The cultural and meteorological hodgepodge that is Miami results in many things contradictory or just plain different. Take for instance, a hot humid day with a bonfire of a sun blazing on one side of the street, while on the other side, a sudden downpour seemingly out of nowhere conjures a rainbow; or, the shoot-em’ up reputation of the city’s drug-trafficking “Miami Vice” days quietly giving way to an architectural and cultural South Beach renaissance. Thus for writers, Miami is fertile ground.Little wonder then that these five books by noted Miami authors could just as easily be borne of literary prowess, or be the by-product of an endless rainy season with a writer trapped inside by ceaseless downpours; or, simply be random evidence of being just plain crazy from the heat.

(credit: Putnam)

“I’ll Mature When I’m Dead: Dave Barry’s Amazing Tales of Adulthood – Dave Barry

Currently in the Top 20 of the New York Times Bestseller List, this latest manifesto of warped humor, by noted Miami Herald columnist and humorist extraordinaire Dave Barry, is sure to have you snickering in the john at work or giggling wildly in your church pew.

Though anyone familiar with Barry’s wit might be shocked to find out he is writing about adulthood, this collection represents the finest twisted pontifications on such subjects as fatherhood, new fatherhood, self-image, the battle of the sexes, celebrity hood, technology and other topics he has been investigating since taking a leave of absence from his regular column in the Miami Herald to work for real money by writing books like this.

Available at: Books and Books

(credit: Knopf)

“Strip Tease” – Carl Hiassen

Like his Miami Herald foil Dave Barry, Carl Hiassen’s journalistic and literary career have been the clarion call for excellence in writing, truth in the absurdity of the warped realities of public officials and a marvelous depiction of the endlessly-confounding paradise known as Miami.

Take a bachelor party, an erotic dancer named Erin Grant working it on stage at a joint called the Eager Beaver; add two shots of a drunken Congressman named David Lane Dilbeck jumping on stage to the defense of said stripper when the drunken groom tries to join her, and you have a melee with blackout-fueled political consequences. The book was made into a memorable motion picture starring Demi Moore.

Available at: Barnes & Noble

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(credit: Rodale Press)

“The South Beach Diet” – Dr. Robert Agatston 

By now, everyone can see their own vivid image of what South Beach means: some think sun and sand, while others pine for art deco pastels; still others think about all the beautiful people, and ultimately want to be one. Preventive cardiologist Dr. Robert Agatston has helped countless health-conscious SoBe wanna-be’s lose those extra pounds with this simple, best-selling diet plan.

An associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Agatston was inspired to create a preventive lifestyle meal plan that would derail the scourge of diabetes and heart disease. His simple, three-step plan is designed to reduce cravings for sugar and carbohydrates in Phase 1; ease into consistent lifestyle changes and eating habits to help get that last 10 pounds off in Phase 2; and maintain your new healthy food regimen while denying yourself of nothing.

Available at: Books-A-Million

(credit: Pineapple Press)

“The Everglades: River of Grass” – Marjory Stoneman Douglas

It’s impossible to appreciate Miami without experiencing the eternal environmental influence Douglas has had on everything from Fairchild Tropical Gardens to the Florida everglades. Written in 1947, this book sounded the very first clarion call that the precious eco-system that makes up the grassy swamp known as the ‘glades needed to be preserved and protected from the inconsiderate curiosity and pillage tendencies of man.

The book is also significant because for the very first time, Douglas advances her theory that rather than just being a swampy bog of tall grass inhabited by mosquitoes the size of small planes, the everglades isn’t just standing water, but is a complex and delicate river. The book remains relevant today with its rich lode of reference on nature in Florida.

Available at:

(credit: Triumph Books)

“My Life In Football” – Dan Marino

He was drafted out of Pitt, and in 1983 was quietly backing up Miami Dolphins starting quarterback David Woodley, until an injury ushered the Dan Marino Era into Coach Don Shula’s lineup. Blessed with a quick release, pinpoint accuracy and a fiery will to win, he led the Dolphins to their last Super Bowl appearance that same year, and went on to set or break every major NFL quarterback record.

He passed for 61,361 yards and threw 420 touchdown passes; the Dolphins had never seen anything like him, and have struggled mightily the last 10 seasons to find a replacement that can even stand in his shadow.

Available at:

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Glenn Osrin is a journalist and seasoned consumer products sales professional living in Miami, Florida. A new vegan, his most recent assignment is writing about the benefits of a plant-based diet and lifestyle while learning about the Miami vegan community. His work can be found at