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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. Review: Mark Bowden's 'Hue 1968' a gripping, and timely, history


    More than 40 years after it ended, America's war in Vietnam is still contentious, still misunderstood, and fast slipping into the fog of history.

    Mark Bowden brings it back into sharp focus in his powerful new book, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam.

    Bowden has a well-deserved reputation for writing with extraordinary clarity and vividness about war in such bestselling books as Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War and The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden....

     On Feb. 15, 1968, U.S. Marines carry out an assault on Dong Ba Tower in Hue, South Vietnam. In the battle for the tower, six men died and 50 were wounded.
  2. John Green will publish a new novel in October


    It's a Nerdfighters dream come true. Almost six years after the publication of his megabestseller The Fault in Our Stars, John Green has announced a new YA novel, to be published on Oct. 10 by Dutton.

    Turtles All the Way Down is the story of 16-year-old Aza Holmes. While investigating the mysterious disappearance of a billionaire, she must grapple with her own mental illness....

    John Green's new novel, 'Turtles All the Way Down,' will be published in October.
  3. Events: Taylor Jenkins Reid to discuss, sign novel at Oxford Exchange


    Book Talk

    Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) will discuss and sign her novel about Hollywood at 1 p.m. today at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

    St. Petersburg author Lonnie Cloud Walker Dushane (Red Rock Miracle) will sign and discuss his memoir at 2 p.m. today at Haslam's Book Store, 2025 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. ...

  4. Review: Nick White's 'How to Survive a Summer' takes on homophobia at its worst


    Will Dillard's summer camp experience is a real horror movie.

    As Nick White's debut novel, How to Survive a Summer, opens, Will is trying to avoid seeing a buzzed-about new slasher flick called Proud Flesh. His best friend describes it this way: "Think Friday the 13th meets Sleepaway Camp meets I don't know what."

    Will knows what. Proud Flesh is based on a memoir written by a former counselor at Camp Levi, where Will was a camper in 1999, for its one and only summer. Forget s'mores and sing-alongs; Camp Levi's purpose was "gay conversion" — brainwashing and torturing gay teenage boys in a futile and traumatizing attempt to alter their sexuality. ...

  5. Notable: Better living through science



    Better living through science

    Three new books explore the enormous impact science has on our everyday lives.

    Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (W.W. Norton) by Neil deGrasse Tyson offers the answers to cosmic questions from the Big Bang to quantum mechanics, rendered easy to understand by everybody's favorite celebrity scientist.

    Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating (Viking) by Charles Spence brings science to the dinner table to explain everything from how the shape and color of your plate affect how sweet your dessert tastes to why some restaurants play loud, fast music....

  6. Review: Benjamin Black's 'Wolf on a String' an artful tale of murder, intrigue


    Benjamin Black can make even murder sound artful.

    In the first chapter of Wolf on a String, a young man finds a dead woman on a snowy street deep in a starlit night. "Her head was surrounded by a sort of halo," he tells us, "... a pool of her own life-blood, a black round in which the faint radiance of the heavens faintly glinted."

    The loveliness of the book's language comes as no surprise. Benjamin Black is a nom de plume of the Irish writer John Banville, who has won the Booker Prize and an array of other awards for such elegant literary novels as The Sea and Ancient Light....

  7. Wine of the week: Root: 1 2016 Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca Valley in Chile

    Bars & Spirits

    Sauvignon blanc is my favorite summer wine, but I've discovered it's one of those love-it-or-hate-it varietals. To some palates, its astringent tang is refreshing, while others find it sour. And that trademark musky aroma (sometimes described as resembling that of tomcat pee) can be off-putting.

    Lovers and haters might find middle ground over glasses of Root: 1 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, from the Casablanca Valley in Chile (widely available at about $12). This friendly version of the varietal has sauvignon blanc's summery appeal, but tones down the qualities some people dislike....

  8. Events: UT Lectores series continues with four readings


    Book Talk

    The University of Tampa's Lectores series continues with these readings. Free and open to the public, all begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Falk Theater, 428 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, except for the June 20 reading, which will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, 310 N Boulevard, Tampa.

    JUNE 19: fiction writer Jensen Beach (Swallowed by the Cold)...

  9. Did Bob Dylan prank us by possibly cribbing 'Moby-Dick' SparkNotes?


    The whole world was gobsmacked when Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for literature last year.

    Multitudes argued whether songwriting even counts as literature. The general befuddlement continued as Dylan first failed to respond to the announcement at all for two weeks, then dispatched musician and poet Patti Smith to pick up the prize for him in Stockholm in December.

    There was a step he couldn't outsource, though. In order to claim the $923,000 purse that accompanies the Nobel, Dylan had to submit an official lecture by this month....

    Bob Dylan accepts the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year award in Los Angeles.  [Vince Bucci | Invision via AP]
  10. Review: Arundhati Roy's 'Ministry of Utmost Happiness' worth the 20-year wait


    Fans of Arundhati Roy's first novel, The God of Small Things, have had to be patient.

    That 1997 book became a bestseller and modern classic, winning the prestigious Booker Prize. It has taken her 20 years to publish another novel, but The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is worth the wait.

    Not that Roy has been dawdling all this time — she has become as well known for her political activism as for her fiction, in her native India and around the world. She has spoken and worked widely for environmental, antiglobalist and antinuclear causes and for Kashmir's independence from India. She has written more than a dozen nonfiction books and scores of articles, mostly on political topics, and received the 2004 Sydney Peace Prize and the 2011 Norman Mailer Prize for Distinguished Writing. In 2014, she made Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world....

  11. Book events: Deno Trakas signs 'Messenger From Mystery' in St. Petersburg


    Book Talk

    St. Petersburg native Deno Trakas (Messenger From Mystery) will sign his debut suspense novel at 2 p.m. June 11 at Haslam's Book Store, 2025 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

    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....

  12. UT's Lectores series presents readings by Jennifer Egan, Sarah Gerard, more


    If you're as big a fan as I am of Jennifer Egan's mind-blowing novel A Visit From the Goon Squad, mark your calendar.

    Egan will be the first reader in the summer installment of the University of Tampa's Lectores series. The series is part of UT's low-residency creative writing MFA program, and twice a year it presents an impressive roster of the program's faculty reading from and signing their books....

    Author Jennifer Egan’s 2011 novel, “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction.
  13. Notable: Books for dear Dad



    Dear Dad

    For Father's Day, one of these books about famous men might make a great gift.

    Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom (Penguin Press) by Thomas Ricks is the bestselling author's dual biography of statesman Winston Churchill and author George Orwell, who both dedicated their lives to the fight against authoritarianism.

    I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons (37Ink/Atria) by Kevin Hart is the actor and comedian's irreverent memoir about his journey from a tough childhood to the heights of success and stardom, and the attitude that got him there....

  14. Review: Roxane Gay's memoir a stunningly ferocious discussion of obesity


    You see fat, but Roxane Gay sees a fortress.

    Gay is the author of a bestselling essay collection, Bad Feminist; a novel, An Untamed State; the Marvel comic World of Wakanda; and two short story collections. She has contributed to the New York Times and many other publications, given a TED talk and initiated a tussle with one of her publishers that led to the cancellation of the company's book contract with right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos....

    LOVEIS WISE   |   Special to the Times
  15. A look at new books coming from Michael Connelly, Stephen King, James Patterson and more



    For book lovers, it doesn't get any better.

    At BookExpo America, the annual trade convention for the publishing industry, thousands of booksellers and librarians walked the floor at the Jacob Javits Convention Center May 31 through June 2, surveying booths displaying publishers' wares.

    On various stages, authors and editors talked about their work. The headliner, who spoke to a crowd of 1,000, was Hillary Clinton, whose as-yet untitled memoir will be published in September....

    Author Stephen King speaks at BookExpo America in New York.