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. Notable: Three books by and about women



    Women's works

    Three impressive new books by and about women explore a wide range of subjects.

    The Fame Lunches: On Wounded Icons, Money, Sex, the Brontës, and the Importance of Handbags (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Daphne Merkin gathers the culture critic's insightful, intimate essays on such subjects as pets and pedicures, Marilyn Monroe and Mike Tyson, Alice Munro and John Updike....

  2. Events: Local authors predict world's end at Studio@620


    Book Talk

    Rebbie MacIntyre (A Corner of the Universe) will discuss her mystery novel at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at North Branch Library, 8916 N Boulevard, Tampa.

    Wordier Than Thou presents "Doomsayers: Local Authors Predict the End of the World," featuring John Henry Fleming, Jeff Strand, Heather Jones, Cole Bellamy, Lynne Hansen, Juliana A. Torres, David Z. Morris and Edward P. Morgan III, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Admission $5....

  3. Dennis Lehane talks about 'The Drop,' his Florida ties


    After years as a part-time Tampa Bay area resident, bestselling author Dennis Lehane has sold his St. Petersburg home and moved with his family to the Los Angeles area. But he still has ties, personal and professional, to Florida.

    "We got a wild hair about a month ago and came back to visit our friends, spent a couple of days at the Don (CeSar)," Lehane says by phone from Boston, where he was in the midst of a media tour in early September....

    Screenwriter Dennis Lehane attends The Drop premiere during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 5.
  4. Notable: New mysteries featuring old favorites



    Old friends, new mysteries

    For fans of long-running crime fiction series, nothing's better than the latest chapter.

    The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Minotaur) by Louise Penny is the 10th book about the now retired Quebecois homicide detective Gamache, who's getting used to the quiet village of Three Pines — until he's pulled into the search for a missing artist....

  5. Times Festival of Reading to feature Hiaasen, Macomber, Mandvi, Stine


    Whether it makes us laugh or cry, escape from our own life or feel smarter about the world we live in, a good book often makes us wish we could meet the person who wrote it.

    At the 22nd annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading on Oct. 25, readers will have a chance to meet more than 40 authors who have written books for just about every taste. The writers will be discussing and signing their books at this free event on the bayside campus of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg....

    Suzanne Brockmann
  6. Events: Hal Bodley to sign 'How Baseball Explains America'


    Book Talk senior correspondent Hal Bodley (How Baseball Explains America) will sign his book about the sport's history at 7 p.m. Monday (Sept. 15) at Salon Lofts, 1068 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg.

    East Lake Community Library's Author Showcase presents K. Trap Jones (The Sinner) discussing and signing his horror novel at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 16) at the library, 4125 East Lake Road S, Palm Harbor....

  7. Notable: Future imperfect



    Future imperfect

    Three new books look at fact and fiction about the world before us and how we got here.

    Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One's Looking (Crown) by Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid, is a fascinating look at just what we're up to on social media and how many intimate details Big Data reveals.

    Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (HarperCollins), edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer, is a collection of innovative stories by such authors as Cory Doctorow, Neal Stephenson and Elizabeth Bear that reject dystopian fiction for "techno-optimism."...

  8. Notable: splendid reading, in short form



    Short subjects

    These new books offer splendid reading in short forms.

    The Best American Short Stories 2014 (Mariner), edited by Jennifer Egan, gathers 20 stories by an all-star lineup of authors, including T.C. Boyle, Joshua Ferris, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Karen Russell.

    The O. Henry Prize Stories 2014: The Best Stories of the Year (Anchor Books), edited by Laura Furman, has a different set of 20 stories, by such authors as Mark Haddon, Tessa Hadley and Louise Erdrich, plus Laura van den Berg's wonderful Florida-set Opa-locka....

  9. Events: Book launch party for 'Astray' at Splitsville


    Book Talk

    Inkwood Books will hold a launch party with bowling, billiards and refreshments for Astray, the new YA novel by Amy Christine Parker, at 2 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 7) at Splitsville, 615 Channelside Drive, Suite 120, Tampa.

    Tampa author Tim Dorsey (Tiger Shrimp Tango) will discuss and sign his comic Florida mystery at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 9) at Gulfport Library, 5501 28th Ave. S; at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 10) at West Hernando Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave., Brooksville; at 6 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 10) at Brooksville Library, 238 Howell Ave.; at 1 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 13) at Central Ridge Library, 425 W Roosevelt Blvd., Beverly Hills; and at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Lakes Region Library, 1511 Druid Road, Inverness. ...

  10. Review: James Ellroy's 'Perfidia' a perfect start in new L.A. Quartet


    James Ellroy is back at work on his version of the 20th century. And if, like me, you are among his legion of fans, you will dive into Perfidia with a shiver that is equal parts anticipation and fear — because you know it's going to get very dark very fast.

    The California writer has published 13 novels since his first, Brown's Requiem, in 1981. Ellroy began as a classic noir crime writer, but his seven major works, published between 1987 and 2009, have showcased his idiosyncratic, propulsive style and formed an interrelated body of historical fiction that focuses on the intimate entanglements of crime, law enforcement, politics, corruption and violence....

  11. Events: 'Seriously Delish' tasting, signing at Inkwood on Tuesday


    Book Talk

    Blogger Jessica Merchant (Seriously Delish) will discuss and sign her cookbook and demonstrate recipes at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa. Tickets are $40 and include admission and tasting for two and one copy of the book;

    Alina Garcia-Lapuerta (La Belle Creole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid and Paris) will discuss and sign her biography at 7 p.m. Thursday at Inkwood Books. ...

  12. Notable: Creators at work



    Work details

    Labor Day honors workers, and creative people work as hard as anyone, as these books note.

    Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and the '90s Renegades Who Remade Fashion (Touchstone) by Maureen Callahan is a dishy, sometimes shocking account of the punks and prodigies whose work erased the line between couture and street....

  13. Review: Tana French's 'Secret Place' a taut, shimmering mystery


    St. Kilda's is an exclusive school in Dublin: "Girls' secondary, private, leafy suburb. Nuns." Its halls teem with long-haired, coltish, chattering teens from well-off families. It's not supposed to be the kind of place where murder happens.

    But by the end of one very long day within its graceful, golden-lighted halls, Detective Stephen Moran will say, "If I've learned one thing today, it's that teenage girls make Moriarty look like a babe in the woods."...

  14. Review: Jane Goodall's 'Seeds of Hope' charming, alarming


    Jane Goodall's world-famous research on chimpanzees inevitably involved observing the plant life around them, from the seeds and fruits they ate to the towering trees they slept in.

    But Goodall's abiding interest in plants goes all the way back to her childhood, as she relates in the opening chapters of her latest book, Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants.

    Growing up in her family's home, called the Birches, in Bournemouth, England, she helped with gardening, dug potatoes, made botanical drawings and whiled away hours in the branches of a beech tree, where, she writes, "I would read about Doctor Doolittle and Tarzan, and dream about the time when I, too, would live in the forest."...

  15. Review: Jessie Burton's 'Miniaturist' a microcosm of mystery


    Bestselling novels inspired by 17th century Dutch works of art are getting to be a hot literary subgenre. First came Tracy Chevalier's Girl With a Pearl Earring, then Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. And now Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist, a debut novel that sparked an 11-publisher bidding war, is being published in 30 countries and has filmmakers sparring over movie rights.

    The inspirational artwork this time is a 17th century dollhouse owned by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam — not a child's toy but an intricately detailed replica of one of the sumptuous townhouses that lined the city's system of canals, many of them still occupied today, centuries after they were built. ...

    A man takes a closer look at the Dollhouse of Petronella Oortman at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, last year.