Professional Voice Talent, Amateur Actor and Knitter

Shower fail

I do so dislike having to play “takesies backsies” at baby showers, but I just didn’t manage to finish the sweater. I’d be further along if I hadn’t noticed a mistake two nights ago and frogged back to fix it. Still, baby isn’t due till July, so hopefully I’ll have it finished before then. And the shower was a fun way to finish a work day, even if all the men did congregate in one corner as if the rest of us had cooties (you’d think they’d have outgrown that by now!). 🙂

I’ve decided on Sense and Sensibility for my next LibriVox project. I’ll do Anne’s House of Dreams after that. I do wish Anne of Windy Poplars were out of copyright. It’s one of my favourites in the series. Darn you, Lucy Maud Montgomery! You should have written faster!


Back to recording


Oh, the drama!


  1. John

    Anne of Windy Poplars is out of copyright, isn’t it? It’s available on Project Gutenberg and an online listing that I found of public domain laws by country also implies that this book would be in the public domain.

    I love your reading voice, so I sincerely hope it is, since I’m making my way through the series 🙂

  2. It’s public domain in countries that count copyright as ‘year of death of author + 50 years’; but in the US, it would have had to have been published before 1923, and it was published in 1936. LibriVox follows US copyright laws because our files are hosted in the US. So that one and Anne of Ingleside (pubished 1939) are off limits. But I still have Anne’s House of Dreams and Rainbow Valley to do.

    The Gutenberg it can be found on is Gutenberg Australia, because they’re a Death + 50 country.

  3. John

    Oh, interesting… I saw the US listed as a “Death + 70” country, which would mean that any book where they author died before 1940 would be okay (which would still exclude those two Anne books, I guess). What is the real rule, such that only things before 1936 are okay?

    And something can be public domain in one place, but not in another? For some reason, I assumed that the rules of the original country in which a book was published applied, and that other countries would follow their rules on a given book out of international treaty.

    This is interesting to learn more about… Thank you 🙂

  4. It is ‘Death + 70’, but only for items published since (if I remember rightly) 1968. Most countries, when they enact new copyright law make it retroactive, so that all published items follow the same law. The US didn’t do that. Each time they’ve enacted new copyright law, it has only affected items published since that time, so there are half a dozen or more versions of copyright law in effect in the US at this time. The easiest to understand is that everything published before 1923 is in the public domain. Then there’s another rule for things published between 1923 and 1968; basically if the copyright wasn’t renewed it’s fair game, otherwise not. And then anything published after 1968 is ‘Death + 70’. (I think… copyright law gives me a headache, so I could have the dates wrong). And then, on top of that, there are variances based on whether the copyright holder is an individual or a corporation, or whether it was first published here or in another country, and all kinds of other complications.

    Cornell has a nice flowchart for figuring out what’s in the public domain, including things that were first published outside the US:

  5. Dede

    I am thrilled that you will be reading Sense and Sensibility for LibraVox. I have listened to most of your recordings (the English ones!) and I love every one of them. You have a great gift of expression and interpretation. You add so much to what these beloved authors intended. My appreciation for Jane Austen, for Lucy Maud Montgomery, for Frances Burnett grows with each reading of their works, and with each listening of your recordings. I love them because they illuminate for me, through fictional characters, the actual flawed, challenging, noble, loving, inspiring human beings that are found all around us. The lives of many thousands of people have been enriched by your efforts. Heart-felt thanks!

  6. Kathleen

    I just purchased an app that uses LibraVox recordings. Your reading of The Secret Garden was the second book I listened to. I must say that I think you have spoiled me for all other readers. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with all of us! I will be searching for other books you have recorded ASAP! Thank you! Thank you!

  7. Vivian Ding, China

    Hi Karen,

    Just wanted to say, on behalf of thousands of people, how grateful we are to you. I’m a big fan ever since I downloaded ‘Anne of Green Gables’ onto my iPhone in February. Your lovely voice tells stories so wonderfully that I have downloaded all the books from the list on your website. You are like the story girl! We love you very much and please keep up recording new books! Thank you very much for sharing with us!

  8. Thank you for your readings, Karen. I just listened to Anne of Green Gables for the the second time, mostly while driving across Pennsylvania with my older daughter, Lauren. The first time we listend to “Anne” as a family, more than a year ago now, I guessed that my daughters would be interested and that the boys would disappear into the computer room. I was mistaken. Most of the boys (Daniel, James, John) listened intently, and at the end of every chapter, there was an outcry from all of them — “One more chapter, Dad! One more!” It was easy to relent… It’s a great story and you read it wonderfully. We’ve listened as well to two of the other “Anne” books you’ve read for LV and the two E. Nesbit books. “Rilla of Ingleside” is next. (Have you ever thought of doing George MacDonald books, The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie?)

    Thank you and keep up the great work! Onward!

    the Barrys
    Pittsburgh, PA

  9. Deb

    Just wanted to add my thanks for all the time and effort you’ve put into your librivox recordings, such a treat to listen to you read, I love the way you bring the story to life. Can’t wait to hear “The Secret Garden”. I read the book years ago and am looking forward to revisiting it with you. Also can’t wait for “Sense and Sensibility”. I got such a kick out of finding out that you’re a knitter through your blog, because that’s exactly what I’m doing as I listen to you! Thanks so much for bringing the old classics back into my day, I’ve done far less reading since taking up knitting and finding you on libivox has been such a delight!

  10. Babs

    I wanted to leave you a note of appreciation, much like the above comments. The first book that I downloaded onto my iPod was the Secret Garden, and I accidentally got your Pride and Prejudice as my second, and was so happy to hear your voice again. I’m so glad that you share this with us, and I’ll be going through the rest of your available readings for more before I branch out to other readers. Thanks again.

  11. Elizabeth

    I am thrilled to hear about your recording of _Sense and Sensibility_. I have your recording of _Pride and Prejudice_ on my MP3 player, and I have listed to it over and over again. You perfectly capture the distinctiveness of each character, the spirit and tone of the narration, and the happy, bright mood of the novel. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your gift in this way.

  12. Julie

    I love your Anne recordings! I listen to you every night, and I am quite the Librivox snob now — I will only listen to your versions! My one sadness was that there was no good (and by good, I mean Karen Savage) version of Anne’s House of Dreams. That one is possibly my favorite. Your voice telling me Anne stories is my bedtime ritual now. My husband thinks I’m funny, but I don’t care. 🙂 Thank you, and please DO make my wish come true and have a Anne’s House of Dreams recording! The one Librivox has right now is dreadful. It even has a woman who sort of croaks in monotone. The difference between your recordings and quality of performance is like another quality of human being! I would even be willing to pay for your services, I cannot believe it is free! ~Julie Davenport

  13. Trish

    One more vote and/or comment of appreciation for your plan to do Anne’s House of Dreams! Any chance you’d also do Rainbow Valley? The one that’s on Librivox isn’t bad but it isn’t quite you 🙂 You just bring the books to life and are a pleasure to listen to. And not only is Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne of Ingleside not in the public domain for a very long time, there aren’t even for-sale audio editions as far as I am aware. *sigh* I would totally pay for them to round out the collection.

    And to the commenter Julie above me, I’m so glad there’s another person who has Anne bedtime story time too and is old enough to have a husband! Mine laughs at me too. Oh well!

  14. Mads

    I always enjoyed the TV-series of “Anne of Green Gables” very much, but never read the books myself. Now as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Denmark, I was trying to find some free audio that my pupils could listen to while reading the text as well.

    I came across your readings of the Anne books on LibriVox – and I must join the chorus above: “When will you read the rest Karen? I want to know!” as Davy would have put it 🙂

    You capture the spirit of the TV-series and adds a thousand to it! And I’m positively hooked! My collegues and friends think that I have gone into some kind of “transgender regression” – it is not every day you see a grown man of nearly 33 dreaming himself away to Prince Edward Island in his coffee break 🙂

    Please please please do the rest of the series as soon as you can. The girls in my class (age 14-15) and I are just addicted. We tossed the books aside and just listened.
    And now, as I am reading the books that you have not recorded, your voice is in my head – but it is not at all as good as the real thing.

    But thank you a thousand times for bringing me comfort at bedtime and relaxing coffee breaks at work!

    (And for Trish and Julie above: Your husbands should be listening with you!)

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