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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. Michael Connelly to sign books in Tampa


    When author Michael Connelly appeared at the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading in November, he spoke before an enthusiastic, standing-room-only crowd — one of the biggest he's ever had, he said.

    The downside of that: Copies of his terrific new novel, The Wrong Side of Goodbye, sold out so fast that many fans who had hoped to have him sign the book weren't able to buy one....

  2. Review: 'Krazy' a rollicking, revealing bio of comics artist George Herriman


    In a surreal desert landscape, a tiny white mouse throws a brick at the head of a black cat. On impact, the cat lifts lightly off the ground, hearts floating in the air above its lovestruck head.

    That image, and the story it suggests, might sound slight. But it was the heart and soul of Krazy Kat, a tremendously influential comic strip that ran for more than 30 years at a time when newspaper comic strips were among the most popular American art forms....

  3. Notable: Books about making 'Moana,' 'Fantastic Beasts,' 'Star Wars'


    Behind the scenes: Three new books about the making of beloved movies might be welcome gifts.

    The Art of Disney Moana (Chronicle) by Jessica Julius and Maggie Malone lavishly illustrates how artists developed settings and characters — including their clothes, hairstyles and tattoos — for the animated film set in the South Pacific.

    Newt Scamander: A Movie Scrapbook (Candlewick Press) by Rick Barba explains how many of the special effects in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them were created, using photos and pullout trading cards, maps and other goodies....

  4. Events: Valentine to sign 'Caicos Conspiracy' at Haslam's


    Book Talk

    Local author William Valentine (Caicos Conspiracy) will sign his latest mystery novel at 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at Haslam's Book Store, 2025 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

    Local author Diane Sawyer (The Tell-Tale Treasure) will discuss and sign her mystery novel at 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at Mirror Lake Community Library, 280 Fifth St. 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....

  5. From Hamilton to Dylan to women in history, gift books with content


    Every fall, my mail bulges with a new crop of holiday gift books. They're big, they're glossy, they're packed with art. And most of the time I wonder who would want them.

    I try to picture who rips the wrapping paper off a 10-pound, full-color, $75 copy of Sun King Sparkles: The Minor Lighting Fixtures of the Palace of Versailles and says through tears, "You knew just what I wanted!"...

    SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  6. Events: Michael Connelly to sign 'Wrong Side of Goodbye' in Tampa


    Book Talk

    Local author Diane Sawyer (The Tell-Tale Treasure) will discuss and sign her mystery novel at 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at North Community Library, 861 70th Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

    Bestselling author Michael Connelly (The Wrong Side of Goodbye) will sign his new Harry Bosch novel at 2 p.m. Dec. 10 at Barnes & Noble Tampa, 213 N Dale Mabry Highway. For admission to the signing line, a receipt for purchase of the novel from Barnes & Noble is required....

  7. Notable: 'Best American' anthologies



    They're the best

    The annual "Best American" anthologies are like stockings full of goodies. Here are three of this year's books.

    The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 (Mariner), edited by Rachel Kushner, is an eclectic collection chosen by a committee of San Francisco area high school students and brimming with wonderful short stories, journalism, interviews and poetry; writers include Marilynne Robinson and Michael Pollan. ...

  8. Review: Michael Chabon's 'Moonglow' shines light on one man's life


    Michael Chabon's new novel, Moonglow, is a marvel of melancholy enchantment, the story of one man's life seen, as its title suggests, through last lingering light before darkness. But it's as rich and strange as any dream.

    The novel, Chabon has said, is autobiographical to a degree. Like the "Mike" who narrates this book, he sat by the bedside of his dying grandfather in 1989. The old man had been reserved all his life, especially about his own past. His wife says of him in the book, "Some husbands take lovers. Mine he take the Fifth."...

    CAMERON COTTRILL   |   Times
  9. Notable: Comedy gold



    Comedy gold

    Three new books look at humor classics: a magazine, a TV show and a one-woman comedy phenomenon.

    The Best of the Harvard Lampoon: 140 Years of American Humor (Simon & Schuster), with an introduction by Simon Rich, collects a wide range of works by writers from John Updike to Conan O'Brien, from the "ancient humor magazine" that spawned National Lampoon, SNL and much more....

  10. UF professor wins National Book Award for history of urgent topic of racism


    When Ibram X. Kendi won a National Book Award this month, his book was one of three winners whose subject is racism in the United States.

    That confluence of books of many genres dealing with the same subject — and they include winners of several other prestigious book prizes as well — is not coincidence. These books were published and honored during a time when racism is a volatile and unavoidable topic in American discourse, especially so during the recent presidential campaign. It's a topic unlikely to fade away any time soon....

    Ibram X. Kendi says he never lost faith in America.
  11. Drinks of the week: 2014 Avalon California Chard, 2014 Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel

    Bars & Spirits

    Thanksgiving dinner isn't the time to break out the pricey look-at-me wines. You want a wine that plays well with all those diverse tastes on the table, one that's food friendly but with enough character to stand its ground next to everything from the turkey to the pumpkin pie.

    White or red? Again, the many flavors of the Thanksgiving feast mean you can go either way (or have both), but I'd avoid the really lightweight whites, like pinot grigio, or the heavyweight reds such as cabernet sauvignon. ...

  12. National Book Award winners include UF professor


    When the 2016 National Book Awards were handed out on Wednesday night, Florida had a winner.

    The award for nonfiction went to University of Florida faculty member Ibram X. Kendi for Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Kendi, an assistant professor of African American history at UF, structured the book around the history of five leading American intellectuals: Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois and Angela Davis. In his acceptance speech, Kendi said, "I spent years looking at the absolute worst of America, but I never lost faith. For every racist idea, there was an antiracist idea."...

  13. Notable: Sharpen your crayons



    Sharpen your crayons

    These days there's a coloring book for almost any interest. Here are three to consider for holiday shopping.

    404 Not Found: A Coloring Book by the Oatmeal (Andres McMeel) tells the wildly imaginative story of a missing robot. If you're familiar with this cartoonist, you know some of his work is adult-only, but this is cool for kids, if your kids are a little weird. ...

  14. Events: Food writer Chris Sherman to speak


    Book Talk

    The Florida Bibliophile Society presents food writer and editor Chris Sherman (Bern's: Rare and Well Done) discussing his career as a restaurant critic and cookbook co-author at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Seminole Community Library, 9200 113th St. N, Seminole.

    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. Review: Zadie Smith's 'Swing Time' dances to the music of time


    Zadie Smith's splendid new novel, Swing Time, borrows its title from a movie that's all about dance, and dance is a motif that ties together the book's many subjects: art, race, power and, perhaps most important, the bonds among women, as friends and as mothers and daughters.

    All are subjects where, as in dance, balances shift, rhythms change and support can make the difference between success and disaster....