book

A young Jewish girl begins a diary just as World War II is about to break out in Europe. She records the details of her daily life, but more and more, the war takes over. Eventually, the diary comes to a heartbreaking end.

In this case, it is not the story of Anne Frank. This is Renia's Diary, a journal that spent decades stored away in a safe deposit box. Now it's being published with help from Renia's niece and sister.

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

South Florida novelist and comic book writer Alex Segura has long been a fan of crime fiction novels. Growing up, he looked up to authors like Charles Willeford and Edna Buchanan — some of the region's best. And as far as famous and beloved fictional private investigators go, he enjoyed reading about Hoke Mosley, Sherlock Holmes, Philip Marlowe, V.I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone.

It's that time of year again. Fall is right around the corner. Pumpkin spice fills the air. Kids are going back to school, the days are getting shorter, and books are getting heavier. The pie-in-the-sky, read-them-in-one sitting summer-blockbuster releases now make way for complex novels filled with luscious prose, years of history, and serious issues. Books just like Maika and Maritza Moulite's Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.

Alejandra Martinez / WLRN

The Sundial Book Club is currently reading "Dancing in the Baron's Shadow," by Haitian American author Fabienne Josaphat, which takes place in Haiti during the dictatorship of Francios Duvalier, also known as Papa Doc. 

Alejandra Martinez

The Sundial Book Club's January title "Jesus Boy" is a coming-of-age story about a teenage boy, Elwyn Parker, who is a piano prodigy and devout Christian. In the book, Parker finds himself entangled in a taboo relationship with an older woman in the church. Most of the story takes place in Opa-locka at a church.

Alejandra Martinez

Author Patricia Engel first had the idea for her latest novel while driving in Miami with her mom more than 10 years ago.

When they drove over a bridge, Engel's mother told her a story about a man who threw a baby off a bridge. But she didn’t know any more details about the tragedy. That left Engel wondering.

This conversation led to what's now "The Veins of the Ocean," published in 2016, which tells a similar story. It's Sundial Book Club’s October pick.

How Hip-Hop Defined Fatherhood For One Miami Native

Sep 24, 2018
Kaylee Rodriguez

Miami-native Juan Vidal considers himself a "Rap Dad": a father who has been raised with and informed by hip-hop culture. That's also the name of his new book, which examines the intersection of hip-hop and fatherhood.

In the book, Vidal details his life as a traveling hip-hop artist, a father of four kids and a successful writer and music critic. He examines fathers in hip-hop who are changing the mainstream narrative about fathers of color being absent in their children's lives.

What Makes Florida The 'Punchline' State?

Jul 27, 2016
DOS.MYFLORIDA.COM

Florida has no shortage of weird and wacky stories that contribute to its reputation as the 'punchline' state.

Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittman has spent decades collecting those stories. He’s made regular use of the Oh, #Florida! hashtag on Twitter for years thanks to a seemingly endless supply of bizarre news fodder. Now he’s compiled many of his favorites into a book. "Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country" is in bookstores now.

Craig Pittman

A good story comes with a good setting,  and Craig Pittman, a Tampa Bay Times reporter, sets the scene for some of Florida's wildest stories in his latest book, Oh Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.

Pittman says Florida has gained a reputation for producing some of the nation's most bizarre stories, like alligators battling pythons or unique government positions titled "mermaid." But Pittman hopes to link these stories to the rest of the world. 

Perhaps embodying the experience of many Miami residents, Jonathan Brooks is torn between two lands. His American father and Cuban mother raised Brooks in an environment that he describes as equal parts “Que Pasa U.S.A.?” and “I Love Lucy.”

Brooks, a writer, photographer and filmmaker, recently published the book "True Cuba," partially in response to "Vamos a Cuba," which was pulled from Miami-Dade County public school libraries in 2006 for portraying what critics called an unrealistic depiction of life on the island.