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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Ecclesiastical thrills in Barbara Pym's village drama, Some Tame Gazelle. All the fun of the village fete, and lots more fun in and out of Belinda Bede's house, where proposals keep happening, suppers are competitive, and curates are cossetted beyond all reasonable requirements. For those interested in the hierarchy of the Church of England as it applies to getting out of a job.

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Come to Angela Thirkell's Barsetshire and trot around after the Rector's wife as she struggles with Northbridge in wartime conditions, in Northbridge Rectory. Shudder at the evacuees. Recoil at Mrs Spender's dinner-party conversation. Brace yoursef under Miss Pemberton's disapproval, but also marvel at her amazing cooking, and at the ease with which a book contract can be had with the right kind of onion soup. Mrs Villars only feels safe in the garden of the Rectory, but even there village life comes to find her. For all Barsetshire lovers.

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E F Benson's camp classic Queen Lucia begins his series about the immortal Lucia, queen of art and tyrant of the muse, in her dear little village of Riseholme. Battle royal commences when Olga Bracely arrives in the village. She is far more talented, and a far better musician, than Lucia will ever know. Watch as Olga steals Georgie Pillson from Lucia's side. Gasp as the struggle for social dominance reaches epic proportions in an evening party of romps, and smile as the Wagnerian tableaux allow Olga to retire from the fray, leaving Lucia triumphantly, ignorantly, the victor. For students of Machiavelli.

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Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies, two books of short stories all about England's history, wrapped around Rudyard Kipling's village of Burwash in Sussex, and told in the master's signature style of multilevels, elliptical storytelling, and complex allusions. And what fine and fascinating stories they are, where the village is almost more important than the people. For readers who like their county history.

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