Book Shambles With Robin And Josie



Using books as a jumping off point, hosts Josie Long and Robin Ince and a different special guest each week, dive into interesting, passionate and shambolic discussions. Part of the Cosmic Shambles Network.


  • Robin Ince's Bibliomaniac Launch Event

    06/10/2022 Duração: 50min

    Today is the day that Robin Ince's new book, Bibliomaniac, hits shelves around the UK so today's episode is a recording of the book's launch event which took place in East London on October 4th. Robin talks about the book and, well, a million other things because he was quite tired. This is an abridged version. A full filmed edition will be available for Patreon subscribers next week with an extra 30 minutes of material. Sign up at

  • Kamila Shamsie

    29/09/2022 Duração: 40min

    On today's episode, Robin is joined by the multi award winning novelist Kamila Shamsie. They chat about her new novel Best of Friends, as well as how she knew from an early age she wanted to be a writer, letting go of books once they're finished and, obviously, the Clint Eastwood western musical Paint Your Wagon. Hear an extended edition by subscribing at

  • Sona Movsesian

    15/09/2022 Duração: 50min

    Sona Movsesian has been Conan O'Brien's personal assistant for over 13 years. By her own admission, she is terrible at her job. She's been a regular on Conan's TV shows, co-hosts his podcast and has now written her first book, World's Worst Assistant. And, as she tells Robin on this week's episode, it's all because she doesn't care. About her job that is, she cares a lot about wrestling and Bridgerton. To hear and extended edition of this episode, and all episodes really, subscribe at

  • Marina Hyde

    08/09/2022 Duração: 48min

    In the week that actual Liz Truss became the actual Prime Minister of the actual United Kingdom, could there be a more appropriate guest to have on the show this week than political columnist Marina Hyde? She chats to Robin about her new book, What Just Happened, (which is out in a few weeks), trying to be a voice of sanity amongst a world gone insane and why she really should just join the Conservative Party... An extra 15 minutes of chat this week for Patreons, as well as lots of other goodies and the warm glow you'll get from supporting the show! Sign up at

  • Darryl Bullock

    01/09/2022 Duração: 49min

    Our guest this week is Darryl Bullock, author and winner of the Penderyn Music Book Prize 2022 for The Velvet Mafia. But he's on the show this week to talk about his brand new book, Pride, Pop and Politics: Music, Theatre and LGBT Activism, 1970–2022. He chats to Robin about researching for the book, It's a Sin, fifty years of pride and where LGBT activism is today, and the same old tired attacks on people just trying to live their lives. 10 minutes of extra chat for Patreon subscribers this week. Sign up at

  • Jessamine Chan

    25/08/2022 Duração: 44min

    We spoke to US author Jessamine Chan right after her novel, The School for Good Mothers was just revealed to be on Barack Obama's Summer Reading List. She chats with Robin about bucking expectations of what the book is about, writer's who've inspired her, avoiding parenting advice and they both try and not give away any of the twists and turns of the novel. Hear an extended version and support the show at

  • Michael Dine

    18/08/2022 Duração: 50min

    On today's episode Robin is joined by Dr Helen Czerski as co-host to talk to US physicist Professor Michael Dine about his new book This Way to the Universe. They chat about the challenges of explaining complicated ideas to a mass audience, string theory and the different ways to tackle physics problems, from an experimental or theoretical approach. Hear an extended edition and get lots of other benefits by subscribing at

  • James Bridle

    11/08/2022 Duração: 48min

    Artist and writer James Bridle joins Robin this week to talk about his new book, Ways of Being: Beyond Human Intelligence. They hat about AI, Darwin's less popular experiments, science fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin and Robin asks none of the questions from his two sets of notes. To hear an extended version every episode, subscribe at

  • Oly Durose

    28/07/2022 Duração: 52min

    On today's show, Josie talks to author and activist Oly Durose about his new book Suburban Socialism (or Barbarism). They chat about growing up conservative, reclaiming the suburbs, The Simpsons and the stigmas of social housing. Also Josie's baby gurgles adorably throughout the episode. Hear an extended edition, and get lots of other goodies, by becoming a Patreon supporter at

  • Sarah Polley

    21/07/2022 Duração: 50min

    Not only is Sarah Polley an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and acclaimed actor and director, but she’s also written Robin’s favourite book of 2022 so far, Run Towards the Danger. In today’s episode she joins Robin to talk about the memoir, the childhood trauma of working with Terry Gilliam, trying to make film sets better for child actors and how sometimes things are actually better if you only give 80% instead of 100. To hear and extended version, support the show, and get all sorts of goodies, subscribe at

  • Riley Black

    14/07/2022 Duração: 46min

    It's Dinosaur Day at Book Shambles! Or rather, The Last Days of the Dinosaurs, and the first days of the mammals. Helen Czerski is our host this week and she speaks with acclaimed dinosaur writer and fossil fanatic and hunter, Riley Black. They chat about why dinosaurs remain so exciting, what their extinction can teach us about the current ongoing mass extinction event, why we need to talk more about palaeobotany, her new book, and much more. Get extended episodes and a whole lot more by supporting the podcast at

  • Jim Al-Khalili Returns

    07/07/2022 Duração: 48min

    On today’s episode Professor Jim Al-Khalili returns to the show to talk to Robin and Helen about his new book, The Joy of Science. They chat about how the age of Trump was the impetuous for writing the book, how it became even more timely in the age of COVID, the joy of being wrong and echo chambers on social media. Plus Robin’s plan to build an actual echo chamber… To hear and extended version, support the show, and get all sorts of goodies, subscribe at

  • Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

    23/06/2022 Duração: 44min

    The multi award winning writer Jocelyn Nicole Johnson joins Robin to talk about her debut novella, My Monticello this week. They chat about the book, how important it was to capture the feeling of a real place, and the long shadow of the events of Charlottesville on her life, and the book. Extended edition for Patreons, of course, at

  • Alan Lane

    16/06/2022 Duração: 40min

    This week Josie Long is back from maternity leave and she takes the reigns of the podcast to talk to theatre maker and author Alan Lane about his new book The Club on the Edge of Town. They chat about how when COVID hit, and the theatres had to close, Alan turned his theatre company into a foodbank for those in need, the role of art and creativity in society, and how failing doesn't necessarily mean failing. Support the show at

  • Lindsey Fitzharris

    09/06/2022 Duração: 42min

    Medical historian Dr Lindsey Fitzharris is our special guest this week, talking to guest host Dr Helen Czerski about her new book, The Facemaker. Her book looks at the story of the visionary surgeon who rebuilt the faces of the First World War's injured heroes, and in the process ushered in the modern era of plastic surgery. Her and Helen talk about the challenges around researching the book, how his work has impacted medical science today and how there are no 'glorious dead' in war. To hear and extended version, support the show, and get all sorts of goodies, subscribe at

  • Daniel Sloss

    02/06/2022 Duração: 49min

    The acclaimed comedian Daniel Sloss joins Robin on the podcast to today to talk about his book, Everyone You Hate Is Going to Die, which has just been released in paperback. They chat about translating a stand up voice to the page, great comedy books and in a week where it's been very much in the news, they discuss the role of offense in comedy. Over 10 mins of extra chat for Patreon subscribers this week, plus loads of other exclusives. Sign up at

  • Taking the Universe Around the World - Preview Episode

    26/05/2022 Duração: 37min

    Robin is currently on a world tour with Brian Cox and that means there's a whole world of secondhand bookshops to explore. Those adventures form a big part of his brand new podcast, Taking the Universe Around the World. So on Book Shambles this week we're sharing the first episode of that new series. Three episodes out already and a new episode each work. All the subscribe links at or just search for it on all your podcast apps. And support us at

  • Fiona Fox

    19/05/2022 Duração: 42min

    We spend a lot of time at Shambles talking about science, so on today's episode of Book Shambles we're going to talk about how the media should and shouldn't talk, and write, about science. Helen Czerski guest hosts once again and she chats with Fiona Fox from the Science Media Centre who has just released a fascinating book, Beyond the Hype: The Inside Story on Science's Biggest Media Controversies. They chat COVID, vaccines, David Nutt, GM food and a whole lot more. Support the podcast by subscribing for extended episodes at (Robin returns next week by the way, and Josie the week after that all things going to plan!)

  • Jules Howard

    12/05/2022 Duração: 42min

    This week Helen Czerski takes the host chair once again to talk to zoologist, author and broadcaster Jules Howard about dogs. His new book, Wonderdog, looks at the evolving science of dogs. How has humankind's favourite pet defied science and changed the way we think about animals overall, particularly in the field of cognitive research. From early research (WARNING: Some of this is a bit grim and may be disturbing to some listeners), through moving on from considering dogs as 'dumb wolves' to the cutting edge understanding of dog behaviour and companionship today. Subscribe to the podcast via to hear extended episodes

  • Rachel Parris

    05/05/2022 Duração: 48min

    On today's episode Robin is joined by comedian Rachel Parris to talk about her new, and first, book, Advice from Strangers. She chats with Robin about writing the book, the pressure of remembering not everything has to be funny, Jane Austen, the difficulties of writing satire right now and the book on the music she really wants to write next. Hear an extended version, and get lots of other goodies bby subscribing to our Patreon at

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