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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.

Mar 22, 2013

The story of Merlin, and how King Uther got to the Duchess of Cornwall's bedroom, Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave fills in the gaps before Arthur's birth with the brilliant and believable story of Merlin. All the magic by mathematics and psychology you ever wanted.

Mar 8, 2013

Not one novel about Arthur, but five: The Sword in the Stone, The Queen of Air and Darkness, The Ill-Made Knight, The Candle in the Wind, and The Book of Merlyn. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Arthurian legend, in brilliant postmodern style. T H White was a genius: these books are marvellous.

Mar 1, 2013

Here's a fine satire about ignorance and primitive living at Camelot, where the benign reign of King Arthur needs improving. Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee takes over the kingdom and brings the 19th century into the 6th century: a great novel about the impossibility of messing around with time. For those suspicious...

Jun 13, 2012

Tennyson's The Princess is a Victorian chivalric farce, packed with lyric poetry, knightly errantry, cross-dressing, and the ludicrous concept of a women-only university. Gasp at the foot-stomping rage of a king whose son has been jilted. Smile at the spectacle of a woman teaching philosophy. Be gravely pleased by the...

Jun 7, 2012

The epic continues into the 17th century, when John Milton wrote about Hell in Paradise Lost, and Lucifer's escape from Hell to wreak vengeance on the vengeful god who'd sent him there, by seducing and destroying God's favourite creation. That would be us.  Playing fast and loose with the details of the Book of Genesis,...