51 books like Ninety-Two in the Shade

By Thomas McGuane,

Here are 51 books that Ninety-Two in the Shade fans have personally recommended if you like Ninety-Two in the Shade. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Shadow Country: A New Rendering of the Watson Legend

Marshall Jon Fisher Author Of Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972, and the NFL's Only Perfect Season

From my list on showing you old (and very old) South Florida.

Why am I passionate about this?

My work has appeared in the AtlanticHarper’s, and Best American Essays, among other places. My most recent book is Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972, and the NFL's Only Perfect Season. I grew up in Miami and as a writer had always intended to explore that wondrous year in Miami—when I was a nine-year-old fan—and I finally did so for its fiftieth anniversary. I wanted to write about much more than football; I hoped to bring alive the feel of old Miami, and to do so I reread many of my favorite books about South Florida. Here are a few of the best. 

Marshall's book list on showing you old (and very old) South Florida

Marshall Jon Fisher Why did Marshall love this book?

In the 1990s, I was captivated by Peter Matthiessens three Mr. Watson” novels, which explored the lawless world of Floridas fin de siècle Ten Thousand Islands region.

Last year, I finally reread them in their final form, fused into the magnum opus Shadow Country. In telling the story of the murder of real-life Florida pioneer and renegade Edgar Watson from many different points of view, Matthiessen creates a richly textured landscape.

Outlaws, escapees, and adventurous settlers work, intermarry, and squabble, making a hardscrabble life among the swamps, the rivers, the mosquitos, and the gators.

By Peter Matthiessen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Shadow Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by a near-mythic event of the wild Florida frontier at the turn of the twentieth century, Shadow Country reimagines the legend of the Everglades sugar planter and notorious outlaw E. J. Watson, who drives himself to his own violent end at the hands of his neighbours. Following the story of his son Lucius as he tries to learn the truth about his father, the story tells of devastating events and traverses wild landscapes inhabited by Americans of every provenance and colour. In this new rendering of the Watson trilogy, Matthiessen has consolidated his fictional masterwork into a poetic, compelling…


Book cover of The Corpse Had a Familiar Face

Marshall Jon Fisher Author Of Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972, and the NFL's Only Perfect Season

From my list on showing you old (and very old) South Florida.

Why am I passionate about this?

My work has appeared in the AtlanticHarper’s, and Best American Essays, among other places. My most recent book is Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972, and the NFL's Only Perfect Season. I grew up in Miami and as a writer had always intended to explore that wondrous year in Miami—when I was a nine-year-old fan—and I finally did so for its fiftieth anniversary. I wanted to write about much more than football; I hoped to bring alive the feel of old Miami, and to do so I reread many of my favorite books about South Florida. Here are a few of the best. 

Marshall's book list on showing you old (and very old) South Florida

Marshall Jon Fisher Why did Marshall love this book?

Edna Buchanan moved from New Jersey to Miami on a whim in 1965 and found her calling in the journalistic life.

Calvin Trillin would later write, In Miami, a few figures are regularly discussed by first name among people they have never actually met. One of them is Fidel. Another is Edna.

She had a nose for the bizarre and the macabre—as well as for a good lead: A man wandering along a Miami Beach street in his undershorts and carrying a blood-stained knife Sunday morning led police to the scene of a murder.

In this memoir she recalls zipping around South Florida from Hollywood to Homestead in her yellow Triumph Spitfire to produce her almost-daily cataloguing of gruesome crime. The “polite” killer who abducted couples on dates, raped the woman, and then allowed her to dress before shooting both.

The hand grenade thrown…

By Edna Buchanan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Corpse Had a Familiar Face as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Now in trade paperback, Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Buchanan’s classic nonfiction masterpiece detailing events from her eighteen years writing for The Miami Herald.

Nobody covered love and lunacy, life and death on Miami’s mean streets better than legendary Miami Herald police reporter Edna Buchanan. Winner of a 1986 Pulitzer Prize, Edna has seen it all, including more than 5,000 corpses. Many of them had familiar faces.

Edna Buchanan doesn’t write about cops—she writes about people: the father who murdered his comatose toddler in her hospital crib; fifteen-year-old Charles Cobb—a lethal killer; Gary Robinson, who "died hungry"; the Haitian who was…


Book cover of The Burnt Orange Heresy

Marshall Jon Fisher Author Of Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972, and the NFL's Only Perfect Season

From my list on showing you old (and very old) South Florida.

Why am I passionate about this?

My work has appeared in the AtlanticHarper’s, and Best American Essays, among other places. My most recent book is Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972, and the NFL's Only Perfect Season. I grew up in Miami and as a writer had always intended to explore that wondrous year in Miami—when I was a nine-year-old fan—and I finally did so for its fiftieth anniversary. I wanted to write about much more than football; I hoped to bring alive the feel of old Miami, and to do so I reread many of my favorite books about South Florida. Here are a few of the best. 

Marshall's book list on showing you old (and very old) South Florida

Marshall Jon Fisher Why did Marshall love this book?

This noir pastiche is one long joke, a satire on art, art criticism, and art collecting.

James Figueras, a cad bachelor freelance art critic in 1960s Palm Beach, is tasked with stealing a painting by the (fictional) French artist Jacques Deberiue.

Deberiue was the founder of the Nihilistic Surrealism movement who retired after the creation of one work, No. One: an empty frame mounted around a crack in a wall. The trail leads to the dusty outskirts of Miami and a bloody murder in the Everglades, but the real mystery surrounds the artist and his art.

And the fun is in the comedy: "The fact that he used the English No. One instead of Nombre une may or may not've influenced Samuel Beckett to write in French instead of English, as the literary critic Leon Mindlin has claimed."

By Charles Willeford,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Burnt Orange Heresy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic neo-noir novel acclaimed as Willeford s best, soon to be a major film

Fast-talking, backstabbing, womanizing, and fiercely ambitious art critic James Figueras will do anything blackmail, burglary, and beyond to make a name for himself. When an unscrupulous collector offers Figueras a career-making chance to interview Jacques Debierue, the greatest living and most reclusive artist, the critic must decide how far he will go to become the art-world celebrity he hungers to be. Will Figueras stop at the opportunity to skim some cream for himself or push beyond morality s limits to a bigger payoff?

Crossing the…


Book cover of Miami Blues

Lee Goldberg Author Of Calico

From my list on humor that makes us human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing crime stories since I was a child. They entertained me and helped me cope with a lot of family strife. My first novel was published in college and sold to the movies, which got me into screenwriting, leading to writing hundreds of hours of TV and fifty novels to date. The one thing all of my stories share is humor because I believe it’s an essential part of life–and of memorable story-telling. Humor makes characters come alive, revealing shades of personality and depths of emotion you wouldn’t otherwise see. Here are five books that taught me that it’s true and that continue to influence me as a writer. 

Lee's book list on humor that makes us human

Lee Goldberg Why did Lee love this book?

Creative writing instructors (and later TV showrunners and network executives) taught me that the protagonist in a crime story can be flawed, but he has to be likable, someone you want to spend time with and who you will root for.

They were all wrong. The detective hero of this book borders on repulsive, and the world he lives in is dark, violent, and a touch grotesque…but also very, very funny. The humor not only makes it all palatable but somehow even more vivid and powerful. And entertaining, oh, how entertaining.

There may not be a single likable character in the whole book, and I don’t care. I love every word. 

By Charles Willeford,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Miami Blues as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After a brutal day investigating a quadruple homicide, Detective Hoke Moseley settles into his room at the un-illustrious El Dorado Hotel and nurses a glass of brandy. With his guard down, he doesn’t think twice when he hears a knock on the door. The next day, he finds himself in the hospital, badly bruised and with his jaw wired shut. He thinks back over ten years of cases wondering who would want to beat him into unconsciousness, steal his gun and badge, and most importantly, make off with his prized dentures. But the pieces never quite add up to revenge,…


Book cover of Mile Marker Zero: The Moveable Feast of Key West

Bruce Hunt Author Of Visiting Small-Town Florida

From my list on for Florida-philes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Bruce Hunt is a native Floridian writer and photographer. He has authored eleven Florida travel and history books, and over the last three decades has written and photographed hundreds of articles for magazines and newspapers. For five years he was a regular feature writer and photographer for DuPont Registry Tampa Bay Magazine. His work has also appeared in The St. Petersburg Times (Tampa Bay Times), Tampa Tribune, The Visit Tampa Bay Official Visitors Guide, Backpacker Magazine, Rock & Ice Magazine, Skydiving Magazine, Florida Trend Magazine, Celebrity Car Magazine, Coastal Living Magazine, and Southern Living Magazine, among others.

Bruce's book list on for Florida-philes

Bruce Hunt Why did Bruce love this book?

William McKeen’s account of the evolution of 1960s–1970s Key West reads like a novel. Based largely on his interviews with Tom Corcoran (who was there then and knew everybody), McKeen tells the wild tales of some of Key West’s most eccentric and now famous characters from that era, like Tennessee Williams, Thomas McGuane, Margot Kidder, Jim Harrison, Hunter Thompson, and Jimmy Buffett.

By William McKeen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mile Marker Zero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For Hemingway and Fitzgerald, there was Paris in the twenties. For others, later, there was Greenwich Village, Big Sur, and Woodstock. But for an even later generation-one defined by the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Tom McGuane, and Hunter S. Thompson-there was another moveable feast: KeyWest, Florida.

The small town on the two-by-four-mile island has long been an artistic haven, a wild refuge for people of all persuasions, and the inspirational home for a league of great American writers. Some of the artists went there to be literary he-men. Some went to re-create themselves. Others just went to disappear-and succeeded. No…


Book cover of Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad That Crossed an Ocean

Jason Vuic Author Of The Swamp Peddlers: How Lot Sellers, Land Scammers, and Retirees Built Modern Florida and Transformed the American Dream

From my list on modern Florida.

Why am I passionate about this?

Originally from Punta Gorda, Florida, I am an exiled Florida Man, living in Texas, and specialize in creative nonfiction. I love the absurd, the unusual, and enjoy finding ways to examine and teach history through unexpected topics and sometimes maligned or ridiculed things. My first book, for example, was on the infamous Yugo car. I then wrote a history of the ill-starred Sarajevo Olympics and the oh-for-twenty-six 1976-1977 Tampa Bay Bucs, and most recently a book on the wild heydays of Florida land development in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. I have a PhD in history from Indiana University Bloomington and have appeared on NPR’s "Weekend Edition," APM’s "Marketplace," and C-SPAN’S "Book TV."

Jason's book list on modern Florida

Jason Vuic Why did Jason love this book?

Last Train to Paradise is acclaimed novelist Les Standiford's fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. Brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler's dream fulfilled, the Key West Railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as "the Eighth Wonder of the World." Standiford brings the full force and fury of 1935's deadly Storm of the Century and its sweeping destruction of "the railroad that crossed an ocean" to terrifying life.

By Les Standiford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Train to Paradise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the strongest storm ever to hit U.S. shores.

In 1904, the brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler, partner to John D. Rockefeller, dreamed of a railway connecting the island of Key West to the Florida mainland, crossing a staggering 153 miles of open ocean—an engineering challenge beyond even that of the Panama Canal. Many considered the project impossible, but build it they did. The railroad stood as a magnificent…


Book cover of Swamp Story

Marc Renson Author Of How Will I Know

From my list on beach reads that I enjoyed this summer.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love being by the water. Most of my vacations are spent at tropical destinations. There’s something pretty amazing about reading a book at the water’s edge, near a palm tree, with the breeze and the salty smell of the wonderful warm air as pelicans swoop across the surface. 

Marc's book list on beach reads that I enjoyed this summer

Marc Renson Why did Marc love this book?

I love being in the Everglades of South Florida. I love the crazy characters and their wild pursuits of making money. There are a lot of 70s musical references and nostalgia for the reader.

One could really believe this may be based on true events because, after all, it’s Florida. 

By Dave Barry,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Swamp Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times bestselling author and actual Florida Man Dave Barry returns with a Florida caper full of oddballs and more twists and turns than a snake slithering away from a gator.

Jesse Braddock is trapped in a tiny cabin deep in the Everglades with her infant daughter and her ex-boyfriend, a wannabe reality TV star who turned out to be a lot prettier on the outside than on the inside. Broke and desperate for a way out, Jesse stumbles across a long-lost treasure, which could solve all her problems—if she can figure out how to keep it.…


Book cover of Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida's Future

Elizabeth Randall Author Of An Ocklawaha River Odyssey: Paddling Through Natural History

From my list on saving Florida from becoming an arid dump of toxic waste.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in Florida since 1969, attended public school here, and received my Master’s degree from a state college. My husband, Bob Randall, a photographer and an entrepreneur, and I have written six nonfiction books about Florida. An Ocklawaha River Odyssey is our favorite. Kayaking the 56 miles of winding waterways became less of a research expedition and more of a spiritual journey as the ancient river cast its spell on us. From wildlife, including manatees and monkeys, to wild orchids and pickerelweed, the Ocklawaha provides more than exercise and recreation; it also touches your soul. I hope my writing and Bob’s photography provide that experience for our readers.

Elizabeth's book list on saving Florida from becoming an arid dump of toxic waste

Elizabeth Randall Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Noll and Tegeder wrote the most comprehensive book about the history of the Ocklawaha River and the Cross Florida Barge Canal ever written.

Documenting the story of the Cross Florida Barge Canal, the authors provide the inside story about the longest environmental conflict in Florida history, those who wanted to dig a ditch across the peninsula to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, and Marjorie Harris Carr, the mastermind and "housewife from Micanopy," who founded the Florida Defenders of the Environment.

By Steven Noll, David Tegeder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ditch of Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country

Jason Vuic Author Of The Swamp Peddlers: How Lot Sellers, Land Scammers, and Retirees Built Modern Florida and Transformed the American Dream

From my list on modern Florida.

Why am I passionate about this?

Originally from Punta Gorda, Florida, I am an exiled Florida Man, living in Texas, and specialize in creative nonfiction. I love the absurd, the unusual, and enjoy finding ways to examine and teach history through unexpected topics and sometimes maligned or ridiculed things. My first book, for example, was on the infamous Yugo car. I then wrote a history of the ill-starred Sarajevo Olympics and the oh-for-twenty-six 1976-1977 Tampa Bay Bucs, and most recently a book on the wild heydays of Florida land development in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. I have a PhD in history from Indiana University Bloomington and have appeared on NPR’s "Weekend Edition," APM’s "Marketplace," and C-SPAN’S "Book TV."

Jason's book list on modern Florida

Jason Vuic Why did Jason love this book?

To outsiders, Florida seems baffling. It's a state where the voters went for Barack Obama twice, yet elected a Tea Party candidate as governor. Florida is touted as a carefree paradise, yet it's also known for its perils—alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes, and sharks, to name a few.  It attracts 90 million visitors a year, some drawn by its impressive natural beauty, others bewitched by its man-made fantasies. Oh, Florida!, by award-winning journalist Craig Pittman, explores those contradictions and shows how they fit together to make this the most interesting state.

By Craig Pittman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oh, Florida! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To some people, Florida is a paradise; to others, a punch line. As Oh, Florida! shows, it's both of these and, more important, it's a Petri dish, producing trends that end up influencing the rest of the country. Without Florida there would be no NASCAR, no Bettie Page pinups, no Glenn Beck radio rants, no USA Today, no "Stand Your Ground,"...you get the idea.

To outsiders, Florida seems baffling. It's a state where the voters went for Barack Obama twice, yet elected a Tea Party candidate as governor. Florida is touted as a carefree paradise, yet it's also known for…


Book cover of Three Shots to the Wind

Sherry Lynn Author Of Digging Up Daisy

From my list on beachfront cozy mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

The sound of waves rolling to shore. The scent of beach roses and salty air, mixed with suntan lotion. Breezy summer days with no agenda. This is the promised escape when I discover a cozy mystery with a waterfront cover. I’m immediately transported to a journey of respite with a sprinkle of intrigue tucked deep within the pages. The waterfront setting is one that I desire in both to read and to write, and I know I’m not alone. I’ve compiled a list of favorites for you when choosing a book that revolves around seaworthy things. 

Sherry's book list on beachfront cozy mysteries

Sherry Lynn Why did Sherry love this book?

Set in the emerald cove of Florida’s Panhandle, Three Shots to the Wind by Sherry Harris is the third book in the cozy Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery series.

The characters in this series are realistic and likable and embody that sense of community that cozy mystery readers long for. A fun premise with an ex-fiancé winding up dead and her current love interest a prime suspect.

By Sherry Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Shots to the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The third installment in Sherry Harris’s Agatha Award-nominated series finds former Chicago librarian Chloe Jackson loving her new life as a bartender in Florida…until a surprise visit from her Windy City ex-fiancé ends with him blown away in the Panhandle!
 

DEAD EXES TELL NO TALES
 
Saloon owner Chloe Jackson appears to have a secret admirer. She’s pouring drinks at the Sea Glass Saloon in Emerald Cove when an airplane flies by above the beach with a banner reading I LOVE YOU CHLOE JACKSON. She immediately rules out Rip Barnett. They are in the early stages of dating and no one…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Florida, Key West, and soccer?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Florida, Key West, and soccer.

Florida Explore 127 books about Florida
Key West Explore 9 books about Key West
Soccer Explore 65 books about soccer