Good reads, great gifts

Georgia Writers Museum shares top ten picks for book lovers this holiday season

Our state is not short of literary talent, and at the Georgia Writers Museum, we truly believe that there is simply nothing like a southern writer. In addition to the museum’s featured authors – Flannery O’Connor, Joel Chandler Harris, and Alice Walker – we provide a space to discover new Georgia authors and enjoy those who have already found a place in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.

To assist you in grabbing a great and much-appreciated gift this holiday season, supporters of the museum have suggested some of their favorite reads from authors who have been, or surely will be, inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.

We hope you enjoy reading through our suggested list from both seasoned and up-and-coming Georgia authors. Here at the museum, we know that every story starts somewhere and we hope one of these books will inspire the writer or reader in your life in their next creative endeavor.

The King Who Made Paper Flowers by Terry Kay

Now living in the Athens area, many will recall Kay’s acclaimed book, turned movie, “To Dance with the White Dog.” His latest book has a captivating collection of characters, and in true Terry Kay style, the city of Savannah takes on a leading role. This is one to place under the tree of any Southern Literary lover.

Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems by Kevin Young

You will not regret picking up this newly inducted Georgia Writers Hall of Fame poet’s collection of poetry. “Blue Laws” is a perky and savory gathering of Young’s first 20 years of works. He speaks of family, southern food, and writes in such a profoundly blue, yet inspiring tone that one has to believe in the revival of poetry in every neck of the woods.

Savannah by Eugenia Price

We know, you probably already have at least one Eugenia Price novel sitting on your shelf next to your Grandmother’s copy of “Gone with the Wind.” Her writing is that good. She was officially inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame this year. We suggest you wrap up her classic, “Savannah,” and pass her beloved writing on to the next generation. “Savannah” is the first book in the “Savannah Quartet” series. If you haven’t read Price, you are in for an adventure into historical fiction that will have you planning a trip to Georgia’s coast this summer for an adventure of your very own.

Wondering Toward Center by Kathy A. Bradley

This 2017 Georgia Author of the Year, Bradley takes us through the seasons of South Georgia and finds God in the places we rarely take time to look. Her book will remind you to walk a little slower, breathe a little deeper and listen a little closer as you walk through a busy world.

Sunday Suppers: Simple, Delicious Menus for Family Gatherings by Cynthia Graubart

If you haven’t seen Cynthia Graubart’s culinary genius in Southern Living Magazine, more than likely you have read one of her other award-winning cookbooks. “Sunday Suppers” may be a book you want to pick up for yourself before the holiday crowds gather around your dining room table. Graubart makes southern cooking easy while still capturing the memorable flavors of your childhood. It’s also worth mentioning her other award-winning cookbooks, “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking” and “Southern Biscuits.” Both are great first cookbooks for those just starting to cook and for that new neighbor who has relocated below the Mason-Dixon line and  doesn’t know how to boil grits. Buy in bulk; these cookbooks are a gift that keeps on giving.

Memories of the Mansion by Sandra Deal, Catherine Lewis and Jennifer Dickey

Sandra Deal and her co-authors have created a delightful, historically fun collection of photographs and tales of Georgia governors past. This will be a great addition and conversation piece for those political history lovers in your life. Proceeds from this book goes to help preserve the Governor’s Mansion and its historical contents.

Images from World War II: The Art of Jack Smith by Rona Simmons

Simmons’ short narratives and Smith’s historically impactful drawings will grasp the attention and heart of anyone who flips through its pages. This is a book one lingers over both for its historical significance and works of art.

Aftermath by George Weinstein

This book will have you guessing till the end. Weinstein has created a wonderful web of characters who will keep you on your toes and reading quickly till the end. “Aftermath” is yet another great find among the talent of Georgia writers.


Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

This young adult novel is a beautiful eye-opening adventure in cultural awareness. Saeed’s writing is intense, honest, and takes the reader on an unexpected educational journey.


Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

This young adult author tackles historical fiction by retelling the romance between the young man who will become Blackbeard and his true love. Be sure to place Castroman’s sequel, “Blacksouls,” on your wish list, that young adult in your life will be asking for it as soon as “Blackhearts’” last page is turned.


  • Vickie Spivey is the director of the Georgia Writers Museum in downtown Eatonton. Visit or follow on Facebook for the latest updates on classes and activities at the museum for 2018.

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