Literary Disco » Literary Disco
Summary: Writers talk about reading. Hosted by Rider Strong, Tod Goldberg, and Julia Pistell.
Happy birthday to us! For our birthday, we happen to all touch on stories about us sobbing uncontrollably. What says “birthday” like dredging up childhood memories of being the fat kid? If that’s not enticing enough for you, we create a Bookshelf of Fame and each add a book to it. Then we introduce a new game called “Wordz to Your Mother,” and go back to all of our old favorites. There’s no pin the tale on the donkey, but there are victory, screaming, and nostalgia! Happy birthday, listeners!
This week on Literary Disco, full of sound and fury, we debate the meaning of the mysterious tetractus. Bookshelf roulette also leads us to a castle we can capture– but eventually, we get to discuss Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” Plus a super-special bonus discussion of the oddities and delights of the annual AWP conference.
Tonight we take on a huge subject: how we should read poetry. The discussion centers on Natalie Diaz’s collection “When My Brother Was an Aztec” and Camille Dungy’s “Smith Blue.” What do we make of these wonders? What do we think about eviscerated dogs, smashed fruit, and meth? And what do teenagers have to do with it all? Plus, we revisit the bookshelf revisit and talk Lincoln, oral histories, and the literary reviewer’s conundrum.
What do Michael Jackson, Christian Rock, and nearly-electrocuted high schoolers have in common? They’ve been written about by John Jeremiah Sullivan, and argued about by Tod, Rider, and Julia in today’s latest episode. Join us as we rhapsodize over some excellent essays. Also join us as we pull random books off our shelves (thanks to your help) and chat about them at random. Discussed: Julia tells you about Mark Twain’s OTHER pen names, Tod makes a very mysterious phone call, and Rider adores a classic.
On today’s episode, we head to Bayport to take on the brothers Hardy, those teen sleuths you thought you knew… We discuss Books One and Two of The Hardy Boys: The Tower Treasure, and The House on the Cliff. This episode offers an interesting counterpoint to our look at the first Sweet Valley High Book from Episode 3. But first, we abandon our usual Bookshelf Revisit in favor of Bookshelf Roulette. Based on random number suggestions from our Twitter followers, we each find a book on our shelf to discuss. What strange volume will we land on? And perhaps more importantly, will Tod can stay on topic? (Hint: barely.) Find out what adventures await us as we confront hobos, starvation, bad book signings, reckless jalopies, cookie-obsessed chums and the true villainy of red-heads.
We’ve tackled tigers and rubber ducks on the show before, but have we ever turned our eyes to the animal spirits of three young brothers? Justin Torees’ novel is brought to our attention by the witty and wonderful Elizabeth Crane, who joins us on the show for a quick disco dance. Plus: cosmically bad reviews, having the willpower to creatively open a cupcake, and what the hell Patty Hearst was fighting for.
Well, OUR best of 2012. Join us as Tod, Julia, and Rider go through the Top 5 books they read this year. Which of the books from previous episodes did they select? Did Pillars of the Earth make the grade? How about Sweet Valley High? Classics, new favorites, graphic novels, children’s books, and even audiobooks all make an appearance in this in-depth New Year’s discussion. And then Tod decides it’s time for a lightning round “Best Of” in all sorts of other categories, including, but not limited to, Best Cheese of 2012. And yes, dear listeners, Julia sings again.
Ho ho ho! For the holiday season, the Literary Disco team reads a book Julia got for Christmas several years ago but hadn’t yet read. “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” brings us back to discussion nonfiction and the importance of setting. Also discussed: Goodreads, a bookshelf revisit, and the special Twitter challenge!
The short story: what is it for? Who does it best? What’s a “Paris Review” short story, vs. just a regular short story? Listen to us duke it out and draw your own conclusions– or, better yet, get the book and read along.
You knew we’d have an opinion. Tod, Rider, and Julia discuss whether or not the film adaptation of “Life of Pi” lives up to the book– and whether or not you should see it. And it might not be the same answer. THERE ARE A HUNDRED THOUSAND SPOILERS IN HERE. Consider yourself warned.
You, a lifeboat, a tiger. Would you make it? Would Tod? Would Julia? Would Rider? (We have our bets.) Join our hosts as they discuss this bestselling novel and their hopes for the upcoming movie. Watch out for spoilers (though we’ll warn you).
Long ago, in a land far away, three friends decided to take on an inconceivable project. One would read a book. One would listen to the audiobook of that book. One would watch a miniseries of the audiobook of that book. And lo, how did they feel about this book– which happens to be very popular– and this audiobook, and this miniseries? Did they build a great cathedral of praise, or raise a church of complaint? (Please note: The Pillars of the Earth contains many violent descriptions of sexual assault, which we discuss.)
In this episode, we discuss autographs, first editions, mermaids, and more. Then, we read the Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys– a play! Do we make it through? Do we discuss the nature of excess, or does Tod complain the whole time? Only one way to find out…
Playlist, schmaylist. We’re calling this a mixtape: one poem, one short story, and one essay get dissected in this episode. Mary Karr’s “Suicide’s Note,” Eric Puchner’s “The Cooler Me,” and Joe Meno’s “Happiness Will Be Yours.” And of course, a knock-down drag-out argument over comic strips, more discussion of what makes a great audiobook, and frauds. Check it!
Rubber Ducky, you’re the one– you make bathtime lots of fun– until you disintegrate into the ocean and kill the very nature you purport to stand for. Tod, Rider, and Julia discuss Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn. The crew also debates reading while feverish, video games as literary experiences, and aging audio book voice actors. Finally, Julia introduces Tod and Rider to the incredible prose of George Eliot– or is it Julia herself?– in a brand-new installment of Klassics Korner with Two K’s.