Note from the Authoress: A former draft of this post was published as a page on my blog Working by Candlelight back when it was known as Frugally Fancy. It was taken down several months ago when I was revamping the site but never deleted. Hence, I've decided to revise it and publish it here. Enjoy!
One thing that I noticed from reading all sorts of old-fashioned novels is that it was not uncommon for ladies to read aloud while working together. I guess it was to keep the mind busy while the hands worked.
I decided to try that for myself, since my mind tends to wander a lot (and not necessarily in a good direction) when I'm working! However, it's very hard to hold a book while you're trying to purl or double crochet. And almost all of my female friends are scattered hither and yon. Bribing brothers wasn't an option either.
Then I remembered a site called Librivox.
I had been introduced to Librivox in high school, reading The Scarlet Pimpernel (one of my favorite books!). I had forgotten about it afterwards and then picked it up again in college. I found that it was really good for not just working, but also sleeping to! (Apparently, I find it rather soothing for someone to read to me....who knew?)
What is Librivox, you ask?
It's an online library, with thousands of titles, all in the public domain, that you can listen to for FREE. It's similar to things like Project Gutenberg. These books not only can be listened to online, but also downloaded and burned to CDs without any copyright infringement. Most books are read by one reader, but there are books with multiple readers and even "dramatic" versions that have one reader for each part. Oh and there is often multiple versions of the same book, especially if it's a classic!
Now, because of the public domain nature of the site, there are a lot of bad and junk books on there - please research every book on there as carefully as you would going through any public library!
But, there are also a LOT of good classic books and authors on there, including works from G.K Chesterton, Jane Austen, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Baroness Emmuska Orczy (Scarlet Pimpernel), as well even some Catholic spiritual reading material! And, there even a lot of poetry works in there too!
I'll include two sets of links here below, one for spiritual reading and the other for reading pleasure. The pleasure reading one has a mix of dramatic and single reader versions, so explore! Take in mind, this isn't an exhaustive list - of course when I go to find all my favorite books do I find that I either don't remember the title or where it's located....!
Click the book title to reach the Librivox page and happy reading!!!
In Cordis Mariae,
Selected Catholic Spiritual Audiobooks:
The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori
Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
Mystical City of God, Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Ven. Maria de Jesus de Agreda
On Loving God by St. Bernard Clairvaux
The Rule of St. Benedict - English and Latin
Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
What's Wrong with the World by G.K. Chesterton
Other Audiobooks I Like:
A Candle for Our Lady by Regina V. Hunt
A really cute story revolving two children that are making a pilgrimage to Walsingham Abbey in Tudor England.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Kilmeny of the Orchard by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Not as well known as her Chronicles of Avonlea books, this book is a standalone that revolves around the clean romance of a mute girl and a schoolteacher. Really adorable!
Love among the Chickens by P.G. Wodehouse
This is an extremely humorous book about a writer that has a crazy friend who wants to start a chicken ranch. And there is a pretty neighbor down the street....what could go wrong?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Marcia Schuyler by Grace Livingston Hill
This is definitely not your everyday boy-meets-girl romance. This is a book about a very young girl who replaces her older sister at the altar and learns to fall in love with her new husband. Oh yes, and learn how to get along with the aunts.....
The Broken Rosary by Grace and Harold Johnson
A murder mystery with Catholic characters!
The Chestermarke Instinct by J.S. Fletcher
A clean mystery surrounding the kidnapping of a bank manager and the theft of securities and jewels.
The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton
The Boarded up House by Augusta Huiell Seaman
Two girls that are best friends and neighbors investigate the story behind a boarded up house that they live next to. What kind of secrets hide there?