Books The Gabber Book Club Loved in 2022

The stack of books mentioned in this article is in the shape of a Christmas tree, with a starfish on top and a Christmas tree in the background.
Reading is a gift, my first grade teacher always told me. But how much more true is this when you share your experience with a large group of readers?
Amanda Hagood

You’ve heard of think local, and even shop local. But about what Read on Local? There’s at least one mutual bibliophile in Gulfport that tries to do just that: The Gabber Book Club, in collaboration with The Gabber and Tombolo Books, meets once a month to discuss books set in Florida. and/or written by Florida authors. . As we turn the page to 2022, a few favorites from last year’s reading chart course for adventures in the local literary landscape:

Opal and Nev’s final recovery By Danny Walton. This richly textured “rockumentary-style” novel chronicles the rise and fall of an unusual ethnic rock ‘n’ roll amid the contentious politics of the 1970s. This multi-voiced, compelling narrative is interspersed with oral histories, reporting, and other “sources” – all the stuff of Walton’s wildly creative imagination (and his training in journalism at Florida A&M University).

Coffee Lover’s Mystery Series By Tara Lush. This cozy mystery series is set in a quaint coastal town happily reminiscent of Gulfport about a cheerful coffee shop owner who solves murders while making the best caffeine in town. Lush, who also writes romance under the name Tamara Lush, joined the club’s January meeting to discuss The Art of Comfort (a kinder, gentler style of crime fiction), Bruzzy (also a comforter, but drawn to Phyllis ), and the emerging world of microfiction.

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The Battle for the Big Top: The Saga of PT Barnum, James Bailey, John Ringing and the American Circus of Death By Les Stanford. The Florida Book Award-winning treat is—you guessed it—the circus. In Stanford’s capable hands, the fantastical lives of circus promoters and performers constantly bounce and fly like a trapeze act (the group was particularly inspired by his treatment of elephant strings, such as the famous Jumbo). It’s perhaps especially interesting reading now, in light of The Ringing Brothers’ plans to reopen, after a long hiatus, in September 2023 – this time, without the elephant

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Among the beautiful animals By Lori McMullen. This crowd favorite chronicles the early life of Florida icon Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a journalist turned conservationist who successfully campaigned for the creation of Everglades National Park in 1947 and fought for Florida’s environment until her death in 1998. Never stop. This biofic. The novel moves from Douglas’s volatile early marriage, where his newfound creativity and independent streak were not welcomed—to the brave new world of turn-of-the-century Miami.

Matrix By Lorraine Groff. OK, sure No A Florida book! But a wonderful read nonetheless from a beloved Florida author who breathes rich life into a tight sliver of historical evidence on the life of the twelfth-century poet known only as Marie de France. Against the predictable background of a judgment (“The book just made me really Nervous“, noted a book club), Groff creates a world that feels like it’s been pulled out of a medieval tapestry, complete with old men with dreams, new swords. Drags, and a giant labyrinth. Weird but worth it!

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Want to join our next Florida literary adventure? We have it on tap for 2023 Magic Kingdom By Russell Banks (January), The Dinosaur Artist: Madness, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Last Trophy by Paige Williams (February), and The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts By Tessa Fontaine (March). We meet the second Wednesday of each month for dinner and discussion at 6:30 – all welcome! Find us on Facebook (The Gabber Book Club) or on the events page at Tombolo Books, or email [email protected]

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