Arts Podcasts

Librivox: Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories, The by Twain, Mark show

Librivox: Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories, The by Twain, MarkJoin Now to Follow

Here's a Mark Twain story that's very unlike those he became famous for, but when I read it back in Catholic high school, it left a deep impression. It concerns the deeply religious residents of a small village in Austria during the late sixteenth century, and what happened to several of them when a strange man began to visit their insulated homeland. There's little of Twain's humor here; this is a horror story, a parable. . . and a warning. (Summary by Ted Delorme)

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Librivox: Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed by Ferber, Edna show

Librivox: Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed by Ferber, EdnaJoin Now to Follow

Dawn O’Hara, the Girl Who Laughed was Edna Ferber’s first novel. Dawn, a newspaperwoman working in New York, finds herself back home in Michigan on doctor’s orders. Years of living in boarding-houses and working to pay for the care of her brilliant but mentally ill husband, Peter Orme, have taken their toll. At twenty-eight, Dawn feels like an old woman with no future. But, the loving care of her sister Norah and her family along with the attentions of the handsome German doctor, Ernst Von Gerhard, slowly bring Dawn back to life. With Dr. Von Gerhard’s help, she obtains a newspaper job in Milwaukee and begins a year of new adventures among new people. However, the specter of her husband living in a mental hospital is always present and Dawn fears she may never be free to love again. (Summary by Lee Ann Howlett)

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Librivox: Cranford by Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn show

Librivox: Cranford by Gaskell, Elizabeth CleghornJoin Now to Follow

Cranford is the best-known novel of the 19th century English writer Elizabeth Gaskell. It was first published in 1851 as a serial in the magazine Household Words, which was edited by Charles Dickens. The fictional town of Cranford is closely modelled on Knutsford in Cheshire, which Mrs Gaskell knew well. The book has little in the way of plot and is more a series of episodes in the lives of Mary Smith and her friends, Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two spinster sisters. The "major" event in the story is the return to Cranford of their long-lost brother, Peter, which in itself is only a minor portion of the work... (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Librivox: Popular History of Ireland, Book 03, A by McGee, Thomas D'Arcy show

Librivox: Popular History of Ireland, Book 03, A by McGee, Thomas D'ArcyJoin Now to Follow

Thomas D'Arcy McGee was an Irish refugee and a father of the Canadian confederation. His work on Irish history is comprehensive, encompassing twelve books; book 3 begins with the fortune of the family of Brian Boru and continues through the rise of the O'Conors to the political, economic, and religious condition of the island prior to the English invasion. (Summary by Sibella Denton)

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Librivox: Life of the Spirit and the Life of Today, The by Underhill, Evelyn show

Librivox: Life of the Spirit and the Life of Today, The by Underhill, EvelynJoin Now to Follow

Underhill emphasizes the practical, here-and-now nature of spiritual life. She argues that spirituality is a genuine and abiding human fact, and that any complete description of human life must find room for the spiritual factor, and for the religious life in which it finds expression.

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Librivox: Adventures of Paddy Beaver, The by Burgess, Thornton W. show

Librivox: Adventures of Paddy Beaver, The by Burgess, Thornton W.Join Now to Follow

The Adventures of Paddy Beaver is another in the long list of children’s books by the conservationist, Thornton W. Burgess. In this book, the industrious and clever Paddy Beaver, a newcomer to the Green Forest, has encounters with Sammy Jay, Jerry Muskrat, Ol’ Man Coyote and other inhabitants of the Green Forest. Along the way, we learn how Paddy builds his dam and his house, and how he stores his food. We also learn little lessons about life, such as the importance of planning before doing, caring for Nature, trusting others, the benefits of working together and how wonderful it is to have a job one can sink one’s teeth into. (Summary by John Lieder.)

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Librivox: War and Peace, Book 05: 1806-1807 by Tolstoy, Leo show

Librivox: War and Peace, Book 05: 1806-1807 by Tolstoy, LeoJoin Now to Follow

War and Peace (Russian: Война и мир, Voyna i mir; in original orthography: Война и миръ, Voyna i mir") is an epic novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869 in Russki Vestnik, which tells the story of Russian society during the Napoleonic Era. It is usually described as one of Tolstoy's two major masterpieces (the other being Anna Karenina) as well as one of the world's greatest novels. War and Peace offered a new kind of fiction, with a great many characters caught up in a plot that covered nothing less than the grand subjects indicated by the title, combined with the equally large topics of youth, age and marriage. While today it is considered a novel, it broke so many novelistic conventions of its day that many critics of Tolstoy's time did not consider it as such. Tolstoy himself considered Anna Karenina (1878) to be his first attempt at a novel in the European sense. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Librivox: Riders of the Purple Sage by Grey, Zane show

Librivox: Riders of the Purple Sage by Grey, ZaneJoin Now to Follow

The year is 1871, and wealthy ranch owner Jane Withersteen is in trouble. She has incurred the displeasure of her Mormon church leaders by refusing to marry a church elder and by befriending Gentiles (non-Mormons). In rides Lassiter, the quintessential Western hero: mysterious, purposeful, a deadly gunslinger, but with an unexpected streak of gentleness. While Lassiter is assisting Jane at the ranch, her friend and rider Bern Venters is having an adventure of his own in the Utah canyonlands. Riders of the Purple Sage is a story of heroism, love, brave men and strong women, good dogs and fast horses. And who is that Masked Rider? (Summary by Laurie Anne Walden)

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Librivox: Rookwood by Ainsworth, William Harrison show

Librivox: Rookwood by Ainsworth, William HarrisonJoin Now to Follow

A rich and complex Gothic-Romance centring on the murky deeds of an ancient family. It is a wonderfully atmospheric piece that combines narrative, poetry, song, and descriptive writing to great effect. The character of Dick Turpin that we know today - the dashing highwaymen and unmatched horseman - can be said to stem directly from this novel, as the most famous part of the book (often published on its own in the past), Turpin's Ride To York, is devoted to him. Although seemingly little known to a modern audience, Ainsworth's 'Rookwood' gave the world the image of the highwayman with which we are all so familiar. (Summary by paulc)

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Librivox: Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A (version 2) by Twain, Mark show

Librivox: Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A (version 2) by Twain, MarkJoin Now to Follow

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is an 1889 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The work is a very early example of time travel in literature, anticipating by six years H. G. Wells' The Time Machine of 1895 (however, unlike Wells, Twain does not give any real explanation of his protagonist's traveling in time). Some early editions are entitled A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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