Throughout the past year, our authors have received due recognition for their labors of love. Below, we celebrate a year of reviews in top publications across the country for our wide ranging collection of titles, from cookbooks and history to photography and sports. Take a look at why these books have caught the attention of some of the largest review outlets in the country.

In Bitten: My Unexpected Love Affair with Florida, Andrew Furman “eloquently weaves emotion and facts into his memoir, to reveal his admiration of Florida’s natural landscape,” says Foreword Reviews“Furman’s writing skills are superb. Whether relating the tale of a hunt for the elusive fish known as the snook, describing a family trip to visit Florida’s champion live oak tree, or chronicling the daily rituals of the ordinary squirrel, Furman crafts a good story….The result is that Bitten is more than a memoir; it is an authoritative and literary source as well.”

Publishers Weekly heralded the book as well, explaining “this love letter to the Sunshine State is a collection of witty observations and simple pleasures…With almost childlike wonder and awe, he marvels at its sheer beauty and variety of nature, ignoring the overdevelopment, to focus on the sturdy live oak, coontie plants, local gardens abundant with vegetables and herbs, and the joy of fishing in the dark….A highly personal view of one man and his adopted paradise.”

Library Journal added to the praises, noting that “Furman charms his audience by combining his Florida ornithology, ichthyology, and other flora and fauna research with family stories.”

Booklist found Marc Frank’s Cuban Revelations “an incisive, revealing portrait of a nation on the brink of transformation.”

“He never hides the high esteem he has for Cubans,” notes the Los Angeles Review of Books.

NPR featured Frank twice this December in the wake of President Obama’s move to normalize relations in Cuba. As a foreign journalist, Frank first spoke about Cuba’s reaction to the news, then delved deeper into discussions about dissidents planning a rally in Havana.

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The Wall Street Journal praised James Dempsey’s The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer as a “sympathetic and pleasing study of this often overlooked patron and critic.”

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Michele Wehrwein Albion’s The Quotable Eleanor Roosevelt caught the attention of Library Journal for Albion’s ability to “fill in the biographical picture” behind the quotes she includes from Eleanor Roosevelt’s life.

“A pithy peek into the thoughts of this influential first lady,” concludes Library Journal.

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In Fútbol: Why Soccer Matters in Latin America, Joshua H. Nadel provides “well-crafted insights about the many ways football reflects and challenges Latin American societies,” remarks Kirkus Reviews.

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The Wall Street Journal commended Daniel L. Schafer for Zephaniah Kingsley Jr. and the Atlantic World, saying “Schafer brings this forgotten man to life and makes his worldview intelligible, if not entirely admirable.”

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Library Journal’s starred review of Mac Stone’s Everglades: America’s Wetland praised not only the photography but also the essays and message. “Stone cheerfully relates how he camped along mosquito-infested cypress swamps, hid in the mud under mangrove roots, and used dormant alligators as stepping stones to capture these images,” the review says. Their verdict? “A visual feast, illuminating a weird and wondrous place in many moods. At the same time, the book shows a region at risk. Many Florida residents, environmentalists, and photographers will be moved by this presentation.”

Stone’s gorgeous images of the Everglades were also featured on the BBC Disocver Wildlife website and on Weather.com.

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In their Tweetable Reviews, Sports Illustrated deemed Dave Dorsey’s Fourth Down in Dunbar a “probing history of a poor, drug-riddled Florida neighborhood that cranks out NFLers, from Prime Time to Sammy Watkins.”

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Pam Brandon, Katie Farmand, and Heather McPherson received praise for both of their books this year. Garden and Gunloved Good Catch: Recipes and Stories Celebrating the Best of Florida’s Waters,praising it for “plung[ing] deep into Florida culinary traditions.”

In The Local Palate, the trio’s first book, Field to Feast: Celebrating Florida Farmers, Chefs, and Artistsans,  was deemed “a beautiful book of Florida’s bounty that feels like a drive through the coastal woodlands and country roads of the Sunshine State. Full of portraits of the people who grow and cook the plethora of foodstuffs Florida offers, Field to Feast is at once a travel companion, coffee-table book, and useful cookbook….It’s a delicious and unique portrayal of a thriving culinary landscape.”

The Local Palate also featured Jen Karetnick’s Mango, including the cookbook in their holiday recipe issue and calling it “a charming collection of mango recipes from those chefs [in her community], directed at those of us dreaming of tropical breezes this time of year.”

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In the Daily Beast’s Book Bag, two University Press of Florida titles were recognized as “Overlooked Classic Books from the Sunshine State.” In Loren G. Brown’s Totch: A Life in the Everglades, the Daily Beast found ” the truest of true Florida voices.” And Archie Carr’s The Windward Road: Adventures of a Naturalist on Remote Caribbean Shores impressed with Carr’s research. The book “elevates him to icon status among those who love mixing adventure travel with our science. He writes lyrically but without affectation, and always with the observant eye of a field biologist who values both social and natural history,” notes the  Daily Beast.

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Library Journal showcased two of our Fall 2014 titles in its African American Lives Roundup: Teresa S. Moyer’s Ancestors of Worthy Life: Plantation Slavery and Black Heritage at Mount Clare and Daniel O. Sayers’s A Desolate Place for a Defiant People: The Archaeology of Maroons, Indigenous Ameircans, and Enslaved Laborers in the Great Dismal Swamp.

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