Thursday, May 24, 2018
Books

What's Betty Castor reading?

Nightstand

Betty Castor

For Mother's Day we caught up with Castor, the former Florida education commissioner and University of South Florida president as well as mother to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa. Castor's second daughter, Karen Castor Dentel, is running as a Democrat for the state House in the Orlando area. Her son, Frank Castor, serves as a judge in Palm Beach County. Castor plans to start her Mother's Day by visiting her 99-year-old mother-in-law with her husband, Sam Bell. The couple have been married since 1989, and together they have 10 grandchildren.

What's on your nightstand?

South of Broad by Pat Conroy. Conroy is one of my favorite authors. I read everything of his. This one is in the South again, in Charleston. I recommend it. I also recently read Saving CeeCee Honeycut by Beth Hoffman. It's about a young girl and her adventures first in taking care of her mother and then her finding a better future.

What did you encourage your children to read when they were young?

We started with all the Dr. Seuss books, and we read them over and over. Also, I think a primary contribution to my love for reading was how I saw both my parents starting the day reading newspapers. I grew up absorbing the news, and I did that with my kids too. We have always devoured newspapers in the morning.

As a working mother, you found success as an educator and politician. When it comes to women's issues, what authors do you think of?

I was helped enormously because of writers like Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. At the time, they were interesting reads, although they certainly did not dominate my life. I think the women's movement that they helped spawn benefited me because they were able to make people pay attention. Now we have come almost full circle and (women) have to come back and remind others that equal rights is still an issue.

Are there any young women writers on women's rights that have your interest?

No, they are few and far between. But there are interesting biographies on women to read. It's complex because women have so much more access professionally now, so for writers, it is not groundbreaking at this time. However, I have found myself just appalled at some of the statements people have made regarding women's issues. An obvious one to point out, of course, is Rush (Limbaugh).

Piper Castillo, Times staff writer, can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4163.

Comments
Review: Family matters in David Sedaris’ ‘Calypso’

Review: Family matters in David Sedaris’ ‘Calypso’

David Sedaris gets right to the point in the opening of the first essay in his new book, Calypso: "Though there’s an industry built on telling you otherwise, there are few real joys to middle age. The only perk I can see is that, with luck, you’ll ac...
Published: 05/24/18
Review: Strait-laced writer Michael Pollan explores psychedelics, and leaves the door of perception ajar

Review: Strait-laced writer Michael Pollan explores psychedelics, and leaves the door of perception ajar

Microdosing is hot. If you haven’t heard — but you probably have, from reports of its use at Silicon Valley workplaces, from Ayelet Waldman’s memoir A Really Good Day, from dozens of news stories — to microdose is to take small amounts of LSD, which ...
Published: 05/24/18
Bancroft: Philip Roth deftly explored male lust, Jewish identity, American history and politics

Bancroft: Philip Roth deftly explored male lust, Jewish identity, American history and politics

Philip Roth, one of the most potent voices in American fiction, died Tuesday night of congestive heart failure in a New York City hospital. He was 85.Mr. Roth was the last man standing of a generation of fiction writers sometimes called "the great wh...
Published: 05/23/18

Events: Tarbell.org founder Wendell Potter to discuss, sign book

Book TalkTarbell.org founder Wendell Potter (Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It) will discuss and sign his book at 4 p.m. May 23 at the St. Petersburg Main Library, 3745 Ninth Ave. N.Applications are ...
Published: 05/21/18
The real stuff is how Tom Wolfe best used his write stuff

The real stuff is how Tom Wolfe best used his write stuff

Tom Wolfe’s best writing lifted real people into legend: car designers and astronauts and disciples of LSD. With that writing, Wolfe lifted himself into legend as well. The author of 16 books, including such bestsellers as The Right Stuff and ...
Published: 05/18/18
Review: In Stephen King’s ‘The Outsider,’ evil can’t be true but must be true

Review: In Stephen King’s ‘The Outsider,’ evil can’t be true but must be true

On a July day, Terry Maitland, one of the most popular men in Flint City, Okla. — high school English teacher, Little League coach, husband and father, recently named the town’s man of the year — attends a teachers convention in a city over an hour’s...
Published: 05/17/18

Events: Gilbert King to discuss ‘Beneath a Ruthless Sun’ at Inkwood in Tampa

Book TalkCutter Wood (Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime) will discuss and sign his nonfiction book about a murder on Anna Maria Island at 6 p.m. May 14 at Bookstore1, 12 S Palm Ave., Sarasota.The Gulfport Historical Society p...
Published: 05/11/18
Notable: As Mother’s Day nears, these new books are timely

Notable: As Mother’s Day nears, these new books are timely

NotableMore about mothersFor Mother’s Day, three new books offer a range of takes on motherhood.Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience (Random House) by Allison Pataki is a memoir by a novelist whose 30-year-old husband ...
Published: 05/11/18
Review: A criminal’s confession is just the beginning in Michael Koryta’s compelling ‘How It Happened’

Review: A criminal’s confession is just the beginning in Michael Koryta’s compelling ‘How It Happened’

It’s what every investigator hopes for: a tough case finally solved when one of the criminals confesses, providing solid details and even describing where the bodies are buried.Or, in Michael Koryta’s compelling new psychological thriller How It Happ...
Published: 05/10/18
Anthony Award nominees include Tampa’s Michael Connelly, Down & Out Books

Anthony Award nominees include Tampa’s Michael Connelly, Down & Out Books

When the World Mystery Convention, a.k.a. Bouchercon, takes place in St. Petersburg in September and hands out its coveted Anthony Awards, the Tampa Bay Area will be well represented among the nominees.The award nominees, announced May 9, include Tam...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/10/18