Books

Florida Book Awards honor state’s best

Oh Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country. Craig Pittman. St. Martin’s.
Oh Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country. Craig Pittman. St. Martin’s.

Looking for a good Florida book to read? You may find a good recommendation via the 11th annual Florida Book Awards, which were announced this week.

Among the winners: Tampa Bay Times environmental reporter Craig Pittman, for his irreverent nonfiction book “Oh Florida!: How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.”

“Learning that I’d won was so exciting that when I heard it I nearly dropped my machete,” he said.

Also a winner is Miami’s Gregory W. Bush, for “White Sand, Black Beach: Civil Rights, Public Space and Miami’s Virginia Key.” Bush has worked with the Urban Environment League on Virginia Key issues since 1999.

“I hope the book can revive interest in questioning our culture of spectacle while elevating the value of preserving our public parks and what’s left of our natural world,” he said. “But I am not optimistic in these dark days.” Winners will be honored at the annual awards banquet, which will take place in Tallahassee on April 12.

The awards are coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries.

Young Children’s Literature

Gold/Reichert Award: “Big Cat” (Holiday House) by Ethan Long (Orlando)

Older Children’s Literature

Gold: “The First Last Day” (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin) by Dorian Cirrone (Davie)

Silver: “Return Fire” (Scholastic Press) by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Coral Gables)

Bronze: “Framed! A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery” (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin) by James Ponti (Maitland)

Florida Nonfiction

Gold: “Oh Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country” (St. Martin’s) by Craig Pittman (St. Petersburg)

Silver: “White Sand, Black Beach: Civil Rights, Public Space and Miami’s Virginia Key” (University Press of Florida) by Gregory W. Bush (Miami)

Bronze: “Music Everywhere: The Rock and Roll Roots of a Southern Town” (University Press of Florida) by Marty Jourard (Gainesville)

General Fiction

Gold: “The Other Traitor” (Churlish) by Sharon Potts (Miami Beach)

Silver: “Sparrow in the Wind” (Bedazzled Ink Publishing, LLC) by S. Rose (High Springs)

Bronze: “The Melting Season” (Burlesque) by Ira Sukrungruang (Tampa)

General Nonfiction

Gold: Lassoing the Sun (Thomas Dunne) by Mark Woods (Jacksonville)

Silver: Beyond Integration (University of North Carolina) by J. Michael Butler (St. Augustine)

Bronze: Kingdoms in the Air (Grove Atlantic) by Bob Shacochis (New York)

Poetry

Gold: “The Abridged History of Rainfall” (McSweeney’s) by Jay Hopler (Riverview)

Silver: “Latest Volcano” (Marsh Hawk Press) by Tana Jean Welch (Orlando)

Bronze: “Hour of the Ox” (University of Pittsburgh) by Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello (Coral Gables)

Popular Fiction

Gold: “Storm Crashers” (Oaktree) by Richard Wickliffe (Coral Springs)

Silver: “Passenger 19” (Oceanview Publishing) by Ward Larsen (Sarasota)

Bronze: “A Murder of Crows” (Kingsbridge) by Tom Lowe (Windemere)

Spanish Language

Gold: “La Casa Viejo y Ortros Relatos” (The Old House and Other Stories) (Amancay Ediciones/Isabel Jakovljevic) by Isabel Garcia Cintas (Sunny Isles Beach)

Visual Arts

Gold: “Tropical Light: The Art of A.E. Backus” (Vendome) by Natasha Kuzmanovic (New York)

Silver: “Saints of Old Florida” (Self Published) by Melissa Farrell, Christina McDermott, Emily Raffield (Port St. Joe)

Bronze: “E.G. Barnhill: Florida Photographer, Adventurer, Entrepreneur” (University Press of Florida) by Gary Monroe (DeLand)

Young Adult

Gold: “All We Have Left” (Bloomsburg) by Wendy Mills (Bokeelia)

Silver: “Autofocus” (HarperCollins) by Lauren Gibaldi (Winter Park)

Bronze: “The Homecoming” (Sourcebooks Fire) by Stacie Ramey (Wellington)

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