Rank #1: Stephanie Danler on coming of age in NYC
Stephanie Dandler and Angie sit down to discuss her novel Sweetbitter
Rank #2: Alain de Botton on keeping love alive
If you've ever been in love, had your heart broken, been in a relationship, or yearned for one, this week's episode is for you -- in other words, if you're a human, you'll benefit from listening to the wise words of world-renowned philosopher and writer Alain de Botton.
Rank #3: Ann Patchett on opening up in fiction
Ann Patchett joins Angie from Nashville to discuss her not-to-be-missed novel, Commonwealth.
Rank #4: The inimitable roxane gay
Prolific writer Roxane Gay joins Angie to discuss her collection of short stories, Difficult Women; Madonna; and her forthcoming book, Hunger.
Rank #5: Maggie Nelson reflects on her work
Maggie Nelson joins Angie to discuss her work, including The Argonauts and The Red Parts.
Rank #6: The ever introspective Mary Louise Parker
Sometimes, rarely, you meet someone whose energy radiates and fills the whole room. Mary Louise Parker is that person. She joins Angie to discuss her gorgeous first book, Dear Mr. You.
Rank #7: Neil Gaiman and Norse Gods
Comic books, graphic novels, films and audio theatre...English author Neil Gaiman has done it all! Gaiman discusses his novel, American Gods, with Lit Up host Angela Ledgerwood. As well as, what Norse Gods taught him about modern humanity and some handy tips for designing your own religion.
Rank #8: R.O. Kwon and the cult of religion
Getting rid of distractions and daily choices like what to eat and what to wear helped R.O. Kwon focus on her debut novel, The Incendiaries. This novel took her 10 years to write and she shares with Angela Ledgerwood how changes in her personal life, her stance on religion and her obsession with cults all found it's way into the final evolution of the novel.
Rank #9: Mickey Rapkin on writing a Hollywood hit
Getting a publisher to agree to print a book about the world of acapella singing groups was not an easy task for Author Mickey Rapkin, but he stuck with it and this risk let to the hugely successful trilogy of Pitch Perfect films. Host Angela Ledgerwood speaks to Mickey about where he got the idea from, how slow the process is when transitioning a book to a film and why he has chosen children's' books as his latest writing challenge.
Rank #10: Courtney Maum on the importance of touch
What does touching look like in the future or do people even touch? In her book 'Touch', Courtney Maum looks to a world where romantic touching and spontaneous touch don't happen anymore and discusses, with host Angela Ledgerwood, the issues that touch deprivation can cause amongst people and how our body language skills are getting rusty because of social media.
Rank #11: Maria Semple on friendship, city living, and coping mechanisms
Angela and best-selling author, Maria Semple, sit down and discuss her new book, Today Will Be Different.
Rank #12: Sheila Heti on the ties between female identity and motherhood
Is it desire, duty or expectation that leads someone to become a mother? This is the question Sheila Heti explores in her book Motherhood. Sheila discusses the ties between the female identity and motherhood with host Angela Ledgerwood, as well as her theory as to why female artists seem to get a pass for being child-less when women in other professions don’t.
Rank #13: Taylor Jenkins Reid on women not aspiring to be merely the muse
In the novel Daisy Jones & The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid wanted to build a female character who was not conditioned to be pleasing and likeable and would react and say things that Taylor could never say herself. Taylor chats to host Angela Ledgerwood about how important female friendships build the frameworks for relationships and how some people enjoy the feeling of shame and self-sabotage.
Rank #14: Hermione Hoby is seeking to understand people
In a world of click bait and jarring headlines journalist Hermione Hoby believes that the key to empathy and connection is in reading novels and getting the entire character of a person in order to understand their actions. Hermione speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about her debut novel Neon in Daylight, the boundaries to searching for someone's humanity and the strange world of dialling up your specific fantasies through craigslist.
Rank #15: Bret Easton Ellis on the danger of so-called thought-crime
Presenting an avatar of virtuousness online instead of presenting your real self is a danger to exploring the nuances of life and how people think, and that's what Bret Easton Ellis calls out in his first non-fiction book White. Bret explores the fame that he gained from American Psycho with host Angela Ledgerwood and how it informed his understanding of people as well as the narrative media build around celebrities. He also discusses why he believes that novels lead to a greater understanding of people than what you can get from their 'real life' on social media.