For a full list of nominees, go to authoroftheyear.org/previous-nominees/2022. Winners will be announced starting at 10 a.m. June 11 on Facebook Live at facebook.com/GeorgiaWritersAssociation.
Get out of the house: The Georgia Writers Museum has been stepping it up in the event department lately. On Saturday, May 7, it hosts a talk with Atlanta author Jim Auchmutey, who will talk about his book “Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America” (UGA Press, $32.95) at Oconee Springs Park (109 S. Springs Road, Eatonton) on Lake Sinclair. The Tom Hill Band will provide live music and, best of all, there will be beer and barbecue provided by Fresh Air in Jackson. The event takes place from 6-9 p.m. and costs $25 per person. Advance registration required at georgiawritersmuseum.org.
Also on May 7, Savannah author Taylor Brown will talk about his new book “Wingwalkers” (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99) at Manuel’s Tavern (602 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta). Spanning the pandemic of 1918, Prohibition and World War I, this historical novel imagines William Faulkner’s encounter with a couple of aerial daredevils in New Orleans. The event is free and begins at 7 p.m. Presented by A Cappella Books. For details go to acappellabooks.com.
Better late than never: It came out March 22, but I can’t let another day go by without mentioning Atlanta author Andre Henry’s book “All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep” (Penguin Random House, $26). This bold collection of personal essays charts Henry’s political awakening sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement, his growing recognition of systemic racism, and the white friends he lost on his path toward activism. Through the course of this engaging, enlightening book, Henry writes about witnessing the Stone Mountain laser show as a young Black child, getting gaslit by white people from his past on Facebook and being criticized by his white godparents’ family for being justifiably angry. If you want to take the pulse of Black America, this is the book to read.
Author Andre Henry
Author Andre Henry
Currently reading: As revealed earlier this year in the love letter I wrote for Janisse Ray’s book “Wild Spectacle,” I have a soft place in my heart for nature writing. So, it comes as no surprise that I am totally engrossed in “Riverman: An American Odyssey” (Knopf, $28) by Ben McGrath. My first introduction to this story came several years ago when I read McGrath’s New Yorker article about his encounter with Dick Conant, a man who took many epic solo paddles along many of the country’s waterways in a canoe. When his canoe washes up empty one day, McGrath sets out to find out what happened to Conant and to learn what he can about this remarkable man. I won’t say anymore, because I’ve only just started. But look for a review soon.
Suzanne Van Atten is a book critic, columnist and contributing editor to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Contact her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @svanatten.