A New York Times Bestseller Oh, Florida! That name. That combination of sounds. Three simple syllables, and yet packing so many mixed messages. To some people, it’s a paradise. To others, it’s a punch line. As Oh, Florida! shows, it’s both of these and, more important, it’s a Petri dish, producing trends that end up influencing the rest of the country. Without Florida there would be no NASCAR, no Bettie Page pinups, no Glenn Beck radio rants, no USA Today, no “Stand Your Ground,” . . . you get the idea. To outsiders, Florida seems baffling. It’s a state where the voters went for Barack Obama twice, yet elected a Tea Party candidate as governor. Florida is touted as a carefree paradise, yet it’s also known for its perils-alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes, and sharks, to name a few. It attracts 90 million visitors a year, some drawn by its impressive natural beauty, others bewitched by its manmade fantasies. Oh, Florida! explores those contradictions and shows how they fit together to make this the most interesting state. It is the first book to explore the reasons why Florida is so wild and weird-and why that’s okay. Florida couldn’t be Florida without that sense of the unpredictable, unexpected, and unusual lurking behind every palm tree. But there is far more to Florida than its sideshow freakiness. Oh, Florida! explains how Florida secretly, subtly influences all the other states in the Union, both for good and for ill.
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A Garden & Gun Best Book of 2020 “Witty and passionate.” —Lauren Groff “Craig Pittman has a remarkable talent for telling stories set in the Sunshine State that never fail to fascinate and entertain.”—Gilbert King “The definitive book on one of America’s least understood apex predators. The story of how Florida’s panthers were saved from extinction is one that both deserves and needs to be told.” —Dane Huckelbridge The captivating tale of the Florida panther, its survival and rescue from extinction With novelistic detail and an eye for the absurd, Craig Pittman recounts the extraordinary story of the people who brought the panther back from the brink of extinction, the ones who nearly pushed the species over the edge, and the cats that were caught in the middle. This being Florida, there's more than a little weirdness, too. An engrossing narrative of wry humor, sharp writing and exhaustive reportage, Cat Tale shows what it takes to bring one species back and what unexpected costs such a decision brings.
A brilliantly funny exploration of the Sunshine State from the man who knows it best: Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times–bestselling author Dave Barry. We never know what will happen next in Florida. We know only that, any minute now, something will. Every few months, Dave Barry gets a call from some media person wanting to know, “What the hell is wrong with Florida?” Somehow, the state’s acquired an image as a subtropical festival of stupid, and as a loyal Floridian, Dave begs to differ. Sure, there was the 2000 election. And people seem to take their pants off for no good reason. And it has flying insects the size of LeBron James. But it is a great state, and Dave is going to tell you why. Join him as he celebrates Florida from Key West at the bottom to whatever it is that’s at the top, from the Sunshine State’s earliest history to the fun-fair of weirdness that it is today. It’s the most hilarious book yet from “the funniest damn writer in the whole country” (Carl Hiaasen, and he should know). By the end, you’ll have to admit that whatever else you might think about Florida—you can never say it’s boring.
Foxcatcher meets The Art of Fielding, Stephen Florida follows a college wrestler in his senior season, when every practice, every match, is a step closer to greatness and a step further from sanity. Profane, manic, and tipping into the uncanny, it's a story of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark.
Jump into the wacky, wild world of Florida For more than 30 years, investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author Craig Pittman has chronicled the wildest stories Florida has to offer. Featuring a selection of columns that have appeared in the Tampa Bay Times and other outlets throughout Pittman's career, this book highlights just how strange and wonderful Florida can be. With a folksy style, an eye for the absurd, and a passion for the history and environment of his home state, Pittman describes some of Florida's oddest wildlife as well as its quirkiest people. The State You're In includes a love story involving the most tattooed woman in the world, a deep dive into the state's professional mermaid industry, and an investigation of a battle between residents of a nudist resort and the U.S. Postal Service. Pittman introduces readers to a who's who of Florida crime fiction, a what's what of exotic animals, and an array of beloved places he's seen change rapidly in his lifetime. Many of these stories are funny, some are serious, and several offer rare insights into the heart of the Sunshine State. For Pittman, Florida is both inspiring and dangerous--an "evolutionary test" for those who live in it. Together these pieces paint a complex picture of a fascinating state longing for an identity beyond palm trees and punchlines.
Welcome to Florida! Whether they're locals or visitors, young readers will love this bright, cheerful, fact-filled picture book celebration of "The Sunshine State." With information about the state's animals, plants, regions, food, people, customs, and fun places to visit, this tribute to Florida is the perfect gift for vacationers and residents alike. The warm, bright illustrations highlight the many delights to be found throughout the state, and the easy-yet-informative details ("The smallest post office in the United States is a tiny building in the Everglades") give just the right amount of information to kids from preschool on up.