In The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho
, Anjanette Delgado blends sex, second sight, and "the limbo
life of refugees" in "an unconventional tale of vulnerability and empowerment," writes Pamela Akins in her
review on our Fiction page
"A small box of bittersweet chocolates, no sugar coating, but an occasional nut and a few honeys"
says Pamela Akins of the sampler of short stories Everything is Broken
, edited by John Dufresne. Read her review
on our Fiction page
Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat reviews Roxane Gay's first novel, An Untamed State
, which takes its protagonist
from Florida to Haiti in "a thriller seeking to explore humanity at its worst and best." Read the review
on our Fiction page.
Ed Irvin says, "The Heaven of Animals is a deeply evocative masterpiece..." Read his review of
David James Poissant's story collection on our Fiction page
Matthew Klein's protagonist Jim Thane, trying to turn his own life around, takes a job his old friend offers
him as a turnaround executive, he's supposed to rescue a software company in Tampa. Or isn't he? His wife is on his side.
Or isn't she? "No Way Back
is a very ambitious novel and, like the meth-head that Jim once was, I found
myself trying to score a fix of it at every opportunity," say Ed Irvin. Read the review
It's election season in Florida, crazy as ever. In Mercedes Wore Black
, free-lance journalist Janis
Hawk investigates an environmental cover-up, a gambling power grab, a Big Pharma secret, and the death of a friend who was
working on a gubernatorial campaign. Stephanie Selander says Andrea Brunais' crime novel is "light yet filled with
substance, the action provided by a colorful and humorous cast." Read her review here.
"In Terrie Farley Moran's Well Read, Then Dead
, the first Read 'Em and
Eat mystery, the cafe's literature-inspired dishes are served with a side of murder," says Ed Irvin. Read his review here.
Jeffrey Fernandez saya the one trait Mace Bauer and her Mama "share is
the knack for stumbling across corpses in the blistering heat of their home town of Himmarshee,
Florida." In Mama Gets Trashed
, the fifth installment in Deborah Sharp's series, their search through a dumpster
for the wedding ring Mama tossed out "after a night of hardcore wine drinking" leads to discovery of a local librarian
dressed in dominatrix gear. Complications and laughter follow. Read the review here
Ed Irvin on Murder With Ganache
, Lucy Burdette's fourth Key West Food Critic mystery, and how versimilitude
about family relationships helps a cozy. Read the review
"Serge is crueller—and funnier—than ever," Ed Irvin says of Tim Dorsey's vigilante serial killer
Serge A. Storms, back for another adventure in Tiger Shrimp Tango
. Read the review here.
Dina Weinstein takes a look at Robert Kimmel Smith's 1976 novel, Sadie Shapiro in Miami
, and finds
those Florida crime staples, comically wacky building schemes and swindlers, but the book's real strength is its "timelessly
funny and refreshing protagonist," Sadie Shapiro, "an unlikely geriatric celebrity." Read this Florida
Reconsideration our Florida Crime Writing page
The Parallax Effect:
of Looking at Their Eyes Were Watching God
Julie Marie Wade on Zora Neale Hurston, the nature of reading, and how very
differently one reader can view the same book over
Congratulations to the Winners of the Florida Book Awards
Click on titles to read FBR's reviews of some of the winning books:
Deceived, by Randy Wayne White (Gold Medal, General Fiction) Heart of Palm, by Laura Lee Smith (Silver Medal, General Fiction)
Our annual blog of Miami Book Fair International
Our FBR team blogged Miami Book Fair International,
including the Festival of Authors and Street Fair in downtown Miami. Our reports from the Fair
are posted on our 2013 Book Fair Blog page.
View from above of Miami Book Fair International 2013. (Photo: Jan Becker)
Frank Tota reconsiders Pat Frank's vision of post-apocalyptic Florida in his 1959 novel Alas, Babylon here
On Our Tales & Legends Page
Read Jamie May's review of Fearsome Florida Creatures here.
Louis K. Lowy reviews the children's Florida history novel Kidnapped in
Key West here
A Classic Florida Memoir Reissued
"Jesse Lee Kercheval’s Space can be described as a memoir masquerading as cultural anthropology
or cultural anthropology masquerading as memoir, but either way, it is a compelling read," writes Madeleine Blais.
Read her reconsideration of this just-reissued award-winning book that takes the reader to 1966 Cocoa as Florida moved from swamp to space age.
Ed Irvin checks out the return of Carl Hiaasen's "beloved one-eyed, shower cap-wearing psychotic ex-governor,
Skink" in his new YA novel Skink No Surrender
, and finds, "It's Skink decaffeinated, but it's still
Skink." Read his review
to learn more about this blend of comic misadventure and "touching coming-of-age tale."
Jennifer Maritza McCauley says that Five Ways to Fall
by K.A. Tucker "is both an escapist
romance and an accurate snapshot of youth culture." Read more on our Young Adult page.
At your service: Betty Jo Buro reviews Waiting at Joe's
in which Deeny Kaplan Lorber "gives the reader an inside look at the over one hundred year-old
Miami Beach institution, Joe’s Stone Crab."
Cheers! Bob Morison reviews To Have and Have Another: a Hemingway Cocktail Companion
by Philip Greene.
In The Road to Emmaus, Guillermo Cancio-Bello says, Spencer Reece holds "a light to the experiences
of his life, making this book a gesture of compassion and generosity." Read his review on our Poetry page.
"The poems in this collection offer a fresh and deceptively complex perspective on formal traditions,"
says Marci Calabretta of Peter Meinke's Lucky Bones
, which is "all about love, in one form or another."
Read her review.
In The Lame God
, winner of the May Swenson Poetry Award, M.B. McLatchey draws upon her knowledge
of classical literature to write about contemporary suffering, telling the stories of abducted children and their families.
"This book is for...those moment when poetry alone can break through the grief," writes Marci Calabretta. Read her review
"For anyone who has ever masked heartache with a shrug and a smile, who doesn't give up hope, these
poems are full of solace." Read Marci Calabretta's review
of Stephen Kampa's Bachelor Pad
"Barbara Hamby's On the Street of Divine Love,
a collection of her new and selected poems,
offers the reader "a delightful linguistic smorgasbord in praise of this world of fascinating oddities," says Marci
Calabretta. Read her review on our Poetry page
Our reviewer Leslie Taylor says
Kristine Snodgrass's first book, The War on Pants
, "reads like a collection of poems from a dystopian future."
In her memoir Leaving Little Havana, Cecilia Fernandez "uses elegant language and symbolism to capture
the 'tenacity of nostalgia' and the tension between the writer’s past life in Cuba and her new life in the United
States," says our reviewer, Jennifer Maritza McCauley. Read the review on our Nonfiction page.
Ed Irvin says Carl Hiaasen's latest collection of columns, Dance of the Reptiles:
Rampaging Tourists, Marauding Pythons, Larcenous Legislators, Crazed Celebrities, and Tar->Balled Beaches, is "equal
parts funny, sad, and enraging."Read the review on our Nonfiction page.
"Waddell has the reporter's eye for
odd detail (even among an abundance of oddity) and the reporter's knack for getting people with underground stories to tell
them anyway," says Bob Morison of Lynn Waddell's Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers
of Unconventional Lifestyles. Read the review on our Nonfiction page.
Paul Christiansen reviews
the most recent issues of The Southeast Review
and Saw Palm
. Check out
our listings of Florida presses and literary journals.
Moving to Miami: Classic YA
Irving and Me, published in 1967, was written by New Yorker cartoonist and popular writer for young
people Syd Hoff. 1977 marked the debut of Judy Blume's Starring Sally Friedman as Herself. Both
authors were themselves transplants to Florida, and their books tell the stories of young people uprooted to Miami.
Dawn S. Davis reviews The Reluctant Republican
, a memoir about what happens to "an idealistic,
yet reasonable person who finds herself immersed in the smarmy, sleight of hand world of politics,"on our Florida Politics page
Bob Morison reviews Walkin' Lawton
, the story of the little-known politician who walked the length
of the state and became Senator and Governor, on our Florida Politics page
D.S. Davies "Until recently . . . believed there were more obstacles than opportunities in Florida
vegetable gardening." She reviews Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida on our Environment page.
In Finding the Fountain of Youth
, Rick Kilby compiles his finds "from historical facts about the
state's development, to vintage brochures, postcards, and archival photographs of 'tourist traps,'" to document how Florida's
allure was built on the myth of rejuvenation. Read Marci Calabretta's review here.
Reading Robert S. Carr's Digging Miami
, Jan Becker says she became aware of "how vulnerable the relics
of the past are to modernity's machinery" and how we "walk on ground that has been tread on for more than ten thousand
years." Read her review here.
On our Florida Travel Page
For those exploring Florida or armchair traveling, Marci Calabretta reviews Forts of Florida: A Guidebook
on our Travel Page
Lynne Barrett reviews Finding Home, A Memoir of A Mother's Undying Love and An Untold Secret
, the story of the too-short life
and possibly sports-related death of All-American pitcher Ramiro "Toti" Mendez.
Jan Becker reviews Native Wildflowers and Other Groundcovers for Florida Landscapes
, a guide to
finding what's native in "a land of transplants" on our Environment page.