on Ruth lighting a candle in the attic each night? See how the mystery unfolds in Myrtle Reed’s book Lavender and Old Lace.

Jules Verne presents another mystery, that of Doctor Ox’s Experiment. Doctor Ox offers to install free lighting in the little village of Quiquendone. But is he really acting out of simple goodwill or is there a hidden agenda? We also have a German version of this book.

Enjoy – and shine a light!

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LibriVox chosen for 2014 Nominet Trust 100

Posted on December 4, 2014 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, in the press, News, on the web | Comments: 4 Comments

Changing the World through Tech:

LibriVox celebrated in this year’s Nominet Trust 100

LibriVox is proud to have been included in the annual Nominet Trust 100 (NT100) list of inspiring digital social innovations highlighting the impact of the global ‘tech for good’ market and the transformative power of technology to drive social change around the world.

London, UK, 4 December 2014:

Today, Nominet Trust proudly announced that LibriVox has been named among the 2014 Nominet Trust 100 (NT100) – a global list of 100 inspiring ventures from around the world.

Projects featured on the list are using technology to tackle some of the world’s biggest social problems from education and human rights abuses to climate change and health.

Following a global call for nominations earlier this year LibriVox has been selected by an independent steering committee in recognition of its use of digital technology to contribute to worldwide access to knowledge and community engagement.

This year, LibriVox  is rubbing shoulders with organisations from established tech markets in the US and Europe, such as Freecycle, Random Hacks of Kindness and Google’s self-driving car, alongside initiatives from emerging economies, including eCompliance, a revolutionary use of fingertip-readers to record tuberculosis treatment in India; philanthropic food-photo sharing app Feedie from South Africa and HarassMap, an anonymous crowd-mapping platform for sexual harassment in Egypt.

Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading tech for good funder, said:

“There is a striking progression in the quality and maturity of this year’s NT100, indicative of a wider evolution in the ‘tech for social good’ sector as a whole. More people than ever before are using technology to solve problems that matter to them in bold new ways. This year’s NT100 list is populated by extraordinary people with inspirational stories to tell and it shows us that imagination, social conscience and technology make a potent mix to effect change.”

The final list was compiled by an illustrious steering group chaired by Annika Small and including General Partner of Google Ventures, Tom Hulme; angel investor and entrepreneur, Sherry Coutu; Chief Executive of Big Lottery Fund, Dawn Austwick; CEO of Big Society Capital, Nick O’Donohue; Director of Wayra Europe, Simon Devonshire; innovation expert, Charles Leadbeater; internet entrepreneur, Dickie Armour; Senior Fellow at the Stanford University Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, Lucy Bernholz; and Deputy Editor of The FT Weekend Magazine, Alice Fishburn.

To see the full list of NT100 projects, please visit the Social Tech Guide, a dynamic, growing online resource to help inspire social enterprises, or follow the action @socialtechguide / #2014NT100.

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