Mark Twain said, “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” A good book for Christmas is a great way to help your loved ones live an ideal life. Last week we discussed great books for the young readers. Now, let’s see what Parnassus has in shop that would make a perfect gift this Holiday Season. *Descriptions from Parnassus Books*
One: Nashville: Scenes from the New American South (Hardcover)
Nashville: Scenes from the New American South beautifully captures my home city of Nashville in this exciting moment of change and growth.— AL GORE
This book is excruciatingly gorgeous. Every page makes me homesick. —CONNIE BRITTON
A great book about a great city.— JOHN PRINE
This has been a time of such great change for Nashville that I think we are all very curious to see who we are now.— GILLIAN WELCH
This book reminds me, in the sweetest way possible, that I probably should have never left Nashville.— CHRIS THILE
Introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Jon Meacham
A dynamic, experiential, and intimate portrait that explores the many sides of the legendary Southern city and country music capital, from award-winning writers Ann Patchett, Jon Meacham, and acclaimed photographer Heidi Ross.
Nashville is a creative collaboration that awakens the senses, providing a virtual immersion in this unique American city hailed as the Athens of the South. Patchett, Ross, and Meacham in his introduction, at once capture both the city’s iconic historical side—its deep, rich Southern roots, from its food and festivals to its famous venues, recording studios, and style—and its edgier, highly vibrant creative side, which has made it a modern cultural mecca increasingly populated by established and upcoming artists in art, film, and music.
Nashville celebrates Nashvillians’ beloved locales and events, both established and new, that are the heart of the city’s character including:
- Bobbie’s Dairy Dip
- Cumberland River
- Buchanan Arts District
- Bolton’s Chicken and Fish
- East Nashville Tomato Arts Festival
- The Gulch
- Grand Ole Opry
- Pie Town (SoBro)
- Pride Festival
- Prince’s Hot Chicken
- Schermerhorn Symphony Center
- Stanley Cup Playoffs
- Tennessee Performing Arts Center
- Tennessee State Fair
- Third Man Records
- WXNA Independent Radio
Here, too, are engaging vignettes spotlighting the diverse talent that makes the Tennessee city a significant cultural incubator and influencer, including singer-songwriters Marty Stuart, Gillian Welch, and Dave Rawlings; film director Harmony Korine, textile designer Andra Eggleston, country music fashion designer to the stars Manuel, chef Margot McCormack, acclaimed pastry chef Lisa Donovan, and model and musician Karen Elson.
Blending exceptional narrative, evocative photography—including 175 black-and-white and color photographs—and a bold graphic design, Nashville is an intimate, textured panorama that brilliantly illuminates one of America’s most remarkable treasures.
Two: Homecoming: Shafer’s Tale of Lost and Found (Hardcover)
OK, it’s a kids book but it’s local and this one is perfect for the 2nd to 5th grade readers or just a dog lover. You know, like Parnassus books whole staff.
“On a dark fall evening, the family dog Shafer is enjoying a ride in the car when he suddenly finds himself stunned and on the ground while the family car disappears without him. Frightened and thinking he is all alone, he discovers that his woodland friends – Shamir the Deer, Sherlock the Hawk, Myrtle D. Turtle and Howell the Owl – are there to help him. Meanwhile, Shafer’s mom and dad have their friends and a very special tracking dog named Harper to help them find Shafer. Based on a true story, Homecoming: Shafer’s Tale of Lost and Found is a heartwarming story of a lost dog, a family determined to find him, and the meaning of home and family.”
Three: You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir (Hardcover)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like talk to Parker Posey? On an airplane, with Parker as your seat companion, perhaps? Parker’s irreverent, hilarious, and enchanting memoir gives you the opportunity. Full of personal stories, whimsical how-tos, recipes, and beautiful handmade collages created by the author herself, You’re On an Airplane is a delight in every way.
In her first book, actress and star of movies such as Dazed and Confused, Party Girl, You’ve Got Mail, The House of Yes, and so many more, Posey opens up about the art of acting, life on the set, and the realities of its accompanying fame. A funny and colorful southern childhood prepared Posey for a life of creating and entertaining, which not only extends to acting but to the craft of pottery, sewing, collage, yoga, and cooking, all of which readers will find in this whimsical, hilarious, always entertaining book. Parker takes us into her childhood home, behind the scenes of the indie film revolution in the 90s, the delightful absurdity of the big-budget genre thrillers she’s turned into art in a whole new way, and the creativity that will always be part of both her acting and her personal life.
With Posey’s memorable, hilarious, and poignant voice, her book gives the reader a feeling of traveling through not only a memoir, but an exploration, meditation, and celebration of what it means to be an artist. Buckle up and enjoy the journey.
Four: Becoming (Hardcover) by Michelle Obama
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Five: Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits (Hardcover)
Academy Award–winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon invites you into her world, where she infuses the southern style, parties, and traditions she loves with contemporary flair and charm.
Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery.
Reese’s southern heritage informs her whole life, and she loves sharing the joys of southern living with practically everyone she meets. She takes the South wherever she goes with bluegrass, big holiday parties, and plenty of Dorothea’s fried chicken. It’s reflected in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids—not to mention how she talks, dances, and does her hair (in these pages, you will learn Reese’s fail-proof, only slightly insane hot-roller technique). Reese loves sharing Dorothea’s most delicious recipes as well as her favorite southern traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks.
It’s easy to bring a little bit of Reese’s world into your home, no matter where you live. After all, there’s a southern side to every place in the world, right?
Hopefully this gives you enough ideas for the readers in your family this holiday season. One of our favorite things giving a fresh new book and these new books are instant classics. Don’t take it from us, ask the folks at Parnassus!