Six Must-Reads for January

Dozens of books cross Garden & Gun editors’ desks each week. Here are a handful of out-in-January titles that we can’t wait to take home and read

The Afterlives: A Novel
by Thomas Pierce
January 9, Riverhead Books

Get to know this South Carolina-born, Virginia-raised author, whose debut novel shows the same curiosity and creativity as his 2015 story collection, Hall of Small Mammals. The Afterlives follows Jim Byrd, who died, technically, for three minutes after a freak cardiac event. After his revival, the questions his “death” raised will both haunt you and make you laugh.

Buy on: Amazon | IndieBound

CRÆFT: An Inquiry into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts
by Alexander Langlands
January 2, W.W. Norton

We’re suckers for quality goods built by hand—as you can see from the Made in the South Awards and this recent piece on the College of the Building Arts in Charleston, South Carolina. This book, penned by a British archeologist, delivers an in-depth look at how traditional crafts and skills such as keeping bees, tanning hides, and spinning wool have shaped our sense of place.

Buy on: Amazon | IndieBound

Great British Pub Dogs: From Dachshunds to Great Danes, the Canine Residents of Britain’s Pubs
by Paul Fleckney, Abbie Lucas
January 9, Robinson

Rita, an English Bulldog, has found a special spot at the bar she watches over in Kent—the cool air vent next to the fridge. With charming photography and short biographies, this coffee-table book introduces a couple dozen good dogs earning their keep at watering holes across the pond.

Buy on: Amazon | IndieBound

Photo: Courtesy of the Publisher

Pearl, one of the pub dogs featured.

Robicheaux: A Novel
by James Lee Burke
January 2, Simon & Schuster

Anything new from James Lee Burke moves to the top of our bedside table pile—and doesn’t stay there long. Another page-turner from the Gulf Coast-raised writer, Robicheaux brings back Burke’s popular character, Dave Robicheaux, for a gritty mystery set in the backwoods of Louisiana.

Buy on: Amazon | IndieBound

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook: Funeral Foods with a Twist
by Perre Coleman Magness
January 16, Countryman Press

Grieving equals cooking for many Southerners. More practical and fun than grim, this is the essential cookbook for those wanting to help the bereaved, feed a congregation, deliver a meal to a friend in need, and serve up the comforting casseroles, biscuits, fried chicken, and a chocolatey Jack Daniel’s & Coca-Cola sheet cake that will make mourners think they’ve—ahem—gone to heaven.

Buy on: Amazon | IndieBound

St. EOM in the Land of Pasaquan: The Life and Times and Art of Eddie Owens Martin
As told by Tom Patterson
January 15, UGA Press

A true Southern original, outsider artist Eddie Owens Martin built a seven-acre six-building complex of psychedelic folk art in Marion County, Georgia, in the 1950s. Thirty years after his death, the University of Georgia Press is reviving and re-releasing this photo-heavy title to continue his legacy.

Buy on: Amazon | IndieBound