Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book sales, releases and more, oh my!

             The Friends of the Lafayette Public Library Spring Book Sale has been announced — March 19-22 at the Heymann Convention Center Ballroom. The members preview sale will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 19 and the public sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, March 20-21 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22. Gently used hardcover and paperback books are sold by the inch and proceeds benefit the library. If you’d like to donate to the sale, bring books to the library’s working warehouse at 211 E. Pinhook Road next to the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Hours for drop-off are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. Once at the warehouse, ring the doorbell located on the door and a staff member or a Friend will be able to help. For information or to large donations, call 501-9209 or visit
NOLA music
            Two new books out examine the music scene of New Orleans, one looking at the lives of New Orleans brass band members and another on the popular concert life of the 19th century.
            Matt Sakakeeny, an ethnomusicologist, musician and assistant professor of music at Tulane University has written a firsthand account of the lives of New Orleans brass band members such as Soul Rebels and Rebirth Brass Band in “Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans” by Duke University Press. Sakakeeny moved to New Orleans to work as a co-producer of the public radio program “American Routes,” but now writes for publications including The Oxford American, Mojo and Wax Poetics. He plays guitar in the band Los Po-Boy-Citos.
            The book features the artwork of Willie Birch, a New Orleans native who is the recipient of the State of Louisiana Governor's award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. His works are part of the permanent collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
            To complement the book, readers can access images, audio files, and YouTube video clips related at Sakakeeny’s web site,
            Classical music thrived in New Orleans in the 19th century, outshining New York, Boston, and San Francisco before the Civil War and rivaling them thereafter, according to John H. Baron. His “Concert Life in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans” by LSU Press shows how New Orleans offered strong opera seasons and attracted composers, performers, publishers, teachers, instrument makers and dealers.  

New releases
          Sarah Savoy, the eldest daughter of musicians Marc and Ann Savoy, celebrates her Eunice roots in “The Savoy Kitchen: A Family History of Cajun Food” (Kitchen Press). Savoy is a singer, musician and songwriter, but she also cooks. Her creation is part cookbook, part memoir and includes stories, family photos and more than 100 Louisiana recipes. Savoy has also created a how-to DVD on “Cajun Home Cooking.” For more information, visit
            It all started with T’Freres Bed and Breakfast in Lafayette. That was when author and chemist Stanley Jolet of Shriever connected with ghost Amelie and really started to believe in the afterlife. His paranormal journey, with ghost hunting equipment in hand, found him contacting the deceased in Louisiana, Las Vegas, Europe and the Caribbean. “Paranormal Investigations: The Cajun Ghost Hunter Chronicles” (published by Trafford Publishing) is a collection of stories about his trip across the globe to investigate paranormal activity and what happened once contact was made.
            New from LSU Press is “The End of the Book” by Porter Shreve, the story of an aspiring contemporary novelist who may or may not be writing a sequel to Sherwood Anderson’s classic “Winesburg, Ohio.” Character Adam Clary works in Chicago for a famous internet company on a massive project to digitize the world’s books, but secretly hates his job and wishes to be a writer at a time when the book as physical object and book culture itself have never been more threatened. Counterpointing Adam’s story is that of George Willard, the young protagonist of Anderson’s book, who arrives in Chicago around 1900 when it was the fastest-growing city in American history. Through alternating chapters, we follow George’s travails, including his marriage to the wealthy daughter of his boss, his affair with his hometown sweetheart, his artistic crisis, breakdown and flight, and along the way we see the echoes and intersections between his life and Adam’s as they struggle in two similar Americas through two similar times in the life of the book.

            The annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) contest is currently seeking new voices in popular fiction. Submissions are being accepted beginning Sunday. One grand prizewinner will receive a publishing contract with an advance of $50,000. In addition, four first prizewinners will each receive a publishing contract from Amazon Publishing with an advance of $15,000. The ABNA contest is open to unpublished and self-published novels. Authors can submit their work in one of the following categories: general fiction; mystery/thriller; romance; science fiction/fantasy/horror and young adult fiction. CreateSpace will host the submission platform for the contest. Visit CreateSpace to learn more about ABNA and create a free account for entry in the contest. 

LEH Readings
             Readings in Literature and Culture (RELIC), the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ adult reading and discussion series, will travels to seven sites this spring.
             Central Branch of the Bossier Parish Library in Bossier City presents “The Creole Identity and Experience in Louisiana Literature and History” from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Thursday, March 16-April 10; call (318) 742-2337. 
            Gonzales branch of the Ascension Parish Library presents “I’ll Be Seeing You. . . America and World War II” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, March 25-April 29; call (225) 647-8924.   
            The Madisonville Branch of the St. Tammany Parish Library presents “Louisiana Characters: Biographies of the Bayou State” from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  
Tuesdays, Jan. 21-Feb. 25; (985) 626-9779. 
            Morgan City Public Library in Morgan City presents “The American West in Fact and Fiction” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 12-March 19; call (985) 380-4646. 
The Stubbs Branch of the Ouachita Public Library in Monroe presents “Rising Tide by John Barry” (dates to come); call (318) 327-1490.
Winnsboro branch of the Franklin Parish Library presents “Rising Tide by John Barry” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, March 11-25, and “Cane River by Lalita Tademy” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, April 8-22; (318) 435-4336.

Book events
            Alan G. Gauthreaux signs “Italian Louisiana: History, Heritage & Tradition” at 2 p.m. today, Feb. 9, at Garden District Bookshop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.
             “Become Money Smart,” a free course from United Way of Acadiana, will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, Feb. 11 and 13, at South Regional Library. Attendance both days is required; register online or by phone.
            Kim Vaz, author of “The ‘Baby Dolls,’ Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition,” will speak at the Algiers Regional Library Author Night at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, 3014 Holiday Drive in New Orleans.
            “Rapides Parish Library Loves Louisiana Authors” will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Westside Regional Library in Alexandria. There will be an author meet and greet, book signings, discussions and more. For more information, contact Tammy DiBartolo at (318) 442-2483, Ext. 1906 or email

Cheré Coen is the author of “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana,” both from The History Press, 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