Book Review and Giveaway: Stealing Magnolias

Stealing Magnolias pg68

When Glitterati Inc. first contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing their latest book, Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver, I was thrilled to learn that it was essentially a love letter to the magical city of New Orleans. You see, I’ve had New Orleans on my mind since visiting back in June. New Orleans is the type of city that penetrates your psyche and whether you realize it or not, you always take a little piece of it back home with you. Intrigued, I agreed to review the book and read it from cover to cover in about an hour. The images are stunning! You may remember the home of Debra Shriver from a spread in House Beautiful. However, as gorgeous as the images are, Shriver’s prose, the way in which she describes having New Orleans cast its spell over her and finding her forever home in the Crescent City is enthralling.


The book explores how Shriver and her husband were captivated by the allure of New Orleans on their frequent visits. Eventually, they decided to purchase a home in the Vieux CarrĂ© two months after Hurricane Katrina. Shriver describes the home’s storied past and it’s transformation into a gorgeous home filled with macaron-inspired colors worthy of a memorable spread in House Beautiful.

Stealing Magnolias pg7

Shriver also delves into some of New Orleans most iconic topics: Creole and Cajun food, Mardi Gras, southern entertaining, voodoo and the dark side of the city, the history of monograms in New Orleans Culture, The French influence in New Orleans, and of course, a little lagniappe.

This is quite possibly my favorite quote from the book and the best way to sum up the mystique of this beautiful, old city: “I am always dreaming of New Orleans, both in my sleeping ‘travels’ and in my waking hours. Yet, with all my preoccupation with this three-hundred year old city, it is nearly impossible to isolate her, to try to break her ‘mojo’. The old city is at once exotic and familiar, cool and hot, scrappy and elegant, friendly and even dangerous. Her contradictions draw you in, and then, one by one, dominate your senses. Sight, sound, scent, and taste collude and conspire to captivate.”

{A Few More Images of Shriver’s Home via House Beautiful}

{The Garconniere}

{The kitchen with it’s iconic banana leaf wallpaper opens onto a courtyard.}

{The home pays homage to the history of New Orleans along with many local jazz musicians. Shriver’s dogs are even named Louis and Ella.}

giveaway details

The generous people at Glitterati Inc have agreed to give away a copy of this beautiful book to one lucky La Dolce Vita reader!

1. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you love most about New Orleans.

2. Leave ONE comment on this post between today, Thursday, December 23, 2010 and Thursday, December 30, 2010. A winner will be announced on Friday, December 31, 2010.

For  Extra Entries:

3. Follow La Dolce Vita on Facebook.

4. Post about this giveaway on Twitter with a link to this blog post for another entry (follow La Dolce Vita on twitter in order to show me your tweet). It is up to you to return to this post to enter your additional entry after tweeting about the giveaway.

5. Anonymous entries will be ignored, so please include your e-mail in your comment. Your e-mail address will never be used for anything other than to notify you if you are the winner.

Good luck, everyone!

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