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Online Literature Courses on Audio

Online Literature Courses on Audio

60 New Modern Scholar Courses!

We've added a new wave of over 60 courses to download from the Modern Scholar Series. As we mentioned in our last newsletter these recorded lecture courses are taught by award-winning university professors. Each course has 14 lectures with each lecture lasting approximately 35 minutes, and each course comes with a book-length course guide in PDF format. You can now browse over 80 downloadable courses from the series:

Browse All Modern Scholar Courses

From this second wave of courses, we're highlighting over 20 literature courses released by the Modern Scholar. Browse these courses covering literature from Greek drama to The Bible to medieval classics up to modern literature covering areas such as Irish Literature, Russian Literature, Fantasy Literature, Modern American Poetry, and more.

And to prove the excellence of these courses, we are offering for free the first lecture as the audio sample for each course! Browse and listen to samples of all of these literature courses:

Archaeology and the Iliad: The Trojan War in Homer and History Taught by Prof. Eric H. Cline

Bard of the Middle Ages: The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer Taught by Prof. Michael Drout

The Bible and the Roots of Western Literature Taught by Prof. Adam Potkay

Classical Mythology: The Romans Taught by Prof. Peter Meineck

Dante and His Divine Comedy Taught by Prof. Timothy B. Shutt

The Dead Sea Scrolls Taught by Prof. Lawrence H. Schiffman

Eternal Chalice: The Grail in Literature and Legend Taught by Prof. Monica Potkay

The Giants of Irish Literature: Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett Taught by Prof. George O'Brien

The Giants of Russian Literature: Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov Taught by Prof. Liza Knapp

Greek Drama: Tragedy and Comedy Taught by Prof. Peter Meineck

The Hebrew Bible Taught by Prof. Lawrence H. Schiffman

Literature of C.S. Lewis Taught by Prof. Timothy B. Shutt

Odyssey of the West I - A Classic Education through the Great Books: Hebrews and Greeks Taught by Multiple Professors

Odyssey of the West II - A Classic Education through the Great Books: From Athens to Rome and the Gospels Taught by Multiple Professors

Odyssey of the West III - A Classic Education through the Great Books: The Medieval World Taught by Multiple Professors

Odyssey of the West IV - A Classic Education through the Great Books: Towards Enlightenment Taught by Multiple Professors

Odyssey of the West V - A Classic Education through the Great Books: Enlightenment, Revolution, and Renewal Taught by Multiple Professors

Rings, Swords, and Monsters: Exploring Fantasy Literature Taught by Prof. Michael Drout

Shakespeare: Ten Great Comedies Taught by Prof. Raphael Shargel

Walt Whitman and the Birth of Modern American Poetry Taught by Prof. Karen Karbiener

A Way with Words, Part IV: Understanding Poetry Taught by Prof. Michael Drout

At LearnOutLoud.com we plan to listen to all of these Modern Scholar courses! Join us in listening to the classes of some of the best teachers in the world.

Best of TED Talks

We recently became addicted to watching and listening to talks from the TED Conference! The Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference has been featuring talks from leading thinkers not only in technology, entertainment, and design, but also religion, science, literature, psychology, personal growth, and numerous other areas. Their archive currently features over 400 talks from the TED2005 conference up through TED2009. One great thing is that along with high quality streaming video of each talk, they also offer most of the talks on MP3 download so you can download them and listen to them on the go.

On our blog we've showcased 15 of the most popular TED talks which we certainly enjoyed and did some write ups on, along with 30 other talks we thought you'd be interested in. Check them all out here:

Best of TED Talks

And you can browse the 45 TED talks we've added to our site right here:

TED Talks on LearnOutLoud.com

And here's five of the top TED talks:

1. Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight

In this moving talk delivered at the TED conference, brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor provides a first-person account of her own stroke and the experience of losing control of her bodily functions as well the functions of the left side of her brain. Instead of it being a painful or frightening experience, she said the stroke put her in a intense state of bliss and nirvana. Sharing this experience became her motivation for recovery. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

2. Malcolm Gladwell: What We Can Learn From Spaghetti Sauce

In this interesting talk delivered by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, he explores how the food industry went from looking for the perfect single spaghetti sauce recipe to a more diverse approach of creating a variety of spaghetti sauces to suit the desires of shoppers. He examines this trend through one of its main proponents Howard Moskowitz who used the field of psychophysics to create a variety of original sauces for Prego in the 1980s. Once this variability was proven to be successful it spread to the rest of the food industry, and Gladwell feels we are all happier for this increase in choices. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

3. Matthieu Ricard: Habits of Happiness

Biochemist turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard examines happiness and well-being in this TED talk. He differentiates between pleasure and happiness as pleasure if fleeting and reliant upon circumstance. He feels that true happiness is found by training the mind to be happy regardless of the situation we find ourselves in and to tap into the deeper happiness of the awareness that we are more than our fleeting emotional states. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

4. Helen Fisher: The Science of Love, and the Future of Women

In this TED talk, anthropologist Helen Fisher discusses a study she was involved in which examined the brains and biochemistry of people in love. She points out the ways in which we have evolved in order to trigger love, lust, and attachment to a mate. She also examines the changes of women's roles in society and how she feels this will ultimately lead to the happiest marriages. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

5. Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion

Conductor Benjamin Zander shares his passion for classical music in this TED talk. While the statistics say 3% of the population are classical music lovers, Zander attempts to prove that we are all lovers of classical music. He takes listeners on a journey of what he calls one-buttock playing where the pianist is moved with the music and in turn moves the audience. He then plays a Chopin prelude and proves that nobody is tone deaf. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

The Novella Podcast

We've recently launched a new podcast called The Novella Podcast. It will feature one audio book at a time that is longer than a short story, but shorter than your typical novel.

We're starting the podcast with our production of the classic German novella Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Please listen to and subscribe to our latest podcast:

The Novella Podcast

Subscribe to The Novella Podcast on iTunes

And LearnOutLoud.com now offers 21 educational podcasts which you can listen to:

All 21 LearnOutLoud.com Podcasts

LearnOutLoud.com Podcasts on iTunes

Many more podcasts to come!

Best Contemporary Literature Author Talks

Check out audio & video of 15 interviews and talks with top authors of contemporary literature. For the past three years we've featured dozens of free talks as part of our Free Resource of the Day Emails. From these resources we've selected the top 15 best free interviews and talks with the best contemporary literature authors. You can check them all out by clicking the titles below:

1. Wired for Books MP3 Page

Wired for Books is offering a page full of downloadable MP3 interviews with many of the best authors in contemporary literature. Compiled from the 1980s CBS Radio show, Book Beat, these interviews feature journalist Don Swaim spending roughly a half hour with the author discussing their books. Swaim seems to have done his research and to have read the works of the authors he interviews. The interviews seem very relaxed and off-the-cuff. Here's a list of some of the people Swaim interviews: Douglas Adams, Maya Angelou, Isaac Asimov, Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume, Ray Bradbury, William F. Buckley, Anthony Burgess, William Burroughs, Raymond Carver, Joan Didion, E. L. Doctorow, Bret Easton Ellis, Joseph Heller, John Irving, Erica Jong, Garrison Keillor, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Amy Tan, Studs Turkel, John Updike, Gore Vidal, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Elie Wiesel, and hundreds more. Just click to the MP3 page and remember to download these files by right-clicking on the Download File link and selecting Save Target As... Then it will allow you to download the file to an assigned place on your computer. Enjoy.

2. In Depth: Tom Wolfe

In this streaming video from C-SPAN's BookTV, Tom Wolfe talks about his career as writer from The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby which he wrote back in the 1960s all the way up to his latest novel I Am Charlotte Simmons which explores the college campus life in the present day. He fields call-in questions from people across the United States and tells us the secrets of his craft. Indeed, no writer today is as fun to listen to as Tom Wolfe.

3. Allen Ginsberg Poetry Readings

Allen Ginsberg's Howl is ultimate beat poem, and what better way to experience it than listening to Ginsberg read it himself. PennSound features two recordings of Ginsberg reading Howl, one from 1956 (the year he published it) and one from 1995 (a few years before his death). PennSound also features Ginsberg reading some other of his classic beat poems like Kaddish and Wichita Vortex Sutra. All these poems are available to download on MP3.

4. The Infinite Mind Interview with Kurt Vonnegut Live from Second Life

Recently American author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. passed away at the age of 84. Watch one of his last interviews which was conducted by John Hockenberry of The Infinite Mind series, and recorded live in the virtual on-line community called Second Life. It's a thoroughly entertaining interview with questions from the Second Life audience and Vonnegut's thoughts on America towards the end of his life. He also discusses his final work which is a collection of essays entitled A Man Without a Country. This streaming video is offered by Lichtenstein Creative Media and is available through Google Video.

5. An Evening with Ray Bradbury

Renowned science fiction author Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles) gives aspiring writers some encouraging insight in this short lecture provided on streaming video by UCTV. Beginning with a list of essential practices he feels all writers should adhere to, Bradbury then demonstrates how events and people in his personal life fed his classic stories. Inspiring, funny and delivered with irreverent wisdom, Bradbury's account of his career is a sincere argument for "writing what you know". This talk is available on streaming video through Google Video.

--> LearnOutLoud.com E-Magazine No. 104 - April 29th, 2009