Saturday, January 1, 2011


....................Tales From A New Orleans Courtyard

I've visited New Orleans a few times, all before Hurricane Katrina, each memorable for different reasons.  After reading this stunning, recently published book, I long to return.  When given the chance to review Stealing Magnolias I was definitely excited.  Given a brief description of content, it piqued my curiosity immediately..........the city, the history, the customs, the music, the people, the food, and of course the French influence on decor.

Debra Shriver and her husband, after spending a lot of time away from their New York home vacationing and visiting with friends they had made in New Orleans, looked for, and found, their dream home. Three weeks after deciding to purchase the beautiful 1850's Greek Revival house, Katrina hit and much of the city was underwater.  They stayed, and eventually were able to decorate the house.  Many of the photographs in this book show Debra's beautiful interiors, she also describes how she picked colors, chose furnishings and brought life and color back into the elegant rooms.

This is not just another pretty to look at coffee table book.  This is a definitive history of a magical American city.  The author takes you on a tour through the many neighborhoods, sharing her 'Address Book' of places to eat, shop, stay, visit etc.  She explains the secrets of Mardi Gras, that intoxicating Carnival with lavish costumes, masked balls, street parades, beating drums.  A chapter on the intricacies of the monogram which, in the South as in France, has endured as a classic element of design on linens, makes us aware that even a family without a crest can have a monogram!

In Debra's chapter on food, Recipes & Rituals, it doesn't take long before your mouth is watering and you want to head for your kitchen to try concocting some of the delicacies known only in New Orleans. How about Cheddar biscuits with Gulf Shrimp and Creole Meuniere Sauce, Crab Pots de Creme, Banana Pudding Trifle, all while sipping delicate flutes of Kumquat Champagne Cocktail, delicious!  I loved the description of her favorite gatherings, small, informal progressive suppers, walking from house to house through the French Quarter and stopping to enjoy each course prepared by a different neighbor - something I may consider organizing in my own cul-de-sac on a warm spring evening!

Once you have this beautiful book, Stealing Magnolias, in your hands, find a comfortable place, sit down, put your feet up, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, perhaps a New Orleans style cafe au lait like this.........and spend some time getting to know New Orleans, the Paris of America.  Rest assured you'll want to take a trip there, no passport required.  This beautifully written book, full of gorgeous photographs and interesting quotes, will be one you'll want to return to often.  

To purchase Debra's book go here:
Publisher Glitterati, Inc.
Innovative producer and publisher of books.

All images from STEALING MAGNOLIAS by Debra Shriver
Copyright 2010, published by Glitterati Inc.


  1. It makes me want to take a holiday to New Orleans just to do the research with this book!

  2. Mary, thank you for sharing this exciting new book. I'm going to order a copy tomorrow. It sounds like the perfect gift for one of my dear friends.
    Happy 2011 to you, dear friend. ~ Sarah

  3. I just found your very lovely blog. This book sounds absolutely fantastic! Love the pictures. I will be back ~ you can bet on it!

  4. That sounds very intriguing Mary.I'll have to look for it. Love New Orleans. Have a great day.

  5. It sounds like an absolutely wonderful book, Mary. Gorgeous interiors, wonderful food...I've never been to New Orleans, but my husband went there about 2 years ago to work on a film and fell in love with it. Thanks for this wonderful review and Happy New Year, my friend.


  6. it sounds like a wonderful book mary. something great to read while i am recouping.
    happy new year...

  7. Mary, thank you for sharing this wonderful book with us! Those pictures are just beautiful! My daughter and her husband went to New Orleans after Katrina, I think 2 yrs. ago and they want to go back-they loved it!

  8. The colours used in that lovely book are fabulous! So tasteful. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I adore New Orleans; haven't been since the February before Katrina. Bob and I are hoping to travel there's on the list!

    Happy New Year to you and Bob and of course lovely Jasmin!

  10. It has been a long time since I have been in New Orleans, you are tempting me to put this once again on my list. Beautiful book, color, and enticements.

  11. I am ready for New Orleans this year, The book sounds great. Happy New year.


  12. Sounds wonderful Mary. I have been wanting to go back there for quite a while and just really visit. I'll have to put it in on the list which just keeps getting longer!
    Take Care,


I would enjoy reading your comment - thanks so much for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...