If there's anyone who could spearhead a Miami-based podcast dedicated to reading, writing, and the book world, it's Mitchell Kaplan. As the owner of Books & Books, one of the few remaining independent bookstores in the city, and cofounder of the Miami Book Fair, he’s certainly got the chops and passion for all things related to words.
Launched just a few weeks ago, the podcast The Literary Life is slated to drop a new episode every Saturday. It's recorded right in Kaplan's Coral Gables store and promises to delight both bookworms and the book-curious.
And like any good literary character, this podcast has an origin story. Several months ago, Kaplan was approached by reVolver Podcasts, a global media platform geared toward multicultural audiences. “I’ve always loved radio and the whole process that goes into creating content, so I thought, Why not do it?” Kaplan says. “There’s no structure per se. I just want to introduce people to both authors they love and authors they don’t know yet and to take a deep dive into their lives.”
Three episodes in, The Literary Life gives listeners the experience of having a seat at the table with Kaplan and whomever he has on the show. Authors who've appeared so far are Dave Barry, Annie Barrows, and Brad Meltzer. The discussions are candid and informal, and it’s obvious the guests trust Kaplan, which means listeners get to feel like the proverbial fly on the wall.
“The whole idea is for the podcast to be a series of ongoing conversations with booksellers and everyone else in the literary world,” Kaplan says. “But I also want to do some less expected things that are unique to the book world, like take listeners on a buy and have lists of notable books for the fall.”
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Other things to look forward to include a discussion with Michael Reynolds, editor-in-chief of Europa Editions, on the cusp of the HBO adaptation of the wildly popular Neapolitan Novels by author Elena Ferrante; Les Standiford, director of Florida International University's Creative Writing Program; novelist Edwidge Danticat; book lovers; and everyone in between.
The show is comfortable and informative, perfect for a rainy day or that long commute to work. If you have any interest in reading, writing, literature, or people’s stories, you’ll want to add The Literary Life to your queue. It’s a great way to delve into the world of books, and for Kaplan, it’s also part of his lifelong mission.
“For me," he says, "the highest thing to be done with all of this — the bookstore, the podcast — is to cultivate the next generation of readers.”
Download and subscribe to The Literary Life on iTunes.