Literary Disco show

Literary Disco

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

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 Episode 147: Summer Reading 2019 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3555

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 146: The Man They Wanted Me To Be | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3573

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 145: Live Oak, with Moss | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3424

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 144: The Call of the Wild | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3898

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 143: Sense and Sensibility | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3355

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 142: Heart Berries | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2665

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 141: The Girl from the Black Lagoon | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3680

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! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 140: The Last Samurai | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3088

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 139: Children of the Disco | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 5105

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

 Episode 138: Let the Games Begin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2658

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! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 137: There, There | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3187

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 136: Tarzan of the Apes | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2907

Welcome to a new year, with your favorite literary podcast. We start 2019 with the classic tale of Tarzan.    We all know the story: after the death of his parents a boy is raised by apes, and encounters humans again years later when an expedition enters the jungle. How has this story aged over time? Will Tarzan be Rider's next project? Join Julia, Rider, and Tod this week to find out! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 135: On Sabrina, Men in Underpants, and Bruce Springsteen | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2479

Nick Drnaso's Sabrina is the first graphic novel to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize. It's also a beautiful and heartbreaking rendering of the current American psyche and a pointed commentary on how media has allowed conspiracy and paranoia to run absolutely rampant in the absence of answers. Join Julia, Rider, and Tod as they discuss this very important work, along with the graphic novel's realistic depiction of the male human body (mostly in their underwear), feeling empathy for those with views unlike ours, and a brief tangent on the recent Springsteen on Broadway Netflix special. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 134: The Books We Loved in 2018 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3216

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 133: Hark! The Herald Angels Scream | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:00:01

It’s the holidays! A time to deck the halls, grab some eggnog, and curl up with the SCARIEST book you can find… That’s right. Christmas horror. It’s a real thing. And Blumhouse and editor Christopher Golden have put together a collection of short fiction just in time to fill you with holiday fear. Join us […]


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