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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: Essayist Robert Rebein to read at USF


    Book Talk

    East Lake Community Library's Authors Showcase presents Deanna Bennett (Anna: Going to America, Anna: American Journey and Anna: American Dream) discussing her trilogy of historical novels at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at the libary, 4125 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor.

    The University of South Florida's English department presents Robert Rebein (Headlights on the Prairie: Essays on Home) reading from his essay collection at 3 p.m. Sept. 20 in the Grace Allen Reading Room, USF Main Library, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa....

  2. Notable: The Great Detective



    The Great Detective

    Three new books offer very different takes on the influence of Sherlock Holmes.

    From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon (Mysterious Press) by Mattias Bostrom explores the genesis and development of Sherlock Holmes, from Arthur Conan Doyle's invention of the character to the many forms he has taken since....

  3. Review: John Capouya's history of 'Florida Soul' entertains


    When we think about classic soul and R&B music, we probably think of Detroit and Philadelphia, Chicago and Memphis.

    But we should think of the Sunshine State, too, writes John Capouya in his new book, Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band.

    Throughout the glory days of soul and R&B, from the late 1940s through the 1970s, Floridians made some of the most memorable music in those genres. Capouya recounts their lives and contributions in this deeply researched and affectionate book, enriched by interviews with many of the musicians themselves. ...

  4. What to know about wine when hosting a dinner party

    Bars & Spirits

    If you host dinner parties built around wine, for guests who can spend hours debating the fine points of vintages and brix and terroir, and who will sniff if you serve that Bordeaux at five degrees off the optimal temperature, you're probably not looking for tips.

    But if you're a casual wine drinker (or not a wine drinker at all) hoping to pour a bottle or two to accompany the fare at your next dinner party, here are a few suggestions....

  5. Two Florida authors are finalists for Dayton Literary Peace Prize


    The finalists for the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize have been announced, and Florida can boast two authors on the fiction list.

    Robert Olen Butler, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who holds the Michael Shaara Chair in Creative Writing at Florida Sate University, is nominated for his 16th novel, Perfume River. Its plot revolves around a Florida family whose lives are still affected by the Vietnam War. He lives in Tallahassee....

    Guests wait along Main Street USA for Mickey's "Boo-To-You" Halloween Parade at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom.
(Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel)
  6. Events: Tampa Bay Publishing Conference set for Oct. 7


    Book Talk

    Registration is open for Wordier Than Thou's first Tampa Bay Publishing Conference on Oct. 7 in St. Petersburg. The conference includes classes, talks and vendors, and readings and signings by local authors including Karen Brown (The Clairvoyants) and Lee Irby (Unreliable). Registration is $60 before Friday, more after that date. Information and registration at

  7. Times Festival of Reading celebrates 25 years with Michael Connelly, Kate DiCamillo and more


    The 25th annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading celebrates its quarter-century milestone with an outstanding roster of authors.

    Bestselling crime fiction author Michael Connelly returns to the festival, this time with two new novels, The Late Show (with new character Renée Ballard) and Two Kinds of Truth, his 20th Harry Bosch book.

    Beloved children's author Kate DiCamillo, whose books include Because of Winn-Dixie and Ramie Nightingale, will present her new picture book, La La La....

    Kate DiCamillo will present her new picture book, La La La.
  8. Wine of the week: Rainstorm Pinot Gris Oregon 2016

    Bars & Spirits

    I've never been on the pinot grigio bandwagon. Most examples of that Italian-born wine seem thin and sour to me, and just not very interesting.

    Pinot gris is a whole other matter. Actually, it's not — both pinot grigio and pinot gris are made from the same light purple grape, first cultured in France's Alsace region but now grown around the globe. So how can pinot grigio be one of my least favorite wines, and pinot gris one of my darlings?...

  9. Review: Bruce Handy's 'Wild Things' a charming grownup take on kids' books


    Samuel Johnson died in 1784, but what he said about children's books sounds quite modern: "Remember always that the parents buy the books, and that the children never read them."

    That quotation and E.B. White's "SOME PIG" serve as apt epigraphs for Bruce Handy's Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult.

    Not that I agree with the second half of Johnson's quip — I meet too many kids who are avid readers to believe that. But choosing and reading children's books is an adult activity for millions of parents and teachers (and some adults who are neither)....

  10. Events: Author Lisa Unger, book critic Colette Bancroft to speak at luncheon


    Book Talk

    Stephanie A. Wynn (Readi Set Go! A Simple Guide to Establishing a Successful Business) will hold a launch party for her book at 2 p.m. Sept. 9 at Books at Park Place, 10468 Roosevelt Blvd. N, St. Petersburg.

    Kelli Stuart (Like a River From Its Course) will discuss her novel set in Ukraine at 4 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Russian American Club, 2920 Beach Blvd., Gulfport. Admission $5, includes refreshments. ...

  11. Review: Rushdie's 'Golden House' a novel resonant with modern myth


    Leave it to Salman Rushdie to set a story about a fall from a state of grace in an Edenic garden in Manhattan.

    Rushdie's often enthralling novels — Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, The Moor's Last Sigh and many more — are set vividly in the real world, yet unfold into dimensions of myth, fairy tale and magic, drawn from sources that range from classical Rome to Bollywood movies and American comics. He's obsessed with the transformative power of storytelling, the potential for narrative not just to record the world but to shape and transform it....

    The Macdougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District in Greenwich Village and its private, shared garden space feature prominently in the book.
  12. BeyHive alert: Beyonce is selling a 600-page book for a cool $299.99


    Is there a medium left for the Queen to conquer?

    We mean Beyoncé, and the answer is yes: books.

    Despite being busy with those babies, Bey has it covered. And don't think she's publishing some trifling everyday book, either. This one is 600-plus pages long.

    Now available for pre-order (no delivery date yet) on her website is How to Make Lemonade, a limited edition box set that includes the numbered collector’s edition coffee table book, a double vinyl LP, and audio and visual album downloads....

    Beyoncé's 600-page book focuses on the making of her smash 'Lemonade' album.
  13. Events: Authors to present 'Tampa Bay's Waterfront' at Oxford Exchange


    Book Talk

    Tampa native Arthur Savage and Tampa Bay History Center curator Rodney Kite-Powell will present and discuss their collaborative book, Tampa Bay's Waterfront, at noon Aug. 27 at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

    Applications are available at for vendors and volunteers for the 2017 Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading, which will take place Nov. 11 at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Author applications are now closed....

  14. Notable: Oh, brother



    Oh, brother

    These new books look at the family dynamics of famous (or infamous) brothers.

    Bloodlines: The True Story of a Drug Cartel, the FBI, and the Battle for a Horse-Racing Dynasty (Ecco) by Melissa del Bosque is the amazing story of how undercover FBI agents pursued the Treviño brothers, the feared leaders of Los Zetas, a brutal and successful drug cartel....

  15. Review: Tallent's 'My Absolute Darling' a harrowing novel about child abuse


    I sincerely hope the title of My Absolute Darling does not make any readers think they're picking up a happy-ever-after romance.

    Gabriel Tallent's debut novel is just about the polar opposite: a harrowing story of child abuse that spirals into madness and violence. It's a terrific book, beautifully written and emotionally gripping. But sweetness and light it isn't.

    The title character of My Absolute Darling is Turtle Alveston, a 14-year-old girl. She lives in the shambles of a farmhouse near Mendocino, on the Northern California coast, with her father, Martin. Her mother died when she was a baby....