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Review: Paula Deen’s Savannah Style

August 16, 2010

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Savannah on numerous occasions, and every time I go, I fall in love with the city all over again.  It’s a city full of history, charm and grace.  Parts of the city cling to the Old South while others have a more modern feel.   Since I’ve only been to the city as a tourist, I’ve never been in a private home or had the chance to experience the hospitality of a Savannah hostess, so I was excited to get a peek inside several in Paula Deen’s Savannah Style by Paula Deen and Brandon Branch.  If you’re a fan of Paula Deen’s you’ll enjoy the narrative of this book, because it’s written exactly the way she speaks.

The book is divided into four sections – one for each season of the year, so it includes some holiday decorating as well.  For me, the best parts of this book are the fabulous photographs and the tips from Brandon Branch, who is Paula Deen’s creative director and personal assistant.  His tips are easy to follow and generally don’t involve spending lots of money.  There were a few times when Paula’s products were endorsed, and I did find that a little irritating.   There were also a couple of things that didn’t ring true for me, like “Regardless of how grand or humble a house in the South may be, you can bet we always have a porch of some sort.”  I’ve spent most of my life in the South and I’ve seen (and lived in) plenty of houses that don’t have a porch.  Also, when it was mentioned that “the traditional collectible for Southerners is silver,” I thought that was odd, because I don’t know anyone who collects silver.  I know that’s being nit-picky, but I felt those things don’t fit the average Southerner.

That didn’t keep me from enjoying the book, though!  I loved seeing inside all of these fabulous houses.   This is the kind of book you’ll want to flip through over and over again.  Here’s a photo of my favorite page spread:

What book lover wouldn’t love a room like that?   There’s a lot in here to inspire your inner interior decorator, and I think most people will find something in this book that they love.

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster for this Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour .
I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

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40 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 6:38 am

    No porch here but I do wish I had one! I did receive some silver pieces for my wedding 20 years ago but all they do is tarnish in the back of a drawer.

    This looks like one I should check out at the library and enjoy flipping through!

  2. August 16, 2010 6:56 am

    I don’t know much about Paul Deen but I love looking at photos and books like that. I would definitely be okay with that set up.

  3. August 16, 2010 7:35 am

    I really enjoy looking through books like this and dreaming — even a Yankee can find something to love.

  4. August 16, 2010 8:32 am

    I have this book on my desk to read. I’ve flipped through it several times and love the photos. Enjoyed your review and now I will have a hard time waiting to read it (I have two other books I have to finish first).

    Thoughts in Progress

  5. August 16, 2010 8:40 am

    I am not all that familiar with Paula Dean, though I have seen her cookbooks. I think it’s kind of interesting that the book makes a lot of claims about Southerners that you found to be a little questionable. I am not sure if this one is for me, but I do like the photo that you shared!

  6. August 16, 2010 8:42 am

    I agree, the photography is gorgeous in this book. I enjoyed reading it and poring over the gorgeous homes and details. I appreciate your perspective as a southerner on the details that don’t completely fit such as the porches and the silver. I really want to visit Savannah after reading this book.

  7. August 16, 2010 9:15 am

    We went to Hilton Head last year (for a “camp”) and stopped for one day in Savannah before we left. It seemed like Paula Dean books and products were everywhere!!! The stuff sure looked good, too!

  8. August 16, 2010 9:20 am

    The photos look gorgeous. I love looking at books about decorating, though, even if it’s not my style. I do like the ideas for holiday decorating that are included.

  9. August 16, 2010 9:35 am

    I would love to get this book. I have visited Savannah and love the hanging Spanish Moss. My husband thought I was crazy. He grew up in South Carolina..close to Savannah and Spanish Moss was everywhere. It was no big deal to him. Just goes to show you how setting is everything. 🙂

  10. August 16, 2010 9:58 am

    We live in the Midwest, and I made sure we had a porch in this house. What I don’t have is a library like the one you pictured…next time 🙂

  11. August 16, 2010 10:36 am

    Not sure this is a book for me, but maybe Anna would like it since she likes Paula!

  12. August 16, 2010 10:41 am

    I really really do love her recipes, if I can ignore the size of my butt and say “to hell with the calories”. I love Savannah, and really hope to get up there this winter with my mom. I know from the southern gossip mill down here, that Paula is not necessarily well-loved in the town though. They think she tries too hard. Maybe they are a little jealous of her!

    As far as porches and silver, I only have a little silver, and a sorta back porch, but nothing I’d show off.

  13. Beth Hoffman permalink
    August 16, 2010 10:57 am

    I have two of her cookbooks, and I don’t know that I’d buy this book, but I would like to see more of the photos.

  14. August 16, 2010 11:08 am

    This Illinois-born, PA resident always gets the giggles when I hear Paula Deen’s commercial for ham, which she says as two syllables. I love Savannah. We might be Yankees but I have a beautiful front porch and a covered patio in back.

  15. August 16, 2010 12:32 pm

    I want a front porch. And a library!

  16. August 16, 2010 1:10 pm

    A porch was always a MUST for my father.

  17. August 16, 2010 1:40 pm

    Beautiful! I’ve only been to Savannah once, for a conference, but I definitely want to go back and soak up the atmosphere. Thanks for sharing this one! Looks great!

  18. August 16, 2010 2:10 pm

    I bet it’s just an absolutely beautiful book. i would love to go to Savannah one day.

  19. August 16, 2010 2:29 pm

    I haven’t spent that much time in the South, so those things would have slipped right past me.

  20. August 16, 2010 2:40 pm

    Well, I am a fan of Paula Dean so this book is for me. She is so gracious but loads of fun at the same time. The other reason I’d like to look at this book is to see inside other people’s houses. I’m a natural snoop.

  21. August 16, 2010 2:54 pm

    I thought she spent several years almost starving from debt. I bet she didn’t collect silver during that time.
    But, having said that, I do like her. I’d like her to cook for me. I’ll provide the butter.

  22. August 16, 2010 3:39 pm

    Thank you for your honest review. Not sure about the book, but sure like the picture you picked. I have always dreamed of having a room with floor to ceiling built in book case walls, comfy and cozy library to call my own.

  23. August 16, 2010 4:31 pm

    I do love her food ! Have you had her Not Yo Mommas Banana Pudding? Its soooo good!! I’ll have to check this one out, It sounds like a wonderful book.
    Natalie :0)

  24. August 16, 2010 4:44 pm

    Thanks for highlighting this – I hadn’t seen it, but I LOVE Paula Deen, and I love decorating, too. And I love those bookcases. Ok, gushing over now.

  25. August 16, 2010 5:22 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Savannah after reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The book looks beautiful.

  26. August 16, 2010 5:36 pm

    I just had dinner at Paula’s restaurant in Savannah last week……yum!

  27. August 16, 2010 7:49 pm

    The photos look great in this book, but I haven’t seen any of Paula D’s books up close. Thanks for pointing this one out.

  28. August 16, 2010 8:11 pm

    I get such a kick out of Paula Deen! I think I would most definitely enjoy taking a look through this book.

  29. August 16, 2010 9:01 pm

    I visited Savannah years ago but it made such a good impression on me. Love love love those houses down there!!!

  30. August 16, 2010 9:35 pm

    I haven’t been to Savannah and can sadly say that I don’t know anything about Paula Deen (other than that she writes cookbooks and is from the south).

    Since I’m getting ready for a remodel project I should look through this one! 🙂 I love all things decorating!

  31. August 16, 2010 11:26 pm

    i love visiting savannah and if not for the humidity would consider moving there! it’s a great walking city. 🙂 as for paula, my mom and i went to her restaurant (before she was known outside of savannah) and it was great. in recent years, i’ve been to the new restaurant (down the street from the old one) and it’s good but there are better restaurants in savannah.

    that said, i still love paula and her boys and buy her magazines and watch her shows when i’m near a tv. i’d love to give this book a whirl!

  32. August 16, 2010 11:31 pm

    I think this one would totally be a fun one to flip through!

  33. August 17, 2010 8:50 am

    Oh I don’t think you’re being knit-picky. You live in the South, so you should know, right?
    I do like Paula and it looks like a beautiful book. Thanks for the review. Maybe someday I’ll get to the Savannah 🙂

  34. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 17, 2010 10:51 am

    How fun to hear your thoughts as a Southerner. The furthest south I’ve ever lived is Arlington, Virginia so I would have believed everything I read!
    That being said this does look like a gorgeous book. I’ll have to see if my library has it.

  35. August 17, 2010 11:14 am

    I enjoy books like this because I find it fascinating to see how others live. Sounds like a good book to flip through.

  36. August 17, 2010 2:16 pm

    Great review, Cathy! I loved this book as well. Paula Deen seems like such an awesome person and I adore her personality!!

  37. August 18, 2010 12:32 am

    I adore Savannah and Paula Deen! I want this so bad.

  38. August 18, 2010 1:34 pm

    I’m not from the South, but I’m assuming the average Southerner also doesn’t have as much money as Paula Deen, so I’m sure she doesn’t represent the average Southerner. 😉

    Still, I love Paula Deen!

  39. August 18, 2010 2:06 pm

    Great review. My mom would love to get her hands on this book. lol.

  40. August 19, 2010 8:03 am

    Isn’t she is cook or something, I think I saw her on Rachael Ray show.

    I love seeing inside houses too. It would be a good coffee table book.

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