Audible Providing Free Audio Books to Kids & Teens: Introducing the New Service, Audible Stories

A heads up to all parents, Audible has announced that they're providing free stories for kids during this period of social distancing, which inevitably means widespread school closures. They write:

For as long as schools are closed, we're open. Starting today, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.

All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.

Explore the collection, select a title and start listening.

It's that easy.

Winnie the Pooh, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Beatrix Potter--they're all available as free audio.

You can find more free audio books in our collection, 1,000 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free...

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

via Book Riot

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Free for Audible Subscribers: James Taylor Releases a New Audio Memoir, and Michael Pollan a New Audio Book on Caffeine

This is a very quick FYI for anyone who happens to be an Audible subscriber. If you're not, you can start a free trial here.

This month, all Audible members can get free access to James Taylor's new short memoir called Break Shot: My First 21 Years. Read by James Taylor himself, the book revisits the musician's turbulent childhood and his emergence as an artist. It also features recorded music by the singer-songwriter.

In addition, Michael Pollan has released a new short audiobook, Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World. Read by Pollan, the book (only available in audio format) "takes us on a journey through the history of the drug, which was first discovered in a small part of East Africa and within a century became an addiction affecting most of the human species."

Both books are part of the Audible Originals program. So if you download them, you won't be using any of your monthly credits. They are free bonus material.

And now for an extra bonus:  You can listen to Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Matthew Rhys, Maura Tierney and others read "The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture." It's free for all--whether you're an Audible subscriber or not.

To sign up for an Audible free trial, click here.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

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Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save Available as a Free AudioBook and eBook: Features Narrations by Paul Simon, Kristen Bell & Stephen Fry

In 2009, Princeton philosopher Peter Singer published his practical handbook/manifesto The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty. Bill and Melinda Gates called it “a persuasive and inspiring work that will change the way you think about philanthropy"--a book that "shows us we can make a profound difference in the lives of the world’s poorest.”

Now, on its tenth anniversary, Singer has released an updated version of The Life You Can Save. And he's made it available as a free ebook, and also as a free audiobook featuring narrations by Kristen Bell, Stephen Fry, Paul Simon and Natalia Vodianova, among others. You can get the downloads here.

Singer's website features a page where you can find the best charities that address global poverty. Each charity has been "rigorously evaluated to help you make the biggest impact per dollar." If you are looking for an efficient approach, you can also make one single donation to support all of the charities vetted and recommended by Singer's organization.

The audio version of The Life You Can Save will be added to our meta collection, 1,000 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free.

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Hear Neil Gaiman Read A Christmas Carol Just as Dickens Read It

gaiman dickens

Image by New York Public Library

Last Christmas, we featured Charles Dickens' hand-edited copy of his beloved 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. He did that hand editing for the purposes of giving public readings, a practice that, in his time, "was considered a desecration of one’s art and a lowering of one’s dignity." That time, however, has gone, and many of the most prestigious writers alive today take the reading aloud of their own work to the level of art, or at least high entertainment, that Dickens must have suspected one could. Some writers even do a bang-up job of reading other writers' work: modern master storyteller Neil Gaiman gave us a dose of that on Monday when we featured his recitation of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" from memory. Today, however, comes the full meal: Gaiman's telling of A Christmas Carol straight from that very Dickens-edited reading copy.




Gaiman read to a full house at the New York Public Library, an institution known for its stimulating events, holiday-themed or otherwise. But he didn't have to hold up the afternoon himself; taking the stage before him, BBC researcher and The Secret Museum author Molly Oldfield talked about her two years spent seeking out fascinating cultural artifacts the world over, including but not limited to the NYPL's own collection of things Dickensian. You can hear both Oldfield and Gaiman in the recording above. But perhaps the greatest gift of all came in the form of the latter's attire for his reading: not only did he go fully Victorian, he even went to the length of replicating the 19th-century literary superstar's own severe hair part and long goatee. And School Library Journal has pictures.

The story really gets started around the 11:25 mark. Gaiman's reading will be added to our list of Free Audio Books. You can find the text of Dickens' classic in our collection, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices.

Note: An earlier version of this post appeared on our site in December 2014.

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Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Hear a Full-Cast Reading of Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, the Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale

A good heads up from Metafilter. They write:

Available for a limited time, BBC Radio 4 has a full-cast abridged reading of Margaret Atwood’s new novel, The Testaments. This sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale picks up 15 years after the events in the previous book (very mildly revealing review of The Testaments by Anne Enright). All 14-minute episodes have now been released: The first episode is available until Oct. 15, 2019; the fifteenth and final episode is available until Oct. 30.

Stream it all here. And find more audio books in our collection, 1,000 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

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Free: A Professionally-Read Version of the Ukraine Whistleblower Complaint, Released by Penguin Random House Audio

Listen to the Whistleblower Complaint released by the House Intelligence Committee, as read by Saskia Maarleveld. Stream or download it above. Find more of Maarleveld's narrated books on Audible.

This recording will be added to our collection, 1,000 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free.

Stream Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, a BBC Production Featuring Derek Jacobi (Free for a Limited Time)

A nice tip from Metafilter: "BBC Radio 4 is airing Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time in 10 episodes running to about nine hours in total. With a starry cast headed by Derek Jacobi as the Narrator, the adaptation is written by U.S.-born, UK-based playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker."

The entire audio collection will remain streamable for the next 28 days. Here are the individual episodes:

Episodes 1 and 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

Find more audio books in our collection, 1,000 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

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