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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

  1. Review: Atkins' 'The Innocents' brings Colson back to Jericho, where trouble finds him


    Even though Quinn Colson got booted from the post of sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi, two books back, law enforcement seems to be a job he just can't get away from.

    In The Innocents, Ace Atkins' sixth novel about the former Army Ranger, Colson has just returned to his hometown of Jericho from his 13th trip to Afghanistan, where he has been training police forces as a nonmilitary government employee....

    Ace Atkins.
  2. Notable: Sixties flashbacks



    Sixties flashbacks

    Three books originally published in the 1960s are appearing in new editions.

    Every Frenchman Has One (Crown Archetype) by Olivia de Havilland is the Oscar-winning actor's entertaining memoir about marrying a Frenchman and moving to Paris; first published in 1963.

    The Quiet Crisis (Ig Publishing) by Stewart Udall, with an introduction by President John F. Kennedy and preface by Sen. Tom Udall, is an influential and remarkably prescient analysis (first published in 1966) of the American relationship to nature by the Secretary of the Interior under Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson....

  3. Events: 'Night of Protest Poetry and Poetry of Witness' at Woodson Museum


    Book Talk

    "A Night of Protest Poetry and Poetry of Witness" will feature Tampa Bay area poets and institutional leaders in a unified call for human rights in America. Readers include Florida's poet laureate, Peter Meinke, as well as Dennis Amadeus, Slam Anderson, Julie Armstrong, Mona Bethke, Sheree Greer, Wally Jennings and Gloria Muñoz. Readings begin at 5 p.m. July 24 at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S, St. Petersburg....

  4. Review: 'Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie' is just that


    I am happy to report that Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie has no socially redeeming value whatsoever.

    And that's just as it should be. Fans of the British sitcom, which ran off and on from 1992 to 2004, know that the fun is found in gasping and giggling at the over-the-top antics of its cheerfully despicable main characters.

    London PR agency owner Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and her best friend, fashion magazine editor Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), are celebrity-chasing fashionistas who spend like there's no tomorrow and refuse to even consider they might be aging themselves....

    Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley portray Eddy and Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
  5. Drink of the week: Bollinger NV Special Cuvee Brut

    Bars & Spirits

    "Bolly, darling!"

    Any fan of Absolutely Fabulous will recognize that war cry. The BBC comedy series, which ran from 1992 to 2004, starred Jennifer Saunders as London PR agency owner Edina Monsoon and Joanna Lumley as magazine editor Patsy Stone. The pair are enthusiastic party girls and dedicated followers of fashion who simply refuse to age out of their passions (or their miniskirts)....

    Drink of the week: Bollinger NV Special Cuvee Brut
  6. We're a literary community: Fiction writers make their homes in bay area


    Review by Colette Bancroft

    Times Book Editor

    How about some fresh local fiction?

    In the Tampa Bay area, you don't have to look far to find an author. From first-timers starting out to bestselling writers whose books are sold around the globe, hundreds, maybe thousands, of fiction writers make their homes here.

    As the Times book editor, I know that well. Each week, I receive about 200 books in the mail from publishers, and on average about 10 percent of them are by local authors. Do the math and you'll see that's at least 1,000 new books (fiction and nonfiction) by Tampa Bay area writers per year....

    Enid Shomer
  7. At his centennial, John D. MacDonald's writing still fresh


    It's always a little nerve-racking to re-read the work of an author you loved years ago but haven't read since.

    So let me just say it: For a guy who's turning 100, John D. MacDonald is holding up beautifully.

    Next Sunday, July 24, will be the centennial of the author's birth. Born in 1916 in Pennsylvania, MacDonald became by choice a Florida writer — he moved to Siesta Key in Sarasota in 1951 and lived there until his death in 1986. It was there that he wrote his best-known works, 21 crime fiction novels about "salvage consultant" and knight errant Travis McGee, resident of the Busted Flush, Slip F-18, Bahia Mar Marina, Fort Lauderdale. Each one titled with a color, from The Deep Blue Good-by to The Lonely Silver Rain, the McGee books have sold more than 40 million copies and been the basis for several movies....

    Nearly 70-plus works of John D. MacDonald, who lived in Siesta Key from 1951 until his death in 1986, have been reissued over 
the last three years to mark his centennial. There will be an all-day celebration, with author talks, cake and more, July 23.
  8. Notable: Read locavore



    More locavore reading

    These three nonfiction books by Tampa Bay area authors delve into local history.

    Cocktail Noir: From Gangsters and Gin Joints to Gumshoes and Gimlets (Reservoir Square Books) by Scott Deitche, author of several nonfiction books about the Mafia in Tampa, here turns his knowledge of true crime into recipes for mobsters' favorite drinks....

  9. Review: 'Grief Is the Thing With Feathers' a surreal, soaring look at loss


    A woman dies suddenly. Her husband and two young sons are paralyzed by pain and disbelief. Four or five days after her death, when the stream of mourners has drifted away, an enormous crow appears at their door.

    Thus begins Grief Is the Thing With Feathers, the remarkable new book by British writer Max Porter. Surreal, sometimes disorienting and sharply emotionally resonant, it is a beautifully written distillation of the experience of shocking loss....

  10. Events: Tim Dorsey to appear at Platt Library in Tampa


    Book Talk

    Victor Hazan (Ingredienti: Marcella's Guide to the Market) will discuss and sign his book, translated from the notebooks of his late wife, cookbook author Marcella Hazan, at 11 a.m. July 12 at Bookstore1Sarasota, 1359 Main St., Sarasota.

    Tampa author Tim Dorsey (Coconut Cowboy) will discuss and sign his latest Serge Storms novel at 6:30 p.m. July 12 at Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library, 3910 S Manhattan Ave., Tampa....

  11. Drink of the Week: Amancay 2014 Reserve Torrontes wine

    Bars & Spirits

    With summer parties in full swing, where to go for a user-friendly, refreshing wine that you can serve to a crowd without blowing your budget?

    Lots of folks will think Trader Joe's. Purely in terms of price, it's tough to beat Three-Buck Chuck (the wine formerly known as Two-Buck Chuck), but — well, you get what you pay for.

    Spend a bit more, though, and you can find something truly tasty like the Amancay 2014 Reserve Torrontes. On shelves at TJ's for a bargain price of $7.99, this Argentine white makes a fine stand-alone sipper or complement to light summer fare....

  12. Notable: From screen to page



    From screen to page

    Three writers best known for their work in movies and television have published new novels.

    Before the Fall (Grand Central) by Noah Hawley, creator of the TV series Fargo, is a riveting thriller about the crash of a private jet between Martha's Vineyard and New York, the media firestorm that follows and the fates of the only two survivors....

  13. Events: Times' Craig Pittman launches 'Oh, Florida!' at Oxford Exchange


    Book Talk

    Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittman (Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country) will have a book launch and signing July 3 at 2 p.m. at Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (See the review and more events in next Sunday's Latitudes.)

    St. Petersburg author Cheryl Hollon (Cracked to Death) will sign her new mystery, set in the Grand Central District, at 2 p.m. July 3 at Haslam's Book Store, 2025 Central Ave., St. Petersburg....

  14. Events: Deanna Lawrence to sign her memoir at Haslam's


    Book Talk

    Former Fox 13 reporter Deanna Lawrence (Sometimes ... A Storyteller's Journal) will discuss and sign her memoir at 2 p.m. June 26 at Haslam's Book Store, 2025 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

    The North Tampa Branch Library presents its Local Author Meet 'N Greet, featuring John Chaplick (The Rivergrass Legacy, Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion), Gerald Arthur Winter (Hemingway's Trunk: Letters in Blood), David Blair (Do I Have to Do That?!), K. Alex Walker (Angels and Assassins), Melissa Twomey (Good Night Tampa), Mario Valbuena (Sara Snapper and the Magic Camera), Benjamin Sperduto (The Walls of Dalgorod) and Grace A. Comerford (Power of Purple), at 5:30 p.m. June 28 at the library, 8916 North Blvd., Tampa....

  15. Review: Billingham's 'Die of Shame' a gripping tale of addiction, murder


    Coaxing information from reluctant sources is all in a day's work for homicide investigators. But in Mark Billingham's new thriller, Die of Shame, Nicola Tanner, a London police detective, is up against an unusually solid wall of silence.

    Tanner is investigating the murder of 32-year-old Heather Finlay. The victim was estranged from her family and had few friends — how few can be measured by the fact that she was fatally stabbed in her own kitchen, but her body wasn't found until more than two weeks later, and then only because a neighbor complained of the smell....

    Photo by Charlie Hopkinson