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The Sunshine State
BOOK
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by Andrew Elias

Living Sanibel
A Nature Guide toSanibel & Captiva Islands
by Charles Sobczak
(Indigo Press)

A colorful, informative guide to the most beautiful islands in the Gulf off southwest Florida, this book is essential for both vacationing visitors and residents, both long-time and newly transplanted.

With 500 pages filled with more than 650 photographs by award-winning photographers such as Alan S. Maltz, Dick Fortune and Sara Lopez, as well as 50 illustrations of fish, the book provides readers with a brief history of the islands and a look at the latest museums and eco-attractions. In between is a comprehensive directory of the plants and animals that inhabit the islands and the surrounding waters: mammals, reptiles, insects, fish, and birds — lots of birds. There is also a guide to help identify the many varieties of shells found along the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, known worldwide for its outstanding shelling.

The book includes tips for getting around the island and suggestions for bicycling and hiking trails, including several useful maps.

Well-researched, user-friendly and easy on the eyes, Living Sanibel is a wonderful guide for tourists discovering the natural beauty of the islands for the first time as well as an impressive coffee table book for residents proud of the magical place they are lucky to live in.

Visions of Beauty
Fort Myers, Sanibel & Beyond...
photographs by Alan S. Maltz
(Light Flight Publications)

Charles Sobczak was nice enough to return the favor for photographer Alan S. Maltz, writing the introduction to the acclaimed photographer’s new coffee table book, Visions of Beauty. At a large size of about 12 inches x 11 inches, Visions of Beauty showcases Maltz’s gorgeous photographs of the magical landscapes and mysterious animals of southwest Florida. There are remarkable images of the islands taken from the air, historic photographs of the old Koreshan Settlement in Estero, brightly colored buildings in Matlacha, dazzling sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, loggerhead turtles in the surf on Bonita Beach and alligators in North Fort Myers, Snowy Egrets on North Captiva and water lilies on Pine Island, sand dunes on Sanibel and the Edison Estate in Fort Myers.

Visions of Beauty is a truly impressive collection of eye-popping photographs by one of the very best nature photographers in Florida.

Historic Photos of Florida Ghost Towns
by Steve Rajtar
(Turner Publishing)

A new release in Turner Publishing’s outstanding series of ‘Historic Photos’ books, Historic Photos of Florida Ghost Towns features 200 haunting images of towns once thriving and now gone.

Whether due to economic changes or natural disasters, from the closing of factories or the rage of hurricanes, these towns were once full of life — hard-working people, successful businesses, interesting buildings and lovely landscapes. For some of these towns these few old black and white images are all that remain.

Steve Rajtar takes readers back decades, describing the towns and the life their communities had, as well as explaining how and why they declined and vanished. Respectful and informative, this book is both educational without becoming dry, and a fine addition to the series.

Backroads of Florida
Your Guide to Great Day Trips & Weekend Getaways
by Paul M. Franklin and Nancy Mikula
(Voyageur Press)

Most tourists come to Florida to visit the big attractions like DisneyWorld, Cape Canaveral or Miami Beach, but there is also another Florida waiting to be discovered off the beaten path. Backroads of Florida provides a guide to many of the state’s secret splendors, from Civil war battlefields to secluded beaches, from historic small towns to one-of-a-kind roadside attractions, from the panhandle to the Keys, places few travel but well worth the exploration.
Featuring colorful maps and beautiful photographs, the book is an excellent travel guide for vacationers seeking something completely different. •

from the May-June 2010 issue