Why I Really Like This Book
These are podcasts about forgotten fiction, for curious readers, and for anyone who likes old books. Sometimes they're stories, sometimes they're not. Most of the authors write in English; and sometimes they don't. But all the books I talk about, I really really like. I hope you will too.
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My name is Kate Macdonald: I'm an English lecturer, and a lifelong browser in second-hand bookshops. I post weekly ten-minute podcasts on a Friday, on the books I really like which I think deserve new readers. You can find out lots more at the Facebook page here, and get these podcasts weekly by subscribing on the iTunes link above.

The music for the podcast intro is by The Tribe Band. Lucy Marsh did the drawing and Matthias Opsomer lettered it. Patrick Belk and Martin Fowler hold my tech safety net.

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Questions? Send me a message by mailing me at kate [dot] brussels [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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Oh, the joys of growing up in an underheated house with no education, lots of dogs, a medieval father and a title! Nancy Mitford's effervescent novel The Pursuit of Love is about English country house life and values, and is also a brilliant portrait of 1930s politics: she skewers capitalism, is puzzled by communism and embraces love. Children out-manoeuvre parents, the upper-classes out-vulgarise the bourgeois riches, but without the security of knowing that someone loves you, no-one can be happy. For romantics who wear little red flags in their lapels.

Direct download: BPF_4_Mitford.mp3
Category:simply heaven -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[1]

One of the more bracing novels about life on the Home Front during the First World War, which agonises over how one is to fight, if one cannot fight. All possible types of non-combatants appear here in a story about integrity, indifference, living and dying. Rose Macaulay, one of the most honest novelists of human nature, wrote in this novel a marvellous record of life as it really was lived. Buses, tea-shops, house-keeping, church-going, refugees, newspaper headlines, country walks and having fun at Earl's Court to blot out the thought of men dying across the Channel: all human life is here. For readers who want the details that matter.

Direct download: BPF_3_Macaulay.mp3
Category:thinking too much -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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Take a mill-girl and a lady of the leisured classes, as they plunge eagerly into the thrilling campaign for women's suffrage, and watch them work steadily from street lecturing to prison via the magistrates' courts, demonstrations in church, and a daring raid on a dinner party. Jenny Clegg loses her Lancashire accent, but will she also lose her Labour Party lover as she gets more involved with votes for women? Mary O'Neil is brave enough to be arrested, but can she survive her hunger strike and brutal force-feeding in prison? For readers who take their great-grandmothers seriously.

Direct download: BPF_1_Maud.mp3
Category:strong women -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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It's 1902, you're stuck for somewhere to spend your leave from the Foreign Office, and then you get a telegram inviting you to go duck-shooting on a yacht in the Baltic. But, when you get there, there are no ducks, and the yacht only has room for two, and your friend wants you to help him untangle an international spying game of treason and riddling identity changes. You also have to learn to sail, fast, in the first gales of autumn. The German navy are interested in your activities, and someone is trying to prove that you're a spy. Which you are, inadvertently. It's all rather awkward, but it's becoming a mission of national importance. For readers who don't mind oil stains on board as long as there is fresh bread once a week.

Direct download: BPF_1_Childers.mp3
Category:the great outdoors -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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