Shelf Love explores fictional stories of romantic love across media, time, and cultures. For the curious and open-minded who joyfully question as they consume pop culture. What's love got to do with it? Quite a bit!
From the page to the stage, on the screen or in the wrestling ring: Shelf Love invites experts to share their knowledge and love for diverse genres and how they help us explore romantic love, including romance novels, comic books, soap operas, romantic comedies, video games, oral stories, advertisements, and more, and introduces theory alongside applications and accessible explanations.
Change of Heart
Seven souls gave romance novels a try as a result of the Bridgerton adaptation and bravely came to speak with me about what they thought of romance readers before, what it took for them to pick up a romance, and how or if they've had a change of heart about the genre and what it means to be a romance reader.
Hate To Love You
Stories from Shelf Love listeners who have reexamined romantic stories that they used to love and found that their relationship has gone from unconditional love to questioning the value of their relationship. Outlander. The Cosby Show. Harry Potter. Gilmore Girls. We hate to love you!
Gone With the Wind, Lord of Scoundrels, and Variations on the Theme of Growth
Dr. Maria DeBlassie joins me to discuss engaging with banned media, and dealing with the discomfort and joy of growth. Is Gone With the Wind watchable with context? What happens when I force myself to watch it and realize how far into the present its influence reaches? And, I finally read Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase and see what the fuss is about: but am I allowed to enjoy it?
Content notes: this episode discusses racism and intimate partner violence.
The Bachelor (Tell Me About)
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
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)
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.
Reading, Listening, Thinking, Learning, Loving
Andrea is a very talented host and producer of this podcast about the romance genre and the people who read it. Book reviews happen, but the show digs deeper into societal perceptions, lasting impacts on readers, diversity and representation, and is it even appropriate to prod further when we are guaranteed a happily ever after? The writers, scholars, and experts she interviews add to the already incredible ideas and topics. Most importantly, while there is a great love for the genre apparent in each episode, it is not unconditional. Andrea can appreciate the positive while acknowledging the problematic. That authenticity keeps me an ardent admirer.
I am so pleased to have found a romance review podcast that is more than just book summaries and “i loved it so much!”
There are a variety of topics and issues discussed and even though i have not read most of the books mentioned here (I pretty exclusively read queer romance) it’s still interesting.
I want to be a romance nerd!
This podcast gives me language to think (if not talk to anyone) about what I get from romance and why I consider an important part of my life now. The host is doing great work. It’s a great listen.