Literary Disco show

Literary Disco

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

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 Episode 121: A Spell for Chameleon | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3298

Our fantasy and sci-fi correspondent Will Friedle returns! And he’s picked a doozy for us to read. Piers Anthony has written dozens of hugely popular fantasy novels, and many of them are set in the magical, pun-filled land of Xanth. Will asked us to read A Spell for Chameleon, the novel that began it all. And boy, has it not aged well… We thought Sweet Valley High was rapey. There’s literally a rape trial in the first 30 pages of this book, which seems aimed squarely at 12 year old boys. Join us for this hilarious and disturbing episode, as we marvel at what was acceptable for kids to read 30 years ago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 120: Manhattan Beach | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3116

Jennifer Egan’s a favorite author here on the Disco. But does her latest novel, the New York period piece Manhattan Beach, keep up the winning streak? It made a lot of Best Of 2017 lists, but the Disco trio is a bit divided. Are these characters realistic? Is the dialogue cliched? Even as he rambles on and on about how much he likes it, Rider admits he might be crazy… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 119: Lincoln in the Bardo | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2398

  We did it. We read the George Saunders book that blew everyone’s mind in 2017. And then we talked about it.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 118: Children’s Books | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2916

Too often, all we say about children’s books is “awwww.” Not today. Tod, Julia, and Rider dig deep into classics and new books for kids. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 117: Holiday Reading | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2242

  Happy Holidays! In honor of the season, the Disco team does a holiday-themed Bookshelf Revisit. See you in the New Year!   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 116: The Fact of a Body | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2071

Time for some non-fiction! One of the most popular books of 2017, The Fact of A Body is part true crime, part memoir. After a summer spent interning for a law firm in Louisiana, Alexandra Marzona-Lesnevich examines a murder case and how it resonates within her own life. It’s a dark and twisting tale involving the death penalty, family secrets, mental health, and yes, getting pregnant while in a body-cast. The Disco trio reads and discusses. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 115: My Brilliant Friend | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2490

It’s been all the rage at book clubs everywhere. We read the smash hit Italian novel from Elena Ferrante. Julia is effusive. Tod is stoked. Rider is…argumentative. Typical times at the Disco. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 114: A Fall Bookshelf Revisit | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1955

Tod discovers a mysterious set of diaries. Julia reads about the tech world. Rider finds out where the sidewalk ends. It’s time for a Bookshelf Revisit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 113: Poetry from Listeners Part Two, Spoken Word | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3450

We continue discussing listener recommended poetry. This time, all three poems are performed live, links below. That’s right, we’re talking spoken word! (Don’t worry, Tod refrains from poet voice.) Get ready to snap your fingers and bang your bongos. Or not. Because, you know, it’s not the 1960s…   Kate Tempest, Tunnel Vision, recommended by listener Jenny Colvin. Safia Elhillo, Alien Suite, also from Jenny Colvin. Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Dig Those Sunsets, Pony, recommended by Deej Siminoff. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 112: Poetry from Listeners Part One | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2922

What’s up with contemporary poetry? We asked you for some good recommendations, and the comments poured in to our Facebook page. On this episode, we discuss three of your poets (our next episode will focus on spoken word performances). They vary in style and substance, and will only take a few minutes to read, links below. Poetry is always an intriguing subject, and even though this is a short reading, we managed to have a wide ranging discussion. Let us know your thoughts! Gary Jackson, Magneto Eyes Strange Fruit recommended by listener Jackie Smith. Naomi Shihab Nye, Kindness recommended by listener Emily Fine. Rupi Kaur was recommended by listener Daniel Sevitt, because she is the top selling poet in the US. Here are ten of her poems. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 111: Buried Child | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3365

In the wake of his death, we read the Pulitzer Prize winning play Buried Child from playwright, actor, and all around cool cowboy Sam Shepard. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 110: Summer Reading 2017 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1328

Tod, Julia and Rider discuss what they’re reading this summer. Just in time for the…end of the season. (We recorded this a few weeks back, but had some technical issues.) Enjoy!   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 109: Street Gang | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3383

    Can you tell me how to get How to get to Sesame Street. On this episode of the Disco, we discuss the Michael Davis book, Street Gang, a detailed history of the creation and evolution of the world’s most successful children’s TV show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 108: Tower Dogs | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3789

Like most people, you probably thought the deadliest job in America had something to do with catching fish. Well, Douglas Scott Delaney’s here to tell you all about the actual deadliest job in the country, and the saddest part is, these workers die regularly for the oh-so-noble cause of better cell service. In Tower Dogs, Delaney recounts his career climbing impossibly tall towers to fix parts, install upgrades, and narrowly escape death. It’s a workplace of rough and tumble characters, men and women who live on-the-edge, quite literally.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 107: Three Day Road | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3428

Three Day Road is an award-winning Canadian novel centered on First Nation characters. It’s been heralded for celebrating forgotten heroes: natives who fought for Canada during World War I. But recently, it’s author Joseph Boyden, has come under scrutiny regarding his claims of aboriginal heritage. And so, on this episode of the Disco, we tackle some of the thorny issues surrounding cultural appropriation… Who has “the right” to pen books of marginalized peoples? Does the ethnicity of an author matter? When? Who decides? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so jump onto our Facebook page.       Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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