Sunday, July 26, 2015

Lake Charles' Dale Archer sees ADHD as advantage

            Call me defensive but as a mother of two children with ADHD I cringe when I see a new book on the market belittling the disorder. Dale Archer’s latest, “The ADHD Advantage: What You Thought Was a Diagnosis May Be Your Greatest Strength,” was a pleasant surprise.
            Archer is a psychiatrist and Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. A native of New Orleans and a graduate of Tulane and the University of Texas, he founded The Institute for Neuropsychiatry in Lake Charles.
            Archer is no stranger to ADHD, having lived with the disorder himself, but his new book looks at managing symptoms to the patient’s advantage rather than simply taking prescriptions. Archer admits repeatedly that there are many suffering from ADHD who need medication, but he fears that too many children and adults are being diagnosed for distractibility, impatience and impulsiveness who are really just suffering from curiosity, boredom and the lack of challenges, character traits that can be nurtured and supported without drugs. Many of the world’s innovators suffered from ADHD, he contends, and if workplaces acknowledged these super-achievers often labeled as scatterbrains it would work to everyone’s advantage.
            Again, Archer doesn’t downplay the disorder but rather offers ways of leveraging symptoms without drugs. He advocates being creative when educating children, working in ways that emphasizes the ADHD brain and creating environments that assist the non-linear thinker.
            “It’s a matter of leveraging its characteristics as strengths, choosing the right career and education path, and maintaining an awareness of what works, without struggling to try to fit into a box that teachers, family, peers and the rest of society call ‘normal,’” Archer writes.
            Amen to that. Now if we could just get the rest of the world on board. That, to me, is the real struggle.
            Archer’s first book, “Better Than Normal: How What Makes You Different Can Make You Exceptional,” was a New York Times bestseller.

New releases
University of Georgia J.O. Eidson Distinguished Professor Emeritus James Nagel examines recurring themes of culture, class and race in four volumes of short stories by Louisiana authors in “Race and Culture in New Orleans Stories: Kate Chopin, Grace King, AliceDunbar Nelson and George Washington Cable” (University of Alabama Press). Nagel is a former president of the international Ernest Hemingway Society and the author of 23 books, one of which was made into a Hollywood film.
Another Alabama Press book that deals with a Louisiana subject is R. Eric Platt’s “Sacrifice and Survival: Identity, Mission, and Jesuit Higher Education in the American South.” Platt traces the roots of Jesuit education from the rise of Ignatius Loyola in the mid-16th century through the European development of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit educational identity and mission, the migration of Jesuits to colonial New Orleans, the expulsion of Jesuits by Papal mandate, the reorganization of Jesuit education, their attempt to establish a network of educational institutions across the South, and the final closure of all but two southern Jesuit colleges and a set of high schools.
            S. Carlisle May, the great niece of Dr. Lamb Myhr, a World War II surgeon who served across Europe and North Africa, has published “A World War II Flight Surgeon’s Story” with Pelican Publishing of New Orleans. The book includes a foreword by Martin K.A. Morgan of New Orleans, author of “The Americans on D-Day: A Photographic History of the Normandy Invasion.”
            Also by Pelican is a new release of Robert Tallant’s novel, “Mrs. Candy and Saturday Night,” with a foreword by New Orleans author C.W. Cannon. The book follows Mrs. Candy who throws a party for the diverse renters of her New Orleans boarding house where secrets spill in the 24-hour time span of the story. Tallant was a participant in the WPA Writers’ Project during the 1930s and 1940s. During the last years of his life, he was a lecturer in English at Newcomb College.
            And for some strange stories of the South, try George Washington Cable’s “Strange True Stories of Louisiana,” written more than a century ago and republished in paperback, and Keven McQueen’s “Gothic and Strange True Tales of the South,” both published by Pelican.
            Stephanie Hoffpauir of Lafayette lost an amazing amount of weight and wants to share her secrets in her new ebook, “Weight Loss — The Peaceful Way: How I Lost Over 100 Lbs. Digging Deep and Coming Up Alive.” Hoffpauir is the founder of the Peaceful Weight Loss program. To learn more, visit

Book events
Gary Wiviott, a barbecue authority and Colleen Rush, a freelance food and travel writer, will sign “Low and Slow 2: The Art of Barbecue, Smoke-Roasting and Basic Curing” with 100 new recipes at 2 p.m. today at Octavia Books of New Orleans.
Teen aspiring astronaut and Louisiana native Alyssa Carson will be at the Lafayette Main Library at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Caron will discuss her training and preparation to fulfill her dream of reaching Mars.
Events this week at Barnes & Noble Lafayette’s second annual “Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes and Noble,” are James Patterson Day today, a special storytime at 7 p.m. Tuesday in honor of the newly discovered Dr. Seuss book “What Pet Should I Get?” and the Dr. Seuss Spectacular at 7 p.m. Friday. In addition, the store is offering sweepstakes and giveaways. For more information on what’s happening during Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble month at Barnes & Noble Lafayette, customers can visit the store or 
Writers’ Guild of Acadiana meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Barnes & Noble Lafayette. The meetings are free and open to the public.
            The Author and Reader Con will be Thursday through Saturday in New Orleans. For those who attend as a reader, the fee is only $15. Friday’s schedule is full of author panels, publishing discussions and fun events for readers. Saturday is the giant booksigning, then awards and a ball. For complete details, visit
            Warren Mary Perrin will discuss and sign copies of “Acadie Then and Now: A People’s History” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Ascension Parish Library in Donaldsonville. For more information, call (337) 233-5832, or email

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cookbook Thursday: Marinated Gulf shrimp on the grill from 'Mr. Dickey's Barbecue Cookbook'

Pelican Publishing out of New Orleans produces quite a few cookbooks each year, including many on Louisiana cuisine. Here’s one from our neighbor, Texas, featuring 100 recipes and pointers from ribs to cocktails — “Mr. Dickey's Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes from a True Texas Pit Master” by Roland Dickey and Polly Powers Stramm.
Dickey hails from a barbecue legacy, the son of Travis Dickey who opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Dallas in 1941. Today, Roland Dickey and his brother, T.D. Dickey Jr., continue the business that has expanded throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area with franchises.
            Co-author Stramm is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in such publications as USA Today, Time, Newsweek and People. Her other works with Pelican include “St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah.”
Photographer Robert M. Peacock has photographed for publications such as Southern Living and Coastal Living. He is also the photographer for “Dallas Classic Desserts,” “San Antonio Classic Desserts” and “The Big Texas Steakhouse Cookbook,” all from Pelican.

Grilled Shrimp
From “Mr. Dickey's Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes from a True Texas Pit Master”
30 (5 shrimp per kabob) raw Gulf Mexican shrimp, cleaned and pealed
Juice of 3 lemons
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
            Directions: Marinate the shrimp in the refrigerator for 1 hour in the lemon juice, salt, both peppers and olive oil. After an hour, thread the shrimp onto the kabob skewers so they are close together or they'll dry out very quickly while cooking.
            Grill the shrimp kabobs over red hot coals for about 2 minutes, then turn and baste with the marinade. Cook for another minute, then turn the kabob over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. You'll know the shrimp are done when they are completely pink. If the middles are not turning pink, you can separate the shrimp a little on the skewers. Do not overcook shrimp or they'll become rubbery. Baste again with the marinade before removing them from the grill. Place them on a platter and serve hot.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Jefferson Bass pushes character to 'Breaking Point;' Historic New Orleans Collection publishes 2 new books

             A prominent humanitarian has died in a fiery plane crash near San Diego and the FBI calls on Dr. Bill Brockton for assistance, the director of the University of Tennessee’s forensic laboratory known as the “Body Farm,” in “The Breaking Point” by Jefferson Bass. Finding and examining the pieces of the crash tells a tale involving federal agents, drug lords and a secretive celebrity.
            The book is actually written by the team of Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass, the latter a forensic anthropologist who created UT’s Anthropology Research Facility, dubbed the Body Farm. The duo published Bass’s memoir, “Death’s Acre,” before writing several fictional books based on the Body Farm, beginning with the New York Times bestseller “Carved in Bone.”
            In “The Breaking Point,” Brockton juggles the mysterious plane crash along with a local news station blowing out of proportion his use of body donations for university research. To top it all, an old killer sends Brockton a threatening message. But the largest blow comes when his wife of 30 years receives the worst news of all.
I’ve always been curious about UT’s “Body Farm” and forensic research and “The Breaking Point” offers intricate details on both. CSI fans will not want to miss this, the latest in a long-running series. “The Breaking Point” features a solid mystery at its core with lots of action and conflict to continue in future books, but it’s also a tender love story complete with heartache, the action of which may push Dr. Brockton to the breaking point.

Historic New Orleans Collection
The Historic New Orleans Collection will release its latest book, for “The Katrina Decade: Images of an Altered City” by photographer David Spielman with a book launch from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the HNOC, 533 Royal Street in the French Quarter. Spielman will discuss his experiences documenting post-Katrina New Orleans for the book, which includes more than 125 images of the city over the past 10 years. A light reception will follow the presentation.
A free companion exhibition will also be on view beginning Aug. 22 and running through Jan. 9, 2016, at THNOC’s dedicated art gallery, 400 Chartres St.

This is the second book released this summer by THNOC, the first being the gorgeous coffee table tome, “Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect” by New Orleans‒based architectural photographer Robert S. Brantley. Howard is one of the most prolific architects of the 19th century yet so little is known of the Irish immigrant who made New Orleans his home. Madewood, Bocage and Nottoway plantations, Plaquemine courthouses, the Pontalba buildings of Jackson Square and numerous churches, schools and private residences of New Orleans are only a few of his many accomplishments.
Brantley details Howard’s life and career accented by photographs by the author and Jan White Brantley. The book, co-published with Princeton Architectural Press, also includes historic photos, architectural drawings, articles and advertisements, documents, site plans and more — it’s a virtual stroll through New Orleans history through the realm of an amazing architect.
The book retails for $60 and is available at The Shop at The Collection, independent bookstores and national retailers. An exhibition on Howard’s years in New Orleans is set to open this fall at THNOC.

Book events July 12-18, 2015
            Harper Lee’s new novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” goes on sale Tuesday and Barnes & Noble Lafayette will open at 7 a.m., with those who purchase a book before 10 a.m. receiving a free tall hot coffee in the store’s café. The first 20 customers to buy the book in every store will receive a free “To Kill a Mockingbird” reusable tote. The store will also host a Harper Lee Celebration Monday in which all Barnes & Noble stores nationwide will read Harper Lee’s classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” from start to finish. The Read-A-Thon will feature a variety of special guest readers, including local authors or celebrities.
Events this week at Barnes & Noble’s second annual “Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble,” are DC Comics Days and The Comic Convention Collectibles today, heading to the 1980s on Throwback Thursday, Minions Fun at 7 p.m. Friday, “Stars Wars” Saturday for fans of all ages and Manga Mania on Sunday, July 19. In addition, the store is offering sweepstakes and giveaways. For more information on what’s happening during Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble month at Barnes & Noble Lafayette customers can visit the store or 
The General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II Jonathan W. Jordan presents "American Warlords: How Roosevelt's High Command Led America to Victory in World War II"
(the same title as his new book) at Thursday at the World War II Museum in New Orleans. There will be a 5 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. presentation and Q&A and a 7 p.m. book signing.
Tony Dunbar discusses and signs his eighth book in the Tubby Dubonnet series, “Night Watchman,” at 6 p.m. Thursday at Garden District Book Shop of New Orleans.

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