Literary Disco show

Literary Disco

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

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 Episode 90: New York Public Library | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1829

In this first half of two-part special (we’re crazy like that), we meet someone with the coolest job in the world: a recommendations editor at the New York Public Library. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 88: Justine | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3679

Justine, the first book of the legendary Alexandria Quartet, gets the disco treatment. This novel was published in 1957 and has attracted devotees ever since. Told from the perspective of an unnamed narrator, it’s a non-linear, intense examination of the city of Alexandria, Egypt, and a particular woman who lives there. Tod, Julia and Rider all agree it is dense, overwritten, and largely plot-less. Are these strengths or weaknesses? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 87: Revisitish | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3263

We catch up from a long break. Some books, some travel, some major humiliation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 86: A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2494

This posthumous collection is getting so much praise lately– does it live up to the hype? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 84: Judge a Book By Its Cover | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1959

A long-lost episode finally appears! Rider tries to trick Tod & Julia with a classic game of ours. You should be able to guess at least one of these: play along! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 85: Live from the Last Bookstore | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4502

After a brief hiatus, we’re back and we’re live! This episode has it all: nudity, cursing, Ayn Rand. Have fun and laugh along like you were there. (Episode 84 will come out next– we’re nonconformists like that.) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 83: Animorphs: The Invasion | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3180

You asked for it. We don’t know why, but you did. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 82: Summer Reading | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2189

Vacation is upon us and our book lists are piling up! As Rider enjoys his vacation, what will Julia & Tod be reading next? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 81: Tigerman | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3896

It’s officially summer, which means we too are officially given over to Marvel and DC madness. Now that our lives are all superheroes all the time (or so it seems in the movie theaters), we discuss our favorite superheros and Nick Harkaway’s fascinating novel, “Tigerman.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 80: The Empathy Exams | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4392

After a long and beautiful vacation, we’re back! And we’re busy discussing one of the year’s breakout nonfiction books, The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison. But not before we do a bookshelf roulette that brings us to favorites old and new. That’s right, we’ve got a book so new you can’t read it yet– but you’ll want to. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 79: Shackleton’s Journey | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3951

This week we read William Grill’s Shackleton’s Journey, an illustrated book for children that covers a famous expedition to Antarctica that began in 1914. It’s an interesting intersection of cold facts and beautiful drawings. And it left us feeling hopeful, despite the fact that the journey itself was a failure. Up first, a Children’s Book themed Bookshelf Revisit, in which we each pull down a favorite — and weird, they’re all weird — kid’s book. But most importantly, this is the episode where Tod reveals his secret passion project involving food. That’s right, we actually get him to talk publicly about…Goldburgers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 78: Nancy Drew | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4731

We finally take on the young detective Nancy Drew with her first adventure, The Secret of the Old Clock Much like our Hardy Boys episode, there is some confusion about the setting (less wig shops this time), the criminals, and the overall feeling that the “mystery” ain’t that mysterious. (Hint: there’s a secret in the old clock.) And who knew that this much discussion of probate law would launch one of the most beloved and imitated characters of all time? But up first: should you ever be ashamed of what you read? We read and discuss the side-by-side essays that asked this question in The New York Times Book Review. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 77: Jill Alexander Essbaum & Interrobang | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4516

We are joined this week by rising superstar Jill Alexander Essbaum (author of New York Times bestseller “Hausfrau”). Just in time for Easter, we discuss sexy religious poetry, her book, and a poetry collection you’ve never heard of: “Interrobang” by Jessica Piazza. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 76: Story Songs 2 (The Reckoning) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4213

Here we go again. No genre, subject, or style is as hotly debated as Story Songs. At least there’s no baseball this time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

 Episode 75: Wolf in White Van | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3618

An incident with a gun. A disfigured game designer. His play-by-mail roleplaying game. A death. A lawsuit. That’s all we’ll give away in an attempt not to spoil the strange and beautiful new novel that is Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle. Yes, we mispronounce his name for the first half of the show. And yes, none of us really know his music (he’s the lead singer and songwriter for the band, The Mountain Goats) but by the end of this episode, we certainly give props to John Darnielle for this incredible debut novel. We only picked up this book thanks to YOUR recommendations over at the Literary Disco Goodreads Group, and man, are we glad we listened to you guys (thank you Anastasia, Terry, Bree, and Sonnet). Keep ’em coming! Click here to purchase from an independent bookseller Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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