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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. This map shows the voyages of the pirate Henry Every. [Riverhead Books]
  2. Author Michael Connelly's latest novel is "Fair Warning." [Mark DeLong]
  3. Bill Buford is the author of "Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking." [Thomas Schauer]
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  5. Mimi Galvin, right, with all 12 of her children in front of their house in Colorado Springs. [Penguin Random House]
  6. This image released by Doubleday ahoes "The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead. The novel received a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction on Monday, May 4, 2020. (Doubleday via AP) [AP]
  7. "Redhead by the Side of the Road is Anne Tyler's latest novel. [Diana Walker]
  8. The cover of "Wow, No Thank You" by Samantha Irby. [Vintage Books]
  9. "The Complete Sherlock Holmes" [Colette Bancroft]
  10. Lawrence Wright's new novel "The End of October" is set during a pandemic. [Kenny Braun]
  11. "Curious George Discovers Germs" is one of the most frequently downloaded e-books in Pasco County libraries. [HMH Books]
  12. Apr. 11• Arts & Entertainment
    Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) pursues a cold case in Season 6 of Amazon's "Bosch." [SAEED ADYANI  |  Amazon Studios/Prime Video]
  13. Randy Wayne White's new book, "Fins," is his first for young readers. Photo by Wendy Webb [COLETTE BANCROFT  |  Wendy Webb]
  14. Author J.K. Rowling, who tweeted that she has recently recovered from an apparent case of COVID-19, has a new Harry Potter at Home website. [JOEL C RYAN  |  Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP]
  15. Author James Lee Burke recalls how Americans have faced other national challenges. [James McDavid]
  16. Miami writer and USF graduate Jaquira Diaz has won the prestigious Whiting Award. [Maria Esquinca]
  17. The Oxford Exchange bookstore, like other local bookstores, is closed, but customers can still order books. ["OCTAVIO JONES   |   TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  18. Pour yourself a glass and gather around Zoom for a virtual happy hour. [LUCA BRUNO  |  AP]
  19. Michelle Obama's "Becoming" is mostly about her childhood in Chicago, her marriage and her time in the White House. [NEW YORK TIMES  |  New York Times]
  20. James McBride is the author of “Deacon King Kong.” [Chia Messina]
  21. Amazon will release Season 6 of “Bosch,” starring Titus Welliver, on April 17. [Amazon]
  22. Tombolo Books in St. Petersburg has postponed its author events through April but plans to remain open for customers. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]
  23. Stephen King at the 2018 PEN Literary Gala in New York. [EVAN AGOSTINI  |  Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]
  24. Portrait of Thomas Cromwell by painter Hans Holbein [HANS HOLBEIN  |  Handout]