Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Give Mississippi for Christmas! (copy)

Have you thought of giving Mississippi books as holiday gifts? I was thumbing through the University of Mississippi Press (UPM) catalog and thought the holiday selections would make perfect gifts for my friends.

The first selection is Occasions: Selected Writings of Eudora Welty compiled by Pearl Amelia McHaney. Associate professor McHaney thought it would be nice to collect rare works by the author for her centennial birthday. Articles such as her earliest story, “Acrobats in the Park,” and humor pieces such as “Women!! Make Turban in Own Home!” fill pages with pieces only found within archives. This book promises any Welty fan a new perspective on her genius.

Second selection is Highway 51: Mississippi Hill Country by Gloria Norris. I talked about this excellent coffee-table book a couple of weeks ago, but as a reminder it does depict locals having fun or working along our most beloved thoroughfare.

Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden by Norman Winter is third in the suggestions. As always, Mr. Winter provides stunning color photographs and audacious mixtures that make any gardener salivate. Only he could mix chili peppers with a bed of red petunias. In a section titled, “Butterfly and Hummingbird,” Winter captures a scene from Pine Mountain, Ga. where orange cosmos and lantana blend beautifully to attract butterflies. If anyone is interested – hubby pay attention – I would love this for Christmas!

One of the last selections is a remake of the 1972 Mississippi Cookbook. Here is your chance to give a batter and splatter free copy to your favorite cook. The history of the book states, “Over 7,000 recipes were collected from all areas of the state. From this total, the home economists of the state Cooperative Extension Service had the painfully difficult task of screening the amount down to the 1,200 best recipes.” Martha Hall Foose updates the forward in this must have tome.


My pick, which is also published by UPM but not included in the holiday list, is Lost Plantations of the South by Marc R. Matrana. Eight chapters are dedicated to the glorious past of architecture in this one of a kind book. Mississippi’s lost treasures are found in chapter six such as familiar Longwood outside of Natchez and Windsor south of Port Gibson. Readers will also encounter Goat Castle, Brierfield, Hurricane, Prairie Mont, Malmaison, and Homewood plantations. Imagine my excitement opening this present – um, hubby – Christmas morning.

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