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Sheffield Libraries Podcast

Sheffield Libraries Podcast

By Sheffield Libraries
From our librarians, archivists and fascinating friends, join us to delve deeper into the subjects, stories and collections that we find interesting, and hope that you will too…
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SheffReads: Astronaut Helen Sharman
As part of The Lord Mayor's Big Read,  listen to well-known Sheffield personalities chat about the books they love. Listen online and let us know about your favourite reads on social media, #SheffReads. In this episode, we chat with Britain's first astronaut, Helen Sharman.
September 30, 2022
And Other Stories: Publishing up North
In this episode we're joined by Stefan and Tara Tobler from And Other stories.  And Other Stories is an award winning Sheffield based publisher of innovative contemporary writing from around the world, and they’re currently celebrating their 10th birthday.   We also hear from author and winner of the Northern Book Prize, Sammy Wright.  His book Fit has been described as a cutting and compassionate peek behind the scenes of a social media Cinderella story.  It really is a must read. Learn more about And Other Stories by visiting their website
October 15, 2021
Poems by the Porter with Helen Mort
During the last week of July, we were joined in Endcliffe Park, one of Sheffield’s many green spaces by a lovely group of Sheffielders as well as the award winning poet and novelist, Helen Mort. Helen led us on a walk through the woods, and beside the river, and along the way read pieces from her various published works.  We enjoyed it so much, we thought it would be nice to share the experience more widely, so Helen very kindly offered to record a condensed version of the walk for you to enjoy at home. If you want to learn more about Helen and her work, you can visit her website, all good bookshops, or of course your local library.
August 04, 2021
What's New in Queer Kidlit for Pride Month
Former Carnegie & Kate Greenaway judges Zoey Dixon (Lambeth Libraries) and Liz Chapman (Sheffield Libraries) chat about the best new LGBTQ+ books for children and young people. (Queer pirates may also feature.) To see the books talked about in this podcast, have a watch of the video version on our YouTube channel:
June 30, 2021
In Conversation with Paige Toon
We chat to bestselling romantic fiction author, Paige Toon, about her latest release Someone That I Used to Know. 
June 29, 2021
Wild Winter: In search of nature in Scotland's mountain landscape
In this episode, I chat to author John D Burns about his latest book, Wild Winter. In Wild Winter, John D. Burns, bestselling author of The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales, sets out to rediscover Scotland’s mountains, remote places and wildlife in the darkest and stormiest months. He traverses the country from the mouth of the River Ness to the Isle of Mull, from remote Sutherland to the Cairngorms, in search of rutting red deer, pupping seals, minke whales, beavers, pine martens, mountain hares and otters. In the midst of the fierce weather, John’s travels reveal a habitat in crisis, and many of these wild creatures prove elusive as they cling on to life in the challenging Highland landscape. As John heads deeper into the winter, he notices the land fighting back with signs of regeneration. He finds lost bothies, old friendships and innovative rewilding projects, and – as Covid locks down the nation – reflects on what the outdoors means to hillwalkers, naturalists and the folk who make their home in the Highlands. Wild Winter is a reminder of the wonder of nature and the importance of caring for our environment. In his winter journey through the mountains and bothies of the Highlands, John finds adventure, humour and a deep sense of connection with this wild land.
June 17, 2021
The Pirate Mums with author Jodie Lancet-Grant
We see in Pride Month 2021 by chatting to author of brand new picture book The Pirate Mums. We chat to Jodie about LGBTQ+ representation in children's books.
May 31, 2021
Kindness with Frank Cottrell-Boyce
We talk with Frank Cottrell-Boyce about his latest children's book, Noah's Gold, screenwriting and all things kind.
May 17, 2021
After the Storm with Emma Jane Unsworth
Acclaimed writer Emma Jane Unsworth talks to us about her first non-fiction book 'After the Storm', an account of her postnatal depression. She describes the unrealistic expectations we have of new mothers and how many factors caused her depression. It's a brave, important book told in Emma's direct and funny style.
May 06, 2021
The Rapunzel Act: In conversation with Abi Silver
We chat to author of Burton and Lamb legal thriller series, Abi Silver, about this fascinating set of stories, and her latest release The Rapunzel Act. 
April 18, 2021
Into the Chaos of Modern Masculinity
In this episode, we chat with Martin Robinson, author of You are not the man you're supposed to be: Into the chaos of modern masculinity.  Martin Robinson is the editor and founder of The Book of Man, a website aiming to deconstruct old school manliness and work towards a new concept of masculinity that benefits us all.
March 18, 2021
A Shelter for Sadness; in conversation with Anne Booth and David Litchfield
In conversation with author author Anne Booth and illustrator David Litchfield about creative lives and their new collaboration, picture book, A Shelter for Sadness, a beautiful picture book providing hope and support to those experiencing sadness in any form. 
March 09, 2021
In conversation with Sheffield’s Bestselling Crime Author Russ Thomas
Russ is the author of crime-thriller Firewatching and his new book Nighthawking is published in February 2021.  Protagonist, Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is a maverick new detective desperate to kickstart his stagnating career.  He also happens to be gay, a rare occurrence in bestselling crime-fiction.
February 22, 2021
LGBTQ interest books for Children and Young People
Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Prize judges Liz Chapman and Zoey Dixon chat about the best LGBTQ+ interest books aimed at children and young people.
February 15, 2021
LGBTQ+ History Through the Archives
Archivists from Sheffield and Lambeth delve into their collections to tell the stories of LGBTQ heroes from both Sheffield and Lambeth, whilst discussing the methods and challenges faced when archiving LGBTQ+ history. This is an edited edition of a pre-recorded webinar. The full video recording of this talk can be viewed on the following link:
February 08, 2021
The Fall of the House of Byron
We're joined by historian Emily Brand to talk about her book 'The Fall of the House of Byron'. The book tells the story of the poet's eighteenth century ancestors and is full of scandal, sex and adventure.
February 02, 2021
Radical Acts of Love: How we Find Hope at the End of Life
Janie Brown chats about her book, Radical Acts of Love.  Janie is an author, a leader in oncology nursing, and the executive director of Callanis, a nonprofit organization in Vancouver, Canada.  Full of wisdom and warmth, Janie's book is part of a global conversation about living, healing, death and dying.
January 25, 2021
New Year, New Reading!
Listen to Alex, Alexis and Dan from Sheffield Libraries chat about the books they enjoyed during 2020 and the reads they're looking forward to in 2021.
January 08, 2021
Gender Swapped Fairy Tales
Our guests today are wife and husband team, Karrie Fransman and Jonathan Plackett.  Their new book Gender Swapped Fairy Tales imagines a world where the princesses wear shining armour and race to rescue their sleeping prince, and where kings sit by windows sewing and longing for a child. In this book, traditional stories take on a whole new dimension thanks to the unusual partnership of a computer algorithm and some very beautiful illustration. 
December 09, 2020
Earl Waltheof: Sheffield's King Arthur?
In this episode we journey back nearly a thousand years to discover more about Waltheof, the last Saxon Lord of Hallamshire. We’re joined by John Moreland, Professor of Medieval Archaeology at the University of Sheffield and David Clarke, Associate Professor at Sheffield Hallam University’s Department of Media Arts & Communications, and co-founder of the Centre for Contemporary Legend. We chat archaeology, folklore, and the hunt for Sheffield’s Camelot. More info You can discover more about the subject by reading John’s book, which is free to download. For a wealth of information about the Sheffield Castle site, visit the Friends of Sheffield Castle website. Learn more about the Centre for Contemporary Legend at the website.
December 04, 2020
Becoming a Writer with Nik Perring
Fancy becoming a professional writer, or even just dipping your pen into writing as a hobby? Join Sheffield Libraries' Writer in Residence, published author, teacher and editor, Nik Perring, as he shares his top writing tips. 
November 13, 2020
The Art of Disruption with Magid Magid
In this episode we chat with ex-MEP and former Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Magid Magid about his book The Art of Disruption.  It's both a memoir of his time in politics, but also a call to action.  Regardless of your political persuasion, it's well worth a read.
November 03, 2020
This is Shakespeare with Emma Smith
For this episode we're joined by Emma Smith, author of 'This is Shakespeare'. We talk about Shakespeare's gappiness, why A Midsummer Night's Dream isn't as innocent as it seems and what we don't like about Shakespeare...
October 09, 2020
Karl Newson in Conversation: Writing, publishing, storytelling and our love of libraries
Karl chats about children’s book publishing, our love of libraries while sharing with us his most recent book releases including brand new young fiction title, The Hat Full of Secrets.
October 05, 2020
Stuart Turton - 'The Devil and the Dark Water'
In this episode we speak to crime author Stuart Turton about 'The Devil and the Dark Water'. Stuart's first novel, 'The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle'  played with the traditional country house mystery and his latest does the same with the brilliant detective and sidekick novel. Stuart talks the book and his writing life.
October 04, 2020
Helen Mort in Conversation: Writing, Motherhood, Dogs, and Place
In this episode we're speaking to the writer, runner and mum, Helen Mort. Helen’s fantastic short story Weaning, is one of 10 included in The Book of Sheffield, this year’s Big City Read.  We also hear about her new book, Never Leave the Dog Behind, a work of non-fiction all about the unbridled joy of heading to the hills with our four-legged friends. Discover more about Helen's work at
September 23, 2020
The Story of Walter Parsonson and the making of Sheffield Libraries
In this episode, Val Hewson from Reading Sheffield discusses the life of 'young' Walter Parsonson; Sheffield's first public librarian, and his role in the setting up of Sheffield Public Libraries, over 160 years ago.  It offers a glimpse into life in Sheffield back in Victorian times. This is story of aspiration, self-improvement and achievement – a very Victorian story – but like a classic narrative of the period, it has a sad ending. Discover more about Reading Sheffield on their website -
September 14, 2020
The Time is Now: Naomi Frisby in Conversation
Our guest in this episode is the author Naomi Frisby.  Naomi's short story The Time is Now features in the The Book of Sheffield – the Big City Read for 2020 and part of the ongoing Sheffield Year of Reading. Naomi’s story blends music and emotion with magic and a strong sense of place.  At the core, it’s a love story, a love story about Sheffield and its music and making, it’s people and it’s places.   Since the story is so rich in musical references, we've included some short sections of music in the recording.  Due to licencing restrictions, they’re brief, and you will only hear them if you’re listening through our Libraries podcast webpage or using the the Anchor podcast app. To listen to the playlist produced by Naomi to accompany her story Spotify page, or YouTube Music page. To discover more about the Book of Sheffield City Read, including how to get your free copy, and details of related events, visit
September 07, 2020
The Natural Navigator: Tristan Gooley in Conversation
In this episode, our guest is the natural navigator Tristan Gooley.  Tristan is the author of several books including the The Walkers guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs, How to read water, and How to Connect with Nature. This interview was recorded during a live Q&A with an online audience. We’ve edited the recording for the podcast and hope you enjoy it.  To learn more about Tristan’s work, visit his website at  
August 17, 2020
The Making of the Book of Sheffield: Catherine Taylor in Conversation
Our guest in this episode is the freelance writer and editor Catherine Taylor.  Catherine writes for the Guardian, New statesman and various other publications. She is also the editor of The Book of Sheffield – the Big City Read for 2020 and part of the ongoing Sheffield Year of Reading. In this episode, Catherine shares her personal perspective on our ever changing city and offers some insight into the process of making the book a reality. To discover more about the Book of Sheffield City Read, including how to get your free copy, and details of related events, visit
August 05, 2020
Introducing The Book of Sheffield
In conversation, library assistants Claire and Alexis share with you our Big City Read 2020 - The Book of Sheffield.
July 30, 2020
Sheffield: Home of Football
Sheffield prides itself on being a sporting city.  It’s produced world class sportsmen and women who have biked, boxed and run at the very highest level.  It’s also a footballing city and in this episode, we talk to Football historian Martin Westby.  Martin’s book, A History of Sheffield Football 1857 – 1889, explores the beginnings of the beautiful game and the truly massive contribution that our city made to the development of the world’s most popular sport.
July 09, 2020
Rewild Yourself: 23 Spellbinding Ways to Make Nature More Visible
During the recent lock-down, many of us have had the time to slow down.  People have spent more time in their gardens and many have enjoyed ditching the gym and instead taking exercise in their local green space. Our guest in this episode is the nature writer Simon Barnes and we discuss his book, Rewild yourself: 23 spellbinding ways to make nature more visible.  It’s a guide to how to enjoy that precious time outdoors by opening our senses, connecting with with nature, and ultimately having a richer experience for it. For more information about Simon and his writing, visit 
July 09, 2020