Congratulations to our many authors who are recognized in this year’s Florida Book Awards and Florida Historical Society Awards. All of the winning books can be purchased with a discount in our spring sale using code SPR21, valid through June 30.


Florida Book Awards

Coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, the Florida Book Awards is the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program. It was established in 2006 to celebrate the best Florida literature. Authors must be full-time Florida residents, except in the Florida nonfiction and visual arts categories, where the subject matter must focus on Florida.

Florida Nonfiction

The Governors of Florida, edited by R. Boyd Murphree and Robert A. Taylor, won the Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal for Florida Nonfiction.

An unparalleled two-hundred-year history of Florida’s highest office, this volume provides the first in-depth examination of all of Florida’s chief executives from the acquisition of Spanish Florida by the United States and the appointment of Andrew Jackson as the territory’s first governor in 1821 to the end of Rick Scott’s tenure in 2019.

Florida’s Healing Waters: Gilded Age Mineral Springs, Seaside Resorts, and Health Spas, by Rick Kilby, won the Silver Medal for Florida Nonfiction.

Filled with rare photographs, vintage postcards and advertisements, and fascinating descriptions from over 100 years ago, this book spotlights a little-known time in history when tourists poured into Florida in search of good health. Rick Kilby shows how Florida’s natural wonders were promoted and developed as restorative destinations for America’s emerging upper class.

Jacksonville and the Roots of Southern Rockby Michael Ray FitzGerald, won the Bronze Medal for Florida Nonfiction.

The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd helped usher in a new kind of southern music from Jacksonville, Florida. Together, they and fellow bands like Blackfoot, 38 Special, and Molly Hatchet would reset the course of seventies rock. Michael FitzGerald tells the story of how the River City bred this generation of legendary musicians.

General Nonfiction

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Black Panther in Exile: The Pete O’Neal Story,
 by Paul J. Magnarella, won the Silver Medal for General Nonfiction.

This book tells the story of Pete O’Neal, one of the most influential members of the Black Panther Party, who now lives in exile in Tanzania—unable to return to the United States but refusing to renounce his past.


Florida Historical Society Awards

The Florida Historical Society has an extensive honors program recognizing significant contributions to the knowledge of our state.

The Extraordinary Life of Jane Wood Reno: Miami’s Trailblazing Journalist, by George Hurchalla, has won the Charlton Tebeau Award for a general-interest book on a Florida history topic.

Journalist, activist, and adventurer, Jane Wood Reno was one of the most groundbreaking and colorful American women of the twentieth century. Told by her grandson, George Hurchalla, this is an intimate biography of a free thinker who shattered barriers during the explosive early years of Miami.

02272020141602_500x500Chesterfield Smith, America’s Lawyerby Mary E. Adkins, has won the Rembert Patrick Award for a scholarly book on a Florida history topic.

This biography follows the life of Chesterfield Smith, a defining Florida figure who led the Florida Bar, masterminded the drafting of a new state constitution, and spearheaded the American Bar Association’s condemnation of Richard M. Nixon during the Watergate scandal.

Yamato Colony: The Pioneers Who Brought Japan to Floridaby Ryusuke Kawai, translated by John Gregersen and Reiko Nishioka, has won the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Award, which recognizes an outstanding book relating to Florida’s ethnic groups, or dealing with a significant social issue from a historical perspective.

Opening a window onto the little-known Japanese-American heritage of Florida, Yamato Colony is the true tale of a daring immigrant venture that left behind an important legacy. Ryusuke Kawai tells how a Japanese farming settlement came to be in south Florida, far from other Japanese communities in the United States.

Florida’s Healing Waters: Gilded Age Mineral Springs, Seaside Resorts, and Health Spas, by Rick Kilby, has won the Stetson Kennedy Award for books which cast light on historic Florida events in a manner which is supportive of human rights, traditional cultures, or the natural environment.

Filled with rare photographs, vintage postcards and advertisements, and fascinating descriptions from over 100 years ago, this book spotlights a little-known time in history when tourists poured into Florida in search of good health. Rick Kilby shows how Florida’s natural wonders were promoted and developed as restorative destinations for America’s emerging upper class.


Use code SPR21 for a discount on these titles through June 30.

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