STAFF PICKS

Blood at the Root should be required reading. It is a beautifully written, straightforward, and striking account of a turbulent time in American history. Author Patrick Phillips grew up in Forsyth County, Georgia, which was an “all white” community until the late 1990’s. Sifting through decades of news, propaganda, urban myth and family stories to find the truth, Phillips focuses on the pivotal events, people, and circumstances which resulted in the massive racial cleansing of 1912. Inserting himself into the story offers a brilliant way to draw the rest of us in as well. We are all implicated, we can all make a difference, and Blood at the Root’s lessons are almost unbearably timely. Yet this hardly touches on the complexities and rewards of this stunning book. I hope you will read it, and pass it on. -Sara, Atlanta
Ben Mezrich is one of my favorite authors but when I saw his latest book was going to cover UFOs I admit I was skeptical. But once I started reading The 37th Parallel I didn't want to stop until I reached the end of this fast paced adventure. You probably won't come away from this book believing in little green men but it will definitely make you think twice before laughing off your local TV channel's investigation of recent cattle mutilations. -Justin, Atlanta
Twin sisters Pearl and Stasha are used with other “special” children at Auschwitz for Josef Mengele’s medical experiments. Told in the girls’ alternating voices, we follow them at the camp and after the liberation. Pearl disappears during a concert at the camp and Stasha searches for her in the unrecognizable and unimaginable landscape of Poland. The war may be over but the battle for survival is not. Amid incredible brutality Konar manages to convey a kind of humanity that is unexpected and a beautiful use of language and emotion that is heart-breaking and bizarrely uplifting. -Sydne, Atlanta