Last updated: 28th December 2009

I’m Cori Samuel, a 40something Brit lass, who lives and works in England. I accidentally emigrated to Australia several years ago and gave away the majority of a vast book collection at that time. Once I’d repatriated myself, I found it quite hard to start buying books again, knowing even that great bastion of a civilised existance — a home library — was still relatively ephemeral.

Instead, I developed a love-hate relationship with my local library system and also started reading books online. This led to a two year stint as a Distributed Proofreader, followed by time at eBookForge. Across both sites, I proofread (in one way or another) more than 17,000 pages of public domain texts, most of which are now available at Project Gutenberg. I did the final assembly of about 38 ebooks, both plaintext and (X)HTML formats, and developed a special passion for mentoring other folks starting out with this process, helping another 74 books through the final checks. In summary, I am the kind of person who italicises full-stops where appropriate and thinks that it’s actually important.

I’ve not proofread for some years now, and this is mainly because of a serious addiction to my microphone — the majority of this website relates to my LibriVox activity. The acoustical liberation of books into the public domain is so very cool, and such huge fun, that it’s quite taken over my time. I do all my own recording, editing, sound processing, etc., except in some rare, but very fun cases, so I have tended in the past to contribute mainly single-chapters and short readings to collaborative works. However, in 2008, I took the plunge and since then have also been working on my own solo projects too; both for LibriVox, and for some external publishers, including Audible. The long haul is VERY hard, but rewarding too. I’m also an admin at LibriVox, helping to run projects, producing community podcasts and supporting new folks as they get going with recording. More recently, I’ve also been recording books which are NOT in the public domain in the US, but are fine for people in ‘Life+70’ countries (all Europe, many others.) Check out the http://legamus.eu/blog/ catalog for more info.

See my listing page for the books I’ve read or contributed to; it also links to my LibriVox catalogue page which lists both completed works and all the current projects I’ve signed up to.

I welcome feedback, requests and any voice-related queries … you can leave a message here, contact me via the LibriVox forums, or

47 Responses to “About me”

Read other people's thoughts (most recent first)

  1. Lisa

    Currently about 1/2 way through your recording of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Thank you for the lovely reading of this remarkable book!

  2. Karim

    Dear Cori Samuel,
    Your voice is wonderful. I really enjoy listening to you. Thanks for your beautiful voice. I wished you had some recordings in which you speak more slowly. because I’m not so perfect in English and it is a little difficult to me to follow you all the time. So, please, think about English Students in your next recordings. I’m sure they will really enjoy listening to you.
    Thanks again,
    Regards.

  3. Pablo

    Cori,

    I listened to your reading of Morris’s “Wood Beyond the World” and was utterly disarmed and left helpless by the beauty and loveliness you are able to command with your voice. I was enthralled from the first by your mastery of the material and I just wanted to thank you again again for your work.

    Greetings from Mexico.

  4. John Dombrowski

    Thank your for your beautiful voice. How I wish you would have read all of Dantes Inferno. This breath-taking work deserves your poetic voice.

  5. Joshua

    I listened to your libravox recording of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and was captivated to the very end. You have given me and everyone else who has the pleasure of hearing you’re narration a remarkable gift. Thank you.

  6. Dave

    Hi Cori :)

    I stumbled across you during the my first step of ‘relaxed reading’ Dantes Divine. After a couple of enquiring clicks, I instantly recognized experience that I am hope to develop further.

    I am making a web site (hope to have it running by Xmas 13′ – Widephilosophy.com), writing a book and have also been recording the little moments that few ‘see’ or have time for.
    e.g. time lapse of clouds, edits of water moving, astronomical, plants, ‘non commercial’ animals :) etc. etc., pretty much anything not man made, yes and funny sounds that I change on audacity sometimes (the ‘air fan’ sound I made once with a tweak of tone had an unexpected effect when wearing earphones – it made your ears keep popping even on low volume lol) there’s more than is generally thought about hehe.
    I love my clay models and TL animation. The book is not easy to explain, nor the series of utube clips that will follow. In short highly ‘nutritious’ ‘food’ for the ‘health’ of all with a line of ‘pure’ woven throughout. Of course trying to impart such a large piece of mind in this ‘reply’ is all but impossible.

    CONGRATULATIONS on your elevated accomplishments btw.
    Your tones of action rang/ring true so much I had to mention :)
    I will take a very rough guess and ask are you a good mentor (silly but humble question)?
    Perhaps one day my book might be read by you? :)

    Please could you contact me.
    Would be most pleased to give further details :)

    Yours Dave

  7. Neal K.

    Thanks to the New York Times reviewing a new edition of Charles Kingsley’s “The Water-Babies”, I made a trip over to LibriVox to see if they had a version. Not to put down the many generous and talented volunteers there, but after about two minutes of your rendition I had to pause and see what other work you had done! Absolutely superb. You have marvelous “pipes”, but a very natural sense of timing, pace and intonation. Bravo!

    Regarding the Kingsley, if I understand it correctly, the earlier versions printed in the US cut out some of the material that isn’t quite so flattering to those of us on this side of the pond? Did you use a particular ebook (or printed) version? Google books has an interesting early (US) illustrated version, but I fear it might be a “cut” one. Amazon Kindle has a free version as well, but perhaps this University of Adelaide version is best? (http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/k/kingsley/charles/k55w/)

    May I ask what microphone you use?

    Best wishes,

    Neal K.

  8. Sigal

    You are a talent, Cori. Just plain old fashion classic talent. You have a gift that I can see others have been appreciating as well. Bless you for sharing it.

  9. GRISELDA BUONGIORNE

    Cori, I did not mean to drop that i at the end of your name…sorry.

  10. GRISELDA BUONGIORNE

    Hello Cor,
    I am new to Librivox and am already hooked…
    I would like to subscribe to your blog but find no link for this.

    Do you take suggestions for reading? I know that you are probably swamped..

    I have 2 by my fav. author ELIZABETH GOUDGE

    – The Little White Horse (for children from 0-99 yo)
    – The Scent of Water

    Your voice is lovely and I wish I cold sound like that…but all I can muster is a singsong Argie/Welsh sound am afraid…

    Would you mind telling me what equipment you use, your sound is pleasantly clear and bright.

    All the best for this year…and your future recording endevours..

    Gri (from Dry Creek, Alaska)

  11. Elizabeth

    I just listened to your recording of “Nine Unlikely Tales For Children” by E. Nesbit. I adore her books, and you have a wonderful reading voice. Thank you so much for your work!

  12. Ian Myles

    Aha, found you. Glad to see you’re evidently doing well (who ever had any doubts?) Send you very best wishes for 2013 (gulp), from an old DP friend, ian

  13. Cori

    Thanks, Neil! It’s in my near-future plans to record more of it, but the pronunciation is a bear.

  14. Neil

    I just stumbled across your sections of The Inferno on Librivox.

    It’s outstanding, thank you.

  15. Cori

    Thankyou so much, Matthew! I wasn’t sure, when I found the book, what it’d be like. But just a few pages in (and a peek at the illustrations) and I was completely won over. I wish she’d written more like this (as well as everything else, of course.)

  16. Cori

    Thankyou, Tammy, it was a pleasure to read, and it’s lovely that you’re all enjoying it as much as I did! :)

  17. Tammy

    My boys (ages 5 and 6) and I are so much enjoying your reading of Black Beauty. We look forward to listening to it together at bedtime. You have such a lovely, clear and easy to listen to voice. Thanks so much for sharing it and for recording such a treasure.
    Tammy

  18. Matthew

    I just finished listening to your performance, and that is a great word for it, of “wings and the child” by Edith Nesbit. the book itself is an incredible resource of unbelievable value to me, as i work with children who have special needs on a nearly daily basis. (i studied to be a teacher, I am an artist, but actually i’m called a direct care worker.) but just as incredible as the book was, so equally incredible was your vocal rendering of it. I almost imagined you were the author. I know you were not, but you read it with such passion, and with the sort of tonality and conviction that it was not impossible to see you puting on 1913 clothing and doing for e nesbit what Hal Holbrook did for Mark Twain or Leanord Nemoy did for Theo VanGoh.
    Well Done!Well Done indeed!

  19. Cori

    Thankyou, Fred — it was such a fun piece to work on!

  20. Fred Ware

    Love your reading of Tender Buttons – A real tour de force!

  21. Cori

    Thankyou for taking the time to let me know, James, it’s very much appreciated! Best wishes to you.

  22. James

    Due to eye problems which cause me severe headaches from reading for anything more than 5 minutes, I find your recordings to be amazing. Your voice seems to make the story come alive and I find myself totally lost in the book. I am currently listening to “The Water-Babies” on Libravox.

    Thank you so much for the work you do!

  23. Cori

    Thankyou ever so much, Adam! I love the book myself (although cordially disliking most of the characters for most of the way through :) Glad to be able to share!

  24. Adam

    Hi Cori,

    I just read your rendition of Frankenstein. The book truly becomes”alive” by your soothing and melodious voice. You are doing a fantastic service to myself in particular, and any fortunate soul who happens to listen to your masterpiece of an audio recording.

    Sincerely, Adam

    U.S.A. U.S.A!

  25. Cori

    I love doing it, David, it all comes together beautifully. Thankyou :) I’m a huge Shelley fan, too — she’s really a pleasure to read.

  26. David

    I listened to your reading of Mary Shelley’s Mathilda recently. You have a lovely voice. Thank you for taking this seriously and for the work you do.

    David
    Hillsborough, NC
    USA

  27. Cori

    Thankyou, Michael! I wouldn’t have made it through myself, without the enormous help of Mandarine who did the editing — it was really hard work to make sense of Morris’ writing, and having to listen to the vast number of mistakes on the way to a fair reading would have stopped me getting past the first chapter.

    I’m glad the teamwork paid off for you too :)

  28. Michael

    Love your recording of Wood Beyond The World. You read so well making the most complicated English easy to understand. Thankyou for your time and effort its very much appreciated.

  29. Cori

    You’re very welcome, ChaPPers. Though, perhaps don’t try that with Frankenstein — you’ll likely end up with very odd dreams indeed!

  30. ChaPPers

    You have a beautiful voice, that I literally listen to all day! The pronounciation and tone are spot on and extremely relaxing, so thank you for sending me to the land of nod each night!

  31. Cori

    Thankyou, Cristina and George — that’s really lovely to hear. :)

  32. George

    You’re one of my two favorite readers. Thanks for taking the time. It’s like being read to when I was a child (I’m 55 now). I put everything I can get of yours on my mp3 player and listen to you every night. You’re one of my wife’s two favorites also. Thanks on her behalf too.

  33. Maria Cristina DF

    Hi,

    Today I started listening to Black Beauty with my 14-year-old son. We are enjoying it so much that we listened to 24 chapters in a row.
    I must say I love your reading so much that I am going to search for other books you’ve read.
    Thank you so much for your work.

    Cristina in Lisboa, Portugal

  34. Cori

    Certainly, have emailed you. :)

  35. Carey

    Cori,

    I am curious, would/do you accept contracts to do recordings?

    Drop me a line, if you would interested in such.

  36. Cori

    Thankyou, Amir!

  37. Amir

    You have a nice voice :D.

  38. Cori

    No problem, David, I’ve dropped you a line.

  39. David Seys

    Hi Cori,

    Please excuse the public posting, but I am not sure how to contact you direct and I was wondering whether you could email me with your contact details so that I can have a word with you about Simon Taylor and Action Audio.

    I have narrated 9 of his books

  40. Cori

    Oh, you’re ever so welcome, Robyn. I love that story, and I’m glad you enjoyed it too. Happy listening — and goodness, what a thing to say: happy commuting! :)

  41. Robyn

    Downloaded a Libravox app on my iPhone and your “Black Beauty” was my first book. You did an amazing job and effectively hooked me on audio books. =)

    Thank you for helping transform a miserable commute into one I actually look forward to, one chapter at a time.

  42. Cori

    *whinnies gratefully* It was a pleasure to revisit something I’d loved so much as a child — am glad you enjoyed listening too, Neal!

  43. Neal

    Your Black Beauty is great. It brings the whole classic tale to life.

    But I do picture you as a rather beautiful black horse.
    Thanks

    Neal

  44. Cori

    I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it, David – it was a pleasure to record, and really surprised me by how easy it was to follow … I’d always thought of it as a “hard book”. That’ll be the sign of an excellent translation, I think. It’s on my list to record all the way through, when I find a little more time …

    I hope your meeting went well, too!

  45. David

    Just wanted to say, I took your LibriVox recording of Divine Comedy: Inferno Cantos I-V on a long drive to an important meeting. Absolutely beautiful. The work was never so clear to me or so touching. I had the next 5 recordings as well, but they were by other readers, and inferior by comparison; I couldn’t even listen. So, I just listened to your recording a few more times.

    Thanks again for illuminating this work for me in such a beautiful way.

  46. Cori

    Oh, that’s a really great recommendation, Todd, thankyou. I’ve read exactly no Balzac at all (either aloud or in the regular way) so I’ll let the story sit with me for a bit … but it’s very good, and yes, I’ll definitely record it.

  47. Todd

    Hey,

    Fan here. Love your recording of “Hunger Artist,” one of my favorite stories which I listen to often. For selfish reasons, I’d like to suggest you check out Balzac’s “Passion in the Desert.” It looks in line with the kind of thing you enjoy to record and happens to be another of my favorite stories.

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