Sunday, November 30, 2014

UL Press offers great deals at Holiday Book Sale

             The UL Press will host its annual Holiday Sale from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the UL Alumni House. There will be refreshments, giftwrapping, authors on hand to sign copies and every title will be discounted by at least 20 percent off of the regular retail price.
            And for Cyber Monday, the press is offering 40 percent off all books via their web site until midnight Monday, Dec. 1.
            Here’s a few UL Press books to consider:
            “The Public Art of Robert Dafford” with photographs and text by Philip Gould, part of the Louisiana Artists Series, has to be my favorite coffee table holiday gift idea of the year. Anyone who has witnessed Dafford’s exquisite murals throughout Louisiana — and the country — along with Gould’s innovative photographs will want to include this gem in their library.
            Dafford not only enhances outdoor spaces but brings regional history to life through his public art. His intricate Acadian murals throughout the world tell the story of a people both blessed and exiled, his American pieces explain both Native American life and European expansion. Closer to home, many will recognize his work through the giant clarinet of New Orleans or the new harmonica gracing downtown Baton Rouge. Dafford’s work can also be seen in numerous museums, churches and inside commercial buildings.
            Another lovely coffee table book is photographer Tina Freeman’s “Artist Spaces: New Orleans,” with text by Morgan Molthrop. Crescent City artists are profiled or spotlighted in their own words along with photos of their studios, work spaces, homes and the artists working or at leisure. Some, like Fat Boy who creates with graffiti, are highlighted through public art. Others, such as Stephen Coenan and George Dureau, are no longer with us so encapsulating their artist space makes the book even more poignant.
            Genaro Kỳ Lý Smith, a professor of creative writing at Louisiana Tech, chronicles exquisitely through poetry the life of his grandfather Lý Loc in “The Land Baron’s Sun: The Story of Lý Loc and His Seven Wives.” The story follows the son of an affluent Vietnamese landowner who was thought to own the sun by his children, wives, servants and tenant farmers because the sun had always shone favorably upon him.
            Another fascinating book is “African American Home Remedies: A Practical Guide with Usage and Application Data” by Eddie L. Boyd and Leslie A. Shimp who studied the use of home treatments through the University of Michigan. The book includes the author’s study of the 100 home remedies and herbs used by African Americans — many times due to lack of funds or health insurance — but includes a handy guide to these plants and their believed cures, plus a listing of herbs used in specific ailments.
            The Irish presence in New Orleans is both deep and deep-rooted, stretching back to Louisiana Governor Alejandro O’Reilly’s tenure in the 1700s to the famine ships bringing Irish natives in the 1840s. Historian Laura A. Kelley offers a comprehensive history, from early politics and prejudice to the modern St. Patrick’s Day Parade in “The Irish in New Orleans.”
New releases
            Louisiana professor of library science Dayne Sherman has released two novels: his latest, the Southern gothic “Zion” and “Welcome to the Fallen Paradise” as a 10th anniversary edition. “Zion” begins in 1964 and ends a decade later, but for the book’s Hardin family, faithful members of Little Zion Methodist Church, they will carry the scars of the decade for life. Sherman’s first novel, “Welcome to the Fallen Paradise,” was named a Best Debut of the Year by The Times-Picayune and a Notable Book by Book Sense.
            Award-winning Lafayette author John Francois has chosen 1848 New Orleans and Paris for his latest historical, “Revolutions,” centered around young Allain deGravelles who travels to France to study at the École Polytechnique but who wishes to be an artist amidst the violent political upheaval of the times. For information about this book and Francois’s previous historical novels, visit
            “The First Inaugural Address of President Abraham Lincoln: A Rhetorical Analysis in The Art of Persuasion” by Lafayette’s Joseph John Murphy Alexander has just been published by Red Lead Books and New Orleans’ Walter Isaacson has published “The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution.”
            Susan Fleet announced that book five of her Frank Renzi crime thriller series set in New Orleans has been published. Titled “Natalie's Art,” you can check out the book cover and a short video book trailer on her website,
            Ron Chapman of Chalmette, a history professor at Nunez Community College and recipient of the Spirit of 1812 Award from the National Society United States Daughters of 1812, has just published “The Battle of New Orleans: But for a Piece of Wood.”

            Historian Gerhard L. Weinberg discusses the legacies of World War I beginning with a 5 p.m. reception and followed by a program and book signing Tuesday at the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center of the World War II Museum in New Orleans. Weinberg is author of “A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II,” two volumes on Hitler’s foreign policy, “Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War II Leaders” and many other books and essays. He has won honorary doctorates as well as many fellowships and prizes for his scholarship, among them the Pritzker Military Library Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military History. Reservations for the lecture and reception are requested; call (504) 528-1944, Ext. 229.

Book events
            Warren and Mary Perrin, editors of “Acadie Then and Now: A People’s History,” will speak about their new book at 6 p.m. Monday to Concerned Citizens for Good Government at Alesi’s Pizza House, 4110 Johnston St. in Lafayette and sign copies during Abbeville’s Christmas Stroll at The Depot on Wednesday and at noon at the Friends of CODOFIL Christmas luncheon at Four Columns, Westbank Expressway in Harvey. For information, call (337) 233-5832, or email
            New Orleans award-winning author, journalist, and lecturer George Gurtner will discuss his most recent book, “Cast of Characters,” at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Nix Library in New Orleans. The book is titled after Gurtner’s column that he wrote for New Orleans magazine for 35 years.
            Christmas at North Regional Library will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, in association with the Carencro Country Christmas celebration at the Carencro Community Center next door and the Children’s Christmas Parade. There will be a Jolly Holiday Magnet Craft for ages 5-12 and a holiday card swap for adults.
            Andi Eaton signs “New Orleans Style” from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.
            Author’s Alley book sale and signings by area authors will be 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at South Regional Library in Lafayette.
            Addie K. Martin and Jeremy Martin sign copies of “Southeast Louisiana Food: A Seasoned Tradition” from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at the West Baton Rouge Museum Holiday Open House, 845 N Jefferson Ave. in Port Allen.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “ExploringCajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at