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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 29, 2013

The Dark is Rising was a set of excellent novels for decades before it was a film. Susan Cooper's 1970s series is timeless, a real world quest fantasy steeped in Arthurian magic, where Merlin is a butler and a professor.

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 15, 2013

A late period Rosemary Sutcliff novel, The Lantern-Bearers is set when the Roman Empire has pulled out of Britain, and there is no-one to hold back the Saxon hordes except the Roman-trained Aurelius Ambrosianus, and his nephew Arthur. A novel about what might have been Arthur's boyhood, and the beginnings of the Round...

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...