Pinellas Book Roundup | November Edition
Brrrrrrr! It’s getting chilly out there, at least for Florida – the perfect time to cuddle up next to a (mostly decorative) fire and get some reading done. For this month’s roundup of books from and about Pinellas County, we’ve reached back a few years to highlight some possibly-forgotten gems – but as always, if you’re an author or bookie, send tips about your latest and greatest to firstname.lastname@example.org, or alert us via twitter @pinellasarts!
Kris Radish – The Year of Necessary Lies
You might already know Kris Radish, co-owner of Wine Madonna in downtown St. Pete. You’ve probably even seen notes about her books in and around the store. But you might not have a sense of just how successful Radish is – several of her woman-centric books have been released by Bantam-Doubleday, and were bestsellers. Her latest, a historical fiction that mixes feminism and romance, was a finalist in both the USA Book Awards and the International Book Awards.
Ian Vasquez – Mr. Hooligan
Vasquez hasn’t been too active in recent years, but the Belize-born writer and staffer at the erstwhile St. Petersburg Times, still deserves your attention. His 2010 Mr. Hooligan provides a rare glimpse of his homeland, a tiny nation wedged between Guatemala and the Caribbean. It’s a dark, gritty noir set in a sunny place – shades of Carl Hiassen and Sterling Watson – described by Gumshoe as “engrossing.” His first book, In the Heat, was the 2008 Shamus Award winner for best first P.I. novel.
Archie Boston – Lil’ Colored Rascals in the Sunshine City
Though it seems to have garnered little attention since its 2009 publication, this memoir chronicles both a sadly overlooked period of St. Petersburg history, and one of the most interesting figures to rise out of the area. Archie Boston grew up on St. Pete’s segregated South Side in the 1940s and 1950s, and here tells that tale, including plenty of the hijinks he got up to as a kid. Boston went on to a distinguished career in graphic design, and also wrote a memoir about that part of his life, Fly in the Buttermilk.
Get it on Amazon here.
Maureen McDole – Exploring My Options
McDole has rocketed to a position of prominence in the Pinellas literary scene in the last couple of years, as the founder and mastermind of the multifaceted nonprofit Keep St. Pete Lit. But she’s also a poet in her own right, with a pair of self-published volumes that chronicle her very personal journey towards self-empowerment. You can pick them up at Haslam’s in St. Pete.
James Sheehan – The Alligator Man
Sheehan has practiced law in St. Pete for 30 years, but his procedural thrillers mix his Florida experiences with his memories of growing up in New York City. His half-dozen page-turners have been reprinted dozens of times and have a passionate following among crime and legal buffs. The Alligator Man mixes Miami corporate espionage with murder and courtroom drama.