If you're in need of a last minute gift idea, I personally think a book is the best idea of all. As there are so many fantastic titles, how does one choose? I called upon a few trusty sources for some advice. Nan Myers of Firefly in Thomasville, Georgia always carries the best coffee table books so she shared her current favorites, which begins with this stunning picture book by John Derian. It contains 300 beloved 18th and 19th century images that you'll want to frame in your home. Every picture seems more lovely than the next and makes an amazing gift for any lover of design, nature, history and illustration.
Nan also chose Saints of Old Florida, which beautifully showcases the best 'Saints' of the Florida panhandle coastline, including Saint George and Saint Joseph. See inside it here. In the Company of Women is a timely book to celebrate the talented women all around us; Beautiful is a lovely book of inspiration as designer Mark Sikes shares his All-American decorating style. If you've been to NYC, hopefully you've stopped into the men's shop and barber, Freemans Sporting Club. Owner Taavo Somer shares his rustic-luxe style as it relates to food, drink, interiors and grooming.
When it comes to fiction, my dear friend, Elena Buckley has all her favorites locked in memory. Her current top five books include History of Love which is about two characters with lives intertwining over a span of 60 years- from Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe to present day Brighton Beach. Life After Life is an ambitious, wildly inventive piece of writing that follows the main character who dies and is reborn, again and again. With each successive life we learn more about the character and the fate of the 20th century world she is surrounded by.
Eleanor & Park is a book for young and old as it's about the universal themes of love and friendship as the two characters work to overcome any obstacle that comes their way in pursuit of happiness. Bel Canto is a fantastic book for the literary music lover as it balances themes of love and crisis as the characters learn that music is their common language. The Color of Water tells the tale of James McBride and his white Jewish mother, Ruth. She marries a black man in 1941, is widowed twice and raises 12 children in NYC. This telling, beautifully written tale of Ruth's own hardship and achievements (sending all 12 kids to college) is one you won't soon forget.
And then of course, there are cookbooks. If I had to pick one person in this world who I wish was my neighbor it would be Libbie Summers of Savannah. She routinely makes me smile wide with her cleverness, resourcefulness and adorability factor, all of which she has in spades. A talented chef and baker, I loved reading her Favorite Cookbooks of 2016 on her own blog recently and she was gracious enough to allow me to share them too. From top left:
Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Farm
The Edna Lewis Cookbook
Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes.
The Short Stack Cookbook
Dinner At The Long Table
Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking
Poole's: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner