Coral Gables Magazine June 2024 Issue

Editor’s Note: Smart is as Smart Does

One of the reasons we started Coral Gables Magazine six years ago was because of the city’s demographics. All the metrics pointed to a highly educated populace, one that would want to read a magazine with real content about their city. We learned, for example, that two-thirds of the adults in Coral Gables held a college degree, and that half of those grads held another, higher degree on top of that. We also heard that more books were taken out of
the Coral Gables Library than any other branch, per capita, in the Miami-Dade system.

Part of that notion — that Coral Gables is a smart, cultured city — became apparent last month when we held our annual Great Gables Scavenger Hunt at The Plaza Coral Gables. More than 300 people showed up to exercise their skills at being clever. Meanwhile, over at the Coral Gables Youth Center, many hundreds more were attending the annual children’s book fair. A week later, we sponsored a new exhibit on Coral Gables artists at the Coral Gables Museum. Even though it was on a Friday night at the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend, more than 400 people attended. So many that we ran out of wine and were saved only by the generous donation of two kegs of beer by Bay 13 (and by scrumptious bites from The Collab and great music from Armstrong Jazz House).

Playing into this appreciation of education, culture and the arts, this month’s cover story is a battery of book recommendations for your summer reading pleasure. For the suggested titles, we turned to a few local luminaries — namely Mitch Kaplan of Books & Books (fiction titles); Dave Lawrence of the Children’s Movement and former Miami Herald publisher (history titles); Mark Trowbridge, president and CEO of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce (business & leadership titles); and last — but far from least — Jill Duepi, head curator for the Lowe Art Museum (art & culture titles). All told, they recommended 40 books. Yes, well beyond anyone’s ability to cram into one summer (let alone one year) unless they aced the Evelyn Woods speed reading course. But life, like your reading material, is all about choices.

So, please peruse and enjoy our feature of selected reading suggestions. And revel in the simple fact that no other city magazine in South Florida, let alone Florida, would publish such a list — or have an audience that would read it or the titles recommended.