Coffee Table Must-Haves

June 2017
Written By: 
Paul Grimshaw

Editor/Publisher Linda Ketron, the force behind The Moveable Feast literary luncheons (now in their 20th year), has published three hardcover photographic works focused on the South Strand. The large books with lots of glossy photos are designed to enchant, entertain and enlighten anyone who has ever lived in or visited Pawleys Island or Brookgreen Gardens.

BrookgreenGardens: Through the Seasons in Images and Words

Photographs by Anne Swift Malarich
Words by Community Poets and Brookgreen Gardens Staff and Volunteers
Class Publishing, 2015, $39.50

A true collaborative work, this large coffee table-sized pictorial begins to do justice to what only an in-person visit can truly accomplish. That Anna and Archer Huntington would choose Murrells Inlet to build America’s greatest sculpture garden in the 1920s, in what was then rural South Carolina, is no small thing, and the images by Malarich are among the finest you’ll ever see.

On around 100 pages you’ll enjoy beautifully reproduced photos of the most stunning visitor favorites, such as Diana of the Chase, The Fountain of the Muses, Wind on the Water and more, each with a brief poem or descriptive bit of prose.

Not only are sculptures in the book set in all four seasons, but the stunning gardens with all their blooms and butterflies and the residents of the zoo are featured, serving as a reminder of the rare gift that is Brookgreen Gardens.

Brookgreen Gardens: Nights of a Thousand Candles

Photographs by Anne Swift Malarich
Words by Brookgreen Gardens Staff and Volunteers
Class Publishing, 2015, $39.50

The seasonal event of the year for more than 53,000 visitors annually, Nights of a Thousand Candles is a Christmastime spectacle to behold. For three weekends each December, Brookgreen Gardens comes to life with nearly 8,200 hand-lit candles in luminaries, floating in ponds, adorning brick walls and eliciting plenty of oohs and ahhs. A highlight is the 80-foot-tall fir tree that is bedecked with some 70,000 lights.

For those who attempt to take photos of the stunning displays only to be disappointed with the results, this new book may be for you. Professional photographer Anne Swift Malarich has done what we all wish we could—capture the stunning, sometimes joyful, sometimes solemn and reverent mood of the myriad displays in the many hidden corners of this national treasure.

Lovely poems accompany many of the images, and a few pages of additional text answer many common questions about this cherished holiday event.

Pawleys Island: Chasing the Light

Photography by Tanya Ackerman
Class Publishing, 2016, $ 39.95

Originally the summertime playground for wealthy plantation owners seeking refuge from the mosquitos and malaria, Pawleys Island is one of the oldest communities along the Grand Strand. Unlike the more tourist-oriented beach towns nearby, the Pawleys Island oceanfront district remains mostly private and a bit mysterious.

In Pawleys Island: Chasing the Light, a sparse line of text accompanies each of the stunning photos on 120 pages. Pictorial landscapes, seascapes and the flora and fauna of the island are captured by award-winning photojournalist Tanya Ackerman.

From an idea first formed some 10 years ago, Ackerman says compiling the images was a “labor of love,” as she literally chases the light from sunrise to sunset, covering every inch of the fabled island.

An afterword by the photographer and a foreword by author and historian Lee Brockington help bookend this wonderful collection of photos.


Photographs courtesy of the publishers.