If you love Music City, this book belongs on your coffee table

Heidi Ross

If Nashville occupies a special place in your heart, we have a book for your holiday wish list. (Or your gifting list—we know more than a few Southerners who would be glad to find this one under the tree.) The book is Nashville: Scenes from the New American South, a photographic exploration of contemporary Music City, from its neighborhood characters, chefs, and artists to its bridges, street art, and billboards papered with the faces of country music legends.

Nashville: Scenes from the New American South has text by Ann Patchett, photographs by Heidi Ross, and an introduction by Jon Meacham. It’s filled with 175 photographs and accompanying narrative captions leading you, page by page, through the city. The scenes are peopled with the dynamic community of artists, makers, and local legends who call it home. The book celebrates Nashville and Nashvillians in interesting spots around town, including Germantown, The Gulch, the Grand Ole Opry, Prince’s Hot Chicken, and Third Man Records. You’re sure to recognize street corners, landmarks, and faces on every page. It’s a visual immersion into a changing city, one that holds an outsize place in our cultural imagination.

Want recommendations? Musicians have a lot to say about this one: John Prine calls it “A great book about a great city.” Chris Thile muses, “This book reminds me, in the sweetest way possible, that I probably should have never left Nashville.” Describing the impetus for the book, Gillian Welch says, “This has been a time of such great change for Nashville that I think we are all very curious to see who we are now.” Take a look for yourself: You can find Nashville: Scenes from the New American South at your hometown bookstore. You can also search for the book on IndieBound to buy it from at an independent bookstore near you.

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What books will you be giving—and hoping to receive—this holiday season?