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Summer Book Recommendations With A Florida Focus

summer reading
Florida Matters is getting some suggestions for good books to read this summer.

By Robin Sussingham and Stephanie Colombini

Summer can be a great time to catch up on reading, so this week Florida Matters is offering up recommendations for good books to check out this season.

We talk with Tampa Bay Times book editor Colette Bancroft, whose suggestions include many books by Florida authors or that have stories set in the Sunshine State.

Here are some of Bancroft’s summer reading picks:

Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by humorist Dave Barry of Miami.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. Out July 16, the book follows two boys struggling at the real-life abusive reform school, the Dozier School for Boys in Mariana, Florida. Whitehead will be speaking at the Tampa TheatreJuly 25.

Mostly Dead Things, the debut novel of Orlando writer Kristen Arnett.

Cari Mora by Thomas Harris of Miami, author of The Silence of the Lambs.

Sunset Beach, which author Mary Kay Andrews calls her "valentine to St. Petersburg."

Oldie but goodie: When asked about whether she likes to listen to books on tape, Bancroft cited Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir Eat Pray Love as an example of a story that resonated with her much more when she heard the audio version than when she read the text.

Fall preview: Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago and the Rise of America’s Xanadu, by Les Standiford of Pinecrest, expected to be published November 5.

Also coming up in the fall are two events in Florida avid readers may enjoy. The Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading on November 9 and the Miami Book Fair, November 17-24.

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
Robin Sussingham was Senior Editor at WUSF until September 2020.