1. Books

Here's a guide to the authors coming to the Times Festival of Reading

Published Nov. 15, 2018

For many of the authors appearing at the Times Festival of Reading, books are a means to chronicle injustice — and perhaps help to make a change.

In fiction and nonfiction, poetry and books for young readers, writers employ their literary art to examine such issues as racism, misogyny and environmental degradation. Telling a story can shine a light in darkness, opening the eyes, minds and hearts of readers. Words can move us to actions, small and large. The 26th annual festival is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday on the campus of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, 140 Seventh Ave. S. Admission is free; books for sale on site. Find a full schedule at

• Civil rights historian Raymond Arsenault chronicles the life of a sports icon and activist.

• In his eighth Quinn Colson novel, Ace Atkins amps up the action in a little Mississippi town.

• Sorboni Banerjee, Andre Frattino, Lauren Gibaldi and Fred Koehler will keep young readers turning the pages.

• Families face crises in debut novels by C. Morgan Babst and Melanie Hobson.

• Short story collections by two Florida writers reveal different perspectives on the everyday.

Christian Blauvelt brings life lessons from Star Wars.

Karen Brown's novel is a chilling literary ghost story.

Robert Olen Butler's historical spy thriller takes readers to Paris during World War I.

• Writing coach Roy Peter Clark returns to the festival.

Tom Clavin co-authors a lively, revealing account of our first president's military career.

Jack E. Davis' book has won accolades that include the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for history.

• The festival is proud to present poets Erica Dawson, Tyler Gillespie, Peter Meinke and Enid Shomer.

Bill DeYoung recounts the life of a music legend with Florida roots.

Kristen Hare presents a book about being a tourist close to home.

Jean Heller and Cheryl Hollon bring back their series sleuths.

Jeffery Hess and Danny Lopez find rich sources for crime fiction in Florida.

Ladee Hubbard writes about a most unusual road trip in her debut novel.

Tayari Jones wrote a novel about a life-changing event and found her own life changed.

Gilbert King recounts a tragic true story of injustice in Florida.

Steve Kistulentz's debut novel is a story of family, politics and a plane crash.

• More Real Florida from Jeff Klinkenberg — this time it's personal.

Michael Koryta's latest thriller is a dark, satisfying puzzle.

• Florida plays a lead role in Eleanor Kriseman's first novel.

Hugh LaFollette takes a complex look at an oversimplified issue.

• Bet on Gale Massey's psychological thriller for a winning read.

Joyce Maynard tells the story of her own heartbreaking romance.

• Step back and let Ben Montgomery tell you the story of a record-breaking stunt.

G. Neri's latest is a graphic biography of a woman and the horse she risked everything for.

David Pedreiera's murder mystery is out of this world.

Deborah Plant helped bring a previously unpublished book by Zora Neale Hurston to print.

Steph Post lights up rural Florida in a noir thriller.

Lori Roy finds dark material for a crime novel in Florida history.

B.A. Shapiro draws fictional portraits of Matisse, Stein and more.

• Adolescence is a battleground in David Small's graphic novel.

Gary Shteyngart turns a satirical eye on America with novel about hedge fund manager on a Greyhound road trip.

• Get swept up in James Swain's fast-paced tale of a teen stalked by serial killers.

• A young widow questions her safety and sanity in Lisa Unger's latest.

Rick Wilber writes tales of World War II, with a twist.


  1. University of South Florida professor Jay Hopler. Courtesy of Jay Hopler
    Plus, Diane Dewey will sign her memoir at St. Petersburg bookstore Haslam’s.
  2. Jill Ciment. Courtesy of Arnold Mesches
    The story of jurors on a Florida murder trial takes some wicked twists.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The 27th annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading is coming up on Nov. 9 at the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus. Times (2017)
    Roy Peter Clark is also set to offer a workshop at Oxford Exchange in Tampa.
  6. Edie Windsor walks at the 46th annual NYC Pride March in 2016. Windsor was the Grand Marshal of the 2013 parade, just after the Supreme Court ruled in her favor and struck down the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act. Her case set the stage for Obergefell v. Hodges in which the Supreme Court made marriage equality legal nationwide. A KATZ  |  a katz  |  Shutterstock
    It’s a pleasure to hear from the late lesbian trailblazer, whose landmark case set the stage for marriage equality nationwide. | Book review
  7. Graham Kropp, 9 and his father Steve Kropp, both of Seminole, shop for Star Wars items at the Clearwater Target, 2747 Gulf To Bay Blvd, Friday, October 4, 2019 in the Disney Store section. Friday was the release of this year's Force Friday Star Wars products. Target sales associate Kat McCauley, right, offers them some Star Wars themed cup cakes.  SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    The “shop-in-shop” location is one of only 25 in the country and two in the state of Florida.
  8. Kristen Hare, author of 100 Things to Do in Tampa Bay Before You Die. Courtesy of Kristen Hare
    The author of ‘100 Things to Do in Tampa Bay Before You Die’ is reading Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase series.
  9. Author Beth Macy Josh Meltzer
    This deeply researched history of the opioid crisis tells its human stories, too.
  10. The cover of "The Immigrant Cookbook," which podcaster and food journalist Janet Keeler will talk about at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter next week. Interlink Pub Group
    On the other side of the bay, John Cinchett is also scheduled to sign ‘Vintage Tampa Signs and Scenes.'