[Free Audiobooks UPDATE] On Cats by Charles Bukowski & Wanderlust, USA by Flula Borg [Literary Poet Pet Memoir & Humorous Travel Ethnography]

As a special treat to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day, two full-length audiobooks are being offered as a special promotion, free for a limited time courtesy of retailer Libro.fm and publisher HarperCollins’ HarperAudio imprint.

The two titles are available through Saturday, April 25th (UPDATE: the freebie period has been extended through Sunday April 26th, Pacific Daylight Time) as DRM-free MP3s (requires account signup with billing address but no payment info), and can also be gifted to your friends’ emails for them to claim later. You can find them by scrolling down Libro.fm’s special promotional page which includes their other charitable sale offers for the event or directly by clicking the titles below.

  • On Cats by the acclaimed late German-American poet and novelist Charles Bukowski, read by Roger Wayne, unabridged. A compilation of the author’s literary and personal reflections as well as poetry, written about the various cats encountered throughout his life, as well as the species inspiring him in general

  • Wanderlust, USA: An Über-Curious Guide to Sassy American Pastimes by German actor, comedian, and YouTube personality Flula Borg, read by the author himself, unabridged. A 6-episode audiobook-original humorous ethnographic travelogue adventure through the US in order to visit and experience the scenes of eccentric recurring cultural events including the Iditarod dog-sledding race in Alaska, Elvis Week in Mississippi, Revolutionary War-era historical reenactment in Lexington and more, and getting to know the history and communities behind them and their enduring popularity.

Offered worldwide through April 25th (at least until midnight Eastern Time, and possibly also Pacific Time), available DRM-free at Libro.fm.

[Free eBook] The Mahabharata: Peter Brook’s Epic in the Making by Garry O’Connor [Indian Myth-Based Theatre & Film Creative Process Memoir]

The Mahabharata: Peter Brook’s Epic in the Making by British author Garry O’Connor, a former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company turned novelist, biographer, and theatre critic, is a semi-biographical behind the scenes theatrical creative process memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1989 by Hodder & Stoughton.

The book provides an insider’s behind the scenes look at the creative and practical processes behind the making of award-winning British playwright and film director Peter Brook‘s The Mahabharata, originally a play based upon the ancient Sanskrit Hindu mythological epic which was then turned into television and film, following from start to finish its conception and writing and initial media reception, to the global theatrical tour and subsequent decisions made adapting from stage to film and shooting on location during the 1980s, etc.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Mahabharata: Peter Brook’s Epic in the Making by Garry O’Connor [Indian Myth-Based Theatre & Film Creative Process Memoir]”

[Free eBook] The Dream-Hunters of Corsica by Dorothy Carrington [Occult Folk Tradition History Travelogue]

The Dream-Hunters of Corsica by the late British author Dorothy Carrington, a lifelong expat who was a leading authority on Corsican history and culture, is a regional folkloric history cum travelogue, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1995 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

The book was written later in the author’s life, based upon travels she undertook during the 1940s and 1950s, while gathering information about the local Corsican folkloric magical traditions and claimed supernatural phenomena dating back to the Stone Age, and is accompanied by a scene-setting contextual history of the island and its cultural influences, alongside an investigation into the present-day (circa the mid-20th century) state of lingering beliefs.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Dream-Hunters of Corsica by Dorothy Carrington [Occult Folk Tradition History Travelogue]”

[Free eBook] The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster [Historical Ancient & Modern Rome Travel]

The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster, a Professor of Classics Emeritus at Princeton University, is his joint historical exploration cum modern experience travelogue, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for August and is part of their *Culture Trais: Adventures in Travel” series of history, literary, and pop culture-inspired travel essays.

The book traces a combined historical and modern journey along the ancient Roman Via Appia, an important road in Italy since its beginnings as a key strategic military route in 312 BC, as the author travels it himself, following in the footsteps of common soldiers and traders and pilgrims throughout the centuries, as well as more distinguished literary figures who’ve written about their own experiences on the Appian Way.

Offered worldwide through August (maybe also through the holiday long weekend), available directly from the university’s website.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster [Historical Ancient & Modern Rome Travel]”

[Free eBook] Worlds Apart: My Experiences in China (1953-5) and the Soviet Union (1962-5) by Humphrey Trevelyan [20th C Diplomat Expat Travel Memoir]

Worlds Apart: My Experiences in China (1953-5) and the Soviet Union (1962-5) by the late British author Humphrey Trevelyan, a notable ambassador to many key international diplomatic posts during his long career, is a mid-20th century historical political events cum expat life memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1971 by Macmillan.

This diplomatic career memoir covers Lord Trevelyan’s experiences as the British Ambassador to China in the 1950s after the Communist Revolution, and in the Soviet Union during the 1960s at the height of the Cold War, giving an inside view of both the various tense political situations which his embassy dealt with, as well as travel and everyday life in Peking and Moscow and surrounding regions both in the expat compounds and the local area attractions, with insightful retrospective political analysis of the times and cultures involved.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Worlds Apart: My Experiences in China (1953-5) and the Soviet Union (1962-5) by Humphrey Trevelyan [20th C Diplomat Expat Travel Memoir]”

[Free eBook] Legend and Legacy: The Story of Boeing and its People by Robert J. Serling [Aviation Business History]

Legend and Legacy: The Story of Boeing and its People by the late Robert J. Serling, a novelist and aviation writer who was also the brother of screenwriter Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone fame and occasionally contributed technical consultation on the show, is an aviation business corporate history, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1992 by St. Martin’s Press.

This corporate history covers over 75 years of the personal and professional history of aircraft company Boeing, from its roots during the WWI years, to its troubles during the interwar decade, and the eventual development of its famous jet airliners and involvement in the space program, following the decisions of its engineers and executives throughout the decades as they developed and expanded the business and its related industries, with behind the scenes insights and anecdotes.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Legend and Legacy: The Story of Boeing and its People by Robert J. Serling [Aviation Business History]”

[Free eBook] Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World by Lesley Downer [Japan Cultural History & Ethnographic Expat Memoir]

Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World by English author Lesley Downer, a former expat in Japan, journalist and historical novelist, is an ethnographic cultural history and expat memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 2000 by Headline Books.

The book presents an accessibly-written cultural history cum personal ethnographic memoir of Japan’s geisha—from the predecessors of the profession in the artistically accomplished ladies-in-waiting of the Heian period, to the courtesans of later eras, to the present day—and the various other professions that grew up around supporting them, some passing down the family business through centuries, with the author herself invited to spend several months experiencing the training and daily activities of the geisha in Kyoto while living among them.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World by Lesley Downer [Japan Cultural History & Ethnographic Expat Memoir]”

[Free eBook] Darlings of the Gods: One Year in the Lives of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh by Garry O’Connor [1940s Hollywood Celebrity Oceania Theatre Tour Biography]

Darlings of the Gods: One Year in the Lives of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh by British author Garry O’Connor, a playwright, biographer, and novelist, is a celebrity actor travelogue biography, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1984 by Hodder & Stoughton and was the basis of a 1989 film.

The biography is a partial travelogue, following the year 1948 in the lives of classic British Hollywood actors Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind) and Laurence Olivier (most noted for his Shakespearean work) as they leave England and take the Old Vic Company on a 6-month tour of Australia and New Zealand, experiencing stresses that would contribute to the breakdown of their marriage even as they made theatrical performances and were fêted as celebrities amongst the locals.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Darlings of the Gods: One Year in the Lives of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh by Garry O’Connor [1940s Hollywood Celebrity Oceania Theatre Tour Biography]”

[Free eBook] James Bond: On Location: Volume One: London by J. P. Sperati [Film Franchise Trivia & Tour Guide]

James Bond: On Location: Volume One: London by J. P. Sperati is the 1st volume in the James Bond: On Location series of fannish trivia and tour guides, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 2013 by Baker Street Studios Limited.

The series takes you on a tour of the local filming locations used for the long-running James Bond spy thriller franchise adapted from Ian Fleming’s novels, whether they stood for London or were used to represent another city, providing production anecdotes and historical trivia about the various places used and their context within each film, with a lavish selection of photographs showing off various points of interest to look for during your trip.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] James Bond: On Location: Volume One: London by J. P. Sperati [Film Franchise Trivia & Tour Guide]”

[Free eBook] The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939 by Ella K. Maillart [Vintage Travelogue]

The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939 by the late Swiss author Ella K. Maillart, an adventurer, travel writer, and photographer, is a vintage 1930s cross-continental travelogue and memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for June, and was originally published in 1947 by Heinemann and was eventually the basis for the 2001 film The Journey to Kafiristan. The reprint edition contains a new foreword by magazine editor and columnist Jessa Crispin, as well as the author’s own original photographs from the journey.

The travelogue is an account of Maillart’s groundbreaking journey and troubled friendship with fellow Swiss and openly LGBT writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, as they traveled by car from Switzerland through to Afghanistan at a time when European visitors were rare, and the two of them interacted with the locals dealing with various oppressive political and socioeconomic conditions while also struggling with their own personal issues.

Offered worldwide through June, available directly from the university’s website.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939 by Ella K. Maillart [Vintage Travelogue]”