Arts and Culture Five Things

On this week’s edition of Five Things, we’re talking with San Francisco-based writer Kevin Smokler. I first met him on Twitter, where he posts as @weegee and doesn’t even attempt to hide his considerable enthusiasm for pop culture (and life in general).

We connected in person when he was visiting Louisville for the IdeaFestival and promoting his book “Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven’t Touched Since High School.” I loved this idea: I haven’t picked up “A Separate Peace” or “The Scarlet Letter” in years, but he convinced me that there was still something to learn.

Kevin’s newest book, just published, is called “Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to ’80’s Teen Movies,” and it speaks directly to the soul of anyone who grew up watching “Sixteen Candles,” “Goonies,” and “The Breakfast Club.” He traveled around the country looking at the locations of those cult classics, and talking with actors, writers and directors who were involved in the making of the films.

In addition to being curious and knowledgeable, Kevin is also a delight to talk with. As you’ll hear, he has a tremendous sense of appreciation for not only a few special things, but how they connect him to the people in his life that really matter.

There’s a short excerpt of our conversation in the audio player above, and you can subscribe to Five Things wherever you get your podcasts.

Tara Anderson is a contributing editor for WFPL News, and the host and producer of Five Things, a podcast about the physical objects that tell our stories.