The best books that made me write a book about my life behind a microphone

Joe Pardavila Author Of Good Listen: Creating Memorable Conversations in Business and Life
By Joe Pardavila

Who am I?

Joe Pardavila has produced over ten thousand hours of audio content over the course of his career in podcasting and terrestrial radio. Joe was a radio personality and producer on the legendary New York City radio station, 95.5 PLJ, where he was part of the iconic Scott & Todd in the Morning. He studied sketch and improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade and was a founding member and actor in the New York-based sketch comedy group, Clip Show. He is the codirector, writer, and producer of the award-winning horror satire, The Witches of Bushwick. Currently, he serves as the director of podcasts for Advantage Media Group | Forbes Books.


I wrote...

Good Listen: Creating Memorable Conversations in Business and Life

By Joe Pardavila,

Book cover of Good Listen: Creating Memorable Conversations in Business and Life

What is my book about?

In the new book Good Listen: Creating Memorable Conversations in Business, I share with readers my insights and knowledge for creating a podcast that will appeal to listeners and leave them clamoring for more. But you don’t need to have a podcast to benefit from the book because my tips for connecting with others also apply to work, love, and life.

Drawing on my days as a New York radio personality, I also weave into the book anecdotes involving such celebrities as Taylor Swift, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Aniston, John Mayer, and Chris Martin to demonstrate how interviews can go wonderfully right (Aniston) or terribly wrong (Swift).

The books I picked & why

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Humankind: A Hopeful History

By Rutger Bregman, Erica Moore (translator), Elizabeth Manton (translator)

Book cover of Humankind: A Hopeful History

Why this book?

I read Bregman’s book during the height of the pandemic and it was the perfect escape from all the sadness. It’s a history book full of happy stories. Most history books are downers and are full of death and destruction, but Bregman proves that humans aren’t all that bad. Wait until you read the part about the Stanford Prison Experiments. Reading the book, I realized that you could learn so much from stories of hope and perseverance.


Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

By Patrick Radden Keefe,

Book cover of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

Why this book?

Like many Americans growing up in the 80s, I was aware of “The Troubles,” but I had no idea what was actually happening between the UK and Northern Ireland. You would randomly hear about car bombs and the like but didn’t know what they were all fighting about. Reading Keefe’s book, you get an understanding of what it was like to live in Northern Ireland and why this was all happening. It's narrative non-fiction at its best and is a remarkable piece of work.


The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

By Robert Iger,

Book cover of The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Why this book?

Business books tend to be stuffy and over technical, but Iger’s book was the model I was going after when writing my own book. Iger shares the hits and misses (but mostly hits) of his time running one of the most prestigious brands the world has ever seen. But even though they’re mostly showbiz and Disney-focused, any human can relate and learn from his stories.


The Chain

By Adrian McKinty,

Book cover of The Chain

Why this book?

I had to share my favorite piece of fiction from the past decade, and that’s McKinty’s The Chain. A book I always recommend to folks looking for a high-octane, edge-of-your-seat thriller. Adrian takes the concept of “chain letters” and heightens it into a game of murder and manipulation. Any time a work of fiction makes you feel like you’re watching a movie unfold in your brain, you know it’s working.


Les Miserables

By Lee Fahnestock, Norman Macafee, Victor Hugo

Book cover of Les Miserables

Why this book?

Les Miz was the first book I truly read as a kid. I was in high school, and we mostly read boring old textbooks and I never had an interest in reading anything outside of what was required. That all changed when I was assigned to read Hugo’s novel in sophomore English class. Not only did I learn about the turbulent history of France, but I saw it through the eyes of Jean Valjean. Jean fought against all odds to live the life he wanted to live and change the lives of people around him. I’ll never forget that twist midway through the book that forced me to go back and read to see what I had missed.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in murders, France, and childhood?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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