A podcast that has fun taking romance novels seriously.
Romance is a literary genre that deserves nuanced criticism. Shelf Love is a podcast that unpacks and contextualizes the popular romance genre within the broader critical discussion of identity, culture, and love.

Latest Episodes


An alien abduction romance with a delightfully unexpected exploration of sexual pleasure. Morgan and Isabeau from Whoa!mance join me to discuss how Strange Love by Ann Aguirre unpacks cultural scripts and encourages generous curiosity. Also: the origin story of the Whoa!mance intro sigh.
Jennifer Crusie drops in to talk about Dove Bars, dogs, normative ideals of white middle class baby boomer womanhood, divorce, unconditional love, RWA, and all the good times ahead we've been wondering about.
How identity must evolve in romance, the possibility inherent to the romance, and how we can have more critical conversations about problematic things in romance without demanding its eradication - because let's be honest, everything is problematic. Dr. Angela Toscano returns to continue our discussion of The Secular Scripture by Northrop Frye and how it's an urtext for understanding the romance genre. You'll definitely want to go listen to part 1, which is episode 73, before listening to this one
Dr. Angela Toscano, a romance scholar, writer, and researcher joins Shelf Love to discuss literary critic Northrop Frye's 1976 book The Secular Scripture: A study of the structure of romance. Although it's 44 years old and isn't only about romance novels, it has a lot to say that's relevant to the popular romance genre in the year 2020 - and Angela and I call on many examples from more recent books you may be familiar with as well as other examples from pop culture. For example, how is the structure of romance fundamentally different from that of literary, epic works? Why is "mere entertainment" so derided by the academy and what's wrong with the phony infinite? What's the difference between a maze with no plan and a maze, not without a plan? How does romance focus on the polarity between the idyllic world we want and the subterranean world we don't want, but not the life we have? And how does the dog always know? This is part 1 of our conversation. Part 2: out 12/26/20.
all episodes

Latest Posts


Romance Novels and The Secular Scripture by Northrop Frye

Jan 16, 2021

Romance Novels and The Secular Scripture by Northrop Frye: A collection of resources for using The Secular Scripture as a way to think about the structure of the popular romance genre.

Romancelandia Holiday Fairies 2020

Jan 16, 2021

A way for the Romancelandia community to support anyone in the community who could use help with purchasing gifts for themselves or loved ones this holiday season, 2020.

Scarily Ever After: Halloween Romance Novels

Jan 16, 2021

A curated list of spooky-ish romances that you might enjoy, all with happily ever afters. Even ghosts and witches deserve love.

Romance Nerd Reading List

Jan 16, 2021

Hello romance nerds! I'm going to keep a running list of romance research that I'm reading with high-level notes - hope you find it helpful.

Transcripts! Every Episode You Can Read

Jan 16, 2021

Although podcasting's primary form is in audio, I believe the information on Shelf Love should be available for all. Podcasts don't work for everyone, for lots of reasons, so my goal is to create transcripts for every episode. Here's which episodes have transcripts, and where you can find them.

Reviews


  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Enjoyed it!
    I just started getting back into listening to podcasts and Shelf Love is definitely one I'm looking forward to hear some more of! The host is wonderful and does a great job! Worth every minute!
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Smart sexy fun
    Shelf Love is both the most interesting and thoughtful podcast devoted to the romance genre and one of the best book podcasts out there bar none. Host Andrea Martucci is great --intellectually curious, enthusiastic and open--but she really excels at choosing her guests and letting them run with their area of expertise. Highly, highly recommend.
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐A great listen
    I love reading romance but don't have many people to discuss these books with. The podcast does a great job of directly addressing how novels engage with the 'isms (racism etc) and discussing the characters and writing.
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Amazing and insightful
    One of the most insightful romance review podcasts I've ever come across.
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐One of my fave romance podcasts
    This is a great listen. I love the conversation that Andrea has with her guests about the books and how they reflect different parts of the genre AND how they relate to real life.
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Engaging, thoughtful interviews
    I love how this podcast is thinking about romance - fantastic range of interviews and topics.
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Worth Every Second!
    So smart and funny. I love the host. Can't wait to read all the upcoming books and contribute to the conversation.
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Such a delight!
    These ladies have such a great rapport and clearly have a lot of love for each other, their subject matter and books in general. For fans of "Smart Podcast, Trashy Books" and "Heaving Bosoms" podcasts, and romance in general.
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Another Romance Podcast? Yes!
    I didn't think I needed to add another romance podcast to the array of excellent ones I already subscribe to. Turns out I was wrong. Get it!
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Fascinating dive into the unknown
    As a non-romance book reader I was skeptical at first, but found the podcast totally engrossing. Well researched, well recorded, well produced, and completely entertaining. The guests are smart, funny and bring different perspectives helping to keep the format fresh. Even as a person with little interest in Romance Literature this has earned a subscription.
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Love for Shelf Love
    I'm an avid romance reader and somehow have not managed to listen to any romance related podcasts. Shelf love is my first and fast became my favorite. Andrea Martucci (the host) has funny, thought provoking and all around good discussions on a particular novel...I love that Andrea sources from the listeners too via insta, Twitter, and email. Give it a listen. Oh and you might find that you talk and laugh along with the podcast like I do.
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Smart, funny, and sincere
    Andrea and her guests' love for romance novels is infectious. I don't read them, but now I want to! Whereas some people despair that they have to turn off their feminism when they turn on the TV, this podcast shows how the pleasures of genre fiction can harmonize with the pleasures (or should I say "turn ons") of criticism.