A Well-Read Holiday

From food to design, a book for every taste

By William Irvine

A selection of great new titles for anyone on your gift list:

Wrightsville Beach: The Luminous Island, by Ray McAllister (John F. Blair, $23) The 10th anniversary edition of this fascinating and essential book, which won an award from the North Carolina Society of Historians.

The Last Castle, by Denise Kiernan (Touchstone, $28) This riveting history of the Vanderbilts and Biltmore is like time travel to the Gilded Age.

The Comfort Food Diaries, by Emily Nunn (Atria Books, $26) A former New Yorker editor’s beautiful, heartbreaking story of love, loss and coming to terms with her dysfunctional Southern family is interwoven with terrific recipes.

The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South, by John T. Edge (Penguin Press, $28) A richly textured history of the food and culture of the South by the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

How They Decorated, by P. Gaye Tapp (Rizzoli, $55) Tapp looks at 17 icons of style — from fashion designer Pauline Trigère to artist Georgia O’Keeffe — and their elegant way of life.

North Carolina’s Barrier Islands: Wonders of Sand, Sea and Sky, by David Blevins (UNC Press, $35) Blevins’s stunning photographs capture the beautiful diversity of the North Carolina coast.

Reynolda: Her Muses, Her Stories, by David Park Curry and Martha R. Severens (UNC Press, $60) A beautiful new volume — part history, part memoir — celebrates the 50th anniversary of Reynolda House Museum of American Art.

Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites, by Deb Perelman (Knopf/Doubleday, $35) A relaxed approach to family dinner with delicious recipes from the noted blogger and cookbook author.

Private Italian Gardens, by Paolo Pejrone (Rizzoli, $45) Thirteen spectacular gardens from the Piedmont to the Italian Riviera by renowned Italian landscape designer Paolo Pejrone.

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