207 episodes

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

Literary Disco Literary Disco

    • Arts
    • 4.5 • 17 Ratings

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

    Revisiting George Saunders

    Revisiting George Saunders

    On today's episode, we revisit a recent conversation with one favorite authors on the podcast, George Saunders, whose new story collection Liberation Day is out now.
    This episode is brought to you by Bombas, the socks Julia and her family is ALWAYS wearing! Go to bombas.com/disco and use code DISCO for 20% off your purchase!
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    • 56 min
    Episode 204: Horror

    Episode 204: Horror

    Today, on Literary Disco, we continue our genre-based season. Each episode of this season, we're diving deep into a particular literary genre, exploring what defines it, what makes it work or not work, interviewing authors, talking to fans, scholars, whomever can help us unlock what it is that makes a genre a genre. And with this, our third episode, we grab a flashlight, head into the dark woods to that house on the hill or just maybe the closet in our own room to creep around the corners, waiting for the tingling sensation in the back of our necks. And we try to find what's in the darkness as we confront the genre of horror.
    This episode's special guests include Jeff Jerome, Curator Emeritus of the Poe House and Museum; Susan Scarf Merrell, author of Shirley based on the life of Shirley Jackson; and novelist and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, who wrote the films Sinister, Doctor Strange, and The Black Phone.
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    • 1 hr 43 min
    Episode 203: Crime

    Episode 203: Crime

    Today, we continue our genre-based season where we dive deep into a literary genre exploring what defines it, what makes it work and not work, interviewing authors, talking to fans and scholars, whoever can unlock what makes a genre a genre.
    In our second episode, we find a body, a clue or two, maybe even some justice. We'll undoubtedly confront the darkness and the human heart as we talk crime. This week, our special guests are private investigator Lee Lofland, author of Police Procedure & Investigation: A Guide for Writers; Melissa Chadburn, author of A Tiny Upward Shove; and writer Ross Angelella.
    Dum dum dum.
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    • 1 hr 29 min
    Episode 202: Fantasy

    Episode 202: Fantasy

    Today we launch a new format of the Disco as we begin our "Genre Season."
    Each episode of this season, we're going to dive deep into a particular literary genre, exploring what defines it, what makes it work or not work, interviewing authors, talking to fans, scholars, whoever can help us unlock what it is that makes a genre a genre.
    With our inaugural episode, we discover our long lost lineage. hop on Pegasus, and fly to the far reaches of fantasy. Joining us is actor and writer Will Friedle, fantasy author Brandon Sanderson, and Dungeons & Dragons game designer Kate Welch.
    This is Literary Disco, the last book club you'll ever need.
    Explore more of Brandon Sanderson in our Mistborn episode.
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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Sea Tea (Literary Disco Live!)

    Sea Tea (Literary Disco Live!)

    This is a recording of a live episode from Sea Tea Improv in Hartford, Connecticut, back in March. Julia and Rider are joined by special guests curator Mallory Howard of the Mark Twain House & Museum and librarian Gwen Glazer of the Croton Free Library -- and Tod's disembodied head joining virtually.
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    • 1 hr 30 min
    Episode 201: Where the Hell Have We Been?

    Episode 201: Where the Hell Have We Been?

    Hey, guys! It's been a while. While Julia may have grown a beard, Rider still hasn't cut his hair, and Tod is still up to his old bullshit, we've been still reading books and are ready to start a new season -- with some surprises! Listen in to find out what we're going to be up to in 2022.
    We're also coming to a town near you! And by town near you, we mean those of you near Hartford, Connecticut!
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/literary-disco-live-with-rider-and-julia-tickets-290492309317
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    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

listening learning ,

Brilliant but flawed

Guys, please allow Julia to speak. There are so many interesting and insightful things to say about the books you discuss but you don’t get to say them all. You have to allow some of those to go so that Julia can add hers. She is convincingly magnanimous and incredibly tolerant - particularly when you rehash her assertions at greater length and with lesser eloquence - especially when talking about feminist issues. I’m afraid I’ve cringed a few times when, after she has waited and made affirming noises and been given a chance to begin to articulate a killer point, one or the other of you hijacks it and takes a long ride. There’s probably an app for analysing the airtime the female voice gets versus male. Don’t rely on Julia’s generosity. We’re not all that zen.

Jim the cabin pressure boy ,

Urgh

When they read books they like, mainly contemporary literary fiction for adults, it can be interesting. When they read things they don’t like, they’re not funny or insightful enough to make the review an interesting listen. It just becomes a chore: they’re the cadre of over-confident college kids in class whining that these books aren’t like the books they like. I get that not all books are good books, but there’s also a tendency for them to raise a high bar - why aren’t these books like Faulkner’s books? - that so few novels would meet, especially those that have a different mission. As I said, if there was some attempt to convey what about the writing works or doesn’t, or have some yuks at the books, fair enough. Or if the conversation ever got funny enough to be engaging. If I heard these discussions in a coffee shop, I’d have to move seats and then never frequent that coffee shop again. That said, Julia usually has a nuanced take and at least tries to draw more out of a bad reading experience than ‘oh my god, this book isn’t Moby Dick and I loved that book, why can’t all books be Moby Dick? By the way, have I mentioned how aaaaamazing Faulkner is?’

knimblethimble ,

Always entertaining and they listen to feedback

The most recent previous review criticising them for talking over Julia. I’m new to the Disco and so have been listening to old episodes in between waiting for new instalments. I can understand why the criticism was raised but I want to commend Rider and Tod for acknowledging the criticism (with plenty of good humour) and actually working hard to correct that. I think there has been a noticeable shift to correct the imbalance.

I’m loving this podcast. It’s basically my preferred kind of party - one where everyone is having an interesting conversation that is making me laugh but I’m allowed to just sit back and listen and not actually required to make a contribution. All of the fun of a social interaction but minus the anxiety. :-)

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