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Sundial: Miami’s biggest book nerds share their favorite reads of 2022

Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books and Miami Book Fair co-founder, joins WLRN's Sundial with host Carlos Frías.
Matias J. Ocner
Courtesy of the Miami Herald
Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books and Miami Book Fair co-founder, joins book reviewer Connie Ogle on WLRN's Sundial with host Carlos Frías.

I didn’t grow up in a household that read.

My father only half joked that he was un analfabeto — illiterate. He learned to read and write in a one-room schoolhouse in Cuba’s farm country, and he was done with formal education by the time he was 10. His rudimentary handwriting reflected it.

My mom went to Catholic school in Cuba and got as far as secretarial school. She studied financial books, learned to run a business with my dad.

But neither of them read for fun. So neither did I. It wasn’t until I was in college and realized I wanted to be a writer … that I learned I first need to be a reader.

That’s when I discovered Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood — a groundbreaking crime book that blurred the line between nonfiction and the novel. I understood then the power, the ferocity, of words.

And I learned it’s never too late to become a reader.

On the Dec. 29 episode of Sundial, we spend the hour with two of the best readers I know for an end-of-the-year conversation on books. Miami Herald writer Connie Ogle is national book reviewer and the former Miami Herald books editor. She read — get this — 123 books last year.

And alongside her, Mitchell Kaplan, owner of the independent bookstore Books & Books and co-founder of the Miami Book Fair — one of the largest literary events in the world.

I want to ask them what they’ve been reading, what books and short stories they loved in 2022, and what releases they’re looking forward to in 2023.

On Sundial's previous episode, we spoke to Ryan Pfeffer, the Miami editor of The Infatuation, a food review website that rates new restaurants and checks in on old South Florida favorites. We talked about his favorite new spots of 2022, the places he escapes to when he wants a quiet meal. And the restaurants he’s excited to try in 2023.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such asApple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.