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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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.

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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.

Direct download: Mary_Stewart_and_The_Crystal_Cave_-_Five_Novels_about_King_Arthur.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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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 Table.

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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.

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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 about the practicalities of armour.

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