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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama read
to second-graders at a charter school in Washington.Associated Press

Bancroft: Book lover Obama has been an inspirational reader in chief

If you love books, for the last eight years you've had a friend in the White House. President Barack Obama is an avid and sophisticated reader (and accomplished writer) who has put his deep appreciation for books and literature front and center throughout his two terms in the White House. Poets read at both his ina …


  1. Review: Christine Lennon's 'Drifter,' set in Gainesville, a compelling story of the impact of murder


    Serial killers often leave an indelible dark smear on the public memory. But their impact on those who knew their victims, the friends and family who survive, can be far worse.

    The University of Florida campus and Gainesville were filled with fear in 1990 when five college students were slain.
  2. What's Kim Sullivan reading?



    Kim Sullivan

    Sullivan concedes that he'd be pleased if Sunday night's Oscars reward the movie version of the late August Wilson's Fences. (It has four nominations, including best picture.) However, he is excited most for all the African-American artists involved this year. …

    Kim Sullivan has performed in all 10 of August Wilson’s Century Cycle plays.
  3. Events: Robert Macober to sign 'An Honorable War' at Haslam's


    Book Talk

    Bestselling author Robert Macomber (An Honorable War: The Spanish-American War Begins) will discuss and sign his latest naval historical novel at 2 p.m. Feb. 26 at Haslam's Book Store, 2025 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

  4. Times' Craig Pittman among Tampa Bay authors to win Florida Book Awards


    Tampa Bay authors were awarded handsomely in the 2016 Florida Book Awards, the winners of which were announced Saturday.

    How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.' By Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times staff writer.
  5. Events: Karen Brown to sign 'The Clairvoyants' at Oxford Exchange


    Book Talk

    Local lawyer Thomas Berg (Divorce Florida Style) will discuss and sign his book at 2 p.m. Feb. 19 at Haslam's Book Store, 2025 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

  6. Review: Timothy B. Tyson's 'Blood of Emmett Till' reveals another layer of tragedy


    Emmett Till, it turns out, died for nothing like a good reason, only the worst reasons: racism, ignorance and fear.

    The Blood of Emmett Till
  7. Review: Mullen's 'Darktown' a compelling history-based crime novel


    Thomas Mullen's latest novel, Darktown, was snatched up by Jamie Foxx's production company to be made into a television series before it even hit shelves last fall. Just a few pages in and one can see why.

    Darktown is inspired by the real-life story of the first black police officers hired, due to political pressure, by the Atlanta Police Department.
  8. Michael Connelly is heading back to Tampa to finish his new book


    "I can write wherever I'm at," Michael Connelly says, "but I get my best groove in my home in Tampa."

    Matthew McConaughey, left, plays Mickey Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer, based on the 2005 Michael Connelly book. The film will be screened today at Tampa Theatre, and Connelly will be there.
  9. Bancroft: Free speech is not always pretty, but it is for everyone — including Milo Yiannopolous


    George Orwell tops bestseller lists with a 68-year-old book. A Margaret Atwood novel is cited on Women's March protest signs. And when inflammatory, self-described troll and Donald Trump partisan Milo Yiannopoulos gets a book contract, it sparks talk of a boycott against an entire publishing house.

    Sales of Orwell’s 1984 have surged amid worries about free speech. That’s great. Not great is a plan to boycott the publisher of a Trump partisan’s book.
  10. Review: 'Operation Basalt' an exciting, illuminating account of British raid on Sark


    In the vast global conflict of World War II, the British commando raid on the tiny Channel Island of Sark on the night of Oct. 3-4, 1942, would seem almost insignificant. But it most definitely was not. For the raid's aftermath produced far-reaching repercussions, including the mass deportation of Channel Islanders, …