Sunday, December 20, 2015

Great coffee table books for holiday gift giving

Still wondering what to get others for gifts this year? Here’s some book ideas to get you started.
World traveling photographer Bernard Hermann visited New Orleans in 1979 for what he thought would be a brief sojourn. He became so enamored with the city and African American culture that he remained until 1982. Those photographs make up an incredible new book titled “The Good Times Rolled: Black New Orleans, 1979-1982.”
The coffee table tome is an assemblage of black and white images that include New Orleans musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, the religious, working class men and women, residents attending funerals — even men in prison. The photos are haunting, joyous, sensitive, thought-provoking and overall gorgeous in detail. The book blew me away.
For the hunter in your life, Louisiana storyteller, inventor and master turkey hunter Kenny Morgan is honored in a gorgeous coffee table book, “America, Wild Turkeys & Mongrel Dogs: Life Lessons from a Hunting Master.” He and his wife, Sally Stuart Morgan, began a cottage business titled Morgan’s Turkey Callers that sold turkey callers, videos and books. Sally Morgan published this book posthumously, following Kenny’s death, and it features a heartfelt collection of essays centered around hunting, ones that should leave the reader with helpful tips from a master hunter whose legacy remains.
Another gorgeous book any booklover would be thrilled to receive, especially if they hail from New Orleans, is “Longue Vue House and Gardens” by Charles Davey and Carol McMichael Reese. The book details the history of this historic home in old Metairie built by architect William Platt and enhanced by landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman for Edgar and Edith Stern. The exquisite house and gardens was opened to the public for viewing in 1964.
Naturally, the book is filled with photos of the expansive house and eight acres of gardens, but includes architectural and landscape drawings, the fascinating biographies of the Sterns and the contributions of Platt and Shipman. Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, writes the foreword.