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July 19, 2006

Guide to LibriVox Audio Books


In case you're not aware, LibriVox is a site which brings together volunteers to narrated books in the public domain, and then offers these audio books as free downloads on MP3 and Ogg Vorbis formats. They have 1000s of completed free titles, most of which are classic literature, short stories, and poetry.

There is quite a bit of variance in the quality of the recordings and the narrators so at LearnOutLoud.com we've put together a guide of quick reviews on the quality of narrators and recordings for each LibriVox solo project. They have a number of projects which are collaborations of multiple narrators and we haven't had time to listen to all of those yet. This has helped us feature the best LibriVox audio books which you can browse here:


So without further ado here is our guide to LibriVox audio books:

Completed Books

Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger, Jr.
-Alice gives a fun reading here. She does a lot of different voices sort of like she's reading a kids story. The audio quality is good. She may be a little too dramatic for some tastes but she puts a lot of energy into it.

Poetics by Aristotle
-Robert Foster does a decent job here with handling Aristotle. He doesn't seem to have a great command over the text and he maybe should've read it before narrating it. He stumbles over words and his audio overmodulates a little.

Tristan and Iseult by Joseph Bédier
-Joy Chan has an awesome British accent that is perfect for reading this audio book. The audio quality is average, but her narration is top notch.

The Parenticide Club by Ambrose Bierce
-Good reading by British accented Peter Yearsley. Not terribly exciting, but fitting for the text. Decent audio.

Ten Days in a Madhouse by Nellie Bly
-Stellar narration by Alice and this sounds like a really interesting audio book. I was captivated.

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
-Bravo Joy Chan! She narrates this 12 Hrs. 30 Min. audio book wonderfully. Her accent continues to be the coolest on the LibriVox scene. Recording quality is good, not great.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
-Good amateur narration by Kara Shallenberg. Maybe not dynamic enough to keep the constant attention of children, but still high quality narration.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
-It's good technically but it lacks passion. Denny Sayers narration is a little dry for this adventure novel. The audio recording is well done.

North of Boston by Robert Frost
-High quality audio and good narration by Brad Bush for these Robert Frost poems. Bush has a southern accent which I'm not sure fits Frost, but it's not too overbearing.

China and the Chinese by Herbert Allen Giles
-David Barnes delivers these lectures on China in fine fashion. They were originally delivered in 1902, and depending on your interest level in China, may or may not hold you full attention.

The Four Million by O. Henry
-Marian Brown's narration is fine for these O. Henry short stories. The audio quality is very good, but the narration could use a little more dramatic flare.

Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
-The audio quality on this one is okay. There's a constant fuzz in the background and the edits in the audio are audible. The narration by Brit Martin Clifton is fine but it doesn't overcome the weak audio.

A Calendar of Sonnets by Helen Hunt Jackson
-These are really short sonnets. Laura Fox does well to read them, but they might be too short to bother with.

The Tao Teh King by Lao-Tze
-Eric S. Piotrowski delivers this audio book in a tolerable way but it lacks the depth and insight of Phil Chirco's LearnOutLoud.com narration of the Tao Te Ching.

American Indian Fairy Tales
-Chip sounds like a professional narrator. I was very impressed with this recording. There's nothing amateur about this audio book.

Spirits in Bondage by C.S. Lewis
-C.S. Lewis's first book is read well by Robert Garrison. His voice is gravelly, yet clear and suitable for Lewis in his early days.

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
-Brit Jon Ingram reads The Communist Manifesto and his narration is solid. The digitizing has some artifact that is a bit piercing at times, but it's still listenable.

Typee by Herman Melville
-Very professional recording by Michael Scherer of this 11 1/2 hour audio book. He doesn't overdramatize yet he still does a good sailor's voice.

Absolute Surrender and Other Addresses by Andrew Murray
-Joy Chan gives an inspired reading of Andrew Murray's sermons. The audio quality still has a little hiss but her cool accent and enthusiastic reading overcome it.

From October to Brest-Litovsk by Leon D. Trotsky
-Good recording and good narration by Rebecca. Don't be fooled by the name. This is a British man reading.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
-John Greenman gives an entertaining narration which seems directed at kids. He has fun with it even though the voices might be a little annoying for adults. The recording quality is good.

Chapters from my Autobiography by Mark Twain
-John Greenman reads Twain's autobiography with wit and understanding and the recording quality is high quality.

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
-Well done narration from John Greenman who has become the voice of Mark Twain on the LibriVox scene.

War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
-Rebecca (a British man) has an excellent voice for this H.G. Wells novel. The sound is good and his voice keeps the listener intrigued.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde
-LibriVox's most prolific narrator Joy Chan gives a good reading of these stories with her British accent. There is a little fuzz to the recording.

The Romance of Rubber by United States Rubber Company, edited by John Martin
-Good, if you're interested in rubber.

Completed Short Works

Sarrasine by Honoré de Balzac (transl. Clara Bell and others)
-Chip is basically a professional narrator. He's the best. He even pronounces his French phrases correctly.

Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories by Ambrose Bierce
-Peter Yearsley gives a soft-spoken, haunted reading of these stories. You can understand him, but he could pick up the pace a bit and project a little more.

The Book of Job (ASV)
-Robert Garrison has a strong voice which works well for the Old Testament and his recording quality sounds great.

Ecclesiastes (ASV)
-Robert Garrison has a strong voice which works well for the Old Testament and his recording quality sounds great.

Three Short Works by Gustav Flaubert
-Dark British reading by David Barnes. He does a good job with it.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
-Betsie Bush is an average narrator and the sound quality is a little below average. It's only 13 minutes though so it's probably tolerable.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
-Chip is a professional. He narrates with gusto.

Magna Carta
-A very proper British reading of the Magna Carta read by Jim Mowatt.

The Song of Songs (ASV)
-Another good recording of a book of the Bible read by Robert Garrison.

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
-John Gonzales trying a little too hard to sound British and humorous in the reading of this short pamphlet. The recording is good.

The Stolen White Elephant by Mark Twain
-Kristen McQuillin gives an adequate narration of this Twain short story with average sound recording.

The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787 by The Founding Fathers of the United States
-Kristen McQuillin gives a good narration of the Constitution

Amendments to the United States Constitution (version 2) by Founding Fathers
-A much better reading of the U.S. Amendments from Jim Cadwell.

The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America
-Jim Cadwell narration is fine but the audio quality is a little tinny and there's some digital artifact.

U.S. Historical Documents
-Very professional recording and narration from Michael Scherer including Articles of Confederation, US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Gettysburg Address. He runs the site Americana Phonic.

Completed Poetry

The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll
-Robert Garrison narrates this Lewis Carroll poem well. It could have a little more enthusiam.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
-Kristin Luoma gives a splendid, dramatic reading of Coleridge's classic poem.

War Is Kind by Stephen Crane
-ChipDoc might just be the best narrator LibriVox has. An excellent reading.

So that's our LibriVox guide for now. Since we wrote this guide we've added over 1000 new audio books from Librivox based on their quality.

All LibriVox Titles on LearnOutLoud with 1000 New Titles

Among the 1000 new audio books there are 150 free audio books specifically for kids. All these new free audio books for kids can be found in our Kids Section:

150 New Free Kids Audio Books from LibriVox

And here are some of the great new audio books we've added by category:


Mozart: The Man and the Artist as Revealed in His Own Words by Friedrich Kerst

The World I Live In by Helen Keller

Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington

Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography

Edison, His Life and Inventions by Frank Lewis Dyer

The Life of St. Teresa by St. Teresa of Avila


A Short History of the United States by Edward Channing

A Short History of England by G.K. Chesterton

Herodotus' Histories, Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3

The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

The Book of the National Parks by Robert Sterling Yard


The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

John Barleycorn or Alcoholic Memoirs by Jack London

Walking by Henry David Thoreau

The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

The Aeneid by Virgil

2 B R 0 2 B by Kurt Vonnegut

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Candide by Voltaire

Poems of William Blake

Dubliners by James Joyce

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev


Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Golden Sayings of Epictetus

The Sayings of Confucius

Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill

Introduction to The Philosophy of History by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Discourse on the Method by Rene Descartes

The Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant

The Joyful Wisdom, or The Gay Science by Friedrich Nietzsche

The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

Discourse on Inequality by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein

Essays, First Series and Essays, Second Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Religion & Spirituality:

The Tree of Wisdom by Nagarjuna

In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? by Charles M. Sheldon

The People's Idea of God by Mary Baker Eddy

The Large Catechism by Martin Luther

Conceptions of Divine Love by St. Teresa of Avila

The Golden Bough by James Frazer

Bhagavad Gita Translated by Sir Edwin Arnold

The Meaning of the Glorious Koran

Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg

The Bahai Revelation by Thornton Chase

The Story of Mormonism by James E. Talmage

Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness by Evelyn Underhill

Twentieth Century New Testament


On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin

The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry by M. M. Pattison Muir

The Outline of Science by J. Arthur Thomson

Philosophy and Fun of Algebra by Mary Everest Boole

Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein

Curiosities of the Sky by Garrett Serviss

Self Development:

Supreme Personality by Delmer Eugene Croft

A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis by Melvin Powers

Mental Efficiency by Arnold Bennett

The Power of Concentration by Theron Q. Dumont

The Secret of Dreams by Yacki Raizizun

A Guide to Men: Being Encore Reflections of a Bachelor Girl by Helen Rowland

How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett

And this is just scratching the surface of what they've got!

And here are even MORE great Librivox titles we've added as of November of 2014!

Arts & Entertainment:

Hollywood: Its Morals and Manners by Theodore Dreiser

The Letters of a Post-Impressionist by Vincent Van Gogh

The Rise and Fall of Free Speech in America by D.W. Griffith

Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky

The Art of the Moving Picture by Vachel Lindsay

The Seven Lamps of Architecture by John Ruskin

How to Appreciate Music by Gustav Kobbe

A Popular History of the Art of Music by W.S.B. Mathews


The Education of Henry Adams

The Adventures of Buffalo Bill by William Frederick Cody

Representative Men by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant

Auguste Rodin by Rainer Maria Rilke

Geronimo's Story of His Life

My Life and Work by Henry Ford

Saint Francis of Assisi: A Biography by Johannes Jorgensen


The Art of Money Getting by P.T. Barnum

Principles of Economics by Alfred Marshall

Capital: Critique of Political Economy, Vol. 1 by Karl Marx

The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes

Living on Half a Dime a Day by Sarah Elizabeth Harper Monmouth

Education & Professional:

Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education by John Dewey

Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook by Maria Montessori

Notes on Nursing by Florence Nightingale

The Elements of Style by William Strunk


On War (Volume One) and On War (Volumes Two and Three) by Carl von Clausewitz

The Journal of Lewis and Clarke

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. I through VI by Edward Gibbon

History of the United States, Volume 1 - 7 by Charles Austin Beard & Mary Ritter Beard

Popular History of France from the Earliest Times, Volume 1 - 5 by Francois Guizot

A Popular History of Ireland by Thomas D'Arcy McGee

The French Revolution by Hilaire Belloc

Ten Days that Shook the World by John Reed


French Self-Taught by Franz J.L. Thimm

My Very First Little German Book

An Introduction to the Greek of the New Testament by George Lovell Cary


The Magic Skin by Honore de Balzac

Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

Futuria Fantasia, Spring 1940 by Ray Bradbury

The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Faust Part I by Johann Wolfgang Goethe

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

A Rubaiyat Miscellany by Omar Khayyam

Anna Christie by Eugene O'Neill

Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott

Othello by William Shakespeare

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

The Trojan Women by Euripides

Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King) by Sophocles

The Iliad of Homer, Rendered into English Blank Verse by Homer

Metamorphoses by Ovid

Swann's Way by Marcel Proust

Charles Dickens by G.K. Chesterton

Poems: Series One and Poems: Series Two by Emily Dickinson

John Keats: Selected Poems

The Lady With the Dog and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov

Five Beloved Stories by O. Henry

Six Creepy Stories by Edgar Allan Poe


A Cynic Looks At Life by Ambrose Bierce

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals by David Hume

The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals by Immanuel Kant

An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding by John Locke

Essays: Book 1, Essays: Book 2, and Essays: Book 3 by Michel de Montaigne

Ecce Homo by Friedrich Nietzsche

The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Proposed Roads to Freedom by Bertrand Russell

The Art of Controversy (or: The Art of Being Right) by Arthur Schopenhauer

What is Man? and Other Essays by Mark Twain

The Analects of Confucius

The Republic by Plato

The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

Of Peace of Mind by Seneca

Pragmatism by William James

The Ethics by Benedict de Spinoza


Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke

Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Friedrich Engels

Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann

Considerations on Representative Government by John Stuart Mill

The Strenuous Life: Essays and Addresses of Theodore Roosevelt

Essays on Political Economy by Frederic Bastiat

The Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde

Religion & Spirituality:

The Path of Light: The Bodhi-Charyavatara of Santi-Deva by Shantideva

The Universal Religion: Bahaism - Its Rise and Social Import by Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney

The Greatest Thing in the World and Other Addresses by Henry Drummond

The Mahabharata by Vyasa: The Epic of Ancient India Condensed into English Verse

The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther

Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray

The Quest of the Historical Jesus by Albert Schweitzer

The Profits of Religion by Upton Sinclair

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila

Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-madinah and Meccah by Richard Burton

The Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith

Torah (JPSA): Genesis


Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin

Opticks by Isaac Newton

Great Astronomers by Robert Ball

Anatomy of the Human Body, Part 1 - 5

Meteorology; or Weather Explained by J.G. M'Pherson

The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 - 3

Easy Lessons in Einstein by Edwin E. Slosson

Self Development:

Byways to Blessedness by James Allen

Self and Self-Management: Essays about Existing by Arnold Bennett

Your Psychic Powers and How to Develop Them by Hereward Carrington

Laugh and Live by Douglas Fairbanks

Creative Mind by Ernest Holmes

The Victorious Attitude by Orison Swett Marden

Creative Unity by Rabindranath Tagore

In Tune with the Infinite by Ralph Waldo Trine

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Thought Vibration, or The Law of Attraction in the Thought World by William Atkinson

The Speaking Voice by Katherine Everts

The Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana

Social Sciences:

Two Years and Four Months in a Lunatic Asylum by Hiram Chase

The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud

Winds of Doctrine: Studies in Contemporary Opinion by George Santayana

Woman and the New Race by Margaret Sanger

The Psychology of Alcoholism by George Barton

The Anatomy of Melancholy, Volume 1 - 3 by Robert Burton

Psychotherapy by Hugo Munsterberg

The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets by Jane Addams

Sports & Hobbies:

The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo

American Cookery by Amelia Simmons

Football Days: Memories of the Game and of the Men behind the Ball by William Hanford Edwards

The Flower Garden: A Handbook of Practical Garden Lore by Ida Dandridge Bennett

The Decoration of Houses by Edith Wharton

The Social History of Smoking by George L. Apperson

The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton

Dogs and All About Them by Robert Leighton

Cats: Their Points and Characteristics by W. Gordon Stables


My Trip Abroad by Charlie Chaplin

A Traveller in War-Time by Winston Churchill

A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf by John Muir

The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau

American Notes for General Circulation by Charles Dickens

The Worst Journey in the World, Vol. 1 and The Worst Journey in the World, Vol. 2 by Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Letters of Travel by Rudyard Kipling

On a Chinese Screen by W. Somerset Maugham

Domestic Manners of the Americans by Frances Trollope

New Free Audio Books from Great Authors

Along with the great audio books listed above that we've added, we've also added many free titles from some of the greatest authors of all time. Librivox has dived deep into the public domain treasures of great authors to provide you some never before heard audio books. Check out this list of authors below which we have added many free audio books to.

Note: These are the full author results for these authors, so if you're looking for just the free titles you can see (Free) next to the Audio Download format in the results now for free titles.

James Allen Audio - Numerous free self help classics from the author of As a Man Thinketh.

G.K. Chesterton Audio - Plenty from this English writer, lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist.

Wilkie Collins Audio - Many works from this English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories.

Joseph Conrad Audio - Many novels from the author of Heart of Darkness.

Philip K. Dick Audio - Some free short stories from this master of science fiction.

Charles Dickens Audio - Plenty of new free offerings!

Fyodor Dostoevsky Audio - More novels and short stories from this great Russian author.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Audio - 30 new free titles from the world's greatest crime fiction writer.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Audio - New short stories from the The Great Gatsby author.

Thomas Hardy Audio - New free Thomas Hardy novels and short stories.

Henrik Ibsen Audio - Numerous dramatized plays from the major 19th-century Norwegian playwright.

Henry James Audio - Over 20 new free works from this great American writer.

Jack London Audio - Variety of works from the famous American author, journalist, and social activist.

Martin Luther Audio - Audio from the seminal figure of the 16th-century movement in Christianity known later as the Protestant Reformation.

George MacDonald Audio - Many free works from the Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.

William Shakespeare Audio - Basically all the plays of the Bard now free from Librivox.

George Bernard Shaw Audio - A dozen free plays from the Irish playwright.

Leo Tolstoy Audio - Over a dozen free works from this Russian giant.

Anthony Trollope Audio - Over 30 free novels!

Mark Twain Audio - Almost 30 new works to listen to!

H.G. Wells Audio - 20 new free titles from this prolific English writer best remembered for his science fiction novels.

Edith Wharton Audio - New free works from the first woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for literature.

Aristotle Audio - Over a dozen philosophical works from the great Greek philosopher.

Plato Audio - A great many dialogues and other works by the great Greek philosopher.

500 New Free Kids Audio Books

Of the 2500 free audio books we've added from Librivox about 500 of them are geared towards kids. We've sectioned these titles off in our Librivox kids publisher page which you can browse here:

Over 500 Free Librivox Audio Books for Kids on Kids.LearnOutLoud.com

Here are some great new free kids books you can grab:

Alice's Adventures Underground by Lewis Carroll

The Blue Lagoon by H. De Vere Stacpoole

The Box-Car Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Children's Bible by Henry Sherman

The Children's Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum

Grammar-Land by M.L. Nesbitt

Historic Adventures: Tales from American History by Rupert S. Holland

Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates

The Life of George Washington in Words of One Syllable by Josephine Pollard

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Myths That Every Child Should Know by Hamilton Wright Mabie

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

The Return of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs

A School History of the Great War by Albert E. McKinley

The Story Book of Science by Jean-Henri Fabre

The Story of Young Abraham Lincoln by Wayne Whipple

Viking Tales by Jennie Hall

Zip, the Adventures of a Frisky Fox Terrier by Frances Trego Montgomery