Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage R6 Siege Outdoor Deals on bgg

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars12
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:$42.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
My first meeting with Debra Shriver tested my sense of reality. As the chief communications officer for Hearst, she had the big office on a high floor. She had the clean desk I always associate with the truly powerful. And there were pictures of Deb with the mighty.

But her professionalism seemed to go only as far as was absolutely necessary. Deb's hair was too short to be spiky, and it was unclear to me how much was blonde and how much was white. She didn't power-dress. And almost every surface not devoted to Hearst was covered with personal photographs and souvenirs from her travels, artifacts from her Southern heritage, mementos from an earlier stage in her career.

Slowly, I got it: Debra Shriver's an... original.

I've come to know Deb better since then, both in her Hearst role and as a neighbor, and I think I'm a reliable witness here: She's smart, incisive, supportive --- and, unlike so many people with ever bigger titles and ever smaller minds, she gets the joke.

One problem: she disappeared.

Not exactly disappeared. But starting a few years ago, I never saw her and her husband walking their dogs on weekends --- the Shrivers had decamped to New Orleans.

She still has the big office. But every spare minute is now spent in New Orleans, where --- three weeks after Katrina --- the Shrivers bought a house.

And what a house! It's not the centerpiece of "Stealing Magnolias: Tales from a New Orleans Courtyard." But the photographs that dot her beautiful --- and beautifully art-directed --- book testify to a rare kind of taste: personal, thoughtful, and not at all "fancy."

Yes, a decorator was involved, but Deb clearly drove the bus. And that sure sense of direction can be found in her account of her love affair with New Orleans and, more to the point, her New Orleans.

Although Shriver was born in Alabama, settling in New Orleans represents a kind of coming home after seeing every chic city in the world, going to all the cool parties, meeting all the powerful people.

But that's not the whole story.

New Orleans --- a city of contrasts, a city both elegant and vulgar, "Europe with heat" --- wasn't her final destination. She met the place head-on, then edited it so it formed a personal refuge.

Who chooses a "dream house" in a city "that's eighty percent underwater?" Easy: someone who buys most of a bin of silk tassels in a Paris hardware store --- and uses them as the starting point for the decoration of her New Orleans house. Someone who has any number of upstairs bedrooms that have been repurposed so guests can't stay with her. Someone who appreciates monogrammed linen, adds kumquats and Cointreau to her champagne, buys "Red Brick Dust" at the voodoo shop.

Touring suggestions, decorating ideas, recipes, photographs far too artistic for a book about a city, and, linking them all, Deb Shriver's gossamer prose --- "Stealing Magnolias" is hallucinatory in its appeal. It's worth the loss of the chats we used to have on upper Madison Avenue for the world to have this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2010
An elegantly written, gloriously photographed, yet down-to-earth view of the special pull of New Orleans. Best to be there for a visit, but if you can't, the food, music, architecture, and voodoo are still to be had in Debra Shriver's "Stealing Magnolias." A southern girl who made it big in the urban east, Ms. Shriver's heart has long been in New Orleans, so she and her husband Jerry bought their home on Dumaine Street three weeks after Katrina as part of their own contribution to bringing this magical city back. Far better than a guidebook at giving you the sights and smells of a one-of-a-kind metropolis.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2011
Every now and then, one is fortunate enough to find the perfect book to give as a gift.......after thoroughly enjoying it oneself!
Debra Shriver's beautifully photographed book shares interiors of her lovely home along with the history, customs, music, people, food, and of course the French influence on decor in the historic city of New Orleans.

Having visited New Orleans several times prior to Hurricane Katrina, I now long to return after reading this stunning book. This is not just another pretty to look at coffee table book, but more a definitive history of a great American city. Ms. Shriver takes one on a tour through the many neighborhoods, sharing her 'address book' of places to eat, shop, stay, visit etc. She explains the secrets of Mardi Gras, that intoxicating Carnivale with lavish costumes, masked balls, street parades, beating drums. A chapter on the intricacies of the monogram which, in the South, as in France, has endured as a classic element of design on linens, makes us aware that even a family without a historic crest can have a monogram! On food - Recipes and Rituals - it doesn't take long before your mouth is watering and you'll head to your kitchen to concoct some of the delicacies known only in New Orleans, such as Crab Pots de Creme and Banana Pudding Trifle, plus other recipes. The author's description of gatherings with friends........small informal progressive suppers, strolling from house to house through the French Quarter, stopping to enjoy courses prepared by neighbors........was lovely, something you may want to plan for one's own neighborhood.

Pour a cup of tea, or a café au lait, find a comfy chair, and curl up soon with this gorgeous book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2010
I purchased this book and have already given two copies as gifts. For anyone who loves New Orleans, this book is a must for their library. Debra Shriver has captured the charm of the city as well as gives the reader a visual feast.
I obviously recommend it having already bought three copies!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2012
The other reviewers have done a great job describing the book. I won't duplicate that here. Instead, I will just say that I have shelves (!) of books dedicated to New Orleans, and this book is my favorite. Debra, hope you will treat us to another book in the near future.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2010
Great book with lots of information and personal stories. The best are the fantastic pictures that make you wish to live in NO
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 3, 2011
There's nowhere like New Orleans and this book sums up as best as any all the ways that's true. Praline recipes, table settings, garden district snapshots, exquisite interior design - this book took the Crescent City, gift wrapped it, and set its most beguiling, enchanting visuals on my coffee table. I adore it for the lifestyle & design photography alone. Adding to the wealth, though, Deborah's narration throughout the book makes paging through like being invited into one of the most exclusive, exquisite and exciting parlor rooms in the city. Until I can make it back to New Orleans, this book will have to do the trick - good thing it's such a rich fix.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 8, 2011
Stealing Magnolias: Tales from a New Orleans Courtyard by Debra Shriver offers an intimate exchange with this most magical and mysterious of American cities. Written by a high-powered New York media executive who was born and raised in the South, it celebrates what's best about this city with the yearning, passion, and understanding that only an expatriate Southerner can muster. Oversized pages filled with gorgeous photographs and an engaging text on subjects including architecture and design, Mardi Gras, entertaining, and cuisine make the book one that you can return to again and again--just like the city it describes.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 1, 2011
What can I say? I love this book... I picked it up at Rizzoli on 57th Street and was entranced by the beautiful photographs of a place I want to visit. Soon. Deb Shriver is a southern gal with a love of New Orleans that rivals anyone's idea of heaven. She makes it feel as if you are there right now.

I bought a copy immediately, and it has been my "go to" gift for Christmas. A really first rate book. Ms. Shriver put her heart and soul into it -- and it shows.

With beautiful words, evocative photography and gorgeous layouts and paper -- THIS is why "real" books will never die + be replaced by a kindle...(!)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 6, 2012
This book captures the wonder of New Orleans and it is a beautiful coffee table book. Great photography and I look forward to visiting the city again soon.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves
Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves by Emily Henderson (Hardcover - October 13, 2015)

The Southerner's Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life
The Southerner's Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life by Chris Dixon (Hardcover - October 29, 2013)

New Orleans: Elegance and Decadence
New Orleans: Elegance and Decadence by Richard Sexton (Hardcover - Nov. 2003)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.