Sunday, May 31, 2015

Books marks Hurricane Katrina's 10th anniversary

Hurricane season is now upon us and this August marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. Naturally, there are books now being released in conjunction with the Aug. 25 milestone.
LSU Press has published “Hurricane Katrina in Transatlantic Perspective” edited by Romain Huret and Randy J. Sparks, a multidisciplinary study of the events surrounding and the legacy of Hurricane Katrina. Huret is associate professor of American history at the University of Lyon II and author of “American Tax Resisters.” Sparks is professor of history at Tulane University and author of several books, most recently “The Two Princes of Calabar: An Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey” and “Where the Negroes Are Masters: An African Port in the Era of the Slave Trade.”
Scholastic has produced two titles for young readers, both titled “Hurricane Katrina.” One aims toward grade two level readers that includes free digital activities and a larger picture book includes stories by Katrina survivors. Both feature the timeline of the storm from evacuation to disaster response, photos, animal stories and general information on hurricanes. The books focus almost entirely on New Orleans, however, grossly ignoring the Mississippi and Alabama coasts.
Aspiring writers, take note. You do not have to be perfect in everything you do, but there are a few secrets to making the process easier. Ruth Foote of Lafayette has published “For Shakespeare’s Stepchildren: 10 Essential Writing Tips and Techniques” that offers advice from homing writing skills to learning how to deal with criticism and rejection, from grammar shortcuts to tips on saving those invaluable thoughts that pop into your head at the most inopportune time. The book is available as a Kindle download.

LSU YA Conference
LSU will host the Young Adult Literature Conference Tuesday through Saturday in Baton Rouge. Some of the authors speaking at the conference are Kimberly Willis Holt, author of “My Louisiana Sky” and “Dear Hank Williams;” Matt de la Pena, author of “The Living” and “Curse of the Ancients;” Chris Crutcher, author of teen fiction, including “Period 8;” Joan Kaywell, an expert on preparing teachers to use young adult literature in the classroom and author of “Adolescent Literature as a Complement to the Classics: Addressing Critical Issues in Today’s Classrooms;” Chris Crowe, author of “Presenting Mildred D. Taylor” and two books about Emmett Till, among others; and Teri Lesesne, author of “Making the Match: The Right Book for the Right Reader at the Right Time, 4-12.”
For more information, visit http://chse.lsu.edu/administration/YALConference.shtml.

Book events May 31-June 6
The Ollie Burns Branch Library will screen “Unbroken” at 5 p.m. Monday. Other library events include crafting bohemian-inspired jewelry, auto repair, learning how to write down memories and more; visit http://www.ouachita.lib.la.us/ to view the list of events happening this week.
Internationally best-selling author Sarah Pekkanen signs “Things You Won’t Say” at 6 p.m. Monday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
Gwendolyn Knapp launches her latest book, “After a While You Just Get Used to It: A Tale of Family Clutter” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the St. James Cheese Company in New Orleans. Knapp lives in New Orleans where she edits Eater NOLA.
Bill Hancock signs “Riding With The Blue Moth” at 6 p.m. Thursday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans. Hancock is the first full-time director of the NCAA Final Four, the first executive director of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and is currently the first executive director of the College Football Playoff.
Kimberly Willis Holt, author of “My Louisiana Sky” and “Dear Hank Williams” will speak about her books at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Baton Rouge Main Library.
Louisiana author and folklorist Donna McGee Onebane will discuss her book “The House that Sugarcane Built,” which chronicles the rise of the Burguieres family in Louisiana, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 7, at the Alexandre Mouton House/Lafayette Museum. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. For information, call 234-2208.
The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society's annual prelude to the summer social season and fundraiser, Juleps in June, will be from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday at the residence of Honorary Co-Chairs Tia and James Roddy, 26 Audubon Place in New Orleans, featuring mint juleps, open bar, summer buffet supper and music. Ticket reservations can be made through faulkhouse@aol.com, by calling (504) 524-2940 with credit card information or mailed to Faulkner Society, 624 Pirate's Alley. Proceeds benefit the Faulkner Society's literacy projects such as BIG READ and events for writers and readers.
The inaugural Walker Percy Weekend, a three-day literacy festival, will be Friday through Sunday in St. Francisville, where Percy set some of his fiction. There will be books, ideas, discussions, bourbon, crawfish and conversation among devotees of the Southern literary giant. For information, call (225) 635-6330 or (800) 789-4221.


Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun 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 cherecoen@gmail.com.