Mitchell Kaplan has been a bookseller and has owned the independent bookstores Books & Books for over 35 years. If you love books, writers or are a passionate reader, this podcast is for you!

Enter The Literary Life where every Friday you’ll hear candid conversations with Mitchell and his guests.




Cambria Gordon on the Lost Art of Penmanship

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Cambria Gordon about her new book, The Poetry of Secrets, out now from Scholastic Press.

Hanif Abdurraqib on Censoring the Desires of Whiteness in Storytelling

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Hanif Abdurraqib about his new book, A Little Devil in America, out now from

Scott Berg and Alex Belth on the Timelessness of Jon Bradshaw’s Journalism

On today’s episode of lt The Literary Life Mitchell Kaplan talks to Scott Berg and Alex Belth about the late journalist Jon Bradshaw and compiling an anthology of his work…


Russell Banks on the Transformative Magic of South Florida

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Russell Banks, author of Foregone, out now from Ecco Books.


Fred Guttenberg on Gun Reform and the Hope of Young People

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Fred Guttenberg about his new book, Find the Helpers: What 9/11 and Parkland


P. Scott Cunningham on Miami’s Poetry Scene

On today’s episode ofThe Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to P. Scott Cunningham about organizing the O, Miami Book Festival.


Jen Spyra on Balancing the Zany with the Emotional

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Jen Spyra about her new book, Big Time, out now from Random House.

Jenny Lawson on How Falling Apart Can Bring us Together

On the cover of my book is a portrait that one of my friends Omar Rayyan did His strange whimsical paintings of people carrying their own horrible-looking beasties to me…

Carol Edgarian: ‘Every Book, You Have to Woo Your Readers Again’

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Carol Edgarian about her new novel, Vera, out now from Scribner.

Dantiel W. Moniz on Writing Stories That Are Felt in the Body

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Dantiel W. Moniz about her new book, Milk Blood Heat, out now from Grove Press.

Tim Dorsey on Writing About Florida as a Floridian

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Tim Dorsey about his new book, Tropic of Stupid, out now from William Morrow & Company.

Gabriel Byrne on Tracing His Memories Through Past and Present, Fact and Imagination

On today s episode of The Literary Life Mitchell Kaplan talks to Gabriel Byrne about his new book Walking with Ghosts out now from Grove Press This episode of The…

Maika and Maritza Moulite on What Real Allyship Looks Like

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Maika and Maritza Moulite about their new book, One of the Good Ones, out now from Inkyard Press.

Paul Yamazaki on His Fifty Years at City Lights Booksellers

I was very politically active particularly in the sixties It s kind of an unusual story I think I am the only independent bookseller that I am aware of that…

Daniel Halpern on the Secret Sauce of Ecco Press

John Fowles Annie Dillard Russell Banks Raymond Carver Carolyn Forch Richard Ford Louise Gl ck Anthony Bourdain What do all of these writers have in common They and many more…


David Hopen on Translating the Pardes Legend to Modern Times

On today’s episode, Mitchell talks to David Hopen about his debut novel, The Orchard, and the balance between secular involvement and rigorous tradition in modern Orthodox Judaism.


The Team at Books & Books Recommends Their Holiday Picks

On today’s episode Mitchell’s joined by Books amp amp Books colleagues Cristina Nosti Ga l LeLamer and Christina Russell to discuss their favorite books of the year to add to..


Deesha Philyaw on the Pleasure of Writing the Lives of Dissatisfied Women

On today’s episode Mitchell talks to Deesha Philyaw about her National Book Award nominated collection The Secret Lives of Church Ladies publishing a book during a pandemic and writing about…


Carlos Lozada: What Were—and What Now Are—We Thinking?

This week on The Literary Life Mitchell Kaplan talks with Carlos Lozada about his new book What Were We Thinking A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era They discuss what…


What Must Happen Next? Russell Banks, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Blanco, and Fernand Amandi on the Current Election

Post-election there are still urgent questions of the political and legal moment that must be addressed Mitchell Kaplan is joined by Russell Banks Edwidge Danticat Richard Blanco and Fernand R…


Pete Souza on When Generosity of Spirit Reigned in Politics

This week in lieu of the upcoming election we revisit our conversation with Pete Souza the former White House Staff Photographer to President Barack Obama discuss his world famous photos…


Jill McCorkle on the Voice She Channels When It’s Time to Write a Rant

On this episode of The Literary Life Jill McCorkle talks with Mitchell Kaplan about her new book Hieroglyphics and the role of a writer in difficult times This episode of…


Allie Brosh: Everybody Wants to Touch Something in the Void

On this episode of The Literary Life Allie Brosh talks with Mitchell Kaplan about her new book Solutions and Other Problems and how bad things still happen to good people…

Carl Hiaasen on Satire as a Product of Anger

On this episode of The Literary Life Carl Hiaasen talks with Mitchell Kaplan about his new novel Squeeze Me the ubiquity of Florida pythons and getting his start writing satire…




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About the Host: 

Mitchell Kaplan, a Miami Beach native, founded Books & Books in 1982. Located in Coral Gables, Florida, Books & Books expanded to its present location in December of 2000. Housed in a Mediterranean-styled building, the bookstore hosts over sixty events a month, consisting of author readings and signings, demonstrations and workshops, live music, reading and discussion groups, programming for children and families, and a variety of other community-based events. All of this is achieved in an old world setting of floor-to-ceiling wood bookshelves, wood floors, and a courtyard café, managed by James Beard-award winning Chef Allen Susser.

In 1989, Books & Books opened a second location on Lincoln Road, which continues to serve the Miami Beach community today, and includes a Zagat-rated, full-service restaurant – The Café at Books & Books.

In April 2005, Books & Books opened a new location inside the Bal Harbour Shops Mall, specializing in high end art and design books and continues the tradition of the Coral Gables and Miami Beach bookstores with a full schedule of author events and programs.

In December 2007, Mitchell went international with the opening of a fourth location in The Cayman Islands. Located in a new multi-million dollar development, Camana Bay – Books & Books/Grand Cayman serves both the visiting and local population of the island with visiting international author events.

The Café/Bookstore Books & Books at the Adrienne Arsht Center opened in 2015 and in 2016, Books & Books partnered with the Studios of Key West and opened a store under the guidance of Judy Blume and her husband, George.

Books & Books is also conveniently located at Miami’s International Airport.

In the spring of 2017, Books & Books opened another community centered bookstore in Pinecrest, a city in Miami-Dade County, at the Suniland Shops. This summer, a new location opened in Coconut Grove on Main Highway. The store will include a small café and wine bar that is set to open very soon.

Books & Books was named Bookstore of the Year in 2015 by Publishers’ Weekly.

Mitchell is a co-founder of Miami Book Fair and serves as the Chairperson of its Board of Advisors. The Book Fair, sponsored and supported by Miami-Dade College, brings over 300 authors and exhibitors to a weeklong celebration of all things literary into the heart of downtown Miami and onto the College’s Wolfson Campus.

Mitchell is the former President of the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and also served on the Board of ABFFE, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. In 2011, Mitchell received the National Book Foundation’s prestigious “Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community”. The Literarian Award is presented to an individual for outstanding service to the American literary community, whose life and work exemplify the goals of the National Book Foundation to expand the audience for literature and to enhance the cultural value of literature in America. Past winners include poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, NPR’s Terry Gross and Ira Glass, and writer Dave Eggers.

Mitchell, with his partner Paula Mazur, formed the Mazur Kaplan Company to bring books to the screen. The Man Who Invented Christmas was released in December 2017 by Bleecker Street in the U.S. Starring Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce and Dan Stevens, this film is the origin story of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Just release this month is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, based on the novel by Annie Barrows and is currently available on Netflix. Mazur Kaplan has optioned numerous books that are currently in various stages of development for television and theatrical release.