Epic Poems You’ve Never Read: Beowulf’s Anglo-Saxon heroics

It's the start of university teaching again in the UK, so this miniseries of Really Like This Book podcast script catch-ups indulges my passion for teaching epic poetry. If English literature is a forest, epic poems are the big knobbly roots that stick up out of the ground and get in the way. They’ve been there for … Continue reading Epic Poems You’ve Never Read: Beowulf’s Anglo-Saxon heroics

Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book

I fell into Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book with passionate gratitude, after wading through a run of disappointing novels. This novel, as Jo Walton has apparently said, is the one in which Willis got everything right, and it is superb. It won three awards, including the 1992 Hugo and the 1993 Nebula, and is a time … Continue reading Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book

Hand me a petrel: Robert Atkinson’s Island-Going

We're in the Outer Hebrides in the 1930s in this Really Like This Book podcasts scripts catch-up, on a mad quixotic journey in the roughest of conditions to locate, observe and tag an obscure little bird called Leach’s fork-tailed petrel. Island-Going by Robert Atkinson is a classic of nature writing, of social history, and of the … Continue reading Hand me a petrel: Robert Atkinson’s Island-Going

First Light for Alan Garner

First Light is an Unbound book, initially paid for by its subscribers. Because the book has to sell before it’s published Unbound have to do a great deal of pre-sell publicity, and it certainly helps if the author, or subject, is famous. In this case – First Light: A Celebration of Alan Garner, edited by Erica … Continue reading First Light for Alan Garner

Adam Nicolson’s Sea-Room

Today’s letter in the Really Like This Book podcast scripts catch-up is N, and today’s author is a Nicolson, Adam Nicolson, son of Nigel Nicolson, who was the son of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West (about whose novel No Signposts In The Sea I blogged about recently). Some time in the 1930s Vita saw an sale … Continue reading Adam Nicolson’s Sea-Room