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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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United Kingdom


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.




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....

Duration: 00:38:43

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...

Duration: 00:41:43

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..

Duration: 00:49:45

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...

Duration: 00:50:07

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...

Duration: 00:34:48

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

Duration: 00:44:28

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...

Duration: 01:00:17

Robert Forster

Founder of the iconic group The Go Betweens, Robert Forster, joins Robin and Josie this week to talk about his new book Grant and I. There's also chat of the work of Alan Bennett, Jack Kerouac and TS Elliot. And then Josie discovers Robert is a fan of The Neapolitan Novels... To hear extended versions of Book Shambles plus the chance to win great book prizes, and bask in the satisfaction of knowing that for as little as $3 a month you can keep BooK Shambles going, head to...

Duration: 00:41:29

Film Shambles with Will Smith

With Paddington 2 hitting cinemas tomorrow, Robin and Josie are joined by one of its script contributors, plus performers for the original film, Will Smith for a special episode, a much requested Film Shambles. You might best know Will from his work on shows like The Thick of It but did you also know he collects old films on VHS and associated promo tat? From Hawk the Slayer to A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, there's a lot of ground to cover. Become a Patreon supporter of the show to...

Duration: 00:41:44

Kim Scott

Recorded back when the Book Shambles crew were out in Australia, we spoke with dual Miles Franklin award winner Kim Scott, whose new book Taboo has recently been published. Robin and Josie chat with Kim about some of his favourite books from when he was an English teacher, his own novels, imposter syndrome, Aboriginal storytelling and his work with preserving the Indigenous Australian Noongar language. To find out more about the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project at...

Duration: 00:41:46

Live Special #1 - QEDCon

It's our first ever live episode of Book Shambles! Recorded at QEDCon in Manchester Robin Ince is joined by a panel of top science writers including Dr Dean Burnett, Dr Helen Czerski, Helen Keen and Ginny Smith. They chat about everyone's own science writing plus the work of Douglas Adams, Oliver Sacks, George RR Martin and lots more. Including sex magic with L. Ron Hubbard... Support Book Shambles on Patreon at to get extended episodes, win prizes and more!

Duration: 01:00:56

Tanita Tikaram

Singer-Songwriter Tanita Tikaram visited Robin and Josie in the Book Shambles studio armed with a bag of her favourite books. There's talk of Maya Angelou, Patrick Hamilton, Margaret Rutherford and the launching of a campaign to get some of Dorothy Porter's work reissued. To get extended versions of each episode, you can support the show at

Duration: 00:42:35

Festival Poetry Shambles

Another Book Shambles EXTRA, free and uncut for all listeners. Recorded back at the Latitude Festival, Robin caught up with four fantastic poets to talk about their work and influences. Hollie McNish, Murray Lachlan Young, Luke Wright and John Osborne. Obviously, being recorded at a festival there is a bit of background noise and music at times but that just adds to the atmosphere. Back next week with a standard episode, with Robin and Josie, and an extended edition for patrons of which...

Duration: 01:08:13

Matt Lucas

Writer and performer Matt Lucas joins Josie and Robin this week ahead of the launch of his alphabetical autobiography Little Me. They chat about the process of writing memories plus stories of Little Britain, touring, comedy annuals and the work of favourite authors such as Douglas Adams, Edmund White and Michael Carson. Become a Patreon supporter of Book Shambles for as little as $3 a month and you'll get access to extended editions of all episodes, bonus episodes, competitions and much...

Duration: 00:42:27

Matthew Walker

A Book Shambles EXTRA this week, free and unedited for everyone. Robin chats extensively with sleep expert and neuroscientists Matthew Walker about his new book, Why We Sleep, out this week. They chat about the evolution of sleep, dreams, Jung defecating on cathedrals, alien abductions, the writing of Carl Sagan, Knausgaard and more. Next week will be a 'normal' episode with an extended edition for Patreon supporters like usual. You can become a Patreon for as little as $1 an episode...

Duration: 00:51:43

Lemn Sissay

Poet Lemn Sissay joins Robin and Josie this week to talk about his first major acting role, being a poet as a full time job, some of his early poetry inspirations including Oku Onuora, Grace Nichols and Langston Hughes and the rise of great young, new poets such as Kate Tempest. Become a Patreon supporter of the show for as little as $1 an episode to get exclusive bonus episodes, extended editions of each episode and the chance to win great book prizes.

Duration: 00:39:54

Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville is one of Australia's most celebrated novelists. Her most acclaimed work, The Secret River, won multiple awards worldwide and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. But her new book, The Case Against Fragrance, out this week, is a change of pace and her first real foray into non-fiction and specifically science. While we were out in Australia she chatted to Robin and Josie about her life's work, having too many footnotes, great Australian writers, sexism in literature,...

Duration: 00:38:53

Eimear McBride

The final of the episodes recorded during the Edinburgh Fringe and Robin and Josie are joined by Baileys and Goldsmith prize winner, the novelist Eimear McBride. They chat about her latest work The Lesser Bohemians and the process of writing the acclaimed A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing as well as great songwriters, James Joyce, Beckett, Edna O'Brien and much more. Also Josie still has a bag of frozen peas on her knee. Become a supporter of the show at to get...

Duration: 00:38:45

Greg Proops

Recorded in Edinburgh the day after the horrific events in Charlottesville, Robin and Josie chat with American comedian, writer and podcaster Greg Proops. They chat about politics and race in the US right now, and some of the best books on the subject. Which leads to the best dystopian fiction novels and conspiracy theories, but also the literature landscape in Edinburgh so it's not all doom and gloom. Also, Josie has a bag of frozen peas on her knee. To hear an extended edition of all of...

Duration: 00:40:13

Robert Webb

Actor, writer (and broadcaster) Robert Webb (Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb Look) joined Robin and Josie in Edinburgh to chat about his first book, How Not To Be a Boy, out next week. They chat about imaginary friends and getting picked last for PE as well as work by John Updike, Clive James, Roald Dahl, Rupert Everett and more. To hear the extended version of this, and many other episodes (as well as lots of exclusive bonus episodes) become a patron of Book Shambles for as little as $1...

Duration: 00:37:28

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