There’s something in the air in South Florida. Sometimes it’s a strange juju that leads people to do crazy things, landing them in the “Florida Man” hall of infamy, but other times, it’s something quite different. Hemingway chose Key West for a reason, and not just for the proliferation of fine drinking establishments in the coastal town—writers and bookish types love South Florida for a slew of reasons. One of them is Miami Book Fair International, now in its 32nd year, which kicks off this week, bringing some the brightest literary lights to our shores for seven days of readings, panels, signings, and soirees. And while we think everyone should attend the fair, we also know that not all can skip town, head for The Standard, Miami Beach and spend a week basking in books. Fortunately we can.
So we did you a solid and culled the seven must-reads that everyone’s talking about this year to add to your bedside stack. If you are in Miami this week, check out the associated author events below, and swing by on Friday, November 20th at The Standard for the Literary Deathmatch (just trust us on this).
The follow-up to her widely beloved, (somewhat) surprise bestseller Just Kids, Patti Smith’s M Train takes the reader in an entirely different direction. Unlike its predecessor, which focused on her relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe, volume two takes the reader through Smith’s day-to-day life in New York City with flashbacks to her more recent life. It touches on the heartbreak of losing her husband, but always maintains a sense of mystical hope and artistic drive.1. M Train by Patti Smith
Being an actor-slash-whatever is nothing new in this day in age, so it wasn’t a complete surprise when Jesse Eisenberg added ‘slash-writer’ to the end of his business card. With his first collection of short stories, Bream Gives Me Hiccups, Eisenberg joins the literary scrum. It’s an irreverent, eccentric collection; easy to breeze through, like the “Shouts & Murmurs” section of the New Yorker, which is no coincidence as some of the 39 stories originally appeared there.2. Bream Gives Me Hiccups by Jesse Eisenberg
If you’re in Miami: Jesse Eisenberg will be speaking with Kunal Nayyar on Sunday November 22nd, from 12:30 - 1:30pm
Mann is infamous among conservative critics and revered by the rest of us for her photography, which made waves for portaits of her unclothed children. In her new book, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs, Mann chronicles her life before, during, and after the controversy. Like her photographs, Mann’s writing is stark and stunning, and the memoir sheds a rare light onto the mind of one of the country’s greatest photographers.3. Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
If you’re in Miami: Spend an evening with Sally Mann on Wednesday, November 18 from 6:00-7:00pm
2 Live Crew’s Chris “Fresh Kid Ice” Wong Won knows Miami. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to Brooklyn aged twelve, he eventually relocated to the Magic City when the legendary group’s first single resonated there in a big way. His new autobiography is a raunchy, never-before-told story, chronicling how he went from being just another kid in the Air Force to one of the most legendary icons of hip hop.4. My Rise 2 Fame: The Tell All Autobiography of a Hip Hop Legend by Chris “Fresh Kid Ice” Wong Won
If you’re in Miami: Catch Fresh Kid Ice in conversation with author Joseph Katel on Saturday, November 21 from 10:00-11:00am
In Slade House, David Mitchell has written one of the creepiest haunted-house stories in a very long time—it’s an immersive tale that spans decades, and pulls the reader completely into its spell, as does the titular house itself. This is one of those you-just-can’t-put-it-down books, the kind you read in one sitting and then stay up all night thinking about (after checking every closet and under every bed, just to be sure).5. Slade House by David Mitchell
If you’re in Miami: David Mitchell will be signing copies of Slade House on November 5th, from 7:00-8:00PM
While she may not reveal the location of the fountain of youth she appears to have discovered, Cindy Crawford goes deep in her new memoir, which combines anecdotes and tales of her life as the original supermodel with iconic images from her long career. Framed as the lessons learned by a woman about to turn fifty, Becoming takes an intimate look at the life of one of the most recognizable faces in America.6. Becoming by Cindy Crawford
While Goodnight Moon is and always will be a classic, kids today have even cooler options to choose from. Kate Schatz’s New York Times bestselling Rad American Women A-Z is baby’s answer to Beyonce’s #Feminism, taking a look through history at the greatest ladies our country has seen. With entries ranging from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston, the book is an engaging compendium of dope girls, sure to encourage the little feminists of 2015.7. Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz
If you’re in Miami: see Kate Schatz speak on November 20th, from 10-11am