Book Events for May 26-June 1

Edsel to speak at World War II Museum

The National WWII Museum, in partnership with the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and 89.9 WWNO-FM, will host a special lecture and book signing for writer and historian Robert M. Edsel at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 30. The author will discuss the dramatic American effort at the end of World War II to save priceless treasures from the Nazis — the subject of an upcoming major motion picture starring George Clooney and Matt Damon.

Edsel’s talk is called “Saving Italy: The Monuments Men, Nazis, and War” and is based on his book Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis, published on May 6. The book recounts the determined American drive, before the shooting ceased, to save priceless art looted by the Germans from great museums in Florence and Naples.

Edsel is the author of the non-fiction books Rescuing Da Vinci and The MonumentsMen: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, as well as the forthcoming Saving Italy. He is also co-producer of the award-winning documentary film, TheRape of Europa. In addition, he is the founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, a nonprofit entity that received the National Humanities Medal. He serves as a Board of Trustees member at The National WWII Museum.

A 5 p.m. reception will precede the lecture. Both will be held in the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Guests can register at the museum’s website or by calling (877) 813-3229, ext. 412, or emailing

EBR Parish Library

Visitors from the Baton Rouge Astronomical Society return with a variety of physical science experiments of interest for children and their families this summer. UV bracelets, hematite magnets and the Armatron are back, with a few new surprises. Dates and times are listed below, and registration is required. For more information or to register, call the individual branch.

Join Harvey Rabbit, Cecil the Orangutan, Miss Laura and Mr. Time, as Harvey Rabbit and Friends bring fun and mayhem to the library with ventriloquism, puppetry, music, magic, comedy and audience participation.

For more information, call the individual library branch.

The Louisiana Art & Science Museum will present a variety of Discovery Dome programs for children at each of the libraries this summer. Each library will have four programs. Call your local branch to see which programs and times are available. Times listed below are when the first program starts.

For more information or to register, call the individual branch.

Regina Smith and Ken Dixon will present a program on Native American dances and traditions at various library branches this summer. Dances range from men’s and women’s traditional dances, grass dance, fancy shawl, and more.

For more information or to register, call the individual branch.

Book club:

Science Fiction Book Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at Greenwell Springs Regional branch. Members will discuss Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh.

Lafayette Public Library

The Summer Reading Kickoff Celebration will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, May 31, at the South Regional branch, 6101 Johnston St. in Lafayette. Internationally known for her spicy style, Johnette Downing’s movin’ and groovin’ musical performances will start the kickoff with her concert “Reading Rocks.” There will also be crafts, a fun jump, “Zoo Zoom” petting zoo and more. The Northside High Drill SQUAD will also perform their “Stepping” percussive dance routines. For details, call (337) 981-1028.

Programs for all ages will be held at many of the branch libraries in June and July. Check for updates.

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at the South Regional branch, 6101 Johnston St., Daniel Hammer from the Williams Research Center in New Orleans will discuss the history and architecture of the Big Easy’s oldest and most iconic cemeteries, the St. Louis Cemeteries, which date back as early as 1788. These important monuments to New Orleans’ history and culture are threatened, due to exposure, vandalism and overuse. This talk will touch on the conservation of these cemeteries and the outlook for their future. Call (337) 981-1028.

Ascension Parish Library

Ascension Parish resident David Oubre will share “Woodcarving Secrets” at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at the Donaldsonville branch, 500 Mississippi St. in Donaldsonville. Oubre, who has made many fine pieces of furniture and is a member of the Pelican Woodcarvers Guild, will explain how to design wood, and what types of finishes, types of carving and sharpening tools are used. Oubre will also share how he came to find the joys of woodcarving. Registration is required. Call (225) 473-8052.

Livingston Parish Library

Book clubs:

South Branch Bookies will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at South branch, 23477 La. 444 in Livingston. Members will discuss Where the River Ends by Charles Martin.

Sci Fi Book Club will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at the Main Branch, 20390 Iowa St. in Livingston. Members will discuss The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard.

WBR Parish Library

The Harvey Rabbit & Friends Show will be on hand for the Summer Kickoff Party 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Friday, May 31, at the library, 830 N. Alexander Ave. in Port Allen. The celebration will run 1 p.m.-5 p.m. with an afternoon of activities and fun events.

Jefferson Parish Library

Cardholders of the Jefferson Parish Library may now participate in a new download music service that offers access to about 3 million songs, including Sony Music’s catalog of artists and more than 10,000 labels with music that originates in more than 60 countries.

Freegal Music Service is a downloadable music service in which library cardholders can download three songs a week with their barcode and pin number. Freegal works with any MP3 device, including iPods.

Patrons must enter the Freegal site via the Jefferson Parish Library website.

There is no software to download, and there are no digital rights management restrictions. Access to Freegal is limited to Jefferson Parish Library patrons with current library accounts in good standing.

Patrons download music by completing the following steps.

Patrons can get help from library staff if they have questions.

The Freegal Music Service is operated by a private company, Library Ideas, LLC of Fairfax, Virginia. Copyright laws apply for all music downloaded.

For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, manager of adult programming for the library, at (504) 889-8143 or

Sal Serio, curator of the American Italian Research Center at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie, will lead a series of 12 genealogical seminars for beginners during the summer of 2013. The sessions are designed as introductions to basic genealogical research. They are open to the public and are free of charge. All will be held 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave. in Metairie.

The courses will focus on the following genealogical issues. Some of the courses will be presented by Serio and some will be presented by guest speakers.

For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, manager of adult programming for the library, at 504-889-8143 or

Library links

Writers’ group

Barnes & Noble Westbank, 1601B West Bank Expressway in Harvey, is hosting a Writers’ Group 6 p.m.-8 p.m. on Tuesdays. This is a networking and critiquing forum for writers of all skill levels. Be prepared to read what you are working on, to take constructive criticism and to give it.

Writers’ Guild of Acadiana Meeting

Writers’ Guild of Acadiana (WGA) is an organization made up of local writers, published and unpublished, who meet on the last Tuesday of the month to share and gain knowledge in the craft of writing. Beginners and veterans of the writing industry are all welcome at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at Barnes & Noble, 5705 Johnston St. in Lafayette.


David Sedaris, author of Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, will sign copies of his book at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at Barnes & Noble, 2590 Citiplace Court.

Elizabeth Becker, author of Overbooked, will sign copies of her book 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

Mikki Zimmerman, author of Can I Get a Witness? 21 Frustrations of a Black Woman (Including Me), will sign copies of her book at noon Saturday, June 1, at Barnes & Noble, 2590 Citiplace Court.

Gen. Russel Honore, author of Leadership in the New Normal, will sign copies of his book, 5-8 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Crawfish Town USA, 2815 Grand Point Highway in Henderson.

Items for Book Events were provided by the National WWII Museum, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Lafayette Public Library, Ascension Parish Library, Livingston Parish Library, West Baton Rouge Parish Library Jefferson Parish Library, Barnes & Noble and Writers’ Guild of Acadiana.