The Georgia Center for the Book has released its annual list, “Books All Georgians Should Read.”
The list contains both authors and editors. Some authors hail from Georgia, while others have a Georgia connection, and their work may pertain to the state’s history.
“We feel that part of our mission here is (to) preserve the literary heritage of Georgia,” Executive Director Joe Davich said.
“It’s not a competition,” he said. “We just want to honor the Georgians and the amazing work that they did year in and year out.”
This is the eighth time the Georgia Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has compiled the list.
Find out more about the books that made the list this year below.
2017 Books All Georgians Should Read:
“A Lillian Smith Reader” — edited by Margaret Rose Gladney and Lisa Hodgens
Lillian Smith was a Georgia writer and social critic who lived from 1897 to 1966, according to UGA Press. Piedmont College English professor Lisa Hodgens and University of Alabama professor emerita Margaret Rose Gladney have added their own commentary to some of Smith’s work in this book.
“Among the Living” — Jonathan Rabb
Author Jonathan Rabb is a writing professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design. His book is about a 31-year-old Holocaust survivor who lives with his remaining relatives in Savannah in a thriving but divided Jewish community, according to Other Press.
“Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing” — Patrick Phillips
Author Patrick Phillips shows a different side of his hometown in Forsyth County, Georgia, according to the book’s publisher, W. Norton & Company Inc. The National Book Award finalist tells of the long history of racial violence in Forsyth County — once home to a large African American community — now predominately white.
“Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews” — Ted Geltner
Ted Geltner is an award-winning journalist who has interviewed the well-known author Harry Crews many times throughout his career, Geltner’s website He sat down Crews in 2010 to start his biography.
“Darktown” — Thomas Mullen
Atlanta hired its first black police officers in 1948, but they weren’t allowed to do their jobs the way the other white police officers could, says the book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster. In “Darktown,” two black police officers risk their jobs to find justice for a murdered black woman. The historical fiction has been named NPR Best Book of the Year in 2016 and is being developed for television by Sony Pictures.
“Drowned: A Mermaid’s Manifesto” — Theresa Davis
Atlanta poet Theresa Davis is a former Women of the World Poetry Slam champion, Davich said. “Drowned” contains many of Davis’ poems that are reflective of recent experiences in her life as well as the political-social climate.
“Inspired Georgia” — edited by Judson Mitcham; Michael David Murphy; Karen L. Paty
A collection of poetry and photography from artists who are either from Georgia or who have lived in Georgia for a considerable amount of time.
“My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India into a Southern Kitchen” — Asha Gomez and Martha Hall Foose
This cookbook combines Southern cuisine with Indian flavor, according to Running Press Book Publishers. Gomez was born in the Kerala region of Southern India, but the South has also been a part of her life. In this book, you’ll find 125 recipes blended with stories from Gomez’s life.
“River of Kings: A Novel” — Taylor Brown
Taylor Brown graduated from the University of Georgia and was awarded the Montana Prize in Fiction, according to his website. In “River of Kings,” two brothers carry their father’s ashes down the Altamaha River, also known as Georgia’s “Little Amazon,” where a mysterious river monster is rumored to live, according to Macmillan Publishers.
“The Underdogs: Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love” — Melissa Fay Greene
Melissa Fay Greene has been nominated twice for the National Book Award, according to Harper Collins Publishers. In “Underdogs,” Greene tells the story of Karen Shirk and Ben, the service dog who “dragged her back to life” after being turned down from multiple service dog agencies for being “too disabled.” Now, Shirk is helping disabled children through her service dog academy named, 4 Paws for Ability.