PODCAST

Shelf Healing

Rebecca Markwick

Shelf Healing is UCL's bibliotherapy and wellbeing podcast. Interviews with authors, editors, academics, and more discussing the therapeutic effect of books and reading as well as Work & Life discussions focusing on workplace wellbeing and wellbeing issues encountered in daily life @Shelf_Healing on twitter

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Orna Ross Interview
08-03-2022
Orna Ross Interview
I chat with author Orna Ross about writing, poetry, and starting the Alliance of Independent Authors.We get drawn into the power of Buddhist poetry and the joy of reading about murders. Orna shares her thoughts on why guilt has no place in reading, no matter what the genre is. Orna's websiteOrna's TwitterThings mentioned in the podcast:Poldark series by Winston GrahamThích Nhất HạnhWB YeatsMiddlemarch by George EliotGeorge EliotWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Orna Ross Interview
08-03-2022
Orna Ross Interview
I chat with author Orna Ross about writing, poetry, and starting the Alliance of Independent Authors.We get drawn into the power of Buddhist poetry and the joy of reading about murders. Orna shares her thoughts on why guilt has no place in reading, no matter what the genre is. Orna's websiteOrna's TwitterThings mentioned in the podcast:Poldark series by Winston GrahamThích Nhất HạnhWB YeatsMiddlemarch by George EliotGeorge EliotWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Susin Nielsen Interview
15-02-2022
Susin Nielsen Interview
I chat with fabulous Canadian author Susin Nielsen about her new book, writing for TV and how it differs to writing for children, and why she returns again and again to middle grade fiction. We also discuss the difference in showing internal thoughts in novels and on TV and how powerful and influencing children's books can be on our lives.Susin's websiteSusin's TwitterThings mentioned in the episode:Tremendous Things by Susin NielsenFamily Law - tv seriesWord Nerd by Susin NielsenDavid SedarisA Gentleman in Moscow by Amor TowlesHarriet the Spy by Louise FitzhughThe Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue TownsendElmer the Patchwork Elephant by David McKeeGirl, Woman, Other by Bernardine EvaristoMargaret Atwood
Rashmi Sirdeshpande Interview
08-02-2022
Rashmi Sirdeshpande Interview
I chat with children's author Rashmi Sirdeshpande about her favourite books, her discovery of narrative poetry, beautiful books, and what gives her inspiration for her own writing.Rashmi writes non-fiction books for children to inspire them and also be fun.We chat about Rashmi's giant fact checking tables and how she found writing her first fiction book. Rashmi's non-fiction often covers important and heavy issues and we discuss how difficult this can be to write as well as to keep hopeful for the children reading it.Rashmi's websiteRashmi's TwitterThings mentioned in the episode:Lucy CuthewManjeet MannElizabeth AcevedoBlood Moon by Lucy CuthewBeowulfSir Gawain and the Green KnightMichelle HarrisonCloud Busting by Malorie BlackmanDom ConlonThis Rock That Rock by Dom Conlon & Viviane SchwarzRikin ParekhThis Book Has Alpacas and Bears by Emma Perry, illustrated by Rikin ParekhCash by Rashmi SirdeshpandeNever Show a T-Rex a Book by Rashmi SirdeshpandeNever Teach a Stegasaurus to do Sums by Rashmi Sirdeshpande Diane Ewen Stronger: Changing Everything I Knew About Women's Strength by Poorna Bell
Carly Heath Interview
14-12-2021
Carly Heath Interview
I got the chance to chat with debut author Carly Heath all about her new book The Reckless Kind and the importance of representation in YA literature. There are lots of horses alongside the disability and LGBTQ+ storyline so of course we went on a magical journey discussing writing horses in literature and the joys and perils of carriage driving!Carly's TwitterCarly's website Things mentioned in the episode:The Reckless Kind by Carly HeathBecky AlbertalliThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller Cerce by Madeline Miller House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ KluneDaughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O’NeilHappy Times in Norway by Sigrid Undset
Work & Life: Cat Mitchell & Dan Holloway on Disability & Accessibility in Publishing
09-12-2021
Work & Life: Cat Mitchell & Dan Holloway on Disability & Accessibility in Publishing
I catch up with Cat & Dan and we discuss Cat's research on disability in publishing, as well as all things friction, especially related to accessibility and disability. We talk about CV gaps, how accommodating accommodations are, the way reasonable adjustments can make a huge difference to people, and how reducing friction can make things more accessible.Cat's TwitterDan's TwitterCat's report Access DeniedCat's piece in The Bookseller about the research findingsCat's piece on the disability networkDan's website Rogue InterrobangMoney and Mental Health Policy Institute's work on the disability income gap FIDO Alliance
Marcus Sedgwick Interview
07-12-2021
Marcus Sedgwick Interview
Content warning: we talk about mental illness, chronic illness, and suicide.I chat to prolific and award winning author Marcus Sedgwick all about his writing process, the therapuetic effects of writing, and how important reading can be for mental wellbeing.We also discuss Marcus' research into illness and writers and how illness has affected his writing practice, alongside his as yet unpublished book on chronic illness.Marcus' TwitterMarcus' websiteMarcus' booksThings mentioned in the episode:Midwinter Blood by Marcus SedgwickFloodland  by Marcus SedgwickMy Swordhand is Swinging  by Marcus SedgwickThe Foreshadowing  by Marcus SedgwickThe Dark Flight Down  by Marcus SedgwickThe Book of Dead Days  by Marcus SedgwickDavid Almond The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann Death in Venice by Thomas Mann Johann Wolfgang von GoetheSaint Death  by Marcus SedgwickAll in Your Head  by Marcus SedgwickThis is Going to Hurt by Adam KaySylvia PlathVirginia WoolfOn Being Ill by Virginia WoolfSigmund Freud Carl Jung Black Beauty by Anna SewellUncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher StoweThe Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction by Frank Kermode
Tom Gauld Interview
30-11-2021
Tom Gauld Interview
This week I chat with cartoonist, illustrator and writer Tom Gauld all about drawing, writing, and creating witty comics. We also chat about his new book The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess which he wrote and illustrated. An interesting insight into the mind of a very busy creator!Tom's TwitterTom's websiteTom's new bookThings mentioned in the episode:Amphigorey by  Edward Gorey PG Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster  TV show The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey Grimm's Fairy-Tales The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage by the Brothers Grimm
Henry Eliot Interview
23-11-2021
Henry Eliot Interview
This week UCL's Vice Dean of Wellbeing, Professor Samantha Rayner, chats with Henry Eliot, Creative Editor of Penguin Classics, about his new book. They meander through literary landscapes, how the time of year affects how we perceive stories, why we reach for classics, the wellbeing effects of walking and reading, and how one goes about creating compendium and companion books.Henry's TwitterProf Rayner's TwitterHenry's new book The Penguin Modern Classics BookHenry's previous book The Penguin Classics BookHint from Samantha that these make fabulous gifts for book lovers!Things mentioned in the episode:The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerWilliam MorrisLe Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas MalloryPG WodehouseFinnegans Wake by James JoyceTess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas HardyIain SinclairThe Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence SterneCharles DickensWar and Peace by Leo TolstoyDavid Copperfield by Charles DickensThe Small Hand by Susan HillThe Penguin Modern Classics Book by Henry EliotCrossing the Mangrove by Maryse CondéSecond Class Citizen by Buchi EmechetaThe Salt Eaters by Toni Cade BambaraThe Penguin Classics Book by Henry EliotSeason of Migration to the North by Tayeb SalihHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradA Room of One's Own by Virginia WoolfThe Second Sex by Simone de BeauvoirThe Feminine Mystique by Betty FriedanWomen, Race and Class by Angela Y. DavisThe Book of Disquiet by Bernardo SoaresÁgua Viva (The Stream of Life) by Clarice LispectorAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollGulliver's Travels by Jonathan SwiftSelected Poems of TS EliotThe Travels of Sir John Mandeville by John MandevilleErnest HemingwayGraham GreenIvy Compton-BurnettColetteJD SalingerThe Tartar Steppe by Dino BuzzatiFranz KafkaSamuel BeckettLocos by Felipe Alfau
Professor Sunny Singh Interview
16-11-2021
Professor Sunny Singh Interview
I chat with writer and academic Professor Sunny Singh all about translations, why representation is needed and how important it is to see other people's stories. We also chat about the Jhalak Prize, whether teaching creative pursuits is therapeutic, and how powerful the stories and relationships attached to books can be.Prof Singh's Twitter accountProf Singh's booksThe Jhalak PrizeFabindiaThings mentioned in the episode:Salman RushdieAmitabh Bachchan by Prof Sunny SinghGeorgette HeyerHindi and Urdu poetryThe Grand Sophie by Georgette HeyerInferno by DanteHotel Arcadia by Prof Sunny SinghAlice WalkerCritical Fictions: The Politics of Imaginative Writingbell hooks Three Fat Men (Три толстяка) by Yury OleshaHaroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
Tamsin Rosewell Interview
09-11-2021
Tamsin Rosewell Interview
Illustrator and bookseller Tamsin Rosewell joins me today to talk about her experiences of reading and how she made the move into bookselling and illustration. She shares her deep love of non-fiction and how the speed at which you read has no bearing on how good a book is. We chat about parcel hogs, window displays, and whether Blake's Tyger was in fact an epic cat.Tamsin's Twitter accountKenilworth Books Twitter accountThe Parcelhogs instagram accountThings mentioned in the episode:Northern Lights by Philip PullmanCatherine JohnsonCecily by Annie GarthwaiteShadowghast by Thomas TaylorM. R. JamesGeorgette HeyerThornhill by Pam SmyThe Reacher Guy by Lee ChildSongs of Innocence and of Experience by William BlakeThe Tyger by William BlakeTiger Heart by Penny Chrimes
Elise Valmorbida Interview
18-10-2021
Elise Valmorbida Interview
The wonderful Elise Valmorbida joins me this week to talk all about her new book The Happy Writing Book and the positive power of creative writing for our mental wellbeing.We chat Lord of the Rings, Flaubert, Shakespeare, philosophy and more in this fun and informative episode that winds its way through the worlds of creative writing.Elise's websiteThe Happy Writing Book by Elise Valmorbida Things mentioned in the episode:Virginia WoolfMadame Bovary by Gustave FlaubertWhy I Write by George OrwellLord of the Rings by JRR TolkienThe Madonna of the Mountains by Elise ValmorbidaThe Happy Writing Book by Elise ValmorbidaDiscourses of Epictetus by EpictetusEpicurusJoan DidionThe TV President by Elise ValmorbidaShakespeareSamuel BecketTS ElliotToni MorrisonMichael OndaatjeThe Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de BottonHow to Change the World by John-Paul Flintoff
Gyles Brandreth Interview on Memoir writing & Odd Boy Out
04-10-2021
Gyles Brandreth Interview on Memoir writing & Odd Boy Out
We welcome Gyles back to the Shelf Healing podcast, this time to talk all about his new Memoir Odd Boy Out and how he found writing memoir. We talk about how he chose what to write in his memoir, and how different it is to writing any other type of book, especially for someone who has written prolifically and many biographies.Gyles also talks about the relationships between sons and fathers, why diary writing is important, and how he's crammed as much wisdom and gossip as possible in his new book!Also a big shoutout to libraries!Find Gyles on TwitterFind Gyles' new book Odd Boy Out here
Eleanor Teasdale Interview
13-09-2021
Eleanor Teasdale Interview
This week I chat with Associate Publisher for Angry Robot, Eleanor Teasdale, all about her comfort reads, what books she chooses for the Angry Robot list, how she rereads outside of the genre she works in for a solid mind reset, and Angry Robot's passion and promotion of diverse fiction. We also talk about how she named her cat (and how I named mine!).Eleanor's TwitterAngry Robot's websiteAngry Robot's TwitterThings mentioned in the episode:A Little Life by Hanya YanagiharaOld Kingdom series (Sabriel & Lirael mentioned) by Garth NixBroken Harbour by Tana FrenchJust William AudiobooksThe Hobbit by JRR TolkienThe Lord of the Rings by JRR TolkienMarc GascoigneMidsommar (film)Get Out (film)Gemma AmorThe Cabinet by Un-Su KimTower by Bae Myung-hoon published by Honford Star Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne JonesThe Secret History by Donna TarttComposite Creatures by Caroline HardakerIn Other Lands by Sarah Rees BrennanEducated by Tara Westover
Lisa Edwards Interview
06-09-2021
Lisa Edwards Interview
I chat with the lovely Lisa Edwards, former publisher, now author and yoga teacher, all about her memoir Cheat, Play, Live and her thoughts on the theraprutic effects of reading and writing. We have a wonderful dive into travel writing too.Links to Lisa's bookLink to Lisa's blog Because I CanLink to Lisa's TwitterThings mentioned in the podcast:Wild by Cheryl Strayed Paul TherouxThe Salt Path by Raynor WinnTiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Cassandra Khaw Interview
30-08-2021
Cassandra Khaw Interview
TW: Horror and goreHorror writer extraordinaire Cassandra Khaw joins me on the podcast this week chatting all about researching for their visceral horror writing, the impact and inclusion of Malaysian mythos and folklore in their work, and how the pandemic has affected not only their daily life, but also their writing. We chat about how horror can be a comforting experience for the reader and how the writing process can be cathartic. Also haggis and the boob ghost Hantu Tetek.Cassandra has two new books coming out this year which are linked below.Nothing But Blackened Teeth available 17th OctoberThe All-Consuming World available 21st September 2021Cassandra's websiteCassandra's TwitterThings mentioned in the episode:Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra KhawRupert Wong: Cannibal Chef by Cassandra KhawButcher Bird by Richard KadreySophie KinsellaFrances HardingeHolly BlackMongrels by Stephen Graham JonesBlindsight by Peter WattsBloodtide by Melvyn BurgessTravelogues: Vignettes from Trains in Motion by Kathleen JenningsSaint Death's Daughter by C. S. E. CooneyDesdemona and the Deep by C. S. E. Cooney These Deathless Bones by Cassandra Khaw (link to audio)Don't Turn On The Lights by Cassandra Khaw (link to audio)
Work & Life: Tyler Shores & Prof Gloria Mark on Digital Wellbeing
18-08-2021
Work & Life: Tyler Shores & Prof Gloria Mark on Digital Wellbeing
I chat with the marvellous Professor Gloria Mark and Tyler Shores all about the idea of digital wellbeing. We take a dive into the world of digital shorthand, how emotions can be contagious over digital media and the effects that task switching has on the brain. Tyler chats about how multitasking and busyness can be seen as a sort of badge of honour and why that is problematic, and we end up with a fun discussion on the value of boredom and what we all do with our browser tabs.Gloria's websiteTyler's websiteThings mentioned in the episode:The Zeigarnik Effect (handy little article on this)Browser tab parking (handy little study)BBC values based wellbeing frameworkThe Now Habit by Neil Fiore Tabs by Ohm-I
Anna Vaught Interview
16-08-2021
Anna Vaught Interview
I chat with the lovely author, teacher, mentor, and mental health advocate Anna Vaught all about bibliotherapy, southern gothic, reading aloud, and mentoring. We discuss her love for poetry and horror stories, mental health and the myth of recovery, and the difficulties involved in being editied.There's a small trigger warning as we lightly discuss trauma in this episodeAnna's TwitterAnna's websiteAnna on The BooksellerThings mentioned in the episode:Out of the Darkness anthologyTurn of the Screw by Henry JamesDepression: The Way Out of Your Prison by Dorothy RoweLook Homeward, Angel by Thomas WolfeWilliam FaulknerA Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan ThomasInflux Galley Beggar Charles Dickens
Dr Daniel Boswell Interview Part 2
09-08-2021
Dr Daniel Boswell Interview Part 2
I conclude my chat with Daniel about comics and we chat and laugh about tie-ins, keeping fans on side, character design, the brilliant rise of creator owned IP, and the expressive art found in comics. This episode has plenty of laughs, me chatting horses in comics, and Daniel struggling to pick his favourite IP.Things mentioned in the episode:DeadpoolBlack WidowRob LiefeldLouise SimonsonPaper GirlsMiss MarvelMarvel Assembly - Preeti ChibberMoon Girl and Devil DinosaurThe InhumansMarvel KnightsBlackSadBlade RunnerSnowpiercer ThorThe AvengersThe Walking DeadThe FlashFlashpointWolverineDr StrangeSavage AvengersBatmanThe JokerThe RiddlerCatwomanJim LeeFrank MillerAlan Moore's Swamp ThingDuneShirow MasamuneGhost in the ShellKieran Gillan's The Wicked and the Divine
Jordi Nadal Interview
02-08-2021
Jordi Nadal Interview
I chat with fabulous publisher and author Jordi Nadal all about bibliotherapy and his new book, Book Therapy. Jordi is incredibly eloquent on the subject and if you aren't quite sure what bibliotherapy is this really does strike right at its core. A beautiful, thoughtful episode I hope you love as much as I do.Jordi's new book, Book TherapyAuthors and books mentioned in the episode:F Scott FitzgeraldJames SalterElena FerranteThe First Man by Albert CamusMan in the Search of Meaning by Viktor FranklTuesdays with Morrie by Mitch AlbomChekhovNatalia GinzburgMemoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite YourcenarOctavio PazGroucho MarxVirginia Woolf
Dr Daniel Boswell Interview Part 1
26-07-2021
Dr Daniel Boswell Interview Part 1
I chat with Dr Daniel Boswell about comics research, the way comics can help learn new languages, how they are therapeutic, and how different styles mean that pretty much everyone is covered if they would like a comfort comic book!Mentioned in this episode are:TintinAsterix and Obelix2000ADSupermanX-MenAlan MooreGarth EnnisPatrick ZircherInkblotJimmy PalmiottiArchie