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Librivox Poster with link Availle records mostly for LibriVox.org . LibriVox is a loose organization of volunteers from all over the world whose goal it is to "record all books in the public domain". All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain as well, and thus can be downloaded for free, and used and modified without permission.

Availle's main focus on LibriVox is old science books, but she also reads the occasional novel by an Austrian author or random books related to Asia. Availle has recorded solos in English and German, and shorter works or roles in dramas in Dutch, French and Spanish.

Below is a list of all of Availle's solos, fiction and non-fiction, in English and German. Click on the image to get to the book's LibriVox page, where you can download the recording for free. All images used below have been designed by Availle and are in the public domain as well. A complete list of all her recordings for LibriVox can be found on Availle's LibriVox catalog page.

Among the Tibetans

Isabella L. Bird

Among the Tibetans image and link Among the Tibetans was published in 1894 and describes a tour of Isabella L. Bird of a part of Tibet that even today is considered remote and undeveloped. With a keen eye for details she describes not only the breathtaking landscape and the sparse flora, but also the locals and their customs. She tells about special occasions like wedding and funeral rites as well as mundane, daily tasks. On this tour she almost drowned when crossing a torrential river, but despite the resulting broken ribs, she only took a short timeout and then continued her journey.

Isabella Lucy Bird (1831 - 1904) was a 19th century English traveller, writer, and natural historian whose travels took her - always alone - to the United States and to the Middle and Far East.

A hardy woman gives a fascinating account of a harsh country...

Der arme Spielmann

Franz Grillparzer

Der arme Spielmann image and link Der Erzähler der Geschichte - durchwegs ungenannt - besucht das Kirchweihfest in der Brigittenau zu Wien. Das Wetter ist angenehm, die zahlreichen Leute fröhlich, die Stimmung entspannt. Am Rande des Weges steht ein Mann, der versucht mit seinem Geigenspiel ein paar Münzen zu verdienen. Sein Spiel allerdings ist ungewöhnlich, und so erntet er mehr Gelächter und Spott als Geld. Der Erzähler wechselt ein paar Worte mit ihm, und, neugierig geworden, besucht den Mann einige Tage später in seiner Wohnung. Dort berichtet der Mann, wie seine größte Liebe sein Niedergang wurde.

Franz Grillparzer (1791 - 1872) gilt als einer der größten Dramatiker Österreichs. Der arme Spielmann ist eine von nur zwei Prosa Erzählungen Grillparzers, die andere ist Das Kloster von Sendomir.

Die Erzählung ist sehr melancholisch, das Finale entsprechend traurig - typisch österreichisch eben...


Soseki Natsume

Botchan image and link Botchan - often translated as Master Darling - is a young math teacher from Tokyo who describes himself as reckless. He has just finished his studies and his first assignment takes him to a middle school for boys in the country side. Immediately he hates everything about his new situation: His living arrangements are intolerable, the students plain stupid country brutes, and his colleagues quickly earn sarcastic nick names. The students retaliate in their own way by openly rebelling in the classroom and secretly spying on him when he's off duty. The quarrels in the staff room, however, are more serious. Botchan finds himself in the middle of a feud between the effeminate Red Shirt and the jovial Porcupine. He will have to choose sides, but which is the right one?

Soseki Natsume (1867 - 1916) is among the most famous Japanese writers. He wrote a multitude of short stories, but best known abroad are his novels "I am a cat", "Kokoro", and "Botchan". The main theme of Botchan is morality and it is required reading in Japanese schools.

It seems the troubles of teachers haven't changed much in the last 100 years...

Bushido - The Soul of Japan

Inazo Nitobe

Bushido image and link Bushido is generally translated as "The Way of the Warrior". This book aims to explain the code of conduct which bound the samurai of the Edo period in Japan to their daimyo, and, in effect, to the Shogun. The seven virtues of the samurai - called in this book rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, veracity, honour, and the duty of loyalty - are well known even to a Western audience. However, this book goes beyond a simple listing, as Nitobe strives to make the topic more understandable for his audience by drawing comparisons to various religions and philosophies.

Inazo Nitobe (1862 - 1933) was an author, educator, and politician in the pre-WW II period. He wrote "Bushido" originally in English for a Western audience; only later was it translated into Japanese.

I was so excited reading this book - only after I finished I realized it had been on my shelf for years already...

The Chemical History of a Candle

Michael Faraday

Chemical History of a Candle image and link This book contains the six "Christmas Lectures" about Chemistry held by Michael Faraday for a teenage audience in 1848. He starts out with the burning of a candle - a very common occurrence those days - and explains so various topics as combustion, the composition of water from oxygen and hydrogen, how the latter burns and the former is needed for respiration. The last section of this recording is a lecture about a new method of producing platinum, given before the Royal Society in 1861.

The famous Michael Faraday (1791 - 1867) is the founder of "The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures" that were initiated in 1825 and today are broadcast by the BBC. Every year a leading scientist is invited to introduce his subject to a young audience.

Such an exciting book - pity I couldn't try all the experiments at home...

The Early History of the Airplane

Orville and Wilbur Wright

Early History of Airplane image and link This little gem is a short pamphlet of three articles written by the Wright brothers around the time they prepared for - and finally made - the first flight in 1903. The second essay retells the first flight: "This flight lasted only 12 seconds, but it was nevertheless the first in the history of the world in which a machine carrying a man had raised itself by its own power into the air in full flight, had sailed forward without reduction of speed and had finally landed at a point as high as that from which it started."

Orville (1871 - 1948) and Wilbur (1867 - 1912) Wright are the pioneers of aeronautics. Starting out from their bicycle shop, they became interested in flying. After hard labour and many fruitless experiments, part of which they describe here - they finally achieved their goal on December 17th, 1903: The first flight of mankind.

The paragraph above, describing the first flight, was one of the most exciting and touching things I've ever read...

Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane

Alfred Wegener

Entstehung Kontinente und Ozeane image and link In diesem Buch - gelesen wurde die Auflage von 1915 - legt Alfred Wegener seine Theorie der Kontinentalverschiebung erstmals einer breiten Öffentlichkeit vor. Er untermauert seine Theorie durch Vergleiche von Küstenverläufen auf beiden Seiten des Atlantik, aber auch geologische Formationen werden von ihm herangezogen. Dennoch wurde seine Idee Zeit seines Lebens größtenteils abgelehnt, und geriet nach seinem Tod in Vergessenheit. Erst Jahrzehnte später wurden seine Ideen als wahr erkannt und - dann auch mit Hilfe der Biologie - nachgewiesen.

Alfred Wegener (1880 - 1930) war ein deutscher Meteorologe, Geo- und Polarwissenschaftler, dessen Entdeckung der Kontinentaldrift als seine größte Hinterlassenschaft gilt. Er starb auf seiner dritten Expedition nach Grönland.

Ich bin immer wieder überrascht, wie weit die Forschung vor 100 Jahren bereits gekommen war...

Experiments in Plant Hybridisation

Gregor Mendel

Experiments in Plant Hybridisation image and link Experiments on Plant Hybridisation is Mendel's groundbreaking paper in which he presents his results of studying genetic traits in pea plants, the first work of any such kind. Already he differentiates between dominant and recessive genetic traits, whereas the majority of researchers at that time believed in an averaging of the parents' traits in their offspring. Charles Darwin, although searching for a solution for exactly this problem, seems to have been unaware of Mendel's work, and it was only rediscovered at the turn of the 20th century.

Gregor Mendel (1822 - 1884) was an Augustinian monk in the St. Thomas monastery in Brno. His work was long ignored and even deemed controversial, however, at its rediscovery it made Gregor Mendel the "father of modern genetics".

For a science book of that standing it is a surprisingly easy read...

Die Flugblätter der Weißen Rose

Weisse Rose image and link Die sechs Flugblätter der Weißen Rose sind wohl die eindringlichsten Dokumente des Widerstandes gegen die Naziherrschaft in Deutschland. Geschrieben und verbreitet in den Jahren 1942 und 1943 von einer Gruppe von Angehörigen der Universität München thematisieren sie die Verbrechen des Regimes und rufen zum (passiven) Widerstand auf.

Die sechs Mitglieder der Weißen Rose – die Studenten Hans und Sophie Scholl, Christoph Probst, Willi Graf, Alexander Schmorell und der Uni Professor Kurt Huber – wurden 1943 hingerichtet.

Ein wichtiges Dokument aus einer Zeit, wo viele nichts sehen, nichts wissen, und nichts tun wollten...

Das Kloster bei Sendomir

Franz Grillparzer

Das Kloster bei Sendomir image and link Zwei Ritter, die auf dem Weg nach Warschau sind, treffen spät in der Nacht im Kloster von Sendomir ein und bitten dort um Unterschlupf, der ihnen gewährt wird. Von einem Mönch erfahren sie, dass das Kloster erst seit 30 Jahren besteht, und auf Nachfragen erzählt er ihnen die tragische Geschichte des Klostergründers, des Grafen Starschensky.

Franz Grillparzer (1791 - 1872) gilt als einer der größten Dramatiker Österreichs. Das Kloster bei Sendomir, erschienen 1828, ist eine von nur zwei Novellen Grillparzers, die andere ist Der arme Spielmann.

Eine schöne Geschichte, die sich ab etwa der Mitte ins schauerlich-grauenvolle wendet...

Leutnant Gustl

Arthur Schnitzler

Leutnant Gustl image and link Am Ende eines gelangweilt verfolgten Konzertes drängt Leutnant Gustl erleichtert zum Ausgang und gerät an der Garderobe mit einem ihm flüchtig bekannten Bäckermeister in Streit. Außer sich vor Wut, als "dummer Bub" beschimpft worden zu sein und darob keine Satisfaktion fordern zu können, läuft er durch Wien und beschließt schließlich, sich am nächsten Morgen zu erschießen. Leutnant Gustl geht ziellos vor sich hin sinnierend weiter durch Wien und landet schließlich im Prater, wo er auf einer Parkbank einschläft. Als er nach ein paar Stunden wieder aufwacht, möchte er sein Vorhaben in die Tat umsetzen, kehrt aber auf dem Nachhauseweg noch in seinem Stammcafé ein, wo er Neuigkeiten über den Bäckermeister erfährt...

Dies ist wohl die bekannteste Novelle des Wiener Autors Arthur Schnitzler (1862 - 1931). Der fast durchgehende innere Monolog Gustls stellte eine Neuerung in der deutschsprachigen Literatur dieser Zeit dar. Bei ihrer Erstveröffentlichung in 1900 verursachte die Novelle in ihrer offenen Anklage des Militarismus und des öffentlichen Bildes einen k.u.k. Offiziers einen Skandal, der Schnitzler seinen Rang als Reserveoffizier kostete.

Dieser wohl berühmteste innere Monolog der österreichischen Literatur hat mich sehr an den "Herrn Karl" erinnert...

Madame Butterfly

John Luther Long

Madame Butterfly image and link Madame Butterfly is the story of Cho-Cho San (Cho meaning butterfly in Japanese). At a very young age, she becomes the wife of Pinkerton, an American naval officer who promises her to return "when the robins nest again". In his absence she bears his child, whom she names "Trouble", and waits longingly and alone for his return, for Pinkerton has arranged it so that she will not go to see her family. Finally, when Pinkerton's ship anchors in the harbour, Cho-Cho San will see him again - but it is not the reunion she was waiting for...

This is a short story by John Luther Long (1861 - 1927), an American lawyer. It is the basis for the famous opera of the same name composed by Giacomo Puccini.

The strange accent of Cho-Cho San was not my invention, but the author's...

Noli Me Tangere

José Rizal

Noli Me Tangere image and link Noli Me Tangere (Latin for Touch Me Not) is the love story between Chrisostomo Ibarra and Maria Clara de los Santos who were set to marry before Chrisostomo left for Spain. When he returns and tries to initiate small reforms in the strictly Catholic country, he quickly becomes the enemy of Padre Damaso, the former local curate. Damaso soon strives to destroy Ibarra by any means possible.

Dr. José Rizal (1861 - 1896) is considered the National Hero of the Philippines. The novel, while superficially a love story, is meant to expose the corruption and abuse of the clergy towards the Filipinos. It was banned in many parts of the Islands, and Rizal was finally executed in Manila for inciting rebellion.

In parts a gruesome read - even more so as it stays close to real history...

Paulownia: Seven Stories from Contemporary Japanese Writers

Torao Taketomo (editor)

Madame Butterfly image and link Paulownia is a collection of seven stories by three famous Japanese authors from the late 19th and early 20th century, collected and translated by Taketomo Torao.

Mori Ogai was an army surgeon who was sent to study in Germany, where he developed an interest in Western literature. His most famous work is The Wild Geese (Gan). This collection contains his short stories Takase Bune, Hanako, and The Pier.
Nagai Kafu's writings center mostly around the entertainment districts of Tokyo with their geisha and prostitutes. Here, his stories The bill-collecting and Ukiyo-e are presented.
Shimazaki Toson was one of the representatives of Japanese naturalism, which we can see in his stories A Domestic Animal and Tsugaru Strait.

I loved to read those stories describing an old Japan, mostly forgotten today...

Radioactive Substances

Marie Curie

Radioactive Substances image and link Radioactive Substances is the PhD thesis of Marie Curie. It was presented to the Faculté de Sciences de Paris in 1903, and subsequently published in "Chemical News" vol 88, 1903. All of her research carried out at the Sorbonne that led to the discovery of the new radioactive elements radium and polonium is described in detail: from how she dissolved the minerals out of the rocks, to the measurements of the half life of the elements.

Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) was a French physicist and chemist famous for her pioneering work on radioactivity. She was the first person to be awarded two Nobel Prizes - and the only one so far to have received them in two different sciences, for physics (1903) and chemistry (1911). As the risks of working with strongly radioactive materials were not known at the time, she died of a disease most likely caused by radiation poisoning.

Curie's chemical experiments are described in some detail, but the thesis is still comparatively easy to read...

The Rider on the White Horse

Theodor Storm

Rider on the White Horse image and link The Rider on the White Horse, Hauke Haien, is fascinated by the dikes surrounding his home in Northern Frisia. From childhood on he goes there to watch the sea and to find ways of improving the dikes. Only 24 years old, the son of a small landowner becomes the new diekaster - because of his knowledge and hard work. He begins to improve the old dikes, and also works on a new one, despite the misgivings of many of the town folk. For years all is going well, but when a big storm threatens people, land, and dike, the price for a small negligence will be higher than he thinks.

This story inside a story inside a story is considered the masterpiece of Theodor Storm (1817 - 1888), one of the most important authors of German realism in the 19th century. He wrote mainly short stories and novellas set in the places he knew from childhood on.

A beautiful, haunting story, worth bringing to an English speaking audience...

Staatsvertrag betreffend die Wiederherstellung eines unabhängigen und demokratischen Österreich

Staatsvertrag image and link Der Staatsvertrag betreffend die Wiederherstellung eines unabhängigen und demokratischen Österreich, wurde am 15. Mai 1955 in Wien im Schloß Belvedere von Vertretern der alliierten Besatzungsmächte USA, der Sowjetunion, Frankreichs und Großbritanniens sowie der österreichischen Regierung unterzeichnet. Bei der Unterzeichnung sprach der damalige Bundeskanzler Leopold Figl die berühmten Worte "Österreich ist frei" und er zeigte den unterschriebenen Vertrag einer jubelnden Menge vom Balkon des Schlosses Belvedere in Wien. Der Staatsvertrag trat am 27. Juli 1955 offiziell in Kraft.

Gegenstand des Vertrages war die Wiederherstellung der souveränen und demokratischen Republik Österreich nach der nationalsozialistischen Herrschaft in Österreich (1938-1945), dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges und der darauf folgenden Besatzungszeit (1945-1955). Er beinhaltet eine Liste von Reparationszahlungen Österreichs an die Alliierten Mächte, besonders an die Sowjetunion.

Die Liste der Reparationszahlungen liest sich besonders schwierig, wenn man Figls Weihnachtsansprache von 1945 kennt...

Die Stadt ohne Juden

Hugo Bettauer

Stadt ohne Juden image and link In Wien hat man das Problem des Antisemitismus gelöst: Die Juden haben bis zum Ende des Jahres Zeit, Österreich zu verlassen. Die Menschen jubeln und der Bundeskanzler Dr. Schwertfeger ist der Held der Nation. Als alle Juden Österreich wirklich verlassen haben, freut man sich zunächst darüber, doch zeigen sich bald die negativen Auswirkungen, als die Wirtschaft schrumpft, die Kultur verkümmert und ganz Wien in ein neues Biedermeier fällt. Vor diesem Hintergrund spielt sich die Liebesgeschichte ab zwischen Lotte und Leo, der Wien aufgrund seiner Abstammung verlassen muß. Wird Leo als Jude einen Weg finden nicht nur Lotte zurückzugewinnen, sondern ganz Österreich?

Dies ist eine satirische Antwort auf den Europäischen Antisemitismus der 20er Jahre; die Geschichte wurde bereits 1924 verfilmt. Allerdings hatte Bettauer keine Ahnung, daß seine Satire bittere Wahrheit werden würde. Hugo Bettauer (1872 - 1925) war einer der erfolgreichsten und auch kontroversesten österreichischen Schriftsteller seiner Zeit.

Der Roman, wenn auch mit ernstem Hintergrund, ist sehr lustig, besonders wenn man die österreichische Seele kennt...

Tales from Jókai

Mór Jókai

Tales From Jokai image and link Móric Jókay de Ásva, known as Mór Jókai or Maurus Jokai, was a Hungarian dramatist and novelist. He was a very prolific writer from an early age and wrote hundreds of novels, novellas, and short stories in his lifetime. The nine stories in this selection tell about hard times in Eastern Europe, especially in Hungary (Jokai was involved in the Hungarian uprising of 1848), as well as of ancient superstitions and folk lore. In the novella The City of the Beast, Jokai gives his version of the sinking of Atlantis.

Great stories that will draw you in, but be warned: They are not for the faint of heart...

A Tangled Tale

Lewis Caroll

Tangled Tale image and link A Tangled Tale consists of 10 loosely connected stories of an extended family that during their travels encounter mathematical problems, called "knots", that they either solve as recreation or are forced to solve to be able to get out of the hands of not-so-friendly rulers. All stories are humorous and can be solved with a little effort. They were first published in "The Monthly Packet" magazine between April 1880 and March 1885. The readers of the magazine were invited to solve the problems and send in their solutions, which would be discussed in a later issue.

Lewis Carroll (1832-1896) worked as a lecturer for mathematics at Christ Church college, Oxford for 27 years. He ist most famous, however, for his works "Alice in Wonderland" and "Behind the Looking Glass".

My very first LibriVox solo from 2009! I just hope I have improved since then...

The Tosa Diary

Ki No Tsurayuki

Tosa Diary image and link The Tosa Diary is an account of a 55 days journey by boat along the coast of Heian Japan. In Tosa province, Ki No Tsurayuki had served as governor for five years, before he could return to the capital Kyoto. He describes the journey in detail, not leaving out his fear of pirates or his sea sickness and the numerous offerings to placate the gods of the sea. Also included are numerous poems Ki composed during the journey.

Ki no Tsurayuki (872 - 945) was a Japanese poet of the Heian period. The Tosa Diary, in which Ki takes the persona of a woman who is "watching him" so he may write the diary in kana (then considered the "women's alphabet"), is considered his major work. He is one of the 36 Poetry Immortals of Japan and compiler of the 905 book "Kokinshu - Collected Japanese Poems of Ancient and Modern Times".

You almost feel sorry for the man as he is sick so often...

Treatise on Light

Christiaan Huygens

Teatise on Light image and link Treatise on Light is the largest scientific inquiry on light and its properties published some 15 years before Newton's Opticks. The main observation in the book is that light is a wave, and Huygens proceeds to postulate a velocity for light (instead of assuming its movement being instantaneous.) He explains that light always travels on the shortest path (i.e., a straight line) when unhindered, and what happens when the ray of light falls on a surface (reflection and refraction). A large chapter is dedicated to his observations of the double refraction in Iceland Crystal - a phenomenon caused by the polarization of sunlight. Huygens uses carefully constructed geometric proofs to verify his experiments and conclusions.

Christiaan Huygens (1629 - 1695) was a renowned Dutch physicist, astronomer, mathematician and horologist. He was a member of the French Royal Society and counted Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes and Marin Mersenne among his friends. His scientific discoveries include Saturn's moon Titan, the centrifugal force and the laws for colliding bodies.

Not an easy book - and I like geometry. My PLer nominated me for the "Hardest Read Award".

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan

Isabella L. Bird

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan image and link Unbeaten Tracks in Japan is a travelogue compiled of the letters Isabella sent to her sister during the seven months she travelled in Japan in 1878. Starting out from Tokyo (Edo), she first visited Nikko and then turned towards the - as yet by foreigners - unbeaten roads towards Niigata and Aomori. Her account of the poor interior of Japan, where very often she was the first foreign woman the people there had ever seen, stands out among the other travelogues of the time. From Aomori she took a ferry over to Hokkaido (Yezo) to study the Ainu, an indigenous people of Japan. With the Ainu's traditional life all but vanished nowadays, her report about it is highly interesting even to Japanese.

Isabella Lucy Bird (1831 - 1904) was a 19th century English traveller, writer, and natural historian. Her travels took her to the United States and to the Middle and Far East.

Isabella's account of this old exotic world is wonderful and exciting...