Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lafayette in America and other new releases

Dozens of towns, military ships, schools, town squares and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette are named for the teenage French aristocrat who aided George Washington and the American colonists to defeat the British in the American Revolution. Bestselling author Sarah Vowell takes on the young Marquis de Lafayette’s tale in her unconventional, engaging style in “Lafayette in the Somewhat United States.” The book not only explains Lafayette’s vital role in the Revolution, but his spectacular return visit in 1824, where thousands came out to view the American hero during a contentious presidential election.
The corresponding audiobook, which will be available Oct. 20, features an all-star cast of readers, including John Slattery of “Mad Men,” who plays Lafayette; “Parks and Recreation” star Nick Offerman as George Washington; “Boardwalk Empire’s” Bobby Cannavale as Benjamin Franklin; Patton Oswalt as Thomas Jefferson; John Hodgman of “The Daily Show” as John Adams; and SNL comedian Fred Armisen as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. As with Vowell‘s previous audiobooks, this recording includes original music by Academy Award-winner Michael Giacchino, the composer behind “Up,” “Ratatouille,” “Jurassic World” and more.

New releases
Academy Award-winning filmmaker, animation pioneer and bestselling author William Joyce will sign copies of his latest book, “Jack Frost” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Toy Fair inside the Pierremont Mall in Shreveport. Joyce is the author of “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs” and “Rolie Polie Olie,” among many others. “Jack Frost” is the seventh book in Joyce’s “Guardians of Childhood” books series, chronicling Jack Frost’s earliest adventures saving children from peril. Toy Fair will host a costume contest for children dressed up as one of their favorite “Guardians of Childhood” characters and Joyce will select a winner to receive a signed collection of the “Guardians” books. “Jack Frost” will officially be released Oct. 27 nationally.
Author and geographer Richard Campanella writes about photographer Del Hall and includes some of his unpublished photographs and stills in “The Photojournalism of Del Hall: New Orleans and Beyond, 1950s-2000s,” by LSU Press. With a foreword by Hall, the book examines his life as an award-winning photojournalist and observer of such 20th century milestones as the Civil Rights Movement, Vatican II, the Beatles’ arrival in the United States, Martin Luther King Jr., the Vietnam War and the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, among others.
Best-selling author John Grisham has released “Rogue Lawyer,” which follows unconventional Sebastian Rudd who defends people other lawyers wont touch because he believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he has to cheat to secure one. He hates injustice, doesn;t like insurance companies, banks or big corporations; he distrusts all levels of government and laughs at the justice system’s notions of ethical behavior.

Book events
Elizabeth Sanders reads from and signs her novel “The Last Light,” about bonfires and the families that build them, at 6 p.m. Monday at Octavia Books of New Orleans. Also at Octavia this week, John Biguenet discusses his book of short meditations titled “Silence” at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
LaKisha Simmons signs “Crescent City Girls: The Lives of Young Black Women in Segregated New Orleans” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Norman Mayer Library in New Orleans as part of the Big Easy Author Series. Simmons is professor of Gender Studies at SUNY, where she writes and teaches about African American women’s history, girlhood and segregation.
Rick Braggs reads from and signs his latest book of essays on life in the south titled “My Southern Journey — True Stories from the Hearts of the South” at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Garden District Book Shop of New Orleans.
David Armand launches and signs his new novel “The Gorge” at 6 p.m. Friday at Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop of New Orleans.
Alice J. Voorhies will sign copies of her latest book, “Once Upon a Time in New Iberia” from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Books Along the Teche in New Iberia, in conjunction with the city’s Artwalk.

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.