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Easy to be engrossed in astronaut’s quest

'Watch the Lady' by Elizabeth Fremantle

“The Martian” by Andy Weir. Crown, 2014. $25. I started seeing “The Martian” pop up on a lot of “best of” lists a few months ago, and when I found out it was being made into a movie starring Matt Damon, I knew I had to pick up a… Continue reading →

Book events SUMMER READING PROGRAM AWARDS DAY: 2 p.m., Amite Branch Library, 204 NE Central Ave. Come celebrate the end of the Teen Titans Summer Reading Program. Hero costumes welcome. tangilibrary.evanced.info/eventsignup.asp?ID=3368.… Continue reading →

Cold War heats up in alt-history thriller ‘Bombs’

'Bombs Away' by Harry Turtledove

“Bombs Away” by Harry Turtledove. Del Ray, 2015. $28. Turtledove is at it again, this time with a Korean War gone horribly nuclear and mutually assured destruction comes into bright, radioactive detail. As usual, his storyline is just plausible. His characters, however, fall mostly flat, inviting the reader to… Continue reading →

Glen Davis hosts ‘Booking it with Baby’ tour

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING  Glen 'Big Baby' Davis.       Announcement of funding for Imagination Library at YWCA Istrouma Early Head Start followed by a volunteer project where members from Women in Medias networking organization joined forces with former LSU basketball star and NBA player  Glen 'Big Baby' Davis in reading to children Friday, Oct. 21, 2011. The volunteer project was  one of 20 projects happening on Friday morning, as part of United Ways Make a Difference Day.  MAGS OUT / INTERNET OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/ LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC./GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT/225/10/12/IN REGISTER/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/

The fifth annual “Booking it with Baby” tour comes to Baton Rouge this week. From Tuesday through Friday, July 14-17, the Glen “Big Baby” Davis Foundation in partnership with the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System, will highlight literacy. Davis, a Los Angeles Clipper and Baton Rouge native, will travel through the city on the library’s… Continue reading →

New book on Scotlandville celebrates the faces, places that shaped the community

Images of America: Scotlandville

When Arcadia Publishing approached Southern University Law Center communications director Rachel L. Emanuel about producing a pictorial history of Scotlandville, she wanted some local expertise. “I knew, not being from Scotlandville, that Ruby Simms was a Scotlandville scholar, and I knew Charles Vincent from way back, and they would really add legitimacy to the book,” Emanuel… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events for July 5 - 11

Book events CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS: 3 p.m., Kumon Math and Reading Center, 14506 S. Harrells Ferry Road. Focus on short stories. (225) 315-1086. GET POP-CULTURED: DC Comics Days begins at 9 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 2590… Continue reading →

Medical history, historical mystery fascinate

?The New York Times Book of Medicine:  More Than 150 years of Reporting on the Evolution of Medicine,? edited by Gina Kolata

“The New York Times Book of Medicine: More Than 150 years of Reporting on the Evolution of Medicine,” edited by Gina Kolata. Sterling, 2015. $24.95. Since its beginning in 1851, The New York Times has regularly reported on significant medical discoveries and advancements. This compilation of 120 carefully chosen… Continue reading →

Book events for June 28, 2015

Book events WEEKLY SUPERHERO STATION, BOOK HEROES: 10 a.m., River Center Branch Library, 120 St. Louis St. Play a game to match the hero to the correct book. Make your own superhero cape. Ages 5-11. Groups must register. (225) 389-4959. SUPER HEDGEHOGS UNITE!:… Continue reading →

Remembering Avondale: Giant shipyard once the largest employer in the state

Cover of Avondale history

Avondale Shipyard has grown quiet in recent years. Once the largest employer in Louisiana with 26,000 jobs, after its sale to Northrop Grumman in 2001, the number of employees dwindled to 200 engineers. Shipbuilding operations were eventually moved to Pascagoula, Mississippi. But thousands of men and women around New Orleans still remember with pride… Continue reading →

Put ‘Lists’ on to-do list

'Lists of Note' compiled by Shaun Usher

“Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience” compiled by Shaun Usher. Chronicle Books, 2015. $40. I’m an inveterate list-maker. I have to-do lists, grocery lists, to-bring lists. I might have lists about lists. So Shaun Usher’s big book of lists made me deeply happy.… Continue reading →

Area book events for June 21 - 26

Book events CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS-A-PALOOZA: 2:30 p.m., Central Branch, 11260 Joor Road. Listen to “Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000,” by Dav Pilkey. Ages 7-11. POTATO PEOPLE: 2:30 p.m., Jones Creek Regional Branch Library, 6222 Jones… Continue reading →

Story, illustrations show mouse’s charming tale

'Such A Little Mouse' by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Stephanie Yue

“Such a Little Mouse” by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Stephanie Yue. Orchard Books, 2015. $16.99. A charming story of a little mouse and his yearlong morning adventures from out of his hole under a clump of dandelions beneath a meadow. Through spring, summer and fall,… Continue reading →

Power of the ‘Pen’

'My Pen' by Christopher Myers

“My Pen” by Christopher Myers. Disney-Hyperion, 2015. $16.99. Author and illustrator Christopher Myers created this thoughtfully illustrated story of a young boy and his ink pen. The narrator, the young boy, feels small and inconsequential compared to the “rich people” and “famous people” until… Continue reading →

‘Fifty Shades’ author to release new novel ‘Grey’

'Grey' by EL James

Author EL James, best-selling author of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, will release a new novel from Christian Grey’s point of view. “Grey” will be published June 18 — Grey’s birthday. “This book is dedicated to those readers who asked ... and asked ... and asked ... and asked for this,” James said.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events for May 31 - June 4

Book events DAISY THE READING PIG: 10 a.m., Fairwood Branch Library, 12910 Old Hammond Highway. Registration required. (225) 924-9385. WILD KRATTS STORYTIME WILD SEA CREATURES: 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble CitiPlace, 2590 CitiPlace Court. store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4851070.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events for May 23-30

BOOK EVENTS STORY TIME: 10 a.m., Delmont Gardens Branch Library, 3351 Lorraine St. “Curious George at the Fire Station” by Margaret Rey with a fire hat craft. Limited to 20, ages 3-5. Register at the Children’s Desk. Children under 9 must have an adult. Story… Continue reading →

‘Monkey and Duck’ fun for the kids

?Monkey and Duck Quack Up!? by Jennifer Hamburg, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

“Monkey and Duck Quack Up!” by Jennifer Hamburg, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic, 2015. $17.99. Vivacious Monkey wants to win a rhyming contest with his partner the laid-back Duck. He soon hits a snag, however, when he realizes that the only word Duck says is “quack.”… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events for May 17-23

Book events THE COMIC BOOK CLUB: 7 p.m., Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” comic and movie. Ages 14+. C.H. LAWLER BOOK SIGNING: 2 p.m., Barnes & Noble CitiPlace, 2590 CitiPlace Court. “The Saints of Lost Things.”… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events for May 10-17

Book events THE MORNING BOOK CLUB: 10:30 a.m., Baker Branch Library, 3501 Groom Road. “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafazi. BOOK DISCUSSION: 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble CitiPlace, 2590 CitiPlace Court. “To Kill A Mockingbird.”… Continue reading →

LSU library’s rare book collection grows

The LSU Libraries’ Special Collections acquired several rare books in the past year: “Monstrorum Historia,” a 1642 book by Renaissance naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi, was acquired last summer. It’s an illustrated history of monsters and deformities that’s “a window into the world of early modern science, pseudo-science, religion and philosophy,” according to… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events

Book events FICTION WRITERS WORKSHOP: 7 p.m., Greenwell Springs Regional Library, 11300 Greenwell Springs Road. Meet local writers and get feedback and encouragement. (225) 274-4440 to register. PEAS IN A POD STORY CRAFT: 4:30 p.m., Central Branch Library,… Continue reading →

‘Blood on Snow’ a surprising thriller

'Blood On Snow' by Jo Nesbo

“Blood on Snow” by Jo Nesbo. Knopf, 2015. $23.95. I have enjoyed other books by Jo Nesbo, a Norwegian crime author who has exploded onto the scene in the last couple of years, but they were all part of his Harry Hole series, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this… Continue reading →

Area book events for April 26 - May 1

Book events E-BOOK BASICS: 3 p.m., Greenwell Springs Regional Library, 11300 Greenwell Springs Road. STORY TIME: 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble CitiPlace, 2590 CitiPlace Court. “Olivia Opens a Lemonade Stand.” JANE AUSTEN TEA PARTY:… Continue reading →

Not a private club Camera rolls during Swine Palace’s ‘Book Club Play’

Advocate staff photo by  APRIL BUFFINGTON --  Amanda Clark reheares for the Swine Palace upcoming production "The Book Club Play" at LSU's Student Union on Thursday, April 2.

The format is almost universal in reality television: Something happens, then the camera breaks away for private, individual interviews, where the characters freely talk about each other. Maybe it’s a setup. Then again, Ana quickly learns that nothing in her beloved book club is private when the cameras are rolling. Ana is the founder and… Continue reading →

‘Sock Thief’ a charming lesson in manners, values

'The Sock Thief' by Ana Crespo and Nana Gonzalez

“The Sock Thief” by Ana Crespo and Nana Gonzalez. Albert Whitman & Co., 2015. $16.99. Felipe has mangoes and needs socks. This delightful story follows Felipe around the town as he exchanges mangoes for socks and, ultimately, explains why he needs them. This book teaches manners, values and… Continue reading →

Area book events for April 19-25

Book events RENEW BOOK CLUB: 7 p.m., Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Reading Engaging Nonfiction to Expand our Worldview. JUST LISTEN TO YOURSELF: 1:30 p.m., State Library Seminar Center, 701 N. 4th St. Poets from throughout the state will read their works, including Ralph Adamo, Jack… Continue reading →

Lobrano’s tour of Paris written in memoir style

'Hungry for Paris'

“Hungry for Paris” by Alexander Lobrano. Random House, 2014. $18. Food writer Alexander Lobrano takes the reader on a gourmet tour of Paris in this updated edition of his 2008 guide. Detailing his 109 favorite restaurants, grouped geographically, the chapters are interspersed with short essays on life in… Continue reading →

Area book events for April 12 - 17

Book events TINY TALES STORYTIME: 10:30 a.m., Abbeville Library, 405 E. St. Victor St. ROD DREHER BOOK LAUNCH EVENT: 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble Citiplace, 2590 Citiplace Court. Dreher will be signing copies of and… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Area Foundation seeking entries for Ernest Gaines literary award

Ernest Gaines

Entries for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, which includes a $10,000 prize, are being accepted through Aug. 15. The award is sponsored by Baton Rouge Area Foundation donors and honors outstanding fiction (novels or short-story collections) from rising African-American authors and recognizes Louisiana native Gaines’ contributions to the literary world. A… Continue reading →

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 mjacob53@cox.net. “LOUISIANA’S SACRED PLACES,” DEBORAH BURST: Noon, Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, 100… Continue reading →

South, America, a noir place to visit

“South, America” by Rod Davis. New South Books, 2014. $24.95. Take one dead body, add a former TV reporter turned freelancer and part-time private investigator. Stir in a gorgeous woman with a mysterious past. Mix in the wound of race, a little voodou, and the mob. Simmer against the… 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 →