Though St. Augustine is known for its music scene and you can find a stage show somewhere in the city almost every night, supporting the local arts can also score you a pretty exciting reading list. St. Augustinians possess some pretty amazing literary skills and no matter what genre tickles your fancy, there’s something on the list to catch your eye. From secret agents investigating international mysteries to heart-warming tales of love and loss to memoirs set high in the sky, this city is full of fantastic local storytellers. So peruse the list of riveting reads by local authors, and pick up a book that you won’t be able to put down.
From Harlem to the Sea: A Life Well Lived
Dorothy Headley Israel
Dr. Dorothy Headley Israel grew up in Harlem during the height of the Harlem Renaissance. The recipient of numerous literary awards, this memoir details Dr. Israel’s upbringing in a time of incredible artistic change.
The Ice House
Laura Lee Smith
Having gained notoriety for her previous novel Heart of Palm, Laura Lee Smith introduced The Ice House in December of last year. The story follows a man in St. Augustine who is on the brink of losing his ice factory after a mysterious accident. But even through the hardship and tragedy, this might be an opportunity to reconnect with his son.
The Cotton Malone Series
Known for his both his historical accuracy and his mastery of suspense, Steve Berry is the author of 25 different novels. His series of political suspense follows title character Cotton Malone – former top operative for the U.S. Justice Department turned antiquarian bookseller – as he is pulled back into a dangerous world of spies and intrigue.
Plane Life: Highs and Lows
Mary Bennett Golly
Called to be a stewardess at a very young age, Mary Bennett Golly tells her story – a story of love and redemption, raising a family, hardships, turbulent times (inside the plane and out), and how dreams are often much harder to achieve than we expect.
The Sand Crab Chronicles
Navigate this fun and exciting mystery series set right here in St. Augustine! You’ll meet some crazy and colorful characters throughout the series and read about some landmarks that you’re sure to recognize – all as you’re glued to the pages of a thrilling mystery.
Gary Williams and Vicky Knerly
Partnered up as co-writers, these two locals have released eight novels and a short story. Bloody Legacy is their most recent work, a novel that follows Agents Link Johnsten and Samuel Tolen as they investigate the recovery of some WWII artifacts in an unusual location and the abduction of a physicist after a terrifying scientific breakthrough.
Hotel Ponce de Leon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of Flagler’s Gilded Age Palace
Dr. Leslee Keys
If you’re dying to discover some detailed history of one of St. Augustine’s most famous buildings at the height of its fame, turn to Dr. Leslee Keys, a professor at Flagler College. Hotel Ponce de Leon is a carefully researched account of the life of Henry Flagler’s gilded age palace.
These titles not what you’re looking for? There’s more! Check out St. Augustine’s local children’s book authors to find something to read to your little ones.