Archive for May 2011

New LibriVox recording: The Wonderful Garden

May 30, 2011

Here, at long last, is The Wonderful Garden, or the Three C.s by Edith Nesbit. Sorry you have had to wait so long for it, owing to unforeseen and unwanted circumstances, but the good thing is that it is catalogued this year – exactly 100 years after it was first published.

It is a delightful book. E. Nesbit always charms both children and adults. I love the way she pops up as the author from time to time. It is dated, of course – children who know Latin… and wear their school blazers during the holidays… and have servants… and play pretend games about Arabs and Red Indians. But oh, I did enjoy it, and I hope you will too.

It is a book that few will have read – there is still no online text for it, and I bought a first edition just so that I could record it. Battered and well-read it was, and must have been enjoyed by many children.

Here is the LibriVox catalogue page:

Or direct links are available on the Books for Children page of this blog.

Gore Vidal wrote a most interesting article in 1964 about Edith Nesbit, which is available here.

Ben and the Book of Prophecies – now available!

May 18, 2011

My latest Iambik recording is released today and may be found at

Priced at $6.99, it is part of the latest Iambik collection – this time a varied bunch of nine Science Fiction and Fantasy books. You can get the whole collection for $43.99 – how’s that for value? Less than 50p per hour… (Look at the Iambik blog for an even better offer!)

This is the first of the Prophecies of Ballitor trilogy, and the next book in the series, Race for the Heir, has just been published in paper-back. I am hoping to record that too.

The unlikely hero is a street urchin thief, 12-year-old Ben, who is sent off on his mission by the Dowager Bella, the Queen’s aged but indomitable mother. Villains and goodies aplenty, plus mermen, a talking eagle and a very helpful dog. I enjoyed this – it is well-written and has some splendid characters.

Review of the book:

Fans of Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia may well enjoy this new children’s adventure series from writer Kirsty Riddiford, writes Alex De Moller. The Story centres on Ben, a thief in the city of Quadrivium. He is approached by Royals who want him to steal a fabled Book of Prophecies, so they can see into the future. Expect talking eagles, kings and queens, cloak and dagger, intrigue and the search for a book that won’t turn up.

–Hammersmith & Kensington Times & Kilburn Times

101 uses for an MP3 player… No. 1

May 10, 2011

OK, perhaps No. 2, as obviously they are pretty useful for listening to audio books. 😉

My dear old cat (lonely without his friend, but that’s another sad story) awoke me at 4.30 a.m. Thanks, Oscar. The birds were just beginning to sing, and what a wonderful sound it was.

I crept out into the garden, put my little Sansa Clip+ under the apple tree and set it to record… crept back to bed.

Imagine my delight when I retrieved it a bit later that morning. A blackbird had clearly chosen to sit on the apple tree and sing his heart out. The gallant little Sansa recorded it immaculately – for something smaller than a matchbox, it is a remarkable little gadget.

So, if you would like to hear the sounds of a Kent garden on an early May morning, you can download it or listen to it here.

And now, I must get on with recording the other “Wonderful Garden” for LibriVox… coming to an MP3 player near you before the end of May.

%d bloggers like this: