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

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  1. Events: Rep. Paul Ryan to sign book in Brandon, Sarasota

    Books

    Book Talk

    U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea) will sign his book at 3 p.m. today at Books-a-Million, 839 Brandon Town Center Mall, Brandon; and at 6 p.m. today at Bookstore1Sarasota, 1359 Main St., Sarasota. In Sarasota, only those who purchase the book at Bookstore1Sarasota will get a ticket to the signing line; to order, call (941) 365-7900. ...

  2. Review: Randy Wayne White finds Florida's dark heart in 'Haunted'

    Books

    Many of Florida's flourishing crop of crime writers find their weird and wild subject matter in the big cities and around the state's thickly populated rim.

    Randy Wayne White has set many of his bestselling mysteries along the barrier islands and beaches, too, but lately he has been sending his fictional characters into Florida's interior, where even wilder and weirder stuff awaits.

    That's certainly the case in Haunted, the third novel in White's newer series about southwest Florida fishing guide and part-time private investigator Hannah Smith. In the first two books she was an on-and-off romantic interest for White's longtime series character Doc Ford, but this time around they're off, and Ford is on some mysterious adventure of his own (which we'll no doubt be reading about in White's next book). ...

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  3. Notable: Three books focus on houses, homes

    Books

    Notable

    House and home

    Three new books focus, in fiction and fact, on the structures that shape our lives.

    The Hundred-Year House (Viking) by Rebecca Makkai is a funny, engaging, time-traveling love story plus mystery plus family saga, all set on an estate that once housed a famous artists colony.

    The Language of Houses: How Buildings Speak to Us (Delphinium Books) by Alison Lurie, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, is a nonfiction meditation on how the architecture of buildings, public and private, both affects and reflects the people who use them....

  4. Events: James Rollins to sign '6th Extinction' in Tampa

    Books

    Book Talk

    The East Lake Community Library Author Showcase presents Beth Goehringer (Blood and Fire) discussing and signing her futuristic Fire Trilogy at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the library, 4125 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor.

    Bestselling author James Rollins (The 6th Extinction) will discuss and sign his thriller at 7 p.m. Thursday at Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa....

  5. Review: Roxane Gay's 'Bad Feminist' is ruthless, often funny

    Books

    With the news full of Hobby Lobby and Ray Rice and sexual harassment at Comic-Con, not to mention such dire events as the abductions and killings of girls by radical fundamentalists, I'm floored by people like the posters on websites such as Women Against Feminism who seem to think the battles have all been won and the world is safe for women. Seriously?

    So it's refreshing to turn to Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay's tartly tongue-in-cheek-titled essay collection, in which she declares, "I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all." ...

  6. Events: Kris Radish hosts book launch party

    Books

    Book Talk

    Tampa author Tim Dorsey (Tiger Shrimp Tango) will discuss and sign his comic Florida crime novels at 6:30 Tuesday at Seminole Heights Branch Library, 4711 Central Ave., Tampa.

    Mark Powell (The Sheltering) will discuss and sign his novel about soldiers and veterans, set in part in Tampa, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa....

  7. Notable: Reference books on alchemy, mythology and 'Oz'

    Books

    Notable

    All you ever wanted to know

    And maybe more, in three new reference books on out-of-the-ordinary subjects.

    The Chemistry of Alchemy: From Dragon's Blood to Donkey Dung, How Chemistry Was Forged (Prometheus Books) by Cathy Cobb, Monty Fetterolf and Harold Goldwhite, all chemistry professors, explores the links between alchemy and modern science — with instructions for 20 at-home demonstrations!...

  8. Thomas Berger, author of 'Little Big Man,' had distinctive voice

    Books

    When news came July 21 of the death of author Thomas Berger, many people — even those who love literature — probably said, "Who?"

    That's a shame, although Berger might have raised an ironic eyebrow and smiled. A critically acclaimed and often bestselling novelist whose heyday spanned three decades and whose greatest novel became a classic movie, Berger stepped away from fame and lived a very private life for the last 30-plus years, although he continued to write — his 20th novel, Adventures of the Artificial Woman, was published in 2004. In his final years he had become so reclusive that news of his death, at age 89 on July 13, didn't become public until a week later....

    Thomas Berger, a reclusive and bitingly satirical novelist who explored the myths of the American West in Little Big Man, as well as the mores of the 20th century in other novels, died July 13.
  9. Review: Haruki Murakami's 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki' strikes emotional chord

    Books

    When Haruki Murakami's latest novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, was published in his native Japan last year, Tokyo bookstores reported crowds of hundreds of people lined up for its midnight release. The book sold 1 million copies in its first week.

    Its publication in the United States in an English translation on Aug. 12 is unlikely to evoke such an avid response. Murakami is a superstar in his country, but Americans aren't much given to lionizing literati (at least those that don't write about boy wizards). Even so, fans of elegant, intelligent fiction will welcome this book. ...

  10. Events: Author Barbara Brown Taylor to speak in Clearwater

    Books

    Book Talk

    Suncoast Hospice will present bestselling author, Episcopal priest and professor of religion Barbara Brown Taylor (Learning to Walk in the Dark) discussing and signing her book at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater. Reservations required; call (727) 523-3427.

    Author and vendor applications for the 2014 Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading, which will be Oct. 25 at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, are available at festivalofreading.com....

  11. Notable: New novels from three thriller masters

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    Notable

    Just for the thrills

    Three bestselling masters of the thriller have new novels, just in time for midsummer reading.

    The Heist (Harper) by Daniel Silva sends art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon across Europe on the trail of a ruthless killer — and a Caravaggio painting that is the world's most famous stolen artwork.

    The Lincoln Myth (Ballantine) by Steve Berry brings ex-agent Cotton Malone back into action to untangle a conspiracy that involves a powerful U.S. senator, a flaw in the Constitution and a secret tie between the Mormon religion and President Abraham Lincoln....

    This book cover image released by Ballantine Books shows "The Lincoln Myth," by Steve Berry. (AP Photo/Ballantine Books)
  12. Review: 'War of the Whales' dives deep into a real-life mystery

    Books

    Ken Balcomb had been studying whales for decades by March 15, 2000, work that often involved encounters with marine mammals stranded onshore. But that morning a whale beached itself alive just 100 yards from his home and research station on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas — a Cuvier's beaked whale, a deep-water denizen rarely observed and even more rarely stranded.

    As Joshua Horwitz writes in his engrossing new book, War of the Whales: A True Story, Balcomb was both intrigued and concerned — but that whale was just the beginning. All that day, phone calls and radio messages streamed in from four Bahamian islands, reporting strandings of other Cuvier's as well as Blainville's beaked whales, minke whales and an Atlantic spotted dolphin (dolphins are small whales), some alive and others dying or dead. Balcomb soon realized he was in the middle of what turned out to be "the largest multispecies whale stranding ever recorded." ...

    Book jacket for Joshua Horwitz's book, "War of the Whales," published by Simon and Schuster. 2014
  13. Events: Deanna Bennett to launch 'Anna: American Journey'

    Books

    Book Talk

    East Lake Community Library will host a book launch for Deanna Bennett (Anna: American Journey), who will discuss and sign the second novel in her trilogy at 6 p.m. Friday at the library, 4125 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor.

    Author and vendor applications for the 2014 Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading, which will be Oct. 25 at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, are available at festivalofreading.com....

  14. Review: 'The Forsaken' is a darkly exciting thrill ride

    Books

    Quinn Colson, former U.S. Army Ranger and veteran of "thirteen tours of Iraq and Trashcanistan," has returned to his hometown of Jericho, Miss., and become the county sheriff. But as The Forsaken, Ace Atkins' fourth novel about Quinn, begins, the lawman isn't so sure he wants the job anymore.

    Atkins, formerly a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) and the Tampa Tribune, is one busy novelist these days. Each year, besides a book in his series about Quinn, he writes a book in the bestselling Spenser series created by Robert B. Parker, who died in 2010....

  15. Notable: The U.S. space program beyond the moon landing

    Books

    Notable

    Beyond the moon

    Neil Armstrong's moon landing was the first step; these books deal with later developments in the U.S. space program.

    Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen (Prometheus Books) by Rod Pyle looks at the engineers and scientists who made the mission possible (including "Mohawk Guy") and the adventures of Curiosity, the most advanced machine ever sent to another planet....