On Walnut Hill: The Evolution of a Garden
Kathy Hudson (Hillside Press)

There’s just something about a good coffee-table book—the luscious photos, the poetic words, the feel of the thick, shiny pages. At a time of year when hostess gifts are in high demand, this chronicle of the Hubbard family’s five-decade quest to turn their two-acre property in Ruxton into a garden might be just the ticket. This isn’t just any garden, mind you, but a lush, pleasingly designed masterpiece that melds foliage and flowers with architectural elements such as rock walls and sculptures. But it’s the Hubbard’s story, paired with depictions of the garden throughout the year, that makes this book a pleasure for all seasons.

I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game, and Glory
Ray Lewis, with Daniel Paisner (Touchstone)

Ray Lewis’s memoir provides a gridiron view of life, showing how football shaped his formative years in Lakeland, FL, and allowed him to lead the Ravens to two Super Bowl victories. Lewis writes in an engaging way—though this is very much his version of events—about turning the anger and pain caused by an absent father into motivation on the football field, being a murder suspect in the stabbing deaths of two men in Atlanta, and the injury that caused him to sit out much of the 2012 season. Fans will enjoy this inside peek.