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New Southern-Inspired Books

A host of new Southern books will make gift-giving that much easier.

Written By:  Erin Byers Murray

Photographers:  Supplied

Holiday gift lists tend to take on a life of their own this time of year. Instead of fretting about who gets what, make one trip to the bookstore—local guys like Parnassus Books and BookMan BookWoman, especially—and stock up on these Southern-inspired reads for whoever you have left to check off.

For anyone who needs a good chuckle on their escape from reality, Rick Bragg has collected some of his most masterful stories in a book of essays, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South (Oxmoor House). From loving football to the art of piddling, his tales will resonate with anyone whose roots are planted firmly in the South. Along those same lines, Jay Williams has compiled a visual feast in John Baeder’s Road Well Taken (Abrams Books), a robust assembly of the local realist painter’s most treasured takes on Southern diners and other life scapes.

>>> Nashville's Independent Book Stores


Lovers of Southern food, good stories, and well-designed cookbooks will yearn for a copy of The Southerner’s Cookbook (Harper Wave), which comes from the editors of Garden & Gun and covers our regional cuisine, from grilled quail with chocolate gravy to sweet tea granita. You could also support local author Timothy C. Davis by picking up The Hot Chicken Cookbook (Spring House Press), which is dense with variations on the fiery bird as well as the fixin’s to go with it.

Our pick for the little ones in your life is admittedly biased: Sleep Tight Nashville (Turn the Page) was illustrated by Nashville Lifestyles staffer Kathryn Gogliotti, who worked with writers Dave Dietrich and Debbie Brown. The project not only sends kids off to sleep with sweet dreams of Music City but also contributes a portion of proceeds to the Pencil Foundation, helping local students achieve academic success—which just might be the greatest gift yet.

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