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.
  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

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

 

What do you do when the man you had thought was dead, and who had tried to kill you first, is back from the dead, talking about champagne cocktails in Paris? You go to Paris to find him, and then when a bad lot beat you up to throw you off the scent, you head straight for the south of France to do more snooping. John Welcome's Run for Cover is a fine first novel from 1958 about fooling the enemy, and a lot of fast driving. For thriller heroes who insist on a decent dinner every night.

Comments[0]

The gentlemanliness of the Cold War spy, hitman and cold-blooded killer in Her Majesty's Secret Service is all about sex. And race. And class. And cheating at cards. Ian Fleming's James Bond is a complicated mixture of pre-war gent and post-war ruffian. For readers who hop from book to book looking for more of the same.

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]

This is the one where Plato puts his hand down Audrey's shirt, so we know he's doomed. Dornford Yates' Gale Warning is a cracking thriller of map-reading, fast driving, navigation, and a gentleman's hunt to avenge the murder of a friend. For drivers who do what they're told without question.

Comments[0]

Come to London clubland in 1923, and follow Richard Hannay on the trail of a riddling rhyme and secret plots to overthrow civilisation as we know it. In John Buchan's The Three Hostages, human evil battles with the manners of the gentleman's club, and north London is revealed as a den of criminality and sin. For those who live north of the river.

Comments[0]

Links to extra programmes and recordings on the Internet:

A Pod Academy interview about Forgotten Fiction.

Blogging at Vulpes Libris.

A one-hour radio discussion programme about First World War poetry.

Category:getting educated -- posted at: 4:52 AM
Comments[1]

Recently I took part in a radio discussion programme on English First World War poetry, and what it means to Belgians, and to British ex pats living in Belgium, on whose soil a lot of the battles of the First World War were fought. You can listen to the programme by clicking on this link: http://www.prx.org/pieces/87043-first-world-war-poetry-with-dr-kate-macdonald

The programme is 54 minutes long, and includes readings by local actors of poems by Wilfred Owen, Helen Hamilton, John McCrae, Rupert Brooke and Isaac Rosenberg.

Category:getting educated -- posted at: 1:33 PM
Comments[0]

Its glorious summer in Barsetshire, and the boys of Southbridge School are preparing to persecute their suffering classics master, who is engaged to the lovely but terminally stupid daughter of the headmaster, and is hating every minute of it. Angela Thirkell's joyous romp Summer Half brings the warm weather back, whenever you read it. For suffering parents everywhere.

Comments[0]

The Provincial Lady is put-upon by domestic chaos, but never despairs; is routinely crushed by Lady Boxe, but bounces back; escapes to London to see friends and frivol, but worries incessantly about her children; has great plans and marvellous ideas, but is crushed, again, by her husband. E M Delafield's 1930 comic classic lives forever: for all those stuck out in the sticks.

Comments[2]

I'll be leading a new course, or structured book group, from January 2013, on '200 Years of the British Novel'. This will be held in Brussels, Belgium, for a group of 20 students, and we'll be reading novels by Fanny Burney, Jane Austen, John Galt, Mrs Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Rebecca West, Evelyn Waugh, Grahame Greene, and Jeanette Winterson. Full details can be found on the pdf file that you can download here.

The course will also be available to a further 20 students who want to participate as distance learners. You read the books to the same schedule as the Brussels class, and (if the technology works) will be able to listen in on the classes using skype or google videoconferencing, depending on whether your timezone makes this practical. You can also send me your comments and questions on the book we're reading each fortnight, and in return I'll collate these into a long document of answers and discussion, for each book. If you're thinking about signing up for a formal course on English literature at a university near you, this could be the perfect tryout for you. Full details for distance learners can be found on the pdf file here.

Interested? Send me an email at kate.brussels[at]yahoo.com, and we'll have a chat.

Category:private classes -- posted at: 12:30 AM
Comments[0]