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!


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For Free Audio Friday this week, in anticipation of the forthcoming release of her recording of Shannon Winslow’s wonderful novel The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen, Elizabeth is featuring her LibriVox recording of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. You can download and listen to the book here. This is Austen’s final completed novel, published posthumously in 1817. The heroine, Anne Elliot, is considered past her prime at 27, and still regrets the dissolution of her engagement to the dashing Captain Frederick Wentworth eight years ago. When Anne and Wentworth encounter each other again, will they be able to rekindle their romance? This is probably Elizabeth’s favorite Austen novel – so happy listening! And stay tuned for the release of Shannon Winslow’s adaptation of the novel to Jane Austen’s own life, due soon at Audible.

The image is from the wonderful 1995 film version of Persuasion, with Amanda Root as Anne and Ciaran Hinds as Wentworth.

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Elizabeth is featuring another of her LibriVox solo recordings for Free Audio Friday this week: The Odd Women by George Gissing (1893). You can download and listen to this novel for free here. This timely book takes on the 19th century “Woman Question” by looking at themes of feminism, marriage, and love. The novel raises these issues through the lives of several contrasting women: Mary Barfoot, a feminist philanthropist who helps train women for careers; her close friend Rhoda Nunn, who believes marriage is a disastrous choice for women; and Monica Madden, who starts out as one of their protegees but chooses to marry a seemingly kind older man. As Monica experiences the challenges of married life, Rhoda finds herself drawn to Mary’s cousin, the charming but apparently profligate Everard. Enjoy!

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Following on from last week’s featured Free Audio Friday title, Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, Elizabeth is offering another audiobook that helps to commemorate the beginning of World War I: Edith Wharton’s memoir Fighting France. This is Elizabeth’s solo recording for LibriVox, and is one of many Wharton books that she has recorded; take a look at the Credits page to see the full list. Wharton was an American writer (and is well known for her novels The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth), but spent a good portion of her adult life in France. When the war started in 1914, she obtained permission to visit sites behind the lines, including hospitals, ravaged villages, and trenches. Fighting France records her experiences traveling across the country in the first two years of the war, and celebrates the bravery and spirit of the French people. Highly recommended!

Rebecca-West

This week for Free Audio Friday, Elizabeth is featuring her LibriVox solo recording of The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. You can listen to and download the book here. This 1918 work was the first novel about the Great War published by a woman writer, and is about the shell-shocked Chris, who comes home to his wife with amnesia. The story is narrated by Chris’ cousin Jenny, who describes the troubled reunion in West’s beautiful and poetic language. The recording garnered several five-star reviews on the Internet Archive. One listener noted, “This is a short story but it hits you hard … The narration is top notch and perhaps makes the story even more moving because it is so well done.” Another wrote, “Elizabeth Klett is a marvelous reader … She brings this narration alive with the skill of an actor, making Jenny a distinct and deep character. I couldn’t imagine any other recording of this book, at any price.”

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It’s Free Audio Friday, Summertime edition! Today Elizabeth is featuring one of her solos for LibriVox, Edith Wharton’s 1917 novella Summer. Like Wharton’s more famous work Ethan Frome (which Elizabeth has also recorded for LibriVox), Summer is set in a very small rural New England town. Charity Royall longs to escape the claustrophobic confines of North Dormer and the inappropriate advances of her guardian Mr. Royall, who adopted her as a child from the nearby Mountain community. Hope arrives in the form of city boy Lucius Harney, who has come to research the architecture of the region; but will his presence in Charity’s life mean her salvation – or her undoing? Download this wonderful novel here.

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Elizabeth has another Free Audio Friday selection for Black History Month: the first book of poetry published by an African-American writer, Phillis Wheatley. You can download and listen to Elizabeth’s reading of these poems for free here. Born in West Africa, Wheatley was sold into slavery at age seven, and bought by a wealthy Massachusetts family who taught her to read and write. Her extraordinary literary gifts led to the publication of her “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral,” and to her eventual emancipation by her owners. Although some of the poems demonstrate an apparent acceptance of the racist values of the white slave-owning classes (which viewed Africans as savage), Wheatley’s considerable talents simultaneously contradicted these stereotypes. Her story is a seminal entry in the history of African-American literature. Happy Friday, and happy listening!

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February is Black History Month, and for Free Audio Fridays this month Elizabeth will be featuring titles by African-American writers. The first title is Quicksand by Nella Larsen, which focuses on the struggles of Helga Crane, a mixed-race woman in the late 1920s whose journey of self-exploration takes her from the deep South to Chicago to New York to Copenhagen. You can download Elizabeth’s solo recording free from LibriVox – and if you like it, be sure to check out her recording of Passing, also by Larsen. Happy listening!

machinestopsIt’s Free Audio Friday, and today Elizabeth is featuring her LibriVox recording of E. M. Forster’s classic work of science fiction, The Machine Stops. You can download it for free here; you can also listen to it as part of a podcast at SFFAudio. For those familiar with Forster’s well-known novels (and their film versions) such as A Room With a ViewHowards End and A Passage to India, this novella might come as a surprise. Written in 1909, the story describes a world in which most of the human population has lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual now lives in isolation below ground in a standard “cell,” with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. It’s a startlingly prescient tale from Forster – happy listening!

(The image is a screen shot from a short film inspired by the story, which you can watch at Vimeo.)

ethanfrome

It’s Free Audio Friday, and today Elizabeth is featuring her solo recording of Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome from LibriVox – go here to download it. It’s the perfect novel for January listening, since it’s set in Massachusetts during a frigid winter. The frozen landscape becomes a prominent character in Wharton’s tragic story of the forbidden love between the title character and his beautiful cousin. The image is from the 1993 film version, starring Liam Neeson and Patricia Arquette. Enjoy!