Today is National Book Day and it just makes sense that we would partner with the city’s foremost knowledge on all things literature: Books & Books. As we all know, Miami has plenty of great personality traits that would make it a great setting for all kinds of stories–from sinister, to downright hilarious. So, to celebrate the holiday and this Saturday’s Independent Bookstore Day, they’ve helped us pick out some of the best non-fiction and fiction works set–or about–The Magic City.

15 Views of Miami by Jaquira Diaz

If you’re more of a quick-reader, allow us to suggest this beautiful collection of short stories edited by Jaquira Diaz. This anthology of fictional stories features works by celebrated writers and artists, and spans across the entire metropolitan area. Because of its far-reaching coverage, it’s one of the only books about Miami that showcases the less-covered characters and aspects of the real Magic City.
BUY HERE

The Year of Dangerous Days by Nicholas Griffin

The fact that our city has a tumultuous yet rich history can only be seen or felt in a few pockets strung across the great expanse. Yet, in Nicholas Griffin’s latest release, The Year of Dangerous Days: Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980, he brings it all to the forefront. Its settled past, interesting cultural patterns, and the many mistakes that can only be made from such a young identity–all culminating into arguably the most pivotal moment in Miami’s history.
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Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen is one of Florida’s most beloved journalists, and his first individually-written novel, Tourist Season is based in our wonderful hometown. As usual, he takes us on a suspenseful thriller of a ride through South Florida featuring his trademark dark humor and keen observational skills. It follows a blood-thirsty terrorist cell led by a rogue newspaper columnist and gets crazier with every page turned.
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Miami by Joan Didion

It’s hard to believe that a writer as celebrated as Joan Didion would even care to take an interest in our city, but she did and wonderfully, at that. Her definitive work about South Florida, Miami, is a piercing social and political analysis of the city, particularly in regards to the waves of Cuban immigration following the overthrow of President Batista January 1st, 1959.
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Black Miami in the 20th Century by Marvin Dunn

It’s impossible to recount Miami’s history without noting how essential the Black community was to its flourishing success over the course of the 20th century. Marvin Dunn’s opus is arguably the first book to cover the role of African Americans in helping to develop Miami into the city we know it as today, as well as the many challenges they have faced over the decades of segregation, gentrification, and other difficulties in our city’s first 100 years.
BUY HERE

Hotel Scarface by Roben Farzad

While we usually roll our eyes at the fact that the whole world really knows us as Vice City in the 80s, there’s a big reason for it and few books recount what it was actually like during that time period than Roben Farzad’s Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied and Plotted to Control Miami. This book centers around “drugs, disco, and debauchery” particularly within the walls of The Mutiny in Coconut Grove.
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Miami Blues by Charles Willeford

The many sinister sides of Miami make it a perfect backdrop for crime novels and murder mystery thrillers. Enter: The first book in Charles Willeford’s Hoke Moseley series, Miami Blues. It’s hard not to have fun as you follow Detective Moseley along his series of twists and turns within Miami’s criminal underground–taking you to places we all know too well within Miami’s darker personalities.
BUY HERE

Cover photo via PureWow.