Reading with Robin Kall: couldn’t keep it to herself

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October is National Book Month, so it seems appropriate to talk about Robin Kall, a woman who has done more to promote reading in the Ocean State than any other individual. Best known to fans by her brand “Reading with Robin,” Kall has been shaping the literary tastes of Rhode Islanders for the past fourteen years. “My only regret,” says Kall, “is that I wish I had more time to read.”

A resident of East Greenwich, Kall is a rabid fangirl of books. In the early days, she shared her enthusiasm on-air at WHJJ, a Providence news/talk radio station. “Reading with Robin” was on the air for ten years before the changing landscape of media nudged Kall to the internet. Nowadays, Kall crafts weekly podcasts (or “robcasts”) on Tuesdays when publishers release new books. “There are so many books…I really have to choose carefully,” explains Kall. “I want to honor a book fully if I’m going to support it and share it.”

Besides her weekly podcasts, monthly online book group, and “Top Shelf Tuesday” column on GoLocalProv.com, Kall organizes many book events throughout Rhode Island. One of her most popular events is the upcoming “Evening with Authors” on October 5 at the Ocean State Theater in Warwick. This ticketed event is a benefit for the ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, and will feature a panel discussion with authors Wally Lamb, Alexander Chee, and Ellen Herrick.

Robin Kall’s latest venture is “The Point Street Reading Series” which launched in March 2016 and has already been nominated for a Dorry Award for Best Literary Series. Author Christopher Boucher, who read from his novel Golden Delicious at the May event, says he “was floored” by the turnout, “The place was packed (no small feat in a room that size)…tangible evidence of Robin’s ability to bring readers to books and vice versa; her enthusiasm and energy are infectious.”

The free series is held on the third Tuesday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at Dueling Pianos in Davol Square, Providence. Each month features a new line up of four to five authors reading from their latest works. Readers come together to hear stories, enjoy a drink, buy autographed books, and bask in the company of their fellow book lovers.  

Bestselling author Caroline Leavitt who read at the series’ debut in March says, “Robin Kall is the patron saint of all writers and readers. The Point Street Reading Series has everything – a packed, friendly audience, wine!, a group of writers to listen to…I cannot wait to go back.”

Leavitt will be returning to The Point Street Reading Series on October 18 to read from her latest novel, "Cruel Beautiful World", along with Cathi Hanauer ("The Bitch is Back"), Robin Black ("Crash Course"), Marcy Demansky ("The Red Car") and debut novelist Annie Liontas ("Let Me Explain You").

“Reading with Robin was built reader by reader, and reader to reader,” says Kall. “When I love a book, I have to share it with others. That’s who I am.”

To purchase tickets for “Evening with Authors” on October 5, or for more information about Reading with Robin podcasts, The Point Street Reading Series or other events, visit robinkall.com or find her on Facebook.

Laura LaTour is an avid reader, a former bookseller and author-events coordinator, and is currently working as a freelance writer and publicist. Drop hera line, and tell her what you are reading: Laura@LaTourCreations.com.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.