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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


  1. Review: Michael Connelly's 'Bosch' returns for an engrossing Season 3

    The Feed

    In the first three episodes of Season 3 of Bosch, people keep telling the Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective he needs to get a life.

    Harry Bosch, played with simmering intensity by Titus Welliver, can hardly suppress an eyeroll. He has a life: his job. And legions of fans love him for it.

    As another investigator says to him in Episode 3, "I envy the clarity of your mission, Bosch: Somebody's dead, and somebody did it."...

    Executive producer Michael Connelly poses with LAPD officers at the Amazon Original Series "Bosch" special advance screening for local law enforcement at The Grove on April 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Amazon)
  2. Events: SunLit Festival wraps up in St. Petersburg


    Book Talk

    The SunLit Festival in St. Petersburg concludes with these events.

    APRIL 23: Citywide Read and Write-in will feature free kids books donated by the Educational Book and Media Association and an appearance by bestselling children's book author Sara Pennypacker. Bring your picnic blankets, books or notepads and relax under the banyan trees. 2 p.m., North Straub Park next to the Museum of Fine Arts....

  3. Notable: Nature writing



    Nature writing

    In the spirit of Earth Day, new books about our relationship with nature for kids and adults.

    The End of the Wild (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) by Nicole Helget is a thoughtful novel for middle-grade readers about the impact of fracking on one young girl's family.

    The Songs of Trees: Stories From Nature's Great Connectors (Viking) by David George Haskell is a scientist's fascinating look at the complex biological networks that trees — and humanity — share....

  4. Review: Gerard's 'Sunshine State' a complex portrait of self and state


    Florida has long been a place people run away to, a place to reinvent yourself and leave the past behind, as attested by its long and notorious history as adopted home to every variety of con artist imaginable.

    Sarah Gerard was born and raised here. Sunshine State, her new collection of essays, is animated by the awareness of a native who knows Florida, for better and for worse, and wants to get at the truths inside the cons....

    Sarah Gerard, author of "Sunshine State."
  5. Review: Unger's 'Red Hunter' a compelling tale of aftershocks of two crimes


    How long does a crime victim remain a victim?

    In Lisa Unger's gripping new psychological thriller, The Red Hunter, Zoey Drake is constantly reminded of her narrow escape from death 10 years ago by absence: Her devoted parents were murdered during a home invasion when she was a child, and she was left for dead.

    Claudia Bishop is reminded every day of another crime by a presence. More than 15 years ago, she was raped by a stranger — and soon found she was pregnant. She and her husband had been trying for a baby, had been intimate the same day, and Claudia makes the difficult decision to bear the child. Her daughter, Raven, is both beloved and an inescapable reminder of the crime....

    Clearwater author Lisa Unger.
  6. Interview: Margaret Atwood on her 'Handmaid's Tale': 'I'd rather be wrong'


    “I'd rather be wrong," Margaret Atwood says. "I'd much rather be wrong about a lot of things."

    Atwood is talking about the renewed timeliness of her 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale. The book is back in the news, on bestseller lists and about to debut as a television series on Hulu. The day before the interview, a group of women dressed in the red robe and white bonnet of the novel's title character staged a sit-in protest in the Texas Legislature, where a bill was being considered that would ban some methods for second-trimester abortions....

    Atwood is pictured on the set of The Handmaid’s Tale, the 10-episode Hulu series based on her 1985 novel. Atwood has a cameo as one of the Aunts.
  7. Events: SunLit Festival continues with Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, more


    Book Talk

    The SunLit Festival in St. Petersburg continues with these events.

    APRIL 17: Jump at the Sun (2008) is an award-winning biography of Florida-raised author Zora Neale Hurston by St. Petersburg filmmaker Kristy Andersen. Hurston's great-niece Lois Gaston will also speak. 7 p.m., Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S....

  8. Review: Connie May Fowler's 'Million Fragile Bones' a memoir of a natural paradise found and lost


    There are two reasons for Connie May Fowler's new memoir to be published next week, one hopeful, one heartbreaking.

    One is that April 22 will be the 47th annual Earth Day. Most of A Million Fragile Bones is Fowler's paean to the beauty and healing powers of nature, particularly her own little piece of it on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

    The second is that April 20 is the seventh anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, which led to a massive, months-long spill of millions of gallons of oil that wreaked untold damage on the gulf — and on Fowler's home, as she recounts in the latter part of this memoir....

  9. Review: Eckerd professor Lee Irby's 'Unreliable' reliably entertaining


    Tragedies end in death, the traditional rules of genre say, and comedies end in a wedding. You won't find out which one Unreliable is until the very last page.


    The new novel by Lee Irby is, as its title helpfully points out, a tour de force of unreliable first-person narration. It's a popular form lately, with a rash of female unreliable narrators — girls on trains, girls who are gone. The narrator in this case is a guy: Edwin Stith, failed novelist, former husband and ethically challenged college professor. ...

  10. Wine of the week: Kim Crawford Rosé, Hawke's Bay 2015

    Bars & Spirits

    It's spring, and that means the season of pool parties, wedding showers and al fresco brunches — and, thus, the season for rose wines.

    Kim Crawford's sauvignon blanc has long been one of my go-tos, so I was pleased recently to spot Kim Crawford Rosé, Hawke's Bay 2015, widely available at about $16.

    The wine is made from merlot grapes harvested in the New Zealand winery's Hawke's Bay vineyards. According to the label, it's affectionately known as "Pansy Rosé" for its vibrant color, a deep, bright watermelon pink....

  11. Events: SunLit Festival continues with Kerouac memories, more


    Book Talk

    Florida poet laureate Peter Meinke (Lucky Bones) will read from his work at 2 p.m. April 9 at Bookstore1Sarasota, 12 S Palm Ave., Sarasota.

    The SunLit Festival continues in St. Petersburg with these events.

    APRIL 10: An Evening With Craig Pittman (Oh Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the County), 5:30 p.m., Mirror Lake Library (second floor), 280 Fifth St. N....

  12. 9 reasons to love your local library (they aren't just for books anymore)


    The theme of the 2017 National Library Week is "Libraries Transform," and they've certainly done just that.

    When this nationwide recognition of libraries by the American Library Association began in 1958, books were hand-stamped on checkout — and books and other printed material were just about the only things most libraries had in their collections.

    The public libraries of the 21st century are another breed. They have evolved to offer information and entertainment in all sorts of media, and much more....

    Yoga instructor Susan Meyers of Treasure Island leads a chair yoga class at the West Community Library at the St. Petersburg College St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus in January.
  13. St. Petersburg is No. 2 for newspaper readers in literate cities survey


    St. Petersburg just made an auspicious debut in a city-ranking list — thanks to newspaper readers.

    This marks the first year St. Petersburg has been included in the annual America's Most Literate Cities survey, which is based on six criteria. In one of those — newspaper circulation — St. Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Times, ranks No. 2 in the nation.

    Paul Tash, chairman and CEO of the Times Publishing Co., said, "This is a wonderful hometown for the Times, and we try to return the favor by giving our town a good newspaper."...

  14. Events: Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez to sign 'Busch Gardens' book


    Book Talk

    Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez (Busch Gardens: Tampa Bay) will sign his book about the theme park's history at 1 p.m. April 8 at Books at Park Place, 10468 Roosevelt Blvd. N, St. Petersburg.

    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....

  15. Notable: Batter up



    Batter up

    In honor of Opening Day, here are three new books about baseball for kids and adults.

    Casey Stengel: Baseball's Greatest Character (Doubleday) by Marty Appel is a definitive, intimate biography of the man whose 50-year career as a player and manager — including seven World Series wins — was one of the most dazzling in the game....