Colette Bancroft - Books Critic

Books Critic

I was the kid whose mother said, “Put down that book, go outside and play.” I grew up in Tampa, earned degrees in English at the University of South Florida and University of Florida, and taught literature and writing for more than a decade. Then I switched to journalism, working for the Arizona Daily Star and, since 1997, for the Tampa Bay Times as an editor, reporter and critic. In 2007, I became the Times’ book editor, writing reviews, interviewing authors and helping to direct the annual Times Festival of Reading. I served two terms on the board of the National Book Critics Circle. I live in St. Petersburg with my dog, Marlowe, and cat, Isabel. When I’m not reading, I’m traveling or painting.

  1. Wilder Heart of Florida cover
  2. Gale Massey's short story collection is "Rising."
  3. Tyler Gillespie's new book is "The Thing About Florida."
  4. USF professor and poet Natalie Scenters-Zapico has won a 2021 Windham Campbell Literature Prize.
  5. Maggie O'Farrell received the National Book Critics Circle's 2020 fiction prize for her novel "Hamnet."
  6. Patricia Engel's latest novel is "Infinite Country."
  7. Mar. 16• Life & Culture
  8. Mar. 16• Life & Culture
    Carl Hiaasen's most recent novel, "Squeeze Me," came out last year. It is set in and around Palm Beach.
  9. Klara and the Sun is a new novel from the Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro.
  10. Michael Koryta's latest thriller is "Never Far Away."
  11. Titus Welliver will return as Harry Bosch in a new, as yet-untitled series on Amazon's IMDB TV.
  12. "The Lost Apothecary" is the debut novel by St. Petersburg resident Sarah Penner.
  13. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and bestselling mystery author Louise Penny have teamed up to write a novel, “State of Terror,” to be published Oct. 12.  (Photos by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, left, and Jean-Francois Bérubé via AP)
  14. Four Hundred Souls cover
  15. "Blood Grove" is Walter Mosley's 15th novel about Los Angeles private detective Easy Rawlins.
  16. Dantiel W. Moniz's debut story collection is "Milk Blood Heat."
  17. The man known in Tampa as Bobby Thompson is pictured in a 2012 photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service from the Multnomah County (Oregon) Sheriff's Department.
  18. Journalist and bestselling author Carl Hiaasen will retire from writing his column for the Miami Herald in March.
  19. Tim Dorsey's 24th Serge Storms book is "Tropic of Stupid."
  20. Maggie O'Farrell's novel "Hamnet" is one of five finalists for the National Book Critics Circle's fiction award for 2020.
  21. Ben Montgomery's new book is "A Shot in the Moonlight."
  22. Author Ace Atkins
  23. Author Michael Connelly began working on new novel in December.