Why I Really Like This Book
These are podcasts about forgotten fiction, for curious readers, and for anyone who likes old books. Sometimes they're stories, sometimes they're not. Most of the authors write in English; and sometimes they don't. But all the books I talk about, I really really like. I hope you will too.
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My name is Kate Macdonald: I'm an English lecturer, and a lifelong browser in second-hand bookshops. I post weekly ten-minute podcasts on a Friday, on the books I really like which I think deserve new readers. You can find out lots more at the Facebook page here, and get these podcasts weekly by subscribing on the iTunes link above.

The music for the podcast intro is by The Tribe Band. Lucy Marsh did the drawing and Matthias Opsomer lettered it. Patrick Belk and Martin Fowler hold my tech safety net.

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Questions? Send me a message by mailing me at kate [dot] brussels [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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This is a truly forgotten novel, and it's so charming! The American occupation forces in Okinawa attempt to enforce the American Way of Life on Japanese villagers, but two marooned geisha girls show everyone the real meaning of Japanese civilisation. Vern Sneider's The Tea-House of the August Moon was made into a 1956 film with Marlon Brando, but the book has the hidden depths of a mature saki or a porcelain tea cup. For readers who like to take their tea-breaks on tatami mats looking out onto a stream flowing through a grove of pine trees.

Direct download: Vern_Sneider_and_The_Tea-House_of_the_August_Moon.mp3
Category:the life of the place -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[1]

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.

Direct download: Mary_Renault_and_The_Praise-Singer.mp3
Category:the life of the place -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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This week's podcast resurrects the Edwardian novelist, poet, critic and Grand Old Man of Letters, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. He was a great name in his day, and if you read his novels, his criticism, and most especially his lectures on literature, you can see why. He simply loved to teach, and was loved by his students. Hear about his satire on fashionable Victorian manners: learn how hard it was to finish writing the novel left on Robert Louis Stevenson's deathbed; understand how anger erupts from behind the erudition when he's teaching during the First World War. Q was a master at his many arts: for readers who want to try a bit of the scholarly past.

Direct download: Arthur_Quiller_Couch_on_being_Q.mp3
Category:getting educated -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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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. 

Direct download: Barbara_Pym_and_A_Glass_of_Blessings.mp3
Category:always amusing -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[3]

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