Entrepreneur Mike Fernandez on His First Book: "I Want To Be Remembered By What I've Given"

Categories: Books, Interview

Mike Fernandez with Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
For most of us, the concept of paying it forward began and ended with the credits of a Haley Joel Osment movie. For Miguel "Mike" Fernandez, it's a lifelong lesson.

Fernandez, who immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba at 12, started private equity firm MBF Healthcare Partners in Coral Gables in 2005, whose portfolio includes Navarro Discount Pharmacy, and a managed-care company, Simply Healthcare Plans. Simply Healthcare's ventures include a partnership with the University of Miami and Magic Johnson Enterprises to provide services to the HIV/AIDS population in South Florida. Over the years, Fernandez has given more than $125 million to causes focused on health care, education, and more.

See also: Basetrack Live to Tell Veterans' Stories on Stage

More »

Mandy Baca, Author of Discovering Vintage Miami, Talks About the Past

Courtesy of State Archives of Florida
Vintage postcard of Biscayne Boulevard.
Kendall native Mandy Baca is an unlikely historian. Her first loves aren't the dusty archives and musty-smelling books that normally keep historians company, rather they're the aromatic spices of the kitchen.

Baca is a trained gastronome, she earned a master's degree in Italian gastronomy and tourism from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. While that might sound almost scientific, Baca described her degree as a crash-course in "traveling, eating, [and] pretending to study." With that background, it's no surprise that Baca's first book, The Sizzling History of Miami Cuisine: Cortaditos, Stone Crabs and Empanadas, delved into the rich background of Miami's food culture.

Baca's second book, Discovering Vintage Miami, is a bit of a divergence from her foodie-focused background. The heavily-illustrated volume is a jaunty history tour through some of the Magic City's best vintage establishments. There are some familiar places in Discovering Vintage Miami, places that have endured through Miami's makeovers: Arbetter's Hot Dogs, Joe's Stone Crabs, and S & S Diner. But there are other lesser-known places that might be a discovery even for the most native of Miamians.

See also: Poet Richard Blanco Speaks About Renewing Relationships With Cuba

More »

Part-Time Miamian Irvine Welsh Sneak Peeks The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins

Categories: Books

Flickr cc | Edinburgh Film Festival
Movies have been made outta his words, lots and lots of movies, each of which is mad, bad and dangerous not to know about, including The Acid House, Ecstasy, Filth, and, of course, a little torrent of beautiful depravity entitled Trainspotting. But it's the words themselves which spurred the cinema to unhinge, and compelled those who still read anything longer than a blog post to rejoice every time they join together in a book.

His name is Irvine Welsh, and the time for rejoicing is once again at hand. Or will be anyway, come February 2015, when The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins (Doubleday) racks in the States and the man makes his way back to the MIA in order to hype his latest longplay.

To ensure we're all suitably prepared to celebrate Scot wordslinger's next bit of vile wile, New Times got Welsh himself to give us a tease.

See also: Book Fair's Weird Florida Panel to Talk Mermaids, Ghost Stories, and Exotic Animals

More »

Mitchell Kaplan: Sire of Storytelling

Categories: Books

Photo by Stian Roenning
It's still that one weekend in November at Miami Dade College that gets Mitchell Kaplan's pulse racing a little faster
In this week's Miami New Times, we profile 30 of the most interesting characters in town, with portraits of each from photographer Stian Roenning. See the entire Miami New Times People Issue here.

If Mitchell Kaplan were an author instead of Florida's sire of storytelling, it's a good bet he'd fit the Mark Twain mold.

No, we're not suggesting Kaplan's fate is tied to the romance and mystery of America's riverboats. Few authors wrote with more variety -- pulled forever by wanderlust, intellectual curiosity, and plain stubbornness -- than Twain. The man behind Huckleberry Finn never stood pat, publishing dozens of travelogues, political essays, and bits of poetry amid his timeless literature.

Kaplan could rest on his own laurels: He's the man, after all, who cofounded Miami Book Fair International and then shepherded it into the nation's preeminent celebration of literature, poetry, and journalism.

More »

Andy Cohen Makes Miami Book Tour Stop, Talks Real Housewives, Tinder, and Puppy Love

All photos by Carla Torres
Andy Cohen with the Real Housewives of Miami.
Andy Cohen is hitting the road for a tour promoting his new book, The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year. The memoir recounts his star-studded adventures of the last 365 days, which means tons of name dropping (he actually states in the introduction he almost called the book Diary of a Name Dropper) and the dirty scoop on the rich and famous who Cohen gets to hang with on the daily.

Last night, fans of Cohen gathered at Villa Azur for Gilt City exclusive book launch and signing party. The guest of the night was of course Cohen himself, who took questions from the audience on anything from what housewife he'd shag, marry, or kill (Nini, Teresa and Vicki, in that order) to who his boy crush (it updates every minute). Miami's Real Housewives were there for support and to mingle with fans who drove from the outskirts of Kendall for a photo opp and a signed copy of Cohen's book.

See also: Seinfeld Writer Peter Mehlman on New Novel: "The Entire Book Was Inspired by Annoyance"

More »

Morowa Yejidé on Autism and Motherhood: "There's a Language Between Parents"

By Sarah Fillman
There's a universe behind our eyes, says prize-winning short story writer Morowa Yejidé. Her debut novel, Time of the Locust, observes the life and family of Sephiri, a young autistic boy whose mother struggles to support and understand him in the wake of losing her husband to the unforgiving confines of a penitentiary.

According to Yejidé, the meatiest stories take shape in the aftermath of action.

"We might hear about the situation of a particular person or choice that that person made, but that's not the end of the story," says Yejidé. "The other part of the story is the fallout."

See also: Seinfeld Writer Peter Mehlman on New Novel: "The Entire Book Was Inspired By Annoyance"

More »

Seinfeld Writer Peter Mehlman on New Novel: "The Entire Book Was Inspired By Annoyance"

Dana Patrick
Longtime Seinfeld writer and producer Peter Mehlman aims higher than laughter with his debut novel, as he examines racism, religion, tragedy -- and feet. A reflective social commentary, It Won't Always Be This Great is both comic and poignant. From beginning to end, the novel artfully cultivates a philosophy opposed to spending life in search of concrete answers.

"Why limit yourself?" he asks. Mehlman considers that if things don't make sense, maybe they're not supposed to.

For one Long Island podiatrist, it takes an impromptu act of vandalism just to make him aware of his own being. He stumbles on a bottle of horseradish and hurls it through the window of a popular teen fashion store. This one out-of-character impulse turns his life vivid and terrifying, triggering waves of fear, crooked cops, and suspicions of antisemitism, both accurate and paranoid.

See also: Ben Greenman on Questlove, George Clinton Memoirs: "When It Comes To These Books, You Have To Audition"

More »

Ben Greenman on Questlove, George Clinton Memoirs: "When It Comes To These Books, You Have To Audition"

Categories: Books, Interview

Courtesy of Okay Player
Ben Greenman and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson in NYC.
A great book is like a great song, once it gets in your head, it's in there for the rest of your life. Just ask Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and George Clinton, two of America's greatest living recording artists, and now authors.

Their albums and shows have pushed the creative boundaries of successive generations of sound while consistently maintaining mass appeal. So how does one transcend beyond selling millions of records? The written word.

It's all with the help of co-author Ben Greenman. The Miami native and former New Times reporter penned the New York Times best-selling Mo Meta Blues, for Quest, and Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir for Clinton.

Greenman grew up fishing with his grandpa in Hallandale and graduated from Palmetto High. Here's what he had to say about his favorite stories, spending a year backstage at Late Night, and fishing with George Clinton in Tallahassee.

See also: Jonathan Eig on The Birth of The Pill: "Birth Control Is Not Just a Women's Issue"

More »

Jonathan Eig on The Birth of The Pill: "Birth Control Is Not Just a Women's Issue"

What's the most important invention of the 20th Century? Is it the telephone? The assembly line? The airplane?

Nope -- it's the birth control pill. That's according to author and journalist Jonathan Eig, whose book, The Birth of The Pill, traces the pill's origins and the risk-taking innovators who pushed through societal barriers to bring it to millions of women worldwide.

Of course, he didn't come to the decision lightly. When he first heard a rabbi make the case for the pill as last century's biggest breakthrough, he thought, "That's nuts." So he decided to investigate, even though it made him a bit of an oddball amongst his peers.

See also: John Waters Talks Carsick, Miami Book Fair International, and His Singing Anus

More »

John Waters Talks Carsick, Miami Book Fair International, and His Singing Anus

When John Waters arrives in Miami for this year's book fair, it might just feel like home.

Waters, who directed Pink Flamingos and about a dozen other twisted cult films, is known as the Pope of Trash and the Prince of Puke; he's most comfortable at the intersection of gross, glamorous, and grotesque. So it's a real testament to the quality of the Miami Book Fair International that the thing that most excites the King of Bad Taste about this town isn't chonga fashion or drunk tourists puking on Washington Ave. or that one time a guy chewed off another guy's face.

It's the books.

See also: The Ten Best Things to Do at Miami Book Fair International

More »