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Lit Up

Join host Angela Ledgerwood as she chats to the authors she loves most about books, life, and what lights them up.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Join host Angela Ledgerwood as she chats to the authors she loves most about books, life, and what lights them up.

Wajahat Ali on 9/11, being American, and how his sense of humor landed him love.

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This week on the pod, Angela speaks with Wajahat Ali, author of the new book Go Back To Where You Came From and Other Helpful Recommendations On How To Become American.

Angie and Wajahat talk about how it took 3 months (but really forty years) to write the first draft of his book, how his sense of humor landed him love, and what being Muslim in America looks like after 9/11.

Go Back To Where You Came From and Other Helpful Recommendations On How To Become American is available now. Click to purchase it right there!


Next time: Maeve Higgins!

Jan 25 2022

33mins

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Book and TV critic Hillary Kelly on her most anticipated books of 2022, and why she doesn't *get* books about happy people.

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It's a new year, and we're so excited to be joined by HIllary Kelly, a book and TV critic at Vulture, The New Yorker, and LA Times. Angela and Hillary talk about the books they missed in 2021, and what to look forward to in 2022. They also talk about the hype machine, talking about books others pretend to like, how doing a profile of Claire Vaye Watkins helped her get over her own fears, and why she doesn't know what books about happy people want from her.


Books discussed in this episode:

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins

Night Bitch by Rachel Yoder

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen

Happy All The Time by Laurie Colwin

So Long, See You Tomorrow by Richard Maxwell

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Hillary's favorites from last year:

Night Bitch by Rachel Yoder

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen

Hillary's picks for next year:

The Invisible Kingdom by Meghan O'Rourke

Foreverland: On the Divine Tedium of Marriage by Heather Havrilesky

Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation by Maud Newton

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara 

Thanks so much for listening! In two weeks, we'll be speaking with Wajahat Ali, author of the forthcoming Go Back To Where You Came From.

Jan 11 2022

35mins

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Angela got you a Christmas present! Plus an end-of-year review.

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Angela and Liam, our producer, finally met in person this week after over a year of working on the pod together! Angie and Liam jumped on the mics to talk about some of their great memories from a year of podcasting. Then they give you a Christmas present (scroll down in the feed to see what it is!).

All the episodes we talked about are available at lituppodcast.com or wherever you like to listen!


(PS You may occasionally hear an echo of Liam. Technical issue on our end. Blame the eggnog.)

Dec 21 2021

22mins

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Uli Beutter Cohen on subways, stillness, and the next 10 thousand years.

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This week on the podcast Angela chats with Uli Beutter Cohen, who spent the last 7 years riding the subway and asking people what they were reading. This led to her acclaimed Instagram account Subway Book Review, and her new book Between The Lines: Stories From The Underground. Angie and Uli discuss their favorite subway stations (obviously), the need for Savasana, and what the next 10 thousand years might look like.

We'll be back in two weeks with a Christmas present for you.

Dec 07 2021

50mins

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Ann Patchett on a remarkable friendship, the importance of Snoopy in her life, and much, much more.

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This week Angela talks to Ann Patchett about her book These Precious Days. Angie and Ann discuss her remarkable friendship with Sooki Raphael, whose work graces the cover of Ann's book. They also talk about why writing about happy people seems like a radical thing to do lately.

Nov 23 2021

45mins

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Emily Ratajkowski on why writing feels like a feminist act.

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This week Angela talks to model, entrepreneur and writer Emily Ratajkowski. She's written a new book called 'My Body,' that delves into the way Emily's image has been bought and sold, and the way this has impacted her. Angie and Emily talked about what feminism is, the role of mothers in how we see ourselves, and the writers they both love.

You can purchase 'My Body' via the link on our website, LitUpPodcast.com

Next time on Lit Up: Ann Patchett on These Precious Days.

Nov 09 2021

28mins

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Brendan Borrell on the race to the Covid vacine

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It's a big week here at Lit Up. Angie sits down with Brendan Borrell, author of The First Shots, The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine, a book she is publishing through her job as Editorial Director at Sugar23 books. 

The First Shots bring us inside the world of the vaccine race, and will soon be adapted for HBO by Adam McKay (Succession, The Big Short, Anchorman). You can purchase the book via the link on our website, lituppodcast.com


In two weeks: Emily Ratajkowski on her memoir, My Body.

Oct 26 2021

45mins

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Adrienne Westenfeld on Matrix, Harlem Shuffle, My Body, and other books you should read this Fall.

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This week on Lit Up, Angela brings on Esquire editor Adrienne Westenfeld to talk about the books you should read this Fall. Adrienne and Angie also talk about TV, Hobbits, the changing ways men are writing about masculinity, and a lot more.

You can read Adrienne's writing in Esquire and on esquire.com

Next week: Brendan Borrell and The First Shots, his book about the COVID vaccine race.

Oct 19 2021

40mins

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Christine Pride and Jo Piazza on interracial friendship, and their new book, We Are Not Like Them.

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This week Angela welcomes Christine Pride and Jo Piazza on Lit Up to talk about their new book, We Are Not Like Them. They talk about their own interracial friendship, how it informed their book, and what it's like to write with another person.

We Are Not Like Them is available now, and you can purchase it via the link on our website, LitUpPodcast.com

Oct 12 2021

46mins

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Stanley Tucci on Taste, life's journeys, and wooing through food.

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This week, Angela welcomes actor, director, writer, TV show host, and Instagram’s favorite bartender Stanley Tucci to Lit Up. Angie and Stanley talk about food (of course), living in Italy, and how you should always talk to whoever’s next to you.

Stanley’s book, Taste, is available now, and you can purchase it via the link on our website, LitUpPodcast.com

Oct 05 2021

38mins

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Annie Daly on wellness, self-care, and what those words mean all over the world.

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This week, Angela welcomes her old friend and colleague Annie Daly on the podcast to chat about her new book Destination Wellness. They talk about the commercialization of wellness, the origin of the term self-care, and that time they crashed a wedding. They also talk about how to be a better traveler.

Annie’s book is available now, and you can purchase it via the link on our website, LitUpPodcast.com

Next week: The Tooch.

Sep 28 2021

41mins

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Reeves Wiedeman on his obsessive viral article ‘The Spine Collector.’

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For the past 5 years, a mysterious figure has been tricking agents, famous authors, book scouts, and other unwitting participants into sending them their precious manuscripts. New York Magazine writer Reeves Wiedeman began an obsessive, exhaustive to figure out who this person is. Angie and Reeves talk about the exhaustive work (and danger) that went into finding the spine collector, as well as his book Billion Dollar Loser, The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neuman and Wework.

Sep 21 2021

35mins

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Liz Plosser on mornings, routines, and working from home.

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With fall here in the US, and much of the world going in and out of lockdown, Angela is feeling like it’s a moment of transition, so she decided to talk to a friend and colleague for guidance. Liz Plosser is the Editor in Chief of Women’s Health, and she’s written a new book called Own Your Morning. Angie and Liz talk about changing routines, how your personal life can bring joy to your work zoom meeting, and how to survive working next to your partner.

Let us know about your moment of transition on Twitter or Instagram @LitUpShow.

Sep 14 2021

40mins

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Parker Posey on her friendship with Nora Ephron, acting with integrity and the past lives of dogs.

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Angie misses New York. Yes, she still lives there, but she's missing the beautiful chaos of life before the pandemic in New York. Maybe that's why she decided to share one of her favorite episodes with the quintessential New Yorker Parker Posey. If you're a lucky New Yorker, you saw her walking in the East Village, crossing the street in a turban or with her little dog Gracie.

Back in 2019, before the pandemic, Angie and Parker got together at an energetic New York spot to talk about her memoir, You're on an Airplane, A Self-Mythologizing Memoir. They talk about Parker's upbringing, her artistic process, how she prepares for roles in films like Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show, and a lot more.

Aug 31 2021

55mins

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Min Jin Lee on the history of Korean families in Japan (from 2017).

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For the next couple weeks, we’re going into the archives to give you some of our most requested episodes. This week, Angie talks with National Book Award Finalist Min Jin Lee about her smash novel Pachinko. It’s a timely conversation about complicated history and the experience of people who are persecuted where they live and have no choice but to flee.

Next we’ll be revisiting Angela’s conversation with the one-and-only Parker Posey! Please tell your book-loving friends and family all about Lit Up.

Aug 24 2021

48mins

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Katie Kitamura on the charismatic nature of power and her new novel, Intimacies.

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This week on the podcast, Angela speaks with Katie Kitamura, author of the new novel Intimacies. Katie and Angie talk about how novels become different things once they are written, what it’s like being married to a writer, and catching your students on YouTube.

Katie's new novel, Intimacies, is available now and you can purchase via the link on our website, LitUpPodcast.com.

Aug 17 2021

41mins

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Meredith Westgate on guarding what we share with those we love, and her new book The Shimmering State.

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This week on the podcast, Angela speaks with Meredith Westgate, author of the new novel The Shimmering State. Meredith and Angie talk about the pitfalls of sharing too much with your partner, the power dynamics in Hollywood for young women, and the power of dance.

You can purchase Meredith's debut novel, The Shimmering State, via the link on our website, LitUpPodcast.com.

Aug 10 2021

31mins

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Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi on how history lives in our bodies and the joy of riding horses.

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This week on the podcast, Angela speaks with Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi, author of Call me Zebra and her new novel Savage Tongues. Azareen tells Angie about traveling with healing in mind, how mothers and daughters speak to one another, and the way riding a horse makes her feel.

Aug 03 2021

36mins

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Stephanie Danler on confronting the past and the value of gentleness.

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This week on the podcast, Angela speaks with Stephanie Danler, author of the best seller Sweetbitter and her new memoir Stray. Stephanie tells Angela about confronting her past, the dangers of magical thinking, and the value of gentleness.

Stray is available now and you can purchase it via the link on our website, LitUpPodcast.com.

Lit Up is a podcast from Sugar23. It's hosted by Angela Ledgerwood and produced by Liam Billingham. Mike Mayer and Michael Sugar are the executive producers. This week's episode was edited by Rebecca Seidel. The theme music is by Andrey Radovsky.

Jul 27 2021

39mins

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Raven Leilani on art & failure, writing to her past self, and Six Flags.

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This week on the podcast, Angela speaks with Raven Leilani author of the award-winning book Luster. Raven tells Angie about her obsession with painting, writing as the act of speaking to your past self and failure being integral to making art. They also talk about Six Flags as a romantic destination.

Luster is available now and you can purchase it via the link on our website, LitUpPodcast.com

Lit Up is a podcast from Sugar23. It's hosted by Angela Ledgerwood and produced by Liam Billingham. Mike Mayer and Michael Sugar are the executive producers. This week's episode was edited by Rebecca Seidel. The theme music is by Andrey Radovsky.

Jul 20 2021

40mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

102 Ratings
Average Ratings
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Lit up indeed!

By MOREPB - Oct 30 2019
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Excellent episode with Vicki, the 70-something memoirist.

Love this podcast

By bookish person - Oct 21 2018
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I listen to each and every one of these. Love the thoughtful questions