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Literary Disco Podcast

Literary Disco Podcast

Description

Writers talk about reading. Hosted by Tod Goldberg, Julia Pistell, and Rider Strong.


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Podcast Episodes




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http://www.literarydisco.com

Episode 103: 1984

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Mar 14, 2017


You read it in high school. Or college. It was that “important” book about the dangers of authoritarianism. An interesting, alternative future. A distant possibility. Maybe not anymore? The Disco trio discuss…

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Episode 102: Kindred (The Graphic Novel)

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Feb 14, 2017


Just like you, we’re on an Octavia Butler kick since reading Dawn. This episode, we check out the brand-new graphic novel adaptation of Butler’s masterpiece Kindred.

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Episode 101: Q&A

Author: Literary Disco
Thu, Jan 26, 2017


Tod, Julia and Rider answer questions from listeners.

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Episode 100!

Author: Literary Disco
Sat, Dec 24, 2016


Back from a long absence, we explain where we were, what we were doing, and what you should have been reading all along.

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Episode 99: Summer Reading 2016

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Jul 27, 2016


It’s that time again. Tod and Julia discuss summer reading…and introduce a contest for Episode 100.

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Episode 98: Games Games Games

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Jun 20, 2016


Back by popular demand — games! As we near the big 100, we take some time to play a few Literary Disco classics.

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Episode 97: Dawn

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, May 25, 2016


This episode, we enter the compelling world of Octavia E. Butler’s Dawn, the first in her Xenogenesis series. That’s right, we’re going full sci-fi. Post-apocalypse, aliens, tentacles and even…interspecies orgies? This little novel sends us down a rabbit hole of slavery, feminism, and the ethics of alien meddling.

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Episode 96: Why We Write About Ourselves

Author: Literary Disco
Thu, Apr 07, 2016


For the first time on the Disco, we discuss a book on the craft of writing. We delve into a new collection of essays by some of the world’s great memoirists. Why We Write About Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature is edited by Meredith Maran […]

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Episode 95: Pictures from a Revolution

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Mar 21, 2016


This month we read a nonfiction classic about the movies that changed Hollywood– hear us battle it out between Dr. Dolittle and Bonnie & Clyde. Oscar season is over but we’re not done talking about it!

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Episode 94: The Real Muslims of Irving, Texas

Author: Literary Disco
Sat, Feb 27, 2016


This episode we discuss an essay by Colby Buzzell appearing in the March Issue of Esquire, available here. Buzzell offers a look at the life of American Muslims and the armed protestors who regularly appear outside of their mosques. While he aims for objectivity, Buzzell’s personal history becomes unavoidable: he served in the military, where […]

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Episode 93: Best of 2015

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Feb 03, 2016


Just in time for the end of the year… Oh, wait. Super late, we have our annual “best of” conversation for 2015! We cover our favorite books, and then, as is Literary Disco tradition, we digress into countless other favorites…

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Episode 92: A Christmas Romance (Novel)

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Dec 22, 2015


Happy holidays! For this winter season, we got you an extra episode (to make up for our many delays this year– we blame Rider’s cute baby and Julia’s incredible myriad of technical issues). We got you what you like best: a book we were shocked by. Join us for a Christmas-themed romance novel around the […]

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Episode 91: George & Lumberjanes

Author: Literary Disco
Thu, Dec 17, 2015


We continue our discussion with New York Public librarian Gwen, who recommended two books for us to read and discuss. Both are aimed at a younger audience but with an eye to gender and identity. George, by Alex Gino, is a coming of age story set in your typical American school and family. It just […]

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Episode 90: New York Public Library

Author: Literary Disco
Fri, Dec 04, 2015


In this first half of two-part special (we’re crazy like that), we meet someone with the coolest job in the world: a recommendations editor at the New York Public Library.

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Episode 88: Justine

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Nov 10, 2015


Justine, the first book of the legendary Alexandria Quartet, gets the disco treatment. This novel was published in 1957 and has attracted devotees ever since. Told from the perspective of an unnamed narrator, it’s a non-linear, intense examination of the city of Alexandria, Egypt, and a particular woman who lives there. Tod, Julia and Rider […]

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Episode 87: Revisitish

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Oct 21, 2015


We catch up from a long break. Some books, some travel, some major humiliation.

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Episode 86: A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Oct 05, 2015


This posthumous collection is getting so much praise lately– does it live up to the hype?

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Episode 84: Judge a Book By Its Cover

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Sep 21, 2015


A long-lost episode finally appears! Rider tries to trick Tod & Julia with a classic game of ours. You should be able to guess at least one of these: play along!

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Episode 85: Live from the Last Bookstore

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Aug 26, 2015


After a brief hiatus, we’re back and we’re live! This episode has it all: nudity, cursing, Ayn Rand. Have fun and laugh along like you were there. (Episode 84 will come out next– we’re nonconformists like that.)

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Episode 83: Animorphs: The Invasion

Author: Literary Disco
Thu, Jul 23, 2015


You asked for it. We don’t know why, but you did.

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Episode 82: Summer Reading

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jul 07, 2015


Vacation is upon us and our book lists are piling up! As Rider enjoys his vacation, what will Julia & Tod be reading next?

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Episode 81: Tigerman

Author: Literary Disco
Fri, Jun 26, 2015


It’s officially summer, which means we too are officially given over to Marvel and DC madness. Now that our lives are all superheroes all the time (or so it seems in the movie theaters), we discuss our favorite superheros and Nick Harkaway’s fascinating novel, “Tigerman.”

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Episode 80: The Empathy Exams

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Jun 03, 2015


After a long and beautiful vacation, we’re back! And we’re busy discussing one of the year’s breakout nonfiction books, The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison. But not before we do a bookshelf roulette that brings us to favorites old and new. That’s right, we’ve got a book so new you can’t read it yet– but […]

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Episode 79: Shackleton’s Journey

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, May 04, 2015


This week we read William Grill’s Shackleton’s Journey, an illustrated book for children that covers a famous expedition to Antarctica that began in 1914. It’s an interesting intersection of cold facts and beautiful drawings. And it left us feeling hopeful, despite the fact that the journey itself was a failure. Up first, a Children’s Book […]

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Episode 78: Nancy Drew

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Apr 20, 2015


We finally take on the young detective Nancy Drew with her first adventure, The Secret of the Old Clock Much like our Hardy Boys episode, there is some confusion about the setting (less wig shops this time), the criminals, and the overall feeling that the “mystery” ain’t that mysterious. (Hint: there’s a secret in the […]

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Episode 77: Jill Alexander Essbaum & Interrobang

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Apr 06, 2015


We are joined this week by rising superstar Jill Alexander Essbaum (author of New York Times bestseller “Hausfrau”). Just in time for Easter, we discuss sexy religious poetry, her book, and a poetry collection you’ve never heard of: “Interrobang” by Jessica Piazza.

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Episode 76: Story Songs 2 (The Reckoning)

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Mar 25, 2015


Here we go again. No genre, subject, or style is as hotly debated as Story Songs. At least there’s no baseball this time.

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Episode 75: Wolf in White Van

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Mar 10, 2015


An incident with a gun. A disfigured game designer. His play-by-mail roleplaying game. A death. A lawsuit. That’s all we’ll give away in an attempt not to spoil the strange and beautiful new novel that is Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle. Yes, we mispronounce his name for the first half of the show. […]

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Episode 74: My Dad, the Pornographer

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Feb 24, 2015


We couldn’t resist discussing an incredible essay by Chris Offutt that appeared in The New York Times Magazine. It’s entitled My Dad, The Pornographer. You can guess what it’s about. To give us some context, we reached back into the archives and pulled out two of Offutt’s short stories from his first collection Kentucky Straight. […]

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Episode 73: Galapagos

Author: Literary Disco
Fri, Feb 13, 2015


Today we examine whether or not every work by a master is a masterpiece. There may be some yelling.

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Episode 72: Reeling Through Life

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jan 27, 2015


How do movies affect us? How can we best write about them? Do we think in movie narratives now? What are the best books about movies? The gang tackles these pertinent questions while zipping through Tara Ison’s fun and creative essay collection.

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Episode 71: Dept. Of Speculation

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Jan 12, 2015


We start off the year with a book that was hailed as one of the best of 2014: Jenny Offill’s The Department of Speculation. What’s the line between beautiful and pretentious, we ask? Plus, a revisit that jumps from comedy memoir to philosophy you’ll never read.

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Best of 2014

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Dec 29, 2014


2014 is coming to a close, and we take a moment to answer life’s big questions: what was the best thing we read for the podcast this year? What was the best thing we read outside of it? Have Julia & Rider read Tod’s book? What is Rider’s big announcement? And who exactly is our […]

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Episode 69: Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Dec 17, 2014


You will probably be given this book for Christmas, so let us pre-judge it for you!

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Episode 68: Truman Capote’s Holiday Stories

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Dec 02, 2014


Can the man who wrote “In Cold Blood” deliver a warm-blooded holiday tale? What are Julia, Tod, and Rider thankful for this year? Is it possible to cheat at “Judging a Book By Its Cover”? These questions may or may not be answered in this holiday episode.

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Episode 67: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Nov 17, 2014


This week, at your request, dear listeners, we take on one of the silliest, most lovable books in the known universe. We discuss the difference between satire and parody, South Park, and a rare unanimous agreement on the best satirical living writer in America. And finally we get around to discussing “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to […]

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Episode 66: Gabriel

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Nov 03, 2014


Get out the tissues. This episode, we head straight for emotional jugular, as we read Edward Hirsch’s devastating poem about the life and death of his son, Gabriel. Hirsch may make us cry (and yes, that means each of us, many times) but we are also awed by his craft and uplifted by this ambitious […]

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Episode 65: The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum & Special Guest Stephen Graham Jones!

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Oct 22, 2014


What’s really scary? Zombies, ghosts, vampires– or bizarre novels about torture based on true events? For this year’s Halloween episode, we welcome our expert in horror, Stephen Graham Jones. We begin with some fun stuff, like why it took zombies so long to catch on, and what the next zeitgesity beast might be. Then we […]

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Episode 64: Excavation

Author: Literary Disco
Thu, Oct 09, 2014


When she was 13, Wendy C. Ortiz started “dating” her 28 year-old English teacher. In her new memoir, Excavation, she returns to the years she spent maintaining this secret relationship. It’s a disarming look at a tough adolescence. Ortiz manages to capture not only her own disorienting emotions, but also — as Tod and Rider […]

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Episode 63: Tinkers

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Sep 22, 2014


A Pulitzer Prize winner none of us had read, Tinkers is a short, innovative, and compelling novel, first released in 2009. Join us as we discuss death vigils, hermits, epilepsy, and depressed mothers. Not to be missed: Tod cries. Really, he cries. Up first, the return of the Bookshelf Revisit. Rider delves into Celine Dion. […]

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Episode 62: Summer Special Aboard the Charles W. Morgan

Author: Literary Disco
Thu, Sep 11, 2014


Ahoy! For this very special episode, Tod & Julia talk about her trip aboard the Charles W. Morgan, Moby-Dick, and the difference between boats and ships. Followed by a piece Julia wrote aboard the Morgan. Enjoy this unique back-to-school special!

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Episode 61: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Author: Literary Disco
Sun, Aug 24, 2014


Summer’s over and it’s time to get serious– grab a raft and float down a river while listening to us take on the Mark Twain classic, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

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Episode 60: Twice Upon a Time

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Aug 05, 2014


This week the Disco Trio heads to their tablets and phones. The Atavist publishes digital essays, articles and books. One of their latest, most experimental pieces was written by Hari Kunzru. Twice Upon a Time is equal parts poem, musical experience, essay, and memoir. The discussion begins with the piece itself, then moves to the […]

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Episode 59: Pancakes!

Author: Literary Disco
Thu, Jul 24, 2014


Breece D’J Pancake died in 1979 at the age of 26, but not before writing some legendary short stories. In this episode, we read his collected work and discuss the rural landscape he explored. But first: it’s the return of Klassics Korner with Two K’s. Tod tries to fool Julia and Rider with some Leo […]

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Episode 58: Submergence

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jul 08, 2014


This week we take on a smart book. Maybe too smart. Rider first stumbled upon Submergence by JM Ledgard when it was given as an example of complex grown up literature within an article about the popularity of Young Adult work. The trio decided to give it a try, and are pretty unanimous in its […]

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Episode 57: Cathedral of Nervous Horses

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Jun 25, 2014


It’s time for more poetry. And much to Tod’s chagrin, the words “Mother” and “Father” appear a lot in this collection. Undeniably, however, the poems of W.E. Butts collected in The Cathedral of Nervous Horses are thoughtful, touching, and all around damn good. The Disco trio discusses his work, and then more generally, the mysterious […]

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Episode 56: Shirley Jackson

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jun 10, 2014


Before there was the Hunger Games, there was the Lottery. And not the fun kind. This week, we take on a newly published Shirley Jackson story and mix in a revisit to her classic short story “The Lottery”– which, incredibly, Rider has never read. Read along with these short stories and enjoy our descent into […]

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Episode 55: The Stranger

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, May 20, 2014


It’s back to school for the Disco, when writer and real life high school English teacher Heather Partington joins us. We asked Heather to treat us like a class: reading assignment, quiz, discussion. She selected Albert Camus’ classic novel, The Stranger. Then she gave us an online reading quiz. The results may surprise you. But […]

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Episode 54: The Free

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, May 06, 2014


This week we discuss the novel “The Free” by Willy Vlautin. Plus, we do a good old-fashioned “what are you reading right now” revisit. A classic night at the Disco!

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Episode 53: Choose Your Own Adventure!

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Apr 16, 2014


You are on the web, trying find something to listen to. You see a link to the latest Literary Disco episode, a podcast you love. You click on it. Now you are on the Literary Disco site, and there’s a brand new episode about Choose Your Own Adventure books! If you remember Choose Your Own […]

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Episode 52: Black Hole

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Apr 02, 2014


Beautiful women with tails, peeling out of your own skin, bad acid trips, cat-faced kids…we must be discussing the graphic novel Black Hole by Charles Burns. This chilling book set in the Seattle area in the 1970s is the story of high schoolers who are sexually transmitting a mysterious “bug” that mutates their bodies. But […]

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Episode 51: Five Days at Memorial

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Mar 18, 2014


For this episode, the Disco goes back in time to 2005 for a harrowing glimpse at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial. Incredibly well researched and nuanced, Fink’s book covers disaster, death, corporate irresponsibility, legal maneuvering, and personal anxiety in the face of emergency. But first: the return of […]

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Episode 50: Q&A

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Mar 04, 2014


After some scheduling and vomiting drama (we’ll explain), we offer up this special 50th episode of wall to wall listener questions. In two weeks, we’ll return with — finally — a discussion of 5 Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink. Enjoy!

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Episode 49: Olympic Fever!

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Feb 19, 2014


Place your hand over your heart and jump onto a podium because we’ve got Olympic fever over here. We take on the two most important sports in American history: bowling and football. This month, first we talk about our favorite sports in fiction and nonfiction. (Horses may or may not come up again.) Then we […]

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Episode 48: Anything That Moves

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Feb 04, 2014


Food, glorious food! This episode takes on Dana Goodyear’s examination of the wild and crazy world of foodies and the things they eat, cook, buy, and sell: Anything That Moves. Which begs valuable questions like, could you eat a tarantula? What about a horse? The episode opens with a food-themed bookshelf revisit, which (in typical […]

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Episode 47: Mistborn

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jan 21, 2014


Today we welcome the first appearance of the disco’s official Fantasy Correspondent, Will Friedle. As a voracious reader of the genre, the trio asked Will to pick one of his favorite fantasy novels, and he chose Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn. Which, at 672 pages, turns out to be one of the shortest books Will could have […]

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Episode 46: Best American Short Stories 2013

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jan 07, 2014


In this episode, Tod selects three short stories from the latest Best American collection. First up is Alice Munro’s “Trains,” a poignant and surprisingly epic story of a soldier post-WWII. Then Suzanne Rivecca’s story about a meeting between an employee of a shelter and a rich author, “Philanthropy.” And finally, cats gets killed in Callan […]

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Episode 45: Best of 2013

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Dec 23, 2013


In this delightful, coffee-fueled episode, we each choose a book for the hall of fame and name our favorite books we read this year. Plus, Klassics Korner makes a thrilling return with the addition of a certain boy wizard, Tod’s poet voice does not include James Franco this time, and Rider tells us his nerdiest […]

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Episode 44: Robert Frost’s New Hampshire

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Dec 10, 2013


For the first time ever, the Disco takes on a dead poet. And not just any one, but perhaps the most celebrated and popular of American poets, Robert Frost. Julia selected his fourth book, New Hampshire, which includes famous Frost poems such as “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “Fire and Ice.” But […]

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Episode 43: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Nov 26, 2013


Football and the Iraq war come together in Ben Fountain’s novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, a portrait of fictional war heroes during a “victory tour” in 2004. The disco trio discusses the books insights on war, class, and politics. Not to mention Fountain’s mastery of his craft. But first, it’s Bookshelf Roulette, which brings […]

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Episode 42: When Animals Attack

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Nov 11, 2013


On this “animal rage” episode, the trio reads articles about animal attacks. From Slate, A Death in Yellowstone by Jessica Grose From Outside Magazine, The Killer in the Pool by Tim Zimmerman And from Esquire, The Worst Story I Ever Heard by Rich Schapiro Discussions of zoos, pets, national parks, and the nature of animals […]

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Episode 41: Dr. Sleep

Author: Literary Disco
Thu, Oct 31, 2013


In this Halloween spooktacular, we talk about Stephen King’s latest novel, Dr. Sleep. It’s a sequel to his genre-defining classic, The Shining. Does Dr. Sleep hold up to its predecessor? Or is it something different entirely? But first, we bring to the Bookshelf Revisit the books and stories that scared us the most, either as […]

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Episode 40: Things Fall Apart

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Oct 14, 2013


Chinua Achebe’s classic novel of a Nigerian colonial encounter gets the Disco treatment. An in-depth look at Things Fall Apart leads to discussion of Achebe’s legacy and African literature in general. But first, songs. Lots of songs, as Rider introduces his latest lyrical discovery, Tod talks rock-drug-memoirs, and Julia discusses a book titled, Born to […]

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Episode 39: The Penis Play

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Oct 01, 2013


This week the trio takes on a dirtily-titled play that’s…actually not that dirty. “Cock” by Mike Bartlett is a strange combination of minimalist writing, incredibly specific characters, and Big Important Issues. For the second play the disco has tackled, it’s a good example of one that might read better than it will perform. But we’ll […]

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Episode 38: Summer Vacation Essays

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Sep 17, 2013


This week, the Disco trio reflects on the end of summer with two classic essays Julia selected. First up, E.B. White’s short and moving trip back to his childhood vacation spot, Once More to the Lake (which can be found in its entirety, here). And then, David Foster Wallace gets a well deserved lengthy discussion […]

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Episode 37: Hot for Teacher, LIVE!

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Sep 03, 2013


Our first live episode, recorded in front of an amazing audience on August 22nd at the Barnes & Noble at the Grove in Los Angeles, California. We’re joined by guest author Ivy Pochoda, who just that day was wrapping up the book tour for her latest novel, Visitation Street. For the Disco trio to read, […]

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Episode 36: The Woman Chaser

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Aug 20, 2013


Guest author Jim Gavin joins us for the strange journey that is Charles Willeford’s novel, The Woman Chaser, a book that confounds as much as it entertains. LA noir, postmodern pulp, and somehow, existential ennui are all squeezed into one little, psychotic book. But first, a Bookshelf Revisit that includes two nature poets, one of […]

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Episode 35: A River Runs Through It

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Aug 06, 2013


This week, we catch a big fish: the classic novella “A River Runs Through It,” and — movie bonus — we rant and rave about how it translated. Also discussed: a roulette brings us to Wuthering Heights, Dickensian England, and the literary magazine Barrelhouse. Click here to purchase from an independent bookseller

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Episode 34: Thunderbird

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jul 23, 2013


This week, we return to contemporary poetry– but not before revisiting JK Rowling’s pen-name revelation, Middlesex, and the profound number of songs in the Hobbit. AND we announce the details of our live show, and throw down the Finnegan’s Wake-Up challenge! Click here to purchase Thunderbird from an independent bookseller

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Episode 33: Graphic Novels

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jul 09, 2013


In this episode, the disco trio finally takes on graphic novels. Goliath by Tom Gauld and My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf, both empathetic takes on infamous villains. But should they be empathetic? Opinions clash as these two very different books come under the microscope. Not surprisingly, the addition of visual art changes the entire […]

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Episode 32: Seating Arrangements

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jun 25, 2013


This week, it’s wedding time. The gang reads Maggie Shipstead’s novel Seating Arrangements, which takes place over three days of nuptials on an exclusive, East Coast island. Everyone’s rich, everyone went to Harvard, everyone has “first-world problems,” but does it make for a good read? The answer is more complicated than Julia, Tod, and Rider […]

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Episode 31: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Jun 10, 2013


Today we go to the one genre where our tastes truly collide: the crime novel. Rider, Tod, & Julia discuss Edgar-Award-Winning Tom Franklin’s latest work of southern intrigue.

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Episode 30: Flowers in the Attic

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, May 28, 2013


It’s time to take on the book that you all read, under your covers, late at night, freaking out about the nature of puberty, poisoned donuts, and inheritances. This is the book that we almost murder Rider for even suggesting it might be a classic of any sort. This is the book that is way […]

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Episode 29: The Fault in Our Stars

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, May 14, 2013


What is the difference between drama and melodrama? Should books be written differently with teenage readers in mind? What is Romeo and Juliet actually about? And, if Rider rants in a forest, does anyone care? This week we engage in one of the most heated debates in Disco history, centered around John Green’s The Fault […]

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Episode 28: Two Essays about Iowa

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Apr 30, 2013


Today is all about duality. Is a tragic event better written about as a personal essay, or as straight reportage? Should visitors to LA check out the Book Festival or the Grilled Cheese Festival? Tough decisions abound. At the heart of the episode is our comparative study on two essays: Jo Ann Beard’s “The Fourth […]

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Episode 27: Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Apr 16, 2013


In this episode, Tod, Rider, and Julia take on Ron Currie Jr.’s new novel, Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles. One of the podcast’s most intense discussion ensues, primarily regarding the book’s masculinity. What makes a book manly, anyway? And why is Rider quoting Legends of the Fall? The words “trope” and “deconstruction” figure prominently. But first […]

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Episode 26: The Birthday Episode

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Apr 01, 2013


Happy birthday to us! For our birthday, we happen to all touch on stories about us sobbing uncontrollably. What says “birthday” like dredging up childhood memories of being the fat kid? If that’s not enticing enough for you, we create a Bookshelf of Fame and each add a book to it. Then we introduce a […]

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Episode 25: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Mar 19, 2013


This week on Literary Disco, full of sound and fury, we debate the meaning of the mysterious tetractus. Bookshelf roulette also leads us to a castle we can capture– but eventually, we get to discuss Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” Plus a super-special bonus discussion of the oddities and delights of the […]

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Episode 24: When My Brother Was an Aztec & Smith Blue (The Poetry Episode)

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Mar 05, 2013


Tonight we take on a huge subject: how we should read poetry. The discussion centers on Natalie Diaz’s collection “When My Brother Was an Aztec” and Camille Dungy’s “Smith Blue.” What do we make of these wonders? What do we think about eviscerated dogs, smashed fruit, and meth? And what do teenagers have to do […]

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Episode 23: Pulphead

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Feb 19, 2013


What do Michael Jackson, Christian Rock, and nearly-electrocuted high schoolers have in common? They’ve been written about by John Jeremiah Sullivan, and argued about by Tod, Rider, and Julia in today’s latest episode. Join us as we rhapsodize over some excellent essays. Also join us as we pull random books off our shelves (thanks to […]

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Episode 22: The Hardy Boys

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Feb 05, 2013


On today’s episode, we head to Bayport to take on the brothers Hardy, those teen sleuths you thought you knew… We discuss Books One and Two of The Hardy Boys: The Tower Treasure, and The House on the Cliff. This episode offers an interesting counterpoint to our look at the first Sweet Valley High Book […]

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Episode 21: We The Animals (with guest Elizabeth Crane)

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Jan 21, 2013


We’ve tackled tigers and rubber ducks on the show before, but have we ever turned our eyes to the animal spirits of three young brothers? Justin Torees’ novel is brought to our attention by the witty and wonderful Elizabeth Crane, who joins us on the show for a quick disco dance. Plus: cosmically bad reviews, […]

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Episode 20: The Best of 2012

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Jan 07, 2013


Well, OUR best of 2012. Join us as Tod, Julia, and Rider go through the Top 5 books they read this year. Which of the books from previous episodes did they select? Did Pillars of the Earth make the grade? How about Sweet Valley High? Classics, new favorites, graphic novels, children’s books, and even audiobooks […]

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Episode 19: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Author: Literary Disco
Thu, Dec 27, 2012


Ho ho ho! For the holiday season, the Literary Disco team reads a book Julia got for Christmas several years ago but hadn’t yet read. “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” brings us back to discussion nonfiction and the importance of setting. Also discussed: Goodreads, a bookshelf revisit, and the special Twitter challenge!

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Episode 18: The Paris Review’s “Object Lessons”

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Dec 04, 2012


The short story: what is it for? Who does it best? What’s a “Paris Review” short story, vs. just a regular short story? Listen to us duke it out and draw your own conclusions– or, better yet, get the book and read along.

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Bonus Episode! Life of Pi: The Movie

Author: Literary Disco
Wed, Nov 28, 2012


You knew we’d have an opinion. Tod, Rider, and Julia discuss whether or not the film adaptation of “Life of Pi” lives up to the book– and whether or not you should see it. And it might not be the same answer. THERE ARE A HUNDRED THOUSAND SPOILERS IN HERE. Consider yourself warned.

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Episode 17: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Nov 20, 2012


You, a lifeboat, a tiger. Would you make it? Would Tod? Would Julia? Would Rider? (We have our bets.) Join our hosts as they discuss this bestselling novel and their hopes for the upcoming movie. Watch out for spoilers (though we’ll warn you).

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Episode 16: Pillars of the Earth

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Nov 05, 2012


Long ago, in a land far away, three friends decided to take on an inconceivable project. One would read a book. One would listen to the audiobook of that book. One would watch a miniseries of the audiobook of that book. And lo, how did they feel about this book– which happens to be very […]

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Episode 15: The Libertine

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Oct 23, 2012


In this episode, we discuss autographs, first editions, mermaids, and more. Then, we read the Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys– a play! Do we make it through? Do we discuss the nature of excess, or does Tod complain the whole time? Only one way to find out…

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Episode 14: Mixtape

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Oct 02, 2012


Playlist, schmaylist. We’re calling this a mixtape: one poem, one short story, and one essay get dissected in this episode. Mary Karr’s “Suicide’s Note,” Eric Puchner’s “The Cooler Me,” and Joe Meno’s “Happiness Will Be Yours.” And of course, a knock-down drag-out argument over comic strips, more discussion of what makes a great audiobook, and […]

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Episode 13: Moby Duck

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Sep 17, 2012


Rubber Ducky, you’re the one– you make bathtime lots of fun– until you disintegrate into the ocean and kill the very nature you purport to stand for. Tod, Rider, and Julia discuss Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn. The crew also debates reading while feverish, video games as literary experiences, and aging audio book voice actors. […]

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Episode 12: Story Songs!

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Sep 04, 2012


It’s time to get back to school and, because we’re grown-ups now, we assigned ourselves some easy homework. Tod attempts to convince Julia & Rider that “Story Songs” are a legitimate literary genre, only to offer up sappy songs about serendipitous taxis. Julia and Rider try somewhat harder, but not much. The only thing that […]

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Episode 11: Winnie the Pooh & The House on Pooh Corner

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Aug 20, 2012


Deep in the hundred acre woods, three writers argue over the particular pathetic nature of Eeyore. Join us this week as we welcome friend and Barnes & Noble “Discover New Writers” pick Stephen Dau, whose novel “The Book of Jonas” turns out to not be about Jonas brothers at all. We read his book and […]

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Episode 10: When You Reach Me

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Aug 07, 2012


This week we are joined by Youth Services Librarian, Erika Jelinek. Erika’s here to address Rider’s concerns (expressed oh-so-mildly in Episode 5) about the quality of today’s Young Adult Literature. In defense, she offers Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me. A coming-of-age novel with a time travel twist. The disco-teers discuss this fantastic book and […]

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Episode 9: Tiny Beautiful Things

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Jul 23, 2012


So you think you don’t cry. Well, we challenge you to listen to our discussion of the Beat Generation, how the media reports school shootings, how accurately we remember our cousins, and, of course, Cheryl Strayed’s “Tiny Beautiful Things” and then read the books we’ve discussed. Who knows what will happen? Your heart might grow […]

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Episode 8: Train Dreams

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jul 10, 2012


Episode 8: We begin with a Bookshelf Revisit, in which Tod discovers a pulp gem, Julia goes Sherlock crazy, and Rider is hyperbolic as usual. Then we discuss the novella Train Dreams by Denis Johnson. We end with Judging a Book By Its Cover, wherein Tod is a genius and yet still doesn’t know where […]

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Episode 7: A Separate Peace

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Jun 19, 2012


Somehow, Rider has never read this classic. We correct that. We also discuss the various terrors of boarding school, books from our shelves, and which parts of Crime and Punishment Tod completely made up.

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Episode 6: Treasure Island!!! and Poet Voice

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Jun 04, 2012


Hello all, Hey, it’s new episode day! This week we welcome Mark Haskell-Smith, author of the hilarious Heart of Dankness, who shares Sarah Levine’s brilliant picaresque novel Treasure Island. We loved it. We also share some really good stuff from our bookshelves about being a starving, boxing circus freak who lives under a bridge. (Or […]

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Episode 5: Above the Factory

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, May 22, 2012


Evening, readers! Here we have Episode 5: Above the Factory. Read, listen, mull it over, throw your listening device across the room in frustration… whatever floats your boat. We also introduce a new bookish game: Judging a Book by Its Cover. We read first sentences from famous (or semi-famous) works, and then make educated guesses […]

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Episode 4: The Chairs are Where the People Go

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, May 08, 2012


Hi, everyone! Here’s Episode 4. Sorry for the delay. We were having technical difficulties, so here’s a tried-and-true MP3 for your listening pleasure. — Friends, family, loved ones of all sorts: if you were to organize a room for a lecture, where might you put the chairs? If you were to teach people how to […]

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Episode 3: Sweet Valley High & Klassics Korner

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Apr 24, 2012


Today, we get silly. We discuss the various merits and demerits of Sweet Valley High. We revisit the classics, but upon Julia’s insistence, we give it the stupid name “Classics Corner– with two K’s!” See, that makes it friendly and approachable… right? Let us know what you think in the comments, and please enjoy!

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Episode 2: Half a Life & Poet Voice

Author: Literary Disco
Tue, Apr 10, 2012


In our second podcast, we go back to our bookshelves again (or maybe put on our ipods, or maybe even just look at the back of the book). Then we take a deep dive into Darin Strauss’ memoir, Half a Life, which leads to a hot debate about the current challenges of nonfiction. Finally, Tod […]

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Episode 1: Bookshelf Revisit & Bright’s Passage

Author: Literary Disco
Mon, Mar 26, 2012


The long-awaited first episode of Literary Disco has arrived! We begin by revisiting our bookshelves and recommending some of our favorites (or, in Rider’s case, weird books from the teen years) to each other. Then we get to the meat and potatoes of the episode: Bright’s Passage. We react, we question, we banter, we express […]

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Episode 0: Introduction

Author: Literary Disco
Sun, Mar 11, 2012


Subscribe and listen! This is our introductory podcast, in which Rider, Tod, and Julia discuss the books they loved, standing up to librarians, and meaningful professors.

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