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Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
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Jeff Klinkenberg is reading Lauren Groff, Tara Westover and Gary Shteyngart

When it comes to his book life, Jeff Klinkenberg, who penned the Real Florida column for the Tampa Bay Times, his workplace for almost 40 years, says he reads just about anywhere. "I can read at the kitchen table between bites of honeydew, and I can read while tucked under the covers. In Florida, in the winter, I like to read on the patio. At my place in the North Carolina mountains, I read on the deck while surrounded by summer's ruby-throated hummingbirds, indigo buntings and rose-breasted grosbeaks.''

On Nov. 17, he will be joining fellow book lovers at the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading. The two-time winner of the Paul Hansell Distinguished Journalism Award and recipient of the 2018 Florida Folk Heritage Award and the Florida Humanities Council's 2018 Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing is the author of several books. His most recent is Son of Real Florida: Stories From My Life.

What's on your nightstand?

Just finished two wonderful books - Gainesville resident Lauren Groff's short-story collection, Florida: Stories, and Tara Westover's marvelous memoir, Educated, about how she escaped with love from her dysfunctional survivalist family in Idaho. I'm a fanboy of both of these outstanding young writers.

Now playing on my night table is Gary Shteyngart's sort-of-comic, sort-of-serious Lake Success. As a longtime fan, I wanted to finish his new novel before meeting him at (the Festival of Reading). My nonfiction reading at the moment is How Fascism Works, by Yale's Jason Stanley. It's alarming on many levels for reasons that include the rise of fascism, once again, in our own country.

Who should read it?

Absolutely everybody.

Piper Castillo, Times staff writer

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