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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 18, 2011

Greece in the 6th century BCE, where poets are honoured almost as much as athletes and horses. Mary Renault's The Praise-Singer is a terrific slice of history told through a famous poet's struggle to stay out of trouble and avoid the barbarians. But it's far more than one man's story; this is glorious historical reconstruction, and a very plausible set of ideas about how Pythagoras worked, how Homer got corrupted, and how red figure-ware vase painting was invented. Tyrants come and go: for readers who like their victory odes performed in linen.