In this book Helen Keller tells her experiences growing up as a child who was both blind and death. This made is very hard for her to communicate withIn this book Helen Keller tells her experiences growing up as a child who was both blind and death. This made is very hard for her to communicate with her environment and for her environment with her. How do you teach a person who can’t see or hear anything a language? How do you teach her to read or write? How this can be done is told in Helen Keller’s story. She doesn’t only learn to communicate, read and write but also learns very hard and even manages to attend college. This is a very moving story that I can wholeheartedly recommend to everybody.
I listened to the Librivox audiobook and found it an average piece in their repertoire. The narrator wasn’t exceptional, but she wasn’t too bad either....more
Gradually I seem to be developing a liking for (auto)biographies/memoirs. Previously I always avoided those because I feared that they would bore me tGradually I seem to be developing a liking for (auto)biographies/memoirs. Previously I always avoided those because I feared that they would bore me too easily. With Chapters from My Autobiography by Mark Twain, I’ve read four autobiographies in the recent past. This book and John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley certainly convinced me how much fun autobiographies can be. Mark Twain has a way of presenting the facts in a funny way. I especially liked how he frequently cited from his daughter Susi’s biography of him. Those thow narrations (Twain’s own dictation and Susi’s biography of him) are combined to give a unique picture of the author. Once again I listened to the free audiobook from LibriVox, read by John Greenman. He knows how to give Twain his due and I think I wouldn’t have liked the book so much had I not listened to this narration. This is the second book by Mark Twain read by John Greenman I’ve enjoyed (the first was Twain’s retelling of the story of Joan of Arc) and Greenman has become my “voice of Twain” by now. He has done other Twain books as well and I’ll be certain to listen to those as well....more
Michael Kohlhaas is a classic in German literature. I found the book by accident and really enjoyed it. Michael Kohlhaas tells the story of a horse-deaMichael Kohlhaas is a classic in German literature. I found the book by accident and really enjoyed it. Michael Kohlhaas tells the story of a horse-dealer of the same name, who encounters injustice by the rulers of his country and is determined to fight for his rights and obtain justice. When his law-suit fails to achieve the desired results he is even prepared to take up arms against. This story is based on real events that happened in Brandenburg and Saxony (both Germany) during the mid-16th century. I could probably relate to the story all the more because I study law, so the legal problems that make up a large part of the story interest me on a professional basis as well. But I found it even more intriguing for the moral aspects it presents and the questions it raises. Where does one’s right to fight for justice end? While this is set in a time and society quite different from the present, I found that the questions and values presented in this book have not become outdated. This is really a recommended read for everyone. And while I’m at it I have to praise the LibriVox narration once again. I listened to the German LibriVox solo narration, which was really good. I’ve also noticed that LibriVox also has an English narration of the book, but haven’t listened to that, so I can’t say anything about the quality of that version. ...more
Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is sometimes referred to as the first How-to-Book (at least I read that somewhere, though I can’t recall now where).Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is sometimes referred to as the first How-to-Book (at least I read that somewhere, though I can’t recall now where). It’s certainly interesting to read (or hear when listening to the audiobook) of his early life and how he became a man of importance. Also, the writing style isn’t too monotone or boring (I’m listening to a novel right now that has a more boring style than this non-fiction). Usually I struggle with biographies (or autobiographies/memoirs), but this belonged to the better ones I’ve read so far.
I listened to the free LibriVox audiobook of this book. Those are of varying quality. This production was of average (tending to good) quality. ...more
Since my first experience with Mark Twain I always look forward to read another of his books (especially listen to the Librivox narration by John GreeSince my first experience with Mark Twain I always look forward to read another of his books (especially listen to the Librivox narration by John Greenman). I can’t be entirely sure if it is the narrator of the author who makes me chuckle occasionally; I’m convinced it is a combination of the two. I wasn’t disappointed by “A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”. The book tells the story of an American from Mark Twain’s time who one day woke up in 6th century England, among King Arthur’s knights. He doesn’t believe it at first, but soon has to accept that he is stranded in the far past and has to cope with it. His adventures are simply hilarious. They include a confrontation with the famous Merlin, a stroll through the country with King Arthur (disguised as a peasant) meeting his lowly subjects and taking on an army of several thousand knights with a force of … 45 men. Of course some of his future knowledge helps our hero in his adventures. This story is not to be taken too seriously. But if you enjoy a chuckle now and then I’d certainly recommend it. ...more
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is nothing more and nothing less than the story of a young boy’s childhood/youth. It doesn’t have a large plot (althoughThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer is nothing more and nothing less than the story of a young boy’s childhood/youth. It doesn’t have a large plot (although there are some elements in the story that span from the beginning to the end). Instead it details the everyday life of Tom Sawyer, his little woes and pleasures and what pranks he played. As with the previous Mark Twain books I read, I thoroughly enjoyed The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. His way of telling a story makes even the most everyday occurrences to something special and the book repeatedly made me smile. I listened again to the narration by John Greenman (which is available for free at LibriVox.org) and found that this wonderful story was improved by such a great narrator....more
I really feel that this review won’t (and can’t) do the book justice, because I really struggled with this audiobook. I listened to the free LibriVoxI really feel that this review won’t (and can’t) do the book justice, because I really struggled with this audiobook. I listened to the free LibriVox edition read by Mil Nicholson. She gives every character it’s separate voice, which is a good thing. But somehow her voice didn’t hold my attention. I couldn’t concentrate on listening to the audiobook; or at least I couldn’t remember long after listening what I had actually listened to. I think the main problem in this case was that Mil sometimes overdid it with the character voices, making it too slow or too strident. In-between classes I sometimes read some passages as ebook, so I got into the book around halfway through (then my listening experience also improved a bit) and by the end I had gotten enough content to know that I actually like it. I really loved the ending. I’ll probably reread it one day (really reading this time; or an audiobook with another narrator). This is certainly one of the few audiobook-editions that I can’t recommend....more
I’m slowly but steadily falling in love with Charles Dickens’ work. Nicholas Nickleby is a wonderful story about how poverty and hardship can make youI’m slowly but steadily falling in love with Charles Dickens’ work. Nicholas Nickleby is a wonderful story about how poverty and hardship can make you happier than a fortune. The book focuses on the Nickleby family, living in 19th century England. After the death of his father Nicholas, his sister and mother are appealing to Nicholas’ uncle Ralph Nickleby. Ralph is a made man without any recognizable conscience. In answer to this appeal Ralph sends Nicholas as assistant teacher to a boarding school under the direction of a man who is just as greedy and conscience-lacking as Ralph himself. I’m not going deeper into the plot, because this is one of the rare books I read recently that actually made me want to read on to find out what would happen next. For once I was not sitting there thinking “oh, it’ll turn out OK in the end … they might be in a fix now, but of course he’ll save the day by some heroic deed”. Charles Dickens managed to write a vivid narrative that makes it easy for the reader to imagine themselves in 19th century England. He also draws great characters, and even though Ralph and his companions might sometimes seem slightly stereotypical, I actually experienced even them as round characters with more depth than the first impression might suggest. My favourable impression of this book is strengthened by the audiobook, read by Simon Vance. He does a wonderful job of reading this book and giving every character his individual voice without overdoing it. ...more