Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Librivox rox

Today I finished "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens.  I thought about writing a quick review & then thought why not cover all that librivox has given to me thus far.  I have a long list so I will try to limit the reviews to one line.  In looking over my list two things jump out to me:
A) I'm a nerd.
B) I'm a GK Chesterton nerd.
Neither of these are new or shocking to me. 

This is not a complete list - there have been some collections of short stories, sermons and speeches that have filled in my drive time as well.  This is also the laziest reviews I could muster.  It is a low thought blog today.

So in a nearly chronological order as remembered:

GK Chesterton:
Orthodox - The paradigm of a GKC work.  A very strong and thought out defense of the Christian faith and how it works in life.
Eugenics & Other Evils - #2 recommended GKC work of the dangers of science trumping morals.  Chilling and prophetic as it was written around 1915.  Still chilling today.
Manalive - Fictional mystery of scaring people into being alive.  Good.
Utopia of Userers - Social critique of willing workers, property and government.
Everlasting Man - History of man centered on the most critical turning point - Christ.
Alarms & Discursions - collection of essays on various subjects
Miscellany of Men - review of common man-types.  Good.
George Bernard Shaw - GKC was a close friend to Shaw and this is part of their continual battle.
Heretics - scathing review of faulty logic & philosophical types.
Tremendous Trifles - a collection of essays
Napoleon of Notting Hill - fiction of citizenry and their defeat of government. Good
Superstition of Divorce - this is one that was a filler for me & was stunningly good on the implications of society losing it's respect of keeping a promise.
Defendant - presents a fierce defense (legal style) of things under attack by society.
The Ball and the Cross - fiction - possible #3 GKC book.  A vibrant Christian & Atheist duel to the death over their contrasting worldviews.  VERY good.  The banter must have been lifted from GKC & Shaw.
Ballad of the Whitehorse -epic poem of Alfred the Great.  Very well done.  not easy listening.
Appetite of Tyranny - It was England focused of gov't rise.  Very applicable of the seduction of power today as well.
What I saw in America - neat commentary of America & some commentary of our history.
What's Wrong with the World - possibly #3 GKC book; commentary of social trends.

Hillaire Belloc: (Belloc was a mentor & good friend to GKC.  It is said he attended a prominent debate club as a spectator and was appalled by the terrible defense on one side, stood up and presented his defense and won the debate by crowd vote.  That was the start of his path into writing & debating.)
On Something - essays
The Servile State - gov't power essays
Europe & the Faith - history of faith is tied to Catholic Church
First & Last - essays

George Macdonald:
The Princess & The Goblin - great adventure story for kids.  excellent teaching pictures of faith, providence, etc.
The Princess & Curdie - part 2.  Well written with more excellent teaching moments.
Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood -  This book sealed me as a G-Mac fan.  I was hooked on this story.
The Light Princess - witty teaching story of sacrifice.
The Hope of the Gospel - G-Mac started as a preacher & I know this had some "Oh - wow" moments for me that I cannot recall anymore.
The Shadows - I got confused but made it thru.
Lilith - This story lost me before I got 1/2 way.  I'll try again someday; but it wanders greatly.
Phantastes - See above.
At The Back of North Wind - interesting tale of faith & providence with many layers.  I need to go thru again soon & get deeper.

Pensees - Blaise Pascal - Notes of his that are very organized and boring to listen to.
The Divine Comedy - Dante - not very compelling as something to listen to.
Summa Theologica - Thomas Aquinas - I know I listened and can't remember a thing.
City of God - St. Augustine of Hippo - Tough at first but then VERY striking theological rebuke of issues at 450 that are still around today.  Creation time.  Authenticity of the Bible.  This is a stunning rebuke of anyone who presumed all real knowledge started within the last 50-100-500 (pick your number) years and that all before then were morons.
Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson - Awesome story.  Stevenson was overlooked in his time & just tells a great story.
Treasure Island - RLS - Great story.  The movies don't do it justice; it is just a great story.
The Wrong Box - RLS - I didn't make it thru this.  It started very legal, I might try again.

Little Women - Loisa May Alcott - Becky asked me to listen to this.  I'm glad she did & glad I listened.  A great story that provides great insight into the life of people.  I liked it.
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - A rather quick listen that is worthwhile.  The Jesus elements tend to get white-washed out of most of the movie interpretations.
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - Rough at start but the last 1/3 were compelling.  I'm now a Dickens fan.


  1. Mike tried for about 10 years to get me to read Bleak House. I finally watched the BBC movie. I don't know that I would call myself a "fan" of Dickens. But I respect him. He's a great storyteller, and I do love A Tale of Two Cities. I was assigned that book in 9th grade. It turns out a 9th grader does not comprehend how something can be both the best and worst of times all at once. One day I will revisit that book. Perhaps with librivox. I got my copy of Pride & Prejudice from there and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. You must listen to GMac's "The Wise Woman (or the lost princess)" Trust me, you'll like it.
    Oh, and Dickens is wonderful. I just had to say it again.