Literary Disco » Literary Disco
Summary: Writers talk about reading. Hosted by Rider Strong, Tod Goldberg, and Julia Pistell.
It’s time to get back to school and, because we’re grown-ups now, we assigned ourselves some easy homework. Tod attempts to convince Julia & Rider that “Story Songs” are a legitimate literary genre, only to offer up sappy songs about serendipitous taxis. Julia and Rider try somewhat harder, but not much. The only thing that saves them from this silly episode is a bookshelf revisit in which they each read something great.
Deep in the hundred acre woods, three writers argue over the particular pathetic nature of Eeyore. Join us this week as we welcome friend and Barnes & Noble “Discover New Writers” pick Stephen Dau, whose novel “The Book of Jonas” turns out to not be about Jonas brothers at all. We read his book and also the Winnie-the-Pooh books, which Steve reads to his daughter every afternoon. Also, Tod points us to an article about music then and now, Rider gets comical, and Julia waxes on about olde timey NYC and the pretentious things Rider used to read there.
This week we are joined by Youth Services Librarian, Erika Jelinek. Erika’s here to address Rider’s concerns (expressed oh-so-mildly in Episode 5) about the quality of today’s Young Adult Literature. In defense, she offers Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me. A coming-of-age novel with a time travel twist. The disco-teers discuss this fantastic book and the state of children’s literature in general. But first, our Book Club Revisit includes Tod talking Olympics (and, surprise surprise, avoiding books all together), Julia drinking whiskey, and Rider heading to the Russian snow for summer reading. And yes, The Cutting Edge is mentioned yet again.
So you think you don’t cry. Well, we challenge you to listen to our discussion of the Beat Generation, how the media reports school shootings, how accurately we remember our cousins, and, of course, Cheryl Strayed’s “Tiny Beautiful Things” and then read the books we’ve discussed. Who knows what will happen? Your heart might grow two sizes.
Episode 8: We begin with a Bookshelf Revisit, in which Tod discovers a pulp gem, Julia goes Sherlock crazy, and Rider is hyperbolic as usual. Then we discuss the novella Train Dreams by Denis Johnson. We end with Judging a Book By Its Cover, wherein Tod is a genius and yet still doesn’t know where (or what) Thailand is.
Somehow, Rider has never read this classic. We correct that. We also discuss the various terrors of boarding school, books from our shelves, and which parts of Crime and Punishment Tod completely made up.
Hello all, Hey, it’s new episode day! This week we welcome Mark Haskell-Smith, author of the hilarious Heart of Dankness, who shares Sarah Levine’s brilliant picaresque novel Treasure Island. We loved it. We also share some really good stuff from our bookshelves about being a starving, boxing circus freak who lives under a bridge. (Or at least, if we combined all of our recommendations into one book, that’s what it would be about. Someone write this!) And finally, Tod once again tries to stump Rider and Julia on what’s a real poem and what’s just Tod reading stuff in a ridiculous poet-y voice.
Evening, readers! Here we have Episode 5: Above the Factory. Read, listen, mull it over, throw your listening device across the room in frustration… whatever floats your boat. We also introduce a new bookish game: Judging a Book by Its Cover. We read first sentences from famous (or semi-famous) works, and then make educated guesses about the contents of the novels. Are you ready to play?
Hi, everyone! Here’s Episode 4. Sorry for the delay. We were having technical difficulties, so here’s a tried-and-true MP3 for your listening pleasure. — Friends, family, loved ones of all sorts: if you were to organize a room for a lecture, where might you put the chairs? If you were to teach people how to play charades, what would you tell them? Are messenger bags relevant to this discussion at all? Kathryn Borel discusses “The Chairs Are Where the People Go,” with Tod, Rider, and Julia, who do not agree on its quality. Ready for a showdown?
Today, we get silly. We discuss the various merits and demerits of Sweet Valley High. We revisit the classics, but upon Julia’s insistence, we give it the stupid name “Classics Corner– with two K’s!” See, that makes it friendly and approachable… right? Let us know what you think in the comments, and please enjoy!
In our second podcast, we go back to our bookshelves again (or maybe put on our ipods, or maybe even just look at the back of the book). Then we take a deep dive into Darin Strauss’ memoir, Half a Life, which leads to a hot debate about the current challenges of nonfiction. Finally, Tod tries to stump Julia and Rider by reading things from the internet in the voice of a substandard poet. If you haven’t finished the book yet, don’t fret– you can revisit the episode any time. And there are no major spoilers– Half a Life is a meditative book so it’s more about style than plot, anyway. Feel free to leave your reaction to the book in our comments, or tweet us @LiteraryDisco. Happy listening, Literary Disco
The long-awaited first episode of Literary Disco has arrived! We begin by revisiting our bookshelves and recommending some of our favorites (or, in Rider’s case, weird books from the teen years) to each other. Then we get to the meat and potatoes of the episode: Bright’s Passage. We react, we question, we banter, we express enthusiasm for talking horses. If you haven’t finished the book yet, don’t fret– you can revisit the episode any time. And there are no major spoilers. We mostly speak about style and character in this episode, not plot. Feel free to leave your reaction to the book in our comments, or tweet us @LiteraryDisco. Happy listening, Literary Disco
Subscribe and listen! This is our introductory podcast, in which Rider, Tod, and Julia discuss the books they loved, standing up to librarians, and meaningful professors.