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Well-researched book tells personal story of slavery

'Beyond Freedom's Reach' by Adam Rothman

“Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery” by Adam Rothman. Harvard University Press, 2015. $29.95. Historians tend to view slavery in economic and social terms. Adam Rothman, associate professor of history at Georgetown University goes beyond the institution itself to tell the very… Continue reading →

LSU instructor’s ‘Dispensations’ finalist for Book of Year

LSU instructor Randolph Thomas’ book “Dispensations” is a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award. “Dispensations” is a short story collection that won the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project in 2013. It is set in rural Virginia, where Thomas grew up in the 1960s and ’70s. “These stories are about… Continue reading →

Book events for March 29 - April 3

“THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL,” GARY L. STEWART: 6:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church Conference Center, 930 North Blvd. Stewart will discuss his 12-year search for his father. (225) 753-4226 or “LOUISIANA’S SACRED PLACES,” DEBORAH BURST: Noon, Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, 100… Continue reading →

‘Holy Mark’ explores priest’s dark secrets

'The Holy Mark' by Gregory Alexander

“The Holy Mark. The Tragedy of a Fallen Priest” by Gregory Alexander. Hill City Press, 2014. $14.99. “But we can’t keep our true selves bottled up forever. They’ve got to come out.” Native New Orleanian Gregory Alexander introduces us to Father Tony, originally born Joe Broussard,… Continue reading →

Book events for March 22 - 29

Book events GRACE & VIOLENCE IN THE STORIES OF FLANNERY O’CONNOR: 6:30 p.m., Fairwood Branch Library, 12910 Old Hammond Highway. The Rev. John Blewitt, of Faith Presbyterian Church, will lead a discussion on Flannery O’Connor. ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY DISCUSSION:… Continue reading →

Women’s poetry reading celebrates 17 years

FILE - In this May 3, 2006, file photo, author James Patterson contemplates a question during an interview at his home overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach, Fla. Having handed out more than $1 million to help independent bookstores, James Patterson is now sharing his wealth with public school libraries. The best-selling author announced Monday, March 9, 2015, that he was donating $1.25 million through a grant program administered with Scholastic Reading Club.  (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

The Baton Rouge Gallery will host the 17th annual Women’s History Poetry Reading at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 22. Original poems lasting three to four minutes about women, history or both will be read by a wide range of Louisiana women at the long-standing event, which is part of the “Sundays@4” series at the gallery, 1515 Dalrymple… Continue reading →

Book events for March 15-20

Book events “EDMUND UNRAVELS” BY ANDREW KOLB: 11 a.m., Barnes & Noble CitiPlace, 2590 CitiPlace Court. Activities to follow. GRACE AND VIOLENCE IN FLANNERY O’CONNOR’S STORIES: 6:30 p.m., Fairwood Branch, 12910 Old Hammond Highway. Rev. John Blewitt will lead a discussion… Continue reading →

Characters take journey to remember, if they can

'The Strange Library' by Haruki Murakami

“The Buried Giant” by Kazuo Ishiguro. Alfred A. Knopf, 2015. $26.95 The latest novel from Kazuo Ishiguro (“The Remains of the Day”) is set is the distant past in misty Britain. Axl and Beatrice, two elderly Britons, set off across a land filled with ogres and pixies and even… Continue reading →

La. attorney makes mark with ‘Crude Justice’

'Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America' by Stuart H. Smith

“Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America” by Stuart H. Smith. Ben Bella, 2015. $24.95. New Orleans lawyer Stuart Smith is a veteran of the fight against Big Oil and pollution. Making his mark… Continue reading →

Book events for March 8 - 13

Book events ED CULLEN, “MY RADIO LIFE”: 5 p.m., St. Alban’s Episcopal Chapel, Dalrymple Drive. HISTORICAL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB: 7 p.m., Jones Creek Regional Library, 6222 Jones Creek Road. “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President” by Candace… Continue reading →

LSU book bazaar to be held March 5-7

Advocate staff photo by Beth Colvin -- Friends of the LSU Libraries Book Bazaar Chairwoman Anne West holds a German Bible from 1868.

Nestled in the palm of Anne West’s hand is a tiny Bible clothed in purple velvet and adorned with fantastically detailed brass inlay. It’s well over 100 years old, and the elegantly rendered text is in German. West can’t divulge much about the tiny book, other than to say it immigrated with a German family and… Continue reading →

Book events for March 5 - 8

Book events STORY TIME: 4 p.m., Amite Branch Library, 204 NE Central Ave. Story readings. READING FROM NOW HISTORY: One Home Front in World War II: 4 p.m., Baton Rouge Gallery, 1515 Dalrymple Drive. (225) 383-… Continue reading →

Books can make versatile and meaningful home-design elements

Associated Press photo by Beth J. Harpaz -- A solid wall of 4,000 paperback romance novels spelling out the word forever in an art installation at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. The work by John Salvest was part of a major contemporary art show at the museum in late 2013. Salvest said there was an 'underlying sadness' to collecting the discarded books from thrift shops in an era when fewer people read physical books.

— Some people love the look of a bookshelf stuffed with books, and what that represents. Others see books as clutter, and wonder why anyone owns them in the digital era. But the “well-chosen book,” or an artfully displayed stack of books, “can be as powerful as any other design element,” said… Continue reading →

Ignatius comes home with ‘One Book’ read

Photo provided by LSU Press -- The One Book, One Community Kick-Off Event starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at  North Boulevard Town Square.This year's selection is 'A Confederacy of Dunces' by John Kennedy Toole.

Grab your cheese dip. The East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s One Book, One Community project’s selection is John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces,” a love letter to New Orleans that contains a famously sharp line about Baton Rouge. One Book, One Community kicks off Saturday with a New Orleans-style street party in Town Square,… Continue reading →

Festival of Words to host evening of oral history, poetry

Clemonce Heard

The Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective is holding an evening of oral history and poetry at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The event will feature poet Clemonce Heard, of New Orleans, and siblings Allen Charles, Earline Duplechaine and Rose Marie Perry, who will share personal stories. The event takes place at the… Continue reading →

Book Review: Rocking with The Ramones

'Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As A Ramone' by Marky Ramone

“Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone” by Marky Ramone with Rich Herschlag. Touchstone, 2015. $28. The Ramones are one of my favorite bands of all time, but I knew very little about Marky Ramone before reading this book. Marky Ramone might be the least well-known… Continue reading →

Book Events Calendar for Feb. 22, 2015

Best events LISTEN: The Words of Women: 2 p.m., The Red Shoes, 2303 Government St. A celebration of local female writers as they read from their recent work. Renée Bacher, Claire Boudreaux Bateman, Dorothy Early Davis, Laurie Lynn Drummond, Ava Leavell Haymon, Jacqueline Dee… Continue reading →

150 years after assassination, Lincoln still resonates

'Lincoln's Body: A Cultural History

“Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History” by Richard Wightman Fox. W.W. Norton, 2015. $28.95. This year marks 150 years since Abraham Lincoln was killed by an assassin’s bullet as he took in a play, and there’s a slew of books to commemorate his life and legacy. This is among the best of them.… Continue reading →

‘Citizens Creek’ a true tale that offers a unique outlook

'Citizens Creek' by Lalita Tademy

“Citizens Creek” by Lalita Tademy. Atria Books, 2014. $26. Lalita Tademy has built her résumé by constructing period novels told in contemporary voices. In “Cane River,” Tademy delved into the French/black Creole fusion that produced a unique culture in the 1700s in central Louisiana.“Red River” was a sequel of sorts, but the… Continue reading →

La. native’s first novel has little bit of everything

'The Saints of Lost Things

“The Saints of Lost Things: A Novel” by C.H. Lawler. CreateSpace, 2014. $19.99. Love blooms as Hurricane Betsy sloshed ashore in Louisiana in 1965, and Louisiana native C.H. Lawler’s first novel takes Sammy Teague and Betsy Duplechain through a gauntlet of history, of class, of race and even a little bit of the… Continue reading →

Edie Spence dives into darkness in series finale

“Bloodshifted” by Cassie Alexander. St. Martin’s, 2014. $7.99. Edie Spence is back and is going somewhere she never dreamed she would — straight into vampire territory. In order to save her baby and herself, Edie travels down into the catacombs of a vampire nightclub. She made a deal with a vampire… Continue reading →

‘Fire on the Bayou’ more than just a romance novel

'Fire on the Bayou' by M.A. Harper

“Fire on the Bayou” by M.A. Harper. booksBnimble, 2014. $2.99. Don’t let the cover of the book fool you; New Orleans author M.A. Harper’s newest novel, “Fire on the Bayou,” is a romantic story, but it is much more than a traditional bodice-ripper romance. A prequel to… Continue reading →

Josephine Bonaparte essential in Napoleon rise

'Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte

“Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte” by Kate Williams. Ballentine, 2014. $30. Napoleon and Josephine’s tangled, messy, power-rich romance has long been the stuff of soap operas. Kate Williams sharpens Josephine into a crafty political player, a master manipulator as essential to Napoleon’s… Continue reading →

Southern baseball coach Roger Cador reveals a few things you might not know about him in new book ‘Against All Odds’

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern coach Roger Cador

To college baseball fans, coach Roger Cador’s success at Southern University is well known. But not Cador himself. Cador’s just-published autobiography should change that. “Against All Odds,” which is available at, does more than detail Cador’s 30 years at the helm of Jaguar baseball, producing 14 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and eight… Continue reading →

Book Events, Dec. 28, 2014

Book events SCIENCE FICTION BOOK CLUB: 6 p.m., Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Contact Lynette Lee at (225) 231-3733. STORY TIME: 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble, 2590 CitiPlace Court. Join us as we read “Once Upon an Alphabet” by… Continue reading →

Comics how-to, family drama, past and future of jazz

?Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels? by Brian Michael Bendis

“Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels” by Brian Michael Bendis. Watson-Guptill, 2014. $24.99. Writers, do you want to break into the comic book industry? “Words for Pictures” can help you. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, one of Marvel’s best selling writers,… Continue reading →

BR lawyer Rubin debuts his first novel, ‘Cottoncrest Curse’

Baton Rouge attorney Michael Rubin's debut novel, 'The Cottoncrest Curse'

Lawyer, adjunct law professor, nationally known legal ethicist, humorist, author, musician — those are just a few of the adjectives that describe Michael Rubin, managing partner at McGlinchey Stafford. “The most important, though, are husband, father and grandfather,” says the 64-year-old, smiling. It’s his role as author that’s put him in the… Continue reading →

Manning’s ‘Batman’ details crusader’s development

'Batman: A Visual History' by Matthew K. Manning

“Batman: A Visual History” by Matthew K. Manning. DK Publishing, 2014. $50. Batman fans, rejoice! The visual history of the caped crusader is here! A foreword by Frank Miller, “The Dark Knight Returns,” is a fitting opening for a book that takes you from Batman’s humble beginning… Continue reading →

Book Events for Dec. 14, 2014

Book events HONEYKY HANUKAH STORYTIME: 11 a.m., Barnes & Noble Perkins Rowe, 10156 Perkins Rowe, Suite 150. A fun-filled story celebrating Hanukah with an accompanying CD. ANNUAL HOLIDAY FAMILY STORYTIME: 7 p.m., Jones Creek Regional Library, 6222 Jones Creek Road. Christmas books, stories songs… Continue reading →

Book Events for Dec. 7, 2014

Book events FICTION WRITERS WORKSHOP: 7 p.m. Greenwell Springs Regional Library, 11300 Greenwell Springs Road. Limited to 15. Call to register. (225) 274-4440. HISTORICAL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB: 7 p.m., Jones Creek Regional Branch, 6222 Jones Creek Road. “When Paris Went Dark:… Continue reading →

‘Great Pirate Christmas Battle’ fun tale for holiday

'The Great Pirate Christmas Battle' by Michael G. Lewis

“The Great Pirate Christmas Battle” by Michael G. Lewis. Pelican Publishing, 2014. $16.99. Cap’n McNasty and his crew, bored with stealing gold and other treasures, decide one night to steal Christmas presents from sleeping children. However, things get interesting when they get an unexpected surprise from… Continue reading →

‘Down the Crossroads’ tells how ’66 march led to voting power

?Down to the Crossroads. Civil Rights, Black Power and the Meredith March Against Fear? by Aram Goudsouzian

“Down to the Crossroads. Civil Rights, Black Power and the Meredith March Against Fear” by Aram Goudsouzian. Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux Publishers, 2014. $30. In 1962. James Meredith became the first African-American to register at the University of Mississippi. Four years later, he set out to march from Memphis, Tennessee,… Continue reading →