awakening_the_1003 It’s Free Audio Friday, special Banned Books Week edition! Celebrate your freedom to read this week by listening to Elizabeth’s LibriVox recording of The Awakening by Kate Chopin. This book is on the list of frequently challenged classics, which contains many other amazing and influential works.

Kate Chopin’s 1899 novella is about the personal, sexual, and artistic awakening of a young wife and mother, Edna Pontellier. While on vacation at Grand Isle, an island in the Gulf of Mexico, Edna befriends the talented pianist Mlle. Reisz and the sympathetic Robert Lebrun, both of whom will influence her startling life choices. Chopin’s novel created a scandal upon its original publication and effectively destroyed her writing career. Now, however, it is considered one of the finest American novels of the 19th century.

glimpses_of_the_moon_1103 Elizabeth is on an Edith Wharton kick lately – so this week for Free Audio Friday, it’s her LibriVox recording of The Glimpses of the Moon (1922), an excellent novel about an unusual marriage. You can listen to this book for free via the LibriVox site or app.

Nick and Susy Lansing live a decadent life in Europe by sponging off wealthy friends. They marry out of convenience and have an “open” relationship, but are unprepared for where their feelings will take them.

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Elizabeth is starting up her Free Audio Friday posts again – to promote titles from her free LibriVox recordings, and to offer new recordings on this site. Today’s title is Elizabeth’s LibriVox recording of Edith Wharton’s classic 1905 novel of manners The House of Mirth. Listen for free here. The book is about 29-year-old socialite Lily Bart, who is “on the hunt for a rich husband” but drawn irresistibly toward Lawrence Selden, a man with little money but who represents the intellectual freedom to which Lily aspires. Wharton’s beautiful novel established her as a major voice in American fiction. Happy Friday, and happy listening!

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Elizabeth has a new free recording for you today: a dramatic reading of Christopher Marlowe’s “Hero and Leander,” produced for the online poetry site Rhapsodize. Go here to listen. Rhapsodize is a wonderful site, founded by Dr. Bob Gonzalez of the University of Tampa, that seeks to “produce and encourage the performance of classic poetry.” This means lots of wonderful free content for listeners. Elizabeth has joined the ranks of their rhapsodes, and is currently working on a collection of poetry by the 17th century writer Anne Bradstreet. In the meantime, happy Friday, and happy listening!

OldDesignShop_AMerryChristmasCardFor those who celebrate them, the Christmas holidays are upon us! Elizabeth has a number of holiday-themed recordings for you to enjoy, most of them free. She has just finished recording The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby by Victoria James, which should be available at Audible soon, and has already released Maria Grace’s Twelfth Night at Longbourn, which follows Kitty Bennet (from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice) on a Christmas trip to Pemberley. You might also enjoy listening to the following free recordings, which she shared last year:

Happy holidays!

An_Old_Fashioned_Thanksgiving_1302Today for Free Audio Friday, Elizabeth has a recording for those listeners who are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving next week: Louisa May Alcott’s story “An Old -Fashioned Thanksgiving.” Elizabeth reads the role of Mrs. Bassett in this LibriVox full-cast dramatic reading, which can be downloaded here.

When a neighbor brings word that Grandma is sick, Mr. and Mrs. Bassett hurry off to tend to her, leaving their seven children to prepare for Thanksgiving on their own. The story of the adventures of Eph, Tilly, Prue, Seth, Sol, Roxy, and Rhody Bassett as they go sledding, face bears, tell old stories, and wrestle with plum puddings is a holiday treat fit to make anyone stop and count their own blessings.

Today for Free Audio Friday Elizabeth is sharing her top dramatic projects from LibriVox – these are either plays, or novels that have been done as dramatic readings (with a narrator and various readers performing the different roles). Here they are, sorted by the number of downloads via the Internet Archive:

1. Bram Stoker, Dracula (dramatic reading – Elizabeth reads the role of Mina Harker).

2. William Shakespeare, Hamlet (play – Elizabeth reads Queen Gertrude).

3. William Shakespeare, Macbeth (play – Elizabeth reads Lady Macbeth).

4. Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (dramatic reading – Elizabeth does the narration).

5. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (dramatic reading – Elizabeth reads Elizabeth Lavenza).

6. Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (dramatic reading – Elizabeth reads the narration and the role of Jo March).

7. William Shakespeare, Othello (play – Elizabeth reads Emilia).

8. William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (play – Elizabeth reads Juliet).

9. Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House (play – Elizabeth performs the role of Nora Helmer).

10. Henry James, Daisy Miller (dramatic reading – Elizabeth reads Mrs. Costello).

11. Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (dramatic reading – Elizabeth reads the narration and the role of Mary Crawford).

12. L. M. Montgomery, the Anne of Green Gables series (dramatic readings – Elizabeth performs Marilla Cuthbert in all four books).

13. Sophocles, Antigone (play – Elizabeth reads the title role).

14. Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis (play – Elizabeth reads the roles of the Chorus and the Messenger).

15. Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility (dramatic reading – Elizabeth reads the role of Lucy Steele).

Elizabeth has recorded many solos for LibriVox since starting to volunteer for them in 2007. If you are searching for her most popular solo recordings, here they are, ranked by number of downloads:

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

3. Emma by Jane Austen.

4. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

5. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon.

6. Howards End by E. M. Forster.

7. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

8. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs.

9. Persuasion by Jane Austen.

10. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

11. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.

12. Carmilla by J. S. LeFanu.

13. The Children of Odin by Padraic Colum.

14. The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

15. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.

Happy (free) listening!