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Shelf Healing



Archive for the 'Stress' Category

Philip Connor

By Rebecca Markwick, on 15 June 2021

Philip chats about how a health scare affected his reading and how in his search for therapeutic books dealing with grief and the fear of death he found it in the most unexpected places and books. He also talks about how audio has changed how he consumes certain types of books and how it has enriched his reading life.

Show Notes

This week I chat with Philip Connor, Commissioning Editor at Penguin Random House Audio and host of the podcast What Editors Want. We chat about how Philip’s reading habits have changed and moved more into non fiction as well as how he found himself searching for himself in books on grief and dying. The importance and suprising nature of finding representation in literature and how audio has lent itself to him rereading books and now commissioning works in audio.

Joan Didion
CS Lewis
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
White Noise by Don DeLillo
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty
The Hidden Spring  by Mark Solms
Night’s Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton
Ubik by Philip K Dick
Emmanuel Carrère
Emma Southern
Mary Beard
The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan
F Scott  Fitzgerald
Virginia Woolf
Vladimir Nabokov
WG Sebald
The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
Why I Write by George Orwell

BONUS Dr Samatha Rayner & Cathy Renztenbrink for Replenish Festival

By Rebecca Markwick, on 10 June 2021

In celebration of UCL’s wellbeing festival Replenish Dr Rayner chats with Cathy all about her book Dear Reader and how Cathy has turned to reading and books for comfort and therapy during her life.

Show Notes

Dr Samantha Rayner talks with Cathy Rentzenbrink about her book Dear Reader, and the therapeutic effects of reading on mental health and wellbeing. It’s a lovely episode that travels through time with books that affect multiple generations, how books are enjoyed for what they are not who they are marketed at, and how writing can be hard but the satisfaction of finishing is worth the difficulty.

Cathy Rentzenbrink’s books
Everyone is Still Alive debut novelThe Last Act of Love
A Manual for Heartache
Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books
and her debut novel Everyone Is Still Alive is released in July 2021

Authors and works mentioned in the episode:
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Agatha Christie
The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
Georgette Heyer
Jean Plaidy
Harriet Evans

Cathy’s book recommendation
Humankind by Rutger Bregman

Work & Life: Jordan Harbinger on starting over from scratch

By Rebecca Markwick, on 3 June 2021

I chat with Jordan about how to start over completely from scratch and how important it is to surround youself with good support, as well as how good well thought through feedback makes all the difference

Show Notes

I have the great honour this week of interviewing a podcasting legend, Jordan Harbinger.

On The Jordan Harbinger Show, Jordan deconstructs the playbooks of the most successful people on earth and shares their strategies, perspectives, and practical insights with the rest of us. He has hosted a Top 50 iTunes podcast for over 14 years and receives over eleven million downloads per month, making The Jordan Harbinger Show one of the most popular podcasts in the world. 
Huge thanks to Jen Harbinger for helping to schedule this in across very different timezones! 

We talk about why his show has worksheets and how unexpectedly popular they are, why it’s important to cover the difficult and gross topics that are happening in the world, Jordan’s strong belief in exposing cults and scams and how you can support friends and family who are trapped in them. We also spend time discussing his Feedback Friday episodes and the amount of research that goes into the responses and how vital that is in order to help people with very niche problems. Lastly we talk about how hard it can be to restart in business from scratch and how looking at those around you who support you and realising what you have done so far can help you to dive back in and start again.

The Jordan Harbinger Show

Episodes mentioned:
David Kilgour – The Heartless Art of Forced Organ Harvesting
Frank Bourassa – The World’s Greatest Counterfeiter Part One
Rutger Bregman – Humankind: A Hopeful History

Feedback Fridays
Psychopath after your son
Chased by a European gangster

Work & Life: UCL Deans Stella Bruzzi & Sasha Roseneil

By Rebecca Markwick, on 29 April 2021

I chat with Stella and Sasha about the balance between being a Dean, being a researcher, and how the UCL faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social and Historical Sciences have coped during the pandemic. We also chat about department pets.

Show Notes
With me today are UCL’s Dean of Arts and Humanities, Stella Bruzzi, and the Dean of Social and Historical Sciences, Sasha Roseneil.
We talk about the difficulties of balancing work and life, how research fits into the role of a Dean, the effects of the pandemic on academic life and research, and the joy of being allowed to go out swimming again. We also talk about Pebbles the Warwick campus cat, Indiana Bones UCL’s Archaeology therapy dog and how all departments should have a pet. Sasha talks about her lovely dog, and Stella talks about her two lockdown kittens. We discuss plans for returning to physical university and how important having a holiday is, especially this year.
This is an enlightening and fun episode that hopes to give insight into the inner workings of being a university Dean in a time of great change.

Work & Life: Gabriella Bergstedt – Fika & the Swedish Work/Life Balance

By Rebecca Markwick, on 1 April 2021

Show Notes
I have a lovely catch up with one of my lovely old colleagues from Sony Mobile in Sweden, Gabriella Bergstedt. We chat about the joy of fika and what it entails. The differences between working in Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland, and how important it is to have certain types of policies and workplace attitudes to create a productive welcoming environment.

We go over Sweden’s parental leave policy and what it means for parents, how well rounded the work benefits are, the wonderful ergonomics accommodations as standard, and how well structured Swedish companies are for encouraging employees back to the workplace after sick leave.

It’s a great episode and one that raises some very important points about companies taking care of employees as standard.

Work & Life: Team BRIT – Disability Driving

By Rebecca Markwick, on 18 March 2021

Show Notes
I get the chance to chat with Dave Player, founder of Team BRIT and KartForce, and Andy Tucker, one of Team BRIT’s racing drivers all about the motosport team and the role of disability.

Team BRIT is a competitive motor racing team consisting of disabled drivers. They are a competitive racing team, not a charity, and they race against teams of able-bodied drivers on a totally level playing field — something that no other sport can offer. They aim to make racing history and take a team to the world famous Le Mans 24hr endurance race, becoming the first ever British all-disabled team to do so.

We talk about how Team BRIT has pioneered accessible driving controls that suit all of their drivers and their varying levels of disability. We also chat about the role the team has played in helping many of their drivers to rediscover themselves after injuries, become better at managing their disabilities, and how many past members have gone on to achieve great things after being part of the Team BRIT family. We visit the current and past cars Team BRIT race in and have an exciting bit of news about their upcoming season.

This episode highlights Team BRIT’s vision to support, inspire and motivate people facing physical and psychological challenges by demonstrating what can be achieved through motorsport.

If you’d like more information about Dave, Andy, and Team BRIT, check out:
Team BRIT’s website
Team BRIT’s twitter

Dr Samantha Rayner

By Rebecca Markwick, on 23 February 2021

Dr Samantha Rayner

This week I chat historical fiction with Sam and how she goes for different books for different wellbeing needs. We also take a quick tour of Sam’s favourite mediaeval texts.
Heyer and Dunnett take front seat in Sam’s love of historical romance fiction, it’s no suprise then that she’s edited a new book all about Heyer!

The show notes are full of lovely recommendations and there’s a link to Sam’s Heyer book too.

Show Notes
This week I chat with Dr Samantha Rayner, Vice Dean of Wellbeing and Director of Publishing at UCL. We talk about how books affect our wellbeing and how we reach for different books for different reasons. We dive through historical fiction and make a quick stop in the world of mediaeval literature.

Sam has edited a new book on Georgette Heyer which you can find here

Authors and works mentioned in the episode:
Georgette Heyer
Robin Hobb
J.R.R. Tolkien
Dorothy Dunnett
Margaret Campbell Barnes
Anya Seaton

Wilding by Isabella Tree
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Selected Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins
Katherine by Anya Seton
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Abelard and Heloise by  Peter Waddell
Love Without End: A Story of Heloise and Abelard by Melvyn Bragg
La Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

What is Wellbeing? with David Fox and Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown

By Rebecca Markwick, on 18 February 2021

Show Notes
David Fox of MOXI Health and Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown join me to discuss physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace.
We talk about what wellbeing is and how to define it and why it’s important to be self aware of our physical and emotional states. understand the consequences of stress and poor wellbeing.


Jonny Geller

By Rebecca Markwick, on 9 February 2021

Jonny Geller

I chat with Jonny Geller, literary agent and CEO of Curtis Brown. We talk all about agenting and the stresses attached to it, what books Jonny likes to read (and re-read!) and the difficulties of agenting in a pandemic.
(Jonny’s picture by Dean Belcher)

Show Notes
I chat with Jonny Geller, literary agent and CEO of Curtis Brown. We talk all about agenting and the stresses attached to it, what books Jonny likes to read (and re-read!) and why as well as about the benefits on mental health of a large literary agency and the difficulties of agenting in a pandemic.
(Jonny’s picture by Dean Belcher)

Link to Curtis Brown Group – Literary Agency
Link to Jonny’s twitter
Link to Curtis Brown twitter

List of authors and works mentioned:
Susanna Clarke
Taschen (Publisher)
Gustav Flaubert
Marcel Proust
Ivan Turgenev
Gabriel García Márquez
Tracy Chevalier
David Nicholls
Matthew Syed
John le Carré
William Boyd
David Mitchell
Jane Austen
Anton Chekhov

Yes, but is it Good for the Jews?  by Jonny Geller
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell  by Susanna Clarke
 by Susanna Clarke
Anna Karenina  by Leo Tolstoy
One Hundred Years of Solitude  by Gabriel García Márquez
A Fine Balance  by Rohinton Mistry
Girl with a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier
Short stories by Chekhov

HR ‘How can we help?’ with Michael Chivers

By Rebecca Markwick, on 4 February 2021

Show Notes
Our first Work & Life episode sees me chatting with Michael Chivers about his global journey in HR. How Michael learned to ask ‘how can we help?’ and focused in on the importance of caring for employees as an HR Director for companies such as Sony and Maersk.