Shelf Love
  • 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.

  • 091. Guilty Pleasures with Dr. Arielle Zibrak

    Jul 20, 2021

    "Guilty pleasures," or is the guilt what we find pleasurable? This is the question Dr. Arielle Zibrak asks in her book, Avidly Reads Guilty Pleasures (NYU Press). Arielle joins me to explore just some of the thought-provoking arguments made in her book and coach me on letting myself enjoy imperfect media. It's not a book about romance novels (although they're discussed), but the topic is highly relevant for any media that is coded as "femme," especially stories about love.

  • 090. Taboo Lite: Joyless Hags Book Club

    Jul 13, 2021

    A touch of taboo...the Joyless Hags (Katrina Jackson & Tasha L. Harrison) reunite to dissect Seducing My Guardian by Katee Robert. We ask "What is this book trying to do?" When a book opens a door, does it have to close a window somewhere?! Also some news!

  • 089. Problematizing Romance: You Can't Consume Your Way Out of Oppression

    Jun 9, 2021

    Problematizing romance: what happens when we dare to interrogate the assumptions that underlie the worlds into which we escape? Morgan & Isabeau from Whoa!mance podcast join me to discuss commodity fetishism, Marx, how it's easier to cancel than realize there is no terminus, and how we can't sloganize or consume our way out of oppression. It's the whole enchilada. Don't miss an epilogue to our conversation about North and South that pulls it all together. ("I don't want to marry you to possess you...I want to marry you because I love you!") PS: There's an intermission half way through the episode at a natural pause point if you want to listen in 2 parts.