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Literary Disco

Updated about 1 month 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

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

iTunes Ratings

297 Ratings
Average Ratings
228
32
13
9
15

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

297 Ratings
Average Ratings
228
32
13
9
15

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.
Cover image of Literary Disco

Literary Disco

Latest release on May 27, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

Rank #1: 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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Rank #2: Episode 40: Things Fall Apart

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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 Run…which, perhaps predictably, inspires some Springsteen singing.
There’s no outro to this episode, since Rider is on the road to his wedding and without a microphone. But up in two weeks: just in time for Halloween, the Disco will take on Stephen King’s new novel, Dr. Sleep.
Happy listening!
Click here to purchase from an independent bookseller

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Oct 14 2013

54mins

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Rank #3: 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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Rank #4: 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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Rank #5: 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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Rank #6: 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?
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Jan 21 2014

1hr 3mins

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Rank #7: 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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Rank #8: Episode 96: Why We Write About Ourselves

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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 and includes pieces by Darin Strauss, Cheryl Strayed, Anne Lamott and more.
These essays are brief, interesting glimpses behind the curtain; a chance to see how some writers approach their material. And, perhaps not surprisingly, the process and philosophy varies greatly from writer to writer.
[No, it’s not your speakers, please excuse the horrible sound quality from Rider’s microphone]

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Apr 07 2016

52mins

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Rank #9: 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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Rank #10: 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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Rank #11: 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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Rank #12: 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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Rank #13: Episode 134: The Books We Loved in 2018

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The last book club you’ll ever need. This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod discuss the best books they read in 2018, including Tara Westover’s Educated, Arthur Krystal’s This Thing We Call Literature, and Jonathan Weisman’s (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump. 

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Dec 11 2018

53mins

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Rank #14: Episode 9: Tiny Beautiful Things

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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 two sizes.

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Jul 23 2012

47mins

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Rank #15: Episode 16: Pillars of the Earth

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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 popular– and this audiobook, and this miniseries? Did they build a great cathedral of praise, or raise a church of complaint? (Please note: The Pillars of the Earth contains many violent descriptions of sexual assault, which we discuss.)

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Nov 05 2012

52mins

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Rank #16: Episode 167: Middlemarch, Book One

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Ever wondered what 900 pages of turgid prose sounds like when dropped on a desk? This week is part one of our #Quarantine read of George Eliot's long and intimidating classic novel from the nineteenth century, Middlemarch.

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Apr 14 2020

34mins

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Rank #17: 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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Rank #18: Episode 2: Half a Life & Poet Voice

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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 tries to stump Julia and Rider by reading things from the internet in the voice of a substandard poet.
If you haven’t finished the book yet, don’t fret– you can revisit the episode any time. And there are no major spoilers– Half a Life is a meditative book so it’s more about style than plot, anyway.
Feel free to leave your reaction to the book in our comments, or tweet us @LiteraryDisco.
Happy listening,
Literary Disco

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Apr 10 2012

51mins

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Rank #19: Episode 45: Best of 2013

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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 moment of the year. Happy New Year from the Disco!

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Dec 23 2013

1hr 16mins

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Rank #20: Episode 37: Hot for Teacher, LIVE!

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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, Ivy selected the novel Tampa by Alissa Nutting, the first book to make Tod’s jokes and innuendos seem tame by comparison.
But first, we each do a Bookshelf Revisit, two of which harken back to the “origin stories” we told in our very first episode. Then Tod brings the Poet Voice to the masses. We let the audience vote on which of his dramatically intoned selections is actually a poem.
It’s long, it’s unruly, and thanks to many technical issues, it doesn’t sound all that great…but it’s Literary Disco live!
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Sep 03 2013

1hr 24mins

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