Florida authors and their books have been a passion of mine since I first moved to Florida. Their vivid stories with Florida settings have made my Florida backroads travel more interesting and enjoyable.
I have a pretty fair collection of Florida novels, Florida history books, and a lot of interesting trivia and history that I kind of lump into the category "Floridiana".
Every time I walk on the beach I notice that most folks sitting in their beach chairs are reading a book.
I don't get close enough to examine titles, but I would bet that quite a few are books about Florida by famous authors.
Florida can even claim Ernest Hemingway because he wrote one book - "To Have and Have Not" - with a Key West setting.
There is a special thrill in reading a book that is set in the same place where you are reading it.
It's great to have a drink in Sloppy Joe's and picture Hemingway at the bar like he was back in the day.
For example, Pat Frank used Mount Dora as the setting for his fictional town of Fort Repose in his classic apocalyptic novel "Alas Babylon".
No list compiled by me or anybody else could possibly be complete. There are just too many Florida writers for a little website like mine to include them all.
So I will start with just a few authors I know something about.
A gifted writer can paint a picture of a place in words so that it becomes very clear to the reader.
Among the most gifted of American authors was John D. MacDonald, shown below working at his trusty old typewriter.
He created most of his work from his home on Siesta Key near Sarasota.
Many of his books were made into movies, including two versions of "Cape Fear".
In addition to many bestsellers like "Condominium" and "Barrier Island", MacDonald was the creator of Travis McGee, the "salvage consultant" who lived aboard his houseboat, "The Busted Flush", at Slip F-15, Bahia Mar, Fort Lauderdale.
McGee was featured in 21 novels and inspired the more modern heroes of authors Randy Wayne White, Tim Dorsey and James Hall.
I have tried to limit my list to authors who have written books
set partly or entirely in Florida. That's to enhance your Florida backroads travel experiences.
Each of the following authors has created clear story portraits
that capture a bit of Florida in their life and times.
Selected Florida Books
We welcome reviews of books written by any of the Florida authors featured on our website, dead or alive.
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CONDOMINIUM John D. Mac Donald
JOHN D. MAC DONALD My father introduced me to his favorite author when I was just out of college and beginning my career as a dental hygienist in 1972. …
Robert N. Macomber. Honor series.
Robert Macomber has written an excellent series of nautical history books involving Peter Wake, based in Florida. I've read 8 of them and each one is an …
Florida Author Reviews Before 4-15-13
About the Author: Christine (Chrissy) DeWitte is a wife and mother of two grown children; and she has two grandchildren. She has served in the USAF; …
All Tim Dorsey Novels
It amazes me that there is no mention of Tim, especially since his themes revolve around the eccentric and quirky history of all things and places "Florida." …
A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith
This was a great weaving of the history of Florida into a novel format. The book follows the travails and travels of the Mac Ivey family through three …
Reviews of Authors Not Listed on This Page
Siesta Key is the setting for Blaize Clement’s Dixie Hemingway series. Dixie was “retired” from the police department after her cop husband and their …
A FLASH OF GREEN, by John D. MacDonald
This book is one of the first ecological novels. It follows the efforts of a group of environmental activists as they try to keep developers from dredging …
Ghosts on the Coast: A Visit to Savannah and the Low Country by Jane R. Wood
As the author of this book, I have to say this was the most fun to research and write. What's not to like about Savannah, Charleston and Pawleys Island, …
Adventures on Amelia Island: A Pirate, A Princess and Buried Treasure by Jane R. Wood
This book is the second in a series which follows 13-year-old Joey, 9-year old Bobby, and 5-year-old Katy, their sassy little sister, to Amelia Island …
All Books By Randy Wayne White
My name is Travis McGee. My creator was John D. MacDonald. Old John D. died in 1986, and I floundered around without a plot to live in for many years. …
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Most of us have heard of Uncle Tom's Cabin and how it was a novel that infuriated Northerns and Southerners alike, but for different reasons. I don't …
THE TRAVIS MCGEE NOVELS BY JOHN D. MACDONALD
Sometimes panned as a pulp fiction writer, John D. MacDonald is one of the finest writers exploring the human condition. Mixing a number of topics including …
HEMINGWAY'S CATS: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY by Carlene Fredericks Brennen
This is an interesting and easy book to spend a couple of hours paging through to learn the history of Hemingway himself from the perspective of his love …