Array Magazine

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South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures of My Native Land

Suzanne Kasler: Sophisticated Simplicity

Julia Reed St. Martin’s Press July 2018 256 pages $25.99

Suzanne Kasler and Judith Nasitir Rizzoli September 2018 304 pages $55

Irreverent, funny and a master at spinning a story, Southern humorist Julia Reed chronicles her new tales in the book South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land. Whether it’s shining a light on the Delta Hot Tamale Festival or the livestock of the rich and famous, the Mississippi Delta-born author nails the history, proclivities, pleasures, and often absurdities of life in the South. Southern life is also told through the lens of her favorite subject—food and drink (her chapter “Make Mine a Scotch” is a classic) along with personal anecdotes of life in the South that for her includes cocktails parties, hunting, and fishing.

Atlanta-based designer Suzanne Kasler’s penchant for signature interiors that marry traditional and contemporary and casual elegance are the basis of her third book Suzanne Kasler: Sophisticated Simplicity. Her past two books— Timeless Style and Inspired Interiors—were bestsellers and her signature lines with Hickory Chair, Lee Jofa, Visual Comfort, SoicherMarin, and Ballard Designs have garnered a big following across the country. The multi-faceted designer’s edited approach to design has earned her a coveted spot on AD’s 100 and Elle Décor’s A-List.

Reed’s former books Queen of the Turtle Derby, But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria! and Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns and Other Southern Specialties have become classics, and her Garden & Gun magazine column “The High & The Low” leave readers wanting more. Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian (and fellow Southerner) Jon Meacham pens the book’s foreword.


In the pages of her new book, Kasler shares her secrets for timeless and well planned interiors reflecting her motto, “a room should be collected, not decorated.” The fundamentals of room arrangement, color palettes, and how to organize guest areas and outdoor spaces are illustrated through town, country, and coastal spaces. The book is a welcome addition to any design library.

Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love and Baking Biscuits Reese Witherspoon St. Martin’s Press September 2018 304 pages $35

Dream Design Live

Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon is quickly becoming the Ambassador of the South. With a Southern clothing line (Draper James), roots in New Orleans and Nashville and films that play a homage to her homeland (Sweet Home Alabama, Walk the Line and The Man in the Moon), she now adds Southern author to the mix.

Fans of Dallas decorator and La Dolce Vita blogger extraordinaire Paloma Contreras will no doubt rejoice with the publication of her first book Dream Design Live. While they say don’t judge a book by its cover, when it comes to interiors, her sensational show-stopping cover is just the tip of the iceberg.

Her new book Whiskey in a Teacup: Growing up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love and Baking Biscuits says it all. Professing that being Southern is “like a pair of slippers that I put on when I’m at home,” the book is filled with advice from her grandmother Dorothea who noted, “it was a combination of beauty and strength that made Southern women whiskey in a teacup.” The book covers topics and the how-tos of entertaining, decorating, and holidays with a few Southern recipes thrown in for good measure. A lover of gingham, monogramming (“if it’s not moving, monogram it”) and the creature comforts of down-home living are on full display in this charming book.

Paloma Contreras Abrams Books September 2018 240 pages $35

Contreras takes the reader on a journey of the design process from how to turn your dreams into realities, designing welcoming and meaningful spaces and above all, accessible and comfortable rooms for living. As the author notes, “great design all begins with a happy and satisfying life at home.” A one-time Spanish teacher, the book is both a lavish design tome and personal journey as well as practical advice from design giants such as Kelly Wearstler, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and Alexa Hampton.

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