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Welcome to Why I Really Like This Book, a podcast series about books that ought not to be forgotten. The podcasts were written, recorded and edited by me, Kate Macdonald, from 2011 to 2014 in a house in Brussels. I'm an English lecturer and an lifelong rummager in second-hand bookshops, and I write a lot about books, so podcasts was an enjoyable way to talk about what I was reading.

The intro music is by The Tribe Band, and the illustration is by Harriet Marsh.

In 2014 I stopped recording podcasts and moved to That's my personal site where I post information about my books and articles, the research I do, and where I post book reviews twice a week. Many of the reviews are the scripts for the podcasts, so I keep this excellent Libsyn site going so anyone passing by can listen to three or more years of podcasts. One day I may start recording again.

Nov 4, 2011

In 1950s Kensington, the gossip in the anglo-Catholic parish of St Luke's is hotting up. Father Thames needs a new housekeeper, and he gets a man. New priest Father Ransome needs somewhere to live, but when his hostess dies he has to move out rapidly in case he compromises her middle-aged daughter. Wilmet, indolent and under-occupied, falls in love with the brother of her best friend, and totally fails to notice that both her husband and her mother-in-law are trying to have affairs. Bitchy Mr Bason may be a wonderful cook, but he takes a Faberge egg shopping. Barbara Pym's A Glass of Blessings is all about love among the cassocks. For those who like their ecclesiastical intrigue with incense. 

Beth Davies
five and a half years ago

I am very interested in the sixteen years of rejection. What were the years? How was she rediscovered? Once I read her first book, I then read each one "like a buzz saw." (this was several decades ago.) I aam now re-reading her, joined the Barbara Pym society, found the Facebook page and through it this link. Do you have a reference to recommend?

six and a half years ago

Pym had a loyal readership for her gentle, humorous novels about "church ladies." Then she fell out of favor with the publishers (she wasn't hip) and went through 16 years of rejection. The story of how she was rediscovered is quite interesting (as are her journals).
Her masterpiece, in my opinion, is Quartet in Autumn, which is darker than the rest of her work. If it weren't for the intervention of a few people (Philip Larkin being one) the world would be denied that book. Makes you wonder.

Flying Mummy
six and a half years ago

This I could really see myself reading and thoroughly enjoying. I guess the lunches may have smething to do with that.