Make us your home page

Colette Bancroft, Times Book Editor

Colette Bancroft

Colette Bancroft is the book editor of the Tampa Bay Times. She joined the Times in 1997 and has been a news editor, general assignment features writer and food and travel writer, as well as a frequent contributor of reviews of books, theater and other arts. She became book editor in 2007. Before joining the Times, Bancroft was a reporter and editor at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson and an instructor in the English departments of the University of South Florida and the University of Arizona. Bancroft grew up in Tampa.

Phone: (727) 893-8435


  1. Events: Jeff VanderMeer to speak, sign at Oxford Exchange


    Book Talk

    Bestselling speculative fiction author Jeff VanderMeer (Borne) will appear, in conversation with novelist Weike Wang (Chemistry), at 1:30 p.m. May 28 at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

    Walt Gragg (The Red Line) will discuss and sign his World War II thriller at 7 p.m. May 31 at Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa. ...

  2. Notable: Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald



    Scott and Ernest

    Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, towering figures of 20th century American literature, still inspire books.

    Ernest Hemingway: A Biography (Knopf) by Mary V. Dearborn is the first full biography of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist in 15 years, and the first written by a woman, drawing on new materials about his life and legend. ...

  3. Review: L.A. music scene in the '60s rocks again in 'Everybody Had an Ocean'


    I was 13 when I went to my first rock concert, a 1966 show by the Beach Boys at the long-gone Bayfront Arena in St. Petersburg. After the last song, one of my friends dashed up on the empty stage and nabbed the paper cup left behind by dreamboat drummer Dennis Wilson. We cut it up and shared the relic, swooning at the notion that his lips had touched it.

    That puts me squarely in the target demographic for William McKeen's new book, Everybody Had an Ocean: Music and Mayhem in 1960s Los Angeles. I know the joke: If you remember the '60s, you weren't really there. But this cultural history of the L.A. music scene in that decade will fire up your I-love-that-song synapses, and much more....

    **DUE TO POOR FILE SIZE AND/or QUALITY, THIS PHOTO SHOULD NOT RUN LARGER THAN 1/2 COLUMNS UNCROPPED.** Description	Featured authors for Times Festival of Reading 2012  William McKeen, Homegrown in Florida
  4. Review: Sedaris' diaries reveal, but not too much, in 'Theft by Finding'


    Ever wonder why David Sedaris' life is so much funnier than yours?

    Fans of the bestselling humor writer and performer know that Sedaris can spin a hilarious story out of everyday material, from SantaLand Diaries, his career-launching tale of working as a Christmas elf at Macy's, to laugh-until-you-cry sagas about French classes, airplane trips and the antics of his eccentric family....

  5. Wine of the Week: Mark West Black Pinot Noir Monterey County 2015

    Bars & Spirits

    Mark West Pinot Noir, with its cheerful yellow label and thrifty price point, has long been a favorite of folks looking for a reliably drinkable, well-priced red.

    Now the California winery has a new addition to its pinot noir lineup: Mark West Black Pinot Noir, made from Monterey County grapes. It's created using the saignee process, in which some of the lighter-color liquid is removed as grapes are pressed, resulting in deeper color and flavor. Widely available at about $13, the Black Pinot Noir is a little pricier but also more delicious than its sibling....

  6. Events: Poets Morgan Parker, Erica Dawson at Oxford Exchange


    Book Talk

    Poets Morgan Parker (There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé) and Erica Dawson (The Small Blades Hurt) will discuss and read from their work at 1:30 p.m. May 21 at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

    Events are free unless otherwise noted. To place an item in Book Talk, send author's name, book title, appearance time, date, venue name and address, admission cost (if any) and a contact phone number to (with "Book Talk" in subject line) or Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Deadline is 14 days before publication....

    Idina Menzel
  7. Notable: Unquiet minds



    Unquiet minds

    These memoirs tell the heartfelt stories of people dealing with psychosis, anxiety and grief.

    My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward (Harper Wave) by Mark Lukach recounts how the author and his wife dealt with her sudden-onset mental illness, rebuilding their marriage as she suffered episodes of psychosis.

    On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety (Crown) by Andrea Petersen is a journalist's account of how she struggled to understand and cope with her anxiety disorder, along with a look at the condition's origins and treatments....

  8. For Florida author Jeff VanderMeer, giant flying bears are all in a day's work


    Jeff VanderMeer's latest novel, Borne, is getting rave reviews, and he says he's a little surprised.

    "I thought for sure there's got to be somebody out there who hates giant flying bears."

    That bear — a biotech creation gone rogue called Mord that terrorizes a ruined city where refugees, human and otherwise, survive in the rubble — is just one of the strange and wondrous creatures that populate the vivid world of Borne....

    Bestselling author Jeff VanderMeer, who also is a widely published reviewer and essayist, as well as an anthologist, editor, publisher and teacher, is pictured outside his home in Tallahassee.
  9. Events: Jane Plitt to discuss, sign books in Bradenton


    Book Talk

    Jane Plitt (Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream; Martha's Magical Hair) will discuss and sign her adult and children's books at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 16 at the Women's Resource Center, 1926 Manatee Ave., Bradenton.

    East Lake Community Library's Author Showcase presents Florida author Tom Corcoran (Crime Almost Pays) discussing and signing his novel at 6:30 p.m. May 16 at the library, 4125 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor....

  10. Notable: Between the lines



    Between the lines

    Three new books about books will delight bibliophiles.

    Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations (Little A) by Garson O'Toole tracks down the veracity — or lack thereof — of everything from a GOP tweet of a fake Abraham Lincoln quote to a postage stamp that wrongly attributed a quote to Maya Angelou. ...

  11. Interview: Paula Hawkins on 'Girl on the Train' and the new 'Into the Water'


    Paula Hawkins' thriller The Girl on the Train was one of the biggest publishing success stories of 2015. A novel by an unknown author, built on a plot involving domestic violence and substance abuse recounted by several unreliable narrators, it sold more than 20 million copies and became a hit movie starring Emily Blunt.

    For Hawkins, 44, it was a game changer. Born in Zimbabwe, she moved with her family to London when she was a teen. She attended Oxford and worked as a business reporter for the Times of London before trying her hand at writing books....

    Paula Hawkins’ last novel, The Girl on the Train, sold 20 million copies. Her new thriller is Into the Water.
  12. Wine of the week: Chateau St. Jean Bijou 2014 California Chardonnay

    Bars & Spirits

    In summer, I'm often thirsty for the lighter side of chardonnay. The big, buttery, oaky mouthfuls seem overbearing when it's 90 degrees outside. I want fruit and structure, but with a little sparkle.

    Chateau St. Jean Bijou 2014 California Chardonnay, widely available at about $13, fills the bill nicely. It's not an unoaked chardonnay, but its oak notes are subtle undertones that let the other flavors dance....

    Chateau St. Jean Bijou 2014 California Chardonnay
  13. Book Talk: Oxford Exchange Book Fair presents more than 30 local authors


    Book Talk

    The third annual Oxford Exchange Book Fair presents more than 30 local authors in discussion and workshops, including Jamall Anderson and Ernest Hooper (The Best Bet: The Tell-All of the Biggest Gambling Scandal in the History of NCAA College Football, a Memoir), Jack E. Davis (The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea), Cathy Salustri (Backroads of Paradise: A Journey to Rediscover Old Florida) and Lee Irby (Unreliable) in conversation with Tampa Bay Times book editor Colette Bancroft. The fair also features rare and vintage books and typewriters, and information about local writers organizations. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7 at Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa....

  14. Notable: Moms' memoirs



    Moms' memoirs

    Looking for a Mother's Day gift? Consider an entertaining book by one of these moms.

    Driving Miss Norma: One Family's Journey Saying "Yes" to Living (HarperOne) by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle is the story of a 90-year-old woman who rejected cancer treatment and set off on a cross-country journey in a motor home with her son and his wife....

  15. Review: Ace Atkins' 'Little White Lies' a satisfying page turner


    If you're a fan of Boston private eye Spenser, Little White Lies will keep you eagerly turning the pages to follow his latest adventures in the mean streets. And boy, will it make you hungry.

    This is the 45th book in the series about Spenser created by Robert B. Parker, and the sixth one written by Ace Atkins, who was selected to continue the series after Parker's death in 2010....