Books

Episode 80: Trevor Noah on Being Born a Crime

Episode 80: Trevor Noah on Being Born a Crime

LISTEN TO TREVOR NOAH HERE. Riveting. Humble. Inspiring. This is how I would describe comedian, writer, and host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah. This week he joined me at NeueHouse, in New York, for an intimate conversation about his memoir Born a Crime, which should be required reading […]

Episode 77: Brit Bennett On Secrets & The Decisions That Shape Us

Episode 77: Brit Bennett On Secrets & The Decisions That Shape Us

Listen HERE. It’s not often that a book gets as much buzz as Brit Bennett’s, The Mothers, and wholeheartedly delivers. Brit’s breakout novel eloquently dives head-on into taboo topics like religion and black motherhood, and explores how we’re shaped by certain pivotal decisions more than others. […]

Episode 76: Jessica Grose & Teddy Wayne on gender politics, infatuation and belonging

Episode 76: Jessica Grose & Teddy Wayne on gender politics, infatuation and belonging

Listen to the episode here. This week I was lucky enough to have two fab writers in the studio, Jessica Grose and Teddy Wayne. I have admired Jessica Grose from afar for as long as I’ve lived in the US, I’ve always connected with her work–her relentless […]

Episode 75: Maria Semple on her Witchy Powers, 90201, and Adapting to Seattle

Episode 75: Maria Semple on her Witchy Powers, 90201, and Adapting to Seattle

Listen here!  “Today will be different,” Maria Semple‘s latest novel, begins the way we might hope to begin a new day, with the words: “Today I will be present. Today, anyone I’m speaking to, I will look them in the eye and listen deeply. . . . […]

Episode 74: Anuradha Roy on Womanhood in India

Episode 74: Anuradha Roy on Womanhood in India

  Immerse yourself in the life of a young documentarian searching for her roots in a seaside Indian pilgrim town in Sleeping on Jupiter, Anuradha Roy’s most recent novel about the legacy of war and the state of womanhood in India. One of the pleasures of […]

Episode 73: Emma Donoghue on Fasting, Fairies, and More

Episode 73: Emma Donoghue on Fasting, Fairies, and More

  This week we have Emma Donoghue on the show to talk about her latest novel, The Wonder. She’s the author of five story collections and eight other novels, including Room (2010), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize and adapted, with a screenplay by Donoghue, […]

Episode 71: Ann Patchett on Step Families, and Lasting Bonds

Episode 71: Ann Patchett on Step Families, and Lasting Bonds

Bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—Ann Patchett delights us with stories from her childhood, the inspiration for her new novel Commonwealth. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how a chance encounter at a Sunday afternoon, gin-fueled party, reverberates through the lives of […]

Episode 69: Steph Opitz and Rachel Fershleiser on Summer Reads

Episode 69: Steph Opitz and Rachel Fershleiser on Summer Reads

This week we decided to switch it up and have two of our favorite literary professionals share their favorite books of the season. Steph Opitz is the books reviewer for Marie Claire magazine and celebrates books via work with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and the […]

Episode 66: Jessi Klein on Facing Fear, Speaking Up & Modern Femininity

Episode 66: Jessi Klein on Facing Fear, Speaking Up & Modern Femininity

Jessi Klein has been making us laugh and challenging our ideas about womanhood, feminism, and issues like age-ism, gun control, and online harassment as the head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer for years.  Now, you can get 100% pure Klein in […]

Episode 65: Jay McInerney on his Heady Early NY Years & “Bright, Precious Days”

Episode 65: Jay McInerney on his Heady Early NY Years & “Bright, Precious Days”

For those of us who ever dreamed of living in New York City, Jay McInerney’s cult sensation “Bright Lights, Big City” fueled and formed our impressions of the city. Particularly the possibility of bumping into our literary heroes and partying with them until the wee […]

Episode 64: Nicole Dennis-Benn and BuzzFeed’s Annie Daly on the Real Jamaica

Episode 64: Nicole Dennis-Benn and BuzzFeed’s Annie Daly on the Real Jamaica

Our guests this week are novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn and BuzzFeed Travel Editor Annie Daly. Together, we talk about Nicole’s debut novel “Here Comes the Sun,” a riveting look at the Jamaica beyond the pristine beaches and resorts that cater to foreigners. The novel closely examines […]

Episode 62: English Philosopher Alain de Botton on Keeping Love Alive

Episode 62: English Philosopher Alain de Botton on Keeping Love Alive

If you’ve ever been in love, had your heart broken, been in had a relationship, or yearned for one, this week’s episode is for you — in other words, if you’re a human, you’ll benefit from listening to the wise words of world-renowned philosopher and writer Alain […]

Episode 58: Yaa Gyasi on Slavery and its Haunting Legacy

Episode 58: Yaa Gyasi on Slavery and its Haunting Legacy

This week’s guest Yaa Gyasi is being called the next Toni Morrison. Her debut novel, Homegoing–praised by Ta-Nehisi Coates–is set to start conversations at home and abroad. The story spans three centuries and follows two branches of a family tree beginning with half-sisters Effia and […]

Episode 57: Jessica Valenti on How Sexism & Misogyny Negatively Shapes Womens’ Lives

Episode 57: Jessica Valenti on How Sexism & Misogyny Negatively Shapes Womens’ Lives

Jessica Valenti has been fighting against misogyny and sexism, bravely paving the way for women online ever since she founded Feministing.com. In her memoir Sex Object, out today, she reveals how decades of harassment has shaped who she is today. In this week’s episode she talks […]

Episode 55: Geoff Dyer on the Lure of Travel, Art & the Power of Place

Episode 55: Geoff Dyer on the Lure of Travel, Art & the Power of Place

I’ve read Geoff Dyer‘s work for years, so getting to talk to him in person about his work this week was an honor and a treat. One thing I didn’t expect when I started reading his most recent book–a series of fiction and non fiction […]

Episode 54: Lindy West On Living with Pride

Episode 54: Lindy West On Living with Pride

Whether this week’s guest Lindy West is taking a stance on victim-targeting rape jokes, misogyny in the comedy world or defending her place in the world as a fat woman, her words are always sharp, brilliant and ever so witty. Furthermore, she is willing to speak […]

Episode 53: Kate Tempest on Evolving through Form

Episode 53: Kate Tempest on Evolving through Form

This week our guest is the British poet, playwright, and spoken-word performer Kate Tempest. She’s a force to be reckoned with — her talents are so plentiful and her intellect so sharp, that I’m sure you’ll be hanging on her every word, just like I […]

Episode 51: Maggie Nelson on Gender, Sexuality, and Beyond

In the introduction to this week’s show, I say that Maggie Nelson is one of the most electrifying writers at work today. It’s worth mentioning this again, because it’s true! Her writing defies, blends, and bends genres. Reading it makes me question why we’re so […]

Episode 50: Padma Lakshmi on Love, Loss, and What We Ate

Episode 50: Padma Lakshmi on Love, Loss, and What We Ate

This week’s episode is guaranteed to inspire. My guest is the one and only Padma Lakshmi. I was lucky enough to record with her last week at Soho House in New York to celebrate her memoir “Love, Loss, and What We Ate.” In it she […]

Episode 49: Matt Gallagher on War, Coming Home & Life After Combat

  This week I sat down with former US Army Captain Matt Gallagher to talk about his debut novel Young Blood. I have to admit, I’m not routinely drawn to contemporary war novels, but when a friend suggested I read this book (and I began to […]

Episode 48: Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney on Relishing Dysfunctional Families

This week, our guest Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney brings us her scandalous and sexy debut novel, “The Nest,” a comedy about greed, family rifts and money anxiety in New York City. The adult Plumb siblings Leo, Jack, Melody and Beatrice have built their adult lives on […]

Episode 47: Karan Mahajan on Living with Global Terrorism

Karan Mahajan‘s novel “The Association of Small Bombs” is, put simply, excellent. It’s devastating, sharp and tender. In it, Karan explores the disintegration of the lives of both Hindus and Muslims affected by a bomb blast at Lajpat Market in Delhi in 1996. Karan and I […]

Episode 46: Melissa Broder & Karolina Waclawiak on So Sad Today

This week we get up close and personal with two of the most exciting voices of today; Melissa Broder and Karolina Waclawiak. Melissa Broder is a poet, author of the collection of essays “So Sad Today,” a Twitter guru and a monthly horoscope columnist for Lenny Letter. Karolina […]

Episode 45: Alec Ross on Innovation, Cyber Weaponry, and Robots!

Get ready for a conversation that will get you thinking (or in my case, freaking out) about the future. Globalization and the Internet have had a world-changing impact on markets and businesses over the last two decades. The question now is: What comes next? This […]

Episode 44: Hannah Tennant-Moore On Lust, Rage and Finding Buddhism

  Welcome to this week’s episode! I’d like to thank Paris-based, composer and bassist, Marc Marder, for our new, elegant and ever so sexy, intro music. You’ll get a hint of his immense talent in this brief opening snippet, but you can find more about his celebrated […]

Episode 43: Style Icon Garance Doré On Ditching Perfection and Getting On With it!

In the world of fashion Garance Doré needs no introduction – she is, perhaps, the most beloved style icon of today – stylish because she is both elegant and kind. Since starting her namesake blog ten years ago she has amassed a huge cult following, in part because of […]

Episode 42: Maria Konnikova on the Psychology of Crafty Con Artists

From the moment this week’s conversation starts with journalist and psychologist Maria Konnikova, author (most-recently) of The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It…Every Time, you’ll be captivated by her enthusiasm for the criminal mind. Join us as we chat about the cunning antics of the […]

Episode 41: The Revelatory Mary-Louise Parker

Our guest this week is Mary-Louise Parker; the Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe award-winning actress and writer of the exceptional memoir-in-letters, Dear Mr. You. It would be an understatement to say I was nervous for this interview – there were breathing exercises happening moments before she walked in […]

Episode 40: Alexander Chee on the Power of the 19th Century Parisian Courtesan

This week we go on a sumptuous and extravagant journey back in time to Second Empire Paris with Alexander Chee. We were lucky enough to record this conversation live at Soho House in New York.  It was the perfect setting to celebrate Alex’s epic novel The Queen of […]

Episode 39: Helen Ellis – Writer, Poker Player and Housewife Extraordinaire

This week’s conversation with writer, professional poker player and all-round Southern belle, Helen Ellis, author of the sardonic, brilliant and sharp-witted collection of stories American Housewife, may have you longing for a mint julep, or perhaps, more importantly, an expert bra fitter of your own – […]

Episode 38: Sunil Yapa on Action Through Empathy

Our guest this week Sunil Yapa talks about his first novel Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, which takes place on one cold November day at the 1999 The World Trade Organization protests in Seattle. There couldn’t be a more timely […]

Episode 36: Steve Toltz on resilience and human nature

  This week I was lucky enough to speak with fellow Aussie writer Steve Toltz, author of the highly acclaimed and universally loved, A Fraction of the Whole, shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the 2008 Guardian First Book Award. His new novel Quicksand is as wonderfully […]

Episode 35: Stacy Schiff Unpacks the Hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials

This week’s guest is the formidable Stacy Schiff. She’s the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) for which she won the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, and Cleopatra: A Life. Her latest book, The Witches: […]

Episode 34: Lauren Redniss on unearthing unique stories and the challenges of climate change

  I have been following Lauren Redniss‘s work for many years. When a friend suggested I get her second book, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout, after it was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award, I snapped it up right […]

Episode 33: Molly Crabapple on The Paris Attacks, Refugees, Her Art and witness journalism

This week I’m joined by artist, writer and activist Molly Crabapple to talk about her memoir Drawing Blood. It’s as visceral as the title suggests—there is so little separating her wild heart from the page, that her words (and illustrations), bursting with passion, will ignite […]

Episode 32: Alex Mar on Modern Witchcraft in America

When I hear the word “witches” I think of Salem, black cats and broomsticks. But according to our guest this week, Alex Mar, the real life world of witches couldn’t be farther from those storybook images. Her gripping book, Witches of America, explores not only modern-day, nature-worshipping witchcraft, but […]

Our First Live! Episode at the Soho House with Bill Clegg

This week’s show is our first live recording from the Soho House in New York! I was so excited to kick off the Lit Up Literary Salon with NY-based writer and renowned literary agent, Bill Clegg. His novel Did You Ever Have a Family is a heartbreaking book for sure, […]

Episode 29: Irin Carmon on Notorious RBG Fighting for Equality

As soon as I heard that MSNBC journalist, Irin Carmon, and Shana Knizhnik, creator of the Internet sensation Notorious RBG Tumblr planned to co-author a book about the formidable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I was relentless in my goal to get one of them on the show! Apparently […]

Episode 28: Garth Risk Hallberg on How New York Inspired Him to Write City on Fire

Rarely does a book make as big of a splash in the literary world as Garth Risk Hallberg‘s sweeping novel City on Fire. Vogue and New York Mag both recently featured profiles on Garth, and every single media outlet has something to say about this exciting […]

Episode 27: Sloane Crosley on Adulthood, Friendship & Not Being Sorry

This week’s guest is the witty and wise Sloane Crosley. Having followed her essay writing for years, it was such a thrill and honor to her have her in the studio talking about her first novel, The Clasp. In usual Lit Up style we start talking […]

Episode 26: Nikesh Shukla on Doppelgängers and Online Life

This week English writer Nikesh Shukla talks about his most recent novel Meatspace, a hilarious (and often wonderfully deranged) look at the Internet and social media through the eyes of two brothers Kitab and Aziz, living in London. Both are obsessed and defined by their online […]

Episode 25: Lauren Groff on Sex, Marriage, and Feminism

This week Emily and I were lucky enough to chat with Lauren Groff about her most recent novel Fates and Furies. Just days before, the book was long listed for The National Book Award for Fiction, so of course we needed to celebrate. We apologize […]

Episode 24: Adam Johnson on Finding the Light in the Darkness

This week we were greatly humbled by our guest the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Adam Johnson, who generously regaled us with stories of his time in North Korea, his unusual childhood, and family matters close to the heart. Just a few days after recording with us, […]

Angie chats with Artist José Parlá for Interview Magazine

Last week I was lucky enough to speak with artist José Parlá in his studio for Interview Magazine. I highly suggest checking out his exhibit “Surface Body/Action Space,” on show now at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in collaboration with Mary Boone Gallery in Chelsea, New York. Here’s the piece […]

Episode 23: The Wit & Wisdom of Margo Jefferson

Our guest this week is the Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson author (most recently) of her controversial and revealing memoir, Negroland. The touching and piercing book speaks to her experience of growing up in the black elite of Chicago in the 60s and 70s. […]

Episode 22: Cosmic Cartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchetto

How have I been missing out on graphic novels for so long?! This week’s guest is the celebrated New Yorker cartoonist and the acclaimed author of Cancer Vixen, Marisa Acocella Marchetto. She talks about her stunning new graphic novel Ann Tenna which chronicles an influential gossip columnist brought […]

Episode 21: Julia Pierpont, on the Road from MFA to Debut Novelist

This week’s guest, Julia Pierpont, talks about her gripping, breakout, debut novel Among the Ten Thousand Things. This psychologically nuanced story about a family’s unraveling begins with the unthinkable when a box full of correspondence between the family’s father, Jack, and his mistress, arrives at his home. Then, instead […]

Art of the Out-of-Office Reply – Emily’s Latest New York Times Piece

Art of the Out-0f-Office Reply by Emily Gould (as first seen in The New York Times August 27th) Ah, the feeling of excitement and gratification that someone has replied to your email so quickly, followed milliseconds later by the deflating realization that what you have actually […]

Episode 20: Alexandra Kleeman & Alex Gilvarry on reinvention in America and more

Get ready for a peculiar, wonderful, and wacky conversation with this week’s guest Alexandra Kleeman.  Her debut novel You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine, out today, is supercharged with wit, creepiness and unsettling obsessions with hunger, religion, and consumerism. Did we mention inverse pornography, […]

Episode 19: Lauren Holmes On The Word Slut, Sexuality, And More

This week’s guest Lauren Holmes is one of the most exciting new writers to hit the literary scene. Her recently released, debut collection of short stories Barbara the Slut and Other People, is causing a stir not only because it is hysterical, moving and candid […]

One Summer Book That Looks Like a Tall Glass of Water

The Rocks by Peter Nichols Don’t be fooled by this breezy cover, the idyllic Mediterranean setting and the brooding sexiness of the glitzy and sexy crowd—this book is way more than light reading fodder. To prove it we can start with the opening scene, so […]

Episode 18: Hallie Cantor & Maeve Higgins on Writing Comic Gold

Funny girls, Hallie Cantor and Maeve Higgins, join me to talk about mining their humiliations for material, being vulnerable in front of an audience, developing their jokes on Twitter, and so much more. Hallie wrote on the sensational 3rd season of Inside Amy Schumer and writes humor pieces […]

Episode 17: Rachel Hills on Debunking The Sex Myth

This week we talk sex with journalist Rachel Hills about her new book The Sex Myth: The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality. Hills explores big questions like; ‘What do our sex lives say about us?’ And, personal gems such as, ‘if everyone’s really having sex all […]

Episode 16: Paula McLain on Our Female Heroines from the Past

One might think it would be hard to follow the phenomenal best-seller The Paris Wife (not to mention the pressure for another hit!) but Paula McLain has done it again with her latest transporting African adventure Circling the Sun. Paula returns to the 1920s, a […]

Episode 15: Lidia Yuknavitch on the Necessity of Art, Sex and Love

Lidia Yuknavitch was one of the most warm and open guests we’ve had on the podcast and spoke with me about everything from the expansive nature of sex, to potential ways through trauma, to much more. Most recently, she is the author of the fierce and explosive novel, The […]

Episode 14: Sarah Hepola on Vulnerability, Blackout Drinking and More

This week’s episode with the generous and charismatic Sarah Hepola is one of my stand-out favorites. Sarah and I start out discussing her memoir Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget, including her childhood in Dallas, her fateful first drink and her many years […]

Word Association with Jess Walter!

Earlier in the month BuzzFeed got up close and personal with Judy Blume and we loved it so much we decided to play our own version with our guest Jess Walter. Hilarity ensued. Here goes… Hollywood – Notes meeting (bottled water?) Basketball – Remembrance of […]

New Pioneer Works Bookstore in Red Hook & The Perfect Sunday

When artist Dustin Yellin was inspired to turn an abandoned iron works building in Red Hook, Brooklyn, into the progressive interdisciplinary art space Pioneer Works in 2011, I’m not sure he could have foreseen how much it was going to enhance the art landscape in […]

About Race: The Much-Needed Voice of The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb

After recording this week’s episode with Jess Walter and Emma Straub I realized how uncomfortable and nervous I was talking about race on the show. The topic came up because Jess is from Spokane, Washington, the same town as Rachel Dolezal, the former president of […]

Episode 12: Morning Cocktails with Jess Walter & Emma Straub

Welcome to our powerhouse episode with Jess Walter and Emma Straub! We sipped on Bloody Marys and chatted about every topic under the sun from the Rachel Dolezal controversy, Emma’s imaginary morning workout regime, the memoir-ization of fiction, what “summer reads” mean to each of […]

Lit Up Episode 11: Jami Attenberg on being an ‘open source writer’ and her worst fear

It’s the season of summer reading lists! We gave you some of our favs last week, but decided to take it inward this episode with our own ‘books that make us better’ list. Angie went to her yoga teacher Aaron Dias for some recommendations to take away with […]

Lit Up Episode 10: Laura Dave on winemaking, starting over & writing in Los Angeles

We like to think of this week’s show with Laura Dave as our ‘get ready for Summer’ episode, packed with books that beckon to be read as the temperature rises. Emily often returns to the work of French novelist Colette and I’m excited to devour […]

Elisa Albert On Birth, Friendships, and the Job That Unexpectedly Changed Her Life

Elisa Albert’s After Birth, her third book, has been a breakthrough for the young novelist, reviewed glowingly all over the damn place. In the New York Times, Merritt Tierce memorably described the book as  “wet, red, slimy, alive: a truth baby.”  It’s the story of […]

Lit Up Episode 8: Nell Zink on freeing her mind and the problem of good men

When Nell came to visit us, she broke out in a gorgeous song, that unfortunately we lost to some faulty equipment (ah technology).  We were devastated to lose such a gem- it’s in moments like these that we remember why we devote so much time […]

New Art Book: Parisians’ Private Moments

  Photographer Gail Albert-Halaban likes to look into people’s windows. But not in a creepy way. In fact, when she started her Out My Window project she had no idea how much it would change her life and enrich the lives of those involved. In […]

Lit Up Episode 7: Kate Bolick on the Spinster State of Mind

This week’s guest Kate Bolick needs little introduction. Her article All The Single Ladies, a cover story for The Atlantic in November of 2011, made her a household name. The piece sparked unprecedented debate about the shifting dynamics of marriage and traditional gender roles – […]

Honoring ANZAC Day with some great Aussie authors and ANZAC Biscuits

Every good Aussie knows that April 25th, otherwise known as ANZAC Day, is sacred. It commemorates the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps veterans lost in all wars. Originally, the day honored the ANZAC’s who fought as part of the Allied Forces along the Gallipoli […]

Jillian Tamaki and Other Masters of Visual Storytelling: Emily’s Faves

On this week’s episode, when Angie asked what I’d been reading, I talked about Jillian Tamaki’s SuperMutant Magic Academy, a collection of Tamaki’s award-winning webcomic that also features a bonus “afterschool special” that goes deeper into the lives of some of the one-pager’s characters.  The […]

Spooky Science Explained

  I came across Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout, written and illustrated by Lauren Redniss, after it had been nominated as a finalist for the National Book Award in Non-Fiction a few years ago. My first was thought was, […]

Emily’s Must-Read Books of 2015

2015 is shaping up to be a good year for people who depend on books as much as I do for diversion and emotional sustenance. Here are some forthcoming books (first seen in Paper Magazine) that I’ve been #blessed enough to get a peek at […]

Angie’s Book Picks That Will Change Your Life

Just Kids by Patti Smith In the mid-1960s Patti Smith was still a self-described country mouse—observant, somewhat shy and new to New York City. Around this time she met Robert Mapplethorpe by chance—she went to Brooklyn to visit friends only to find out that they’d […]