Book “Clubbing” at the Museum

Book & Collections Club
Spring/Summer 2022
Reading List

Are you in the mood to go clubbing?! Book Clubbing, that is!

Why would you want to join a book club?

There are many reasons to join the FKHDC Book Club today! Studies show reading is good for strengthening both the physical structure of the brain and social soft skills like intelligence and empathy. Why wouldn’t you want to benefit from regular reading?

Book clubs also build community by bringing together new people to meet and make friends in a relaxed atmosphere. They are a great addition to the Center’s social calendar: they are also low key and relatively inexpensive. No matter how serious the book discussions are, just getting together and chatting on a regular basis can be fun!

In our book club, you will discover new books you may have not otherwise read, maybe even finding your next new favorite! Or you can encourage others to read and discuss your favorites.

There are countless books and many different types of book clubs. We are looking to focus on Keys centered books, please see the below list of suggestions.

Join us on the third Saturday of every month
at 11 A.M. in the Upstairs Gallery


Arthur C. Bivins III, The Thief Taker’s Choice: A Novel of the Second Seminole War in Florida (2020)
Book cover-ThiefTakersChoiceMichael Delaney is a thief taker, a bounty hunter, living in poverty in a slum of New York City called the Rubbles. He has been offered a substantial reward by a very wealthy man to retrieve his daughter, Winnie Wyatt. She has run away to be with her fiancé́, a soldier who is fighting in the Seminole war in the Florida Territory. This soldier, Edward Pierce, is the man who was responsible for Michael Delaney’s expulsion from West Point for dueling and his current lowly residence in the Rubbles. Is it the reward or the thought of revenge that causes Michael to accept this perilous mission? Winnie and her housemaid have changed identities to elude her father’s detectives. After a frightening journey, Winnie meets Michael on Indian Key. This island is home to a fleet of wreckers created by Captain Jacob Housman to defeat the wrecking monopoly in Key West. She is abducted during the Indian attack in 1840 and Michael must go into the Everglades to rescue her. This exciting adventure story brings a fascinating little-known chapter of Florida history to vivid life.


Victoria Shearer, It Happened in the Florida Keys (2008)

BookCover-IthappenedintheFloridaKeysSalvage of a sunken slave ship, devastating hurricanes, and the odd doings of locals such as Jimmy Buffett and Hemingway’s cats. 

Far from the culture shock she expected upon moving to Duck Key in 1993, Victoria Shearer discovered that island life opened the window on a tropical wonderland of sun, sea, and the sweeping bounty of Mother Nature. An avid traveler and no stranger to the wonders of the world, Vicki concluded that the Florida Keys reign in a class by themselves. So, like the Bahamians and Cubans who adopted the islands centuries before her, she stayed.

A University of Wisconsin graduate, Vicki wore several professional hats–elementary school teacher, advertising agency account executive, and magazine copy editor–before combining her passion for travel with her love of writing. A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, she now writes feature articles for newspapers and magazines across the country. She is author of The Florida Keys Cookbook: Recipes and Foodways of Paradise (The Globe Pequot Press, 2006) ten editions of The Insiders’ Guide to the Florida Keys and Key West (The Globe Pequot Press), as well as Walking Places in New England (Out There Press, 2001).

Vicki divides her time between Duck Key and Chocowinity, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband Bob. Vicki loves to cook, play tennis, needlepoint, and quilt. And while the title of “author” is quite nice, Vicki’s most cherished monikers are “Mom” (Brian and Lisa, Kristin and John) and “Gram” (Christopher, Bethany, Bobby, Ashleigh, Nicholas, and Leia).


Les Standiford, Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean (2002)
LBookCover-LastTrainToParadiseast Train to Paradise is acclaimed novelist Les Standiford’s fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. Brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler’s dream fulfilled, the Key West Railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as “the Eighth Wonder of the World.” Standiford brings the full force and fury of 1935’s deadly “Storm of the Century” and its sweeping destruction of “the railroad that crossed an ocean” to terrifying life. Last Train to Paradise celebrates a crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition in a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature’s wrath.


James Kaserman and Sarah Kaserman, Florida Pirates: From the Southern Gulf Coast to the Keys and Beyond (2011)

BookCover-FloridaPiratesFlorida is largely influenced by the illicit and fascinating activities of pirates. Authors James and Sarah Kaserman recount the stories, legends, and myths of piracy in Florida.

The coast of southwest Florida, with its shallow waters, inlets, and mangrove islands provides the setting and backdrop for a variety of pirates, privateers, and independents. Piracy has a long and rich tradition in this area dating from before the formation of America through the infamous prohibition era. Telling the tales of Anne Bonny, Calico Jack Rackham, Civil War smugglers and prohibition rum runners, the authors provide a compelling narrative of the historically dangerous waters around Southwest Florida and beyond

Join us on the third Saturday of every month at 11 am in the Upstairs Rotating Gallery for some great discussion regarding each of the following books. Be sure and read your copy before each meeting so that you can be fully prepared to have dialogue with fellow readers. 

For more information or to RSVP, email Megan Scallan, Curator/Historian at