Back to Our Roots

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

Humanity has been around for some 300,000 years and far indeed we have come in that time! Let’s look back at our common roots with 10 gems from our catalog.

“Where do we come from” is one of humankind’s oldest questions, and it was finally answered by Darwin. In Man and His Ancestor, Charles Morris explains the state of the theory of evolution at the beginning of the 20th century to laypersons.

Not much is known for sure about prehistoric times, but ancient myths explain how our forefathers saw the world. Dakota woman Zitkala-Sa tells 14 Old Indian Legends about Native American trickster god Iktomi.

Iktomi tricked the humans, but a famous Titan tricked God Zeus instead. Hear about the crimes and punishment of Prometheus Bound and his predictions for the future in the classic Greek play by Aeschylus.

The future looks bleak for Amuba and Chebron when they uncover a conspiracy among the Egyptian priesthood. And then, the boys accidentally kill The Cat of Bubastes in the novel by G. A. Henty. Can Chebron’s father, the powerful high priest of Osiris, help them?

Help is also needed Under the Andes, where a lost tribe of Incas has fled to, according to the novel by Rex Stout. When a group of explorers stumbles upon the hidden caves, the Inca king becomes infatuated with a woman in the group and things get complicated…

Less complicated but decidedly more weird are the Strange Stories From a Chinese Studio. Songling Pu draws heavily from folk tradition and often blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy with his stories.

In The Golden Bough, James Frazer traces the origins of modern religious beliefs. He argues that some universal stories stem from fertility cults that need a king to be sacrificed for the circle of life to continue.

A similar idea had Rama’s stepmother, when she drove him out into the Indian wilderness. Valmiki tells the story of the following 14 years in exile before Rama’s return to be crowned as a king in The Ramayan.

Not just one person’s story, but that of a whole family clan, is related in the Völsungasaga from Iceland. With dragons, sword fights and family intrigues, this is the most famous of the Germanic heroic sagas.

But in the end, the heroes die just like the common people. Who knows how many unsung heroes George W. Greene encountered on his Visits to the Dead in the Catacombs of Rome around 1850.

Enjoy – and remember your ancestors (and those who are still around!)


Forces of Nature

Posted on April 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 1 Comment on Forces of Nature

Spring has come, where Mother Nature awakens after her long sleep. See what she’s got up her sleeves with 10 gems from our catalog.

In 11 short chapters, Eva March Tappan explains to kids what lies hidden in the Earth’s bosom. Only serious Diggers in the Earth find her stores of gold, silver, copper, iron, and many more useful things.

On the other hand, sand is everywhere on the Texan prairie, and innocent Letty isn’t happy about it. The people there are just as barren as the land in the novel by Dorothy Scarborough, but wait until Letty meets her greatest foe: The Wind

She would have been much happier in the jungles of Uruguay, full of exotic parrots and flamingos. Horacio Quiroga tells 8 Cuentos de la selva para los niños about his home country. We also have this book in an English translation.

Not quite as exotic is Unser Wald in Germany. Naturalist Curt Grottewitz takes a close look and trees – including fruit trees and bushes – that make up the forests of Europe.

Where the trees end, the domain of the mountaineers begins. Hilary Chayne and Sylvia Thesinger meet in the High Alps near Mont Blanc. Read Running Water by A.E.W. Mason and find out if they can conquer the dangerous Brenva route.

Even the mountains won’t last forever, but The Night the Mountain Fell was still very special. Edmund Christopherson recounts the 1959 Hebgen Lake Earthquake and how it created a completely new landscape in Montana.

Canadian poet Archibald Lampman was very much drawn to his own, harsh country. His 30 Lyrics of Earth speak of a deep love of the land, especially in the cold winter months.

Winter or summer, the life on a Trawler is hard year-round and requires a special type of man. James B. Connolly speaks from experience as he turns the never-ending hunt for fish on the Atlantic Ocean into a short story.

Much smoother waters are sailed by The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat in their summer holiday. But then, an unexpected visitor arrives on the scene and does everything to end their journey for good, in the novel by Laura Lee Hope.

The visitors at the Delville’s annual house party find themselves as unwilling actors in a drama. But then again, what else is there to do during a Rainy Week… This is our dramatic reading of a novel by Eleanor H. Abbott.

Enjoy – and go out and say hello to Mother Nature!


March Love

Posted on March 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 1 Comment on March Love

March brings spring and spring brings love and romance. If you’re ready to go out and find new love – or rekindle an old one – get in the mood with 10 gems from our catalog.

9 love letters make up our Love Letter Collection 2008. Find out how celebrities and normal people from real life and fiction expressed their feelings to their (future) significant other.

But what if there are more than one potential partners? This is the dilemma Thyrza finds herself in – she’s engaged to a working class man, but falls in love with a student. Find out who will become the lucky husband in the novel by George Gissing.

Marriage is most often the desired outcome of a romantic relationship, even today. Expanding on an earlier lecture, Scottish theologian P. T. Forsyth gives his views on its ethics and religion.

Redemption through love plays a large part in the romantic drama by Spanish playwright José Zorrilla y Moral. After a lifetime of duelling and womanizing, Don Juan Tenorio is given his final chance. Will he take it?

All her life, farm girl Prue was the target of prejudices in her little Shropshire village – all because of her harelip. But weaver Kester is happy to see beyond it. Read Precious Bane by Mary Webb to see if there’s a happy ending.

Then again, a “happily ever after” isn’t all there is to a romance, not even in a Rose-Colored World. Ethel Mary Brodie’s 16 short stories explore how a love affair can play out – any sound familiar?

Sara Teasdale must have experienced romance from all angles. Love Songs is a collection of 72 of her love poems, and it won the first Pulitzer Prize for poetry back in 1918.

Roughly 10 years earlier, Kellogg Durland was asked to describe Royal Romances of Today. This book details the lives and loves of the Queens of Spain and Italy, and of the last Tsarina.

At that time, class was everything. So, when seamstress Toneta and law student Lluis fall in love, things get complicated quickly. Follow La papallona into historic Barcelona in the Catalan novel by Narcís Oller.

Singer Fortunato becomes infatuated by a lady who looks like a marble statue (Marmorbild) in the park. The diabolic knight Donati promises a meeting, and Fortunato is ready to follow him in the German novella by Joseph von Eichendorff.

Enjoy – and good luck falling in love!


Not What It Seems…

Posted on February 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Not What It Seems…

It is known: February is the coldest month of the year. Or is it? Let’s take a closer look at things that may be different than expected with 10 gems from our catalog.

To solve the February riddle from above, just imagine South-Sea Idylls in the Southern Hemisphere… Charles Stoddard did more than just imagine, he travelled those islands and sent letters to a friend.

Irishman Victor Daley went even further down under. The sunshine and freedom of Australia inspired him to write poetry. At Dawn and Dusk is a collection of 67 of his poems.

These are not the right times for ghosts, who like to play with the minds of people. What really happened is often hard to discern, as you will see in the 6 different viewpoints of Cecilia de Noël, a novel by Mary E. Hawker.

Dolliver Wims also elicits widely differing viewpoints. Is he a menace to everyone around him, or just an innocent bystander at random catastrophes? Richard Sabia tells his story in I Was a Teen-Age Secret Weapon.

A bomb explodes (figuratively) when members of her brother’s circus visit the home of Mrs. Herrick after his death. But this wouldn’t be a comedy by Arthur Wing Pinero if it were obvious from the start who really are The Freaks

Barry Pain explores a different kind of who’s who. Scientist Dr. Myas has invented a machine that can effect An Exchange of Souls between two people. Interestingly, things go really wrong when those two people are of the opposite sex…

When Miss Derrick looks for a home with a family in London, the Mumfords are up for it. But what was meant to bolster family finances takes a downward turn when The Paying Guest arrives. Read the novel by George Gissing to find out more.

Detective Violet Strange needs to find a page from a document – and fast, too. In a room that had been closed for years, she finds the Missing Page Thirteen – and a few more things she hadn’t bargained for. Read the novella by Anna Katharine Green to see what that is.

What happened to Jesus in the 15 years the New Testament leaves out was found in another ancient document, according to Nicolas Notovitch. He stipulates that The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ led him to different, far-off lands…

Charles Bradlaugh had different views on Jesus, God, and Christianity – no wonder, he was the founder of England’s Secular Society. So, his Theological Essays may not quite be what you’d expect from the title.

Enjoy – and stay alert!


Browse the catalog