1. Books

Sofia Segovia, author of 'The Murmur of Bees,' is reading Elena Ferrante's 'Neapolitan Novels'

Published Apr. 12

Segovia's novel El murmullo de las abejas has already seen success in its original Spanish, and this month marks the release of its English translation, The Murmur of Bees. Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and swirling with magical realism, the book centers on a mysterious orphan named Simonopio. Born with a cleft lip and discovered blanketed in bees, the child is taken in by the Morales family, ranchers in Mexico's northeast region. They come to learn Simonopio is no ordinary child; he's capable of seeing the future, both the good and the bad.

Segovia, whose other novels include Peregrinos (Pilgrims) and Noche de huracán (Hurricane Night), is from Monterrey, Mexico.

What's on your nightstand?

I am doing too much research right now, so my reading fiction for pleasure is not as intense as I would like. I just finished The Neapolitan Novels 1-4 by Elena Ferrante, in Spanish. She goes deep into the ups and downs of the friendship of two girls from childhood to adulthood. Very Italian, very good. I also recently finished Julie Orringer's The Invisible Bridge, about a family of Hungarian Jews during the Second World War. It's the first time I read anything by Orringer. I like her pacing and her empathetic writing style. One can tell that she deeply invests herself in her story, and I love that. From that bridge, and just by chance, I jumped to the next. Now I'm halfway through Bridge of Clay, Markus Zusak's new novel about five brothers in Australia. I was very surprised by his roundabout approach to the story, but I do like surprises. This is not The Book Thief, and I respect that. If you are not writing a series, you should take a new road with a new story or risk repeating yourself, especially after a great success like The Book Thief. Next in line is Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart. I hope it's good.

As a young reader, what was the first book you read that was translated from English?

I don't know which came first, but I remember Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and Enid Blyton's series Five Find-Outers. I loved them, but my favorite carry-everywhere-I-went book was Rudyard Kipling's El libro de las tierras vírgenes. The Jungle Book, the real deal, not Disney's version. I loved to just open it at any random page and start from there and then go backward and forward again. My copy was first my mother's. I still have it, but I can no longer leaf through it. It is close to 70 years old, and it shows.


  1. On Sunday, the Festival of Jewish Books & Conversations will feature "Have I Got a Cartoon for You!" author Bob Mankoff. Moment Books
    The Gulf Coast chapter of the Authors Guild will also present a free workshop at South Pasadena City Hall.
  2. Clips of an article Jack Kerouac wrote for the Evening Independent/St. Petersburg Times in 1965. Times Files.
    While living in St. Petersburg, Jack Kerouac stopped by a local newspaper office and wrote three stories in one night.
  3. Jack Kerouac was nearly unrecognizable in the late '60s (right) from the man he was in his youth (left). Times Files
    The King of the Beats is still celebrated throughout the city, including at his old drinking haunt, the Flamingo Bar.
  4. Michael Connelly, creator and co-writer of "Bosch," poses at the season two premiere of the Amazon original series at the Pacific Design Center on March 3, 2016, in West Hollywood, Calif. CHRIS PIZZELLO  |  Invision | AP
    The bestselling author will publish two more novels and see the debut of a second TV series based on his work next year.
  5. Michael Connelly in 2015. Courtesy of Mark DeLong
    The iconic Los Angeles detective and his talented protegee pursue killers in the mean streets and the corner offices. | Review
  6. Authors James Baldwin (maroon), Kristen Arnett (pink), Rita Mae Brown (yellow), Tanya Boteju (green), Thomas Page McBee (turquoise), Alison Bechel (blue), Mariko Tamaki (lime green), Alexander Chee (red), Kate Bornstein (purple) and Eileen Myles (orange). Illustration by Lisa Merklin  |  tbt*
    Books help to chronicle the long, storied, beautiful and diverse LGBTQ community. | Ashley Dye
  7. University of South Florida professor Jay Hopler. Courtesy of Jay Hopler
    Plus, Diane Dewey will sign her memoir at St. Petersburg bookstore Haslam’s.
  8. Jill Ciment. Courtesy of Arnold Mesches
    The story of jurors on a Florida murder trial takes some wicked twists.
  9. Author Susan Isaacs' new novel is "Takes One to Know One." Linda Nutter
    ‘Takes One to Know One’ follows an ex-FBI agent uncovering hidden identity and crime in an upscale suburb.
  10. Florida Literary Legend Craig Pittman at work on the Ichetucknee River in 1999. Times (1999)
    His five books about the state and award-winning environmental reporting for the Times earned him the title.