Why I Really Like This Book (always amusing)
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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Nancy Mitford and Wigs on the Green - History Podcasters collage

The History Podcasters got together recently to record a collage edition on the theme of Terrible Leaders. You can hear all three collage programmes (each 30 minutes long) on www.historypodcasters.com. This is the segment from Why I Really Like This Book, on Nancy Mitford's outrageous and suppressed novel Wigs on the Green, in which she sent up her horrible brother-in-law Sir Oswald Mosley something rotten. For those who like laughing at fascists.

Direct download: Sir_Oswald_Mosley__Nancy_Mitford_-_Terrible_Leaders_1.mp3
Category:always amusing -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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The Adventures of Sally is set in 1920s New York, London, the stage and the French Riviera, after she inherits a fortune. Also starring several besotted young men, a lousy boxer, two devious leading ladies, and a pompous brother. A little-known gem by P G Wodehouse. For dog-lovers and clever young ladies.

Direct download: P_G_Wodehouse_and_The_Adventures_of_Sally_-_Novels_of_1922.mp3
Category:always amusing -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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Social tyranny in a small town, in E F Benson's novel of low cunning and outrageous scheming, Miss Mapp. For readers who play bridge for blood.

Direct download: E_F_Benson_and_Miss_Mapp_-_Novels_of_1922.mp3
Category:always amusing -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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Hang out with the frivolous young things of 1913 in a novel that's half Victorian epigram and half modernist stream of consciousness. Dodo's day is not yet over, as she's about to begin her third marriage, while her discontented daughter Nadine is making a mess of even beginning her first. Why does she have to get married anyway? From the author of Mapp and Lucia, starring a very early version of Georgie Pillson.

Direct download: E_F_Benson_and_Dodos_Daughter_-_Novels_of_1913.mp3
Category:always amusing -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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When the German Empire invaded the British Empire's homeland, the British either scuttled off to Delhi, to live out their tragic, dispossessed lives in tea plantations where they could salute the Union Jack in safety, or stayed at home, supine under the Geman yoke. Saki's When William Came is brilliant pre-First World War satire, for readers who prefer a bock in the mornings.

Direct download: Saki_and_When_William_Came_-_Novels_from_1913.mp3
Category:always amusing -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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Brace yourself for deep truths about newspapers and reporting, in a world where the characters have names with a strange resemblance to typefaces, and where no magic is used to make the news, only identifying the story. Brilliant satire from Terry Pratchett in The Truth: what more do you need?

Direct download: Terry_Pratchett_and_The_Truth_-_Five_Fictions_about_Newspapers.mp3
Category:always amusing -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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More wigs! More swordfights! Learn how to tip wine down your coat sleeve if you don't want to get drunk while dressed in clothes of the opposite sex. Study the disguises of highwaymen and practice your court curtseys. Georgette Heyer's The Masqueraders teaches valuable life skills for the 18th century.

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Its glorious summer in Barsetshire, and the boys of Southbridge School are preparing to persecute their suffering classics master, who is engaged to the lovely but terminally stupid daughter of the headmaster, and is hating every minute of it. Angela Thirkell's joyous romp Summer Half brings the warm weather back, whenever you read it. For suffering parents everywhere.

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The Provincial Lady is put-upon by domestic chaos, but never despairs; is routinely crushed by Lady Boxe, but bounces back; escapes to London to see friends and frivol, but worries incessantly about her children; has great plans and marvellous ideas, but is crushed, again, by her husband. E M Delafield's 1930 comic classic lives forever: for all those stuck out in the sticks.

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Great-Aunt Ada once saw something nasty in the woodshed, and has held her family trapped in Cold Comfort Farm ever since. And now Flora Poste comes to rescue them, with common sense, a belief in Vogue, and the certainty that messy living needs to be tidied up. Stella Gibbons' immortal satire mocks pretentiousness, and reassures the meek that they will inherit the farm. For melodramatists everywhere.

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