Literature Podcasts

Librivox: Book of Hallowe'en, The by Kelley, Ruth Edna show

Librivox: Book of Hallowe'en, The by Kelley, Ruth EdnaJoin Now to Follow

This book is intended to give the reader an account of the origin and history of Hallowe'en, how it absorbed some customs belonging to other days in the year,—such as May Day, Midsummer, and Christmas. The context is illustrated by selections from ancient and modern poetry and prose, related to Hallowe'en ideas. (Summary by Ruth Kelley, from the Preface).

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Librivox: King Lear by Shakespeare, William show

Librivox: King Lear by Shakespeare, WilliamJoin Now to Follow

King Lear is widely held as the greatest of Shakespeare's tragedies; to some, it is the greatest play ever written. King Lear abdicates the British throne, to divide his kingdom among his three daughters in proportion to their professed love of him. His plan misfires when Cordelia, his youngest and favourite daughter, refuses to flatter her father; she is disinherited and banished. This LibriVox recording marks the 400th anniversary of the first performance of the play, on December 26th 1606. (Summary by David Barnes).

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Librivox: Book of A Thousand Nights and a Night, The  (Arabian Nights) — Volume 01 by Anonymous show

Librivox: Book of A Thousand Nights and a Night, The (Arabian Nights) — Volume 01 by AnonymousJoin Now to Follow

This is a collection of stories collected over thousands of years by various authors, translators and scholars. The are an amalgam of mythology and folk tales from the Indian sub-continent, Persia, and Arabia. No original manuscript has ever been found for the collection, but several versions date the collection's genesis to somewhere between AD 800-900. The stories are wound together under the device of a long series of cliff-hangers told by Shahrazad to her husband Shahryar, to prevent him from executing her. Many tales that have become independently famous come from the Book, among them Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and the voyages of Sinbad the Sailor. This collection comes from the first of sixteen volumes translated by Burton. (Based on Wikipedia article)

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Librivox: Leaves of Grass by Whitman, Walt show

Librivox: Leaves of Grass by Whitman, WaltJoin Now to Follow

American poet Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, is a collection of poems notable for its frank delight in and praise of the senses, during a time when such candid displays were considered immoral. Where much previous poetry, especially English, relied on symbolism, allegory, and meditation on the religious and spiritual, Leaves of Grass exalted the body and the material world. Whitman was inspired to begin Leaves of Grass after reading an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson which expressed a need for a uniquely American poet. When the book was first published, Whitman sent a copy to Emerson, whose praiseful letter of response helped launch the book to success. Whitman’s hero, Abraham Lincoln, read and enjoyed an early version of Leaves of Grass. Despite such high recommendations, Whitman faced charges of obscenity and immorality for his work, but this only led to increased popularity of the book. Whitman continually revised and republished Leaves of Grass throughout his lifetime, notably adding the “Drum-Taps” section after Lincoln’s assassination. The book grew from 12 poems in its first publication, which Whitman paid for and typeset himself, to nearly 400 poems in its final, “Death Bed Edition.” This recording is of the final edition. (Summary adapted from by Annie Coleman)

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Librivox: Roughing It by Twain, Mark show

Librivox: Roughing It by Twain, MarkJoin Now to Follow

Roughing It is semi-autobiographical travel literature written by American humorist Mark Twain. It was authored during 1870–71 and published in 1872 as a sequel to his first book Innocents Abroad. This book tells of Twain's adventures prior to his pleasure cruise related in Innocents Abroad.(Wikipedia)

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Wealth of Nations, Book 4, The by SMITH, Adam show

Wealth of Nations, Book 4, The by SMITH, AdamJoin Now to Follow

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist Adam Smith, published on March 9, 1776 during the Scottish Enlightenment. It is a clearly written account of political economy at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and is widely considered to be the first modern work in the field of economics. (from Wikipedia)<p></p>

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Tempest, The by SHAKESPEARE, William show

Tempest, The by SHAKESPEARE, WilliamJoin Now to Follow

Banished from his own lands by a usurping brother, Prospero and his daughter Miranda have been living on a deserted island for years, until fate brings the brother within the range of Prospero's powers. Will he seek revenge, or reconcilement? (Summary by Karen Savage) <p> <strong>Cast:</strong><br> Narrator – <a href="">Great Plains </a><br> Alonso, King of Naples – <a href="">hefyd </a><br> Sebastian, his brother – <a href="">Nathan Markham </a><br> Prospero, the right Duke of Milan – <a href="">Bruce Pirie </a><br> Antonio, his brother, the usurping Duke of Milan – <a href="">Jason Mills </a><br> Ferdinand, son to the King of Naples – <a href="">mb </a><br> Gonzalo, an honest old Counsellor – <a href="">Lorelle Anderson </a><br> Adrian, a Lord – <a href="">EricJ</a><br> Francisco, a Lord – <a href="">Aaron Elliott </a><br> Caliban, a savage and deformed Slave – <a href="">Jason Mills </a><br> Trinculo, a Jester – <a href="">Ryan Dressler </a><br> Stephano, a drunken Butler – <a href="">Arielle Lipshaw </a><br> Master of a Ship – <a href="">Annoying Twit </a><br> Boatswain – <a href="">Jennifer Stearns </a><br> Mariners – <a href="">Miriam Esther Goldman </a><br> Miranda, daughter to Prospero – <a href="">Elizabeth Klett </a><br> Ariel, an airy Spirit – <a href="">Karen Savage </a><br> Iris, a Spirit – <a href="">Abigail Bartels </a><br> Ceres, a Spirit – <a href="">Jessamie </a><br> Juno, a Spirit – <a href="">Lucy Perry </a></p><p></p>

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Short Science Fiction Collection 038 by VARIOUS show

Short Science Fiction Collection 038 by VARIOUSJoin Now to Follow

Science Fiction is speculative literature that generally explores the consequences of ideas which are roughly consistent with nature and scientific method, but are not facts of the author’s contemporary world. The stories often represent philosophical thought experiments presented in entertaining ways. Protagonists typically “think” rather than “shoot” their way out of problems, but the definition is flexible because there are no limits on an author’s imagination. The reader-selected stories presented here were written prior to 1962 and became US public domain texts when their copyrights expired. (Summary by Gregg Margarite)

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Anna Karenina, Book 4 by TOLSTOY, Leo show

Anna Karenina, Book 4 by TOLSTOY, LeoJoin Now to Follow

Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. In Book 4, Anna's husband considers drastic measures to address the flagrant infidelity of his wife, while Kitty and Levin meet once again in Moscow to their mutual discomfiture. (Summary by Mary Anderson and MaryAnn)

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Librivox: Jungle, The by Sinclair, Upton show

Librivox: Jungle, The by Sinclair, UptonJoin Now to Follow

It is the end of the 19th century. Like thousands of others, the Rudkus family has emigrated from Lithuania to America in search of a better life. As they settle into the Packingtown neighborhood of Chicago, they find their dreams are unlikely to be realized. In fact, just the opposite is quite likely to occur. Jurgis, the main character of the novel, has brought his father Antanas, his fiancée Ona, her stepmother Teta Elzbieta, Teta Elzbieta's brother Jonas and her six children, and Ona's cousin Marija Berczynskas along. The family, naïve to the ways of Chicago, quickly falls prey to con men and makes a series of bad decisions that lead them into wretched poverty and terrible living conditions. All are forced to find jobs in dismal working conditions for their very survival. Jurgis, broken and discouraged, eventually finds solace in the American Socialist movement. This novel was written during a period in American history when “Trusts” were formed by multiple corporations to establish monopolies that stifled competition and fixed prices. Unthinkable working conditions and unfair business practices were the norm. The Jungle’s author, Upton Sinclair, was an ardent Socialist of the time. Sinclair was commissioned by the “Appeal To Reason”, a Socialist journal of the period, to write a fictional expose on the working conditions of the immigrant laborers in the meat packing industry in Chicago. Going undercover, Sinclair spent seven weeks inside the meatpacking plants gathering details for his novel. The Reader wishes to gratefully acknowledge the assistance, and patience, of Professor Giedrius Subacius (University of Illinois) and the folks at Lituanus ( for their invaluable support as I struggled with Lithuanian pronunciations. Truly, this audio book would have been far more difficult, and far less authentic, without their help. And now, feel free to wander into The Jungle……. (Summary by Tom Weiss)

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