Arts & Culture

A March Reading List

Springtime brings a crop of fresh cookbooks and new novels, plus beautiful coffee table tomes

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings
By Sally Mann
March 27, Abrams
The first major career survey of work by renowned Virginia-based photographer Sally Mann, this book of portraiture, ghostly still life, and atmospheric landscapes deserves a place of honor on every Southern photography lover’s coffee table.

Audubon’s Last Wilderness Journey: The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America 
Introduction by Ron Tyler, Edited by Charles T. Butler

March 26, D Giles Ltd with Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University
For years, the armadillo eluded John James Audubon, so he sent his son John to Texas to find one. It was one of the final creatures needed for the famous naturalist’s last work, which became one of the most significant color plate books ever compiled in the United States. This collection reproduces all one hundred and fifty original lithographic prints of squirrels, deer, bear, and yes, that feisty armadillo.

Appreciating Oysters: An Eater’s Guide to Craft Oysters from Tide to Table
Dana Deskiewicz

March 13, Countryman
Learn the difference between a Sweet Jesus and a Murder Point oyster, and glean tasting notes and suggested drink pairings in this variety-by-variety guide to the bivalves listed on menus across the country. Bonus: The author shares a primer on Southern oysters here.

Gator: My Life in Pinstripes
By Ron Guidry, with Andrew Beaton

March 20, Crown Archetype
Before he was the best pitcher in the American League in the 1970s, Ron Guidry was a kid from Lafayette, Louisiana, and a two-year letterman with the Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. His teammates dubbed him “Louisiana Lightning” and “Gator,” and in this book, Guidry tells the full story of his time in Yankee uniform.

India Hicks: A Slice of England
By India Hicks, foreword by Carolina Herrera

March 20, Rizzoli
Designer India Hicks, who lives primarily on Harbour Island in the Bahamas, shares, for the first time, a complete look at her home in the English countryside and the houses of her childhood growing up among British and design royalty—plus her father David Hicks’s luscious garden.

Flannery O’Connor and Robert Giroux: A Publishing Partnership
By Patrick Samway, S.J.

March 30, University of Notre Dame Press
Behind nearly every great writer is a hardworking, sensitive editor. This deeply personal book explores, through letters, the relationship between Flannery O’Connor and her editor, Robert Giroux, who guided her path to becoming one of America’s greatest fiction writers. The exchange is especially poignant during the late 1950s and early 1960s when O’Connor suffered from lupus at her home in Milledgeville, Georgia.

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

By Anthony Ray Hinton, with Lara Love Hardin

March 27, St. Martin’s Press
A powerful memoir of a poor man from Alabama who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit, this book elicits anger, compassion, and—ultimately—hope. Anthony Ray Hinton never lost sight of the truth that eventually set him free.

Ray Booth: Evocative Interiors

By Ray Booth and Judith Nasatir, foreword by Bobby McAlpine

March 27, Rizzoli
The debut monograph from Alabama-born designer Ray Booth shares his modern, elegant interiors in Nashville, Palm Beach, Louisiana, and Texas, with a foreword by Bobby McAlpine (Booth is a partner at the prestigious McAlpine firm). Booth also shares photos and details on his own Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced Nashville home.

Three new Southern cookbooks:

For the Love of the South: Recipes and Stories from My Southern Kitchen (March 13, Harper Design) by the Nashville-based blogger Amber Wilson is a beautifully photographed love song to updated Southern classics like ambrosia salad and lady peas.



Charming watercolors illustrate gardener and Knoxville, Tennessee-based author John Tullock’s new book, Appalachian Cooking: New & Traditional Recipes (March 20, Countryman) with guides to classics (fried green tomatoes) and riffs on tradition (sweet onion upside-down corn bread).


Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen (March 20, Gibbs Smith) by Kevin Belton and Rhonda Findley shares the television cooking show host’s favorites including crawfish pie, duck and andouille gumbo, and (just in time for awards-show season) this bacon and creole seasoned skillet popcorn.

And don’t miss a handful of new novels, all dealing with the love and complications of family:


G&G contributing editor Jonathan Miles’s Anatomy of a Miracle (March 13, Hogarth) is an intense, profound story of a veteran who walks again—and the ins and outs of how people, including his protective sister, interpret his “miracle.” Miles will stop in for a reading and signing at the Garden & Gun offices in Charleston on March 26.


Everyone Knows You Go Home
(March 13, Little A) by Natalia Sylvester is a Texas-set novel about a Mexican American family that shows how grief can fray the borders of love. Yes, the past informs the present, but forgiveness has the power to change lives forever.



Garden & Gun
contributor Taylor Brown releases his third novel, Gods of Howl Mountain (March 20, St. Martin’s Press), marked by the high notes of scrappy Appalachian noir—bootleg whiskey, stock-car racing, snake-handling pastors, and dark family secrets.


Let’s No One Get Hurt
(March 20, FSG) is the new novel out from Virginia-based poet and writer Jon Pineda that contrasts Huck Finn-adventure romps against a brooding rural South.




Another title with the landscape acting like a character itself, The Fighter (March 20, Little, Brown) is Mississippi writer Michael Farris Smith’s latest, set in the Delta and starring Jack, a bare-knuckle boxer with a past that keeps playing knockout.