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Shelf Esteem: The Podcast

In 2017 I started a podcast, like almost everyone else.

Optimistically, I thought I'd do an episode every two weeks. This was quickly revealed to be a BONKERS idea and I readjusted my expectations to one episode a month, with frequent breaks when I was too busy to record or couldn't line up guests who had any free time. Then 2020 happened, and having strangers or casual acquaintances in a small room in my basement started to seem like a bad idea. There were some missed months and also some fun and creative work-arounds, including an extended series with my daughter Emma Cole. Honestly, it's been a journey. 

The premise of the podcast for the first few seasons was simple: I invited a guest or two in for a face-to-face, in-person conversation about books. The books we've loved, the books that have shaped us, even a few books we've hated. If the guest was a writer, as many of them were, we talked about how their reading shaped their writing, but the main focus was always on talking among ourselves as readers.

 

In Summer 2021, Emma and I started a series called "Bookswap" in which a fifty-something mom and her twenty-something daughter recommend a book for each other and then discuss the books. This was so much fun we kept doing it occasionally.

 

For 2023, I decided the "Bookswap!" format was so much fun, I was going to do a whole bunch of Bookswaps with different guests. In the summer I started a three-episode mini-series on the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery novels. Those are some of my favourite books in the world, and the first one was published 100 years ago in 1923, so that seemed worth spending three episodes on! Episode 55, in October 2023, was my last before going on a short hiatus -- the pod will be back in early 2024!

The podcast theme music is composed and performed by my son Chris Cole, who also did production work on most of the episodes to make them sound as good as my inexpensive mic and at-home setup can sound.

See the links below for an archive of episodes and show notes. The podcast is available on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and most any other place podcasts happen. You can, and should, subscribe to Shelf Esteem on your favourite podcast app; all the "Listen" links below are to the SoundCloud pages.  The "Show Notes" links take you to a list of all the books and any other media we discussed during the episode. 

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Season 5: 2023
Oops! All Bookswaps!
 
Ep 55: We Take a Journey to the Discworld
(October 2023)
Guests: Emma Cole, Emma Pappas, and Myles Bradley
Book: Monstrous Regiment
Listen
Show Notes
Ep 54: We All Need Some Bunter in Our Lives
(September 2023)
Guest: Martha Muzychka
Part 3 of the Lord Peter Wimsey pod series.
Listen
Show Notes
Ep 53: We Explore London in the Company of Bright Young Things  (August 2023)
Guest: Jennifer Morgan
Part 2 of the Lord Peter Wimsey pod series
Books Swapped: Murder Must Advertise & Shrines of Gaiety
Listen
Show Notes
Ep 52: We Love It When Everyone KNOWS They're In a Mystery Novel  (July 2023)
Co-host: Emma Cole
Part 1 of the Lord Peter Wimsey pod series
Books Swapped: Whose Body & Truly Devious
Listen
Show Notes
Ep 51: Trapped on a (Literal or Metaphorical) Island  (April 2023)
Guest: Lori Savory
Books Swapped: Wish You Were Here and Small Game
Listen
Show Notes
Ep 50: Sentient Sourdough Starter and Smoking Hot Fire Spirits (March 2023)
Guest: Christine Hennebury
Books Swapped: The City of Brass and A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking
Listen
Show notes
Ep 49: We are FOR Canadian Graphic Novels and AGAINST Internalized Misogyny (January 2023)
Co-host: Emma Cole
Books Swapped: Ducks and 
This One Summer
 
Listen

Show Notes
 
Season 4: 2022

Ep 48: Three Books I Loved in 2022 (December 2022)

Guests: Lara Maynard, Lori Shortall, Heather Craig

Listen
Show Notes

Ep 47: Bookswap 6 - The Seven Invisible Husbands of Evelyn LaRue (October 2022)
Co-host: Emma Cole
Books swapped: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Listen
Show Notes

Ep 46: Bookswap 5 - We Are Unclear About What Constitues a "Beach Read" (August 2022)
Co-host: Emma Cole
Books swapped: The Summer Place and Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Listen
Show Notes

Ep 45: We Are United by Taika Waititi But Divided by Bats (July 2022)

Guest: Leahdawn Helena

Listen
Show Notes

Ep 44: We Are Not Really Talking About Jack the Ripper (May 2022)

Guests: Ainsley & Andrew Hawthorn

Listen
Show Notes

Ep 43: We Can Smell the Olives and Also the Public Toilets 

(April 2022)

Guests: JoAnne Soper-Cook and Michelle Butler Hallett

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 42: We Honour the Foremothers (and Others)

(March 2022)

Guests: EB Reid & Mark Hunter

Listen

Show Notes

 

Ep 41: Bookswap 4 - We Demand the Book About Dylan

(January 2022)

Co-host: Emma Cole

Books swapped: Throw Down Your Shadows and Big Summer

Listen

Show Notes

Season 3:
(Covid Times)
2020-2021

 

Ep 40: All Our Quotation Marks Were Destroyed in
The Event
 (December 2021)

Co-Host: Emma Cole

Year End Wrap Up

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 39: Bookswap 3 - We Are Never Going to Make It In New York (July 2021)

Co-host: Emma Cole

Books swapped: Emma Who Saved My Life and Yolk

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 38: Bookswap 2 - One of These Books is BONKERS (June 2021)

Co-host: Emma Cole

Books Swapped: Ayesha at Last and The Natural Daughter

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 37: Bookswap 1 - Our Year of Being Mostly Normal People (May 2021)

Co-host: Emma Cole

Books swapped: My Year of Rest & Relaxation and Normal People

Listen

(No Show Notes)

Ep 36: My Metaphorical "Guests," In Quotes
(Mar 2021)

Guests: Michelle Butler Hallett, Sharon King Campell, Bridget Canning

Listen

(No Show Notes)

Ep 35: We Do Enjoy a Good Christmas Story (Dec 2020)

Guests: Lori Savory, Julia Mayo, EB Reid, Mark Hunter, Jean Graham, Lara Maynard, Tammy Healey Drover, Paula Luby Coughlan, Martha Muzychka, Emma Cole

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 34: We Can Definitely Remember Shapes and Colours (August 2020)

Guest: Emma Cole

Listen

Show Notes
 

Ep 33: We Are All a Little Shack-Whacky (May 2020)

Guests: Jennifer Morgan, Tina Chaulk, Christine Hennebury

Listen

Show Notes

Season 2:
2018-early 2020

 

 

Ep 32: We Are All Afraid To Cough Right Now (Mar 2020)

Guests: Leslie Vryenhoek & Russell Wangersky

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 31: We Should Start Wearing Purple Now
(Feb 2020)

Guests: Michelle Porter & Jane Bannister

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 30: We Love a Good Literary Pilgrimage (Jan 2020)

Guests: Olivia Robinson & Elizbeth Hicks

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 29: We Have Not Kissed Any Decapitated Prophets (But We Have Read Some Books) (Dec 2019)

Guest: Emma Cole

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 28: We Have Not Had Enough of the Whale Blubber (Oct 2019)

Guests: Lara Maynard & Melissa Barbeau

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 27: We Are Getting a Consciousness-Raising Slurpee Headache (Sept 2019)
Guests: Jenny Wright & Amanda Bittner

Listen
Show Notes

Ep 26: We Have Never Shushed Anyone (June 2019)

Guests: Leigha Chaisson-Locke & Emily Blackmore

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 25: We Wish to Clarify That It Is a Merman Not a Dolphin

(April 2019)

Guests: Andrew Sampson & Nicole Boggan

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 24: "A Lot" Is Two Words and That Is the Hill We Will Die On (March 2019)

Guests: Dave Walsh & Alison Edwards

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 23: We Do Not Feel Guilty About Our Pleasures
(Mar 2019)

Guests: Angela Antle & Stephanie Tobin

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 22: NL Reads All Kinds of Books (Feb 2019)

Guests: Lisa Moore, Sharon Bala, Jamie Fitzpatrick

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 21: We All Need to Cast a Spell on Someone Now and Then (Oct 2018)

Guests: Elisabeth de Mariaffi & Maggie Burton

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 20: We Should All Be Wearing Hats (Oct 2018)

Guests: Bernice Morgan & Helen Porter

Listen

Show Notes 

Ep 19: This Podcast is Both Lit and Clutch (Sept 2018)

Guests: Jenn Deon & Sharon King-Campbell

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 18: A Wrinkle in the Process of Adaptation
(Apr 2018)

Guest: Michelle Butler Hallett

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 17: Amanda Was a Teenager For a Really Long Time (Mar 2018)

Guests: Jean Graham & Amanda Will

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 16: We Have All Googled Prince Philip a Lot (Feb 2018)

Guests: Victoria Barbour & Melanie Martin

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 15: We Do Not Want Anything Bad to Happen to the Dog (Jan 2018)

Guests: Terry Doyle & Susie Taylor

Listen
Show Notes

 

Season 1: 2017
 

 

Ep 14: A Surprising Number of Writers Named Richard (Dec 2017)
Guests: Paul Rowe & Mona Rossiter
Listen
Show Notes

 

Ep 13: We Do Not Want to Turn Into Big Hallmark Cards
(Dec 2017)

Guests: Jamie Fitzpatrick & Kerri Cull

Listen

Show Notes

 

Ep 12: The Badass Librarians of Mount Pearl (Nov 2017)

Guests: Cindy Foote, Renee Farrell, Krista Hart

Listen

Show Notes

 

Ep 11: The Podcast is Coming From INSIDE the House (Oct 2017)

Guest: Emma Cole

Listen
Show Notes

 

Ep 10: A Post-Anything Theology

(Oct 2017)

Guests: Rob Cooke & David Newman

Listen

Show Notes

 

Ep 9: He Lost His Shirt Playing Solitaire (Sept 2017)

Guests: Bridget Canning & Sharon Bala

Listen 

Show Notes

 

Ep 8: Miserable People Dying Miserably (Sept 2017)

Guests: Shannon Sullivan & Sarah Aubert

Listen

Show Notes

 

Ep 7: We Do Not Want to be Becky
(June 2017)

Guests: Andeae Callanan & Diana Daly

Listen

Show Notes

 

Ep 6: Waking Up Dead Would Be a Real Drag (May 2017)

Guests: Berni Stapleton & Amy House

Listen

Show Notes

 

Ep 5: A Dragon WIth the Face of Benedict Cumberbatch (May 2017)

Guests: Martha Muzychka, Nick Gushue, Emma Cole

Listen
Show Notes

 

Ep 4: We Are All As Old As Marilla Now (April 2017)

Guests: Tina Chaulk, Jennifer Morgan, Lori Savory

Listen

Show Notes

 

Ep 3: It's Not Fit to Leave the House for Five Months of the Year
(April 2017)

Guests: Robert Chafe & Megan Gail Coles

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 2: We All Carry a Bag Because of Harriet the Spy (Mar 2017)

Guests: Michelle Butler Hallett & Christine Hennebury

Listen

Show Notes

Ep 1: We Have Conflicted Feelings About Margaret Atwood
(Mar 2017)

Guests: Elayne Greeley & Lynne Sheppard

Listen

Show Notes
 

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