Shelf Love
Shelf Love
What's Love Got To Do With It? Quite A Bit!

Shelf Love is a podcast and community that explores fictional stories of romantic love across media, time, and cultures. For the curious and open-minded who joyfully question as they consume pop culture.

Latest Episodes


  • Is it real love or fantasy TV? I hope you're here for the right reasons: to learn how The Bachelor franchise produces a fantasy of romantic love. We cover the lingo (Rose Ceremony, Fantasy Suite, Frankenbiting), the scandals, the couples, and all of the commercially-viable aesthetically romantic gestures that construct "romantic love" on The Bachelor. Tell Me About is a series that introduces me and you to new genres and sub genres of romantic stories across media. Podcast host and Bachelor Nation Expert Jhen (The Blachelorettes, Monogamish, Stacked) joins me to discuss romantic love, what audiences expect from the love stories on The Bachelor, and how these stories make her feel.

  • How do romantic narratives explore or influence our ideas of which bodies are "desirable"? Dr. Christina Fattore will introduce us to neoliberalism, and we'll discuss how the ideological focus on individual agency influences our ideas of which bodies are most desirable to acquire in romantic partners and how individuals must produce desirable bodies to create "value" in a romantic marketplace. CW: discussion of diet culture, body size, etc. Guest: Dr. Fattore, associate professor of political science and romance reader and writer.

  • I now pronounce you man and...horse? Kissing mannequins, will Taylor stay dead this time, is Sheila Carter the best Supervillain, and favorite Super Couples (seemingly always love triangles?): when I asked Dr. Jodi McAlister to Tell Me About The Bold and the Beautiful, I had no idea how wild the ride would be! Tell Me About is a series that introduces me and you to new genres and sub genres of romantic stories across media. Novelist, academic, and Soap Superfan Dr. Jodi McAlister share how soap opera's structure explores romantic love, what audiences expect from the love stories, and how these stories make her feel.

  • Journalist E. Jean Carroll hopped a ride on the Love Train with dozens of romance authors in 1983, hoping to discover "how to catch a man." But did she actually discover who women* in America were fantasizing about being? Steve Ammidown, archivist and historian of the romance genre, joins me to discuss Where the Heart Roams, a 1987 documentary about romance authors, culture clashes, silk sheets and lavender sachets, men with a lot of flash (there aren't many), and many conflicting theories about how to catch a man.

All Episodes

Latest Blog Posts


  • Dame Jodie Slaughter Virtual & River Cruise Events!

    Jul 13, 2021

    Exclusive Jodie Slaughter (romance author, Shelf Love guest extraordinaire) events with Shelf Love and Copper Dog Books this August, 2021. Virtual & In Person (Essex, MA)!

  • Pop Culture Association 2021 Presentation: Romance Reader Stereotypes: Will Bridgerton Change Popular Perceptions About Romance Novels?

    Jun 27, 2021

    Watch my PCA 2021 presentation about Romance Reader Stereotypes!

  • Bridgerton Research: Gateways into Reading Romance

    May 18, 2021

    Is the Bridgerton Adaptation on Netflix a Gateway into Reading Romance? How does genre fluency change perceptions?

  • Romance Novels and The Secular Scripture by Northrop Frye

    Dec 28, 2020

    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.

Read More

Reviews