10 Books All Georgians Should Read In 2018

Looking for a new book to read? Check out the list of “must reads” recently released by the Georgia Center for the Book. (Flickr Creative Commons)

The Georgia Center for the Book recently announced its “Books All Georgians Should Read” list for 2018.

Every year, the affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., compiles a list of literary works that have some connection to Georgia.

Some authors hail from Georgia, and others write about the state.

This year’s list features work from some Georgia-based authors, a photographer and a poet and includes both fiction and nonfiction literature.

An awards ceremony will be held Aug. 16 at the Decatur Library to honor the authors, illustrators and photographer featured in this list as well as those featured in the “Books All Young Georgians Should Read” list, which was also complied by the Georgia Center for the Book. More than 80 books were considered for both lists, according to a press release.

“Georgia and Georgia’s literary landscape are more diverse than ever before,” Executive Director Joe Davich said in the press release. “These lists show Georgia’s pride in its diversity. They show that however different we are, we all are connected to this place.”

Read more about the featured works below:

“The Vain Conversation: A Novel” by Anthony Grooms (Story River Books)

This novel is based on a true story about a 1946 lynching of two black couples in Georgia. Author Anthony Grooms wants to advance the country’s dialogue on race relations, according to the University of South Carolina Press. The book also includes a forward by writer and painter Clarence Major.

“An American Marriage: A Novel” by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)

Written by a New York Times bestselling author and an Emory University creative writing professor, “An American Marriage” made Oprah’s Book Club this year. It’s about Roy, a young executive, who is sentenced to prison for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit, according to the book’s description. While the couple is separated, Celestial confides in her childhood friend and the best man at her wedding, Andre. After five years, Roy’s conviction is overturned, and he returns to Atlanta hoping to continue his life with Celestial.

“Almost Sisters: A Novel” by Joshilyn Jackson (William Morrow)

This novel is about a thirty-something graphic novelist named Leia who has a one-night stand with a man she met at a comics convention and becomes pregnant with his biracial child, according to the author’s website. Before she can share the news with her “conventional” white Southern family, Leia discovers that her grandmother has been hiding her worsening dementia as well as a dangerous secret connected to the Civil War. Joshilyn Jackson is a New York Times bestselling novelist and a former actor.

“Atlanta Noir” edited by Tayari Jones (Akashic Books)

“Atlanta Noir” is part of series of noir anthologies by Akashic Books. It contains 14 stories from different Atlanta neighborhoods, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Last year, two of the contributing authors, Daniel Black and Jennifer Harlow, appeared on WABE’s City Lights With Lois Reitzes.

“Homey Don’t Play That: The Story of In Living Color and the Black Comedy Revolution” by David Peisner (Atria)

David Peisner is a Decatur-based freelance writer, according to his website. His book features exclusive interviews with writers, cast members and producers and behind-the-scenes stories from the African-American-centric sketch comedy show, “In Living Color,” according to its description.

“Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats” by Maryn McKenna (National Geographic)

The title says it all. Journalist Maryn McKenna reveals how antibiotics are used in industrial farming, specifically in chicken meat, according to the book’s description. She traces the chicken on your dinner table all the way back to the farm and uncovers “the ways we can make America’s favorite meat safe again.”

“Faith: A Journey for All” by Jimmy Carter (Simon & Schuster)

Former President Jimmy Carter reflects on his faith and how it sustained him through life’s ups and downs, according to Simon & Schuster. An excerpt from this New York Times bestseller has been reprinted with permission by the AJC. The excerpt shares inspiring stories of faith.

“Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South” by Virginia Willis with photos by Angie Mosier (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Virginia Willis is an award-winning chef, cookbook author and editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine, according to her website. Over the course of eight months, Willis and Atlanta photographer Angie Mosier traveled to 11 states to a book of recipes and reportage showcasing the South’s diversifying palate, according to a report by the AJC.

“Turnip Greens & Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern Kitchen” by Eddie Hernandez and Susan Puckett (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Written by the executive chef of Taqueria del Sol, which has five locations in Georgia and two in Tennessee, and a former AJC editor, “Turnip Greens & Tortillas” is a fusion of Southern and Mexican dishes, according to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

“Hello the House: Poems” by Rupert Fike (Snake Nation Press)

“Hello the House” is Rupert Fike’s second collection of poems, and it won the 2017 Violet Reed Haas Poetry Prize, according to the AJC Decatur Book Festival. He is on the list of 2018 presenting authors for the festival. In his poetry book, Fike serves as a guide through a region he calls home, which is near the Georgia/Tennessee line, according to a review by Michael Blanchard on the Alabama Writer’s Forum. “The poems here are rich with memory, rumination, and images evocative of a particular place and culture,” Blanchard writes.

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