Your Literary Guide to Downtown Pensacola

Posted: Sep 26, 2019 04:40 pm Updated: Oct 17, 2023 10:07 am

Turn the page to some of Downtown Pensacola’s renowned authors, whose writings are sure to keep you engaged. Whether you’re a fan of fictional thrillers or looking to improve your coastal culinary skills, you’ll find a wide variety of locally authored books in the downtown district. 

Local author and historian Deborah Dunlap’s many books cover Pensacola’s history as an emerging vibrant community. Drawing from her private Historic Pensacola photographs and her private collection, Dunlap has published multiple titles such as Remember When… and Then & Now, offering a strong visual glimpse into Pensacola’s unique past and present. 

Another local historian, Margo Stringfield is not only an author, but an authority on Pensacola’s past. Her book Historic Pensacola written in collaboration with John J. Clune Jr. gives an in-depth look at Pensacola from its colonial beginnings. From the earliest European settlement to the five flags that have flown over Pensacola since it was founded, Margot and John use archaeological records and research to paint a vivid picture of this city’s earliest roots.

From the coast to the kitchen, executive chef of Jackson’s Steakhouse, Irv Miller has years of experience whipping up some of Downtown Pensacola’s most iconic dishes and has published two cookbooks featuring Gulf Coast-inspired ingredients and recipes. Gulf Coast Oysters and Panhandle to Pan are full of mouth-watering recipes such as “Oyster, Bacon & Caramelized Onion Tartelette” and the many ways to prepare your Gulf Coast produce. Feeling hungry yet? Grab one of Miller’s books from the shelf and get cooking!

Why just read about what Pensacola has to offer when you can also see it? Laura Bogan’s stunning shots of different parts of Pensacola and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels in action are perfect for those who like to immerse themselves in beautiful visuals. Experience the best of Pensacola with Homecomings and Upside: An Aerial Perspective of Pensacola, Florida. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, and these books speak volumes.

Local lawyer and media personality, Mike Papantonio has published several works on law-related issues as well as several fictional legal thrillers. Learn more about the fascinating field of law and read biographical backgrounds of famous American lawyers with Papantonio’s works. If you enjoy reading about legal fight against corruption, Papantonio’s fictional Law and Disorder may be just the thriller for you.

Speaking of thrillers, Rick Outzen’s City of Grudges dives into corruption, mystery and local politics in a Pensacola setting. City of Grudges tells the story of a newspaper publisher on a mission to fight against injustices, corrupt officials and escalating rumors that could lead to his downfall. Owner and publisher of Pensacola Inweekly and former Gulf Breeze city councilmember, Outzen has resided in the Pensacola community for many years and is known for his editorials on local and national politics.

Looking for the perfect story to read to your children? Browse the works of Anna Whibbs Theriault, granddaughter of one of Pensacola’s mayors and author of three children’s books that center on what make Pensacola so special. Goodnight Pensacola focuses on famous local attractions and was inspired by the original classic children’s book Goodnight Moon. For little ones learning their letters, P is for Pelican: The ABCs of Pensacola teaches the alphabet while tying it in with Pensacola landmarks. You can also spend the most wonderful time of the year reading Pensacola Night Before Christmaswith your young ones.

Local businessman and philanthropist, Quint Studer is a man of many talents. One of which is sharing his business and leadership expertise in his numerous books. Regardless of what stage you are at in your career, it’s important to foster a passion for learning and professional development. Whether you’re looking to become a more effective leader, or get better results, you can’t go wrong with some guidance from Quint’s books.


Last and certainly not least, another iconic Downtown Pensacola author is local historian and storyteller John Appleyard. You may have read his weekly history lessons in the Pensacola News Journal or heard one of his regular talks at the Appleyard Storytelling Cottage in Historic Pensacola Village. Over the years, Appleyard has published more than 100 books, plays and radio performances inspired by Pensacola history, including titles such as Fifteen Mysteries of Pensacola 100 Years Ago, De Luna: Founder of North America's First Colony and Pensacola A City Under 6 Flags.

Nurture your love of literature and Pensacola by picking up some of these fantastic reads at the newly opened Bodacious Bookstore and Café in Downtown Pensacola.