Why did I love this book?
This atlas, a beautiful but money-losing coffee table book from the book-publishing arm of Southern Living, appeared just as a new CEO ordered the company’s book people to think of themselves “more in the direct-marketing business, as opposed to being a book publisher.” (This strategy led eventually to How to Cook for Your Man and Still Want to Look at Him Naked.) It was probably treated as a write-off from the beginning and not marketed at all, which is a shame, because it is much more than a handsome ornament for your living room. Three geographers and a historian, all from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, produced a solidly-researched and profoundly informative work of cartographic excellence, one that repays both casual browsing and close study. (Some used book sites incorrectly show a different cover, but don’t worry about that.)