Summer Reading Books on Audio

Summer Reading Books on Audio

Kick Off Summer Listening with NAXOS

Summer is almost here, and this summer you can get through the classics of literature with NAXOS AudioBooks. We've recently added over 100 new NAXOS AudioBooks into our expanding catalog of downloadable MP3 audio titles.

NAXOS AudioBooks is the finest publisher of classic literature offering exceptional narrations with classical music interludes from the Naxos Records catalog. They feature both abridged and unabridged editions of timeless classics, and they also offer some of the best contemporary literature. We're currently offering 50 of their audio books on MP3 download:

NAXOS AudioBooks Downloads

Here's some of the new classic titles we're offering on download:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Unabridged) by Mark Twain
The Essential Dylan Thomas by Dylan Thomas
Great Expectations (Unabridged) by Charles Dickens
Great Poets: W.B. Yeats by William Butler Yeats
The Hound of the Baskervillesby Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
The Odyssey (Unabridged) by Homer
Othello by William Shakespeare
Paradise Lost (Unabridged) by John Milton
The Prophet & the Wanderer by Khalil Gibran
Rights of Man by Thomas Paine
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Spiritual Verses: Masnavi-Ye Ma'navi, Book 1 by Rumi
The Trial (Unabridged) by Franz Kafka
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

And here's some downloadable titles geared towards a younger audience:

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Benedict Flynn
Thumbelina and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Famous People in History II by Nicolas Soames

And here's a few of their other offerings that may be of interest:

Ancient Greek Philosophy: An Introduction by Hugh Griffith
Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
Classics: A Very Short Introduction by Mary Beard
Introducing Postmodernism by Richard Appignanesi
The Life and Works of Beethoven by Jeremy Siepmann
The Life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Perry Keenlyside
Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction by Edward Craig

In the coming week we will be adding more new releases from NAXOS AudioBooks on MP3 download. We'll keep you updated! Enjoy!

10 Free Lectures from Modern Scholar

To help introduce you to the magnificent Modern Scholar series where great professors teach you, we're offering these 10 free lectures to download from 10 of their best courses. These recorded lectures are taught by eminent university professors. You can now browse over 100 downloadable courses from the Modern Scholar series:

Browse All Modern Scholar Courses

Here are the 10 lectures you can download right now on MP3. Note: For downloading these files you have to right-click on the Download button and select Save Target As... Then it will allow you to download the file to an assigned place on your computer.

1. The Foundations of Language

In this lecture Professor Michael Drout focuses on language as a whole and how it develops and is learned. He points out the amazing ability that children have for speaking and comprehending a language they are immersed in until they reach about six years old without having to "learn" the language at all. While the origins of human language are endlessly debated, he does provide some interesting examples of how languages develop such as through mixing of people speaking different languages in the case of Hawaiian Creole, and through the isolation of people developing different languages over time in the case of the over 850 indigenous languages spoken in Papua New Guinea.

2. Introduction to Human Anatomy

Learn about your body with this lecture delivered by Professor John K. Young on the axial skeleton of the human. Professor Young starts the lecture with some definitions of basic human anatomy terms. He then proceeds to cover the axial skeleton of a human starting with the cranium and proceeding down the spinal cord with many interesting tidbits along the way. Professor Young proves that studying human anatomy doesn't require diagrams as we have our own human anatomical specimen right at our fingertips. He points out many of the bones along the way which you can touch while listening (just keep one hand on the wheel if you're driving!).

3. Romeo and Juliet

In this audio lecture provided as part of the Modern Scholar Series, noted author and literary critic Harold Bloom provides his unparalleled analysis of Shakespeare's tragic love story. Focusing his attenion squarely on the role Juliet plays in the play, Bloom argues that it is her characterization and dialogue that marks the beginning of Shakespeare's maturity as an artist. In this tale we see what may be the definitive portrait of a woman in love, and indeed, Juliet's ability to find words for complicated emotions is a major reason Romeo and Juliet have become the romantic ideal.

4. Earth and the Universe

In this lecture Professor James Kaler puts Earth in perspective within the solar system, the galaxy, and the whole universe. He covers what makes a planet and the diversity of planets in our solar system discussing their size and their distance from the sun. Professor Kaler provides dozens of awe-inspiring facts about our solar system in this fascinating introductory astronomy lecture.

5. Understanding the French Revolution

In this lecture esteemed professor Donald M.G. Sutherland sets out to define revolution and how the French Revolution has in turn changed the definition of revolution. He then examines a number of the proposed causes of the French Revolution that have been debated since then. He concludes that no one could've predicted in summer of 1789 that in a few years King Louis XVI would be executed, over 16,000 people would be killed by the guillotine during the Reign of Terror, and that a military officer named Napoleon Bonaparte would rise to become the dictator and emperor of France.

6. The Scopes Monkey Trial

In this lecture American lawyer, prolific author, and Harvard professor Alan M. Dershowitz examines one of the most significant American cases in the 20th century: The Scopes Trial. Dershowitz looks closer at the trial than its typical portrayal of fundamentalist creationism vs. evolution characterized in the film and play Inherit the Wind. Through examining the court transcript it becomes clear that the prosecutor William Jennings Bryan was not arguing for Biblical fundamentalist creationism. Rather he was far more concerned with the ideas of segregation and racist eugenics that were taught along with evolution between the first and second World Wars. Dershowitz examines how creation-evolution controversy has changed since then and how God and religious terminology has been replaced with the idea of intelligent design. It's a fascinating lecture from one America's leading legal authorities.

7. Introduction to Macroeconomics and Microeconomics

In this lecture Professor Navarro talks about the basics of macroeconomics and microeconomics. He provides numerous real life examples about how both macroeconomics and microeconomics affect our personal and professional lives. Professor Navarro is able to articulate a number of economic principles in a clear and concise way that is relevant to everyday life.

8. Teddy Roosevelt

In this first lecture in a series touching on how the U.S. Presidency changed during the 20th century, noted historian Robert Dalek begins with his take on Theodore Roosevelt. In this concise biographical sketch, Dallek describes Roosevelt as the first great president to arrive at the turn of the century, painting the portrait of a charismatic visionary that cast a long shadow on his successor, President William H. Taft. In this introduction, Dallek develops themes that run throughout the course, providing students with an unparalleled view of how modern America was shaped by the men that led it.

9. What Is Religion?

In this lecture Professor Kreeft explores what religion is and what questions it tries to answer. He goes over a brief history of philosophical definitions of religion. He feels that religion relies on faith and experience, while philosophy focuses on reason and logical argument, and yet he finds many ways that the fields of philosophy and religion have intersected throughout history.

10. Hiroshima and the Origins of the Cold War

In this lecture professor David Painter discusses the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945 during World War II. Professor Painter establishes how the groundwork for nuclear warfare was established by President Franklin Roosevelt. He then provides reasons why the new President Harry Truman decided to use nuclear weapons against Japan, and provides some criticisms that have been brought forward since then which argue that dropping the atomic bomb was not necessary and was not for the purpose of winning the war against Japan. In the aftermath of dropping the bomb, professor Painter shows how it created the origins of what would come to be known as the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Enjoy these free sample lectures. 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.

Ten Top Free Audio & Video Debates

Listen to ten great debates with these ten free resources on audio & video. For the past three years we've featured hundreds of free audio & video resources as part of our Free Resource of the Day Emails. From these resources we've selected the top ten free debates covering issues such as abortion, gay marriage, religion, politics, intellectual property, evolution, and more. You can check them all out by clicking the link below:

Ten Top Audio & Video Debates

Here are the Top Ten Free Debates from the list:

1. 2008 Presidential Debates Video Podcast

In case you missed the 2008 presidential debates or the vice presidential debate, you can now watch them as podcasts. CBS News is offering all the debates on their podcast series. The first presidential debate between Republican Party nominee John McCain and Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama focused primarily on foreign policy, while the second one focused on domestic issues covering the economic crisis, and the third debate again focused the economy addressing Joe the Plumber. The only vice-presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden covered a range of issues and what a vice president's role was in confronting them.

2. A Public Debate On The Limits of Intelligent Machines

Can we Create conscious machines that are every bit as self-aware as a human being? Ray Kurzweil and David Gelertner debate the feasibility of this question in this downloadable audio released by WGBH. Kurzweil argues that future technology will allow humans to mechanically simulate consciousness, to which Gelertner counters that mere replication doesn't necessarily lead to self- awareness. Listen in on this lively and thought provoking discourse on what makes the human brain unique. This debate is available on streaming audio & video and MP3 download.

3. Is Abortion Morally Justifiable in a Free Society?

Listen to this 90-minute debate offered by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. It's a well-organized debate with interesting arguments for pro-life advocate & philosophy professor Peter Kreeft and pro-choice advocate and author of A Defense of Abortion David Boonin. Boonin argues for the right of a woman to not keep the fetus on "life support" in the womb, while Kreeft that abortion is wrong by moral and religious standards. This debate is available on MP3 download and streaming video.

4. Al Sharpton and Christopher Hitchens Debate

Listen to a stimulating debate between the Reverand Al Sharpton and God Is Not Great author Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens provides many arguments against religion, arguing against religious texts, dogmatic beliefs, and a creator God. Al Sharpton contends that Hitchens cannot prove the non-existence of God and argues that if immoral acts are performed in the name of God that they have no relation to the great character of God. They both reflect on the modern implications of a belief in God, as Hitchens denounces the intrusion of religion into politics and culture (particularly in the Middle East) and Sharpton emphasizes the role of religion in positive social change such as in the American Civil Rights Movement. The whole debate is handled with good humor, even if neither Sharpton nor Hitchens are able to change one another's minds. This debate was held at the New York Public Library and is available on streaming video and MP3 download from FORA.tv.

5. Was America Responsible for the Attacks of September 11th?

A bit of a provocative title perhaps, but this debate offered from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute really doesn't cover the September 11th attacks. Instead it is more of an overall debate about whether American power and wealth in the world is generally good or bad. Dinesh D'Souza, author of What's So Great About America, argues that the American way of life is superior than other cultures and that we all too often ignore the freedoms and priviledges that make us the envy of the world. Rabbi Michael Lerner argues that the American empire is excessively selfish and greedy, and that our financial and military power has been used to oppress cultures throughout the world. It makes for a very heated and interesting debate. It is available on streaming audio and video as well as on MP3 download.

6. Creativity, Commerce, & Culture: Lessig vs. Valenti

If you want to hear an interesting debate over copyright in the digital age, tune into this free online video from the USC Annenberg School for Communication. President of the Motion Picture Association Jack Valenti is hilarious as he stubbornly keep to his position for the entertainment industry's battle to maintain it's intellectual property as long as it wants to. Law professor and author Lawrence Lessig has a sense of humor too, but he is seriously concerned that in our increasingly copyrighted culture the artist's freedom and fair use is being stifled. Decide for yourself and be entertained while doing so.

7. A Debate over Intelligent Design

Timely and provocative, this talk provided by the Intercollegiate Study Institute presents a debate between intelligent design advocate William Dembski and evolutionist Lee Silver. Both men are given equal time to present their case, giving the listener a detailed examination of how the case for a creator might work with or run counter to the biological foundations of modern science. We are then asked to come to our own conclusions based on the evidence at hand in a debate that has captured the headlines and continues to be a hot button issue in science classrooms across the nation. This debate is available on MP3 download, streaming audio, and streaming video.

8. Gay Marriage Debate

Watch this debate on gay marriage with David Blankenhorn, author of The Future of Marriage, and Evan Wolfson, author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry. This 2 hour debate, along with audience questions, becomes quite heated, but is very informative as to the positions on each side of the gay marriage debate. Blankenhorn expresses his belief of what marriage is and what it means for parents and children if the definition of marriage is changed. Wolfson cites studies by numerous organizations that have shown gay marriage to not be harmful in regards to raising children, and to deny gay couples marriage is discrimination and violates their civil rights. This debate was conducted on C-SPAN and can be viewed on streaming video through FORA.tv.

9. Howard Dean and Richard Perle Foreign Policy Debate

Today's resource consists of a very entertaining debate between Richard Perle and Howard Dean that was held at Pacific University in Portland, Oregon on February 17, 2005. In front of this mostly anti-war audience, Richard Perle gets a shoe thrown at him and Howard Dean delivers his points to uproarious applause almost as if he is at the Democratic Convention. Richard Perle is one of the most articulate proponents of the foreign policy behind the war on terrorism and Howard Dean is a key voice of how the Democrats believe we should defend America so it makes for an excellent debate. This debate was recorded by C-SPAN and is available on audio download from Audible.com.

10. An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths

In this book forum from the Cato Institute, Instapundit.com blogger Glenn Reynolds discusses his book An Army of Davids. He argues that the internet and blogs are creating ways for the common man to strike back at the media and the government. Henry Farrell disagrees with Reynolds, suggesting that the blogosphere is only representational of nerdy, upper middle class, educated, white males. It's an interesting discussion and is available on MP3 download.

And for more debates on a wide variety of topics you might want to check out: NPR's Intelligence Squared U.S. Podcast.

Blackstone Audio Literature Downloads

For people who aren't as fond of the volunteer-narrated literature and are seeking a professional voice to speak the word check out:

Blackstone Audio Downloads

We're now featuring over 200 of their audio books on MP3 download. These classic unabridged recordings are narrated by some of the best voices in the audio book business.

If you're going to be investing 18 hours and 45 minutes this summer listening to Dicken's Great Expectations or 11 hours and 30 minutes taking in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, you might just want a seasoned voice actor to take you through it. We'll leave it up to you.

--> LearnOutLoud.com E-Magazine No. 107 - May 22nd, 2009