Mostly Cloudy80° FULL FORECASTMostly Cloudy80° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Email: cbancroft@tampabay.com

link
  1. Lisbeth Salander returns in a new book, like it or not

    Blog

    We're still catching our breath after Go Set a Watchman, but coming right up is another book whose publication is bound to cause controversy -- and sell a lot of copies.

    The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz will be published in the United States by Random House on Sept. 1, and although it's been as closely guarded as Watchman, a few details about its plot have now been revealed by its British publisher, McLehose Press....

    Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
  2. The two Atticuses: 'Mockingbird's hero radically reshaped from 'Watchman's racist version

    Books

    "I just don't like my world disturbed without some warning."

    Spoken by grownup Jean Louise Finch in Go Set a Watchman, the newly published novel by Harper Lee, those words reflect what many readers are feeling about the book.

    Released on July 14, Watchman is the first work by Lee to be published since her debut novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, came out in 1960. The books share two main characters, Jean Louise and her lawyer father, Atticus Finch, and a setting, the tiny fictional town of Maycomb, Ala....

    Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch in the 1962 To Kill a Mockingbird movie helped cement the character as a hero.
  3. Events: Gen. Ann Dunwoody to sign, discuss 'A Higher Standard'

    Books

    Book Talk

    St. Petersburg author Bob Andelman (Will Eisner: A Spirited Life) will discuss and sign his biography of the comic book creator at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Riverview Branch Library, 10509 Riverview Drive.

    Gen. Ann Dunwoody (A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies From America's First Female Four-Star General) will discuss and sign her memoir at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa....

  4. Shows you should be watching: Another Period

    Blog

    Natasha Leggero, co-creator of the Comedy Central series Another Period, describes it best: It's Keeping Up With the Kardashians meets Downton Abbey, a satirical mashup of the luxe overconsumption, naked social climbing and general bad behavior of the early 20th century and the early 21st.

    Shrewdly scheduled in the time slot right after Inside Amy Schumer, this spoofy, star-studded show is perfect summer brain candy: lots of pretty colors, nothing that's good for you. Set about a century ago, the escapades of the Bellacourt family, obscenely rich denizens of Newport, R.I., and their long-suffering household staff are played with ridiculous, rude gusto....

    Looking for summer brain candy? "Another Period" is just the right flavor.
  5. Notable: Harper Lee fever

    Books

    Notable

    Harper Lee fever

    If Go Set a Watchman has you wanting more by and about its author, here are three books to satisfy you.

    The Harper Lee Collection: To Kill a Mockingbird + Go Set a Watchman (Harper) won't be published until October, but this deluxe slipcased edition of both novels will be a great holiday gift for Lee's devoted fans.

    The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee (Penguin) by Marja Mills is a charming, revealing memoir by a journalist who went to interview Lee and ended up moving in next door and becoming friends with the author and her sister, Alice Finch Lee....

  6. Events: Readings by local journalists at Grand Central Lit Crawl

    Books

    Book Talk

    St. Petersburg author Bob Andelman (Will Eisner: A Spirited Life) will discuss and sign his biography of the comic book creator at 6:30 p.m. July 22 at John Germany Public Library, 900 N Ashley Drive, Tampa; and at 3 p.m. July 25 at Clearwater Main Public Library, 100 N Osceola Ave.

    Wordier Than Thou presents Grand Central Lit Crawl, featuring local journalists reading from their work at four venues in St. Petersburg's Grand Central District. Readers include Bob Andelman, Roy Peter Clark, Julie Garisto, Stephanie Hayes, Bob Jenkins, Ben Montgomery, Craig Pittman, Cathy Salustri and Arielle Stevenson. Readings take place July 25 at 4 p.m. at Old Key West Bar and Grill, 2451 Central Ave.; 5 p.m. at Community Cafe, 2444 Central Ave.; 6 p.m. at Sawgrass Bar, 2315 Central Ave.; and 7 p.m. at Sly Bar, 2061 Central Ave. Readings are free, but donations are accepted; drink specials at venues....

  7. Review: Harper Lee's 'Go Set a Watchman' a disappointing story that mars a legacy

    Books

    Having read Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman, my first reaction is that I'm not sure why it was taken out of that safe deposit box, or wherever it has been stashed since 1957.

    Or rather, I do have an idea why, but it's not a pretty one.

    Also not pretty: the very different version of Atticus Finch that is a main character in Watchman. He is 20 years older than the heroic small-town attorney of Lee's beloved To Kill a Mockingbird and instead of being a quiet crusader for racial equality, he's a stereotypical Southern bigot....

    Jane MacAdam, far left, and Ginny Bordeaux emboss copies of "Go Set a Watchman" in Ol' Curiosities & Book Shoppe on the book's release date in the hometown of "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee,  in Monroeville, Ala., Tuesday, July 14, 2015.  A full day of celebrations is planned, including readings, tours and a mint julep cocktail hour outside the old courthouse.  (AP Photo/Andrea Mabry) ALAM102
  8. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is writing a Holmes mystery? Elementary, my dear Abdul-Jabbar

    Blog

    So, I'm browsing through Publishers Weekly's fall announcement issue, which rounds up brief descriptions of hundreds of books coming up from major publishers.

    One called Mycroft Holmes catches my eye. It's a novel about Sherlock's smarter brother as a young man, fresh out of Cambridge and working for the British government. He has a fiancee who was raised in Trinidad and ends up traveling there to unravel the mysterious disappearances of children whose bodies are found drained of blood....

    NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has written a novel about Sherlock Holmes' brother, Mycroft.
  9. First chapter of 'Watchman' reveals a boyfriend and a bombshell

    Blog

    The first chapter of Harper Lee's much-anticipated novel Go Set a Watchman is now available online here.

    Written before To Kill a Mockingbird but set about 20 years after the events of that book, Watchman will be published on Tuesday, but what do we know so far from the preview of its first chapter?...

    'Go Set a Watchman' will have a first printing of 2 million copies.
  10. First chapter of Harper Lee's 'Go Set a Watchman' goes online Friday

    Books

    With Harper Lee's novel Go Set a Watchman due to be published July 14, there's news of a preview of the first chapter on Friday — and maybe, just maybe, a glimpse of the elusive Lee herself.

    On Friday, the Wall Street Journal will make the book's first chapter available globally on WSJ.com. An audio sample of the chapter, narrated by actor Reese Witherspoon, will also be available on WSJ.com. The chapter will appear in the newspaper's U.S. print edition, in the Arena section, as well. The WSJ and HarperCollins, Lee's publisher, are both owned by News Corp, Rupert Murdoch's media empire....

    Harper Lee will publish Go Set a Watchman more than 50 years after the Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird.
  11. On Friday, a first taste of 'Go Set a Watchman' in print, online and TV

    Blog

    With Harper Lee's novel Go Set a Watchman due to be published July 14, there's news of a preview of the first chapter on Friday - and maybe, just maybe, a glimpse of the elusive Lee herself.

    On Friday, the Wall Street Journal will make the book's first chapter available globally on WSJ.com. An audio sample of the chapter, narrated by actor Reese Witherspoon, will also be available on WSJ.com. The chapter will appear in the newspaper's U.S. print edition, in the Arena section, as well. The WSJ and HarperCollins, Lee's publisher, are both owned by News Corp, Rupert Murdoch's media empire....

    Harper Lee
  12. Review: 'Art of Forgery' and 'Forensics' are portraits of crime-solving

    Books

    Over the last century or so, science has utterly changed the way crimes are investigated and solved. It has even, in some cases, redefined what constitutes a crime.

    Two new nonfiction books delve into the fascinating history of those changes. In The Art of Forgery, American art historian and novelist Noah Charney looks at not just how art forgeries are committed and solved, but why forgers are driven to commit such crimes. In Forensics, bestselling Scottish crime novelist Val McDermid digs into the details of methods used to read crime scenes and corpses in real life — methods that also serve as rich material for so many mystery writers....

  13. Events: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' read-athon is Monday

    Books

    Book Talk

    In anticipation of the release of Harper Lee's novel Go Set a Watchman on July 14, there will be a read-athon of her Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, featuring local educators, authors and journalists, including Tampa Bay Times columnist Ernest Hooper. It starts at 11:30 a.m. July 13 and continues until approximately 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Brandon, 122 Brandon Town Center Drive. ...

  14. Review: 'The Hand That Feeds You' is a thriller with teeth

    Books

    The Hand That Feeds You goes from zero to terrifying in about five pages.

    The novel's narrator, Morgan Prager, a 30-year-old graduate student working on a thesis on the psychology of crime victims, comes home from a lecture to find the front door of her Brooklyn apartment ajar. There's a mess of some kind on the floor, and her three dogs — Cloud, a Great Pyrenees she has had since puppyhood, and Chester and George, two pit bull mixes she's fostering — are badly frightened and smeared with what she realizes is blood....

  15. Notable: word games

    Books

    Notable

    Word games

    Three new books have fun with all the ways we express ourselves in language.

    That Should Be a Word: A Language Lover's Guide to Choregasms, Povertunity, Brattling, and 250 Other Much-Needed Terms for the Modern World (Workman) by Lizzie Skurnick is an entertaining compendium of useful neologisms, from "tyrunt" (a bossy child) to "troogle" (using a search engine to settle a factual dispute)....