Why I Really Like This Book (the great outdoors)
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.
  iTunes . homepage . classes . past episodes . faculty page . more from Kate

Photobucket

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.

Miro Video Player

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

Archives

Past Episodes

Keyword Search

January

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
January

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

December
November
October
September
August

Categories

detective fiction
the great outdoors
anti-romance
memoir
cooking
general
extra information
people-watching
the life of the place
fantastical
private classes
thrills and spills
always amusing
getting educated
strong women
thinking too much
simply heaven
archives
nemesis and revenge

Syndication

RSS Feed

 

For those with a fondness for Bonnie Prince Charlie, for lace jabots, snuff taken at the wrist, and the skirl of pipes on a wet foggy morning in the Highlands, these novels by John Buchan on the Jacobite Uprising / Rebellion will replace romantic tosh with splendid historical fiction that doesn't let sentimentality get in the way of the facts. 

Comments[0]

Go fishing with Ernest Hemingway's novel Islands in the Stream and catch big man's stuff, like bonito, and U-boats, and bodies. Marvel at prose so pared down that it's just core, all peel flung out to sea for fish bait. For readers who like their stories well boned and gruff voiced.

Direct download: Ernest_Hemingway_and_Islands_in_the_Stream.mp3
Category:the great outdoors -- posted at: 10:59am CET
Comments[0]

It's got hidden jewels, a princess who can run a mile, teenage military commanders, and the rejevenation of a retired grocer. Huntingtower is John Buchan's most delightful and exhilarating outdoor novel of kidnapping and rescue. 

Direct download: John_Buchan_and_Huntingtower_-_Novels_of_1922.mp3
Category:the great outdoors -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[0]

Yet more galloping about in the heather, in the late 17th century as an anxious nation awaits the departure of James III and the arrival of William of Orange. John Buchan's John Burnet of Barns has his estate to worry about, and his girl, and knows that his wicked cousin Gilbert will have them all if he can. For law-abiding folk who believe in virtue being its own reward.

Comments[0]

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 run with their sword drawn.

Comments[0]

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 survivalists. For armchair outdoorsmen.

Comments[0]

Extraordinary though it might seem, a pompous, arrogant, opinionated and stuffy Prussian military man, in a wet and windy English summer, five years before the First World War, makes the funniest caravan holiday ever, in Elizabeth von Arnim's The Caravaners. His wife is delightful, their fellow travellers are patient, even the horses are well-behaved, and Baron Otto von Ottring is a magnificent comic creation for us all to stand back and admire, and avoid. For those who had caravan holidays in their youth which have strangely never recurred.

Comments[0]

Imagine a planet where men simply die, they can't live there, and so its society is composed entirely of women. They have children, they trade, they try and kill each other, they're surviving. What happens when a Company ship lands security staff and militarised colonists to try and take over this agricultural world barely out of the Iron Age? Nicola Griffith's Ammonite: for readers who take their anthropology seriously.

Comments[0]

In a post-nuclear holocaust world, how does science get transmitted? Who understands medicine? How do societies adapt and learn from each other? Vonda McIntyre's marvellous novel Dreamsnake about doctors and patients hardly mentions the gender thing, because equality is a given. For readers who like their utopias dystopic.

Comments[0]

Splish, splosh, let's go swimming. Oh look, an otter. A jellyfish! No, that's pondweed. Mind the pike. Did it bite your nose or was that a leech? Oops, a rock, down we goooo. Roger Deakin's Waterlog swims around Britain, in wild water and posh pools, arguing with water bailiffs and enjoying the tickle of sunny water on his toes. For armchair paddlers.

Direct download: Roger_Deakin_and_Waterlog_-_Nature_Writing.mp3
Category:the great outdoors -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[0]