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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 21, 2014

Mud, fog, small beer, and not very much change in conversation over a lifetime spent in a 12th-century convent in eastern England. Sylvia Townsend Warner's pioneering historical novel The Corner That Held Them is about how history happens when you're not looking at it. 

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...

Jul 24, 2014

It's around 400 BC in Athens, and there's a plot to overthrow the city-state's democracy with a dictator. It's also the Spring Festival, and Alexis has entered a play against Aristophanes, which he and the flute-girl Corinna have written to show Athens that Socrates and other critics of the state are not really that...

Jul 10, 2014

We're in Ancient Rome, and we're waiting for the lions, with Naomi Mitchison's fine novel The Blood of the Martyrs. Not everyone in the cells is a Christian, and not everyone waiting to see the blood start flowing in the arena is a pagan. These are the early years of the Christian Church seen from ground level, where...

Jun 26, 2014

Visit Ancient Rome and the nastier outposts of the Roman Empire in the company of Marcus Didius Falco, private detective and lovable put-upon family man, in the excellent novels by Lindsey Davis. For a bonus weekend break, try The Course of Honour for her terrific novel of a secretary's view of Caligula's rule, while...