Librivox seems to have achieved that happy state, possible only for a distributed group project, of constantly churning out new material. This week is particularly rich.
On the nonfiction front, we have one of the great classics of adventure and Egyptology, A Thousand Miles Up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards. (And yes, she inspired Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia. I can’t wait to listen.) We also have The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, which is not only patriotic and edifying but entertaining, too. I think this may be the expurgated version, but it doesn’t say. Plato’s dialogue Ion has Socrates torquing off a professional poetry reciter. (What’s wrong with covers, Socrates? Or do you have something against fame?) H.L. Mencken makes an appearance In Defense of Women, but mostly ripping on men. (Love or hate Mencken, he’s a lot better at snark, cutting criticism, and insult than most of today’s proponents of the art.)
On the fiction front, they’ve released a single reader version of The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. There are two finished books by Lord Dunsany: Time and the Gods (in which he builds a mythology of sorts) and The Book of Wonder, which is simply chock full of classic fantasy stories. The classic mystery writer J.S. Fletcher (an old Librivox favorite, if you may recall The Temple Murders and The Paradise Murders) tells us about Dead Men’s Money. You can also laugh with the first Blandings Castle book from Wodehouse, Something New; or get ready for English class with Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, or Galsworthy’s first Forsyte Saga book, A Man of Property.
(I’ve never read Galsworthy. But when they say ‘saga’, apparently they don’t mean anything about carving out a kingdom or slaying dragons. They’re comparing it to the ones where Olaf Crazyeyes spends twenty years feuding with the friends and family of Snorri Odinpriest because somebody might have slept with somebody else or coveted the south field, and where everything ends in a farmhouse full of people burnt to a crisp.)
In other news, my sinuses have finally drained. Right down my throat. Sigh. We’ll see how I feel tonight.