Best Pistell podcasts we could find (Updated December 2018)
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Literary Disco
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Writers talk about reading. Hosted by Tod Goldberg, Julia Pistell, and Rider Strong. https://www.literarydisco.com
 
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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 as Tod, Rider, and Julia have fun with ...…
 
A couple months ago, Vulture published this crazy, crazy list. It’s an admittedly premature attempt to create a literary canon for the last 18 years. In this episode of Literary Disco, we discuss the titles we were surprised by, the ones we were disappointed didn’t make it, and — mostly — how few of these books we’ve actually read. Get ready to ...…
 
It’s getting cooler, the leaves are changing, time to curl up with a good book. It’s our Bookshelf Revisit for Fall 2018, an eclectic conversation that covers: Wild children and cults. WWII and China. Robertson Davies. It makes no sense, except that it’s Literary Disco!By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
Hunter S. Thompson became a legend the moment he published this novel of a drug-fueled trip into the desert. Packed with mind-altering chemicals, extreme paranoia, and claiming to be a scathing journey to “the heart of the American Dream,” Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas established Thompson’s particular style, and purported to give voice to the ...…
 
You read it in high school. You remember the conch, Piggy, and a boar head on a stick… But do you remember the Beast? That a child disappears the first day on the island? How about the fact that this novel is set during an atomic war? And did you know this book was written in direct response to a 19th Century children’s book that had the same c ...…
 
Today we dive deep into a single poetry collection: Digest, by Gregory Pardlo. Digest won the 2015 Pulitzer, and with good reason. This is one of the most universally loved books we’ve had on the show. It’s incredibly personal, and yet it has enough intertextuality and historical references to keep you re-reading for days. Between bouts of effu ...…
 
In the 1920s, a disproportionate amount of people within the Osage nation were dying. The US government had forcibly relocated the Osage to a section of Oklahoma with some of the largest deposits of oil in North America. This quickly made the Osage the wealthiest people, per capita, in the world. And now they were being murdered. Corrupt local ...…
 
(Are we time traveling? Yes, a technical glitch set this episode back a few months…) Kristen Roupenian’s short story “Cat Person” appeared in December 2017 issue of The New Yorker, and promptly became an internet sensation. Some critics pounced, some critics praised, some men were offended, some women were offended that men were offended…and on ...…
 
We didn’t mean for these episodes to be “timely,” but these days in America, that seems unavoidable. Between posting our two-parter about Dave Cullen’s Columbine, there has been another school shooting at Sante Fe High School in Texas. Our hearts are breaking, again. We can only hope to contribute to the conversation and help move our country a ...…
 
Dave Cullen’s book Columbine is an exhaustive and brilliant examination of the infamous school shooting that stunned the country in 1999. It is also one of the first books that Tod, Julia, and Rider discussed as friends. Bonding over our love for Cullen’s work is one of the reasons Literary Disco exists. In light of the fact that school shootin ...…
 
I know, it’s a bit confusing, but some tech issues with Episode 123 means we’re skipping it for now. Instead, we zoom to the future! It’s a Bookshelf Revisit episode with a game — a new game Tod is insisting we call “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” As if there isn’t already a game called that. But first, we get to hear all about Julia and Tod getting c ...…
 
Elif Batuman’s novel was a critical darling of 2017. We try to figure out why.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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 thoug ...…
 
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 a ...…
 
We did it. We read the George Saunders book that blew everyone’s mind in 2017. And then we talked about it.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
Happy Holidays! In honor of the season, the Disco team does a holiday-themed Bookshelf Revisit. See you in the New Year!By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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, ...…
 
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.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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 list ...…
 
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 i ...…
 
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.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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!By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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 c ...…
 
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 tackl ...…
 
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: “ ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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…By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
Tod, Julia and Rider answer questions from listeners.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
Back from a long absence, we explain where we were, what we were doing, and what you should have been reading all along.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
It’s that time again. Tod and Julia discuss summer reading…and introduce a contest for Episode 100.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
Back by popular demand — games! As we near the big 100, we take some time to play a few Literary Disco classics.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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.…
 
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, Chery ...…
 
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!By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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 h ...…
 
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…By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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!…
 
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 everyo ...…
 
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.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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 ...…
 
We catch up from a long break. Some books, some travel, some major humiliation.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
This posthumous collection is getting so much praise lately– does it live up to the hype?By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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!By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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.)By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
You asked for it. We don’t know why, but you did.By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
Vacation is upon us and our book lists are piling up! As Rider enjoys his vacation, what will Julia & Tod be reading next?By literarydisco@gmail.com (Literary Disco).
 
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