Sunkissed outdoor hideaways and comfy, cozy nooks make The Betsy the ideal place to get swept up in a great story. Post up on our front patio or one of our rooftop decks with a craft cocktail and a novel, or hit the beach with your headphones and a new podcast — those moments are just what The Betsy’s built for. Alumni of our Writer's Room know a thing or two about great storytelling (and about finding inspiration in The Betsy’s outdoor spaces and ocean views), so we’re sharing their expert recommendations for books and podcasts to accompany and inspire your next South Beach getaway.
The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Alumni Podcast Picks
Hidden Brain, NPR
A podcast that satisfies both the mind and the soul, Hidden Brain is content made for the curious. Through science and storytelling, host Shankar Vedantam explores the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior and the big questions at the heart of human nature. With over 300 bite-sized episodes, it’s an easy choice and an even easier listen.
Edward Doyle Gillespie, Policeman & Poet
Levar Burton Reads
Want to be genuinely transported? Kick back at our rooftop infinity pool, watch the clouds drift by, and listen to Levar Burton — former host and executive producer of Reading Rainbow — as he reads a favorite piece of fiction. Burton’s familiar voice blends seamlessly with subtle soundscapes as he guides listeners through mysteries, comedies, fantasies, and beyond. You may want to set an alarm for this one.
Art Prevails is a not-for-profit performing and literary arts organization based in South Florida. Their new podcast is rich in heart and soul, amplifying community voices through candid conversations with emerging and up-and-coming artists, creatives, and change-makers — and it pairs perfectly with the works of art currently on display in The Betsy’s galleries.
Chauncey Mabe, Book Critic
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
History buffs, take note. Each high-drama, long-form episode of Hardcore History (ranging from about two to six hours in length) delves into historical events both recent and ancient. With an unconventional approach, host Dan Carlin narrates and examines the past with infectious, genuine enthusiasm.
This American Life, NPR
A public radio show of over 25 years, This American Life always feels fresh. No wonder it’s the winner of nearly every award in broadcast journalism. The show’s premise is simple: a specific theme, with stories ranging from heartwarming to devastating and surprising (and at times, even bizarre). The only challenge is choosing from the show’s vast archives — over 700 episodes.
The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Alumni Book Picks
“The Dutch House,” Ann Patchett
A finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, The Dutch House is the kind of book that’ll have you wondering where the afternoon went. A family drama and story of paradise lost, it’s a compelling postwar era tale. A lavish estate, the complexities of a brother-sister relationship — its pages explore inheritance, love, and forgiveness with a dark fairytale twist.
“Untamed,” Glennon Doyle
Activist, speaker, and author Glennon Doyle is the soulful creator of Untamed. The perfect book for a mindset reset, its chapters navigate profound themes like divorce, blended family dynamics, finding your true self, and ultimately, being brave. Poolside or beachfront, it just may be the cathartic read you need.
The Expanse Series, James S. A. Corey
For those in pursuit of an escape, an extraterrestrial journey might do the trick. In The Expanse series, humanity has colonized the solar system, and interplanetary tensions are rising. Against this backdrop, a young woman has gone missing somewhere in the universe. This science-fiction adventure saga is a wonderful world to get wrapped up in long-term, with nine books in the series.
“Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson,” Emily Dickinson
When a break from long-form is needed, poetry makes for a fantastic lounging companion. Raw and powerful, this collection holds the first three volumes of Dickinson’s poetry published posthumously. Find a peaceful nook in our intimate Library and flip through some of her best-known and most acclaimed works. This one pairs well with your favorite cocktail and live jazz at the Lobby Bar.
“Lead from the Outside,” Stacey Abrams
A self-described handbook for outsiders, Lead from the Outside is a blueprint for success, leadership, and creating lasting change. National leader Stacey Abrams candidly shares her most valuable insights and breaks down how ambition, fear, money, and failure intersect. Part political memoir, part self-improvement workbook, it’s the kind of book that stays with you long after vacation is over.
See You at The Betsy
A stay at The Betsy is a moment of pause from the bustle of life. Plan your reading and listening list, book your stay, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Need a little extra time to finish those last few chapters? Take advantage of our Long Term Stay Package and save up to 30% when you linger longer at The Betsy.