Category Archives: Audiobooks

The Marble Faun – Volume 2

The Marble Faun - Volume 2 by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Marble Faun – Volume 2 by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Marble Faun is Hawthorne’s most unusual romance. Writing on the eve of the American Civil War, Hawthorne set his story in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in a Roman sculpture gallery. The theme, characteristic of Hawthorne, is guilt and the Fall of Man. The four main characters are Miriam, a beautiful painter who is compared to Eve, Beatrice Cenci, Lady Macbeth, Judith, and Cleopatra, and is being pursued by a mysterious, threatening Model; Hilda, an innocent copyist who is compared to the Virgin Mary; Kenyon, a sculptor, who represents rationalist humanism; and Donatello, the Count of Monti Beni, who is compared to Adam, resembles the Faun of Praxiteles, and is probably only half human.

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Graustark

Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon

Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon

The Graustark novels are stories of court intrigue, royal disguise, and romance. They were popular best-sellers at the time they were published and the original editions are still readily available in used book shops. The novels gave their name to a fictional genre called Graustarkian: this genre contains tales of romance and intrigue usually featuring titled characters in small, fictional, Central European countries.

During the 1870’s, Graustark’s ruler, Prince Ganlook, was killed in a war with neighboring Axphain. As part of the ensuing peace treaty, Graustark agreed to pay a large indemnity to Axphain, to be due, with interest, in fifteen years.(Wikipedia)

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The Combined Maze

The Combined Maze by May Sinclair

The Combined Maze by May Sinclair

Ranny Ransome is an idealistic young man, devoted to exuberant gymnastic exercises and to fighting “flabbiness” in his own life, body and soul. He loves the girlish and athletic Winny Dymond, and particularly loves participating with her in the Combined Maze, a choreographed, intricate, exhilarating group gymnastic ritual in which the young men and women of the Polytechnic Gymnasium demonstrate their skills. Unfortunately, Ranny falls under the spell of the seductive Violet, a sexual free spirit who wants nothing more than to live an untrammeled life on her own terms. When, to her astonishment and horror, Violet becomes pregnant, Ranny dutifully marries her against her will, entangling himself and her in a deadly new Combined Maze of social conventions intended to suppress and subdue the elemental passions that give color to Life. May Sinclair draws her readers in with a quiet, unobtrusive, Victorian prose that seems completely in tune with the conventional proprieties of her society, but goes on in the same seditious, unassuming tone to tell stories of sensuality, adultery, seduction, divorce, and betrayal, quietly protesting the smothering conventions of a society that feared passion in all its forms. Ranny’s mesmerizing struggle to maintain his fundamental decency while remaining true to his real love hangs in the balance to the last page.

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Nina Balatka

Nina Balatka by Anthony Trollope

Nina Balatka by Anthony Trollope

A romance set in Prague between a Catholic and a Jew. In this short novel, Trollope moves away from his usual milieu to explore a theme which has universal resonance.

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A Hunting We Will Go

A Hunting We Will Go by Charm Brights

A Hunting We Will Go by Charm Brights

In Kobekistan the Emir and his friends enjoy hunting, on horseback, with dogs. There are no foxes in Kobekistan so they hunt slaves, usually female, and the dogs they use are Irish Wolfhounds. Of course the “kill” is also different. Expensive slaves are not to be torn apart by dogs, so they are used to amuse the hunters. A little bit of everything hetero in here. Those of you who enjoyed Tamsin may well enjoy this.

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The First Book Of The Merciful Nun

The First Book Of The Merciful Nun by Charm Brights

The First Book Of The Merciful Nun by Charm Brights

A clever child from a very poor family in the latter part of the 19th century is accepted into the Convent but is then seduced by a worldly Novice. She is sent to the College of Correction and Redemption where she finds herself playing the whore for randy clerics who have all manner of sexual and Mdom ideas. After eighteen months of this she is returned to her convent, pregnant. Subsequently she uses the knowledge she gained during her time as a sexual and SM toy to gain preferment.

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The Moorland Cottage

The Moorland Cottage by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

The Moorland Cottage by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Maggie Brown is torn between her mother who constantly tells her to live for her selfish brother (to whom she gives all her love) to her wish to marry Frank and live for herself. Maggie’s plight for independence shows the change in women’s role, which started to take place during that time. But it also keeps to the tradition of an almost Cinderella story: the pure woman does the best for everyone but herself and is rewarded for that. In addition, this is a very interesting story, written in Gaskell’s remarkable style.

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An Unwilling Guest

An Unwilling Guest by Grace Livingston Hill

An Unwilling Guest by Grace Livingston Hill

A young society woman travels to the country to visit her aunt, only to end up as the unwilling guest of a neighboring family. The daughter is not so sure how to deal with this unpleasant circumstance. The young man of the household has met her before. Through them, she gains new perspectives on life, faith, and love.

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The Mystery of the Sycamore

The Mystery of the Sycamore by Carolyn Wells

The Mystery of the Sycamore by Carolyn Wells

Instead of prison time, former governor, Samuel Appleby, sentences his former rival, Daniel Wheeler to imprisonment on his homestead with a very strange addendum. He then endeavors to convince Mr. Wheeler to endorse his son’s candidacy for governor with a promise of commuting his sentence. In the meantime, Samuel Appleby is murdered in Wheeler’s home. The discovery of the identity of the murderer has many twists and turns filled with love, devotion, gumshoe dialog, and weird circumstances that will delight the listener in a most unusual way.

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Avalanche

Avalanche by Chrys Romeo

Avalanche by Chrys Romeo

A love story, ski rides on the mountain, an avalanche and a surreal, unexpected, life-changing turn of events are at the center of this tale. If it’s an avalanche of snow, or the avalanche of love, or something of divine intervention, you’ll have to figure it out by yourself.

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