Another Year!

Posted on August 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Another Year!

Next week, LibriVox will turn 17! In the last year, our volunteers have worked together to create more than 1300 new books for our catalog. Let’s have a look at 10 of these gems to kickstart our celebrations.

What would the world look like if people worked together? 12 German authors gave it a try and wrote Der Roman der XII, one chapter each. Interestingly, who wrote which chapter isn’t known – can you figure it out?

International understanding would be easier with a common, easy to learn language. In comes Esperanto, the only “created” language in the world. Edmont Privat tells more about its creator in Vivo de Zamenhof.

Alternatively, you could just hope for a genie to set things right, like the one Aladdin found in his lamp. Adam Oehlenschläger took the story and added a few twists – and we added a dramatic reading.

Things get very dramatic when Mr. Catesby is hit by a bird carrying a tin box. In it, he finds clues about The Wreck of the Corsaire including chests of gold… Expect a great adventure in the novel by William Clark Russell.

Gallant knights are always looking for adventures, and when The Lavender Dragon roams the lands and abducts lonely people, he must be stopped. But not everything is what it seems in the little book by Eden Phillpotts.

Nabakumar’s hunting trip takes an unexpected turn when he becomes a sacrifice for the goddess Kali. Young Kopal-Kundala comes to his rescue and follows him to the city, with tragic consequences. This is considered the best work by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.

Another masterpiece is The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. In this roman à clef, a group of expats travels from Paris to Pamplona for the bull run, but not everybody escapes unscathed…

Nobody is safe in war, not people, not property. The Nazis systematically looted the countries they had attacked and hid many priceless art pieces in Salt Mines and Castles. After WWII, Thomas Carr Howe helped return the stolen art to their rightful owners, a process that is still not settled.

Neither is the Russian-Ukranian conflict, which has been brewing for decades. Already after WWI, Ukraine struggled for independence. Our Friends of Ukraine Publications collects 9 essays by various authors about the situation in the country at that time.

Let’s end this on a positive note – we’re celebrating, after all – and poetry by Harold Vinal. His collection White April showcases in 5 different sections his deep feelings towards people, places, and the eternal beauty of nature.

Enjoy – and a big THANK YOU! to all our volunteers who keep making audiobooks!


Safe Travels!

Posted on July 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Safe Travels!

It’s that time of the year again: next item on the schedule is a holiday. Or get out of the house and travelling with 10 gems from our catalog.

Any favourite destinations? For Russian writer Nikolay Gumilyov, it was Africa. His poetry inspired by giraffes and hippos is collected in “The Tent”, which is a part contained in Романтические Цветы, Шатер.

Riding a white goose as part of a flock of wild geese? Selma Lagerlöf was asked to write a geographic reader for Swedish school kids. The result is her most famous book: The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. We also have this novel in Spanish, German and in Dutch.

In contrast, the Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands is a true story of a woman who travelled to help wounded soldiers. Jamaican-born, of Scottish-Creole descent, Mary Seacole was born adventurous!

Much less so is the Moulton family, travelling through Europe. But their relative Catalina has more exciting ideas for the trip… Find out if doom and disaster really lie ahead in Gertrude Atherton’s novel The Travelling Thirds.

You never know what lies ahead when you go to unknown places. When a young woman, an Exile From Space, visits Earth for the first time, it takes a while to find her way around. But then, the unexpected happens… Judith Merril’s sci-fi story tells you more.

Surely, nothing out of the ordinary could happen on a train trip? Then again, when travelling through the night, the supernatural is never far off. Stefan Grabiński explores what could happen in 8 stories collected in Wybrane opowiadania.

Many passengers find their way onto the cross-country train from Chicago, and not a few have something to hide. But Excuse Me! when those secrets are revealed in Rupert Hughes’ comedy.

Uncovering secrets may have been the reason for The Pilgrimage of Etheria in the 4th century. In this voyage to the Holy Land, Etheria follows the footsteps of Christ to Mt. Sinai, Constantinople and Jerusalem.

Decidedly not Christlike was Robert Louis Stevenson, even though he Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. Together with Modestine, he walks through South-west France, always with a keen eye for the landscape, the people, and their lives.

Tristan Bernard’s travelling companion has more donkey…, sorry, horsepower – it’s a car. In the 53 vignettes of Les veillées du chauffeur he tells us of little trips on four wheels when the car was still young.

Enjoy – and have a great vacation!


Keeping Secrets

Posted on June 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Keeping Secrets

Being able to keep secrets is what makes a great friendship. But are all secrets worthy of staying hidden? Answer this question with 10 gems from our catalog.

Women are notorious for spilling the beans. Ms. Posket is not one of them. But when the lie about her age complicates life for her son, she has to officially come clean in front of The Magistrate in the play by Arthur Wing Pinero.

There are official spies? That’s what the US Secret Service has been known for since 1865. William N. Taft wrote 24 short stories based on real events that happened while people were On Secret Service.

In the novel by Murray Leinster, the US government is building a giant Space Platform, ostensibly to make space exploration easier. Secretly, they want to spy on other countries. No wonder that this leads to sabotage and even murder…

Rosa Bud is engaged, but John Jasper and Nevill Landless would rather have it otherwise. Then Rosa’s fiancé disappears… What remains is The Mystery of Edwin Drood, quite literally, because Charles Dickens could not finish his final novel and left no clues either.

Arsene Lupin follows many clues to find L’Aiguille creuse, the place where the treasury of the Kings of France is hidden. But Isodore Bautrelet is in hot pursuit in another of Maurice Leblanc’s novels about the gentlemen burglar.

Real Secret Chambers and Hiding Places that defy burglars still exist to this day. Allan Fea travelled to England to seek out known priest holes, hidden doors and passages, hiding places for jewelry, pirate’s caves…

But what if nobody remembers? David Masters describes fascinating discoveries of long-forgotten things and places, from the Rosetta Stone to Egyptian tombs, from lost artifacts to the city of Troy. Get swept away by The Romance of Excavation.

It’s a fair assumption that Richard Beckett, upon glimpsing the face of a mysterious countess, also has romance on his mind. Why else would he check into The Room at the Dragon Volant, a haunted inn? Find out more in the novel by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.

Let’s hope he found The Secret Key to lock his room… This is also the title of a collection of 64 poems by George Essex Evans, who turned writer and poet after a debilitating injury.

Grave injuries are a daily part of Wilderness Ways, and yet, they often don’t feature in wildlife documentaries. William J. Long minces no words in this book, where beautiful imagery describes the often overlooked secrets of animal behavior.

Enjoy – and watch whom you tell your secrets!


Back to Our Roots

Posted on May 1, 2022 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on Back to Our Roots

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!)


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