December 18, 2014

Best Audio Books of 2014


We’ve finished our Best of 2014 Audio Books List. At LearnOutLoud.com we’ve assembled a list of the best new and most popular audio book releases from 2014. You can check out all of our new releases here:

Popular 2014 Audiobook New Releases

All the audio books on our list are available on Audio Download. To make it easy, we’ve divided this list of the best new releases from 2014 into categories. We’ve picked a selection of audio books from our most popular categories. Here is a selection of great audio book gifts from the categories of Self Development, Business, and Religion & Spirituality:

Best Self Development Audio Books of 2014:

1. MONEY: Master the Game (Unabridged) by Anthony Robbins, and you can also get the abridged edition: MONEY: Master the Game (Abridged)

2. 10% Happier by Dan Harris

3. The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer

4. Staying Motivated by Zig Ziglar

5. You Can, You Will by Joel Osteen

6. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington

7. Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization by John J. Ratey

8. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

9. Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

10. Good Health, Good Life by Joyce Meyer

Best Business Audio Books of 2014:

1. The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson, abridged version available: The Innovators (Abridged)

2. Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

3. Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis

4. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

5. How Google Works by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, & Alan Eagle

Best Religion & Spirituality Audio Books of 2014:

1. The Future of God: A Practical Approach to Spirituality for Our Times by Deepak Chopra

2. Billy Graham: Candid Conversations with a Public Man by David Frost & Billy Graham

3. Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife by Eben Alexander

4. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee by Bart D. Ehrman

5. Giving Our Best: Practicing the Way of the Bodhisattva by Pema Chodron

6. Surprised by Scripture by N.T. Wright

7. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris

8. Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong

9. Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin

10. The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh

Best of Biographies, A&E, and Literature

Do you enjoy listening to literature or learning about the life of a renowned individual. We’ve made our selections for the Best Biographies, Art & Entertainment, and Literature on Audio Book in 2014.

Best Biographies of 2014:

1. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs

2. Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert M. Gates

3. Updike by Adam Begley

4. Hard Choices (Unabridged) by Hillary Rodham Clinton, also available abridged: Hard Choices (Abridged)

5. 41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush

Best Arts & Entertainment Audio Books of 2014:

1. Yes Please by Amy Poehler

2. Watch Me by Anjelica Huston

3. I Must Say by Martin Short

4. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes & Joe Layden

5. Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming

Best Literature Audio Books of 2014:

1. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

2. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

3. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

4. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B. J. Novak

5. Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

Best of History, Politics, & Science

If you love nonfiction we’ve got some of the best history, politics, & science audio books released in the past year. Browse this selection of the Best of History, Politics, & Science Audio Books of 2014.

Best History Audio Books of 2014:

1. For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice by Howard Schultz & Rajiv Chandrasekaran

2. A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre

3. Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year by Tavis Smiley & David Ritz

4. The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein

5. Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David by Lawrence Wright

Best Political Audio Books of 2014:

1. The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

2. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein

3. Dreamers and Deceivers: Obama and His Enemies by Glenn Beck

4. HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton by Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes

5. The Way Forward by Paul Ryan

Best Science Audio Books of 2014:

1. The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku

2. Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants by Jane Goodall

3. Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney

4. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

5. Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder

Download one of the best books of 2014 today!

November 16, 2014

2500 New Free Librivox Audio Books


It was quite a task, but we have just added over 2500 new free audio book downloads from Librivox.org to our site! Believe it or not the Librivox catalog has over 8000 titles now, but we feel we’ve picked out the best, bringing our total to about 3500 Librivox audio books on LearnOutLoud.com. In this post we’ll highlight the best new free audio books we’ve added. To get you started check out the Librivox publisher page:

Browse Over 3500 Free Audio Books on the Librivox Publisher Page

Now we’ll go through category by category highlighting some of the great new free audio books we’ve added!

Arts & Entertainment:

Hollywood: Its Morals and Manners by Theodore Dreiser

The Letters of a Post-Impressionist by Vincent Van Gogh

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

Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky

The Art of the Moving Picture by Vachel Lindsay

The Seven Lamps of Architecture by John Ruskin

How to Appreciate Music by Gustav Kobbe

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


The Education of Henry Adams

The Adventures of Buffalo Bill by William Frederick Cody

Representative Men by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant

Auguste Rodin by Rainer Maria Rilke

Geronimo’s Story of His Life

My Life and Work by Henry Ford

Saint Francis of Assisi: A Biography by Johannes Jorgensen


The Art of Money Getting by P.T. Barnum

Principles of Economics by Alfred Marshall

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

The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes

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

Education & Professional:

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

Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook by Maria Montessori

Notes on Nursing by Florence Nightingale

The Elements of Style by William Strunk


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

The Journal of Lewis and Clarke

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

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

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

A Popular History of Ireland by Thomas D’Arcy McGee

The French Revolution by Hilaire Belloc

Ten Days that Shook the World by John Reed


French Self-Taught by Franz J.L. Thimm

My Very First Little German Book

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


The Magic Skin by Honore de Balzac

Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

Futuria Fantasia, Spring 1940 by Ray Bradbury

The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Faust Part I by Johann Wolfgang Goethe

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

A Rubaiyat Miscellany by Omar Khayyam

Anna Christie by Eugene O’Neill

Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott

Othello by William Shakespeare

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

The Trojan Women by Euripides

Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King) by Sophocles

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

Metamorphoses by Ovid

Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

Charles Dickens by G.K. Chesterton

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

John Keats: Selected Poems

The Lady With the Dog and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov

Five Beloved Stories by O. Henry

Six Creepy Stories by Edgar Allan Poe


A Cynic Looks At Life by Ambrose Bierce

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals by David Hume

The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals by Immanuel Kant

An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding by John Locke

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

Ecce Homo by Friedrich Nietzsche

The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Proposed Roads to Freedom by Bertrand Russell

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

What is Man? and Other Essays by Mark Twain

The Analects of Confucius

The Republic by Plato

The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

Of Peace of Mind by Seneca

Pragmatism by William James

The Ethics by Benedict de Spinoza


Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke

Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Friedrich Engels

Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann

Considerations on Representative Government by John Stuart Mill

The Strenuous Life: Essays and Addresses of Theodore Roosevelt

Essays on Political Economy by Frederic Bastiat

The Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde

Religion & Spirituality:

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

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

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

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

The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther

Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray

The Quest of the Historical Jesus by Albert Schweitzer

The Profits of Religion by Upton Sinclair

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila

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

The Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith

Torah (JPSA): Genesis


Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin

Opticks by Isaac Newton

Great Astronomers by Robert Ball

Anatomy of the Human Body, Part 1 – 5

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

The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 – 3

Easy Lessons in Einstein by Edwin E. Slosson

Self Development:

Byways to Blessedness by James Allen

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

Your Psychic Powers and How to Develop Them by Hereward Carrington

Laugh and Live by Douglas Fairbanks

Creative Mind by Ernest Holmes

The Victorious Attitude by Orison Swett Marden

Creative Unity by Rabindranath Tagore

In Tune with the Infinite by Ralph Waldo Trine

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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

The Speaking Voice by Katherine Everts

The Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana

Social Sciences:

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

The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud

Winds of Doctrine: Studies in Contemporary Opinion by George Santayana

Woman and the New Race by Margaret Sanger

The Psychology of Alcoholism by George Barton

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

Psychotherapy by Hugo Munsterberg

The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets by Jane Addams

Sports & Hobbies:

The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo

American Cookery by Amelia Simmons

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

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

The Decoration of Houses by Edith Wharton

The Social History of Smoking by George L. Apperson

The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton

Dogs and All About Them by Robert Leighton

Cats: Their Points and Characteristics by W. Gordon Stables


My Trip Abroad by Charlie Chaplin

A Traveller in War-Time by Winston Churchill

A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf by John Muir

The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau

American Notes for General Circulation by Charles Dickens

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

Letters of Travel by Rudyard Kipling

On a Chinese Screen by W. Somerset Maugham

Domestic Manners of the Americans by Frances Trollope

New Free Audio Books from Great Authors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charles Dickens Audio – Plenty of new free offerings!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anthony Trollope Audio – Over 30 free novels!

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

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

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

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

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

500 New Free Kids Audio Books

Of the 2500 free audio books we’ve added from Librivox about 500 of them are geared towards kids. Here are some great new free kids books you can grab:

Alice’s Adventures Underground by Lewis Carroll

The Blue Lagoon by H. De Vere Stacpoole

The Box-Car Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Children’s Bible by Henry Sherman

The Children’s Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum

Grammar-Land by M.L. Nesbitt

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

Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates

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

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Myths That Every Child Should Know by Hamilton Wright Mabie

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

The Return of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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

The Story Book of Science by Jean-Henri Fabre

The Story of Young Abraham Lincoln by Wayne Whipple

Viking Tales by Jennie Hall

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

September 24, 2014

Banned Audio Books

For this year’s banned book week, the LearnOutLoud.com team has taken a look at classics that have been frequently challenged and compiled a list of free “banned audio books” that may surprise you. For various reasons, whether it be political, moral or cultural grounds, the titles listed here have been banned by governments, and educational institutions. Some, such as Joyce’s Ulysses or Twain’s Huckleberry Finn are probably understandable in certain circumstances, but even we were amazed to see how often certain books have been censored (and why). We hope this list gives you a better appreciation of how even undisputed masterpieces can sometimes be viewed as harmful when seen in a certain light.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Call of the Wild by Jack London

Candide by Voltaire

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

And for more on D.H. Lawrence check out this new lecture series from Oxford we added:

D.H. Lawrence Lecture Series by Catherine Brown

Ulysses by James Joyce

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

September 16, 2014

700 New Free College Courses on Audio & Video

It’s our back to school extravaganza! And we’ve really out done ourselves this year at LearnOutLoud.com. We’ve searched deep and wide, and have unearthed over 700 new free audio & video courses to our LearnOutLoud.com Free Courses Collection. That means we now have over 1200 free courses in our collection! The largest collection of free audio & video courses from colleges and universities on the web! You can check out the full collection right here:

Browse Over 1200 Courses in the LearnOutLoud.com Free Courses Collection

Click through to the categories and subcategories of the courses and you’ll find them sorted by most recently added, so you can see what is new!

In this blog post we’ll guide you through what we’ve added. We’ll start with courses we’ve added that are available from YouTube. For these courses we’ve embedded the YouTube playlists so you can watch lectures right through our site or click over to YouTube. In all we’ve added over 250 full courses on YouTube from various colleges and universities. We’ll start out listing some of the colleges that have a lot of course offerings which we’ve added:

Biola University (23 Courses)

Cal State Dominguez Hills (37 Courses)

Crash Courses (7 Courses)

Indian Institutes of Technology (10 Courses)

MIT OpenCourseWare (65 Courses)

UC Irvine (30 Courses)

University of Missouri-Kansas City (13 Courses)

Virtual University of Pakistan (28 Courses)

And to get you started with some courses, we’ll highlight some of the most interesting courses being offered through YouTube that we’ve added to our site. Here are some great courses you might want to check out:

The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey Sachs at Columbia University

Biodiversity and the Meaning of Human Existence by E.O. Wilson at Duke University

Dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises by Howard Gray

Inside Creative Writing by Robert Olen Butler at Florida State University

Positive Psychology by Tal Ben-Shahar at Harvard University

The Rise and Future of the Food Movement by Michael Pollan at UC Berkeley

Pakistan Studies by Arshad S. Karim at Virtual University of Pakistan

Physics 255: Einstein’s General Relativity and Gravitation by Herbert W. Hamber at UC Irvine

World Economic History Before the Industrial Revolution by Gregory Clark at UC Davis

Cars: Past, Present, and Future by Jon Summers at Stanford University

Ancient Israel by Daniel Fleming at New York University

The Early Universe by Alan Guth at MIT

The Heroic Quest by Joseph Hughes at Missouri State University

Indian Philosophy by Satya Sundar Sethy at Indian Institutes of Technology

Introduction to Music by Mary Dave Blackman at East Tennessee State University

Fundamentals of Speech by Bill Deluca at Cal State Dominguez Hills

Enjoy these free courses available through YouTube!

Along with course from YouTube, we’ve also scoured iTunes U for some of their best courses and have come up with over 300 iTunes U Courses that are available on audio and video. These come from a wide range of educational institutions from prestigious universities to community colleges to seminaries to technical schools. Enjoy these free offerings from iTunes U. We’ll start by listing the colleges that have the most courses:

Arizona State University (10 Courses)

Columbia University (8 Courses)

Concordia Seminary (11 Courses)

Covenant Theological Seminary (18 Courses)

Dallas Theological Seminary (25 Courses)

East Tennessee State University (17 Courses)

Front Range Community College (8 Courses)

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (10 Courses)

Harrisburg Area Community College (22 Courses)

Johns Hopkins University (7 Courses)

La Trobe University (29 Courses)

Liberty University (15 Courses)

Missouri State University (31 Courses)

New Jersey Institute of Technology (8 Courses)

Ohio State University (8 Courses)

Reformed Theological Seminary (30 Courses)

Seattle Pacific University (12 Courses)

Stanford University (60+ Courses and Talks)

UC Davis (22 Courses)

University of Michigan (9 Courses)

University of New Orleans (12 Courses)

Utah Valley University (9 Courses)

And now for some highlights of the free courses we’ve added from iTunes U. Here are some of the outstanding courses you can take on audio & video:

Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology by Michael J. Shively at Utah Valley University

The Kennedy Half Century from University of Virginia

Story of Freedom in America by J. Rufus Fears at University of Oklahoma

History of Modern Philosophy by Clarence Mark Phillips at University of New Orleans

Shakespeare’s Principal Plays by Ralph Williams at University of Michigan

Mind, Self, and Language by Amy Fountain at University of Arizona

HIST 443: The United States Since 1945 by Paul Iwancio at University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Jerusalem: The Holy City by Robert R. Cargill at UCLA

Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety by Margaret Swisher at UC Davis

How to Think Like a Psychologist by Kelly McGonigal at Stanford University

C.S. Lewis by Knox Chamblin at Reformed Theological Seminary

Fundamentals of Nutrition by Toni Burkhalter at Parkland College

Life in the Universe by Richard Pogge at Ohio State University

Investment Philosophies by Aswath Damodaran at New York University

Classical Mythology by Joseph Hughes at Missouri State University

The Roman World by Rhiannon Evans at La Trobe University

The History of Public Health by Graham Mooney at Johns Hopkins University

Western Movies: Myth, Ideology, and Genre by Richard Slotkin

American Capitalism: A History by Louis Hyman at Cornell University

Blood and Oil: Energy, the Middle East and War by Alan Richards at UC Santa Cruz

Exploring The Hobbit by Corey Olsen

Faith, Social Justice, and Public Life by Jim Wallis

The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism and Christianity by Shaye J.D. Cohen at Harvard University

Introduction to Planetary Astronomy by Robert Wagner
20th Century World History by Anthony Heideman

So many great free courses to choose from. But we’re not done yet!

We’ve also added courses to our collection from two great other sources. Annenberg Learner offers multimedia resources for teaching and learning, and in their video series they have 50 outstanding courses. These video courses are available on streaming video through their pop up player on their site. Here are all the Annenberg Learner courses we’ve added:

50 Annenberg Learner Courses

And here are some of their video courses that may interest you:

American Cinema

Art of the Western World

Connect With English

Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish

Exploring the World of Music

French in Action

Invitation to World Literature

The Brain: Teaching Modules

The World of Abnormal Psychology

Planet Earth

Physics for the 21st Century

The next great collection of knowledge that we’ve added comes from Oxford University. Oxford offers 100s of podcasts and we’ve picked out over 100 podcasts to add to our site. You can play these audio podcasts directly through our podcast player. Not all of them are courses, but they are all a great source of education from our friends over in England.

Over 100 Podcasts from Oxford University

Here are some of the Oxford podcasts that are courses:

A Romp Through Ethics for Complete Beginners by Marianne Talbot

A Romp Through the Philosophy of Mind by Marianne Talbot

Approaching Shakespeare by Emma Smith

General Philosophy by Peter Millican

Hume’s Central Principles by Peter Millican

Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason by Daniel N. Robinson

Philosophy for Beginners by Marianne Talbot

The Elements of Drawing by Stephen Farthing

And we forgot to mention one final source of free courses that we’ve added. The Ayn Rand Institute now has courses available on streaming video (and some on audio download). Note that taking courses on the Ayn Rand Institute website requires registration. Click below to see the ones we’ve added:

Ayn Rand Institute (11 Courses)

Some of the highlights include:

History of Philosophy by Leonard Peikoff

The Fountainhead Course by Keith Lockitch

Ayn Rand, the Radical Thinker by Onkar Ghate, Keith Lockitch, & Yaron Brook

And a mini course by Ayn Rand herself:

Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand

Start taking a free course today!

September 4, 2014

15 Free Audio Books of British Literature

Over the course of literary history, it would be difficult to understate England’s overwhelming influence on the world. LearnOutLoud.com has selected 15 free audio books of the best British literature in one place, making it easier than ever to get started on some of the greatest books ever written. From William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Emily Bronte, to Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, we’ve come up with an essential reading list designed to stimulate your inner anglophile. You’ll find free podcasts of Pride and Prejudice and Sherlock Holmes’ adventures, as well as Victorian era standouts like Charlotte and Emily Bronte and science fiction from pioneer H.G. Wells. Scroll down to starting browsing:

1. 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

You can also subscribe to their podcast which currently features 8 of their plays:

Speak the Speech: Universal Shakespeare Broadcasting Podcast

Thanks to Speak the Speech for informing us of their great audio dramas of Shakespeare’s plays!

2. Pride and Prejudice

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.

3. Paradise Lost

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

4. Heart of Darkness Audiobook Podcast

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.

5. Wuthering Heights

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.

6. A Study in Scarlet
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.

7. Robinson Crusoe

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.

8. A Tale of Two Cities Podcast

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.

9. The Time Machine

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.

10. Jane Eyre

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.

11. Tess of the D’Urbervilles

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.

12. Great Expectations

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.

Also NAXOS AudioBooks is also offering for free introductions to all 16 of Charles Dickens’ novels! These Dickens podcasts make up an audio book unto itself with 8 hours of introductions by David Timson including extensive excerpts from the audio books of each of these novels. NAXOS is offering these in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’s birth and they have now recorded all 16 of Dickens’s novels in both unabridged and abridged editions.

Introductions to Charles Dickens’ Novels

13. Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse

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.

14. Macbeth

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.

15. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus

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 is being offered by Lit2Go. Download Frankenstein on MP3 today.

And if you want to learn more about British literature check out these two great debates from Intelligence Squared on the kings and queens of English Literature:

Jane Austen vs Emily Bronte: The Queens of English Literature Debate

Two advocates and a group of gifted actors pit Wuthering Heights author Emily Bronte up against the works of Jane Austen in this streaming lecture provided by Intelligence Squared. Professor John Mullen argues that in Jane Austen’s novels, readers get formal brilliance, incredible dialogue, consistent humor, and biting social commentary that has made her work highly relatable beyond the historical period in which they were written. Writer Kate Mosse contrasts Austen’s work with Emily Bronte’s single novel, arguing that in one book, Bronte was able to transcend stories of marriage to get at the eternal, ethereal aspects of love. The debate is given up to the audience to ultimately decide who is the queen of English letters, with entertaining, funny, and interesting results.

Shakespeare vs. Milton: The Kings of English Literature Debate

William Shakespeare is pitted against John Milton to determine the king of English literature in this streaming video debate presented by Intelligence Squared. On the one side, English professor James Shapiro presents his case for Shakespeare, arguing that the bard’s complex understanding of human relations, his unparalleled range, and the multiple ways in which his work and characters can be interpreted are reason enough to crown him king. On the other side, Nigel Smith argues that with Paradise Lost alone, John Milton was able to push the biblical story of Man’s fall into new territory, taking a well-known story and imaginatively reshaping it to add layers of emotional complexity that equal anything Shakespeare was able to accomplish in his many plays. The two advocates in the debate are aided immensely by three award-winning actors that are on hand to act out scenes from Shakespeare and passages from Paradise Lost, making for an exciting discussion regardless of who ends up taking the prize.

July 11, 2014

What is Global Warming? Talks on Audio & Video

Climate change is now a burning issue as we enter the first decades of the 21st century. With this list of free audio and video resources, LearnOutLoud.com asks “What is Global Warming?” In this selection of lectures and recorded discussions, various pundits explore the worldwide problem of climate change from a scientific and political perspective, and offer solutions for how we might avert global catastrophe. Topics include a history of global warming, how we can decrease our dependence on oil and fossil fuels, and Al Gore’s 15 ways we can avert a climate crisis. Learn more about how scientists and politicians are working to save the earth by clicking any of the links here:

1. Global Warming

The University of Chicago presents a full course on the history, science, and possible future development of Earth’s climate provided in a series of 23 video lectures taught by Professor David Archer. The first half of the course covers the basic physics, such as how the climate of the earth is determined by the energy of the sun, and what role green house gas emissions play. The second half talks how carbon helped form life, why the sun has provided such a stable global temperature, and other delicate details that make the planet hospitable for life. By the end of the quarter, Archer will talk about the toll human activity has had on the eco-system and what we can do to avoid future problems. The entire course offers a top to bottom education on the latest science behind global warming.

2. American Denial of Global Warming

In this streaming talk provided by UCTV, science historian Naomi Oreskes shows how mainstream views on global climate change developed and became more politicized throughout the 20th century. Oreskes begins by tracing how the earliest green house gas studies were conducted in the 1930s, and how by the 1960s, many leading voices in the scientific community on both sides of the political spectrum were making dire predictions about future climate change. Citing that many Americans still believe there is a controversy within scientific circles over the reality of global warming, she argues that this confusion is partly due to a concerted effort made by a few politically-driven organizations to muddy the issue. What would drive these groups to argue against an issue that could have such dire consequences for humanity? Oreskes has some interesting answers.

3. Global Warming in Earth’s History

This is the first lecture from the Modern Scholar course Global Warming, Global Threat taught by Professor Michael B. McElroy. In this lecture professor Michael B. McElroy introduces the worldwide experiment we have embarked on through the increase in global temperature. He covers some of the basics of global warming such as the greenhouse effect, the gases that contribute to global warming, and what creates the climate on Earth. He then puts humanity and global warming in the context of Earth’s entire history going back 4.5 billion years ago. He uses a calendar year as a reference for Earth’s history and places global warming at the last few seconds before midnight on December 31st. It’s an excellent introductory lecture for placing global warming in global history.

4. Field Notes from a Catastrophe

The hard facts of our changing climate are detailed in this sobering digital download lecture presented by WGBH. Here Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert and author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe explains how scientists first identified the possibility of climate shift over 100 years ago and then she traces scientific research up the present day, concluding with an undeniable portrait of what Earth will look like in the coming decades. What was once the realm of speculation is now an imminent threat, as scientists announce record temperatures every year; here you will find out what’s happening and what can be done for future generations. This lecture is available on streaming video through YouTube.

5. Al Gore: 15 Ways to Avert a Climate Crisis

Al Gore lays out 15 ways to avert climate crisis through our personal and professional lives. He plays a brief slide show and provides examples of many of the ways that these steps are being used in action. Speaking to a business audience at the TED conference he also points out important steps that businesses can take to influence climate change. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

6. Winning the Oil Endgame

Author Amory Lovins lays out his plan to help America kick the oil habit in this instructive lecture released by MIT World. In a matter of fact style that drives home the point that change is obviously upon us, Lovins shows how cars, planes and other vehicles can be made to run without fossil fuel after a one-time investment from the major U.S. manufacturers. He then shows how a firmer commitment made by business men and politicians would lead to not only greater financial returns and more efficient vehicles, but a cleaner, brighter future. Check out this free lecture on streaming audio & video from MIT World.

July 11, 2014

Art Appreciation Videos

Hoping to enrich your knowledge of art history, but unsure of where to start? With this selection of free videos, podcasts, and audiobooks, LearnOutLoud.com has collected a great primer designed to boost your art appreciation on all levels. Here you will be introduced to the finest painters and sculptors, and will get guided tours of the world’s great architectural achievements. From Roman architecture, to Renaissance painting, to 20th century avant-garde developments and everything in between, these resources bundle together the most important eras, movements, and aesthetic trends in one place. Learn more by clicking any of the links below!

1. Art History Time Line

Take a journey through the History of Art with this free video course from the Otis College of Art and Design. This course comes with great visual accompaniments of the works of art being discussed. In this free 2 hour, 27 episode video series called “Art History Time Line”. Professor Jeanne Willette takes you from the cave paintings to Romanticism in this video course. Each episode lasts about 5 minutes and covers a specific period in Art History. Learn about famous periods such as the Renaissance, the Baroque, Neo-Classicism, and Romanticism.

2. Modern Art History

You can watch 13 lectures from the Modern Art History course which is being offered through YouTube from the Otis College of Art and Design. In these lectures Dr. Parme Giuntini, Director of Art History at Otis College of Art and Design, covers many schools of modern art including Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau, and more. She also provides the political and social context which these art movements arose from. Enjoy this free, 5-hour introduction to Modern Art from the Otis College of Art and Design.

3. Smarthistory: Art History at Khan Academy

With the Smarthistory series of YouTube videos, the Khan Academy presents over 500 brief art history lessons on a variety of subjects. Two unscripted art historians, Dr. Steven Zucker & Dr. Beth Harris, guide you enthusiastically through subjects that include the ancient architecture of the Greeks, paintings by van Dyck, Vermeer, and Bruegel, and modern works, such as Maya Lin’s Vietnam Memorial. In addition to getting a valuable art lesson, the speakers also bundle their commentary within a historical context that gives the viewer a well-rounded understanding of a given piece.

4. Roman Architecture

Get an introduction to Roman Architecture with this free course available on audio & video from Yale University. Professor Diana E.E. Kleiner takes you on a historic journey through Rome, Pompeii, and other sites in Italy, along with notable structures throughout the Roman Empire. She covers a wide variety of Roman buildings illustrated with over 1,500 images. Although the slide presentation isn’t ideal (she points them out projected on a wall), it is still recommended you watch this architecture course on video.

5. Art History Podcast

LearnOutLoud.com’s Art History Podcast highlights over 20 of the greatest works of Western painting. From “The Birth of Venus” painted by Sandro Botticelli in 1486 to “The Gleaners” painted by Jean-Francois Millet in 1857, you’ll learn about great paintings with selections from many art criticism books throughout history. Podcasts are enhanced with the image included along with high quality PDFs of the image on the podcast feed. Learn about the best painting from the masters like Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, Michelangelo “The Last Judgment”, and Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch”. Enjoy this free podcast from LearnOutLoud.com. We’ve also posted our YouTube playlist of these podcasts to the page.

6. Art History in Just a Minute Video Podcast

This entertaining video podcast covers one famous work of art in detail for each podcast. Currently host Christopher Witcombe has analyzed Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. The videos are well produced and they provide some fun facts about the paintings you may not have heard before. Hopefully there will be more to come from this art history video podcast.

7. Art History Survey

Dr. Vida Hull’s “Art History Survey” course covers the history of painting, architecture, & sculpture from the Renaissance all the way up to the 20th century. This 36-hour course is neatly divided into lectures that focus on specific artistic periods such as the Italian Renaissance, Dutch Baroque, Impressionism, and so much more. Dr. Hull also focuses certain lectures on individual artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Rembrandt, and many more giants of Western art history. The lectures are recorded specifically for video with clear slide show presentations that present the works of art in detail. Dr. Vida Hull presents the material with passion and clarity and it sounds like the best free introductory art history course out there!

Here are four other art history courses being offered by Dr. Vida Hull:

Italian Renaissance

Medieval Art

Northern Renaissance Art

Women Artists

July 1, 2014

7 Free Great Works of Modernist Literature on Audio Book

At the turn of the 20th century, many writers and poets grappled with the rapid changes that were occurring as the world marched steadily towards modernity. To give you a proper introduction to the modern era as it came to be called, we’ve collected a list of 7 free great works of modernist literature on audio book. Here you will find classic novels from the period, such as Thomas Mann’s mournful Death in Venice, Joseph Conrad’s primal exploration Heart of Darkness. You’ll also find work from writers that began to experiment with the literary form itself, such as Kafka’s absurdist Metamorphosis and T.S. Eliot’s groundbreaking long-form poem The Waste Land. Get started on this fertile literary moment by clicking any of the links below:

1. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A gentleman over at LibriVox has 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.

2. Metamorphosis

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!

3. A Room with a View

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.

4. Death in Venice

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.

5. Sons and Lovers

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.

6. Heart of Darkness Audiobook Podcast

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.

7. The Wasteland

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!

July 1, 2014

5 Free Classic French Novels on Audio Book


The literature of France has had a huge influence on the course of Western Europe’s history. Here LearnOutLoud.com has collected 5 free classic french novels in audio book format to get you better acquainted. In this selection you’ll find the essential texts, including Victor Hugo’s stirring french revolutionary classic Les Miserables, Alexandre Dumas’ revenge-driven Count of Monte Cristo, and much more. Some of the French authors included such as Voltaire, Balzac, and Flaubert were able to evoke France’s romantic culture while at the same time addressing the tumultuous political and social issues that ran rampant during the country’s modern history. Click below to get started:

1. Madame Bovary

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.

2. Les Miserables, Volume 1
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.

3. The Count of Monte Cristo

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.

4. Father Goriot

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.

5. Candide

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.

July 1, 2014

6 Free Classic Russian Novels on Audio Book


Listen to 6 free classic novels on audio from Russia’s 19th century Golden Age. Selected here are key titles from the greatest Russian novelists, including such titans as Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ivan Turgenev, and Nikolai Gogol. Russian literature from this period is known for its dramatic sweep, compelling characters, philosophical depth, and spiritual curiosity. If you’ve ever wanted to tackle Anna Karenina or Crime and Punishment, the audio book versions in this collection will get you started. Click any of the links below to start exploring Russia’s literary gems:

1. The Brothers Karamazov

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.

Also while you’re listening, you may also want to download and listen to the course “Existentialism in Literature and Film” by Professor Hubert L. Dreyfus at UC Berkeley which covers Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov in depth.

Existentialism in Literature and Film

2. Anna Karenina

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).

3. Crime and Punishment

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!

4. Fathers and Sons

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.

5. Dead Souls

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.

6. Notes from the Underground

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.