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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. Events: Poets Morgan Parker, Erica Dawson at Oxford Exchange


    Book Talk

    Poets Morgan Parker (There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé) and Erica Dawson (The Small Blades Hurt) will discuss and read from their work at 1:30 p.m. May 21 at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

    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....

    Idina Menzel
  2. Notable: Unquiet minds



    Unquiet minds

    These memoirs tell the heartfelt stories of people dealing with psychosis, anxiety and grief.

    My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward (Harper Wave) by Mark Lukach recounts how the author and his wife dealt with her sudden-onset mental illness, rebuilding their marriage as she suffered episodes of psychosis.

    On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety (Crown) by Andrea Petersen is a journalist's account of how she struggled to understand and cope with her anxiety disorder, along with a look at the condition's origins and treatments....

  3. For Florida author Jeff VanderMeer, giant flying bears are all in a day's work


    Jeff VanderMeer's latest novel, Borne, is getting rave reviews, and he says he's a little surprised.

    "I thought for sure there's got to be somebody out there who hates giant flying bears."

    That bear — a biotech creation gone rogue called Mord that terrorizes a ruined city where refugees, human and otherwise, survive in the rubble — is just one of the strange and wondrous creatures that populate the vivid world of Borne....

    Bestselling author Jeff VanderMeer, who also is a widely published reviewer and essayist, as well as an anthologist, editor, publisher and teacher, is pictured outside his home in Tallahassee.
  4. Events: Jane Plitt to discuss, sign books in Bradenton


    Book Talk

    Jane Plitt (Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream; Martha's Magical Hair) will discuss and sign her adult and children's books at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 16 at the Women's Resource Center, 1926 Manatee Ave., Bradenton.

    East Lake Community Library's Author Showcase presents Florida author Tom Corcoran (Crime Almost Pays) discussing and signing his novel at 6:30 p.m. May 16 at the library, 4125 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor....

  5. Notable: Between the lines



    Between the lines

    Three new books about books will delight bibliophiles.

    Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations (Little A) by Garson O'Toole tracks down the veracity — or lack thereof — of everything from a GOP tweet of a fake Abraham Lincoln quote to a postage stamp that wrongly attributed a quote to Maya Angelou. ...

  6. Interview: Paula Hawkins on 'Girl on the Train' and the new 'Into the Water'


    Paula Hawkins' thriller The Girl on the Train was one of the biggest publishing success stories of 2015. A novel by an unknown author, built on a plot involving domestic violence and substance abuse recounted by several unreliable narrators, it sold more than 20 million copies and became a hit movie starring Emily Blunt.

    For Hawkins, 44, it was a game changer. Born in Zimbabwe, she moved with her family to London when she was a teen. She attended Oxford and worked as a business reporter for the Times of London before trying her hand at writing books....

  7. Wine of the week: Chateau St. Jean Bijou 2014 California Chardonnay

    Bars & Spirits

    In summer, I'm often thirsty for the lighter side of chardonnay. The big, buttery, oaky mouthfuls seem overbearing when it's 90 degrees outside. I want fruit and structure, but with a little sparkle.

    Chateau St. Jean Bijou 2014 California Chardonnay, widely available at about $13, fills the bill nicely. It's not an unoaked chardonnay, but its oak notes are subtle undertones that let the other flavors dance....

    Chateau St. Jean Bijou 2014 California Chardonnay
  8. Book Talk: Oxford Exchange Book Fair presents more than 30 local authors


    Book Talk

    The third annual Oxford Exchange Book Fair presents more than 30 local authors in discussion and workshops, including Jamall Anderson and Ernest Hooper (The Best Bet: The Tell-All of the Biggest Gambling Scandal in the History of NCAA College Football, a Memoir), Jack E. Davis (The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea), Cathy Salustri (Backroads of Paradise: A Journey to Rediscover Old Florida) and Lee Irby (Unreliable) in conversation with Tampa Bay Times book editor Colette Bancroft. The fair also features rare and vintage books and typewriters, and information about local writers organizations. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7 at Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa....

  9. Notable: Moms' memoirs



    Moms' memoirs

    Looking for a Mother's Day gift? Consider an entertaining book by one of these moms.

    Driving Miss Norma: One Family's Journey Saying "Yes" to Living (HarperOne) by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle is the story of a 90-year-old woman who rejected cancer treatment and set off on a cross-country journey in a motor home with her son and his wife....

  10. Review: Ace Atkins' 'Little White Lies' a satisfying page turner


    If you're a fan of Boston private eye Spenser, Little White Lies will keep you eagerly turning the pages to follow his latest adventures in the mean streets. And boy, will it make you hungry.

    This is the 45th book in the series about Spenser created by Robert B. Parker, and the sixth one written by Ace Atkins, who was selected to continue the series after Parker's death in 2010....

  11. Tucson's San Xavier del Bac an enduring symbol of borderlands history


    TUCSON, Ariz.

    To the east, cars zoom down Interstate 19 toward the U.S.-Mexico border. To the west, the Tohono O'odham Nation Reservation sprawls over 2.8 million acres of the Sonoran Desert. To the north lies a city of more than a million people.

    Nestled among them, the White Dove of the Desert glows serenely in the afternoon sun.

    White Dove of the Desert is the loving nickname for San Xavier del Bac, an active Catholic church that is the oldest surviving European structure in Arizona. Its shining white facade and baroque architecture form one of Tucson's visual trademarks, but it actually sits about 9 miles south of the city in the village of Wa:k in the San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham reservation....

    San Xavier del Bac sits about 9 miles south of the city of Tucson, Ariz., in the village of Wa:k in the San Xavier District of the Tohono O’odham reservation.
  12. Review: Lehane's 'Since We Fell' a sleek, smart and surprising thriller


    Dennis Lehane is a past master of the irresistible opening paragraph, and he gives us another one in Since We Fell:

    "On a Tuesday in May, in her thirty-seventh year, Rachel shot her husband dead. He stumbled backward with an odd look of confirmation on his face, as if some part of him had always known she'd do it."

    It's an opener worthy of Raymond Chandler or James Cain, and the rest of this novel — a sleek thriller that, despite its turbocharged pace, explores the nature of love and evil — is just as gripping....

    CAMERON COTTRILL   |   Times
  13. Events: Sarah Gerard to discuss, sign 'Sunshine State: Essays'


    Book Talk

    Sarah Gerard (Sunshine State: Essays) will discuss and sign her book at 3 p.m. April 30 at Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa.

    Bestselling author and St. Pete Beach native Wendy Wax (One Good Thing) will discuss and sign her book at 4 p.m. April 30 at St. Pete Beach Public Library, 365 73rd Ave.; and at 6:30 p.m. April 30 at Paradise Grille, 900 Gulf Way, Pass-a-Grille Beach....

  14. Review: Elizabeth Strout's 'Anything Is Possible' an insightful return to Lucy Barton's hometown


    If you've ever driven breezily through a small town, thinking that not much could happen there, Elizabeth Strout has news for you.

    Her richly resonant new book, Anything Is Possible, recalls her 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner Olive Kitteridge in its structure: linked short stories about interrelated characters whose complex inner lives are revealed as we see them from different points of view....

    Lucy Barton, from Elizabeth Strout’s 2016 novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton, comes home in Sister, visiting her brother at that decrepit house for the first time in 17 years.
  15. Review: Michael Connelly's 'Bosch' returns for an engrossing Season 3

    The Feed

    In the first three episodes of Season 3 of Bosch, people keep telling the Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective he needs to get a life.

    Harry Bosch, played with simmering intensity by Titus Welliver, can hardly suppress an eyeroll. He has a life: his job. And legions of fans love him for it.

    As another investigator says to him in Episode 3, "I envy the clarity of your mission, Bosch: Somebody's dead, and somebody did it."...

    Executive producer Michael Connelly poses with LAPD officers at the Amazon Original Series "Bosch" special advance screening for local law enforcement at The Grove on April 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Amazon)