Kepler's bookstore in Menlo Park is known throughout the Bay Area for provoking discussion on the issues and writers of the day, as it has ever since its inception just prior to the turbulent 1960s. Now the team wants to hold those discussions on a national level, and is looking to a new live talk radio show to get the message out.
Starting on Wednesday, April 8, well-known radio journalist Angie Coiro will host "In Deep," a two-hour talk show recorded live at Kepler's. The first hour will be dedicated to current issues and the second spent on arts and culture.
"I think it'll be fabulous. There's just nothing like the live energy, the wildcard element of a whole bunch of brains sitting down with you," Coiro said.
In its live debut, the show will tackle the aftermath of the verdict in the Ellen Pao gender discrimination lawsuit.
"I was disappointed for her sake, and some of the comments ... people pulled out the slut card, which was so predictable and so sad," Coiro said. "But almost immediately you heard women chiming in that this was not a total loss."
The radio show will explore whether the trial can lead to change in the Silicon Valley culture, she said. Other upcoming topics include looking at environmental victories and how those came about, as well as social inequalities.
"It's going back to the roots of Kepler's," said CEO Praveen Madan. "We've got a lot of ideas, and one test is how does this help us further our mission? It's really back to what Roy (Kepler's) mission was -- deepening minds and broadening literacy."
Jean Forstner, Kepler's director of community relations, said the bookstore is the first in the country to do a weekly live broadcast. She described it as an evolution of the store's focus on building engagement by giving people a chance to interact with authors and other deep thinkers.
Kepler's and Coiro first connected through her award-winning author interviews, with some writers enjoying the experience so much they asked if they could take her along on tour, Madan said, laughing. She has since interviewed luminaries such as Gail Sheehy and Salman Rushdie.
She got started in radio while living in Hawaii during her 20s "because there was no paying acting work in Hawaii. They made me a salesperson, which could've been a disaster, but I sold my own radio show to get on the air," Coiro said. She found that she loved the adrenaline, the people and especially the research required.
Her first Bay Area gig involved a 2 a.m. shift as a traffic reporter. She went on to become an anchor for KQED, and later, created an interview series for Mother Jones as well as one for the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.
"In Deep" will kick off at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays at Kepler's, located at 1010 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. The first three shows will be free to attend; after that, audience tickets will cost $10 per person and be sold both at the store and online.
Listen to recorded shows at InDeepRadio.com.