Sundial Book Club

Courtesy of Jaquira Díaz / Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

Author Jaquira Díaz's life has been anything but ordinary.

From the early years growing up in el caserio (government housing in Puerto Rico), to struggling through the kind of poverty on Miami Beach she described as, "the kind of poor you felt in your bones, " Díaz felt torn by life. 

She had just left behind a rough life in Puerto Rico when she moved to Miami Beach and at the age of 8 learned her mother was diagnosed as schizophrenic. 

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

On this Tuesday, March 10, episode of Sundial:

Grand Bahama’s Water Quality 

Six months after Hurricane Dorian, the only fresh drinking water available in Grand Bahama is coming from relief groups. The Category 5 storm contaminated the drinking supply with saltwater. 

“Dorian didn’t just impact some of the wells. It impacted all of our wells and our plants,” Remington Wilchcombe, the manager of engineering at Grand Bahama Utility Company told WLRN’s Danny Rivero.

Courtesy of artist MGMT

On this Thursday, Feb. 27, episode of Sundial:

Remembering Wilton Manors Mayor

Remembrances continue to pour in across South Florida and beyond for Justin Flippen, the 41-year-old mayor of Wilton Manors, who died suddenly from a brain aneurysm on Tuesday. Flippen was elected a Wilton Manors city commissioner in 2008 and mayor in 2018. He’s remembered as an LGBTQ leader. Broward County Reporter Caitie Switalski joined Sundial to talk about the mayor’s legacy. 

Courtesy of Craig Pittman

In the opening scene of this month’s Sundial Book Club pick, “Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther” by Craig Pittman, hunters in the Everglades chase down a panther shooting tranquilizer darts.

They catch the animal. “I started with the most dramatic scene,” Pittman says.

Joe Cavaretta / South Florida Sun Sentinel

On this Tuesday, Feb. 11, episode of Sundial:

New Bill Will Use Social Media To Find Gun Owners


On this Tuesday, Jan. 14, episode of Sundial:

Teachers Demand More School Funding

Thousands of teachers from across the state Monday traveled to Tallahassee before the start of the 2020 legislative session to demand higher pay and better benefits. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis declared 2020 to be “the year of the teacher” and announced a proposal to set a statewide minimum teacher salary at $47,500 and to create a new bonus program. Some educators feel that is not enough. 

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

When Fort Lauderdale author Dawn Davies moved to South Florida as a child, she wasn’t really a fan.

“In Florida the outside is always trying to get in and dank Florida smells are everywhere you go,” Davies writes in her latest book, “Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces,” the Sundial Book Club pick for January. 

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

In a short story by Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat a man sees his life flash before his eyes as he falls 500 feet from the sky. 

"It's a story that is meant to be compressed in those seconds that he's falling," says Danticat on Sundial.  There's a list of thoughts that goes through the man's mind: love, loss and regret. And the burning image of his son.

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

In Miami during the '90s, when kids would "quote their favorite television shows like the Simpsons," Haitian-American authors and sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite say they did not watch television — instead finding themselves uncovering different worlds and characters at the library. 

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.

Associated Press

On the Thursday, Aug. 29 episode of Sundial:

Hurricane Dorian

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

We all make mistakes.

If you've never made an error in judgment or engaged in behavior that later made you cringe -- count yourself lucky. But in this digital age, an embarrassing, reckless moment can be captured on video and go "viral" in an instant.

And it’s becoming increasingly hard for parents to guide their children through a social media landscape that can so quickly turn from "Likes" and innocent chats to cyber-bullying or worse.

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

Dealing with the loss of a loved someone is a hard thing. Some people try to control everything, others turn to alcohol and drugs and others decide to do taxidermy porn.

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez / WLRN

Who says there's no romance left in the newspaper industry? 

"Constant Craving" follows the story of Justine Lavoie, a journalist and publisher of the St. Augustine newspaper, in her quest to save her publication from financial doom. The making-or-breaking of her family's legacy ends up in the hands of Rafael Menendez de Aviles, Miami’s richest man, who could ruin or help her. 

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.