Episode 72 – Books that take Place in Florida

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What’s up this week?

We love to read. It’s no secret. This week, we bring in the expert on books from our local bookstore who helps us travel Florida through books. This is also a great way to learn about an area and the history that comes with it.

Who Loves Us

This week, we are sponsored by Bookshop! Check out all the Florida books we love in our curated list!

Product and Locations Mentions

(Book descriptions come from the actual books.)

A Land Remembered located in the Florida wilderness is the story of three generations of the MacIveys, a Florida family who battle the hardships of the frontier to rise from a dirt-poor Cracker life to the wealth and standing of real estate tycoons.

Strawberry Girl The story of 10-year-old Birdie who loves her strawberries and picking them. But living on a Florida strawberry farm is not without its hardships. Making the new farm prosper is not easy. There is heat to suffer through, droughts, and cold snaps. And, perhaps most worrisome of all for the Boyers, there are rowdy neighbors, just itching to start a feud.

Because of Winn Dixie by Florida author Kate DiCamillo. One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries–and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three.

Their Eyes Were Watching God One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos.

Zora and Me is great for younger readers. Zora’s best friend, Carrie, narrates this coming-of-age story set in the Eden-like town of Eatonville, Florida,

Additional Selections

The Yearling Young Jody adopts an orphaned fawn he calls Flag and makes it a part of his family and his best friend. But life in the Florida backwoods is harsh, and so, as his family fights off wolves, bears, and even alligators, and faces failure in their tenuous subsistence farming, Jody must finally part with his dear animal friend.

Camino Winds Florida is known for its hurricanes. But what about a mysterious death amidst a hurricane?

A few by Carl Hiassen Welcome to Carl Hiaasen’s Florida–where the creatures are wild and the people are wilder! Can some awkward kids outsmart the pancake makers?

Florida by Lauren Groff (short stories) The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, and even centuries, but Florida–its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind–becomes its gravitational center: energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. 

The Last Train to Key West For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler’s legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person’s paradise can be another’s prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape.

The Nickel Boys When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors.

Non fiction: Best. State. Ever by Dave Berry (humor) Join Dave Berry as he goes in hunt of the legendary Skunk Ape; hobnobs with the mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs; and visits Cassadaga, the psychic capital of the world, to have his dog’s aura read.

Non fiction: The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean Determined to clone an endangered flower–the rare ghost orchid Polyrrhiza lindenii–a deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man named John Laroche leads Orlean on an unforgettable tour of America’s strange flower-selling subculture, through Florida’s swamps and beyond, along with the Seminoles who help him and the forces of justice who fight him. 

Of Women and Salt – Gabriela Garcia, Good Morning America Bookclub, a multi-gen story that spans centuries taking readers from Cuba to Miami

Naked Came the Manatee – Dave Barry, Carl Hiassen and many authors take turns at a chapter in this mystery novel

Florida Product of the Week

Your local bookstore is the incredible resource! Make sure you shop small and visit local bookstores. The owners are a plethora of book knowledge and are usually locals themselves. Support small businesses and read!

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