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Shelf Healing

Shelf Healing

Author: Rebecca Markwick

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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
42 Episodes
I have the great honour this week of interviewing a podcasting legend, Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, Jordan deconstructs the playbooks of the most successful people on earth and shares their strategies, perspectives, and practical insights with the rest of us. He has hosted a Top 50 iTunes podcast for over 14 years and receives over eleven million downloads per month, making The Jordan Harbinger Show one of the most popular podcasts in the world.  Huge thanks to Jen Harbinger for helping to schedule this in across very different timezones! We talk about why his show has worksheets and how unexpectedly popular they are, why it's important to cover the difficult and gross topics that are happening in the world, Jordan's strong belief in exposing cults and scams and how you can support friends and family who are trapped in them. We also spend time discussing his Feedback Friday episodes and the amount of research that goes into the responses and how vital that is in order to help people with very niche problems. Lastly we talk about how hard it can be to restart in business from scratch and how looking at those around you who support you and realising what you have done so far can help you to dive back in and start again.The Jordan Harbinger ShowEpisodes mentioned:David Kilgour - The Heartless Art of Forced Organ HarvestingFrank Bourassa - The World's Greatest Counterfeiter Part OneRutger Bregman - Humankind: A Hopeful HistoryFeedback FridaysPsychopath after your sonChased by a European gangster
This episode introduces UCL's new MASc (Master of Arts and Science) in Creative Health.  I chat with The Rt Hon. Lord Alan Howarth of Newport CBE and Professor Helen Chatterjee MBE who have spent many years working and researching in the area of Creative Health. We discuss what Creative Health is, how it can help people, and what the new Masters degree will cover.Links to everything mentioned in this episodeUCL MASc in Creative Health National Centre for Creative HealthAll-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing - Creative Health:The Arts for Health and WellbeingArtliftNational Academy for Social PrescribingCreative FamiliesStaying Well Project
With me today are UCL's Dean of Arts and Humanities, Stella Bruzzi, and the Dean of Social and Historical Sciences, Sasha Roseneil.We talk about the difficulties of balancing work and life, how research fits into the role of a Dean, the effects of the pandemic on academic life and research, and the joy of being allowed to go out swimming again. We also talk about Pebbles the Warwick campus cat, Indiana Bones UCL's Archaeology therapy dog and how all departments should have a pet. Sasha talks about her lovely dog, and Stella talks about her two lockdown kittens. We discuss plans for returning to physical university and how important having a holiday is, especially this year.This is an enlightening and fun episode that hopes to give insight into the inner workings of being a university Dean in a time of great change.
A brilliant episode in which myself, Cat Mitchell, and Dan Holloway discuss the role of accessibility in the workplace, how those with disabilities should be included in decision making processes for accesibility, and how the pandemic has affected the accessibility of the workplace. We also chat about our worries of the disabled community being left behind as the country leaves lockdown, and how accessibility needs to be incorporated into many more things including job applications and workplace culture.We encourage you to engage with us on Twitter about the ideas in insights discussed in the podcast and look forward to hearing from you!Link to Cat Mitchell's TwitterLink to Dan Holloway's TwitterLink to Rebecca's TwitterLink to Shelf Healing's Twitter 
I have a lovely catch up with one of my lovely old colleagues from Sony Mobile in Sweden, Gabriella Bergstedt. We chat about the joy of fika and what it entails. The differences between working in Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland, and how important it is to have certain types of policies and workplace attitudes to create a productive welcoming environment.We go over Sweden's parental leave policy and what it means for parents, how well rounded the work benefits are, the wonderful ergonomics accommodations as standard, and how well structured Swedish companies are for encouraging employees back to the workplace after sick leave.It's a great episode and one that raises some very important points about companies taking care of employees as standard.
I get the chance to chat with Dave Player, founder of Team BRIT and KartForce, and Andy Tucker, one of Team BRIT's racing drivers all about the motosport team and the role of disability.Team BRIT is a competitive motor racing team consisting of disabled drivers. They are a competitive racing team, not a charity, and they race against teams of able-bodied drivers on a totally level playing field — something that no other sport can offer. They aim to make racing history and take a team to the world famous Le Mans 24hr endurance race, becoming the first ever British all-disabled team to do so.We talk about how Team BRIT has pioneered accessible driving control that suit all of their drivers and their varying levels of disability. We also chat about the role the team has played in helping many of their drivers to rediscover themselves after injuries, become better at managing their disabilities, and how many past members have gone on to achieve great things after being part of the Team BRIT family. We visit the current and past cars Team BRIT race in and have an exciting bit of news about their upcoming season.This episode highlights Team BRIT's vision to support, inspire and motivate people facing physical and psychological challenges by demonstrating what can be achieved through motorsport.If you'd like more information about Dave, Andy, and Team BRIT, check out:Team BRIT's website Team BRIT's twitter
David Fox of MOXI Health and Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown join me to discuss physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace. We talk about what wellbeing is and how to define it and why it's important to be self aware of our physical and emotional states. understand the consequences of stress and poor wellbeing. We discuss stress, it's effects, and the addictive nature of the fight or flight response.  We also talk about the importance of sick days and how stress and low wellbeing can be contagious. All in all this is an excellent panel on the importance of good wellbeing in life and in the workplace. We need functioning people who feel good in order to have good wellbeing.David Fox is a physiotherapist and Founder and CEO of MOXI Health.Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown is Professor of Public Health at Warwick University.Things from the episode:MOXI HealthCatalyst PhysioWEBWMS (The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scales)Professor Sarah Stewart-BrownDavid FoxStressaholic: 5 Steps to Transform Your Relationship with Stress  by Heidi Hanna 
Our first Work & Life episode sees me chatting with Michael Chivers about his global journey in HR. How Michael learned to ask 'how can we help?' and focused in on the importance of caring for employees as an HR Director for companies such as Sony and Maersk. We also discuss the difficulties of funding performance by results and the ways in which human wellbeing can be lost in a results driven business model.
Trailer for the new Work & Life wellbing podcast from UCL 
This week I chat with Prof Martin Eve about what therapeutic reading actually means when you look hard at it and how writing can be significantly more therapeutic at times. We discuss the wellbeing benefits of Open Access publishing, the fears surrounding it, and how entwined the nature of the literary critic is for Martin when he reads.Works and Authors mentioned in the episode:War and Peace by Leo TolstoyBrett Easton-EllisCloud Atlas by David Mitchell Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas PynchenSee Under: Love by David GrossmanChina MievilleThe Lord of The Rings by JRR TolkienCivilisation and Its Discontents by Sigmund FreudLesley ThompsonRosewater (The Wormwood Trilogy) by Tade ThompsonThe Day of the Triffids by Jeff WyndhamDistant Horizons by Ted UnderwoodRedlining Culture by Richard Jean SoToni Morrison
This week I chat with Philip Connor, Commissioning Editor at Penguin Random House Audio and host of the podcast What Editors Want. We chat about how Philip's reading habits have changed and moved more into non fiction as well as how he found himself searching for himself in books on grief and dying. The importance and suprising nature of finding representation in literature and how audio has lent itself to him rereading books and now commissioning works in audio.Joan DidionCS LewisAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo TolstoyWhite Noise by Don DeLilloSmoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin DoughtyThe Hidden Spring  by Mark SolmsNight's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F HamiltonUbik by Philip K DickEmmanuel CarrèreEmma SouthernMary BeardThe Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter FrankopanF Scott  FitzgeraldVirginia WoolfVladimir NabokovWG Sebald The Denial of Death by Ernest BeckerWhy I Write by George Orwell
Dr Samantha Rayner talks with Cathy Rentzenbrink about her book Dear Reader, and the therapeutic effects of reading on mental health and wellbeing. It's a lovely episode that travels through time with books that affect multiple generations, how books are enjoyed for what they are not who they are marketed at, and how writing can be hard but the satisfaction of finishing is worth the difficulty.Cathy Rentzenbrink's booksEveryone is Still Alive debut novelThe Last Act of LoveA Manual for HeartacheDear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Booksand her debut novel Everyone Is Still Alive is released in July 2021 Authors and works mentioned in the episode:Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud MontgomeryAgatha ChristieThe Chronicles of Narnia by CS LewisBonjour Tristesse by Francoise SaganGeorgette HeyerJean PlaidyHarriet EvansCathy's book recommendationHumankind by Rutger Bregman
eA lively and entertaining interview with Professor John Mullan about theraprutic reading and his very favourite authors Charles Dickens and Janes Austen.John takes us on a deep dive into what we can enjoy in literature and how he finds humour to be the very best comfort read possible. We travel through literature from Shakespeare, stopping at 18th century literature, then right though to modern day authors and thrillers. John's most recent books:The Artful DickensWhat Matters in Jane Austen?Authors and works mentioned in the podcast:King Lear by William ShakespeareHamlet by William Shakespeare Oedipus Rex by SophoclesCharles BukowskiJude the Obscure by Thomas HardyDante's InfernoJane AustenCharles DickensDombey and SonGreat ExpectationsThe Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence SterneVladimir NabokovAgatha ChristieP.D JamesMiddlemarch by George EliotLie with Me by Sabine DurrantEmma by Jane AustenMoby Dick by  Herman MelvilleA la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) by Marcel ProustAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Prelude by William WordsworthGirls of Slender Means by Muriel SparkSymposium by Muriel Spark 
I chat with the wonderful Joanne Harris MBE, an author across an incredible number of media. We chat about the therapeutic effects of reading and writing, how personifying illness can be beneficial and the ups and downs of translations. We have a very interting chat about reading as a bilingual, the joy of graphic novels, and sneaking those books your mother doesn't want you to read at the library.Works and authors mentioned:Lee ChildGeorgette HeyerNine Princes in Amber by Roger ZelaznyGustave FlaubertAndre GideGuy de MaupassantAlexandre DumasFrancoise MauriacStephen KingGeorge R.R. MartinMervyn PeakeAgatha ChristieLaura Grandi Italian translator and authorP.G. WodehouseJohn MortimerSandman by Neil GaimanBrian VaughanBecoming Unbecoming by UnaChi's Sweet Home by Kanata KonamiInkblot by Emma Kubert and Rusty GladWayfareres Series by Becky Chambers
I have a wonderful chat with Chair of the Hay Literary Festival Caroline Michel all about the festival in all its forms across the globe. We discuss the move to digital online festivals, the succes of the festival in multiple countries, the difficulty in discoverability of events in an online setting, and how wonderful authors and speakers are.We also chat about the therapeutic effects of reading and books, and how wide ranging the Hay Festival talks and authors are across multiple languages.Hay Literary FestivalWorks and authors mentioned in the podcast:Agenda magazineThe Rattle Bag edited by Seamus Heany and Ted HughesDonal Óg poemTed HughesSeamus Heaney W.B. YeatsT.S. EliotJohn KeatsRobert FrostSylvia PlathToni MorrisonTom WolfeRough Magic by Lra Prior-PalmerLemn SissayMario Vargas LlosaLaura BatesStephen FrySimon SchamaElif Shafak
 I chat with the wonderful Audioverse Award winner and multiple Hugo and BFA finalist pop culture journalist and podcaster Alasdair Stuart all about the therapeutic effects of reading, consuming media, and writing about your favourite things. This is a fun lively chat that goes from magicians Penn and Teller all the way to The Abyss, stopping via Nick Cage and a Dalek Escape Room. All in all a wonderful insight into the perspective of a pop culture journalist writing on very popular IP with steadfast and vocal fans.Photo credit to ©Edge Portraits 2019Link to Alasdair's websiteLink to Alasdair's TwitterLink to The Full LidLink to the Escape Artists podcast website where you'll find PseudoPod and the Escape PodLink to Alasdair's TwitchList of things mentioned in the podcast:BooksSix Stories by Matt WesolowskiMore than Meets the Eye  (Transformers comic) Lost Light  (Transformers comic) Waiting for Godot by Samuel BeckettFilm, TV, nd TheatreRed DwarfTwilight Zone Theatrical ProductionJiuJitsuThe AbyssDoctor WhoParks and Recreation New Girl Leverage AwardsIGNYTE awardsAurealis awardsSir Julius Vogel Award (The Vogel's)
I chat with the delightful Ian Livingstone, games legend. Co-founder of Games Workshop, co-creater of the Fighting Fantasy genre of books, videogames star who brought us the brilliant Lara Croft. We chat all about the therapeutic effects of reading, how he and Steve Jackson created an entirely new genre of books that encouraged children to read and increased literacy rates. He shares some amusing stories about the launch of the first book and how they are still in print today. We also discuss co-writing, how important games are for critical thinking, and why having a sense of agency is so important when engaging in media. Ian's TwitterIan and Steve's new book from Unbound Things mentioned in this episode:On the Road by Jack Kerouac  Fighting Fantasy books mentionedThe Warlock of Firetop MountainCitadel of ChaosForest of DoomCity of ThievesDeathtrap DungeonAssassins of AlansiaGames MentionedSkyrimDark SoulsMinecraftRollercoaster Tycoon
This week I have the delightful job of chatting to my old Shakespeare professor, Emeritus Professor Kiernan Ryan, all about the therapeutic effects of his sonnets, speeches, and plays. How Shakespeare has remained relevant four centuries after first being performed, and what there is to be gained and lost in watching, listening, and reading his work.We discuss rhetoric, the draw of tragedies, how Shakespeare mirrors both the audience and the characters themselves, the importance of empathy, and how gender fluid many of the comedies are.Do check out Kiernan's books available from Bloomsbury hereKiernan's new book, coming out in August 2021The  Shakespeare works most mentioned and quoted from are:Sonnet 29The TempestThe Merchant of VeniceHamlet King LearMuch Ado About NothingTwelfth Night
Nick Coveney Interview

Nick Coveney Interview


I chat with the wonderful Nick Coveney of Rakuten Kobo. We chat about Nick's early experience of reading It and what kinds of books he finds therapeutic. We also chat about problematic authors and their effects on being able to gain comfort from their books, how well represented LGBTQ+ is in literature and publishing and problems arising from perceived rulebooks. We discuss the role of the ebook and audiobook on reading habits and how publishers like Rakuten Kobo can decide which books are available on their platform.Authors and works mentioned in the podcast:Peter F HamiltonIt by Stephen KingHis Dark Materials by Philip PullmanEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardEnder's Quartet by Orson Scott CardIt's A Sin by Russel T Davis (TV)Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnDragonriders of PERN by Anne McCaffreyThe Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence  
I chat to the fabulous people behind the Tor family of twitter accounts Rachel Taylor and Amanda Melfi all about how they try to be fun and engaging on social media on behalf of the Tor family without putting pressure on their authors. We chat about favourite books, hilarious twitter moments, sending John Scalzi secret burritos, and why it's important to them to make the Tor spaces a safe space for authors and readers alike.Check out the Shelf Healing Twitter account for debates on what counts as a dragon!Twitter accounts:Tor PublishingNightfireTor TeenRachel's accountAmanda's accountBooks, authors, and twitter accounts mentioned in the episode:The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. KluneInkheart series by Cornelia FunkeJohn Scalzi The Invisible Life of Addie by V.E. Schwab Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn MuirMurderbot by Martha WellsTwitter accounts Effin birdsSpark Notes
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