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Shelf Healing Interviews

Here you will find all Shelf Healing podcast episodes and their transcripts.

A new interview episode is released on Tuesday every week and is available to listen to here and on all major podcasting platforms.

Each interview covers the themes of reading for mental health and wellbeing and the personal thoughts of each guest on this topic. Our guests are wide ranging and the interviews encourage further discussion on how this topic affects them in their work and life. There are lots of lovely recommendations of books and authors from each interview which are mentioned in the show notes accompanying each episode.

Each episode also has it’s own page with full show notes, transcript and player. These can be found on the Interviews page and can be searched by category or by date using the menus on the left. The most recent Shelf Healing episodes are also available on the left hand menu.

Head to https://shelfhealing.buzzsprout.com/ or use the players below to listen, view the show notes, and to find the episode on your podcast player.


Megan Rosenbloom

I chat with academic Librarian Megan Rosenbloom this week all about the therapeutic effects of reading and her thoughts about the joy of libraries. We discuss Megan’s strong belief in death positivity and how this causes her to constantly strive to read all of the books, very rarely rereading.

We also chat about her book Dark Archives and how historic medical books affect the wellbeing of the researcher and reader. There’s a lovely thought about how Ulysses is best read in a community as well.

Photo by Polly Antonia Barrowman


James Daunt

James and I chat about the essential nature of bookshops and libraries as well as the therapeutic effects of books not only for people but for their fellow books on the shelf. This is a thoughtful and insightful episode which many important topics covered.

A full list of authors, works, and the panels recommended are available in the show notes.


Claudia Rubenstein

I chat with Claudia about the therapeutic effects of non-fiction, moving the Jewish Book Week Literary Festival online, and what panels to look out for.

A full list of authors, works, and the panels recommended are available in the show notes.


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.


Nadya Menuhin

This week I chat with Nadya Menuhin, literary agent, playwright, and all round theatre lover. We talk about about the books she loves, the authors who cheer her up, the power and importance of theatre and playwriting, and squirrel communism.

Check out the show notes for a great link to Hive Mind and for all of Nadya’s brilliant book and author recommendations.


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)


Clare Balding

This week we chat to Clare Balding about how understanding how our brains work helps with our mental wellbeing as well as the power and importance of animals in achieving wellbeing in our lives.

Clare and I talk about how important charities with horses are in helping disadvantaged teens and neurodiverse children and the struggle many yards and charities have during the pandemic.


Professor Raymond Mar

This week we chat to Professor Raymond Mar of the MAR Lab (York University, Canada). Raymond is a Professor of psychology and employs personality, social, and cognitive psychology along with neuroscience to study imaginative experiences such as engaging with fictional narratives acrossdifferent forms media.

We talk all about the effects of narrative on social cognition, his psychology studies, and how this research area is full of interesting topics to explore.


Dr Douglas Cowie

This week our guest is Dr Douglas Cowie, senior lecturer in creative writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. We talk about the therapeutic effects of reading and writing, Moby Dick, and how everyone approaches texts differently and gets different things out of them.

Head to the show notes for links and a list of authors and books mentioned in the podcast.


Deborah Alma


Deborah Alma

This week’s guest is Deborah Alma of the Poetry Pharmacy. We chat about poetry’s powerful effects on our mental health, how she prescribes poems, and how things changed when she moved from a vintage ambulance to a bookshop in Shropshire.

Head to the show notes for links and a list of authors and books mentioned in the podcast.


Dr Radha Modgil


Dr Radha Modgil

This week’s guest is GP and broadcaster Dr Radha Modgil. We discuss mental health, bibliotherapy, how lockdown has drawn attention to wellbeing and its importance, and what books Dr Radha goes to and recommends for comfort in times of hardship.

Head to the show notes for links and a list of authors and books mentioned in the podcast.


Ian Evans

Ian Evans

This week’s guest is Ian Evans, UCL’s Publishing MA and DIS reserach students’ administrator. We discuss reading, graphic novels, and the the effects of lockdown on Ian’s reading habits.

Head to the show notes for links and a list of authors and books mentioned in the podcast.


Cory Doctorow. Photograph by Jonathan Worth

Cory Doctorow

This week’ guest is Cory Doctorow: science fiction author, activist, and journalist. We discuss therapeutic reading, writing, commonplacing, and wellbeing uses of CC work.

Head to the show notes for links and a list of authors and books mentioned in the podcast.

Photo by Jonathon Worth


Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth

This week’s guest is Gyles Brandreth: author, actor, and broadcaster. We discuss bibliotherapy, where to read, memorising poetry, and what literature Gyles reaches for from his bedisde book trough.

Head to the show notes for links and a list of authors and books mentioned in the podcast.

 


Giles Paley-Phillips

Giles Paley-Phillips

This week our guest is childrens picture book author and Blank podcast host Giles Paley-Phillips. We discuss Giles’ progress as a reader throughout his life, the books that got him reading, what he reads now, and how reading affects his sleep. We also chat about writing and beautiful books.

Head to the show notes for links and a list of authors and books mentioned in the podcast.

 


Dr Paula Byrne

 

Dr Paula Byrne

In our first Shelf Healing interview we chat to Dr Paula Byrne, author and founder and CEO of ReLit: The Bibliotherapy Foundation. We discuss bibliotherapy, reading and mental health, and what literature Paula reaches for to improve her own mental health.

Head to the show notes for links and a list of authors and books mentioned in the podcast.