Best Books of 2020

Click the book for our interview with the author!

Matthew McConaughey chats with Trey Elling about GREENLIGHTS, including: how Longview, TX taught him to dream; the importance of receiving validation from his dad when pursuing acting, his recollection of the 'naked bongos' arrest, memories from TRUE DETECTIVE, what "The Eyes of Texas" song means to him, and more.
The Politics Industry
Katherine Gehl chats with Trey Elling about THE POLITICS INDUSTRY, including: how the current setup benefits a select few while neglecting many, an example from more than a century ago when the people had to wrest back democracy, and viable solutions to fix elections and the legislative process.
Editing Humanity
Kevin Davies chats with Trey Elling about EDITING HUMANITY, including: the difference between CRISPR and CRISPR genome editing, the evolution of CRISPR editing, the wild story behind #CRISPRbabies in 2018, whether CRISPR babies are on the horizon, resurrecting the wooly mammoth, and more.
Money: The True Story of a Made Up Thing
Jacob Goldstein chats with Trey Elling about MONEY: THE TRUE STORY OF A MADE UP THING, including: why money is fiction AND fundamentally social, the origins of paper and coin money, Genghis Khan's kin inventing inflation, Blaise Pascal's role in the forming of insurance, the rise of digital money, and more.
Cynical Theories
Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay chat with Trey Elling about CYNICAL THEORIES, including: the three major phases of postmodernism over 50 years, why the movement rejects science, the definition of 'Theory', the ins and outs of specific Theories, the future of postmodernism, and more.
Niko Vorobyov chat with Trey Elling about DOPEWORLD, including: hanging with Columbian guerilla soldiers, China's Opium Wars, the Japanese Yakuza, Cosa Nostra's role in the worldwide heroin trade, why El Chapo is revered in Sinaloa, the origins and hypocrisy of America's War on Drugs, and more.
Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion
Greg Graffin chats with Trey Elling about DO WHAT YOU WANT: THE STORY OF BAD RELIGION, including: how the band got together, the importance of the album, Suffer; the timelessness of Stranger Than Fiction, learning from Ric Ocasek and Todd Rundgren, the band’s future goals, and more.
Chasing The Light
Oliver Stone chats with Trey Elling about CHASING THE LIGHT, including: what his mom and dad were like growing up, fighting in Vietnam, learning from Scorsese at NYU, SCARFACE as an "inside-the-park homer," the chaos of making SALVADOR, the depths of PLATOON, his beloved 49ers, and more. For Books on Pod's follow-up chat with Oliver Stone on CHASING THE LIGHT, click HERE. To watch/hear ...
Science Fictions
Stuart Ritchie chats with Trey Elling about SCIENCE FICTIONS: HOW FRAUD, BIAS, NEGLIGENCE, AND HYPE UNDERMINE THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH, including: what publishing a scientific paper looks like in its purest form, the various ways that process breaks down, tips for reading scientific papers, and more.
Nicholson Baker joins Trey Elling to discuss BASELESS, including: a question about the Korean War that sparked this ten-year project, the genesis of the CIA and US military developing biological weapons, cruel experiments performed on animals and an unknowing America public, and more.
Bill Buford chats with Trey Elling about DIRT, including: what started him on this journey, Bob the baker’s importance in Lyon, taking part in a pig-killing ritual and drinking its fresh blood, lessons learned in French cooking school and working at a Michelin-rated restaurant, and more.
How Innovation Works
Matt Ridley chats with Trey Elling about HOW INNOVATION WORKS, including: the truth about Edison and the light bulb, innovating e-cigs, potatoes, luggage with wheels, coffee, the dog as one of man's best innovations, whether China is becoming the global leader of innovation, and more.
Hollywood Park: A Memoir
Mikel Jollett chats with Trey Elling about HOLLYWOOD PARK: A MEMOIR, including: escaping a cult at the age of five, evolving his literary voice from childhood to adulthood, his badass dad, invaluable advice from The Cure's Robert Smith about "normal", the last conversation between father and son, and more.
Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother Barry Sonnenfeld chats with Trey Elling about BARRY SONNENFELD, CALL YOUR MOTHER, including: his first paying gig in the biz, as the camera guy on a porn shoot; stories from GET SHORTY, terrorizing Will Smith and family with Tucks pads, arguing with Larry David about who's more neurotic, and more.
The Splendid and the Vile
Erik Larson chats with Trey Elling about THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE, which takes a detailed look at the effects of Germany's aerial assaults on Great Britain during Winston Churchill's first year as PM. Larson also provides an update on the screen adaptation of THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY.
Einstein, Michael Jackson & Me
Howard Bloom chats with Trey Elling about EINSTEIN, MICHAEL JACKSON & ME, including: reigniting Texas pride thru ZZ Top, the gospel of Al Green, empowering Joan Jett, Bob Marley's brilliance, the magic of Prince, advising John Cougar Mellencamp to not shill ketchup, Billy Joel's "Yoko", and more.
John Tesh chats with Trey Elling about RELENTLESS, including: living in a tent and working construction during what was supposed to be his senior year in college, getting jeered by New Yorkers after Jimmy Connors’ 1982 US Open title, creating the NBA on NBC theme song, visiting a literal crackhouse, and more.
Consider This
Chuck Palahniuk chats with Trey Elling about CONSIDER THIS, including: why Chuck decided to offer writing tips in a book, the importance of establishing authority within a story, how his idea of "selling out" has changed over the years, a moment in Chuck's life after which everything was different, and more.