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Book Shambles with Robin and Josie

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Robin Ince and Josie Long have returned shamblier than ever in a brand new podcast, Book Shambles. Proudly presented by Cosmic Genome, Robin and Josie will be joined by all sorts of amazing guests using their love of books as the jumping off point.

Robin Ince and Josie Long have returned shamblier than ever in a brand new podcast, Book Shambles. Proudly presented by Cosmic Genome, Robin and Josie will be joined by all sorts of amazing guests using their love of books as the jumping off point.
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Robin Ince and Josie Long have returned shamblier than ever in a brand new podcast, Book Shambles. Proudly presented by Cosmic Genome, Robin and Josie will be joined by all sorts of amazing guests using their love of books as the jumping off point.




Grace Petrie

This week Robin is joined by singer-songwriter Grace Petrie to talk about her major literary influences on her work. In a bit of a departure from a normal episode, not only is it recorded in a kitchen, but the episode is also punctuated with some of Grace’s music. They chat about the influences of Shakespeare, Harper Lee and Supergirl comics. This is the final episode recorded during Josie’s bout of sickness and tourness. From next week it’s all back to Robin and Josie shambling together....


Matthew Sweet - Book Shambles Author Extra

Robin caught up with author and journalist Dr Matthew Sweet in a glass box where they hope they weren't being watched by spies. Inside they spoke about his new book Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers, and Themselves. Support the show on Patreon for lots of bonus content


Lucy Cooke

On this week’s episode Robin and Josie are joined by writer and broadcaster Lucy Cooke to talk about her new book The Truth About Animals. There’s tales of weird zoology, the grafting of monkey’s testicles, Will Self and Josie has a go at Aristotle. To hear an extended version of this episode, plus get lots of other perks and rewards, you can support the show at


Dan Davis

In this week's author extra, Robin Ince sits down to chat with immunologist Prof Dan Davis about his latest book, The Beautiful Cure. They chat about why vaccines work, why we never get 'double sick' and more. There'll also be a Patreon special on Tuesday when Dan reveals his top science books. Support the CSN at


Jenny Landreth

Author and avid swimmer Jenny Landreth joins the show to talk about her latest book Swell: A Waterbiography. She also brought along a bag full of her favourite books about swimming including works by Al Alvarez, Tanya Shadrick and Leanne Shapton. Stewart Lee is still around at the start of the episode for a lovely bit of synchronicity and Josie Long was still off with norovirus so Michael Legge is sitting in again to enjoy the chat and recommend some Spiderman comics. It'll all make sense...


Meg Jay - Book Shambles Author Extra

If you missed the news, we're going to putting out some shorter Book Shambles Extra episodes on Sunday. These will be more focused, in theory, conversations with an author just about their new or upcoming book with either Robin or Josie. In this Book Shambles Extra, Robin chats to Dr Meg Jay, writer and clinical psychologist about her new book, Supernormal: The Untold Story of Adversity and Resilience. The book looks at people who have dealt with various childhood adversity. Normal...


Clare Swatman

On this week’s episode Josie and Robin are joined in the studio by journalist and novelist Clare Swatman. They chat about Clare’s brand new novel The Mother’s Secret as well as books on time travel, Margaret Atwood, Maggie O’Farrell, Limsip, bad reviews and favourite true stories from Take a Break magazine. Patreon supporters can enjoy an extended version of this episode. If you’d like to join our Patreon gang you can at


Stewart Lee Returns - Part 2

In Part 2 of Stewart Lee's second visit to Book Shambles, Stew, Robin and guest co-host Michael Legge continue their conversation getting into the work of Rosemary Tonks, David Keenan, Dave Graney and Ithell Colquhoun. Also Stew doesn't like Dunkirk and Michael's annoyed on trains. This show wouldn't be possible without the support of our brilliant Patreon supporters. You can pledge to the show and get lots of brilliant rewards at


Stewart Lee Returns

Stewart Lee was our first ever guest on Book Shambles and now he’s back in Season 7 as our first return guest. Unfortunately Josie was ill at the last minute so for this episode the role of Josie was played by Michael Legge. Robin, Michael and Stew chat about Jarret Kobek, Alive Cooper and Mohave Ethnopsychiatry. This was a long chat so we’ve split it into two parts. To hear an extended version of this episode, plus lots of other perks you can support the show at


EXTRA - Christoper Edge and Philip Ridley

Here are two extracts from two longer conversations on our Patreon channel with children's author Christoper Edge and playwright and director Philip Ridley. Both Robin and Josie will be doing a lot more of these non-studio chats in the coming months and you can hear them all by pledging as little as $1 at Without the support of our Patreons we simply couldn't make the show so thank you for your support. Christopher's new book 'The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day' is...


Ruby Tandoh

Following two highly successful cookbooks after she finished runner up on Great British Bake Off, Ruby Tandoh first ‘book’ book Eat Up! has just been published looking at the fun, pleasure and symbolism of food to fly in the face of fads and bad diet science. She joins Josie and Robin to chat about that plus great cookbooks, Nora Ephron, suffragettes and her mental health zine. To hear an extended version of this episode, plus get behind the scenes access, join the Shambles book club and a...


Andy Weir

Science fiction writer Andy Weir joins Robin to talk about his new novel Artemis and his huge hit The Martian. They chat about the pressure of keeping science fiction scientifically accurate, manned space flight and whether science fiction is actually a genre. Andy is also a massive Doctor Who and Star Trek fan so there’s a lot of chat about that and it gets pretty nerdy. Please note that Andy was only very briefly in the UK which coincided with a brief period when Josie wasn’t. Support...


Jeff Garlin

We kick of Season 7 with the stand up, writer, director and actor Jeff Garlin, who you may know best as Larry David’s agent Jeff from Curb Your Enthusiasm. Robin and Josie chat with Jeff about comic books, Madame Bovary, great books about trees and making sure you don’t confuse Iain Banks with Iain Rankin. New Patreon rewards tiers have been introduced. Find out how to get involved and maybe even be a guest on the show yourself at


Backstage at the Apollo - Part II

Start the New year with the final of of our End of Year Specials. Recorded backstage at the Apollo we chat about best books of the year, science fiction, physics and go through Brian Cox's Kindle. Guests include Jim Al-Khalili, Dr Karl, Jo Brand, Charlotte Church, Chris Hadfield, Terry Virts, Dara O Briain and Brian Cox. We'll back at the end of January with series 7 of Book Shambles. Become a patreon supporter and get bonus guests on this episode, plus all new goodies coming for series 7....


Backstage at the Apollo - Part I

It's Part II of our end of year specials, but Part I of those we recorded backstage at the Hammersmith Apollo as part of the Compendium of Reason gigs. Guests on this episode include Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Ben Goldacre, Helen Czerski, Jon Butterworth, Steve Mould, Hannah Fry, Laura Kid and Steve Best with book recommendations from photography collections to graphic novels to expansive novels. Be sure to become a Patreon supporter of the show at Lots of new perks and...


Josie and Robin's Books of the Year - End of Year Special Part I

In the first instalment of our multi part end of year specials Josie and Robin chat about the best books they've read this year. Josie's got some poetry and short book recommendations and Robin's got some horror books and has finally read a Jean Rhys book. Also Nat Metcalfe pops in to give us his top comics of the year. Support the podcast at All new exclusive perks coming in 2018..


Sophie Scott

The 2017 Royal Institute's Christmas Lectures will be given by our good friend, cognitive neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott. So before they air on Boxing Day Sophie joined Robin and Josie to talk about her favourite psychology books, great thrillers, closed bookshops and the latest research on dreams and communication. Be sure to watch the Christmas Lectures on the BBC and also check out Sophie and Josie as part of Cosmic Superheroes at Support the...


Jimmy Barnes

While Josie was in Glasgow, Robin caught up with a Glaswegian in London from Australia. As the frontman for Cold Chisel, and a solo artist with more number one albums to his name in Australia than anyone else in history, Jimmy Barnes is a rock legend. But more recently he's released a two volume autobiography about his harrowing childhood and youth that has garnered him multiple top literary prizes around the world. The second volume, Working Class Man, has just been released in the UK...


Will Smith

After joining Robin and Josie for a Film Shambles special, Will Smith (The Thick of It, Veep) is back for a Book Shambles. They chat about his own books and books about the Channel Islands and a whole lot more besides. This episode may have the longest reading list yet. From Zola to Le Carré via Jean Rhys and Terry Jones. Become a Patreon for as little as $3 a month. You'll get extended episodes, prizes and help to enable us to keep making the show. Visit


Rebecca Priestley

While out in New Zealand Robin and Josie chatted to one of NZ's most celebrated science writers, Dr Rebecca Priestley. They chat about Rebecca's own work and her time in Antarctica as well as work through the big stack of books Rebecca brought in. From collections of essays and poetry, to the writings of Atul Gawande, Helen Macdonald and lots more. Please note that the small temporary studio we were put in to record this episode only had one mic to share between the three speakers, and...


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