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Coffee Table Books (or other books of photos)


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The Best of the Best (in my opinion)

Capture Music City Perhaps you took part in this project. Many photographers submitted photos to their website in  the summer of 2008.  Members of the web community rated the photos and the staff picked the best of the best for their book.  Every photo in the book is a winner.  Included with the book is a DVD, which is essentially a 2 hour slideshow.  Everyone who submitted a picture was guaranteed inclusion on the DVD, plus many photos which were really good but didn't make the final cut.  Local photographer Josh Hunter got his photo of Union Station on the cover.

Nashville: An American Self Portrait

Nashville Then and Now A classic before and after look at some of the most important sites in Nashville.  On the left will be a vintage photograph of a Nashville scene and on the right will be what the same location looks like today (as of 2005).  There are several books in this series for other cities around the county, such as Memphis. 

The Tennesseans: A People Revisited This book came out in 1997 featuring the excellent of local photographer Robin Hood.  This book is a sequel to...

The Tennesseans: A people and their land which came out in 1981.This book is just as good, but tougher to find, although not more expensive.  

The Really Good

Tennessee: A Homecoming Honoring the state's bicentennial in 1986, a team of photographers criss-crossed the state for a week to capture the essence of Tennessee 

Touring Tennessee: A Postcard Panorama, 1898-1955 If you collect post cards, this is the book for you.  The author has been collecting post cards for decades and has put together his favorites for this collection. 

Nashville In Vintage Postcards

Murfreesboro (TN) (Postcard History Series)  

Nashville memories: Thirty-two historic postcards  

Glendale: Nashville's Magical Park This is designed to be a children's book, but is has interesting stories and excellent illustrations.  Before everyone had a car and many people got around Nashville by trolley, Glendale was a park and Nashville's first zoo in the Green Hills part of town, not far from where Lipscomb University is today. 

Tennessee: The Volunteer State  

Back Home Did you know that you could get a coffee table book from 1965 for a really good price?  That's what you find here, featuring the Tennessee rural life photos of Joe Clark, The Hillbilly Sharp Shooter.

Lynchburg Another book from Joe Clark, this one was published in 1971 highlighting the small town life in Lynchburg.  Can you believe there's an entire book about Lynchburg that doesn't even mention Jack Daniels?  

The Pretty Good

Nashville: Upbeat and Down to Business  

Tennessee 24/7 a few years before Capture Music City, at a time before quite everyone had  a digital camera, another project was created where the final product was based on user submitted photos.  The publishers ran the same project in all 50 states, and then put together a book for all of America.  Part of the catch was the photographs had to be taken during a three-day window.  While the resulting book is good, there just wasn't quite enough excellent material to fill the book under those conditions.

Nashville: Amplified The purpose of this book (and others in the series by Cherbo publishing) is to highlight Nashville as a place you'd want to live.  They used a picture of mine on page 19 of a Nashville Greenway sign.

Chattanooga, The Renaissance of a City  Another in the same series as the Nashville: Amplified book above.  They used a picture of mine in this one also.  On page 9 is my photo of a family of kayakers navigating their way through the riverfront fountains.

Tennessee  from 1979.

Looking Back at Tennessee: A Photographic Retrospective

Tennessee: A Bicentennial Celebration

Nashville in Photographs  

Williamson County: A pictorial history

Heart of Tennessee: The story & images of historic Rutherford County This book was compiled by Terry Weeks, who was named the U.S. Teacher of the year in the 1980's.

A History of Rutherford County in Pictures  

Historic Clarksville 1784-2004 This is the second edition of this book, reprinted to include the aftermath of the 1999 tornado that destroyed a path through the middle of town.

Urban Tapestry Series

While Coffee Table books can be quite expensive, if you catch them at the right time, these books can be purchased used at a great bargain.  Each book in their series retailed for over $40, and you can usually find them online under $10.  (The price does tend to fluctuate a bit, you may need months of patience to get a bargain with some titles.) The first two-thirds of these books features excellent photography capturing the architecture and the lifestyles of the city.  The back third is made up of advertising from local companies.  This part is what probably makes the books go cheap, but you can find a few gems.

Nashville: City of Note (Urban Tapestry Series)  

Chattanooga: River City Renaissance (Urban Tapestry Series)  

Knoxville: Smokey Mountain Majesty (Urban Tapestry Series)  

Memphis: Delivering the Future (Urban Tapestry Series)

Atlanta: The Right Kind of Courage (Urban Tapestry)  

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