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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.

Aug 7, 2014

For those with a fondness for Bonnie Prince Charlie, for lace jabots, snuff taken at the wrist, and the skirl of pipes on a wet foggy morning in the Highlands, these novels by John Buchan on the Jacobite Uprising / Rebellion will replace romantic tosh with splendid historical fiction that doesn't let sentimentality get...

May 23, 2014

Go fishing with Ernest Hemingway's novel Islands in the Stream and catch big man's stuff, like bonito, and U-boats, and bodies. Marvel at prose so pared down that it's just core, all peel flung out to sea for fish bait. For readers who like their stories well boned and gruff voiced.

Nov 8, 2013

It's got hidden jewels, a princess who can run a mile, teenage military commanders, and the rejevenation of a retired grocer. Huntingtower is John Buchan's most delightful and exhilarating outdoor novel of kidnapping and rescue. 

Jan 4, 2013

Yet more galloping about in the heather, in the late 17th century as an anxious nation awaits the departure of James III and the arrival of William of Orange. John Buchan's John Burnet of Barns has his estate to worry about, and his girl, and knows that his wicked cousin Gilbert will have them all if he can. For...

Dec 21, 2012

Romping over the heather, running through the hills, scampering among the dragoons, and tearing down the hill to the ferry to get across the river in time: can there be anything more exhausting than reading Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped? A great swashbuckling novel of the aftermath of the 1745, for readers who can...