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Literary Disco

Updated about 9 hours ago

Arts
Comedy
Books
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Writers talk about reading. Hosted by Tod Goldberg, Julia Pistell, and Rider Strong. https://www.literarydisco.com

Read more

Writers talk about reading. Hosted by Tod Goldberg, Julia Pistell, and Rider Strong. https://www.literarydisco.com

iTunes Ratings

264 Ratings
Average Ratings
201
29
11
9
14

Fun chemistry

By MaryHelenSheriff - Nov 18 2019
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Enjoy listening to the hosts talk about books together. Fun chemistry!

Enjoyable but...

By pmethr - Sep 07 2019
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...Tod really is the worst.

iTunes Ratings

264 Ratings
Average Ratings
201
29
11
9
14

Fun chemistry

By MaryHelenSheriff - Nov 18 2019
Read more
Enjoy listening to the hosts talk about books together. Fun chemistry!

Enjoyable but...

By pmethr - Sep 07 2019
Read more
...Tod really is the worst.

Listen to:

Cover image of Literary Disco

Literary Disco

Updated about 9 hours ago

Read more

Writers talk about reading. Hosted by Tod Goldberg, Julia Pistell, and Rider Strong. https://www.literarydisco.com

Episode 152: Age of Books

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In June, the Washington Post published an article titled “Books for the Ages,” a list of book recommendations based on how old you are, going from year one to 100. This week, each host has read the book recommended for their year, and since your Literary Disco hosts are different ages we’ve read three different books. We talk about our selections, as well as the concept of age in general when it comes to reading. Should you read the right book at the right time, or is a good book a good book no matter how old you are?

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Aug 22 2019

1hr

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Episode 129: Lord of the Flies

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You read it in high school.
You remember the conch, Piggy, and a boar head on a stick…
But do you remember the Beast? That a child disappears the first day on the island? How about the fact that this novel is set during an atomic war?
And did you know this book was written in direct response to a 19th Century children’s book that had the same character names?
It’s time for us all to re-read William Golding’s classic, Lord of the Flies. Join us.

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Aug 13 2018

55mins

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Episode 138: Let the Games Begin

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No better way to start the new month than with some of Literary Disco’s classic book games. First, Rider presents “Judge a Book By Its Cover,” where he reads the first lines of a book and Julia and Tod must guess what the book is with no other context. Then, Tod presents a new game, Rock Paper Scissors, where Rider and Julia must decide what is a real poem, lyrics from a pop song, lines from a Rupi poem, or a poem written by our very own Tod Goldberg. Let the games begin!

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Feb 05 2019

44mins

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Episode 78: Nancy Drew

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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 old clock.)
And who knew that this much discussion of probate law would launch one of the most beloved and imitated characters of all time?
But up first: should you ever be ashamed of what you read? We read and discuss the side-by-side essays that asked this question in The New York Times Book Review.

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Apr 20 2015

1hr 18mins

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Episode 29: The Fault in Our Stars

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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 in Our Stars in particular, and Young Adult literature in general.
But first, we play Bookshelf Roulette. Tod will introduce you to memoirist Dinah Lenney, Rider stumbles upon his own signature, and Julia reads from one of her favorite literary journals.
Lots of big questions and no easy solutions in this episode, so we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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May 14 2013

1hr 7mins

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Episode 3: Sweet Valley High & Klassics Korner

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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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Apr 24 2012

36mins

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Episode 137: There, There

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The debut novel from Tommy Orange has been on almost every Best Of 2018 list, but does the Literary Disco trio agree? In this week's episode, Julia, Rider, and Tod discuss the complex and multifaceted approach to identity—and how Orange avoids the usual MFA clichés—as “There, There” follows a collection of Native American characters in the build-up to a powwow in Oakland, California.

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Jan 22 2019

53mins

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Episode 103: 1984

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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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Mar 14 2017

1hr 5mins

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Episode 99: Summer Reading 2016

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

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Jul 27 2016

51mins

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Episode 149: The Great Gatsby

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This week, Literary Disco goes back to high school, or college, to discuss the infamous book that at some point you had to read, were told you should read, or you actually did read — or at least skimmed the Clif Notes.

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Jul 09 2019

1hr 3mins

Play

Episode 147: Summer Reading 2019

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This week, Rider and Tod take turns talking about their summer reading: what they’re reading, what they’re planning to read, and what they think you should read. Some of the books include Anthony McCann's Shadowlands, Ursula K. Le Guin's Always Coming Home, Peter Houlahan's Norco '80, Kelli Russell Agodon's Hourglass Museum, and more.

This week's episode is brought to you by HelloFresh.

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Jun 11 2019

59mins

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Episode 19: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

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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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Dec 27 2012

43mins

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Episode 67: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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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 the Galaxy,” a favorite of yours when you were eleven.

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Nov 17 2014

1hr 5mins

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Episode 55: The Stranger

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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 more importantly, there’s lots of talk about the state of literature in high schools: what kids are reading, how they’re reading, how their parents are reacting…
Heather’s on the front lines of the next generation of readers, and the Disco quickly learns that her students are very, very lucky to have her.
And then we dive into The Stranger in all its sparse, detached — et très French — glory. If you thought this book was weird when you were in high school, guess what? Still weird.
But kind of great.
Click here to purchase from an independent bookseller

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May 20 2014

1hr 2mins

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Episode 93: Best of 2015

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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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Feb 03 2016

1hr 29mins

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Episode 47: Mistborn

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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 selected from this author.
The discussion lands only on the book briefly, though, as the gang delves into the nature of fantasy itself. What makes for good fantasy, and how is that different from other genres? Is suspense as important as “world building,” or less so? What about moral complexity?
And, does anybody like singing Hobbits?
Click here to purchase from an independent bookseller

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Jan 21 2014

1hr 3mins

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Episode 56: Shirley Jackson

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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 our usual madness (now, with more stoning!).

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Jun 10 2014

1hr

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Episode 30: Flowers in the Attic

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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 too dramatic. This… is…. Flowers in the Attic.
Also discussed: will books on writing stand the test of time? Would you rather be the Assassin, or Happy to be Alive? Is F. Scott Fitzgerald a hack? And what’s a spontaneous Friday night with Julia like?

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May 28 2013

1hr 1min

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Episode 41: Dr. Sleep

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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 a child or an adult.
And then Tod and Julie both tell some “real life” ghost stories. Which sends Rider into a tailspin of skepticism (i.e., condescension) and Tod into a defense of the paranormal (i.e., egging Rider on). It’s one of the most combative episodes yet, and this fight has nothing to do with literature.
Tis the season! Happy Halloween everyone.
Click here to purchase from an independent bookseller

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Oct 31 2013

58mins

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Episode 139: Children of the Disco

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On this week's episode, Julia, Rider, and Tod discuss what each of them are reading to Literary Disco’s second generation, from Frog and Toad to The Rainbow Goblins and Barnyard Dance! Also, the three discuss whether Winnie-the-Pooh is actually any good, how animals are essential to the reading experience, and why narrative is still important in children's literature. 

Have a glass of milk, brush your teeth, and tuck yourself into bed, because Literary Disco is ready to tell you tonight's bedtime story.

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Feb 19 2019

1hr 25mins

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Episode 158: Best Books of the Decade

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This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod look back at the last ten years -- seven of which they've been recording this podcast -- from the books they've read on the show to their own personal favorites. Additionally, they discuss the trends they've noticed in publishing over the last decade -- and their favorite shirt from the 2010s as well. Buckle in, because the 2020s are going to be a wild ride.

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Dec 11 2019

1hr 20mins

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Episode 157: Pale Fire

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On this episode, the Literary Disco trio discuss Vladimir Nabokov’s 1962 novel, less popular than Lolita but it is nonetheless complicated, maintains a rabid fan base, and has received a wide variety of interpretations. They also discuss the National Book Awards, which was happening when the episode was recorded.

This episode is sponsored by Hingston & Olsen, publishers of the 2019 Short Story Advent Calendar. Don’t wait until December 1. Order your copy today, from shortstoryadventcalendar.com, and enter the promo code LITERARYDISCO at checkout to get 10% off your purchase.

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Nov 26 2019

55mins

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Episode 156: It's Time to Play Some Games!

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This week marks the return of Literary Disco’s classic games! First, Rider presents Judge a Book By Its Cover, where he reads the first lines of a book and Julia and Tod must guess what the book is with no other context. Then, Tod presents Rock Paper Scissors, where Rider and Julia must decide what is a real poem, lyrics from a pop song, lines from a Jim Morrison song, or a poem written by our very own Tod Goldberg. Finally, Julia presents Bookshelf Roulette, where each host must run to his or her bookshelf and choose one book to discuss. Let the games begin!

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Nov 07 2019

1hr 5mins

Play

Episode 155: Literary Disco and the Apple, Tree

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This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod read and discuss a number of essays from a new collection, Apple, Tree: Writers On Their Parents, Edited by Lise Funderburg, the collection presents new essay from twenty-five writers, each examining their relationship with one or both of their parents. We discuss the essays by Ann Patchett, Daniel Mendelsohn, Mat Johnson, Kate Carroll de Gutes, and S. Bear Bergman.

This week's sponsor is The Short Story Advent Calendar from Hingston and Olsen. Use promo code LITERARYDISCO for 10% off your purchase!

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Oct 24 2019

1hr 11mins

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Episode 154: Literary Disco Visits the Waverly Gallery

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This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod discuss Kenneth Lonergan’s play, The Waverly Gallery, which was first produced in 1999, was a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize, and in late 2018 had a Broadway revival that resulted in two Tony Award nominations. They also discuss the similarities and differences between playwriting and screenwriting, the legacy of actor William Daniels, who player Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World, and what it takes to finish writing a book.

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Sep 26 2019

45mins

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Episode 153: Her Body and Other Parties

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This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod read the strange, sometimes funny, but mostly disturbing and always feminist debut of short stories by the author Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties. Discussing the book, the three explore what it means to write a short story collection, how cringe-worthy storytelling can be successful, and clickbait headlines coinciding with the launch of Rider’s first play. Pour yourself a drink, turn on the lights, and enjoy.

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Sep 06 2019

1hr 1min

Play

Episode 152: Age of Books

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In June, the Washington Post published an article titled “Books for the Ages,” a list of book recommendations based on how old you are, going from year one to 100. This week, each host has read the book recommended for their year, and since your Literary Disco hosts are different ages we’ve read three different books. We talk about our selections, as well as the concept of age in general when it comes to reading. Should you read the right book at the right time, or is a good book a good book no matter how old you are?

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Aug 22 2019

1hr

Play

Episode 151: Jurassic Park

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This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod go all the way back in time, to the prehistoric days of November 1990 when a man named Michael Crichton published a little book called Jurassic Park. The book launched a franchise that spans two novels, five movies—with a sixth on the way—that has raked in $1.2 billion worldwide, multiple amusement park rides, millions of plastic dinosaur toys, and it ensured we all know the words “velociraptor” and “chaos theory.” But is the book any good?

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Aug 06 2019

46mins

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Episode 150: Anthony McCann and Style

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On today’s episode, we welcome author Anthony McCann, whose new book is called Shadowlands: Fear and Freedom at the Oregon Standoff. It’s an in-depth examination of the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016 and its subsequent trial. In Literary Disco tradition, we also asked Anthony to recommend a book for us to read, and he chose Style by Dolores Dorantes.

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Jul 23 2019

1hr 22mins

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Episode 149: The Great Gatsby

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This week, Literary Disco goes back to high school, or college, to discuss the infamous book that at some point you had to read, were told you should read, or you actually did read — or at least skimmed the Clif Notes.

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Jul 09 2019

1hr 3mins

Play

Episode 148: Outside Articles

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It’s been a while since Literary Disco discussed magazine journalism. This week, Julia and Rider take into dive into three different articles that have appeared in Outside magazine over the past five years, all chosen from their “The Best Stories We’ve Ever Told” list:

Open Your Mouth and You’re Deadby James Nestor

John and Ann Bender and Their Quest for Paradiseby Ned Zeman

The Tuberby Wells Tower

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Jun 25 2019

54mins

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Episode 147: Summer Reading 2019

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This week, Rider and Tod take turns talking about their summer reading: what they’re reading, what they’re planning to read, and what they think you should read. Some of the books include Anthony McCann's Shadowlands, Ursula K. Le Guin's Always Coming Home, Peter Houlahan's Norco '80, Kelli Russell Agodon's Hourglass Museum, and more.

This week's episode is brought to you by HelloFresh.

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Jun 11 2019

59mins

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Episode 146: The Man They Wanted Me To Be

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This week on Literary Disco, Julia, Rider, and Tod discuss The Man They Wanted Me To Be, the new book out from Jared Yates Sexton about masculinity in America and masculinity in his own life. Before delving into the book, the three discuss the current political climate in the south, how living in California is a moral choice, the choice between avoiding a place you are against or going there to inspire change, and what going to a Trump rally is really like.

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May 28 2019

59mins

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Episode 145: Live Oak, with Moss

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This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod welcome their old friend Hugh Ryan to the Disco. He is the author When Brooklyn Was Queer, a look at the borough’s LGBTQ history. The trio discusses the history behind the book, the New York Public Library grant that made writing the book possible, and their time together at Bennington. Additionally, they have Hugh pick a book for them to read and discuss: a new edition of Walt Whitman’s poem, Live Oak, with Moss.

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May 14 2019

57mins

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Episode 144: The Call of the Wild

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This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod get wild as they discuss Jack London’s classic portrait of the unforgiving and brutal life of being a dog in the Klondike Gold Rush. Additionally, the trio discusses their personal relationships with wolves (and pet dogs), Jack London’s ties to Northern California, and why works like London’s are not seen as literary canon.

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May 07 2019

1hr 4mins

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Episode 143: Sense and Sensibility

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Today we head back to a classic of English literature as Julia, Rider, and Tod read and discuss one of Jane Austen’s enduring novels of manners and marriage, Sense and Sensibility. Tod and Rider also give an update on their recent experiences at the AWP and Emerald City Comic Con conferences, respectively, and the debate on who is the favorite host amongst listeners.

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Apr 16 2019

55mins

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Episode 142: Heart Berries

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This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod discuss Terese Marie Mailhot‘s short and powerful memoir, Heart Berries. In the sledgehammer of a book, Mailhot addresses the traumas she has gone through in her life, from the sexual abuse she endured as a young child to later hospitalization for posttraumatic stress and bipolar disorders and her conflicted relationship as a parent to three children, something that has endured for multiple generations in her family. 

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Apr 02 2019

44mins

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Episode 141: The Girl from the Black Lagoon

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This week, the Literary Disco trio sit down with Mallory O’Meara to discuss her new book, The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Millicent Patrick, the true story of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters. Mallory then picks a book for everyone to discuss, and her choice is Kill the Next One by Federico Axat, which proves to be a decisive choice. Let the fight begin!

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Mar 21 2019

1hr 1min

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Episode 140: The Last Samurai

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This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod discuss Helen Dewitt’s novel The Last Samurai, which, they are compelled to point out, has nothing to do with the horrible Tom Cruise movie of the same name. Recently named the Best Book of the 2000s by Vulture, the Literary Disco trio debates the novel’s current relevance, the pressure of child prodigies, and how we deal with the family we’re given. Will they recommend the book? Listen to find out.

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Mar 05 2019

51mins

Play

Episode 139: Children of the Disco

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On this week's episode, Julia, Rider, and Tod discuss what each of them are reading to Literary Disco’s second generation, from Frog and Toad to The Rainbow Goblins and Barnyard Dance! Also, the three discuss whether Winnie-the-Pooh is actually any good, how animals are essential to the reading experience, and why narrative is still important in children's literature. 

Have a glass of milk, brush your teeth, and tuck yourself into bed, because Literary Disco is ready to tell you tonight's bedtime story.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Feb 19 2019

1hr 25mins

Play