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History books, storytelling, or other interesting reading


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Tennessee History: The Land, the People, and the Culture  Another book by Carroll Van West

The Confederate Twenty-Dollar Irony: And Other Essays from the Nashville Historical Newsletter This book, along with the next book were produced by the Nashville Historical Newsletter.

From Knickers to Body Stockings and Other Essays from the Nashville Historical Newsletter

A Treasury of Tennessee Tales: Unusual, Interesting, and Little-Known Stories of Tennessee (Stately Tales)

Tennessee Trivia (revised edition)

It Happened in Tennessee

Ghost Railroads of Tennessee This huge book talks about all of the railroad lines in Tennessee that became defunct by the mid 1970's when the first edition was published.  Very thorough material.

The parks of Nashville: A history of the Board of Parks and Recreation Written in the mid 1980's, this book details the history of the board of Parks and Recreation in Nashville, starting with Centennial park and including a couple of run down parks that aren't on your map but are still in town if you look for it.

Nashville in the 1890's

Nashville, 1900 to 1910  

Dear Judge: Selected Letters of John Overton of Travelers' Rest  

Nashville: The Faces of Two Centuries, 1780-1980

The Nashville I Knew

The Parthenon in Nashville This book was first written in the 1960s to talk about the experience of building the Parthenon from the perspective of those in charge of the project.  This edition, reprinted in 1990, goes on to discuss the building of the Athena Statue.

Guide to Civil War Nashville

Yesterday's Nashville  

Additional reading:

You Are So Nashville If  Every year, the Nashville Scene has a contest "You are so Nashville If..." which is a self-mocking list highlighting the years unusual events and reminds us what sets Nashville apart from other places.  The book was published in 1998, so some of the references are quite dated, but it's still a fun read.

Ms. Cheap's Guide to Nashville: The Best Nashville Has to Offer--At a Discount

Steps Along the Way: A Governor's Scrapbook a book by then Governor and current U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

Thoughts from the Bottom of a Chili Bowl Think of it as a "Life's Little Instruction Book" from the owners of Varallo's, the oldest Restaurant in Nashville.

Counties of Tennessee This is a modern reprint of a book originally published in 1923 by historian Austin P. Foster.

Tennessee Political Humor: Some of These Jokes You Voted for Written by a couple of local politicians, this book shares anecdotes of some of the states more colorful political figures. 

The Plan of Nashville: Avenues to a Great City This book which was commissioned by the Nashville Design Center, with a couple years in the making discusses how the city of Nashville should grow.  With contributors from all sides of towns and with differing backgrounds, they propose multiple ideas (many of which I doubt we'll ever see) on how to make Nashville a better place, addressing parks, gentrification, traffic, etc...

Proud to Be from Middle Tennessee 

New Roadside America: The Modern Traveler's Guide to the Wild and Wonderful World of America's Tourist Attractions  This is THE BOOK to get to learn more about the Unusual, Offbeat and Quirky Tourist Destinations.  The book covers the entire country, but a few places from Tennessee make the cut, include two of the top 7 offbeat places to visit in the nation, Rock City and Twitty City.  (Of course Twitty City isn't open anymore, so the book is a little dated.)

Dixie Before Disney: 100 Years of Roadside Fun Continuing the theme from the previous book, this book focuses on the numerous offbeat tourist destinations in the south in the "Good ol' days" before Disneyland opened. 

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