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Anzac Day

Posted on April 24, 2010 by | Posted in For Volunteers, News, Uncategorized, Weekly Picks | Comments: Comments Off

In honour of Anzac Day, LibriVox proudly presents Five Months at Anzac by Joseph Lievesley Beeston: A Narrative of Personal Experiences of the Officer Commanding the 4th Field Ambulance, Australian Imperial Force from his leaving Australia December 1914 till his evacuation due to illness after 5 months at Gallipoli. Read by Annise to remember those who were there.

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, and is commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.

We have a very active contingent of readers from Australasia, but would be delighted to welcome more.

Here are some other recordings with an Australian theme:

Australia Felix by Henry Handel Richardson (1870-1946). The story of Richard Mahony, a doctor trained in Edinburgh who comes to Ballarat in the gold rush of the 1850s. Read by tabithat.

Seven Little Australians by Ethel Sybil Turner (1872-1958). This is the story of seven incorrigible children living near Sydney in the 1880’s with their military-man father, and a stepmother who is scarcely older than the oldest child of the family. Read by Ophelia Darcy.

A Lady’s Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-53 by Ellen Clacy. A clergyman’s daughter, who at age 20 left Britain to visit Bendigo with her brother, recounts her trip, and aspects of colonial life, transportation, emigration and other gold-fields. Read by Annise and Lucy Burgoyne.

Robert O’Hara Burke by Andrew Jackson. A non-fictional account of Burke and Wills’s 1860 expedition to cross the Australian continent from south to north and back. Read by Chris Chapman and Magdalena.

A Selection of Australian Poetry and Prose recorded by various readers.

Australian Legendary Tales Folk-Lore of the Noongahburrahs As Told To The Piccaninnies by K. Langloh Parker. A Collection of Australian Aboriginal Legendary Folk-Lore Tales, legends of the Narran tribe, known among themselves as Noongahburrahs. Recorded by various readers.

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Our Readers’ Favourites – Old and New

Posted on March 18, 2010 by | Posted in For Volunteers, mystery, News, Uncategorized, Weekly Picks | Comments: 37 Comments

Here are some suggestions from the heart of our LibriVox community – audio books which have given our readers particular pleasure to listen to.

We have three versions of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in our catalogue, with two more recordings in progress. It is clearly a book which many readers want to record. Our first version, which was a collaborative project with over a dozen different readers, was released only 6 months after LibriVox started, and is still one of our most popular downloads.

John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps has been adapted for several films and television productions, but in a member’s view none measure up to the original book. Here we offer you Adrian Praetzellis’ recording. As a reviewer says: “His voice characterisations were first class…

All you mathematicians out there will know that it was Pi Day on March 14th, but have you heard our ground-breaking The First Fifty Digits of Pi? A true feast – the first 50 digits served up by 56 readers each to his/her own recipe.

March 14th was also the birthday of Albert Einstein, and you can hear an introduction to Einstein’s space-bending, time-stretching theory of Relativity, written by the master himself at Relativity: The Special and General Theory.

If that is rather heavy fare, how about a light snack of short stories? The Parenticide Club by Ambrose Bierce, read by Peter Yearsley, consists of four grotesque short stories about murder within the family.

Not to be missed is The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer, superbly read by Elaine Tweddle.

Also highly recommended is J. M. Smallheer’s reading of a top ten bestseller of 1906, The House of a Thousand Candles by Meredith Nicholson. If you like mystery, adventure and romance, you will love this.

If you prefer science fiction, The Door Through Space, an early work of Marion Zimmer Bradley, may be to your taste. When the door swings open, erstwhile Terran Intelligence agent Race Cargill finds himself facing a plot designed to destroy the Terran Empire. Read by Christie Nowak and Clive Catterall.

Notable for its vivid descriptions of the eponymous hero (no mean feat!) The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells is a classic of science fiction. This version from 2006 is read by Alex Foster.

H. P. Lovecraft lists among his greatest influences works by William Hope Hodgson including The House on the Borderland. This recording, by Alan Winterrowd, has been highly recommended by aficionados of the horror and fantasy genres.

And for a little bonne bouche at the end of this banquet of fine things, here is some delicious poetry: Selected Poems by Christina & Dante Gabriel Rossetti, read for you by Leonard Wilson.

All previous listening suggestions may also be found on the Recommended Listening List in the LibriVox Wiki.

If you have a favourite recording you would like me to include next time, feel free to leave a comment here or visit us on this forum thread What are your favourite recordings? and tell us about it.

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LibriVox Needs Your Help

Posted on February 24, 2010 by | Posted in about LibriVox, News, Uncategorized | Comments: 144 Comments

UPDATE: We’ve reached our objective. Thank you everybody! More info here.

Dearest LibriVox listeners, volunteers, & supporters:

For four-and-a-half years, LibriVox volunteers have been making audiobooks for the world to enjoy, and giving them away for free. We’ve made thousands of free audiobooks that have been downloaded by millions of people; our site gets 400,000 visitors every month. To date, all our costs have been borne by a few individuals, with some generous donations from partners. However, these costs have become too big.

See below to FIND OUT HOW TO DONATE (Or, keep reading!).


LibriVox needs your help.

We’re asking for donations for the following:

  • to cover hosting costs for our website (about $5,000/year)*, which includes:

    • the site you are reading now;
    • the forum;
    • the wiki;
    • the catalog;
    • a whole lot of back-end software to host and process audio before it goes to the Internet Archive
    • but does NOT include hosting audio files which is done by Archive.org
  • to redesign the site and improve its accessibility
  • to make the LibriVox catalog easier for listeners to use
  • to make the management software easier for admins to use

We expect this fund-raising drive to sustain us for three years at least.


Your donation will support the work of our volunteers.

Our fundraising goal is $20,000. After we reach it, we’ll shut down our fundraising campaign. And we hope we can make it another 4.5 years without having to bother you again!

HOW TO DONATE:

  1. Visit the Internet Archive donation page (the Internet Archive, a registered US charity and friend of LibriVox, is managing our fundraising campaign)
  2. Select a donation method** (Justgive.org, Paypal, or Check)
  3. Be sure to write: “Donation for LibriVox” along with your donation (otherwise we won’t get the donation!)
  4. Don’t forget to write: “Donation for LibriVox” along with your donation!

*NOTE: From our great sysadmin Dan, regarding server costs:
For a variety of reasons, we require a full dedicated server, or at least a very high-end VM with several hundred GB of storage. Though we don’t host the files for end-user download, we do provide an uploading service which book contributors use to share individual chapters and other similar things.

Combine that with lots of wordpress/phpBB modifications, and pretty high wordpress/phpBB traffic, and we fill up a server pretty fast.

In short: Hundreds of GB storage + ~1800 gigabytes Internet transfer per month + heavy MySQL usage adds up to a pretty expensive server or high-end VM. Note that none of this includes projected growth, we will need more resources soon, and that’s also a factor in the dollar amount Hugh mentioned.

I’d also like to point out that the figure does not cover sysadmin support. I work for free. And my job is a lot harder when I have to deal with an intermediary sysadmin, which some hosting companies force upon you. Where we are right now, I myself am root.

**NOTE: From the Internet Archive (who is kindly administering this campaign for us): Please reassure your donors that we do not sell our mailing list nor send unsolicited mail out.

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It’s Christmas time again!

Posted on December 24, 2009 by | Posted in Blog, For Volunteers, News, Uncategorized, Weekly Picks | Comments: 1 Comment

Here are some suggestions for family Christmas listening:

Stories with a Christmas theme:

A short book, perfect for younger listeners, read by Kara Shallenberg: Christmas Holidays at Merryvale by Alice Hale Burnett.

The Christmas Angel by Abbie Farwell Brown, very much in the spirit of Dickens’ Christmas stories, read by Jan MacGillivray.

The Birds’ Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin, a charming story of Christmas cheer.

Old Christmas by Washington Irving, a tale of the quaint and old English traditions of celebrating Christmas.

Christmas Eve ghost stories Told after Supper by Jerome K. Jerome at his tongue-in-cheek best, read by Ruth Golding.

“If you don’t like Christmas stories, don’t read this one! And if you don’t like dogs I don’t know just what to advise you to do!” says Eleanor Hallowell Abbott, author of Peace On Earth, Good-Will To Dogs, read by Allyson Hester.

A grumpy gent learning the lesson of Christmas in Santa Claus’s Partner by Thomas Nelson Page.

Two versions of The Spirit of Christmas, a group of stories, essays and prayers by Henry van Dyke.

… and no Christmas would be complete without Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, of which we now have two English versions and a Dutch, Een Kerstlied in Proza.

Christmas poetry

Music On Christmas Morning by Anne Bronte

Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. There is also now a new selection of readings of this much loved poem.

Christmas carols:

Christmas Carol Collection 2009, a collection of 30 traditional Christmas carols performed in a variety of styles, and also the 2006 Carol Collection.

Christmas carols, stories and poems

Other collections which include Christmas Carols, as well as seasonal stories and poems, include:

As we at Librivox approach with great excitement the release of our 1000th audiobook of 2009 and our 3000th in total, we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and happy New Year.

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