Favorite Books of 2020

Click the book for our interview with the author!

Alright, Alright, Alright
Melissa Maerz chats with Trey Elling about ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, including: parallels between DAZED AND CONFUSED and director Richard Linklater's real high school experience, stories behind the most memorable scenes, Linklater's fights with the studio over the music and marketing DAZED as stoner flick, and more.
White Market Drugs
David Herzberg chats with Trey Elling about WHITE MARKET DRUGS, including: details of the three different "pharmaceutical" drug crises in America since the 1870s, the main drug(s) of choice in each era, big pharma's role in fueling each, the successes and failures of various reform efforts, and more.
Talking to Goats
Jim Gray chats with Trey Elling about TALKING TO GOATs, including: his first ever interview, a firsthand look at Ali's magnetism, life lessons from Al Davis, not shitting John Madden about meeting Richard Nixon, fallout from his infamous chat with Pete Rose, speaking with Ray Charles after 9/11, admiring his own father, and more.
The Tinderbox
Lou Diamond Phillips chats with Trey Elling about THE TINDERBOX, including: how the book was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen and his wife Yvonne’s illustrations; receiving support from LONGMIRE author Craig Johnson, fun with wordplay, the key to a good story, and more. Plus, they play a game of "Internet Fact Check".
Not for You
Ronen Givony chats with Trey Elling about NOT FOR YOU, including: the unfathomable successes Pearl Jam experienced in their first weeks (and day) as a band, when they became "political", the fight with Ticketmaster, critiques of most albums in their catalog, which of their three drummers is the best, and more.
John O. Brennan chats with Trey Elling about UNDAUNTED, including: (passed) the evolution of his CIA career, the moral failings surrounding Agency’s torture program; working for Barack Obama before and during his presidency, modernizing the Agency as CIA director, the Russian election hacking in 2016, and more.
Killing the Story
Témoris Grecko chats with Trey Elling about KILLING THE STORY, including: why 'cartel' and 'war on drugs' are misleading terms, the tragic stories of several journalists who were murdered for reporting the truth, how reporters' lives are not only threatened by organized gangs but also by government officials, and more.
Let the World See You
Sam Acho chats with Trey Elling about LET THE WORLD SEE YOU, including: how he went from a no-name recruit to receiving a scholarship offer from Pete Carroll and USC, why Calais Campbell is partially responsible for Sam's marriage, receiving free Chipotle for a year, what "The Eyes of Texas" means to him, and more.
How to Decide
Annie Duke chats with Trey Elling about HOW TO DECIDE: SIMPLE TOOLS FOR MAKING BETTER CHOICES, including: why so many people who make decisions for a living have hard time explaining how, accounting for luck, when past experience misleads decisions, why hard decisions are easy, quit-to-itiveness, and more.
The 99% Invisible City
Roman Mars chats with Trey Elling about THE 99% INVISIBLE CITY, including: why stairways to nowhere are named after a former pro baseball player, how cats are the inspiration for road reflectors, the greatness of those dancing inflatable tubes, Austin's moontowers, Busta Rhymes Island, and much more.
The United States of War
David Vine chats with Trey Elling about THE UNITED STATES OF WAR, which examines how US infrastructure around the globe, including bases, forts, and colonization, has enabled the United States to wage war and/or conflicts for all but eleven years since it came to be in 1776.
Made Men: The Making of Goodfellas
Glenn Kenny chats with Trey Elling about MADE MEN: THE MAKING OF GOODFELLAS, including: Joe Pesci's initial reluctance in playing Tommy, the origin of the 'how am I funny' scene, dispelling a supposed nobility within the mob, Martin Scorsese's love of picking music for his films, and more.
The Socrates Express
Eric Weiner chats with Trey Elling about THE SOCRATES EXPRESS, including: why GROUNDHOG DAY is the most philosophical movie of all time, what got Marcus Aurelius out of bed in the morning, how Socrates was like a child who questions everything, learning to fight like Gandhi, and more.
F*ucking History
The man they call "The Captain" chats with Trey Elling about F*CKING HISTORY, including: Mark Twain's contribution to the modern bra, what Graham crackers’ original intent, nachos as an invention of desperation, research that found penguins aren't as innocent as you think, and more.
Step Off! My Journey from Mimbo to Manhood
Dan Cortese chats with Trey Elling about STEP OFF! MY JOURNEY FROM MIMBO TO MANHOOD, including: how the town OB-GYN fueled his first Rock n Jock highlight as a little leaguer, epiphanies, an epic Billy Idol story, receiving an invaluable compliment from George C. Scott, becoming a dad, and more.
Max Brooks chats with Trey Elling about DEVOLUTION, including: waging political battles over the book's title, tedious research that included hand-crafting every weapon created by the characters, receiving feedback from "Survivorman" Les Stroud, a possible movie adaptation, and more.
Intangibles: Unlocking the Science and Soul of Team Chemistry
Joan Ryan chats with Trey Elling about INTANGIBLES: UNLOCKING THE SCIENCE AND SOUL OF TEAM CHEMISTRY, including: defining team chemistry, the seven archetypes of good team chemistry, why Barry Bonds wasn't a clubhouse cancer in SF, the power of expectation, and more.
Trejo’s Tacos: Recipes & Stories from LA
Danny Trejo chats with Trey Elling about TREJO'S TACOS: RECIPES & STORIES FROM LA, including: why he wanted to share the "secret" recipes from his Trejo's Tacos restaurants, the role of food from his childhood and time in prison, memories from the sets of HEAT and CON AIR, why he loves Austin, and more.