Sunday, July 24, 2016

Acadian House scores with three new books

            Acadian House Publishing of Lafayette has released three new books this year, all wonderful books to add to your library.
            Twenty authors recount growing up in South Louisiana before computers, big-screen TVs and Pokemon in “Growing Up in South Louisiana.” The book features 25 chapters, many first-person stories culled from the pages of Acadiana Profile magazine or previous books released by the publisher. There’s an excerpt from Marcelle Bienvenu’s cookbook “Who’s Your Mama, Are You Catholic, Can You Make A Roux,” for example, and Cajun artist Floyd’s Sonnier’s memoir, “From Small Bits of Charcoal.”
            Viola Fontenot describes growing up a sharecropper’s daughter in Acadia Parish. Brent Broussard recounts the harrowing experience of Hurricane Audrey. Frederick Lafleur takes readers “Froggin’ on a Friday night.”
            The charming book comes filled with photographs and Sonnier sketches.
            Camille Pavy Claibourne uses her heart-felt personal experiences as well as her professional know-how in “Purses & Shoes for Sale: The Joys and Challenges of Caring for Elderly Parents.”
Claibourne is president and CEO of Cabill, Inc. consulting company for leadership development, nursing management and caregiver education. She also holds a PhD in human and organization behavior, so her advice to top notch, including the invaluable resources, handy Q&As of end-of-life questions and down-to-earth advice in the back of the book. 
The title derives from a comment her mother made about her obituary. “Just make it simple,” she told the author. “Anna Mae Pavy — she died. Purses and shoes for sale.”
It’s this warmth and humor that makes the book shine.
  Acadian House has reissued one of Mary Alice Fontenot’s most beloved children’s books, “Tah-Tye: The Last ‘Possum in the Pouch.” Tah-Tye is rather shy, not wanting to leave his mother’s pouch. With her encouragement, he begins exploring the swamp world and finds it exciting, even when he must play dead to avoid a snake.
            Publisher Trent Angers has even tied Tah-Tye as the “Rally Possum” who brought the 2016 LSU baseball team such good luck. Because he overcame his shyness in the story, Angers believe he began attending LSU games.
“Legend has it that one night in May of 2016, when his team was losing a game, Tah-Tye ran out on the field and led the fans in a cheer,” Angers claims. “Then an amazing happened: The team began to rally, and they won the game. And that was the night when Tah-Tye became known as The Rally Possum.”  
The book’s illustrator is Scott R. Blazek, a freelance artist who has illustrated numerous children’s books, including several of Fontenot’s “Clovis Crawfish” series.


Harry Potter
The big book news this week is the release of the new Harry Potter book by J.K. Rowling, which goes on sale Sunday, July 31. Locally, Barnes & Noble Lafayette will offer a Countdown to Midnight Party beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday. At the event, two customers who entered the store’s sweepstakes will be chosen at random, there will be a special Muggle Wall where customers can share their favorite memories of Harry Potter and the store will offer giveaways. Then, on Sunday, July 31, customers can return to Barnes & Noble to share their perspectives on the new book and participate in additional Harry Potter-themed events, with activities and giveaways. Based on an original new story by Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is a new play by Thorne and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The new book, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two,” is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series.

Book events
The Historic New Orleans Collection will present three programs this summer in conjunction with its current exhibition “Voices of Progress: Twenty Women Who Changed New Orleans.” The first event — a lecture and book signing with Pamela Tyler — will take place Wednesday at 533 Royal St. in New Orleans. The exhibition will open at 5:30 p.m., and the event will formally start at 6 p.m. An associate professor of history at University of Southern Mississippi, Tyler is the author of “New Orleans Women and the Poydras Home” (LSU Press, 2016), which presents the history of the 200-year-old institution from its founding as an orphanage for young girls to its present-day operation as a retirement community and assisted living facility. Her previous title, “Silk Stockings and Ballot Boxes: Women and Politics in New Orleans 1920–1963” (University of Georgia Press 1996), won the 1996 Kemper and Leila Williams Prize in Louisiana History, an annual award for nonfiction presented by THNOC and the Louisiana Historical Association.
The Writers’ Guild of Acadiana will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Barnes & Noble Lafayette.


Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.