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Librivox: Bible (ASV) 21: Ecclesiastes (version 2) by American Standard Version show

Librivox: Bible (ASV) 21: Ecclesiastes (version 2) by American Standard VersionJoin Now to Follow

"Ecclesiastes is a wisdom book of the Old Testament. The author represents himself as the son of David, and king over Israel in Jerusalem. The work consists of personal or autobiographic matter, at times expressed in aphorisms and maxims illuminated in terse paragraphs with reflections on the meaning of life and the best way of life. The work emphatically proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently "vain", "futile", "empty", or "meaningless," depending on translation, as the lives of both wise and foolish men end in death. While the teacher clearly promotes wisdom as a means for a well-lived earthly life, he is unable to ascribe eternal meaning to it. In light of this perceived senselessness, the preacher suggests that one should enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life, such as eating, drinking, and taking enjoyment in one's wife and work, which are gifts from the hand of God." (From Wikipedia, modified by Sam Stinson)

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Librivox: Ruth of Boston: A Story of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by Otis, James show

Librivox: Ruth of Boston: A Story of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by Otis, JamesJoin Now to Follow

James Otis wrote a series of books depicting life in the new colonies, written from a child's point of view. Ruth of Boston is the story of 12 year old Ruth, coming from London to live in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It gives accounts of what a girl's daily life might have been like during the beginnings of this colony. (Summary by Laura Caldwell)

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Librivox: Temperance Gems by McGonagall, William Topaz show

Librivox: Temperance Gems by McGonagall, William TopazJoin Now to Follow

McGonagall has been widely acclaimed as the worst poet in British history. He campaigned vigorously against excessive drinking, appearing in pubs and bars to give edifying poems and speeches. These were very popular, the people of Dundee possibly recognising that McGonagall was "so giftedly bad he backed unwittingly into genius".

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Librivox: Multilingual Poetry Collection 006 by Various show

Librivox: Multilingual Poetry Collection 006 by VariousJoin Now to Follow

In LibriVox’s Multilingual Poetry Collection, LibriVox volunteers read their favourite public-domain poems in languages other than English. (Summary by David Barnes).

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Librivox: Short Science Fiction Collection 005 by Various show

Librivox: Short Science Fiction Collection 005 by VariousJoin Now to Follow

Science fiction (abbreviated SF or sci-fi with varying punctuation and case) is a broad genre of fiction that often involves sociological and technical speculations based on current or future science or technology. This is a reader-selected collection of short stories, originally published between 1960 and 1963, that entered the US public domain when their copyright was not renewed. Summary by Cori Samuel, with Wikipedia input.

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Librivox: Three Ghost Stories by Dickens, Charles show

Librivox: Three Ghost Stories by Dickens, CharlesJoin Now to Follow

As a gifted writer with a strong interest in supernatural phenomena, Charles Dickens produced a string of ghost stories with enduring charm. Three of them are presented here, of which The Signal Man is one of the best known. Though quite different from his most celebrated realistic and humorous critical novels, these ghost stories, Gothic and grotesque as they are, are of good portrayal, and worth a read/listen. Summary by Vivian Chan

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Librivox: Sister Carrie by Dreiser, Theodore show

Librivox: Sister Carrie by Dreiser, TheodoreJoin Now to Follow

Theodore Dreiser (1871–1945) was an American author of the naturalist school, known for dealing with the gritty reality of life. Sister Carrie (1900) is his first novel and tells the story of a young country girl who moves to the big city (Chicago) where she starts realizing her own American Dream by first becoming a mistress to powerful men and later as a famous actress. Dreiser and his wife significantly altered the original manuscript to make it more palatable to the prevailing sensibilities of the day, but even this toned down version caused a minor scandal, and Dreiser had difficulty finding a publisher for it. This was due to the blurred division line between good and bad in the plot. Although Dreiser's moralizing narrator does assert that, despite the fame and the money she has amassed, Carrie will not be able to achieve peace of mind in her life, the apparent lack of poetic justice -- the notion that immorality should pay in the end, even if only up to a point -- was a concept the reading public were altogether unused to at the time. (summary from wikipedia)

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Librivox: Adventures of Jimmie Dale, The by Packard, Frank L. show

Librivox: Adventures of Jimmie Dale, The by Packard, Frank L.Join Now to Follow

Frank Lucius Packard (February 2, 1877 – February 17, 1942) was a Canadian novelist born in Montreal, Quebec. He worked as a civil engineer on the Canadian Pacific Railway. He later wrote a series of mystery novels, the most famous of which featured a character called Jimmie Dale. Jimmie Dale is a wealthy playboy by day, with a Harvard education and membership to New York City’s ultra-exclusive private club St. James. But at night he puts on a costume and becomes The Grey Seal, who enters businesses or homes and cracks safes, always leaving a diamond shaped, grey paper "seal" behind to mark his conquest, but never taking anything. He was just doing it for "the sheer deviltry of it" at first, but when a woman catches him, she blackmails him to war on certain crime organizations. Jimmie Dale/The Grey Seal is often credited with greatly influencing and popularizing later pulp and comic book heroes. The foppish playboy-by-day-crimefighter-by-night routine had a precursor in The Scarlet Pimpernel, but it was Jimmie Dale that brought the idea into a contemporary setting and added the idea of a costume and mask for his secret identity, serving as a possible influence for characters like Zorro and The Shadow. He also established the concept of a hero's secret hideout or lair, The Sanctuary, a precersor of the Batcave or the Fortress of Solitude. (Summary by Wikipedia and Maire Rhode)

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Librivox: King Henry IV, Part 1 by Shakespeare, William show

Librivox: King Henry IV, Part 1 by Shakespeare, WilliamJoin Now to Follow

King Henry IV, Part 1 is the second of Shakespeare’s eight Wars of the Roses history plays, with events following those of King Richard II . As the play opens, King Henry IV (formerly Henry Bolingbroke) and Henry Percy (Hotspur) argue over the disposition of prisoners from the Battle of Holmedon. The King’s attitude toward Mortimer and the Percy family prompts them to plot rebellion. In the meantime, his son Prince Hal is living the low life in the company of Sir John Falstaff. As the time of battle nears, Prince Hal joins his father and is given a high command. The play’s climax is the Battle of Shrewsbury, in which Prince Hal and Hotspur meet and fight, with Prince Hal and the forces of the King prevailing. The action continues in King Henry IV, Part 2 . From the start this has been an extremely popular play both with the public and with critics. (Summary by Laurie Anne Walden and Wikipedia)

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Librivox: Waterbiography, A by Leslie, Robert C. show

Librivox: Waterbiography, A by Leslie, Robert C.Join Now to Follow

Robert C. Leslie (1826-1901) was an artist and writer who, at an early age fell in love with the sea, the sea of Sail, not of Steam. He describes the progression of this love from wave to wave and boat to boat. Leslie sailed during the Great Age of Sail before Industrialism had taken possession of Britain. Leslie comments on the early days of singlehanded small boat sailing: "When I first began boating in the early forties[1840s], what is now called single-handed cruising was almost unknown among amateurs....people had a vague dread of it. Much of this has passed away, and hundreds of amateur boatmen, and even ladies, are now as much at home and really safer in a sailing-boat than they would be on the back of a hunter or bicycle." Leslie writes of one of his favorite cruising grounds about 1850: "No railway in my time came within fifteen miles of Sidmouth, and the few enterprising visitors who reached there by coach from Exeter called it dull. It was certainly not a gay place, but most of those who resided there in that happy valley did so rather with a view to quiet, and among them it was rare to find any one disposed to tamper with the grave routine of country life there." A Waterbiography captures a Lost Age. (Summary by Peter Kelleher)

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