Sunday, January 31, 2016

Arcadia offers two new books on Louisiana towns

Lafayette journalist and photographer Linda A. Meaux has published an Images of America book on “Broussard,” which documents the origins of the community from the time Acadian brothers Alexandre and Joseph Broussard arrived to the turn of the 20th century. It’s filled with images of church life, schools, business leaders, sports figures, community dances, musicians and much more. There’s the Billeaud Sugar Mill, National League umpire Greg Bonin, the St. Cecilia School and Russell Flugence, a three-time Golden Gloves champion. Meaux uses information and photos from the Broussard Historical Preservation Society members, the Lafayette Clerk of Court, the Billeaud Companies and others.
Meaux will sign copies of “Broussard” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Barnes & Noble Lafayette.
Another book out by the Arcadia Publishing series is “Hammond” by Eric W. Johnson, the director of the Sims Memorial Library at Southeastern, along with Southeastern librarian Catherine H. Tijerino. Images were compiled largely from the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies and Southeastern archives.

Little Free Library
Crowley has a new free library at 400 W. Northern Ave., across the street from Crowley Middle, thanks to a Christmas gift Nancy Cantey received. Several months ago, Cantey mentioned to her children that she really loved the idea of Little Free Libraries, neighborhood book exchanges in private miniature “libraries” that promote both reading and community.  The motto is “Take a book, leave a book.” As both Charity and Kye Cantey are avid readers — Charity is a school librarian in Baton Rouge — they thought that a Little Free Library would make a perfect Christmas gift for Nancy and her husband, Butch. With the expertise and DIY abilities of friend Kevin Ghirardi, they built the library almost entirely from 100-year-old materials, including an old-growth cypress door cut to construct the side and back panels, a kitchen cabinet door with original hinges and an antique doorknob. Extra vintage touches were the beadboard ceiling and copper roof. For more information, including a map of Little Free Library locations around the world, visit http://littlefreelibrary.org.
Want your little library mentioned? Let me know.


New releases
Perhaps ironically, best-selling author and inspiration speaker Sara Avant Stover suffered a period of darkness after the success of her book, “The Way of the Happy Woman.” Reeling from old wounds, she came to a realization that women spend too much time being outwardly successful to the detriment of the feminine soul. She shares her experiences, along with ways to reconnect, in “The Book of She: Your Heroine’s Journey into the Heart of Feminine Power.”
Stover advocates embracing “crisis points,” which may help us to grow. “They initiate times when we’re called to detach from our smaller sense of self to graduate into living the fuller spectrum of our womanhood, humanity, and divinity,” she writes. Her book offers guidance to reconnect with “SHE,” the feminine traits and archetypal guidance that live inside women. Each chapter serves as an exercise into self-exploration.
Louisiana Poet Laureate Emerita Brenda Marie Osbey has published a new collection comprised of poetry written and published over four decades titled “All Souls: Essential Poems” by LSU Press. The New Orleans native has also published “All Saints: New and Selected Poems” and “History and Other Poems.”
Also out by LSU Press this month is “Brown v. Board and the Transformation of American Culture: Education and theSouth in the Age of Desegregation” by Ben Keppel, associate professor of history at the University of Oklahoma, and “Hispanic and Latino New Orleans:Immigration and Identity since the Eighteenth Century” by LSU associate professor of geography Andrew Sluyter, Tulane’s Center for Global Education Annie M. Gibson, LSU PhD candidate Case Watkins and Middle Tennessee State lecturer James P. Chaney.
            Tucker E. Axum III has written a book about his uncle, Mage Axum, who served in World War II in “The Reawakening of Mage Axum.” Tucker Axum grew up in Lafayette, graduated from UL-Lafayette and now lives in East Texas. He has authored articles about the martial arts and aviation.
  
Book events this week
Joie de Vivre Café of Breaux Bridge hosts an evening of poetry by four local authors — Darrell Bourque, Elizabeth Burk, Jay Bruce Fuller and Patrice Melnick — beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2. The authors will read from their works, share stories, answer questions and sign books for sale.
C.C. Lockwood will give a photo presentation as part of McNeese University’s SAGE Program from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, at the university’s SEED Center. A booksigning will follow. Lockwood is the author of many books, including the recent “Louisiana Wild.” Registration is required; visit www.mcneese.edu/leisure.
            Vern Baxter and Pam Jenkins discuss and sign “Left to Chance: Hurricane Katrina and the Story of Two New Orleans Neighborhoods” (University of Texas Press) at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, at Octavia Books of New Orleans. “Left to Chance” takes readers into two African American neighborhoods — working-class Hollygrove and middle-class Pontchartrain Park — to learn how their residents experienced the storm and the long road back to normal life.

Cheré Dastugue 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.” She also writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire, “A Cajun Dream” and “The Letter.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.