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April 29, 2009

Best Author Interviews and Talks on Audio & Video

author_interviews_blog.jpgCheck out audio & video of 25 interviews and talks with top authors of contemporary literature. Have a look at LearnOutLoud's selection of 25 contemporary literature resources, including audio & video from the top authors to emerge in the modern era. For years we've been keeping up with the newest free talks and author interviews, which we periodically share as part of our Free Resource of the Day Emails. In this list, you'll find in-depth discussions with key modern literary authors, such as Margaret Atwood, Joan Didion, Garrison Keillor, Frank McCourt, Amy Tan, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut and many more. Always keeping our eye on what's fresh, this list also makes room for 21st century voices, such as Kite Runner author Khaled Hosseini, Modern Fantasy king Neil Gaiman, Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, and talented modern innovators like Jonathan Franzen. Get our take on the best voices in poetry, literary journalism, fiction and more by clicking any of the links 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.

6. The 20th Century on Trial: Norman Mailer

In one of Norman Mailer's last public appearances (he passed away a few months later in November of 2007), this acclaimed author talks about his complex relationship with America. He looks back at his own literary career and offers his ideas on existentialism. Towards the end of the interview German author Gunter Grass joins him in conversation and they discuss Adolf Hitler who was the subject of Mailer's final novel The Castle in the Forest. In this interview Mailer conveys his sharp wit and clear insights that were with him until the end. This talk was moderated by Andrew O'Hagan and conducted at the New York Public Library. It is available on streaming audio and MP3 download from FORA.tv.

7. Douglas Adams: Parrots, the Universe, and Everything

Immerse yourself into the mind of Douglas Adams. The author The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy graced the world with one final appearance just days before his tragic death from a heart attack on May 11, 2001. Delivered at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Adams discusses his own personal favorite of his books Last Chance to See about his travels to faraway lands to see firsthand many endangered animal species such as the Aye-aye lemur of Madagascar, the Komodo dragon on the island of Komodo in Indonesia, and the Yangtze River Dolphin in China. With his own hilarious insights he describes these animals and his wild travels to observe them. He ends the talk by urging humanity to envision their place in the world in a way that can sustain all species including humans. This talk is available through YouTube on streaming video and video download.

8. Joan Didion: Revelle Forum at the Neurosciences Institute

In this conversation with American writer Joan Didion, she discusses her 2001 collection of essays Political Fictions in which she explores the disconnect between the political class and the American public. She touches on many issues addressed in her book regarding the electoral process, political pundits, Clinton's impeachment, and the election of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. This talk was conducted at UC-San Diego and is available on streaming and downloadable video through Google Video.

9. In Depth: John Updike

In this generous 3-hour interview provided on streaming video by BookTV, John Updike talks about his life as a writer and observer of the human condition. Last week the literary world mourned the death of Updike who's literary reputation places him among the likes of Mailer, Vonnegut and Roth as one of the great contemporary American novelists. Here you can watch him as he examines his childhood, discusses his early start with the New Yorker Magazine, and answers questions about his prolific career as an author and literary critic. This streaming video is available through the BookTV website.

10. Joyce Carol Oates: Lannan Readings & Conversations

Listen to a reading from one of America's most versatile and prolific writers: Joyce Carol Oates. She pulls no punches in her public reading, as she reads from her novella Rape: A Love Story. Oates' narration adds new dimension to the main character who is reflecting on being the victim of a rape. After the reading, the host from public radio's Bookworm has a conversation with Oates about the piece and much else. Enjoy this streaming audio from the Lannan Foundation.

11. Harold Pinter - 2005 Nobel Lecture

The English playwright Harold Pinter passed away a few days ago at the age of 78. Listen to his lecture delivered upon the receipt of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature. In this lecture Pinter examines the truths unto which he sought after in his plays and his life as a citizen. After elaborating on his creative process, he explains the difference between art and politics and then examines America's role in global politics since World War II. He briefly covers the past military conflicts in Latin America along with the current war in Iraq. This 45 minute lecture is available on streaming video from NoblePrize.org.

12. Meet the Poet: Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni has been publishing works of poetry in America for over 30 years. In this talk from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she tells many stories from her life and reads from her 2002 collection of poetry Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems. Giovanni is candid and full of humor as she tells about how Mars astronauts can learn from African slavery, how Rosa Parks actively stood up against the murder of Emmett Till when she refused to move from her bus seat, and how one should confront prejudice in contemporary society. This talk can be heard on streaming audio and video from the WGBH Forum Network.

13. In Depth: Susan Sontag

One of our favorite free video resources is the C-SPAN BookTV series In Depth. This series features 3-hour long interviews with America's greatest and most prolific authors towards the latter part of their careers. Included in the interviews are questions from callers across the United States, that always make for interesting discussion. This free video includes the first two hours of the video interview (the last hour gets cut off) with the late author & activist Susan Sontag. She answers questions about politics, movies, and the many nonfiction & fiction books she has written throughout her career. Watch this free streaming video from BookTV.

14. Arthur C. Clarke's 90th Birthday Reflections

Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke recently passed away at the age of 90. In this brief video supplied by TVE Asia Pacific, Clarke reflects on his life from his home in Sri Lanka as he turned 90 in December of 2007. He considers the great achievements in space travel which he saw during his lifetime and is hopeful that space travel will be something that many can enjoy in the future. He also provides three wishes for the planet as he surpasses his 90th orbit around the sun. This video is available through YouTube.

15. Frank McCourt: Teacher Man

The author of Angela's Ashes and 'Tis treats us to stories of life as a public school teacher in this downloadable audio lecture released by WGBH. Writer Frank McCourt spent 30 years of his adult life teaching in the New York Public school system before later writing his acclaimed memoirs in retirement. Here he praises the teacher's effort to help children find their footing in the world, and relates to us the trials and tribulations he faced as a young inexperienced teacher in a sometimes hostile classroom.

16. Vanity Fair's Writers Reading Podcast

Vanity Fair's Writers Reading Podcast features many of today's best authors reading from their latest books. Past podcasts have featured award-winning prison journalist Wilbert Rideau read from his book In the Place of Justice, Norris Church Mailer reading from her memoir about her life with her husband Norman Mailer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills reading from his new book Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State, Jonathan Safran Foer on his first nonfiction work exploring factory farming entitled Eating Animals, and many other highly respected writers including Augusten Burroughs, Tracy Kidder, Taylor Branch, Gay Talese, Jay McInerney, and more.

17. A Remembrance of Playwright Arthur Miller

American playwright Arthur Miller was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and best known for his plays The Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. In this interview recorded towards the end of this life Arthur Miller sits down with Charlie Rose and discusses his life as a playwright. He also gives his thoughts on the state of theater in America today, his marriage with Marilyn Monroe, and what he feels were his greatest successes and biggest regrets. He talks about why the theater was his medium and why he never really could write novels or screenplays. It's an interesting talk with one of America's great playwrights.

18. Amy Tan on Creativity

In this TED Talk author Amy Tan probes into the roots of creativity or how "out of nothing comes something". She examines her own life and the many influences that have fed into her novels. She also tells of the many fascinating coincidences that have happened to her over the years at key moments of creativity. It's an intriguing and often humorous talk from a beloved author. This talk is available on streaming video and audio & video download.

19. Alice Walker: We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For

Today's free resource is a lecture by author Alice Walker who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983 for her novel The Color Purple. She has written dozens of novels, poetry collections, and nonfiction books and in this talk she reads from one of her latest works We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For which is a collection of meditations and essays. In the lecture she talks about her days in the civil rights movement following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the grieving process she had to go through after he was assassinated. Listen to some interesting stories from author Alice Walker. This talk is available on streaming audio and MP3 download from the Fourm Network (formerly the WGBH Forum Network).

20. Margaret Atwood: Lannan Readings and Conversations

With the dry wit that has come to make her a literary icon, Margaret Atwood reads selections from her work and discusses writing in this audio download released by the Lannan Foundation. At times bleak, often humorous and always probing, Atwood's work is devoted to exploring the underbelly of modern experience, with special attention given to how the future may take shape if current dubious trends continue to their natural conclusion. While the material she presents is in some ways sobering, Atwood maintains a satirical tone that offsets it all, revealing a writer that is ultimately optimistic, self-deprecating and always searching. This event is available on streaming audio and MP3 download.

21. John Elder Robison & Augusten Burroughs: Live From B&N

In this talk offered by Barnes & Noble, Augusten Burroughs interviews his brother John Elder Robison about his memoir Look Me in the Eye. Robison's biography covers growing up with Asperger's Syndrome which he was diagnosed with later in life. John Elder Robison reads stories from his book and Augusten Burroughs asks him questions and provides color commentary on growing up with his elder brother. This talk is available on streaming video and audio download from Barnes & Noble Media.

22. Khaled Hosseini: A Thousand Splendid Suns

In this talk from the Book Group Expo, Khaled Hosseini, author of the bestselling novel The Kite Runner, discusses his latest work A Thousand Splendid Suns. He reads a short dramatic piece from the book and then answers questions about writing the book and about women in Afghanistan which the book explores. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download on FORA.tv.

23. Authors@Google: Neil Gaiman

Fan-favorite fantasy author Neil Gaiman regales viewers with stories of his life as a writer in this streaming video lecture provided by Authors@Google. After reading a short selection of poetry from his latest book, Gaiman talks of his latest adventures with the slightly detached and unassuming attitude of an author quick to note how lucky he feels with his own success. Here you will find out about his screenwriting duties on the newest film version of Beowulf, his views on the current renaissance in children's literature and the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel. This video is available streaming video on YouTube.

24. Elizabeth Gilbert: A Different Way to Think About Creative Genius

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert examines the way society looks at artists and the way artists look at themselves in this TED talk. She feels that the creative people should view their work as channeling God's creative gift to them rather than as their own personal creative genius. And she hopes such a shift might prevent some of the madness and self-destruction that occurs in so many of our modern artists. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

25. Jonathan Franzen on The Discomfort Zone

In this book reading and discussion delivered at the Miami Book Fair International, Jonathan Franzen (author of the National Book Award-winning novel The Corrections) discusses his memoir The Discomfort Zone. The book explores his childhood growing up in suburban St. Louis, and he reads a lengthy portion of the opening of the book which describes the ordeal of selling his mother's house and the memories it sparks. The reading is followed by questions mostly which touch on the process of writing a memoir. Enjoy this humorous reading from popular author Jonathan Franzen. It is available on streaming video through FORA.tv.


April 29, 2009

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.

Here we're showcasing 15 of the most popular TED talks which we certainly enjoyed and did some write ups on. We'll continue adding to this Best of TED Talks list as we watch and listen to more talks that we find to be particularly excellent.

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.

6. Richard Dawkins: The Universe is Queerer Than We Can Suppose

In this mind-bending lecture from TED.com, biologist Richard Dawkins examines the universe from the standpoint of contemporary science and finds that our universe is much stranger than we are capable of supposing. He provides many examples in the biological world about how assumptions such as a rock being solid and our bodies being the same throughout our life are incorrect. Stretch your perspective with Dawkin's case for "thinking the improbable". This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

7. Tony Robbins Asks Why We Do What We Do

Self development expert Anthony Robbins speaks at the TED Conference on what motivates people. Robbins insists that he isn't a motivator, but instead he is out to find what motivates people and what is it that makes the difference in the quality of people's lives. He discusses briefly the core human needs that drive people. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

8. Vilayanur Ramachandran: A Journey to the Center of Your Mind

In this TED talk, neurologist Vilayanur Ramachandran provides some neuroscientific explanations for puzzling psychological and physiological phenomena. He covers why after certain brain injuries patients cannot visually recognize their mother, how to amputated patients can overcome the pain of phantom limbs for only $3, and why certain people see colors when they look at numbers and letters. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

9. Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson gives a humorous and inspiring talk on rethinking education and its relation to creativity. He feels that education becomes increasingly narrow as students proceed through it leaving many forms of intelligence and creativity behind. In order to confront the unknown future, Robinson sees creativity as the essential component as future generations face new challenges with new ideas. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

10. Seth Godin on Standing Out

Seth Godin feels that days of status quo marketing through the television industrial complex are coming to an end. People are too busy to pay attention to the nonstop advertising of average products for average people. What grabs people's attention is something remarkable, or rather something worth making a remark about. And their remarks spread the ideas or products to the world and make it a success. Learn about the cutting edge of spreading ideas with this talk by Seth Godin. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

11. Isabel Allende: Tales of Passion

In this TED talk, Chilean-American novelist Isabel Allende stands up for passionate feminism when confronting global issues. She feels women's energy is needed to alleviate the suffering of women and poor people in developing countries. During the talk she tells tales of courageous women throughout the world. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

12. Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice

Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, discusses some of the observations he makes in his book in this talk from the TED conference. He argues that the vast explosion of choices in advanced capitalist societies has led to increased paralysis in terms of decision making and ultimately decreased satisfaction. He provides a number of examples to back up his thesis that more choice and individual freedom is not always best. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

13. Elizabeth Gilbert: A Different Way to Think About Creative Genius

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert examines the way society looks at artists and the way artists look at themselves in this TED talk. She feels that the creative people should view their work as channeling God's creative gift to them rather than as their own personal creative genius. And she hopes such a shift might prevent some of the madness and self-destruction that occurs in so many of our modern artists. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

14. Brian Greene on String Theory

Try wrapping your mind around string theory with this TED talk delivered by physicist Brian Greene. He starts the talk with the story of the German mathematician and physicist Theodor Kaluza who proposed that the universe might have more dimensions than the three-dimensional space apparent in of the physical world. This led much later to the attempt at discovering a unified theory through string theory and superstring theory which proposes 10 dimensions. Brian Greene ends the talk with describing some experiments which are being conducted that could lead to proving the existence of other dimensions. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

15. Dan Gilbert: Why Are We Happy? Why Aren't We Happy?

Check out this TED talk from Harvard psychologist and the author of Stumbling on Happiness, Dan Gilbert. Gilbert provides info from studies that reveal that what we often think will make us happy is the opposite of the case. He shows that because we have the ability to consider the future, we are much better prepared for the results and can usually be happy regardless. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

And here are 30 other talks we've added to our site which look interesting. Almost all of them are available on MP3 download through TED.com site. Check them out:

Al Gore: 15 Ways to Avert a Climate Crisis

Al Gore: New Thinking on the Climate Crisis

Amy Tan on Creativity

Aubrey de Grey Says We Can Avoid Aging

Bill Clinton on Rebuilding Rwanda

Bill Gates: How I'm Trying to Change the World Now

Billy Graham: Technology, Faith and Human Shortcomings

Bono's Call To Action For Africa

Chris Anderson: Technology's Long Tail

Daniel Goleman: Why Aren't We All Good Samaritans?

Dave Eggers' Wish: Once Upon a School

Doris Kearns Goodwin on Learning from Past Presidents

Dr. Dean Ornish on Healing

E.O. Wilson on Saving Life on Earth

James Watson on How He Discovered DNA

Jane Goodall on What Separates Us From the Apes

Jeff Bezos on the Next Web Innovation

Jimmy Wales on the Birth of Wikipedia

John Wooden on True Success

Karen Armstrong's Wish: Charter for Compassion

Martin Seligman on Positive Psychology

Michael Pollan Gives a Plant's-Eye View

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Flow

Ray Kurzweil on How Technology Will Transform Us

Richard Dawkins on Militant Atheism

Rick Warren: Living a Life of Purpose

Robert Wright: How Cooperation (Eventually) Trumps Conflict

Stephen Hawking Asks Big Questions About the Universe

Steven Levitt Analyzes Crack Economics

Steven Pinker on the Myth of Violence

You can always browse all the TED talks on the TED site right here:



April 24, 2009

Best Free History Audio & Video

Listen and learn about World History with more than 25 titles from LearnOutLoud's Free Resource of the Day Emails. From these emails, we've whittled it down to the best of the bunch, with great lectures, overviews covering topics such as the Roman Era, World Military History, Napoleon's Rise and Fall, British History, and the Revolutions that rocked both America and France. Historians featured here include Doris Kearns Goodwin on Lincoln, David McCullough on the founding fathers, Robert Dallek on the modern Presidents, Christopher Hitchens on World War II and many more. Click below to get started on this historical treasure trove:

1. History According to Bob Podcast

For over a year, Bob Packett has serviced the world with his podcast, History According to Bob. This retired history professor operating out of Kansas explores a large canvas - from the smallest historical artifacts to decade-spanning cultural upheaval- with the sort of down-home, approachable style that is the earmark of a great teacher.

2. The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

In this inspiring conversation released on digital download by WGBH, Pulitzer prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks about Abraham Lincoln, the success of his presidency, and the men that made up his cabinet. Kearns discusses her take on Lincoln's thought processes, what led him to make hard decisions, and why this soft spoken, physically gangly man was ultimately able to command the respect of a nation. Kearns speaks of her subject like she would a friend and gives equal attention to Lincoln's cabinet, a group of one-time rivals that would later become committed loyalists at a time when the country needed his singular leadership. This lecture is available on MP3 download as well as streaming audio and video.

3. 12 Byzantine Rulers: The History of The Byzantine Empire Podcast

With the History of the Byzantine Empire Podcast, Lars Brownworth examines the 12 rulers that have come to represent a unique era in Roman history; a period marked by decline. With an excellent handle on the subject and concise delivery, Brownsworth devotes each episode to an Emperor; describing the man, how he came to power, how he ruled, and what his legacy was thereafter. When taken as a whole, each bite-sized character profile tells the overall story of the Roman Empire as it struggled to survive during the middle ages.

4. David McCullough's Biography of a Year: 1776

In this lecture from the Cambridge Forum David McCullough delivers anecdotes from his bestselling American history work "1776". McCullough expresses how remarkable of a story this year in American history was and draws us in with details from the comprehensive research he conducted on this era. At the end of the lecture he answers a number of questions from the audience. This lecture is offered online from the WGBH Forum Network and is available on streaming audio and video as well as MP3 download.

5. History of the United States, Volume 1

History of the United States, Volume 2

History of the United States, Volume 3

History of the United States, Volume 4

History of the United States, Volume 5

Download the first 5 volumes of the History of the United States by Charles Austin Beard and Mary Ritter Beard. As stated in the preface, this book is for mature students of American history and it does not contain the mini-biographies and dramatic battle descriptions often contained in histories for younger audiences. It examines major trends in economics, politics, religion, and other social institutions that characterized the development of the United States. Volume 1 examines the Colonial period, Volume 2 looks at the American Revolution, Volume 3 covers the U.S. Constitution, and Volume 4 examines the settling of the West and Jacksonian Democracy, and Volume 5 covers Sectional Conflict including The Civil War and Reconstruction. This audio book was recorded by the volunteers at LibriVox. Currently Volumes 6 & 7 are in works and we'll feature those when they are completed. You can download Volumes 1-5 from LibriVox.org on MP3.

6. At Canaan's Edge by Taylor Branch

In this downloadable lecture presented by the WGBH Forum Network, historian Taylor Branch introduces us to the major players and events that shaped the modern Civil Rights movement. Branch takes great pains to identify some of the unsung heroes of the cause; people that were as instrumental in pushing the movement forward as higher profile names like Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch feels this area of history is woefully unexamined, and demonstrates to listeners how vital it was within the greater fabric of social upheaval that rocked the 60's.

7. Crash Course on Jewish History by Rabbi Ken Spiro

This is a free course on Jewish History from a Jewish perspective taught by Rabbi Ken Spiro. In over 30 lectures, Spiro covers everything from Abraham to modern Israel always pointing out the lessons that Jews can learn from their history. All the lectures are free to listen to on streaming audio and many of them are free to download on MP3 from SimpleToRemember.com.

8. War and Democracy in the Ancient and Contemporary Middle East by Victor Davis Hanson

In this streaming video lecture from UCTV, military historian Victor Davis Hanson steps back from the current conflicts in the Middle East and examines them from the perspective of classical conceptions of war. He displays his encyclopedic knowledge of military conflicts throughout history and provides many thought-provoking reflections on the current state of affairs in Iraq, Israel, and the rest of the Middle East. This lecture is offered through YouTube on streaming video.

9. Hardcore History Podcast by Dan Carlin

In his own irreverent style Dan Carlin attacks the historical record in the Hardcore History Podcast. Each month, Carlin selects a different topic or person in history, spanning from the ancient to the present depending upon his mood, and brings his humorous and sometimes provocative opinion to bear on it. The editorial tone Carlin takes is usually funny, and while some of what he argues is controversial, his command of the subject can never be questioned.

10. Andrew Jackson by H.W. Brands

In this lecture from the Miller Center of Public Affairs, H.W. Brands lectures on his latest book Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times. Professor Brands focuses on the way that American public opinion regarding Andrew Jackson has changed since Jackson was thought of as "the hero" of his day to his demonization in contemporary America for his policies such as Indian removal. Brands probes deeper into the character of Jackson, pointing out his admirable qualities and crediting Jackson for twice saving the Union. This lecture is available on MP3 download.

11. Napoleon 101 Podcast

Set up like a college course, the Napoleon 101 podcast is a valuable introduction to the life and exploits of Napoleon Bonaparte. Hosts David Markham and Cameron Reilly bring to the table a lifelong fascination with France's legendary 17th century leader, imparting the nitty gritty details of his life with rare enthusiasm. With this indepth overview you can finally learn who Napoleon was, what he tried to do, what he accomplished and why his character has fascinated historians for almost 200 years.

12. American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation

Newsweek editor and historian Jon Beacham discusses America's historical treatment of religion in this lecture provided by The Miller Center of Public Affairs. The author notes that the founding fathers were deeply aware of how many great nations fell apart due to religious sectionalism. In an effort to mitigate this problem and yet allow everyone in the country the freedom to worship, Beacham traces how giants like Jefferson, Franklin and even Lincoln implemented decisive policies on American religious life that we still argue over today. This talk is available on MP3 download and streaming audio and video.

14. Jared Diamond - Collapse

In this streaming video lecture recorded at UC- Santa Barbara, Dr. Jared Diamond delivers an entertaining lecture around the subject of his bestselling book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. As a historian with serious concern for how civilization can learn from its past catastrophes, Diamond provides many insights into the reasons societies have failed along with lessons that we can apply to our current dilemmas in the hopes of avoiding such a fate. This streaming video is offered by UCTV.

15. Jamestown and Virginia (1607) by Sherwin T. Wine

Download this free lecture delivered by Sherwin T. Wine on the founding of Jamestown in 1607. Find out the reasons for Europeans founding America, and how the English settlers eventually succeeded in founding Jamestown. Sherwin T. Wine keeps the lecture entertaining, covering a lot of history in an hour and a half. This lecture has been made available by the Center For New Thinking on MP3 download through LearnOutLoud.com.

16. The History of Rome Podcast

The History of Rome Podcast is a chronological attempt to trace the rise, decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Starting with Rome's founding by the mythical twins Romulus and Remus, this series hosted by Mike Duncan is an ongoing account of the people and events that shaped the western world. A must for any student of history and an invaluable resource for anyone that needs a ground level survey of the Roman Republic.

17. Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far)

Humorist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dave Barry brings light to his latest book Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far). Barry quips about the events of the past 8 years, many of which have been forgotten. He talks about his nationally syndicated column which he wrote for the The Miami Herald from 1983 to 2005, and why he chose to stop doing it. It's an entertaining talk from one of America's bestelling humor writers. This talk was delivered at the Politics and Prose Bookstore and is available streaming audio and MP3 download from FORA.tv.

18. The History Network Podcast

The great military achievements of history and the colorful people that made it happen are given critical analysis in the History Network Podcast. Here qualified narrators examine the ancient battles, strategic innovations, brilliant commanders and major blunders that have set the course of history. Whether it be about the Battle of Thermopylae or the life of General Patton, this is one podcast the military buff should not miss.

19. When Nixon Met Mao

In this lecture delivered at the World Affairs Council of Northern California, historian Margaret MacMillan discusses Richard Nixon's historic visit to China in 1972. In what she describes as a watershed moment in a long history of barely veiled antagonism between China and the western world, we see how various economic and geopolitical forces made a reconciliation unavoidable. In this crucial period of relaxed tension, China began its advancement to the modern world stage; an achievement presided over by a president with an otherwise tarnished political legacy. This talk is available on audio download and streaming video through FORA.tv.

20. British History 101 Podcast

The British History Podcast by Michael Anthony is dedicated to the anglophile in everyone. Designed as a basic to intermediate overview, this podcast examines the battles, monarchs, trivia and lasting cultural influences of one of the most enduring nations on the globe. Whether you wish to learn about events like the Battle of Hastings, people such as Winston Churchill or places like the Tower of London, this show will examine it all with rare enthusiasm.

21. 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.

22. Authors@Google: Jon Meacham

Pulitzer Prize winners were announced yesterday and author Jon Meacham won in the Biography category for his book American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. In this lecture provided on streaming video by the @Google Talks, historian and Newsweek editor Jon Meacham picks apart the mixed legacy of President Andrew Jackson. Over the years, the 7th U.S. President has come under fire for his treatment of Native Americans, conduct that has not aged well in modern times. Meacham does not downplay the negative aspects of Jackson's presidency, but he does make claims for Jackson's innovations, not the least of which is his instrumental role in shaping the modern Democratic Party. This lecture is available on streaming video through YouTube.

23. 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 the 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.

24. Uncommon Knowledge: Hitchens and Hanson on World War II

For Veteran's Day we're featuring this special World War II free resource. In the wake of recent revisionist takes that cast a negative light on World War II, Peter Robinson joins guests Christopher Hitchens and Victor Davis Hanson to provide a counter argument in this Uncommon Knowledge show released by the Hoover Institution. Hitchens and Hanson, both respected historians and journalists, address Churchill's role in every stage of the war, whether or not the holocaust was a byproduct of the conflict, and if war itself was just. Both bring incredible scholarship to the discussion, drawing from deep personal knowledge in an effort to dispel any notion that war was avoidable in 1939. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download through FORA.tv.

25. Teddy Roosevelt

This is the first lecture from the Modern Scholar course The American Presidency taught by Professor Robert Dallek. In this first lecture in a series touching on how the U.S. Presidency changed during the 20th century, noted historian Robert Dallek begins with his take on Theodore Roosevelt. In this concise biographical sketch, Dallek describes Roosevelt as the great president that arrived 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.

We've been sending out our Free Resource of the Day Emails for many years now. If you've not subscribed yet, we highly encourage you to do so.


April 21, 2009

Free Self Help Downloads

free_self_help_downloads_blog.jpgInterested in self help, but unsure of where to start? For years, LearnOutLoud has built a name for itself collecting the best self development audio & video resources from across the web. With this list of 20 free resources we showcase the biggest authors in the field, such as Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Steven Covey and more. Here you'll find success advice from coach John Wooden, get healthy living tips from Andrew Weil and learn important Law of Attraction concepts from Wallace D. Wattles. Self Development is one of the pillars of LearnOutLoud.com's ongoing mission, and we pride ourselves on providing the best ways to help you realize your best self. Click below to get started on your path to self improvement:

Self Help Free Audio & Video Directory

Self Help Podcast Directory

You can check out the top 20 free self help downloads by clicking below:

1. Inspiring Words of Encouragement Podcast
Zig Ziglar is one of the great motivational speakers of our time, and he's been inspiring listeners to achieve their goals for over 35 years. This podcast contains excerpts from Ziglar's recordings with advice and anecdotes on many topics. He began podcasting in 2006 and he's kept all his podcasts up on his feed. Listen to dozens of Ziglar's motivational podcasts today.

2. Tony Robbins Asks Why We Do What We Do

Self development expert Anthony Robbins speaks at the TED Conference on what motivates people. Robbins insists that he isn't a motivator, but instead he is out to find what motivates people and what is it that makes the difference in the quality of people's lives. He discusses briefly the core human needs that drive people. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from TED.com.

3. 18 Self-Healing Exercises from Sounds True

Listen to 18 Self-Healing Exercises from Sounds True with their Guide to Energy Healing. In these exercises you'll hear teachers such as Andrew Weil, Cyndi Dale, Caroline Myss, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and many more. Listen to Andrew Weil teaches his most powerful breathing technique for relaxation or to Shiva Rea as she leads a 20-minute yoga relaxation exercise covering the entire body. Enjoy these free self-healing exercises on streaming audio from Sounds True.

4. The Chopra Center for Wellbeing Podcast

From the The Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California comes this podcast featuring a number of high quality meditations. The podcast of guided meditations is typically hosted by davidji, the master Chopra Center educator. He leads meditations complete with soothing sounds and music. In one podcast Deepak Chopra leads a Global Peace Meditation and Lecture. Listen to these soothing podcasts from The Chopra Center.

5. Personal Development for Smart People Podcast

One of our favorite personal development bloggers is Steve Pavlina. His popular blog at www.stevepavlina.com attracts over two million monthly readers. He also has a podcast featuring over 20 episodes which address many different areas of personal growth. Pavlina does not believe in any quick solutions to personal growth and knows that it takes a lot of time and hard work to improve in any area of your life. In his first podcast he presents his own story of personal growth which began over 15 years ago in a jail cell when he was 19 years old. These early podcasts can be played at www.stevepavlina.com/audio. In recent podcasts that are on the podcast feed he talks about finding your purpose, achieving your goals, nurturing loving relationships, and more. Enjoy these free podcasts from www.stevepavlina.com.

6. A Peaceful Warrior Brings His Zaadz to Life: Brian Johnson Chats with Dan Millman

In this special LearnOutLoud.com interview Philosopher Notes CEO Brian Johnson chats with Way of the Peaceful Warrior author Dan Millman. The discussion is around finding your life's purpose and finding ways to get paid doing what you love. Brian and Dan share many stories about their path including a number of the setbacks they experienced along the way. Dan talks about the many teachers he has had including the person he met which is the character of "Socrates" in his book Way of the Peaceful Warrior. Enjoy this free conversation on MP3 audio download exclusively on LearnOutLoud.com.

7. The Game of Life and How to Play It

This free audio book download from Librivox is a self help classic. Florence Scovel Shinn was a New Thought spiritual teacher and in this book she teaches of the game of giving and receiving. With chapters on prosperity, love, karma, intuition, and more, she teaches how to apply the game of life to these areas. Throughout the book she gives real life examples of these principles in action. This 3-hour audio book is available on MP3 download from Librivox!

8. John Wooden on True Success

Hear some wisdom from a man who is often considered the greatest college basketball coach of all time: John Wooden. The legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden passed away last year at the age of 99. Under Coach Wooden, UCLA won a record ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period. John Wooden left a legacy of leadership wisdom through his numerous books including his conception of "The Pyramid of Success". In this talk delivered at the TED conference a few years ago, Wooden talks about true success being the satisfaction of knowing you that put forth your utmost effort in the game despite whether you win or lose. He readily quotes poetry and other sources of his inspiration throughout his life. This 20-minute talk is loaded with wisdom from a lifetime of success, and it is available on streaming video and video download from TED.com.

9. Gary Renard Podcast

Listen to the Gary Renard Podcast co-hosted by professional voice artist Gene Bogart as he talks with author Gary Renard about the ideas in his books such as The Disappearance of the Universe and Your Immortal Reality: How to Break the Cycle of Birth and Death. Renard's books draw heavily from the ideas of A Course in Miracles and he provides insight into many teachings from A Course in Miracles in these podcasts. Renard has been podcasting for years now and there are now many podcast episodes to listen to. Check them out!

10. Be Unstoppable: The Essential Laws Fearless Living Podcast

Be Unstoppable: The Essential Laws Fearless Living Podcast features podcasts with speaker and best-selling author Guy Finley. Focusing on spiritual and emotional development, Guy Finley touches on issues which affect us all: relationships, fear, addiction, stress/anxiety, peace, happiness, and freedom. Listen to podcasts from Guy Finley on the Be Unstoppable: The Essential Laws Fearless Living Podcast.

11. The Art of Original Thinking

Author Jan Phillips is currently offering her audio book The Art of Original Thinking: The Making of a Thought Leader for free on MP3 audio download directly through LearnOutLoud.com. This unabridged 6-hour audio book sets out to inspire new thought leaders for the new global paradigm we are entering. She provides many insights from her own life and quotes other unique thought leaders to aid us in creatively thinking outside of the box. She also explores the new thinking that is emerging in the areas of business, politics, religion, the environment, and more. Download this free audio book generously offered by author Jan Phillips and feel free to check out her website: www.janphillips.com.

12. The Science Of Being Great

From the author of The Science of Getting Rich, we're pleased to offer this free version of Wallace D. Wattles' The Science of Being Great available on MP3 download from LearnOutLoud.com. This success classic explores how all individuals can be great through the use of their thoughts and actions. This special edition of the audio book is read by motivational author & musician Michele Blood. After each chapter she provides commentary and a snippet of her motivational music. We sincerely thank Michele Blood for offering this title for FREE on LearnOutLoud.com and we highly encourage you to download it!

13. Do What You Fear & Grow Stronger

Get this free 13-minute podcast by Project Management trainer & author Michael Greer. In this podcast Michael Greer begins with some quotes on overcoming fear and the importance of facing your fears. He tells a personal story of how he went from singing in the shower to singing for a rock band as a teenager, and the various steps he took to overcoming his fear of singing in front of a crowd. He also relates these methods of tackling fear to leadership & management and the ways leaders can encourage their teams to overcome fear. At the end of the podcast Greer recommends to get the audio book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers on LearnOutLoud.com (thanks Michael!) and to check out the wisdom he's gained from PhilosophersNotes.com.

14. The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

You can now watch Randy Pausch's Last Lecture on "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" in its entirety on YouTube. If you've not heard of this lecture it was a lecture delivered on September 18, 2007 by Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch who had been diagnosed with a terminal case of pancreatic cancer. In this lecture Professor Pausch talks about how to live your life through the many lessons he had learned in his quest for achieving his childhood dreams. With humor and upbeat energy, he also talks about the many ways in which he inspired his students to achieve their dreams, many of which he lived to see come true. Professor Randy Pausch passed away on July 25, 2008, yet this lecture continues to inspire millions through Pausch's enduring lessons about life.

15. Law of Attraction Tips Podcast

Learn about the Law of Attraction on this podcast hosted by Karen Luniw. For many years now Karen has been sharing her experiences and tips about applying the Law of Attraction in everyday life. She also interviews people who've successfully employed the Law of Attraction in their own lives such as Bob Doyle from the movie The Secret, Bishop Christopher Wilson, and Multi-multi-multi Millionaire T. Harv Eker. This podcast includes video and audio podcasts on the feed. Learn about the Law of Attraction with Karen Luniw.

16. Monday Again?!: Four Essentials For A Healthy Lifestyle

Start your Monday with this free audio book titled appropriately enough Monday Again?!: Four Essentials For A Healthy Lifestyle by Marquese Martin-Hayes. In the 1-hour book Marquese lays out strategies to use thinking in order to change our perspective on Mondays and on everyday. Marquese published this titles through our TeachOutLoud service. It sounds like a very good listen.

17. Stephen R. Covey on Living a Principle-Centered Life

Dr. Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People gives an outstanding address at Montana State University on living a principally-centered life. He explains how those who live without principles tend to evaluate themselves according to what others think. He also encourages the incoming freshman he is addressing to not cram their studies in order to just get by in college, as that is a bad habit that Covey confesses he had which robbed him of much of the value of his early college education. This one is streaming video only on YouTube, but you have to watch it.

18. 25 Life Purpose Lessons from Sounds True

Sounds True has launched a wonderful new section of their site that features 25 Life Purpose Lessons to help you grow in your passions, your career, and your wealth in the coming year. With 5-15 minute audio lessons from Sounds True's best business & wealth teachers such as Rick Jarow, Mark Albion, John Mackey, Fred Kofman, and Vicki Robin, these 25 life lessons will propel you with vision & motivation. Enjoy these 25 lessons from Sounds True! Note: These lessons are streaming audio only and not downloadable.

19. Thresholds of the Mind Podcast

Bill Harris is the creator of Holosync (an audio technology designed to enhance meditation), founder & director of the Centerpointe Research Institute, and a featured teacher in the movie The Secret. In his podcast Thresholds of the Mind, Harris lays out his ideas regarding personal growth and the stages one goes through in their human development. In the first podcast he describes his proposed stages of development including preconventional, conventional, postconventional, and transcendental stages. In subsequent lectures he elaborates on these ideas drawing from diverse thinkers such as Ken Wilber, Swiss psychologist & philosopher Jean Piaget, and the 9th century Zen master Tozan. Throughout the podcasts Bill Harris is quite articulate about these ideas and they are very interesting to listen to.

20. 11:11 Talk Radio Podcast

Browse 100 podcasts on the 11:11 Talk Radio Podcast hosted by Simran Singh who also publishes the 11:11 Magazine. She interviews many key authors in the areas of personal empowerment. In a recent interview author and Inner Visions Institute founder Iyanla Vanzant talks about her book Peace From Broken Pieces. Iyanla tells some of her remarkable story about how she rose to be the guru from the 'hood' and about the healing process she recently went through after the death of her daughter. Also on the podcast feed you'll hear from Marianne Williamson who talks about her bestselling book A Course In Weight Loss. You'll also find podcasts from authors like Gay Hendricks, Julia Cameron, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Sonia Choquette, Joan Borysenko, Thomas Moore, Dr. Zhi Gang Sha, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, Sylvia Browne, Don Miguel Ruiz, Neale Donald Walsch, Debbie Ford, and many other living luminaries.

We've been sending out our Free Resource of the Day Emails for many years now. If you've not subscribed yet, we highly encourage you to do so.


April 15, 2009

Learn How To Meditate with Free Meditations

LearnOutLoud.com invites you to learn about meditation and the different ways to meditate with this top ten list of free meditational resources culled from our Free Resource of the Day Emails. Over the years, we've featured several guided meditations, relaxation exercises, and mindfulness practice lectures as a part of our Free Resource of the Day Email service. From these emails we've compiled a brief selection of audio guides, videos, and podcasts that cover topics such as mindfulness in everyday life, transcendental meditation techniques, Christian-based practices and more. With these ten resources, you'll not only learn how to meditate, you'll also get the latest science on the health benefits of daily meditational practice. Click the links below to begin the process towards a more mindful, present-oriented life:

1. Meditation Class 1: Learn to Meditate

The Meditation Society of Australia has recently put up a meditation class on our site. This free program offers seven keys to meditation that will help those beginning meditation to reach what is referred to as the "intuitive state". After the lesson, you are guided through a meditation with relaxing music to help you along. This program is available as a free MP3 download on LearnOutLoud.com.

2. Mindfulness as a Foundation for Health

Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh recently led a 3-hour workshop on mindfulness at the Googleplex and this entire workshop can be viewed on YouTube. After about an hour of music and introductions, Thich Nhat Hanh gives a talk and answers questions for two hours. He provides many insights of how people can incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives from walking to eating to washing the dishes. Listen to the wisdom of 85-year-old monk Thich Nhat Hanh and his message of mindfulness and peace.

3. Introduction to Your Mind: Two Guided Meditations

Start you day off with these two free guided meditations. They were published by Mi Ka El Mindchanger through our TeachOutLoud self-publishing tool. Through these two 10-minute meditations Mi Ka El leads you through the practice of mindfulness meditation with insights on how to transcend your thoughts & feelings and come into awareness of your true Self. These excellent meditations can be downloaded on MP3 through LearnOutLoud.com and listened to again and again. Thanks Mi Ka El for this great free resource!

4. Alpha Break

Listen to this free 12 Min. MP3 download offered by Effective Learning Systems. This spoken word program is designed to put listeners in a relaxed state both mentally and physically. It can be used again and again at any time during the day. Download this free MP3 from LearnOutLoud.com.

5. Ceaseless Society: Is 24/7 Good for Us?

In this lecture from MIT, author & meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn shares his perspectives on a society that is busy all the time. He provides insights into how we can regard time from the perspective of mindfulness, and suggests that in our effort to be technologically connected to everyone, we often lose connection to our true self. This lecture is available on streaming audio & video as well as MP3 download.

6. AM Focus

Listen to this 13-minute visualization & relaxation process for focusing in the morning from Dr. Patrick Porter. Dr. Porter guides you through positive affirmations for your day. Combined with soothing music, this audio program is a great way to begin your week. This free audio download is available on MP3 download through LearnOutLoud.com.

7. Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain

Filmmaker David Lynch shares his passion for Transcendental Meditation (or TM for short) in this lecture released on downloadable audio from WGBH in Boston. In a style uniquely his own, Lynch explains how the creativity displayed in his work over the years has been a direct product of TM; arguing that expanded consciousness necessarily leads to expanded creative insight. It is his impassioned belief that if more people used these meditation techniques, the effect would rub off on everyone else and consequently much of the world's turmoil would cease. This talk is available on streaming audio & video and MP3 download from the WGBH Forum Network.

8. A Quiet Mind Podcast

Listen to spiritual wisdom from Robert Jackson on A Quiet Mind Podcast. He's been podcasting for years now and all of his podcasts are up on the feed. Each podcast confronts a different spiritual topic, in relation to our striving for peace, happiness, and fulfillment. Browse all these podcasts on LearnOutLoud.com.

9. Coming to Our Senses

For decades now Jon Kabat-Zinn has been teaching mindfulness meditation as a technique to help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain and illness. Along with his teaching, he's also written the classic Wherever You Go, There You Are and most recently Coming to Our Senses. In this lecture from UCTV, Kabat-Zinn speaks about reintroducing you to yourself, and developing an awareness of this moment in a fast-paced, technologically advanced world. This video lecture is available to stream through YouTube.

10. The Meditation Experience

Sounds True is currently offering a free self-guided course entitled The Meditation Experience: Eight Pathways to Open the Heart and Mind. This eight session course features readings and guided audio & video meditations to teach you various methods of meditation. The course is taught by excellent meditation teachers including Shinzen Young, Jack Kornfield, Mark Thornton, Arjuna Ardagh, Rick Jarow, Anodea Judith, Kim Eng, Reggie Ray, and Lama Surya Das. It requires you to register on SoundsTrue.com as you will go through the stages of the course on their site. The audio & video meditations are available to stream and download.

We've been sending out our Free Resource of the Day Emails for many years now. If you've not subscribed yet, we highly encourage you to do so.


April 9, 2009

Free Christian Audio

free_christian_audio_blog.jpg From the Bible on audio to the lectures and podcasts from today's leading Christian thinkers, speakers, and authors, we've assembled this list of 25 of the top free Christian audio resources available from our Free Resource of the Day Emails. Below you'll find free audio & video programs that explore all aspects of Christian Living, with plenty of Sermons, debates and biographical overviews to both enrich your faith and help you learn more about Christianity's rich history. Interested in the historical Jesus? Need to know more about Thomas Aquinas? How about inspiration from Saint Francis? We have it here! Finally, to give an accurate picture of how Christianity is interacting with the modern world, we've included contemporary names such as Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer and Rick Warren, along with people like Dallas Willard and Brian McLaren to round out a selection of modern Christian philosophy. We hope you find plenty of spiritual food for thought with the audio and video programs listed below:

1. christianaudio's Free Audiobook of the Month

Each month christianaudio.com offers a professionally recorded Christian audio book for free! All that is required is that you register for an account and enter in their coupon code. In the past they've featured free audio books such as G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, Tolstoy's Father Sergius and Other Short Stories, Interior Castle by Saint Teresa of Avila, Paradise Lost by John Milton, The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. We encourage you to visit the christianaudio.com website for more thoughtful Christian audio books and a lot of other freebies as well!

2. 1 Year Daily Audio Bible Podcast

This podcast will take you through the entire Bible in 365 separate podcasts to be listened to over the next year. Each podcast is read by Nashville, TN based record producer Brian Hardin. Instead of going through the Bible chronologically, he selects four different passages for each podcast, which go through books of the Old and New Testament simultaneously, along with a Proverb and a Psalm. If you'd like to read the Bible more, but can't find the time of day, then try listening to the entire Bible in one year with the Bible In a Year Podcast.

3. The Veritas Forum Podcast

The Veritas Forum podcast collects various lectures from leading thinkers within the modern Christian community. Here you will listen to lectures on topics such as Science v. Religion, the existence of God, Intelligent Design, and much more. The speakers highlighted in this podcast foster dialogue over rhetoric in an effort to not only reconcile their faith with an ever changing landscape, but to also show why it is still an essential aspect of 21st century life.

4. Joel Osteen Audio Podcast

One of the most popular podcasts on our site is Joel Osteen's Audio Podcast. Joel Osteen is the pastor of Lakewood Church, the nation's largest and fastest growing church in the nation. Pastor Osteen is also the author of the bestselling book Your Best Life Now along with numerous other inspirational audio books. Each week on the podcast Pastor Osteen delivers a half-hour sermon and this week's sermon is entitled "Investing in People". Enjoy this podcast from Joel Osteen.

5. Billy Graham Sermons

Listen to the powerful preaching of the Reverend Billy Graham. Since his ministry began in the 1940s, Billy Graham has remained one of America's leading Christian evangelists, and at the age of 91 he has now been a spiritual adviser to twelve United States presidents. BillyGraham.org features many sermons presented on audio & video delivered by Billy Graham from the 1950s to the present day. In these sermons Rev. Graham covers many aspects of Christian living with the focus always being on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Listen to or watch some sermons by the Reverend Billy Graham today.

6. The Genius of Jesus

In this lecture from the Veritas Forum, Christian philosopher and author Dallas Willard talks about the importance of Jesus of Nazareth throughout history when it comes to confronting the reality of existence. Willard feels that present-day universities apply a materialistic knowledge or a New Age philosophy when it comes to confronting moral life, which leaves out the essential teachings of Jesus. He posits four great questions of existence and explains the answers which Jesus gave to these questions. This lecture is available on streaming audio and MP3 download from the Veritas forum.

7. SermonIndex Classics Podcast

Listen to these podcasts from SermonIndex. These podcasts cover many aspects of Christianity and Christian Living, including sermons from Jim Cymbala, David Wilkerson, Zac Poonen, Keith Green, A.W. Tozer, Duncan Campbell, Ian Paisley, Leonard Ravenhill, and many other popular preachers from throughout the 20th century. For more free classic sermons check out the offerings we feature from SermonAudio.com.

8. The King James Version Bible

The Bible is the #1 selling book of all time. If you've been wanting to listen to an audio version the good folks at Audio Treasure would like to treat you to a free one. You can listen on their website or download to put on your mp3 player. It's great for moments when you need a little inspiration!

9. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Legacy

In this program of Speaking of Faith, host Krista Tippett talks with producer Martin Doblmeier, whose 2003 documentary covered Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life and thought. Doblmeier tells the story of the German Lutheran pastor and theologian, as Bonhoeffer made difficult decisions in his opposition to Nazism and his attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This program also explores Bonhoeffer's faith and theology including a discussion of his work Letters and Papers from Prison, which Bonhoeffer wrote from the point of his arrest in 1943 until his execution by the Gestapo in 1945. This talk can be downloaded on MP3 from the Speaking of Faith website or through iTunes U.

10. The Prayer of St. Francis

Listen to this moving prayer by St. Francis of Assisi. In his short, yet profound prayer, St. Francis asks God to make him an instrument of peace and love, acknowledging that it is in giving that we receive. This prayer is read by Brian Johnson and can be listened to on MP3 download or streaming audio through LearnOutLoud.com.

11. Christian Faith in a Postmodern World

Os Guinness claims that progress has lead America into a crisis of truth. For this MP3 download presented by the Veritas Forum, the noted writer leads his lecture with this provocative declaration, and explains how the nation's notion of truth has been eroded by relative morality. Guinness provides his listeners with tools to counteract these trends and reclaim what he feels is the lost wisdom that has come about as result of the information age.

12. The Words of Christ: From the Book of Matthew

This audio book, released by ThoughtAudio.com isolates everything uttered by Christ in the gospel according to Matthew. Extracted from the narrative of the Bible, Christ's message is distilled to its core values. Simple in its language yet still potent in its ever-present challenge to humanity, this is as unfiltered of a view of the gospel as one might ever find. This recording is a wonderful opportunity to engage with the gospel from a new point of view. This audio book is available to download in multiple MP3 segments.

13. Proverbs Podcast

For some wisdom to start off the week try our latest podcast called the Proverbs Podcast. It will feature proverbs from various cultures and traditions offering practical wisdom from throughout the world. We're starting the podcast with chapters from the biblical Book of Proverbs, and we've currently podcasts the first three chapters. Please subscribe to this podcast through iTunes for more proverbial wisdom offered up by LearnOutLoud.com.

14. The Heart and Soul of Christianity

In this talk presented by Cody's Books at The First Congressional Church of Berkeley, New Testament scholar Marcus Borg and religious studies scholar Huston Smith reflect on their respective books The Heart of Christianity and The Soul of Christianity. Borg looks at what he feels are some of the core tenets of Christianity including ongoing practice and community. Huston Smith discusses the mystery of God working through Jesus as being beyond human comprehension. Borg and Smith then ask each other questions about the similarities and differences on their views of Christianity. This video of two great religious scholars is available from FORA.tv.

15. Apologetics.com Weekly Radio Show Podcast

The Apologetics.com Podcast is a weekly show dedicated to informing Christians on techniques that will help them to better defend their faith. Over the last few years, avowed Christian John Snyder has discussed his differences with Bob, a self-declared atheist. A great example of the Apologetics.com mission in action, these podcasts are a must for anyone that is looking for cogent discussion on the articles of faith.

16. Nietzsche v. Jesus Christ

In this lecture delivered at Stanford University philosophy professor and Christian author Dallas Willard looks at the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche and Jesus Christ in relation to our current worldview. He summarizes some of the core ideas of Nietzsche such as the death of God and the will to power and how they were exemplary of the trends in philosophy in the late 19th century. He contrasts Nietzsche's thinking with the ideas of objective truth and the existence of a world created by God which have been the tradition of Christian thinking. He posits that no individual has ever found fulfillment through the practice of Nietzsche's will to power and encourages listeners to take seriously the intellectual ideas of Jesus and find out if their truth applies to reality. This talk is available on streaming and downloadable audio & video from the Veritas Forum. To download the audio or video you must create an account on the Veritas Forum website.

17. Rick Warren's Ministry Podcast

Listen to author & pastor Rick Warren talk with other pastors from around the world about Christian leadership principles. Rick Warren is the author of the book The Purpose-Driven Life and the founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California which has over 20,000 members. In this podcast Warren seeks to address common issues which pastors face in their ministry and asks other pastors with thriving churches how they deal with such issues. It's a good podcast for leaders in any field.

18. Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?

In this digital download released by the Veritas Forum, Christian thinker James W. Sire explains why belief is central to human existence. He argues provacatively that belief is so fundamental to how we interact with reality, that it makes the distinction between religion and science a moot point. Sire then traces how we are taught to believe at an early age and how in adulthood that early exposure to a system can change, grow and help form what we become.

19. The Forum at Grace Cathedral Podcast

San Francisco's Grace Cathedral has long hosted a series of Forum discussions with special guests that are on the cutting edge of faith-based work. Grace's current Dean, Jane Shaw, hosts guests on a wide range of topics, with a current emphasis placed on how the arts have impacted our understanding of the nature of God. Recent talks have tackled the current state of interfaith relations, the history of religious architecture, the meaning of money, music's role in spiritual expression, and the question of where religion is headed as humanity dives into an increasingly pluralistic modern world. Always thought-provoking, Shaw and her guests take on each topic with a welcoming, inquisitive spirit that invites everyone into the discussion at hand. Guests currently on the feed include Michael Pollan, Sandra Day O'Connor, Dinesh D'Souza, T.C. Boyle, Matthew Fox, Elaine Pagels, Rob Bell, Jim Wallis, and many other distinguished guests.

20. Joyce Meyer Radio Podcast

Listen to Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer deliver talks from her TV & radio ministry. In the latest talk, she gives an inspiring message about the importance of serving others in order to overcome selfish problems. She draws from the Bible to support her belief that to enjoy life, one must actively serve others who are less fortunate.

21. A Brief Biography of Thomas Aquinas

In this introductory lecture to the course Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, Professor Peter Kreeft provides a brief biography of a theological titan. Kreeft views Aquinas' prolific body of work as an important bridge between Greek philosophy and the early western philosophers such as Descartes. Seeing no division between Faith and Reason, Kreeft describes Aquinas as a quintessential truthseeker who was willing to take from secular and religious sources alike in the formation of an inclusive philosophy that is still vibrant and alive to this day.

22. FaithWords Podcast

FaithWords is a Christian audio publisher which publishes numerous bestselling Christian authors including Philip Yancey, Joyce Meyer, and Joel Osteen. In the FaithWords podcast they feature interviews with authors of different books published by FaithWords. On the Nov. 4th, 2008 podcast episode they feature an hour-long interview with William P. Young, author of the bestselling faith-building fictional work The Shack. William P. Young talks about experiences in his own life which inspired him to write The Shack and about how a book that he wrote for his family while working three jobs has now gone on to sell 15 million copies and inspire people worldwide. Also on the podcast you can hear interviews with Joyce Meyer, Philip Yancey, Karen Kingsbury, and numerous other Christian authors. Enjoy this podcast from FaithWords.

23. Quick History of Christianity from Jesus to the Crusades

If you're curious about the Crusades, this lecture from professor Thomas F. Madden sets the stage for what became a 400 year war between Christians and Muslims over the Holy Land and between competing sects within these religious ideologies. This lecture focuses on the history of Christianity from its humble beginnings to its rise to prominence in the Roman Empire with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, the development of the Papacy, and the formation of the Byzantine Empire. It's an informative lecture covering a lot of Christian history from the time of Christ to the start of the First Crusade in the 11th century.

24. The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus

In this talk Harvard Memorial Church pastor Peter Gomes discusses his book The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus at the Tattered Cover bookstore. He states that the title The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus was actually not his title but rather the title demanded by the publisher Harper to sell more books. The book is actually about Christians getting to the Good News of Jesus and his hopeful message, and beyond the doctrinal and biblical disputes that Pastor Gomes feels are prevalent in Christianity today. He sees that so much of Christianity today is caught up in nostalgia over the past and isn't looking towards the hopeful good news that Christ proclaimed. This talk is available on MP3 download and streaming video from FORA.tv.

25. What Does It Mean To Be Human?

Start off your week with some perspective from philosophy professor & Christian author Dallas Willard as he attempts to explain "What Does It Mean To Be Human?". In his authoritative style, Dallas Willard clarifies the core tenants that make a healthy human being tick in this downloadable audio lecture released by the Veritas Forum. Willard explores the ever-changing cultural currents that have led to our current identification of self in the 21st century; a series of trends that he feels have done more harm than good. It is his belief that a God-centered need for love and knowledge is being lost in a society that puts a premium on desire. Always insightful and frequently controversial, Willard's lectures offer cogent arguments that cut through the dogma in order to define religion's role in the modern world. This lecture is available on MP3 Download and streaming audio.


April 4, 2009

Free Philosophy Books & Podcasts on Audio

Check out 30 of the top free philosophy books, lectures, & podcasts available online. For years we've put an emphasis on showcasing philosophy as part of our Free Resource of the Day Emails. Now with this list of 30 hand picked titles, you can dive into political theory with Machiavelli or Jean-Jacques Rousseau, learn the Art of War with Sun Tzu, take a film class on Existentialism and ask the big questions of life's significance. Other philosophers you'll meet and learn about on this list include Plato, Frederick Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant, Bertrand Russell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Ayn Rand among many others. You can check them all out by clicking the titles below:

1. Existentialism in Literature and Film Podcast

This is a full college course from the University of California-Berkeley entitled "Existentialism in Literature and Film". The "Existentialism in Literature and Film" course, taught by professor Hubert L. Dreyfus, cuts right to the roots of existentialist thought, looking at the works of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, and examining Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov in depth. It's an excellent philosophy course and it's free!

2. Plato's Republic

The Republic by Plato is one of the most influential works of philosophy in history. In the form of Socratic dialogue, Plato's teacher and protagonist Socrates sets out to find an answer to the question: "What is justice?". Along the way Socrates discusses the ideal city-state and his theory of forms, which includes his famous allegory of the cave. This podcast contains all eleven books of The Republic unabridged. It is well read by narrator Doug McLeod and is available on MP3 download from ejunto.com.

3. The Value of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

Listen to the ideas of the great 20th century philosopher Bertrand Russell on "The Value of Philosophy", which comes from the final chapter of his 1912 book The Problems of Philosophy. In the essay he lays forth his conviction that although philosophy cannot come to any certain answers regarding the questions it asks, these questions are important in that they enlarge our views of the universe beyond the narrow viewpoints of practical men, who are concerned solely with the material world. The piece is well read by Paul Sunderland. You can now download this excerpt directly from LearnOutLoud on MP3!

4. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

ejunto.com is a site which features free mp3 downloads of historical and philosophical audio books (it's named after Benjamin Franklin's literary club called The Junto). They currently feature a free unabridged recording of The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. This political philosophy classic describes how political leaders can obtain and maintain power. It is well narrated by Andrew Julow and available on MP3 download from ejunto.com.

5. Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self Reliance is perhaps Ralph Waldo Emerson's most famous essay. This version, narrated by Brian Johnson from Zaadz, is both thought-provoking and inspirational. Ralph Waldo Emerson pushes the listener to break free of the dependence on society and the masses of man and to rely solely upon oneself. Always pushing us to follow our own nature & intuition, Emerson denounces those who allow themselves to be victims of society or history. He wants great men to rise from the limitations of cultural institutions and stand as giants casting shadows over the ages. Throughout the essay there is wisdom loaded in every sentence and it can be listened to again and again. Download this free classic audio book on MP3 directly from LearnOutLoud.com.

6. Philosophy: The Classics Podcast

In this podcast, British author Nigel Warburton reads from his book Philosophy: The Classics (now in it's 3rd edition). The book examines and summarizes 27 classic works of philosophy. Currently on the podcast feed, Warburton reads 5 chapters from his book summarizing Plato's The Republic, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy, Machiavelli's The Prince, and Descartes' Meditations. His introductions to these works are clear and concise, and his narration is adequate for the material. Subscribe to this work of philosophical generosity.

7. The Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche

Listen to one of Friedrich Nietzsche's last and most mature works: The Twilight of the Idols. In this book Nietzsche confronts Socrates, morality, reason, and much else. It is a comprehensive summary of the ideas of this controversial 19th century German philosopher. Recorded for the first time on audio by LibriVox narrator D.E. Wittkower, this audio book is available on MP3 download through LibriVox.

8. Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

In this classic essay by Henry David Thoreau, he stresses that individuals should not allow governments to rule over their conscience by forcing them to contribute to injustices through taxes or other support. Thoreau advocates breaking laws in a civil manner if one believes they are unjust. This essay would go on to influence Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others. It's available as an MP3 download from Voices in the Dark with fine narration by Dawn Keenan.

9. The Philosopher's Zone Podcast

One of the best things about podcasting is that we can now download and listen to public radio from all over the world. And some of the best public radio comes from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. They've recently added The Philosopher's Zone Podcast which "looks at the world of philosophy and at the world through philosophy". It's a very interesting podcast and one of the only philosophy podcasts out there.

10. The Treatise on Friendship by Cicero

Listen to this free audio book by the Roman statesman, lawyer, political theorist, philosopher, and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero. In The Treatise on Friendship Cicero examines the qualities of good friends and bad friends through a philosophical dialogue between three prominent citizens of the Roman republic. Cicero ultimately arrives at the conclusion that nothing save virtue is more valuable than friendship. Enjoy this free MP3 download from ejunto.com.

11. Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do? by Professor Michael Sandel

In this complete, 12-lecture video course from Harvard University, Professor Michael Sandel presents his popular course which explores difficult moral dilemmas and how we respond to them. In the first lecture he presents a few complex moral dilemmas and asks his class how they would respond to these conundrums. Through the answers students give he brings into question the assumptions behind their moral reasoning. He briefly addresses the ideas of utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham and tells of a true case which brings into question Bentham's creed of "the greatest good for the greatest number". It seems to be an interesting course and it is being offered totally free from Harvard University on streaming video through YouTube.

12. The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius

Listen to this classic work of philosophy written by Boethius in 524 AD. Boethius wrote this work while awaiting trial for which he was executed. The Consolation of Philosophy examines the problem of evil, free will, virtue, and much else as Boethius conducts a dialogue with Lady Philosophy. This audio book is available for free from LibriVox and is read by over a dozen of their volunteer narrators. It is available on MP3 download.

13. Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment? by Immanuel Kant

Download this essay by German philosopher Immanuel Kant. One of the last Enlightenment philosophers, Kant puts forth his definition of Enlightenment, in reference to the question about what had occurred during the Age of Enlightenment in 18th century Europe and America. Kant feels that it was not a social movement adopted by the masses, but rather an individual movement where certain persons gained the courage to think for themselves and to argue against the paternalism of institutions which were heretofore unquestioned. Kant sees the freedom of reasoning and argumentation as central to the Age of Enlightenment, but this revolution of independent thought can only be achieved through an individual's striving for intellectual maturity. Download this free essay on MP3 exclusively through LearnOutLoud.com.

14. Thinking Out Loud Podcast

Listen to over twenty philosophical dialogues with everyday people covering a new topic in each podcast. Host Steve Donaldson is joined by about ten other citizen philosopher guests as they spend an hour talking about topics such as "What is Love?", "What is Evil?", "Is Free Will an Illusion?", "What is Mysticism?", and many other intriguing topics. These philosophical round table discussions really get one thinking about the topic and they're entertaining as well. Currently they're allowing internet guests to join in the discussion through VoIP technology. The audio quality of these podcasts varies, but the content is so consistently compelling that you'll want to listen to them all. Enjoy.

15. Democracy in America, Vol. I & Democracy in America, Vol. II by Alexis de Tocqueville

Listen to Alexis de Tocqueville's great work of political philosophy and history Democracy in America. Published in two volumes (in 1835 and 1840 respectively), the French political thinker Tocqueville wrote about America as a social scientist after his travels there, providing a wealth of observations and opinions which still hold true today. If you've never had a chance to read this book, then listening to this 30-hour audio book is a great way to get through this classic work of political philosophy. This audio book is read by a number of volunteer narrators at LibriVox.org and is available to download on MP3.

16. Francis Fukuyama: The End Of History Revisited

Fifteen years after the publication of his 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man, author Francis Fukuyama still believes in his thesis that political & economic history is reaching its end in liberal democracy and free market capitalism. In this talk delivered at the Long Now Foundation, Fukuyama defends his argument, pointing out the expansion of science, technology, and free market capitalism and how it has increased the wealth of much of the developing world over the past 15 years, which has in turn led to liberal democracy in many nations. He does point out some of the criticisms of his thesis such as Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations book, which argues that certain cultures will never conform to Western liberal democracy & free markets. Huntington argues this will lead to an ongoing clash of civilizations.

Fukuyama doesn't believe that his "End of History" thesis is certain, and he still feels there is a lot of work to be done in building institutions in developing states, fighting global warming, organizing global cooperation, and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. He fields a number of questions, including one regarding the second half of his thesis which addresses Nietzsche's concept of The Last Man, which he feels is now being catered to under the system of the European Union. It is a fascinating lecture that is available on MP3 download and streaming video through FORA.tv.

17. What is Knowledge? by Professor Colin McGinn

It's back to school time and before cramming our brains with new knowledge, let us ask, "What is Knowledge?" In this lecture, Professor Colin McGinn deciphers what we mean when we say we 'know' something to be true. He traces the history of philosophical skepticism, giving the listener several historical arguments for the theory of knowledge, and also touching on arguments made by the likes of Plato, Descartes, and other important philosophers. This lecture is a foundational exercise for the rest of the program, with McGinn arguing that for someone to begin thinking philosophically, he or she must first understand the methods of thinking that go into the pursuit of true knowledge.

18. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Written by Sun Tzu in the 6th Century B.C., The Art of War now stands as a definitive distillation of ancient military strategy. The philosophies contained in this book have been applied in variety of settings throughout the centuries. Narrator Michael Scott brings his voiceover gusto to this reading, which is available on MP3 download from ThoughtAudio.com.

19. Authors@Google: John Searle

In a thought-provoking lecture provided by Authors@Google on streaming video, philosopher John Searle discusses the perennial problem of human free will. Starting with the historical arguments associated with free will, Searle then points viewers to how quantum mechanical theories of a chaotic and ultimately indeterminate universe may provide some solution to the problem. Delivered with a sense of fun and respect for the novice, Searle's lecture is a must for anyone that wonders about the full nature of human choice and whether or not any of our decisions can truly be considered our own. It is available on streaming video through YouTube.

20. Peikoff.com Q&A on Ayn Rand Podcast

Dr. Leonard Peikoff was a long time friend Ayn Rand and she designated him as her legal and intellectual heir. Carrying on Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy, Peikoff has been podcasting weekly for over a year with his Q&A format. In each episode he answers a number of questions that have been emailed to him and provides the answers that Ayn Rand had for many of the questions. Peikoff doesn't answer all of the questions emailed to him, but he claims to read them all, and he will answer just about any question whether it be in regards to philosophy, politics, ethics, art, sexuality, etc. With each question answered you get a better idea of what Objectivist philosophy is and it's the closest you're likely to get to hearing what Ayn Rand would think of things if she were still alive today.

21. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Listen to one of the classic works of Stoic philosophy by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius written between 170 and 180 AD. Aurelius champions reason over passion in order to overcome the pains and pleasures of everyday life. In his practical and straightforward style Marcus Aurelius delivers his thoughts on what it is means to be good. This is an excellent translation by the English classical scholar George Long. The last two chapters are a biography and philosophical summary of Marcus Aurelius written by George Long. This audio book is read by a group of narrators at Librivox, some of which are better than others, but all of them are listenable. Download this unabridged 7-hour audio book on MP3 from Librivox.org.

22. William James: What Makes a Life Significant?

Join Harvard professor & Pulitzer Prize-winner Louis Menand, Princeton professor & author Cornel West, and philiosopher & writer Sissela Bok as they discuss the life and ideas of William James. Louis Menand starts the talk by giving a 20-minute introduction to the life of William James. Sissela Bok expounds on some of his ideas from James's essay "What Makes a Life Significant?", and Cornel West uses his trademark oratory skills to show how William James confronted American Empire and how we can still use James's ideas to do so today. The three then answer a wide range of questions from the audience. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the Forum Network.

23. A Discourse on the Passion of Love by Blaise Pascal

In this downloadable discourse from ejunto.com 17th century religious philosopher Blaise Pascal reflects on the passion of love. He expresses his views on love in relation to reason, beauty, and the other passions. This 30-minute discourse is well narrated by Andrew Julow and available on MP3 download from ejunto.com.

24. The Law by Frederic Bastiat

Frederic Bastiat's "The Law" produced by FreeAudio.org is one of the best free audio books available. Bastiat's brief treatise on law is a passionate cry for his belief that law should only be put in place to maintain life, liberty, and property. He denounces legislators and philosophers who seek legalized plunder, moral coercion, and numerous other methods of force through law which encroach on liberties. The production quality is professional and Marvin Payne's narration is superb. You can download this title through LearnOutLoud.com on MP3 or MPEG-4 (if you want to bookmark it in your iPod).

25. The Madman by Kahlil Gibran

It's the last weekend to download our free audio book for the month of June: The Madman by Lebanese-American poet & philosopher Kahlil Gibran. Gibran also authored one of the bestselling books of the 20th century: The Prophet. The Madman was published in 1918, and this work introduced Americans to the thought-provoking poems and parables of Kahlil Gibran. This audio book is unabridged and, while only 45 minutes in length, it probably demands a second listen in order to better comprehend this clever, enigmatic work. It is available for free on MP3 download from ThoughtAudio.com

26. What Was the Enlightenment? by Professor James Schmidt

In this lecture Professor James Schmidt talks about what Immanuel Kant called "man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity". The Age of Enlightenment began the elevation of science and reason in Western civilization. It was an era where great thinkers began to think for themselves and question the absolute rule of religious and political authorities. Professor Schmidt talks briefly about many of the key figures of the Enlightenment including Denis Diderot, Isaac Newton, Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, and Voltaire, and he talks about where the ideas of the Enlightenment prospered primarily in England, Germany, and France. This free lecture is available to download exclusively through LearnOutLoud.com on MP3.

27. The Second Treatise on Government by John Locke

Listen to John Locke's most famous work The Second Treatise on Government. This book is one of the all-time most influential works of political philosophy, outlining civil government as it has arisen from man's former state of nature. The book also covers conquest & slavery, property, representative government, and the right of revolution. This audio book is generously made free by ejunto.com with clear narration by Philip Rose. It is available to download on MP3 from ejunto.com and also as a podcast from our site and iTunes.

28. Emerson and the Examined Life

Hear America's former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky read passages from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson in this special event commemorating Emerson's 200th year. Pinsky and Emerson scholars Richard Geldard and David M. Robinson discuss the life and practical philosophy of Emerson and the ways in which his essays still speak to us today. Pinsky reads from classic essays such as Self-Reliance, The Oversoul, and The American Scholar. This tribute to Emerson is available on streaming audio and MP3 download from the Forum Network.

29. The Social Contract

This work of political philosophy by Jean-Jacques Rousseau begins with the famous saying: "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." In this book the great 18th-century Enlightenment thinker proposes a form of government which maintains individual freedom and also represents the general will of a society. This audio book is well narrated by Jason Douglas at ejunto.org and is available on MP3 download through ejunto.org or as a podcast through iTunes.

30. Tete-a-Tete: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre

In this lecture from the WBGH Forum Network, author Hazel Rowley discusses her book Tete-a-tete: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. She discusses many aspects of this legendary 20th-century French couple, drawing off the voluminous writings of Sartre & Beauvoir as well as interviews and new primary sources. Famous for their existentialist philosophy & literature, Rowley probes deeper into the bold openness & unconventionality of their relationship. She also briefly discusses the difficulties of getting the book published in France. This lecture is available on streaming audio & video and MP3 download.

We've been sending out our Free Resource of the Day Emails for many years now. If you've not subscribed yet, we highly encourage you to do so.


April 2, 2009

Best Free Audio Books Online

LearnOutLoud invites you jump in and listen to 100 of the best free audiobook downloads available online. For many years now we've featured a Free Audio Book every Friday as part of our Free Resource of the Day Emails. From these emails, we've pulled out 100 of our favorites, including ancient classics, Shakespearean drama, key European & Russian novels, important political documents, poetry introductions, and the finest American literature. Whether you are a student or life-long learner, this selection covers just about everyone from Homer to Jane Austen, to Mark Twain and even an appearance by Sherlock Holmes! Click the titles below to get started on your free literary audiobook journey:

1. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Listen to one of the all-time great works of American literature: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. This newly published edition from LoudLit.org is professionally narrated by Mary Woods and available unabridged on MP3 download. Hear the tale of Hester Prynne who is forced to wear a scarlet letter "A" on her bosom after she commits adultery and becomes pregnant in the 17th-century Puritan village of Boston, Massachusetts. Download and listen to this American classic today!

2. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; The Horse and His Boy; The Magician's Nephew; The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

Here's a set of free audio books that is almost too good to be true. The C.S. Lewis estate has granted permission to Ancient Faith Radio to record and offer all seven books of the The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Currently Ancient Faith Radio is offering them all for free on MP3 audio download through a podcast feed. They are read by children's radio host Chrissi Hart for her Readings from Under the Grapevine podcast. She has a pleasant British accent which is appropriate for the Narnia series and the audio books are well recorded. Download this classic collection of children's literature including all 7 books: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; The Horse and His Boy; The Magician's Nephew; The Last Battle. Amazing!

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Download Jane Austen's undeniable classic Pride and Prejudice. Hear the story of the courtship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in early 19th century England. Published in 1813 this classic tale of love, reputation, and class remains one of the most beloved books of all time. This edition is well narrated by Karen Savage at LibriVox. She has a British accent and a nice flair for character narration. This unabridged novel has a running time of 10 Hrs. 25 Min. and is available on MP3 download from LibriVox.org.

4. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Here's a great short story you can listen to. It is written by Washington Irving, one of the first acclaimed American authors. It tells the tale of a Dutch settlement called Sleepy Hollow which is haunted by the legend of a Headless Horseman. This story is read by Chip at LibriVox and his narration is magnificent. It's available on MP3 Download.

5. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Podcast by Mark Twain

This edition of Mark Twain's great American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the top free audio books on the internet. It is professionally narrated by Marc Devine and offered as an unabridged, 9-1/2 hour mp3 audiobook from Literal Systems. Listen to the classic tale of Huckleberry Finn and the runaway slave Jim as they take a raft down the Mississippi River to escape the confines of civilized life. This audio book is available as a podcast and it can be downloaded or subscribed to. Enjoy this classic work of American literature!

6. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

It's time to pursue some ambitious reading (and listening) goals. You may want to read one of the great American novels Moby Dick by Herman Melville. The Moby Dick Big Read project has now completed all 135 chapters of the novel with high quality recordings from great actors and everyday people. Some of the celebrities reading the chapters include Tilda Swinton, Stephen Fry, Simon Callow, Tony Kushner, John Waters, Sir David Attenborough, and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Ready to listen to a free unabridged recording of Moby Dick? Listen to Herman Melville's epic whaling tale, available on MP3 download.

7. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

Audiobooks.org is now offering a free unabridged recording of Stephen Crane's Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage. Listen as the soldier Henry Fleming enters the American Civil War, and is forced to transform from fear to courage. Told in an unflinchingly realistic and journalistic style, this novel ranks among the best American war stories. It is professionally narrated by Scott Brick and available on MP3 download from Audiobooks.org.

8. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Listen to William Shakespeare's famous tragedy Macbeth on streaming audio and MP3 download. This full cast dramatization of the play is offered by Wired for Books. Hear all the drama of Macbeth's bloody grab for power and his subsequent unraveling. The play stars Mark Mann as Macbeth and Laura Lee Parrotti as Lady Macbeth.

9. Free: The Future of a Radical Price (Unabridged) by Chris Anderson

Editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine Chris Anderson follows up his bestselling book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More, with his new book Free: The Future of a Radical Price. And in practicing what he preaches, Anderson and his publisher Hyperion are giving away his new audio book for free! We've listened to the prologue and it sounds like a very interesting book regarding the future of business in the digital age. You can download this audio book unabridged on iTunes, Audible.com, and Wired.com. This version is narrated by Mr. Anderson himself.

10. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Ejunto.com presents this free unabridged edition of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Written by Benjamin Franklin over the course of 20 years, this autobiography follows major events of Franklin's life including his publication of Poor Richard's Almanac, his quest for "moral perfection", and many other significant events reflecting life in 18th century America. The book is well narrated by Andrew Julow. Download this 6 hour audio book on MP3 from ejunto.com.

11. A Tale of Two Cities Podcast by Charles Dickens

Check out this free unabridged professional recording of A Tale of Two Cities, released by Literal Systems. Listen to this sweeping historical novel set in London and Paris around the time of the French Revolution. The audio quality is top notch and Jane Ayer's narration is superb. This classic 14-hour audio book is available on MP3 download as a podcast from Literal Systems.

12. Poetry Out Loud: Audio Guide

Download and listen to this series of MP3s from the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Out Loud program. This audio guide features some of the most famous poems of all time read by distinguished actors and writers.

13. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

Published in 1845, this autobiographical memoir written by the ex-slave Frederick Douglass tells of the treatment he endured as a slave and was a key work in promoting the abolition of slavery in America. This classic audio book is published by FreeAudio.org, and they've allowed us to offer it as a free MP3 download through LearnOutLoud.com.

14. 12 Shakespeare Plays from Speak the Speech

We've just been informed of a great new resource for listening to Shakespeare's plays on audio. Speak the Speech is a non-profit audio theatre company dedicated to providing freely available Shakespearean audio performances online. Collaborating with a full cast of actors in Portland, Oregon, they've recorded some of the best audio versions of Shakespeare's plays available and they've made them available for free on MP3 download through their website. Here are the plays they're offering:

As You Like It
Henry IV, Part One
Henry IV, Part Two
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night
A Winter's Tale
Sounds of Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra, King John, Cymbeline, King Richard II, and The Merry Wives of Windsor

15. The Republic by Plato

The Republic by Plato is one of the most influential works of philosophy in history. In the form of Socratic dialogue, Plato's teacher and protagonist Socrates sets out to find an answer to the question: "What is justice?". Along the way Socrates discusses the ideal city-state and his theory of forms, which includes his famous allegory of the cave. This is a new, freely available, unabridged edition of The Republic. It is well read by narrator Doug McLeod and is available on MP3 download from ejunto.com.

16. Heart of Darkness Audiobook Podcast by Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad's classic novella Heart of Darkness has recently been made available for free on audio download. LoudLit.org and LiteralSystems have produced this professional sounding audio book that is narrated by Tom Franks. Listen to the highly symbolic tale of Marlow's journey down the Congo River. This unabridged audio book is available on MP3 Download from and can also be subscribed to as a podcast.

17. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka's novella is a bonafide 20th century classic about a traveling salesman that wakes up one morning to find his body has been transformed into that of a giant dung beatle. This highly symbolic tale about the plight of the modern working man, human alienation, and the eternal need to fit in has gone on to be Kafka's signature work. The audio version is brought to you through Thought Audio, and is narrated in a crisp performance by Michael Scott. If you've ever been interested in Kafka or have heard of the story's premise but never checked it out, now is the time. This book really is as good as everyone says!

18. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Listen to Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic American novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. One of the bestselling novels of its time, the book vividly depicts African American slavery and it had a profound influence on the abolitionist movement. This unabridged 18-hour audio book is dynamically narrated by John Greenman and available on MP3 download through LibriVox.org.

19. Anthem by Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand's books are made for audio. In these busy times very few people have the time to sit down and read The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. But get these audio books and pop them on in your car while you're commuting and you can finish them up in a month or two. It's a great testament to the opportunity represented by audio learning. If you would like to check start off with a more bite-sized portion of Rand's wisdom check out ThoughtAudio's production of Anthem, one of Rand's earlier novels. Anthem sets the stage for what's to come in Rand's later works. It's an entertaining science fiction novella and a great introduction to Ayn Rand's philosophy. This audio book is available on MP3 download through ThoughAudio.com and narrated by Michael Scott.

20. The Iliad by Homer

Listen to Homer's ancient Greek epic poem The Iliad, translated by Samuel Butler. Learn about the wrath of Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan War, along with a whole cast of Greeks, Trojans, and gods that battle throughout the final year of the siege of Troy. Attributed to Homer in the 8th century B.C., The Iliad stands as the oldest work of European literature still in existence. It is read by a number of different volunteer narrators at LibriVox and the quality sounds pretty good for each of them. It is unabridged with a running time of 14 Hrs. 30 Min. and is available on MP3 download through Librivox.org.

21. The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles

A volunteer narrator at Librivox.org has recorded The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. The book is a cornerstone of personal growth and wealth building. This 2-hour audio book is narrated by Diana Majlinger. About this audio book: This book is a practical manual. It is intended for the men and women whose most pressing need is for money; who wish to get rich first, and philosophize afterward. It is for those who have, so far, found neither the time, the means, nor the opportunity to study this matter deeply, but who want results and who are willing to take the conclusions of science as a basis for action, without going into all the processes by which those conclusions were reached.

22. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of the Four
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Valley of Fear

You can now download all four of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's great Sherlock Holmes novels from Gutenberg.org on MP3 audio download. They are being made freely available from AudiobooksForFree.com with professional narration from British thespian John Telfer. AudiobooksForFree.com offers many audio books for free at a low bit rate of 8 kbps which is not very listenable. But for these Sherlock Holmes audio books, AudiobooksForFree.com has donated them to be offered on Gutenberg.org at higher quality bit rates of 16 kbps and 32 kbps which are both listenable. To get the 32 kbps MP3 files click the "More Files..." link at the bottom of the list of MP3s on the page on Gutenberg.org and you'll see links to the files at this quality.

23. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

From audiobooks.org comes this free edition of Daniel Defoe's classic adventure tale Robinson Crusoe. The novel tells the story of an English castaway who spends 28 years on a remote island. This unabridged recording seems to be from a narration conducted in the 1970s, but the narrator and audio quality still sound good. This title is available on MP3 download.

24. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

Listen to Mary Shelley's classic tale of Gothic horror and science fiction. Written at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, this allegorical novel reveals the dark side of modern man's irresponsible use of technology. This free unabridged audio book has been recorded by a group of narrators at LibriVox, and they all sound like quality readers with good audio recordings. Download Frankenstein on MP3 from Lit2Go.

25. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

ejunto.com is site which features free mp3 downloads of historical and philosophical audio books (it's named after Benjamin Franklin's literary club called The Junto). They currently feature a free unabridged recording of The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. This political philosophy classic describes how political leaders can obtain and maintain power. It is well narrated by Andrew Julow and available on MP3 download from ejunto.com.

26. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Listen to Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Age of Innocence. Brenda Dayne has narrated a very fine unabridged recording of the book and put it out in its entirety as a podcast. Immerse yourself into the upper class of New York City, in an age when "being things" was better than "doing things"!

27. Alice in Wonderland by Storynory Podcast by Lewis Carroll

Listen to Lewis Carroll's fantastic tale of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland offered as a podcast by Storynory. Follow Alice down the Rabbit Hole as she meets the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and many other curious characters. The story twists logic in ways that have entertained both kids and adults since it was first published in 1865. This 12-chapter, unabridged audio book is professionally narrated by actress Natasha Gostwick, and is available on MP3 download.

28. The Words of Christ: From the Book of Matthew

Listen to The Words of Christ: From the Book of Matthew. This audio book, released by ThoughtAudio.com isolates everything uttered by Christ in the gospel according to Matthew. Extracted from the narrative of the Bible, Christ's message is distilled to its core values. Simple in its language yet still potent in its ever-present challenge to humanity, this is as unfiltered of a view of the gospel as one might ever find. This recording is a wonderful opportunity to engage with the gospel from a new point of view. This audio book is available to download in multiple MP3 segments.

29. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Download the audio book version of the memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. This book has now been adapted into the major motion picture 12 Years a Slave, and the movie has received widespread critical acclaim. Solomon Northup's slave narrative covers the 12 years he was kept in bondage in Louisiana and provides a factual first-person account of slavery at that time. The book was a bestseller when it was published, but it fell into obscurity for almost 100 years before it was rediscovered in the 1960s. This book is read by Rob Board at Librivox.

30. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

Listen to German author Thomas Mann's classic 1912 novella Death in Venice. In this story, Mann introduces us to Gustav Achenbach, a well respected man of letters, whose strict dedication to his craft has led him to the kind of solitary loneliness reserved for great thinkers. After deciding to take a vacation in order to reduce his stress, he finds his way to Venice and makes a discovery there that awakens a passion within himself that he'd suppressed his entire life. This novella was translated from the German 1912 edition by Martin C. Doeg and we sincerely thank him for his permission to record it as an audio book. It is well narrated by Tom Laskey. Note: The free version is a video we have posted to YouTube on this page. To download it you'll need to purchase it.

31. The Call of the Wild (from ThoughtAudio.com)
The Call of the Wild (from Lit2Go)
The Call of the Wild (from Librivox) by Jack London

Listen to one of the all-time classic American books by writer Jack London: The Call of the Wild. This is the tale of the dog Buck who is sent to Alaska to become a sled dog where he quickly learns how to survive the cold winter nights. From there Buck goes on many adventures until he finally heeds the call of the wild. Listen to this 3 hour and 30 minute audio book to get you through these cold winter nights. We have three free versions to choose from.

32. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

Listen to an unabridged recording of W.E.B. Du Bois' classic work of African-American literature The Souls of Black Folk. Published in 1903, Du Bois begins his collection of essays on race with the statement that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line." The essays that followed were instrumental to the intellectual argument for the black freedom struggle in the twentieth century. This audio book is read in a straightforward manner by Torias Uncle at Librivox and is available on MP3 download.

33. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Travel into the future with H.G. Wells' classic novel The Time Machine. Bear witness to Morlocks and more in the year 802,701 A.D. This audio book is available on MP3 Digital Download from Project Gutenberg. It is well narrated by Roy Trumbull who runs The Story Spieler site which features many other stories and interesting audio programs.

34. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

This free audio book comes from Lit2Go, which is the University of South Florida's massive collection of free audio literature on MP3 download. They are all narrated by quality voice actors it seems and we've added a lot of their audio books to LearnOutLoud.com. Crime and Punishment by the great Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky is the second of his full-length novels. It tells the story of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov who is emotionally, physically, and financially stressed, but believes that he is an extraordinary man that does not have to follow the moral codes of ordinary people. Find out what this drives Raskolnikov to do in this classic Russian novel. It is translated by Constance Garnett and is available on MP3 audio download from Lit2Go!

35. Beowulf

Listen to the epic tale of Beowulf as he fights off Grendel and his venomous mother. Beowulf stands as one of the first and greatest works of English literature. Originally written in Old English, this translation by Francis Barton Gummere updates it to Modern English. A great story to be listened to, this audio book is well read by a group of seven narrators at LibriVox. It is available on MP3 Download.

36. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

A new film version of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel Jane Eyre comes out in theaters today. Whether or not you're going to check out the film, you should definitely give a listen to this great novel if you never have before. In this first-person narrative you follow the title character as she matures from childhood to adulthood. Its portrayal of the development of a thinking and passionate young woman led it to sometimes be regarded as an important early feminist novel. Librivox.org offer three versions of this novel and we think we picked out the best one narrated by Elizabeth Klett, who is one of the most prolific and talented volunteer narrators at Librivox. Enjoy this novel on MP3 and now even M4B bookmarkable audiobook download.

37. Bleak House by Charles Dicken

Want to take on an ambitiously long novel that you may never get a chance to read? Try listening to Charles Dicken's 43-hour novel Bleak House. This vast novel features an ensemble cast of Dickensian characters filling the novels numerous plots and subplots, with the focus being on the British judiciary system in the 19th century. This audio book is entirely narrated by Cynthia Lyons over at LibriVox and is available on MP3 download.

38. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

If you're not ready to dive into the 1000+ page (60+ hours on audio) book War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, then Tolstoy's Anna Karenina might be a better place to start. Maryann Spiegel at Librivox has just completed narrating this free unabridged, 36-hour version of the work which is translated by Nathan Haskell Dole. Listen to the tragic tale of married aristocrat Anna Karenina and her affair with the wealthy Count Vronsky. If William Faulkner called it "the best novel ever written" and Fyodor Dostoevsky said it was "flawless as a work of art", then you know it must be pretty good. Download this free audio book from Librivox.org on MP3 or bookmarkable M4B (a lot of Librivox's catalog is actually now available on M4B).

39. The Odyssey by Homer

Listen to Homer's epic poem The Odyssey which follows the Greek hero Odysseus on his journey from Troy to his home of Ithaca after the Trojan War. This unabridged edition is a collaborative effort from LibriVox involving 16 narrators, and they all seem to have adequate sound quality and narrating ability. Download this 24-book, 11 hour audio epic on MP3 from LibriVox.

40. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow

We thought we'd spice up our free audio book offerings with a bit of contemporary science fiction literature. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is the first novel by blogger and science fiction author Cory Doctorow and it was the first novel released under one of the Creative Commons licenses allowing for it to be recorded on audio and distributed for free. Sean Puckett at Voices in the Dark does a fine job of narrating this 4-hour audio book. The novel follows the story of the 100-year-old Jules as he fights to redeem the the artistic purity of Disney World in the 22nd century. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 2004. This audio book is available for free on MP3 download from Voices in the Dark.

41. Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Listen to Thomas Paine's classic political pamphlet published in 1776, during the American Revolution. This hugely popular book argued for independence from British rule and persuaded many to believe that revolution was necessary. We'd like to thank
FreeAudio.org for allowing us to offer this superb 2-hour unabridged audio book. Download this classic work of American political prose available on MP3 download directly through LearnOutLoud.com.

42. Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all time. It is the first and only novel written by the English author Anna Sewell and it was published shortly before she passed away in 1878. The story is written in the form of an autobiographical memoir told by a horse named Black Beauty. As we follow Black Beauty throughout her life the story contains many allegorical lessons that teach us to treat both people and animals with kindness and respect. The novel is narrated by one of Librivox.org's best volunteer narrators Cori Samuel. It is available on MP3 download from Librivox.org.

43. The Law by Frederic Bastiat

Frederic Bastiat's "The Law" produced by Mises Institute is one of the best free audio books available. Bastiat's brief treatise on law is a passionate cry for his belief that law should only be put in place to maintain life, liberty, and property. He denounces legislators and philosophers who seek legalized plunder, moral coercion, and numerous other methods of force through law which encroach on liberties. The production quality is professional and Floy Lilley's narration is superb.

44. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This F. Scott Fitzgerald story was recently adapted into a major motion picture. Hear the story behind the film, as Fitzgerald tells the fantastic tale of Benjamin who is born as a seventy-year-old man in 1860 and grows younger throughout his entire life. This audio book is available on MP3 download from ThoughtAudio.com.

45. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Listen to American author Edith Wharton's classic novel Ethan Frome. Set in the wintry New England town named Starkfield at the turn of the 20th century, this novel tells the story of Ethan Frome as he seeks to escape his sickly wife Zeena for his young, beautiful cousin Mattie. Running a modest 3 Hrs. and 15 Min., it's a great quick listen for newcomers and fans of the literature of Edith Wharton. This title is well narrated by Elizabeth Klett and is available to download on MP3 from LibriVox.org.

46. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Listen to the unabridged final edition of Walt Whitman's seminal work of American poetry Leaves of Grass. First published in 1855, Whitman continued to expand and revise this work from 12 poems to nearly 400 poems in 1891 when he published his "deathbed edition". Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson's The Poet essay, Whitman answered Emerson's call to create a uniquely American poetry. This 19-hour unabridged edition is read by a collective of volunteer narrators over at LibriVox.org.

47. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Listen to this classic French novel about Emma Bovary who tries desperately to escape her provincial life in 19th century France. After her marriage to a French doctor, Emma finds him dull and through adulterous affairs she escapes the boredom of their marriage. She also buys luxuries outside of her means, but as her debts began to mount up she has to face reality. This novel is narrated by a troop of volunteers over at LibriVox.org and is available on MP3 download. The translation is by Eleanor Marx.

48. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Listen to Henry James' classic Victorian ghost story of a governess and the children she cares for as the deal with the mysterious spirits of their estate. The ambiguous nature of the novel has kept literary critics guessing its meanings for over a century. This spellbinding tale is narrated by Nikolle Doolin over at LibriVox.org and is available on MP3 download.

49. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

We all know the phrase "Jekyll and Hyde", but how many of us have read the book which created this classic example of a split personality? Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde is full of mystery and intrigue as the lawyer Mr. Utterson seeks to discover who Mr. Hyde is after a series of bizarre crimes committed by Hyde. Utterson seeks out the advice of the respectable Dr. Jekyll who has an interesting relationship with Mr. Hyde. This novella has a running time of 3 Hrs. with a fine Brit narration by David Barnes. It is available on MP3 download from LibriVox. If you're traveling somewhere this Labor Day weekend, then this is a perfect classic audio book to listen to on a long car ride.

50. The Aeneid by Virgil

With the Aeneid, the Roman poet Virgil provides his home country with a nationalistic origin grounded squarely in Homeric myth. The poem follows Aeneas, one of the few survivors of Troy's destruction, as he leads the last of his men through a series of trials as they make their way to Italian shores. Once they reach their sacred Latium, the Roman Goddess Juno incites a war between the incoming Trojans and the local chieftains led by the Achilles-esque Turnus. A fight for national destiny ensues, and Rome is given a birth that befits its self-identified greatness.

51. Dracula by Bram Stoker

We thought you might want to listen to one of the greatest horror stories of all time: Bram Stoker's Dracula. This classic vampire story examines modern Victorian culture and the gothic occult dimension that lies beneath it. Listen and you will meet not only Count Dracula himself, but heroes Jonathan Harker and Abraham Van Helsing, plus an array of madmen, psychiatrists, and fair maidens who cross paths with the fanged menace.

52. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

Listen to this free unabridged edition of H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Published in 1898, this classic science fiction novel depicts for the first time an alien invasion of Earth. Rebecca (a British man) delivers a splendid narration. This audio book is available from LibriVox on MP3 download.

53. The Works of Edgar Allan Poe

No one else spins a Gothic tale of mystery & macabre quite like Edgar Allan Poe. In this collection of his stories you'll hear such famous Poe stories as "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Masque of the Red Death", "The Pit and the Pendulum", and "The Tell-Tale Heart". Poe's popular stories and poems made him a living in his day and continue to be popular. These short stories are read by a group of volunteer narrators at Librivox.org.

54. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Listen to Emily Bronte's only published novel Wuthering Heights. Emily decided to publish her novel after the success of her sister Charlotte's novel, Jane Eyre. The novel Wuthering Heights tells the tale of the passionate, yet thwarted, love between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw and how it affects the cast of characters around them. This unabridged audio book is narrated by Librivox volunteer Ruth Golding who has a lovely British accent.

55. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Walden details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years in a cabin he built near Walden Pond in the woodlands near Concord, Massachusetts. Through simple living and self-sufficiency Thoreau developed his transcendentalist philosophy amongst nature. Loaded with wisdom, Thoreau reminds us in this book that "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them", and Thoreau tries to point us towards rising above this fate.

56. The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Listen to G. K. Chesterton's metaphysical thriller The Man Who Was Thursday. Chesterton sets this novel in turn-of-the-century London, as Scotland Yard sends a poet named Gabriel Syme undercover to investigate a group of anarchist poets. He is soon elected to the Central Council of Anarchists and given the code name Thursday. Chesterton includes many metaphysical and theological discussions in the book. This audio book is unabridged and well narrated by Zachary Brewster-Geisz. It is available on MP3 download.

57. Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Download one of the greatest Russian novels of all time: Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev. The 1862 novel portrays the clash of two generations of Russians, as the youthful Arkady returns to his father Nikolai's estate after graduating from the University of Petersburg, and Arkady brings along his nihilist friend Bazarov. From there the story follows Arkady and Bazarov as their nihilism eventually falls apart in the face of human emotions. This unabridged novel is available for free on MP3 audio download from Librivox.org.

58. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Download Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. This classic work of Stoic philosophy by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius has been a source of guidance and self-improvement for thousands of years. This unabridged version is narrated by a number of volunteer narrators at LibriVox.org and is available on MP3 download. This Harvard Classics edition contains a biography and summary of Marcus Aurelius' philosophy by George Long at the conclusion of the audio book.

59. Utopia Podcast by Sir Thomas More

Download Sir Thomas More's famous work Utopia, published in 1515. This title refers to an imaginary society More developed in order to show the virtues of a place where private property does not exist, almost complete religious toleration is practiced, and other things took shape which More imagined would lead to societal perfection. This controversial novel is superbly narrated by Patrick Horgan and available as a downloadable podcast courtesy of SwitchPod.

60. Dream Psychology: Psychoanalysis for Beginners by Sigmund Freud

Download the audio book of Sigmund Freud's Dream Psychology. This book distills Freud's ideas on dream psychology into a compact manual. While Freud's magnum opus The Interpretation Of Dreams can be overwhelming in its length and scientific language, this audio book attempts to convey Freud's words on dream psychology in language fit for the lay reader through nine straightforward chapters. This book is presented on audio for the first time by Librivox.org and is narrated by a number of their volunteer narrators.

61. Paradise Lost by John Milton

Download an unabridged recording of John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost for free on MP3 from Librivox. Listen as Milton seeks to "justify the ways of God to men" through the story of the fall of Man as the fallen angel Satan tempts Adam and Eve which leads to their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. This 12-book, 9 1/2 hour audio program is narrated by group of volunteer narrators at Librivox. And reading or listening to Milton is no walk in the park. To help guide you along with this audio book we are also featuring a free course from Yale University entitled "Milton" taught by Professor John Rogers. This course features an introduction to the poetry of Milton along with 10 lectures on Paradise Lost. It is available on streaming video through YouTube and downloadable audio & video on the Yale website: Milton Course from Yale.

62. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.

The Elements of Style is a small guide written by William Strunk, Jr. that teaches the two fundamentals of good writing: how to choose the right words and how to compose them together without wasting space. The book was later revised by Strunk's student, E.B. White into a second edition that has become a classic. Before expanding the book in 1959, White fondly remembered the 1918 edition as a "forty-three-page summation of the case for cleanliness, accuracy, and brevity in the use of English." Since succinctness is one of the major points stressed in The Elements of Style, we recommend listening to this Librivox version of Strunk's original text first before moving on to the later editions. Even at 43 pages, you get everything you need to begin writing clearly, economically, and powerfully. Download this free audio book from Librivox!

63. The Communist Manifesto (from Librivox) by Karl Marx
The Communist Manifesto (from Thought Audio)
The Communist Manifesto (from ejunto.org)

Today we are featuring 3 free versions of Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto. This short work (with a running time of only 1 hour and 15 minutes) has been recognized as one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. First published on February 21, 1848, the book lays out the class struggle between the "Bourgeois and Proletarians", and how communists will arise from the working-class and overthrow the capitalist system. The work ends with the rallying cry of communism: "Workers of the world, unite!". Download this free audio book on MP3 today!

64. Ulysses by James Joyce

Wit back and listen to Irish author James Joyce's masterpiece of Modernist literature Ulysses. Archive.org features a free multi-voiced, professional recording of the unabridged audio book to play and download on MP3. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Ulysses first on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century! Listen to Joyce employ the stream-of-consciousness technique as he follows Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day on June 16, 1904. This novel contains 265,000 words and has a running time of 32 hours.

65. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Download and listen to one of Charles Dickens' greatest novels: Great Expectations! This coming-of-age Victorian novel follows a young orphan named Pip through his personal development into adulthood when he grows up to become a fine young gentleman. This novel is well read by one of the readers at Lit2Go and is available on MP3 audio download from their newly designed site.

66. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

A gentleman over at LibriVox has recently narrated James Joyce's first novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. This classic tale of Stephen Dedalus follows the young man during his formative years as he breaks away from the Irish Catholic conventions of his past to become an artist who will "encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race." The narrator is Peter Bobbe and it sounds like he's done a fine job with a high quality recording. Download this unabridged audio book on MP3 from LibriVox.

67. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

E.M. Forster's A Room with a View tells the story of two young lovers torn apart by extreme social divisions in early 20th century Europe. Lucy Honeychurch and George Emerson meet during a vacation in Italy and after a series of brief encounters, an unstated love affair develops that runs counter to the wishes of Lucy's society and family. Forster's characterization of Lucy offers an early, proto-feminist portrait of a newly self-empowered generation beginning to flourish in Europe in the years leading up to World War I. Her passionate time with George in Italy is contrasted with the hard restrictions imposed on her in her native England, offering a telling portrait of the era, its young people, and their dreams of greater freedom.

68. Candide by Voltaire

Listen to this French satire written by the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire and published in 1759. In this short work with a running time of only 4 hours, Voltaire delivers a relentless, brutal assault on government, society, religion, education, and, above all, optimism. The novel follows the character of Candide after he is indoctrinated with optimism by his mentor, Pangloss, who teaches his pupils that they live in the "best of all possible worlds". Candide then goes out into the world is lead through a slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships. Download this classic French novel narrated by Ted Delorme at Librivox.

69. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Download Fyodor Dostoyevsky's final novel The Brothers Karamazov, which he published in 1880. Follow the story of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov and his three sons Dmitri, Ivan, and Alexei as their stories involve ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. Listen to this unabridged 38-hour audio book that is translated by Constance Garnett and read by numerous volunteers at Librivox.org.

70. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

Download and listen to this major work by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In this work Nietzsche sets out to transcend traditional morality and condemns much of Western philosophy for being subservient to this morality. Nietzsche wants to replace this morality with his idea of the "will to power". By getting past universal ideas of good and evil, Nietzsche feels that modern man create new values and meaning to life. This work is also peppered with a collection of Nietzsche's famous aphorisms. This 8-hour unabridged audio book is narrated by a group of volunteers and can be downloaded from Librivox.org.

71. How to Speak and Write Correctly by Joseph Devlin

Listen to this classic text on how to speak and write correctly in English. The author Joseph Devlin purports that the book "is merely an effort to help ordinary, everyday people to express themselves in ordinary, everyday language, in a proper manner." Published in 1910 this book is still useful for learning how to create sentences, use figures of speech, write letters, and more. This download is available from Librivox.org on MP3 download and it is read by a number of their volunteer narrators including David Barnes, Kara Shallenberg, and Hugh McGuire. Start improving your writing and speaking today!

72. Les Miserables, Volume 1 by Victor Hugo
Les Miserables, Volume 2
Les Miserables, Volume 3
Les Miserables, Volume 4
Les Miserables, Volume 5

Download and listen to Librivox's 5-volume, 50-hour unabridged recording of Victor Hugo's epic historical novel Les Miserables. In the 1980s the novel was adapted into a hugely successful musical which ran for 6,680 performances from 1987 to 2003. And now that musical has been adapted into the 2012 film Les Miserables which is now in theaters across the USA! Get back to the source material with Victor Hugo's story of ex-convict Jean Valjean and dozens of other characters in nineteenth century France. This entire audio book is available to download on Librivox.org.

73. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Librivox is offering a free download of The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. Listen to the amazing autobiography of the early life of Helen Keller as she broke through her deafblind isolation from language with the help of her teacher Anne Sullivan. Helen Keller would go on to be a prolific author, political activist, and lecturer. This 4 hour audio book is narrated by George Cooney.

74. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James

The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James is now available for free on audio download Librivox. This classic work on the nature of religion is by the great American psychologist and philosopher William James. The book comes from a series of lectures that James delivered at the University of Edinburgh in 1901 on "natural religion". The resulting work is considered one of the most important texts on psychology and spirituality, and is often cited as one of the best works of nonfiction written in the 20th century.

75. Middlemarch by George Eliot

With Middlemarch, George Eliot weaves several narratives together to make a coherent statement on the changing values, goals, and social dynamics of Britain during the 1830s. It follows Dorothea Brooke as she struggles to define herself chiefly within the confines of a stifling marriage, witnesses idealist Doctor Tertius Lydgate's as his ambitions crumble due to personal vice, and chases after the wayward Fred Vincy as he tries to define his destiny in order to win the heart of his childhood friend. Throughout this huge novel, Eliot uses the peculiar dynamics of small-town life that are still recognizable to modern readers as a way to explore the status of women, the value of religion, the limits of ambition, and much more. Within the narrative, Eliot also sets up an oppositional structure that scrutinizes how rural England was grappling with national democratic reform after centuries of dominance by a landed elite. This deftly handled, delicately rendered masterpiece of English literature is still popular, yet sometimes may be overlooked when compared to more visible works by Dickens, the Brontes, or Austen. We feel Middlemarch deserves to be put at the top of the list for anyone interested in the English novel and especially for fans of the the aforementioned authors. Download this free unabridged audio book from Librivox.

76. Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell

Download Russell H. Conwell's Acres of Diamonds. Originating from a speech that Conwell delivered thousands of times throughout the United States, this book provides wisdom on finding opportunity and fortune within one's own community. Russell Conwell was a Baptist minister and an outstanding orator, and his words are well-narrated here by Scott Dahlem at Librivox. Listen to this classic work on how to find wealth and prosperity no matter where you are.

77. Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Before Dostoevsky wrote his classic novels The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment, he published this short novel which follows the thoughts and memories of the Underground Man in St. Petersburg, Russia. Through the novel Dostoevsky lays out the philosophy of the Underground Man and the themes in his ideas have established the book as one of the world's first existentialist novels.

78. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

D.H. Lawrence's early masterpiece Sons and Lovers examines the complex relationship between a mother and her two sons as they come of age in a small mining town. After marrying a man of lower class, the mother Gertrude inherits a life she comes to feel is beneath her and transfers the passion she once had for her husband Walter over to her two sons, first William, and later Paul. As the sons grow and develop their own lives apart from Gertrude, their worlds begin to fall apart, and the younger Paul must decide if he will give his heart to a new lover, or stay loyal to a mother that craves his total attention. Librivox records Lawrence's classic modern novel with appropriate passion, giving this potent story of one family's disintegration the energy it deserves.

79. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

Download Mark Twain's fantastic tale about a 19th-century resident of Hartford, Connecticut who, after a blow to the head, awakens to find himself inexplicably transported back in time to early medieval England at the time of the legendary King Arthur. Published in 1889, this is the novel Twain wrote right after Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Underneath the entertaining story is a sharp social satire. This novel is read by John Greenman who has voiced over a dozen Mark Twain books over at Librivox.org.

80. The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland may be the most important modern poem ever written, and marks a turning point in 20th century literature. Drawing from a dizzying array of literary references that allude to passages from the western canon, Buddhist thought, and Hindu scripture, this 434 line poem utilizes these historical texts to make comment on contemporary British society. Mundane details are crossed with ancient Sanskrit in a deliberately disjointed structural scheme that loosely follows Holy Grail folklore, particularly the story of the Fisher King. Eliot's overriding themes explore the pervasive degeneration that has seeped into the culture of his era, depriving the modern mind of access to true meaning. Librivox offers a fine reading of the text, but we recommend bringing along a reference key to keep up with all of the literary allusions!

81. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Listen to a great love story in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Hardy himself thought it his finest novel and Tess the most deeply felt character he ever created. Hear the tragic tale as Tess is torn between the aristocratic Alec d'Urberville and her true love Angel Clare. This novel is being offered for free on audio download from Librivox and is narrated by Adrian Praetzellis.

82. The Art of Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie & Joseph B. Esenwein

Before Dale Carnegie penned How to Win Friends and Influence People, he co-author The Art of Public Speaking with Joseph B. Esenwein in 1915. This book has finally been recorded on audio by a group of volunteer narrators at Librivox. The unabridged audio book runs 19 hours and contains 31 chapters for how to improve your public speaking. The last 15 sections of this audio book are real speeches by famous men to function as a study aid. Download this free self help classic available on Librivox.

83. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Listen to F. Scott Fitzgerald's debut novel published in 1920. The book follows young Midwesterner Amory Blaine who heads out for Princeton, serves in World War I, and then returns to New York where he falls in love. H.L. Mencken wrote that This Side of Paradise was the "best American novel that I have seen of late." It was a popular novel that earned Fitzgerald renown and is in many ways autobiographical. The unabridged 10-hour novel is read by Mark F. Smith at Librivox and available for free on MP3 audio download.

84. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (from Librivox) by L. Frank Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (from Lit2Go)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (also called simply The Wizard of Oz) was the basis for the well-known 1939 film version, but differs from the film in many ways as well. It is the first of the Oz books of which L. Frank Baum wrote 13 total. Follow the adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion as they journey to the Emerald City to seek the help of the Wizard of Oz, and then must confront the Wicked Witch of the West.

85. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas' swashbuckling novel The Count of Monte Cristo is the perennially popular tale of one man's determined quest for justice after he is wrongfully imprisoned for many years. This character's dramatic fall and patient rise to new power examines the personal costs of taking revenge, not only for the person who was wronged, but for the people caught in his righteous wake. Now considered on equal footing with Dumas' other classic novel, The Three Musketeers, Monte Cristo offers all of the adventure and romance of a blockbuster movie bundled with a recurrent, bittersweet note examining what we lose when an obsession comes to define our every waking moment. With the Librivox recording, Dumas' fast-paced narrative is given a clean, well-performed reading that gives this exciting story a proper telling.

86. Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac

Balzac's Father Goriot is the author and playwright's most popular novel, a study of three individuals as they try to try to climb a shifting social latter during a period in French history where social structures were constricting and poverty often led to desperation. Balzac focuses his narrative on a boarding house in Paris, where the old man Goriot, a criminal in hiding, and an impressionable law student all find themselves living and sometimes struggling together towards a better life in the city. As they interface with each other, their families and fortunes intertwine with fatal results. Written in a realistic style that was cutting edge for its time, Balzac's pessimistic exploration of city life and the compromises we make in order to gain upward mobility offers a timeless critique that still rings true to modern readers. James E. Carson narrates this recording and gives proper attention to the characters and world that make the book so memorable.

87. The Education of Henry Adams

In this free unabridged recording presented by Librivox, Henry Adams recounts his life and era, starting as the son of post-revolution aristocracy (he is the heir of two Presidents, no less) and moving through a time of bewildering change that rendered the American landscape of his youth unrecognizable. Adams was a man stuck between two eras, living in a region of the country that was one of the first to witness the effects of the industrial revolution first hand. From his unique perspective, Adams was able to comment on how America changed at a very important time and to reflect on what was both improved and what was lost as the world marched inexorably towards modernization. The autobiography also serves as a pungent critique of formal education in the 19th century, a system that left Adams unprepared for the scientific and technological innovations that fueled this new age and forced him to pursue self-education in order to keep up. This unabridged recording is read by Jeannie at Librivox.org.

88. The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy

Years after the great Russian author Leo Tolstoy had written War and Peace and Anna Karenina, he published this nonfiction work in 1894 entitled The Kingdom of God is Within You. This work is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy's Christian anarchist thinking. The book was heavily influential on Mohandas Gandhi and his ideas of nonviolent resistance, and Gandhi and Tolstoy shared correspondence until Tolstoy's death in 1910. This book is read by a host of volunteers at Librivox.

89. Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self Reliance is perhaps Ralph Waldo Emerson's most famous essay. This version, narrated by Brian Johnson from Zaadz, is both thought-provoking and inspirational. Ralph Waldo Emerson pushes the listener to break free of the dependence on society and the masses of man and to rely solely upon oneself. Always pushing us to follow our own nature & intuition, Emerson denounces those who allow themselves to be victims of society or history. He wants great men to rise from the limitations of cultural institutions and stand as giants casting shadows over the ages. Throughout the essay there is wisdom loaded in every sentence and it can be listened to again and again. Download this free classic audio book on MP3 directly from LearnOutLoud.com.

90. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Listen to the classic gothic tale of Dorian Gray who sells his soul to embrace the new hedonism promoted by Lord Henry Wotton. Dorian Gray remains the same age, but a portrait of him serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form. Download this controversial work of gothic fiction on MP3.

91. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Written in 1762, Jean-Jacques Rousseau's The Social Contract gave passionate voice to a moment in world history that saw the balance of power shift away from monarchy towards the rights of the individual. Stripping the question of government down to its essence, Rousseau begins by asking if it's even possible for a group of people to govern themselves fairly. He uses examples from nature to argue that it may just be that man was never meant to work together in this way, citing the horrible state of European politics that he saw around him at the time. His solution is a two-part division of power based on the will of the people that the reader quickly realizes had a direct influence on the subsequent revolutions that rocked America and France beginning in the 1770's. Librivox's recording of this classic in political philosophy offers a good translation and wonderful performance emphasizing the righteous anger that fuels the entire text. For a good followup, we also recommend listening to Thomas Paine's Common Sense to see how Rousseau's ideas were directly applied during the American Revolution.

92. The Speaking Voice by Katherine Jewell Everts

Download and listen to this classic self development book for public speaking The Speaking Voice: Principles Of Training Simplified And Condensed by Katherine Jewell Everts. This audio book "contains practical directions accompanied by simple and fundamental exercises, first for the freeing of the voice and then for developing it when free". Everts deals with speaking in terms of tone, pitch, inflection, and much more. The unabridged 5-hour audio book is read entirely by one of Librivox's best narrators, Ruth Golding.

93. Pragmatism by William James

Pragmatism is a philosophical approach that tests any belief or theory by virtue of it's practical use. In this recorded summary of lectures provided by Librivox, groundbreaking psychologist, philosopher and religious thinker William James, lays Pragmatism out in clear detail, with arguments given for why the system excels when compared to other competing theories. Developed in the late 19th century by a group consisting of James and chief advocate Charles Sanders Pierce, Pragmatism was was designed to test theoretical concepts against the final authority of actual experience, thus making it easy to adapt or reconfigure a hypothesis if it couldn't be applied in a practical way. In short, the usefulness of an idea was paramount to these thinkers, with a verification process that influenced the development of other fields in the 20th century, such as psychology and social science theory. Download this unabridged audio book from Librivox today!

94. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Listen to the story of Peter Pan, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up! This classic story was first written as a play by J. M. Barrie, and then revised and expanded into a novel in 1911. Join Peter Pan as he whisks Wendy and the darling children off to Never-land where they encounter the dastardly Captain Hook and magical adventures happen everyday. This audio book is being offered for free by Librivox.

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

Listen to this free audio book about The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond. This classic book on love is our free audio book for February. Written in 1880 by Scottish evangelist Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World draws its message from the Apostle Paul's argument that love is man's true path to God. Using a key text from 1st Corinthians, Drummond argues that while there are many virtuous emotions we all must practice cultivating in order to live a fuller life, none is more paramount than a loving outlook. With an urgent passion that bespeaks the era in which he lived, Drummond testifies that if we only take a little more time each day to operate from a basis of loving kindness, others will notice and be attracted to our living example.

96. Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville

Far from Melville's sea-faring novels, is this short story which is set on Wall Street. A lawyer hires a peculiar scrivener who soon begins living in the law office. Similar to themes in many Kafka stories, this short story is one of the most famous in American literature.

97. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

One of the high watermarks of 19th century Russian literature, Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls is the author's lacerating critique of the flaws he saw running rampant in his society. The book follows the protagonist Chichikov as he journeys through the countryside purchasing "Dead Souls", or deceased serfs owned on paper by the various landowners he encounters. Thinking this shifty goal of acquiring quick "wealth" will work splendidly, he soon encounters a few snags due to the greed, suspicion, and distrust of their former owners. After initial success, he returns home only to find himself buried in rumors that his new-found wealth is based on false, or deceased "property", leading to a rumor-fueled disaster that sheds light on a long, shady past. What's obvious is Chichikov himself is the truest dead soul depicted, and that the culture surrounding him is in a similar state of decay. Librivox's recording offers a great rendition of this Russian masterpiece, bringing Gogol's characters and world to new life.

98. Typee by Herman Melville

Listen to Herman Melville’s first book Typee available from Americana Phonic on MP3 download. The narrative recounts Melville's real life experiences when he jumped ship in the Marquesas Islands in 1842, and became a captive of a cannibal island tribe. This 11 1/2 hour audio book is available unabridged with excellent narration by Michael Scherer, who doesn't overdramatize yet still does a great sailor's voice!

99. Spirits in Bondage by C.S. Lewis

Download C.S. Lewis' first book "Spirits in Bondage" available from LibriVox. It was published in 1919 and consists of 40 poems that the 20-year-old Lewis wrote shortly after his service in World War I. Written before Lewis' conversion to Christianity, these poems contain a pessimistic outlook on religion, God, and nature along with numerous references to mythology. This audio book is well narrated by Robert Garrison and available on MP3 download through LibriVox.

100. Leo Tolstoy - What Men Live By and Other Tales

Listen to this collection of four short stories by Russian author Leo Tolstoy, entitled What Men Live By and Other Tales, published in 1885. The stories included are "What Men Live By", "The Three Questions", "The Coffee-House of Surat", and "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" These stories focus on how men should live and what is most important in life. These stories are well read by David Barnes and Alan Davis Drake. Download these classic stories today!

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