Monday, November 14, 2011

New Louisiana releases

            Documentary photographer Lori Waselchuk of Baton Rouge spent two years visiting the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, where more than 85 percent of the 5,100 inmates will never be released before their deaths. In her book, “Grace Before Dying,” Waselchuk documents the many incarcerated members who have become hospice volunteers to dying inmates. Her poignant photos portray caring individuals who have taken the time to administer to terminally ill inmates. The book includes a history of Angola and its hospice program by historian Lawrence N. Powell.
            In time for Thanksgiving but encompassing more than one holiday comes a beautiful children’s book of gratitude. “Giving Thanks” follows a young boy in the woods with his father, who gives thanks to every living creature he passes. The boy learns that nature is a gift and we must give thanks back in return. ”Giving Thanks” is written by Jonathan London, and lovingly illustrated by Gregory Manchess.
            Author Ed Shankman and illustrator Dave O'Neill, who have teamed up for children’s books focused on the northeast, tackle New Orleans and a time when the music stopped and was resurrected in “The Bourbon Street Band is Back.” Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation.
John Travis edits a new anthology titled “Something in the Water: Louisiana Stories,” which includes 20 original short stories about the Bayou State.
            Curt Iles of Dry Creek, La., has published “A Spent Bullet: Louisiana 1941,” about military life in central Louisiana and the largest army maneuvers undertaken on American soil. Visit for more information.
            Rochelle Staab teams up characters Liz Cooper, a pragmatic Los Angeles psychologist, and Nick Garfield, a professor of religious philosophy, in the first book of her new series titled “Who Do, Voodoo?”  Cooper doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when her best friend finds a tarot card tacked to her front door, and is then accused of murder, Cooper must embrace the occult to find the killer.

Book events
            Warren Perrin will sign copies of “Vermilion Parish” at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, at the Vermilion Teachers’ Association meeting at the Abbeville Library in Abbeville.
            Walter Isaacson of New Orleans will discuss and sign his latest book, “Steve Jobs,” from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
            James Nolan, author of “Higher Ground,” will sign copies of his book at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Maple Street Book Shop, 7523 Maple St. in New Orleans.
            The South Regional Library is having an Author Alley, featuring numerous regional authors and their books for signing, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. 
            The Louisiana Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators will hold its November meeting at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Bluebonnet Library in Baton Rouge. Those interested in writing or illustrating for children are free to attend or may email Terri Dunham at with SCBWI in the subject line for more information.
            R. Reece Fuller will discuss and sign “Angola to Zydeco” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
Playwright Rosary Oneill will speak on “Dialogue” at the South Louisiana chapter of Romance Writers of America (SOLA) at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Jefferson Parish Eastbank Library, 4747 W. Napoloen Ave. in Metairie.
Cheré Coen will be speaking about my book, “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets,” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the St. Charles Parish Library in Destrehan.