If you're feeling antsy while social distancing, reading is a wonderful way to travel from the cozy comfort of your living room and learn something new in the process. You can follow the echo of blues riffs in the Gulf Coast, forage for poke sallet and turtle soup in Appalachia, solve mysteries in the Northwoods of Minnesota, soak up Chicano lore in Texas, roam the back streets of Baltimore, and laugh alongside good-natured farmers in Nebraska, one page and one book at a time.
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music by Carla Jean Whitley
There are plenty of books you could read about 'Bama's history, but few so clearly demonstrate how the music coming out of Muscle Shoals put the Heart of Dixie on the map. Whitley charts the unlikely rise of the Swampers out of this little music studio on the Tennessee River to its hey day as the recording studio that's produced hits by the Rolling Stones Lynyrd Skynyrd and modern favorites like the Black Keys. Not only will you have a fascinating read by a bonafide Birmingham music writer, you'll likely end up with an epic soundtrack for your travels through the South.