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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 katemacdonald.net. 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.

May 31, 2012

Think monsters, think allegory, think extravagant literary invention, think of a Red-Crosse Knight pricking across the plaine. Edmund Spenser's The Fairie Queene is a heroic epic of courtly flattery in 6 books (12 were planned, he got distracted), all about the moral virtues, and packed with action, incident, and...


May 24, 2012

There's a good reason why Grendel is the monster behind all monsters, and Grendel's mother is even worse: Beowulf, the oldest English poem, has been thrilling readers for centuries with the story of Beowulf's fight against them, and against the dragon. This is where Tolkien took took the Riders of the Rohirrim...


May 17, 2012

The temperature doesn't often go down in Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer, which is good because it's the growing season. We've got Lusa learning about farming and bringing female scientific thinking to a very male practice. We've got Deanna, fighting to keep her mountainside clear of the bad stuff that will...


May 10, 2012

Dramatic goings-on in the Knapp family in small-town America, where Eva's passion for housework is destroying her nervous family, and Lester's loathing of consumerism and office drudgery will lose him his job. Dorothy Canfield Fisher's novel The Home-Maker applies the arguments as to why women should keep house...


May 3, 2012

Willa Cather's The Song of the Lark is about Thea Kronborg's passion for music in turn-of-the-century Colorado, and her ferocious hard work in learning about music, how to sing, and how to be a singer. She travels from small-town Moonstone to Chicago, and then to Germany, bursting onto the New York stage as a new...