Florida authors have created books that have contributed greatly to a better understanding of the state by the people who have read them.
Their vivid stories with Florida settings make travel on the Florida back roads more interesting and enjoyable. It's great to have a fair collection of Florida novels, Florida history books, and a lot of interesting trivia and history that can be lumped into the general category of "Floridiana".
Florida can even claim Ernest Hemingway as one of its authors 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 a place you have visited. It's great to have a drink in Sloppy Joe's and picture Hemingway at the bar like he was back in the day.
No list could possibly be complete. There are just too many Florida writers to include them all. So we will start with just a few that we 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" based on his novel "The Executioners".
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.
Each of the following authors has created clear story portraits that capture a bit of Florida in their life and times.
Selected Florida Books