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