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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: 0

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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LibriVox Celebrates 16,000 Audiobooks!

Posted on October 26, 2021 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, News | Comments: 2 Comments on LibriVox Celebrates 16,000 Audiobooks!

This has been an exciting year for LibriVox: Back in February, we celebrated 15,000 audiobooks, and only in July we added our 2,000th work in a language other than English to our catalog. And now, we’re in for a third milestone in a single year, and it almost feels like a 2-in-1, our LibriVox audiobook # 16,000!

Enjoy Сказки by Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, a Russian satirist. This book of fairy tales was read in the original Russian by Lika and tovarisch.

Congratulations! Of course, each and every one of our audiobooks deserves accolades, and we are grateful to each and every one of our 11700+ volunteers who make the magic happen since 2006: our readers, proof listeners, book- and meta-coordinators, cover makers…

Thank you all for 16,000 audiobooks (and counting), 2,044 of which are not in English, but in one of the other 99 languages you can find in our catalog.

Are you not yet librivoxing? Join us, it’s fun!

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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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