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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.

Dec 28, 2012

Antony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda is a delirious farrago of doubles, red hair, and desperate plots against the king's life, in Ruritania. Will Princess Flavia realise she is being wooed by an Englishman and not by the king? Will Black Michael succeed in his wicked plot? Will Rupert of Hentzau scupper the secret? 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...

Dec 14, 2012

What do you do when the man you had thought was dead, and who had tried to kill you first, is back from the dead, talking about champagne cocktails in Paris? You go to Paris to find him, and then when a bad lot beat you up to throw you off the scent, you head straight for the south of France to do more snooping. John...

Dec 7, 2012

The gentlemanliness of the Cold War spy, hitman and cold-blooded killer in Her Majesty's Secret Service is all about sex. And race. And class. And cheating at cards. Ian Fleming's James Bond is a complicated mixture of pre-war gent and post-war ruffian. For readers who hop from book to book looking for more of the same.

Nov 30, 2012

Digging your own rabbit burrow? This is the manual for you. On the run from foreign gunmen with multiple passports? Look no further than this novel for career advice. Need guidance on how to hide in open country and survive without being spotted for weeks? Household's Rogue Male is the classic text for aspirational...