Literary Disco show

Literary Disco

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

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 Episode 106: Norse Mythology | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3112

Forget what you think you know about Thor and Loki, and join the Disco trio to talk about Neil Gaiman’s latest: a retelling of Norse Mythology. Tod is bored, Rider rants, and Julia keeps her cool as the content of the Gaiman’s book is quickly abandoned in favor of discussing myths in general. Tod: “Why read about a bunch of fake gods?” Rider: “As opposed to the ‘real’ ones?” And, it’s on… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 105: Brat Pack America | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3199

After some technical difficulties (uh, Tod) we now have another Lost Episode. Goodbye, 104, we barely knew ya. So we’re jumping right to 105, in which, for the first time besides our live shows, the Literary Disco gang recorded in the same room! We discuss Kevin Smokler’s insightful survey of 1980s teen films, Brat Pack America. This great book explores the history, meaning and legacy of a series of films that had a huge impact on more than one generation of Americans. Even Julia, who was way too young to see any of them in the theater, has a lot to say. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 103: 1984 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3956

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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 102: Kindred (The Graphic Novel) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2039

Just like you, we’re on an Octavia Butler kick since reading Dawn. This episode, we check out the brand-new graphic novel adaptation of Butler’s masterpiece Kindred. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 101: Q&A | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3009

Tod, Julia and Rider answer questions from listeners. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 100! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4146

Back from a long absence, we explain where we were, what we were doing, and what you should have been reading all along. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 99: Summer Reading 2016 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3069

It’s that time again. Tod and Julia discuss summer reading…and introduce a contest for Episode 100. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 98: Games Games Games | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2975

Back by popular demand — games! As we near the big 100, we take some time to play a few Literary Disco classics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 97: Dawn | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3418

This episode, we enter the compelling world of Octavia E. Butler’s Dawn, the first in her Xenogenesis series. That’s right, we’re going full sci-fi. Post-apocalypse, aliens, tentacles and even…interspecies orgies? This little novel sends us down a rabbit hole of slavery, feminism, and the ethics of alien meddling. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 96: Why We Write About Ourselves | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3122

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] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 95: Pictures from a Revolution | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3464

This month we read a nonfiction classic about the movies that changed Hollywood– hear us battle it out between Dr. Dolittle and Bonnie & Clyde. Oscar season is over but we’re not done talking about it! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 94: The Real Muslims of Irving, Texas | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3569

This episode we discuss an essay by Colby Buzzell appearing in the March Issue of Esquire, available here. Buzzell offers a look at the life of American Muslims and the armed protestors who regularly appear outside of their mosques. While he aims for objectivity, Buzzell’s personal history becomes unavoidable: he served in the military, where he actually shot at mosques… An interesting look at a tense subject. We dive in headfirst. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 93: Best of 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 5355

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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 92: A Christmas Romance (Novel) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3207

Happy holidays! For this winter season, we got you an extra episode (to make up for our many delays this year– we blame Rider’s cute baby and Julia’s incredible myriad of technical issues). We got you what you like best: a book we were shocked by. Join us for a Christmas-themed romance novel around the fire! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 91: George & Lumberjanes | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3221

We continue our discussion with New York Public librarian Gwen, who recommended two books for us to read and discuss. Both are aimed at a younger audience but with an eye to gender and identity. George, by Alex Gino, is a coming of age story set in your typical American school and family. It just so happens our protagonist is a girl that everyone keeps assuming is a boy. Gino tackles a difficult subject in a direct and personal way, and we discuss the hurdles that may face a transgender novel written for middle-grade readers. The graphic novel Lumberjanes is similar only in that it defies gender expectations. Without ever being “issue” driven, this fun, adventurous, and beautifully drawn series of comics completely won us over. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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