Shelf Love
  • The Bachelor (Tell Me About)

    Oct 19, 2021

    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.

  • "Desirable" Bodies, Choice, and Neoliberalism: The Fictional Romantic Marketplace

    Oct 5, 2021

    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.

  • The Bold and the Beautiful (Tell Me About)

    Sep 28, 2021

    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.

  • How To Catch A Man on the Love Train

    Sep 21, 2021

    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.

  • The Year of the Joyful Hag: Season 3 Is Here!

    Sep 19, 2021

    What's love got to do with it? Tina Turner famously asked this question and while I think she meant it rhetorically, I think the answer is: quite a bit. Except it seems like we're still figuring out what romantic love is and questioning if it even exists in the first place. Here's what you can expect coming up in season 3 of Shelf Love.

  • 096. Scientific Proof of the Romance Reader Stereotype (Finally)

    Sep 14, 2021

    Proving once and for all, using science, the truth of the romance reader stereotype. Warning: this research is about how romance novels and readers are perceived, not the actual reality.

  • 095. Demon Enemies to Lovers: Games with Jodie Slaughter, Live from Copper Dog Books

    Aug 31, 2021

    Romance Author Jodie Slaughter joins Shelf Love Live from Copper Dog Books in Beverly, Massachusetts. Can Jodie identify excerpts from her own books? What's her favorite trope and why is it Only One Bed? We play games and share romance recommendations, answer live Q&A from the audience, are ogled by passing firefighters, question if capitalism is the real nemesis in classic rom-coms, and more. Recorded August 11, 2021 in a livestream. Watch the enhanced & edited video recording on YouTube!

  • 094. Romance Adaptations: The Curious Case of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton

    Aug 17, 2021

    Who profits from "diverse" romance adaptations? Are white authors making room for creators from marginalized backgrounds to tell their stories? What's lost in translation to screen? Listener questions inspire me to dig into how romance novels differ from romances adapted for the screen. Then, I examine the curious case of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton adaptation, sharing statements she's made on whom she could imagine (not) getting a happily ever after in historicals and a never-before-heard interview with Kianna Alexander recounting a panel from 2017.

  • 093. Ice Ice (Planet) Baby: Barbarian's Hope

    Aug 3, 2021

    Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon: it may be a Tik-Tok sensation now, but over a year ago it was a podcast sensation. Dani Lacey invited me as a guest on her podcast, Ice Planet Podcast, to discuss Barbarian's Hope, a second chance romance between two very tall blue humanoid-ish aliens with horns whose love life is controlled by a parasite. This is an edited version of that episode. CW: loss of a child, grief, depression.

  • 092. I've Got No Roots: White Immigrant Assimilation & (Romance) Adaptation

    Jul 27, 2021

    How is whiteness & assimilation assumed in the "land of opportunity" narrative & myth of American immigrants? We explore: how names indicate our roots, white privilege, feelings of cultural loss, our own immigrant experiences, plus we talk about Christina Laurens' Roomies novel & upcoming film adaptation.