Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stealing Magnolias

Here's the deal. I get an e-mail one morning asking me if I have read the new book Stealing Magnolias Tales From A New Orleans Courtyard, by Debra Shriver HERE
I answer, no, but I would love to.
The reply comes back: Where can we send you a book?

The French Quarter home of Debra Shriver
All the interior images are of her home via House Beautiful

Sometimes bloggers get asked to read and review books, and I just love to do this. So the next day via Fedex this lovely book appears on my doorstep. It's a luscious coffee table size book, with a retail price of $60. It is published by Glitterati and it's about New Orleans. I am in heaven.

As I leaf through the beautiful pages, I am sure I have seen some of these images before, and lo and behold they are different versions of an editorial in House Beautiful entitled "A Fabulously Feminine New Orleans home" HERE

The silhouettes on the shelves are of Debra and her husband
They had them made by a street artist in Paris

The interior design is by Hal Williamson, and the fabulously feminine owner of the home is described but never named. Now I know who she is! It's Debra Shriver the author of Stealing Magnolias.

As much as I love the editorial in House Beautiful, I love this book a zillion times more!

Debra and I share similarities. We are both New Yorkers who love New Orleans, and who now call it home. She lives in the French Quarter, and I lived in the French Quarter for the first fourteen months of my new life in New Orleans. She is a high powered business woman who has pretty much given up that life for New Orleans, and I was a high octane business woman who left New York and ended up finding my soul and self again in New Orleans. The back cover author photo shows a smiling blond, and ahem, I am a blond who smiles. Where does she end and where do I begin?

Seriously, Stealing Magnolias is a book I wish I had written about New Orleans, and perhaps it is the book I have been dreaming of doing. It is a wonderful gumbo of a book, combining interior design, cooking, New Orleans history, local customs, and all the wonderful things that make a powerful mojo voodoo charm that has made many a person move here and get lost in the layers that make up New Orleans.

image via Debra Shriver

Debra makes the Paris connection to New Orleans come alive in the most charming ways. She talks about day to day Parisian life style quirks commonly shared by the inhabitants of Nouvelle Orleans. Her home has trinkets and treasures brought back from Paris, fitting in perfectly in her French Quarter digs .

image via Debra Shriver

There is wonderful amount of information about the back stories and customs here in New Orleans that are just priceless. Debra's writing style is enticing and she draws you in with one heady description after another.

image via Debra Shriver

There is "Proust" style questionnaire like the one found at the back of Vanity Fair magazine that would be fun for you to take.

image via Debra Shriver

Here are my answers:

  • Occupation: Stylist, decorator, blogger, writer, tango dancer and tango teacher
  • The best thing about the city (New Orleans) is: The people, the music, the food, the style
  • My favorite meal: Oysters
  • My favorite (New Orleans) cocktail: Kumquat Champagne Cocktail
  • New Orleans is the only place in the world where: People say hello to you on the street
  • My favorite neighborhood: Every neighborhood in New Orleans, grand or humble has its beauty
  • The city's most marked characteristics are: The pursuit of pleasure
  • My favorite New Orleanian is: Miss Anne
  • If I had one free hour (in New Orleans) I would spend it: At Galatoires
  • My one New Orleans obsession is: Its beauty
  • I knew the spell of the city had been cast upon me when: New Orleans chose me to live here, by making the choice and transition effortless.

image via Debra Shriver

Buy this book. For yourself. For a friend. It is just one of those stunning volumes that come along once in awhile. Debra uses the best of the best writers and photographers and artists to enhance her book.

image via Debra Shriver

I have about every pretty picture book ever written about New Orleans and Stealing Magnolias stands out and above them all.

image via Debra Shriver

I plan to get several copies to give out as gifts, especially to people who still sometimes ask me why on earth I would want to live in New Orleans.

image via Debra Shriver

Stealing Magnolias is the book I wanted Vicki Archer and Carla Coulson to do, a sort of My French Life In New Orleans HERE
I wanted to co-write it with them.
I thank Debra Shriver for putting her New Orleans book first on her to-do list.

image via Debra Shriver

Meet Debra Shriver at a book signing and reading of Stealing Magnolias on November 27, 1 - 3 PM, at Garden District Books, 2727 Prytania Street, New Orleans. Tell her the Vamp sent you.


helen tilston said...

Beautiful post. You are tempting me to visit New Orleans. I have never been but feel like I have from reading about this city and following your blog. I will visit one day soon but I am fearful also as I know it will keep calling me back. I love the book and will get it as a birthday gift for a friend who visit N.O with great frequency
Love your blog

pve design said...

I would gladly read your book! I will be waiting.
This looks like a wonderful gift to give and to receive!

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

This book looks like a must have for my collection. I've admired her home when I've seen glimpses of it on the internet. Even choosing a photo of her turquoise chest sitting against a lavender wall as my photo that best described my style when that question was asked a few months ago.

I think...no I know I would be very happy living in New Orleans. I've visited a few times but it's been awhile since I've been. This makes me wish I could move there. I love seeing glimpses of it through your blog.

Irene said...

I enjoy living in New Orleans through your post. It's doors are always opened to me through you. Thank You.

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Sounds like a great book! What a beautiful post...loved all the wonderful photos.

Anonymous said...

Bloggers with proven talent and good taste are the ones asked to review books.
Your modesty and fresh voice hide the incredible treasure you are to those who appreciate the finest things in life.

bricarwaller said...

Thank you for sharing the book images. I recently fell in love with New Orleans!! It reminds me so much of a European city. It is certainly a magical city, and I love that through your blog we get an interior view.

pretty pink tulips said...

I'm enthralled with this book and your beautiful review. There is something so "other worldly" about New Orleans and its occupants! It's a lifestyle, I think, that is so special.

Need this book!!! xoxo

Design in the Woods said...

Beautiful book! New Orleans is really a bit of Europe in America. Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

wow! this is the first house i have ever seen where someone got pink and green--rose and pistach?--right since venice.

even a man could live happily in these rooms. and the martinique wallpaper in the kitchen is genius (of course, i had it in my kitchen in 25 plaza, too, but not in that colorway)!

i guess i will invest my (as yet unearned) profits in a copy of mme shriver's tome.

aarf, etc! m


Sharon in Chicago said...

What a lucsious love letter to your city!!! Thank you for sharing both the book and your insights.

beki said...

that sounds like a book that i would love to read - it's going on my wish list!

My Notting Hill said...

Looks like a stand-out book. Love the image of the two carved birds- are they on a mirror? You should still write your book too. Also - thanks for the link to Woman's Day.

La Maison Fou said...

I cannot wait to pour through this one!
Lovely images and what a wonderful homage to New Orlans, proving style can be big & easy!

Hill House Ramblings said...

Oh my, I'm going to have to add this book to my list. What gorgeous rooms!

My husband has been wanting to go on an eating tour of New Orleans for quite some time now. As for myself, I've always been intrigued by the old world charm of New Orleans (and yes, the food is calling my name too!). Your blog makes me want to see this beautiful city even more. Wonderful post Valorie:)


Lila said...

Wow, what a connection. This woman has a beautiful home, obviously by a great designer. Clearly, she has written a great book! I need to check this out!
Lila Ferraro

Jan said...

Good review Valorie.
You must meet this lady (if you haven't already.)
And yes, write your own book.

La Petite Gallery said...

You have out done yourself. This is a fabulous post, I enjoyed everything. The book looks like a winner.. Thank you Valorie, for all the effort.

Scribbler said...

Looking forward to seeing this one -- you should know that that house is also featured in a book called The Southern Cosmopolitan, Sophisticated Southern Style by Susan Sully. The shot with the map in framed grid is the cover shot of the book. I knew as soon as I looked at your post that I, too, had seen those photos. I had forgotten about HB till you said so. This book contains many many stunning photos as well.


Melissa Rakowski said...

Wow! Will definitely buy the book!

Please stop by: http://colorandlightatelier.blogspot.com/

Mystica said...

Why wouldn't one want to live in New Orleans. Thank you for a beautiful post. You bring the city alive.

VictoriaArt said...

Oh, oh, oh, I have seen these pictures, I have ripped them out of a magazine, I posted on them early in my blog writing, I adore this home.
New Orleans is on top of my list to see here in USA.
Thank you for this lovely post, I have to get this book!

PS: Come and see please, have a look at my dining room chair/bench make-over! You are a DIY fan, you will like it!


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Sitting on the edge of my seat.

You make me want to KNOW Nola more intimately.

Sounds like a beauty of a book!

Anonymous said...
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Lauren said...

it looks beautiful!!!

my favorite and my best said...

well you certainly sold that book times a thousand.
they should at least give you a cut of the profits.
well done valorie.
the book looks charming.

Kwana said...

This is a luscious book and I would love a book by you. Yes!

All The Trappings said...

As a native Louisianian, I think that the common misnomer is that we are an all-over rural and agrarian state (thank you national media!). Little do people know, that there is this wild and incredible culture steeped in tradition that has existed for a couple hundred years, a cuisine that is second to none and a lexicon that makes most linguists' head spin--in a good way! Our people are fantastic and would do almost anything for each other. So friendly. The architecture is the icing on the cake! There is so much beauty here that if you have never experienced it, then you could never even fathom what it's like because is just simply, like a whole nutha world ;) So glad you found your way here, VV.

I cannot WAIT to get my hands on this book---it's looks spectacular!!!! Thank you for letting us know about it!! And thank you for writing up such a nice account of our wonderful state :)


jlonit said...

On your recommendation I recently read Julia Reed's "The House on First Street" which I loved. My mouth is watering at the thought of Debra Shriver's book.

24 Corners said...

The book is calling to me now thanks to your fabulous post! I recognized a few of the iamges from HB and was thrilled to see and learn more about them. New Orleans is such a visually stunning place...you are so fortunate! xo J~

Amanda Swann said...

Just found your blog and love it. You have a lot of really cool stuff on here!


The Cheeky Cafe

Amanda Swann said...

Just found your blog and love it. You have a lot of really cool stuff on here!


The Cheeky Cafe

La Petite Gallery said...

Magnificent post, love each room. There were so many things I would
love to have, That wall paper is ME.
Not in Maine, I had it in Florida and still love it. Thanks for the tip,
Loved this post. yvonne