You have to hand it to the English: they know how to do Christmas right. Maybe it has to do with their respect for tradition, maybe with their sense of occasion, maybe with their aptitude for pageantry, and maybe with their compulsion, for all that, not to take anything too seriously.[...]
Premiering in 1966, the How the Grinch Stole Christmas TV special is a perfect (snow?) storm of creative folks working at the top of their game, with Theodor Geisel aka Dr.[...]
In September, Bruce Springsteen published his new autobiography, Born to Run. Patiently I’ve been awaiting the audiobook version, which came out today. And, to my surprise, I discovered that it’s narrated by Springsteen himself. All 18 hours of it.
You can hear him read Chapter 41 (called “Hitsville”) above. Plus Chapter 53 below.
By the time William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge published their Lyrical Ballads in 1798, poets in England had long been celebrities and arbiters of taste in matters political and literary. The seventeenth century, for example, became known as the “Age of Dryden,” for poet and literary critic John Dryden’s tremendous influence.[...]
Here’s how Smithsonian Folkways describes this 1961 album now made available by Spotify. (If you need their free software, download it here):
Paul A. Mankin recites the most famous French poetry from the 19th Century.
When Ralph Ellison published his first novel, Invisible Man, in 1952, it took the literary world by storm. Orville Prescott, a literary critic at The New York Times, wrote in April of ’52:
Ralph Ellison’s first novel, “The Invisible Man,” is the most impressive work of fiction by an American Negro which I have ever read.
Though known for his long epic novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy wrote short stories too. Below, you can stream readings of five such stories, “The Three Hermits,” “Three Deaths,” “Albert,” “Ernak, and “God Sees the Truth But Waits.” They’re read by Bart Wolfe, and made freely available on Spotify.[...]
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Here’s a good way to inject a little fright into your Halloween celebration. Below, we’ve pulled together a playlist featuring Vincent Price, the icon of so many classic horror films, reading 8+ hours of scary stories. The readings, available for free on Spotify, come from albums recorded decades ago.