Monday, July 9, 2012

Louisiana's remarkable women, BP oil spill and other new releases

    Louisiana has been home to many remarkable women, from pioneering newspaper reporters and editors to champions of orphans. Marie Laveau continues to be written about for her legendary religious practices. Kate Chopin sent shock waves through the literary world with the publication of her novel, "The Awakening." These women and more make up "More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Louisiana Women" by Bonnye E. Stuart. The book profiles 16 historical figures. 
    It's been two years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster and "Spills and Spin: The Inside Story of BP" by Tom Bergin, published by Random House Business UK, examines the massive oil spill. Bergin is a regular TV commentator, heading Reuter's coverage of the oil industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Sunday Times wrote, "If you want to know why BP got itself into such a mess before and after Deepwater Horizon, 'Spills and Spin' is an excellent and reliable account.'"
    There are many books on the market for time management, but here's a new twist. "Time Management for Catholics" by Dave Durand offers advice for managing time and avoiding burnout but with faith as its foundation. The book features tips such as finding time for family and retooling a schedule for fitness. The author is the founder of ProBalance Inc. and the author of "Peretual Motivation: Say This, Not That" and "Win the World Without Losing Your Soul."
    Margaret Media out of Donaldsonville has released the trade paperback for "Floating Souls: The Canal Murders," the first novel for Mary H. Manhein, forensic anthropologist and head of the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services lab at LSU. The book is available at and in local and online bookstores. Manhein will sign copies from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Perkins Rowe in Baton Rouge.
After getting pregnant as a teenager and finding refuge in Colorado Avery Pritchett returns to her small Southern town when her brother gets married, but must confront her past in "Alligator Lake" by Lynne Bryant, published by Penguin. Bryant, a native of Mississippi, is the author of "Catfish Alley."
    The birthing process is the backdrop and the metaphor of "Birthing Pains" by Sherlin Henderson Lewis. "In New Orleans, a place that has learned to make music out of the bitter and sweet, a parade of souls giving birth whether feast or famine" is how the author describes her book, published by Enough Grace Publishing.
    "Operation Aspic: A James Bond Parody" is a comedic novel by Anthony J. Lomas that plays on the legacy of James Bond but is set in Cajun Country. An elite spy force must steal a secret recipe from a Louisiana chef so the British culinary team can win the World Culinary Olympics. The book is available at online bookstores such as
    Pelican Publishing has reissued "We are Acadians" by Myron Tassin with photography by Fonville Winans and a forword by Glen Pitre. The book was originally publishing in 1976 as a pictorial documentary on what it means to be Acadian.

Library exhibit
    A traveling exhibition commemorating 200 years of Louisiana statehood, "Becoming Louisiana: Path to Statehood Exhibit," will be on display through Aug. 12 at South Regional Library in Lafayette Presented by the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission, this exhibit was collaboration by curator Herman Mhire, graphic designer Kate Ferry and historian Charles Elliot. The exhibition documents the roles Louisiana's unique geography and cultural history played on its path to becoming the 18th state of the Union. The exhibit consists of a series of 10 fabric panels displaying images and text that tell the story of early Louisiana history. There will be an exhibit reception at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at the South Regional Library Meeting Room with refreshments served. Following the reception, a National Park Ranger will lecture on the cultural identity of Louisiana.

Book events
    Theresa N. Singleton will read her new picture book, "Zydeco Zoom," illustrated by L. Foote, and her previous book, "Grandfather Lee and the Bees," illustrated by Rob Guillory, at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 14, at Barnes & Noble, 5707 Johnston St. in Lafayette. Also at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, Acting Unlimited/Wanderlust Theatre Co. will present "The Wolves in the Walls" book and shadow puppet workshop at 2 p.m.
    Kelby Ouchley disucsses his book "Bayou Diversity" at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, at the West Ouachita Library. Call (318) 327-5414 for more information.

Cheré Coen is the author of "Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana" and co-author of "Magic's in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets." She teaches writing at UL-Lafayette's Continuing Education. Write her at