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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: Bob Woodward to speak at Mahaffey


    Book Talk

    Author and journalist Roy Peter Clark (Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer) will lead a workshop, "How to Read Like a Writer," at 2 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Tickets $5.

    Bob Woodward (The Last of the President's Men), a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and associate editor at the Washington Post, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Mahaffey Theatre, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. Tickets $29-$79,

  2. Notable: Books from those countries



    Books from those countries

    Here are books by immigrants from some of the countries recently disparaged by the president.

    Americanah (Anchor) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a brilliant novel set in this country and in the author's native Nigeria, won the National Book Critics Circle fiction award in 2013.

    Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Spiegel & Grau) by Trevor Noah is an often funny, sometimes harrowing, bestselling memoir by the host of The Daily Show....

  3. Review: Tim Dorsey's 'The Pope of Palm Beach' reveals a sweeter side of Serge Storms


    It's an odd thing to say about a book in the Serge Storms series, but The Pope of Palm Beach is really kind of sweet.

    Serge might not want to hear that. He does, after all, kill people, in highly creative ways, when he's not in manic pursuit of his passion for Florida history and arcana.

    But in Tampa author Tim Dorsey's 21st novel about Serge, readers get glimpses of the character's childhood in Riviera Beach, a hometown on Florida's east coast that he shares with his stoner sidekick, Coleman — and with Dorsey....

  4. 'Fire and Fury' burns up bestseller lists


    When author Michael Wolff was interviewed on the Today show about his book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Savannah Guthrie asked him how he felt about President Donald Trump's attacks on it. Wolff responded, "Where do I send the box of chocolates?"

    Neither Trump's insults nor questions about some of Wolff's methods seem to have slowed down the book's sizzling sales....

  5. Events: Writers in Paradise features Banks, Lippman, more


    Book Talk

    The Writers in Paradise evening readings continue this week. All readings will take place in the Miller Auditorium at Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Books will be available for purchase on site. All readings are free and open to the public.

    7 p.m. Jan. 14: novelist Stewart O'Nan (City of Secrets) and YA writer Laura McCaffrey (Marked)...

  6. Notable: Books on Trump, one year in



    One year in

    With the first anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration approaching, here are new books about him.

    Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (Henry Holt) by Michael Wolff is the incendiary look at the administration that provoked legal threats from Trump; based on 200 interviews with Steve Bannon and other insiders. More than 1 million copies have been ordered....

  7. Steph Post's Florida noir 'Walk in the Fire' a sizzling sequel to 'Lightwood'


    In Steph Post's new novel, Walk in the Fire, there's a young aspiring criminal with a gift for astute observation.

    Asked to describe the tiny Central Florida town of Silas, where much of the book takes place, he says, "You drive through and it's like that zombie show. Except that everybody is the hick who sawed off his own hand to get away."

    Walk in the Fire is the sequel to Post's 2017 book Lightwood, which featured a couple of main characters who, by its last chapter, might have considered using that saw. In that novel, Judah Cannon came back to Silas after a prison term, determined to step out of his family's business — crime — and leave town with his long-lost love, Ramey Barrow....

  8. Former Times columnist Klinkenberg named Florida Folk Heritage Award winner


    Raise a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice and toast former Tampa Bay Times columnist Jeff Klinkenberg. This week, he was announced as one of three 2018 winners of the Florida Folk Heritage Awards.

    The awards honor outstanding folk artists and folk culture advocates who have made long-standing contributions to the folk cultural resources of the state, according to a release from Secretary of State Ken Detzner. ...

  9. New book from Tampa tax attorney tops bestseller lists


    Tampa tax attorney and certified financial planner Rebecca Walser hit the timing sweet spot with the Jan. 3 publication of her book, Wealth Unbroken: Growing Wealth Uninterrupted by Market Crashes, Taxes, or Even Death (Atlantic, $22.95 paperback, $4.99 e-book).

    In the wake of the new tax laws, readers looking for advice drove the book up Amazon's bestseller lists. The day after publication, it was No. 1 in Kindle nonfiction as well as topping four categories in personal finance and business and money. By Monday, the print version of the book was out of stock on Amazon. ...

  10. UT Lectores series presents Skip Horack, John Capouya and more


    Book Talk

    The University of Tampa's Lectores Series continues with readings. All readings begin at 7:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

    Jan. 8, Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, 310 N Boulevard, Tampa: Skip Horack (The Other Joseph)

    Jan. 9, Trustee Room, ninth floor, Vaughn Center, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa: John Capouya (Florida Soul) with musician Timmy Thomas...

  11. Russell Banks, Ana Menendez among authors to appear at Writers in Paradise readings


    During the day, Writers in Paradise is all work.

    The conference at St. Petersburg's Eckerd College draws writers from around the country eager to hone their craft in eight days of intensive workshops in fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

    At night, the conference's highly accomplished faculty and guest authors give readings that are free and open to the public, making Writers in Paradise an annual highlight for local book lovers....

  12. Review: Lippman's 'Sunburn' a sizzling salute to James Cain


    It doesn't get much more noir than James M. Cain. Or at least it didn't until Laura Lippman's Sunburn came along.

    Back in the 1930s, Cain wrote a couple of novels that pretty much established — and perfected — the noir subset of hard-boiled crime fiction: Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice. Savage little sonatas of lust and lies, betrayal and revenge, they can still keep readers guessing, appalled by the characters' behavior but unable to resist what comes next....

  13. These major authors will sign books and speak in Tampa Bay this year


    Big book events are coming our way in 2018 — even more of them than usual.

    The Tampa Bay area has long boasted a bounty of local events for book lovers, from author signings at bookstores to university-sponsored reading series and the Times Festival of Reading. And readers respond with enthusiasm — at the 2017 Times Festival in November, for example, the 50 featured authors spoke before capacity crowds....

  14. There will be no Z for mystery author Sue Grafton, who died at 77


    Sue Grafton almost made it to Z.

    Ms. Grafton, the author of the bestselling "alphabet" series of mysteries that began in 1982 with A Is for Alibi, died Thursday night at her home in Santa Barbara, Calif., of cancer. She was 77.

    Her 25 mystery novels about California private investigator Kinsey Millhone were perennial bestsellers, translated into 28 languages and sold around the world. The most recent, Y Is for Yesterday, was published in August....

  15. James Lee Burke talks about the return of 'Robicheaux'


    Do you miss Dave Robicheaux?

    Countless fans of crime fiction writer James Lee Burke know that name. Robicheaux is the conflicted, principled main character of 20 exceptional novels by Burke, an Edgar winner and Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America.

    Set in New Orleans and New Iberia, La., the books are gripping mysteries as well as insightful explorations of the tangled relationships between violence and honor, between those who enforce the law and those who break it....