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Summer reading 2017: Readers’ fave South Florida books

We asked and you answered. Earlier this week, we published a list of our favorite books set in South Florida. But you all had LOTS of additional suggestions, many of which we wish we had thought of! Here’s a big batch of them – a lot of which came from the Miami Herald Books Facebook group (a great place for you bookworms to join if you haven’t already). Keep on commenting with books good for some summertime SoFlo love.

Fiction

Killing Mister Watson by Peter Matthiessen – It was suggested by just about everyone, but first by Nancy G. Pate and Miami Herald book editor, Connie Ogle.

Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu Jaber. Dana De Greff said it’s “One of my favs.”

Continental Drift by Russell Banks. Debbie Sontag recommends this one, among many others.

Men in Miami Hotels by Charlie Smith. Recommended by Nancy Klingener.

Journey To Matecumbe  by Robert Lewis Taylor. Recommended by Arnold Markowitz.

The South Florida Book of the Dead by Robert Merkin.

Ninety-two in the Shade by Thomas McGuane. Both of these come recommended by Heather Dewar.

Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel. Lee Ann Schlatter and Dylann Turffs recommend this one.

Back To Blood by Tom Wolfe. Marcella McCarthy writes, “Manages to perfectly capture the essence of Miami, but in a very journalistic way (he shows rather than tells). He’ll never say ‘Miami is a hilarious place where the people can sometimes be ridiculous,’ but he tells stories that allow the reader to walk away being like ‘OMG this is exactly how Miami is!’ Even a native Miamian who speaks Spanish couldn’t write this book as well as Wolfe does…and that’s also part of what makes it impressive.”

Nonfiction

Miami by Joan Didion

The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood by Richard Blanco

Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy by Carlos Eire.

All three of these recommendations came from Juan Crespo and he says each is “remarkable”.

River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Debbie Sontag was the first, of many readers, to include this classic.

Miami U.S.A by Helen Muir. Recommended By Chauncey Mabe.

Last Train To Paradise by Les Standiford. Craig Pittman recommends this one.

Crime

Miami Purity by Vicki Hendricks

Miami Blues by Charles Willeford. Alex Segura calls these two “crime classics.”

Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen. Connie Ogle said, “Any list of South Florida gems must include the great Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen. I’m old school like that.”

  • Lissette Mendez

    I would add La Brava in terms of Miami’s Elmore Leonard classics. And Campbell McGrath’s Florida Poems.