Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Reviews, Interviews, and Discussion About All the Romance Novels You Love to Read
Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Reviews, Interviews, and Discussion About All the Romance Novels You Love to Read
Sarah Wendell - Romance Novel Reviewer, Reader, and Author
Each week on Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Sarah Wendell interviews authors, readers, reviewers, bloggers, publishing professionals, editors, and librarians about romance novels, which are among the most popular genres in fiction worldwide. Popular guests include: Ilona Andrews, Robin Bradford, NPR's Barrie Hardymon, Jaye Wells, and Rachel Aaron. Amanda, Carrie, Elyse, and RedHeadedGirl, the crew of reviewers at, also make frequent appearances with maximum silliness. Frequent topics include romance novels, the way the genre is changing, and the brilliant and interesting people who read, write, and produce it, and issues common among romance readers. Plus, we always recommend some books we're reading and really enjoying. Learn more at
441. Bosoms and Bitches: A NSFW Discussion of Toxic Desire
[bookaside slug="toxic-desire"] It’s a special, extended length episode: Amanda and I are joined by Melody and Erin from the incredibly delightful podcast Heaving Bosoms! I guested on their show and they joined us to return the favor. We read Toxic Desire by Robin Lovett, and we had a LOT to talk about. Spoilers abound! But with forked tongued aliens sporting aphrodisiac venom fangs and gold body armor crash landing on a toxic sex gas planet, that’s not a surprise. Thank you to Melody, Erin, and Amanda for making this episode so much fun!  ... Shownotes? Heck yeah, shownotes! Find all the books and links at:
Jan 21
1 hr 34 min
440: Laziness Does Not Exist with Dr. Devon Price
I have been so excited to share this interview. Devon Price is the author of Laziness Does Not Exist, which outlines the three main ways in which “the Laziness Lie” deceives us into denying ourselves rest and care. As I said in my review, this is a book with something for everyone: it addresses historical roots of laziness lie in colonialism and capitalism, and looks at productivity myths, diet culture, gender and sexuality, activism fatigue, parenting, relationship management, and self-abuse. Also, Dr. Price has a chinchilla and you must hear us talk about its name. ... Music: ... Links to the books we mention in the shownotes:
Jan 14
439. Later, 2020! With Shana, Claudia and Carrie
Shana, Claudia, and Carrie, gather to talk books, re-reading, knitting, comfort reading, switching genres, books set in California, figuring out what books are five star reads, and the different ways to be kickass. Happy New Year, and thanks for listening! Find all the books we mention in the shownotes at:
Jan 7
1 hr 1 min
438. Later, 2020! With Kiki and Amanda
We are still gathering in groups across many time zones to say goodbye to 2020, and to look back at the books, shows, and other essentials that got us through 2020. Bad internet in South Africa got in the way of Lara joining us, but she sent a question for Amanda, Kiki, and me to answer. We talk about nonfiction that made us cry-laugh, audiobooks, TikTok, puzzles, and Cyberpunk clothing glitches. Side trips include depression, anxiety, and treatment, plus Poopsie Sparkly Critters and Cutie Tooties. There is a LOT of laughing in this one so join us for total silliness. Happy New Year! Link to the shownotes:
Dec 31, 2020
1 hr 10 min
437. Farewell 2020 With Catherine Heloise, Sneezy and Maya
The SBTB team is still gathering in groups across many time zones to say goodbye to 2020, and to look back at the books, shows, and other essentials that got us through 2020. In this episode, Catherine Heloise joins us from Melbourne Australia, Sneezy is in Taiwan, and Maya is in California, and we’re going to cover books, movies, and manga we loved, our favorite tropes, a little bit of discussion on social anxiety, and how to look back at what we’ve learned this year. If you’re listening to this on the 25th of December, happy Chinese food and a movie day! Stay safe and warm and may your takeout be excellent. And if you’re celebrating Christmas, Merry Christmas to you and yours. This is our last episode of 2020, wow, and I wanted to thank you for listening, for all your email and encouragement. It means a lot to know I’m keeping you company while you quilt, walk the dogs, dye yarn, shelve books, clean, cook, and go about your life. I’m honored to be here with you, so thank you, and happy new year to all of us.
Dec 24, 2020
1 hr 12 min
436. Saying Goodbye to 2020 With Ellen, Elyse, and Tara!
The SBTB team is gathering in groups across many time zones to look back at the books, shows, and other essentials that got us through 2020, and to look ahead to 2021. Everyone brings a question to ask, so in this episode, Ellen, Elyse, Tara, and I talk books, Quarantimes, zoom exhaustion, and coping methods - and I stumble upon a potential new, unexplored fanfic. … Looking for a new podcast to try? May I suggest Boobies & Noobies? Boobies & Noobies is the weekly podcast that asks novice romance readers to think outside the box. Find Boobies & Noobies wherever you get your find podcasts or at!   ... Music:
Dec 17, 2020
53 min
435. Fashion, History, and Romance with Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell
[bookaside slug="the-way-we-wed"] We are talking fashion today! My guest today is Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, fashion historian, person behind the @WornOnThisDay Twitter account, and author of the new book The Way We Wed. In her book, she looks at the history of wedding fashion, and at the clothing history of the people surrounding marrying couple. We also talk about why some clothing and the fascination with clothing endures, and what changes the Quarantimes will create for fashion, clothing, and trends. ... Music: ... The links to images we discuss are in the show notes at this URL:
Dec 10, 2020
1 hr 1 min
434. Fried Food, Family Drama (and Jazz): Sexy Small Towns with Reese Ryan
[bookaside slug="second-chance-on-cypress-lane"] My guest today is Reese Ryan, YouTube host and author of the new book, Second Chance on Cypress Lane. We talk about her book, the levels of food p0rn found inside, and about her career - she released four books in 2020! FOUR! Her books for Harlequin Desire have some gorgeous covers (check them out in the show notes!) and her stories have delicious themes across several genres. It's a really fun conversation. Show notes for this episode: ... Music:
Dec 3, 2020
1 hr 5 min
433. Life, Death, Memory, and Immortality: A Conversation with VE Schwab
Amanda and I are talking with VE Schwab, author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, a book we both enjoyed tremendously. We talk about the 10-year process of writing it and the power of telling an immortality tale about a person who walks through history as a woman. We touch on queerness, achievement, erasure, representation, and also discuss death, loneliness, grief and immortality. About halfway through we take a deep dive into death rituals and experiences with grief and loss, with some specifics at about 42:00-43:00, so be aware if that’s not a topic you can engage with right now. (Take care of you, ok? Thank you.) Stay tuned to the end for a special surprise when Amanda’s roommate finds out who Amanda’s chatting with. ... Music:
Nov 26, 2020
1 hr 6 min
432. Saving Endangered Animals, Plus Romance: A Conversation with Michelle Hazen
Michelle Hazen is a romance author and a wildlife tortoise biologist, a semi-nomadic career (the biologist part) (and also the author part) that informs much of her writing. We talk about saving baby animals, writing about trauma, life in the desert doing biologist work, and romance tropes that work really well in the desert. ... Music: ... Looking for a podcast to try? Have you checked out Tea & Strumpets? Tea & Strumpets is a lively and engaging podcast dedicated entirely to Historical Romance! Join hosts and friends Zoë and Kelsey each episode as they discuss all the steamy (and sometimes tepid) details of the Regency Romance genre. And since the regency technically only lasted 9 years, generally we're talking post-wigs but pre-telephone! Find us wherever you download podcasts, or at
Nov 19, 2020
58 hr 5 min
Load more