The Merry Menopause Book Club is the podcast that brings you the authors of the books written to inspire us, educate us and guide us on our journey through midlife. Created and hosted by me Jo Fuller, Menopause and Menstruation Coach and educator and founder of the Merry Menopause online community. In each episode, I will be chatting to the author of a book that has inspired me, educated me and got me thinking. I'll also be giving away a copy of the book in discussion over on my Instagram account @themerrymenopause, and if you'd like to purchase a copy of any of the books featured head over to my website www.themerrymenopause.com/bookclub I want to help women get the information and education they need to make empowered choices around their heath and wellbeing so that ultimately they can have a Merry Menopause.
Awen Clement author of Moon Wise
Since she was little, Awen Clement has been fascinated by the magic of the moon and this led her to write and publish her book, Moon Wise.
Awen is a healer and intuitive who works deeply with the land, the moon and the elements.
She teaches on spiritual connection, healing and sacred leadership, and is the founder of The Earth House, a fledgling community for folk who walk an Earth-centred spiritual path.
When she isn’t working or teaching Awen is raising four awesome young humans and can often be found drinking tea in her sacred shed at the bottom of her garden in Birmingham.
Join us as we discuss:-
How we become Moon Wise and what living a Moon Wise life meansOur Natal moon phase and how this affects usWhat it means if you are born near a New Moon or Full Moon?That we are cyclical beings connected to nature and the impact on our wellbeing of not tuning into the seasonsOvulating on the Full Moon and bleeding on the New Moon - is this a thing?The traditional Pagan model of the three stages of a women’s life and the modern addition of a fourth stage to honour our modern Menopausal phase. What happens to the energy we use to bleed when we stop our cycle and enter into Post Menopause?What if we don’t fit into the typical archetype of child-bearer because we choose not to or can’t have children?Menopause as a positive deep inner transformation, we are not broken. How can we use the moon Post Menopause to bring out the cyclical nature in us. Why we can have such different feelings from each other around a Full Moon.
Awen’s book choice - Burning Women by Lucy H Pearce
Find out more about Awen and get your copy of Moon Wise at
Dr Jenna Macciochi author of Your Blueprint for Strong Immunity
My guest for this episode is Dr Jenna Macciochi an expert immunologist who has spent over 20 years as a scientist researching the impact that lifestyle has on the immune system in health and disease.
Her latest book “Your Blueprint for Strong Immunity”, is a guide to cultivating strong immune health from a voice of reason in a rising tide of pseudoscience and promises of quick fixes.
The book encourages us to audit our lifestyle and identify key areas that might not be serving our health well, and as Dr Jenna said when we spoke, ‘I wrote the book that I needed to read.”
Join us as we discuss:-
The myth behind the term “Immune Boosting.”Why we need to ‘balance’ rather than ‘boost’ our immune system.How well were you before you got sick? How you go into an illness reflects how you will cope with it. The cyclical nature of our immune systems.Why our ‘immune age’ doesn’t necessarily match our chronological ageImmunity, the sex hormones and our Menstrual cycle. How our blood sugar response is so individualThe power of protein and fibre, the unsung hero of longterm healthWhy we shouldn’t necessarily avoid the foods that make us bloated but work to increase our tolerance of them. Immunity and Menopause the impact of declining oestrogenMan Flu - the science to support it!The long game - how do you want to feel in your 70s and 80sThe importance of good liver function and how we support the processThe myths surrounding benefits of detoxes and sweatingAir pollution in our homes, household toxins and the stress of living in with clutter.The importance of spending time in nature and why we should limit the use of artificial fragrances. Dr Jenna’s book choice - Oliver Burkeman Four Thousand Weeks
You can find out more about Dr Jenna and her work here
Julie Walker author Bonny and Read
For the first time on The Merry Menopause Bookclub podcast, I’ve chosen a fiction book, Bonny and Read is the historical reimagining of two female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
Author Julie Walker first came across this swashbuckling duo as a teenager when she was listening to the Adam Ant song Five Guns West. She was instantly fascinated by their story and has meticulously researched them ever since.
Bonny and Read has been longlisted for both the Mslexia First Novel Prize and the Bath Novel Award.
Join Julie and I as we discuss what led her to write the story of Ann Bonny and Mary Read and the circumstances that led these two legendary women to meet, live and adapt to a life on board a pirate ship in the Caribbean in 1700’s.
How they became immortalised in a ballard, a book and achieved celebrity and mythical status.
This is the story of two strong and resourceful women from very different backgrounds and parts of the world, who lived, loved and created history onboard a pirate ship named The Revenge.
Bonny and Read is out on the 4th of August and is a perfect summer read.
Julie’s book choices
Life and Loves of a She Devil Fay Weldon
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
You can follow Julie on Twitter @NicerMarmot
Kate Codrington author of Second Spring
I knew that Kate Codrington and I were destined to meet. Her name has been mentioned many times by past guests of the podcast so I was delighted when our friends at Harper Collins sent me a copy of her book Second Spring and Kate agreed to be my guest.
Kate is a mentor, speaker, artist, writer and therapist, and host of the “Life - an inside job” podcast. And when she’s not doing all these things you’ll find her playing in her compost heaps at her home in Hertfordshire.
Join us in conversation as we discuss:
What is our Second Spring? How Perimenopause can be akin to being thrown around in the washing machine, the disorientation, but once the cycle has finished we get to see ourselves and the world with fresh eyes - that’s the gift.The Four seasons of our life and the pain and the gifts that each one brings. The Menopausal adventure of finding out “Who Am I?”The conspiracy of “busyness” - why it’s necessary for us to slow down and rest so we can be in a better relationship with ourselves.The whole new cycle of life that starts Post Menopause.The three phases of our Menopause transition - Separation, Surrender and Emergence.Why we must learn to be kind to ourselves.The exhausting effort of “holding it all together.”The importance of vulnerability and surrender during Perimenopause and Menopause.
Kate's book choice - Angela Carter - Nights at the Circus
Find out more about Kate at https://www.katecodrington.co.uk
Christie Watson author Quilt on Fire
Christie Watson's first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award; her second, Where Women Are Kings, achieved international critical acclaim; and her nursing memoir, The Language of Kindness, was a number one bestseller.
In 2020, during the first peak of the pandemic, she published The Courage to Care and briefly returned to clinical work. During this time Christie was shocked not only by the changing world, but her changing body, as her Perimenopause took hold. My book choice for this episode is her fifth book Quilt on Fire, the funny, honest and liberating account of her midlife journey.
Christie writes about the joy of letting go and the pain of the morning after, of the unstoppable power of female friendship and the struggle to raise teenagers as a single parent.
It lays bare the exhilaration, agony , wonder and fears of being a middle-aged woman with a wild heart, a changing body and a new set of challenges, and as her world takes on a different shape, there’s something else she starts to feel.. the hot flush of possibility….
If you have had, or are having a messy time with your Perimenopause this episode is for you. Not only a brilliant writer, Christie is also very, very funny and very, very honest! Join us for some deep truths and lots of LOL’s as we discuss:-
Christie’s search for meaning. Who am I? What do I want from life?Why the book is called Quilt On Fire, its not what you think!The love story that is female friendships.How Christie coped with her “catastrophic breakdown” which resulted in her climbing into a supermarket freezer. How HRT sent Christie’s libido through the roof.Midlife sexual awakening and midlife dating.How we are all connected by our vulnerabilities.Comparison - the perceived perception that every women has her s**t together and appears to be sailing through Perimenopause.Vulnerability- what happens when we share our mess. We are all struggling with something.Perfection isn’t something we should be striving for.The messy turbulent side of Menopause. Falling apart so we can put ourselves back together. The Culture wars of HRT and how women are pitted against each other by the media. The cultural and anthropological side of Menopause.The funny side of internet dating.The chance to Re-evaluate our identity. Who am I? Am I happy with myself? Who do I want to become?The Pandemic and Perimenopause, two times of forced reckoning and how they spoke to each other. The benefits of collecting older women friends.Having a Hollywood! Christie finding a much needed sense of gratitude around Perimenopause.
Christie's Book Choices
Douglas Stuart - Young Mungo
Nora Ephron - I Feel Bad About My Neck
You can find out more about Christie Watson here
Lorraine Candy author "Mum What's Wrong With You?"
I kick off Season 4 with journalist, editor, co-host of "Postcards from Midlife" podcast and mum of four Lorraine Candy. Formerly the editor in chief of the Sunday Times Style magazine, Elle and Cosmopolitan, Lorraine has been writing about parenting in national newspapers and magazines for more than a decade.
In this episode, we talk about her family memoir “Mum What’s wrong with you” 101 things only mothers of girls know. In the pages of her book Lorraine is lighting the way for other mums facing life with teenage girls, just as they going through their own midlife unravelling.
Join as we talk about:-
The many parallels between the Teenage years and the Menopause and the negative narrative that surrounds both.
The Perfect storm of parenting teens in your mid-40s.
The reasons why Teenagers behave as they do, and the reasons we behave as we do.
The importance of role modelling so our Teenagers can see us caring for ourselves and also dealing and coping with a range of emotions.
How our issues and childhood experiences can affect our parenting
The pressure of parenting perfectionism
How to recognise and recover from those dreadful moments in parenting life and the importance of being able to say sorry and move forward.
The immense brain changes that occur during the Teenage years.
The loneliness and shame that can come with parenting Teens. You are not the only person getting it wrong.
How to deal with messy bedrooms!
The rise of adolescent mental health
Reforming our identity in Midlife
The importance of eye contact and putting down our phones.
Why you mustn’t be your child’s best friend.
Teenagers and phones - the power of The Digital Sunset
Mental health policies, sex education and female financial power in our schools
How and why we experiencing “Living loss”
“Meanagers” and “Moron Mum”
Lorraine’s book Choice
Terra Incognita, Travels in Antarctica by Sara Wheeler
also mentioned in the epsisode
The Orchid and the Dandelion by W. Thomas Boyce
Shout85258 - free, confidential, 24/7 text-messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.
Find out more about my Coaching and Education, how you can work with me and get your free Menopause Symptom tracker at www.themerrymenopause.com
Delighted I finally gave myself the gift of listening to this excellent podcast
This has been on my list of podcasts for several months now. Today (due to some cancelled work commitments) I finally gave myself the time to listen in. Time well spent! It’s such an easy and informative listen. Jo has clearly read the books she’s talking to the authors about. Which we know is not always the case. She allows the authors to talk, tell their stories and share their wisdom, whilst prompting them from her own curiosity and her desire to educate us, with spot on questions. It was a joy to listen to. You’ll feel like your in good company. Enjoy!
Lorraine Candy podcast with Jo
Loved listening to your chat especially the “moron mum” part. I too feel my adolescent sons love ganging up on me! Thanks for sharing your knowledge, the “tomorrow is another day” part helped me breathe and see light at the end of the tunnel. Keep it up Jo Xx
A must listen!
I already knew how fab Jo is & her passion for creating positive change in her field, but the podcast is just such a powerful source of information. An enjoyable & informative listen! Cannot wait for the next! X