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 anthropology of the English: what they do when they aren't thinking. A podcast about Kate Fox's brilliant book on the instantly recognisable characteristics of that small island race. If you know even just one English person, or a Brit, this podcast on Watching the English is for you. Class, cars, the English sense of humour, even the passion for queueing: it's all here.

Direct download: Kate_Fox_and_Watching_the_English.mp3
Category:people-watching -- posted at: 8:36pm CET
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This podcast on Like Water for Chocolate (1989) is all about food, and magic, and the alarming capacity for love to do dangerous things. Mexican cooking, and the terrible fate of the youngest daughter who may not marry, but must stay at home to care for her mother forever, cause very dramatic consequences in the kitchen. Magical realism in platefuls, with a recipe for each chapter. For readers who get hungry at night.

Direct download: Esquivel_and_Water_for_Chocolate.mp3
Category:cooking -- posted at: 4:50pm CET
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This podcast takes us into the wards in wartime, stomping about with a bucket for hours and hours, barely conscious that the bombs are falling because it's another night shift in the maternity ward. Monica Dickens was the great-grand-daughter of the much more famous Charles, and worked as a nurse during the Second World War. One Pair of Feet is about her year on duty encased in starched uniforms. She is also one of English literature's funniest memoirists: do listen to this if you want to hear about wet bicycles, lost lemon tarts, ripped stockings and making endless little meals for horrible patients.

Direct download: Monica_Dickens_and_One_Pair_of_Feet.mp3
Category:memoir -- posted at: 4:44pm CET
Comments[1]

This podcast goes French, and describes for your consideration a beautiful little novella by the scandalously unafraid French woman of letters, Colette. Julie de Carneilhan is about the survival of an aristocratic divorcee in Paris, in poverty. It is strangely uplifting towards the end, where Julie rides off away from the sunrise and away from all the humiliations of  her complicated love life. For people who idolise Paris, this tells you how to starve really elegantly.

Direct download: Colette_and_Julie_de_Carneilhan.mp3
Category:anti-romance -- posted at: 4:38pm CET
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This podcast talks about two novels by Scottish novelist John Buchan, once terrifically famous for The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915), then moribund for decades, and now an up-and-coming out-of-copyright favourite for a new generation of readers. John Macnab (1925) is a Highland romp, where three bored men of high position cure their ennui by poaching two stags and a salmon. The Gap in the Curtain (1932) is science fiction, combining five linked short stories to show what happens when you can see into the future, and it's impossible, or not what you want to see at all. For readers who like their outdoor chases rugged.

Direct download: Buchan_Gap_in_the_Curtain_and_John_Macnab.mp3
Category:the great outdoors -- posted at: 4:16pm CET
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This podcast is about Margery Allingham's 1955 novel The Beckoning Lady. A classic detective story with her enigmatic Mr Campion, set in a magical hazy midsummer, featuring more English eccentrics than you can shake a stick at, and the immortal Magersfontein Lugg. Also contains lessons for the reduction of teenage confusion, a remedy involving rhubarb leaves for the prevention of moon madness, and three corpses. For those who like their detection hidden in very polite suspense. 

Direct download: Allingham_and_The_Beckoning_Lady.mp3
Category:detective fiction -- posted at: 3:56pm CET
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