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‘My Mother’s House’ warm tale without all the anger

“My Mother’s House” by David Armand, Texas Review Press, $18.95, 192 pages, paperback Author of the recent memoir, “My Mother’s House,” David Armand has worn many literary hats in his mere 36 years. He’s published three novels, a collection of poems and various short stories and essays around the country.… Continue reading →

La. writer captures Best Mystery Award

Louisiana mystery author BJ Bourg has won the 2016 Best Mystery Award from The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition. Bourg, who lives in Mathews, received the honor for his debut novel, “James 516.” The annual EPIC eBook Awards is an international competition and has been recognizing excellence in e-book publishing since 2000. Bourg’s Louisiana-set mystery… Continue reading →

Brontë biography as compelling as author’s own tales

“Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart” by Claire Harman, Knopf, $30, 480 pages, hardcover April marks the bicentennial of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, and Claire Harman’s new biography offers a compelling look at the famed novelist. One of six children of a Methodist minister and his wife,… Continue reading →

Mütter inspired a revolution in medicine

“Dr. Mütter’s Marvels” by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Gotham, 371 pages, h ardcover What comes to mind when you think of having surgery? Perhaps a kindly doctor sitting down to explain your condition and the surgery. A sterile operating room, and likely a mask to deliver anesthesia. And being… Continue reading →

Characters take readers through culture

"Kitchens of the Great Midwest" by J. Ryan Stradal

“Kitchens of the Great Midwest” by J. Ryan Stradal. Viking, 2015. $25 Before I start this review, you should know: I love food. I love making it, eating it, reading about it … you get the idea. I pretty much picked up “Kitchens of the Great Midwest” for… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Pretty Girls’ a not-so-pretty thriller

“Pretty Girls” by Karin Slaughter, William Morrow, 394 pages, $29.99 hardcover Yikes. This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is rife with graphic descriptions of violence, torture and sexual sadism. However, I felt the author handled the material with respect, and… Continue reading →

Strong heroine, historical tidbits make for fun read

‘Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante’ by Susan Elia MacNeal, Bantam Dell/Random House, $15, paperback “Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante” is the fifth book in Susan Elia MacNeal’s series about Maggie Hope, a special agent for England. In this story, she travels with Winston Churchill across the pond as he negotiates wartime business with Franklin… Continue reading →

‘Fallen Land’ has something of a ‘Cold Mountain’ feel

“Fallen Land” by Taylor Brown, Macmillan, 288 pages, $25.99, hardcover During the last year of the Civil War, Callum and Ava, a young teenage couple brought together under unusual and dire circumstances, are running from a group of nefarious bounty hunters through the land of Sherman’s March in its aftermath.… Continue reading →

Nyad’s book proves you’re never too old

“Find a Way” by Diana Nyad, Alfred A Knopf, 308 pages, 26.95, hardcover Many people 60 or older are doing things not attempted by past generations. Meds, exercise and a new attitude are helping to accomplish no small feats. Ever thought about swimming from Cuba to Florida? “Find A… Continue reading →

First-time novelist shows promise tackling new genre

“The Improbability of Love” by Hannah Rothschild, Alfred A. Knopf, $27.95, hardcover First-time novel writing takes a herculean effort in order to be successful. Many novelists bomb on their first try. Hannah Rothschild’s book is better than most ambitiously written inceptional novels, but it still shows signs that it is a first-time… Continue reading →

‘High Mountains’ waits until last of 3 stories to hit high point

“The High Mountains of Portugal” by Yann Martel, Random House, 352 pages, $27, hardcover This book is confounding, and I cannot figure out if I should recommend it or not. I love Yann Martel’s writing — it’s precise and beautiful; almost meditative. He chooses his words carefully and his… Continue reading →

Take ‘short’ break from your cleaning

“A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories” by Lucia Berlin, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 432 pages, $26, hardcover I’ve only recently become a reader of short stories. In our hectic lives, reading for pleasure sometimes only comes in short bursts of time, but I’ve discovered that a short… Continue reading →

calendar.theadvocate.com

Book events BOOK CLUB: 4:30 p.m., EBR Fairwood Branch Library, 12910 Old Hammond Highway. The FAB (Fairwood Awesome Bookworms) Club is setting out to solve “The Mystery in Venice” by Geronimo Stilton, playing bocce ball, singing silly Italian songs and matching pictures of food and… Continue reading →

New Orleans’ Wendell Pierce lands Christopher Award

Wendell Pierce

New Orleans native, author and actor Wendell Pierce has won a Christopher Award for his book, “The Wind in the Reeds.” “The book is about the family values and community atmosphere in which Pierce was raised in Pontchartrain Park, and his efforts to rebuild that community after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina,” a news release… Continue reading →

Moses publishes book on Civil War ancestor

Gerald Moses, former reporter and editor for The Advocate and State-Times, has edited “Civil War Treasures from the Attic,” a collection of letters written by Webster W. Moses, his great-grandfather, who served with the Seventh Kansas Cavalry — the Jayhawkers — during the four years of the Civil War. It is a graphic account of the Civil… Continue reading →

Ex-Louisiana resident, novelist makes Parade ‘earn’ list

Photo by Kim Jew -- Samantha Ann King

Sandwiched between New York news anchor Anderson Cooper, 48, and his $11 million, and Bryan Pascuzzi, 45, a parole and probation investigator from Bel Air, Maryland, who made $61,130, is Samantha Ann King’s entry: romance novelist, $34,400. King, a former Baker resident, has made Parade magazine’s annual “What People Earn” report. The first of the two-part series… Continue reading →

Foundation accepting entries for Ernest Gaines literary award

Photo provided by University of Louisiana at Lafayette -- Earnest Gaines

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is accepting entries for the 10th annual Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, which includes a $10,000 cash prize. Submissions deadline is Aug. 15. Sponsored by foundation donors, the Gaines Award honors outstanding literary work from rising African-American authors while recognizing Louisiana native Gaines’ contribution to the literary world.… Continue reading →

Book review: Newest Sherlock Holmes installment returns to strength

“The Murder of Mary Russell” by Laurie R. King, Bantam, 384 pages, $28, hardcover “The Murder of Mary Russell” is the latest installment of Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. After several books set in foreign lands, most recently Japan, Russell and Holmes are back… Continue reading →

Delta Authors On Tour to make stop in Baton Rouge

Delta Authors On Tour stops in Baton Rouge on Saturday, April 16. The event begins at 11 a.m. at the Delta Alumna Chapter house, 926 Harding Blvd. Authors scheduled to appear include Tawana Butler, Dr. Chandra Gill, Stephanie Perry Moore and Victoria Christopher Murphy. In addition to a chance to meet the authors, there will… Continue reading →

Southeastern library celebrates designation

Southeastern Louisiana University’s Sims Memorial Library in Hammond will celebrate its 50th anniversary as a Federal Depository Library at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The celebration will take place in the library’s first-floor lobby. Door prizes will be given, and light refreshments will be served. In January of 1966, Congressman James H. Morrison sponsored the library’s designation as… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge-area book events for April 3, 2016

Book events CLOSED: River Center Branch Library, 120 St. Louis St. Closed for Fest-for-All. (225) 389-4967. BOOK DISCUSSION: 6 p.m., EBR Central Branch Library, 11260 Joor Road. A discussion of “Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long” by Richard D.… Continue reading →

Louisiana workshop‘s ‘Little Mouse Santi’ honored

J.K. Rowling

Louisiana-based children’s workshop Confetti Park’s first publication, “The Little Mouse Santi,” was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. The book is written by New Orleans author David Eugene Ray. It’s a children’s book about a mouse who wants to be a cat. The book was illustrated by Santiago Germano of Uruguay, whose body of work… Continue reading →

Variety of mediums featured in Southern Review issue

The Southern Review’s winter volume mixes poetry, fiction, essays and art. Fiction from the LSU publication includes “Solee,” a domestic drama set in a small Korean town, from first-time contributor Crystal Hana Kim. A small Virginia community provides the backdrop for longtime contributor R.T. Smith’s “Just between Us,” which explores the joys — and many… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events for Jan. 3, 2016

shopaholic

Book events BOOK CLUB: 10:30 a.m. to noon, EBR Pride-Chaneyville Branch Library, 13600 Pride-Port Hudson Road. Like it or Not Book Club will be discussing “Rivers” by Michael Farris Smith. BOOK CLUB: 6-7:30 p.m., Lafatte Public… Continue reading →

SLU professor publishes short stories collection

Photo provided by SLU Public Information Office -- Norman German

Southeastern Louisiana University English Professor Norman German has published a new collection of short stories. “Dead Dog Lying,” a series of stories placed along the Interstate 10 corridor from New Orleans to Texas, shines a light on society’s misfits and is largely based on events the author has experienced, dreamed or witnessed over his life. Many… Continue reading →

Turn the Tide: Resilience stressed for girls to succeed

Photo provided by Oxford University Press"Swimming Upstream: Parenting Girls for Resilience in a Toxic Culture" is written by LSU professor Laura Choate.

Growing up has always been tough, but for girls today, it’s getting even harder, says author and counselor Laura Choate. The pressure to be sexy, smart and popular is hurting modern girls, says the LSU professor in her new book, “Swimming Upstream: Parenting Girls for Resilience in a Toxic Culture.” “There really are a lot… Continue reading →

Jack, I think I should read other people

Oh, Jack Reacher. You were one of the first men I fell for when I started reading mystery series many years ago, but I fear the romance is gone. When we met, you were tall, stoic, and just a little smarter than everyone else, which I found charming. But now, those same traits that first attracted me to you have grown tiresome. You seem to repeat yourself and do the same thing book after book without revealing any new details about what makes you tick. Continue reading →

EBR library system earns five-star rating

The East Baton Rouge Parish Library System has received the Library Journal’s America’s Star Libraries Award for the fourth consecutive year. This year, it’s also the state’s only library honored with the Journal’s five-star rating. In the previous three years, EBRPL was awarded the three-stars rating. Only 85 Library systems, or 1.1 percent across the nation,… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events for this week: Dec. 5-12

BOOK CLUB: 7 p.m., EBR Jones Creek Regional Branch Library, 6222 Jones Creek Road. Join the JCR Historical Society Book Club to discuss this month’s selection, “Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated a Nation” by Dean Jobb.… Continue reading →

New C.C. Lockwood book focuses on Louisiana’s Nature Conservancy sites

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Nature photographer C.C. Lockwood gets ready to snap an alligator at Lake Martin, one of many Nature Conservancy properties featured in his latest book, 'Louisiana Wild.'

Some day, C.C. Lockwood may run out of things to photograph in his adopted state. “Louisiana Wild” is the latest reason to be glad he hasn’t, yet. The acclaimed nature photographer’s wandering eye isn’t limited to the state’s boundaries, but since arriving at LSU from Fort Smith, Arkansas, in the late 1960s, he has developed a… Continue reading →

Center for Louisiana Studies displays rare archival works

SLU Public Information Office photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern graduate assistant Nicholas Heyd, of Covington. examines one of the rare books in an exhibit sponsored by the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies on the third floor of the Sims Memorial Library. With him are graduate student Megan Arledge, of Walker, and Faith Allen, a sophomore from Ponchatoula.

A new exhibit showcasing rare books and documents from Southeastern Louisiana University’s archives and other sources has opened in Sims Memorial Library on the Hammond campus. Housed in the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies on the library’s third floor, the exhibit was curated by the center’s student workers and will remain open in the viewing area at… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events for Nov. 21-28

INTRODUCTION TO EREADERS: 4-6 p.m., EBR Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library, Meeting Room 2, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd. A beginner’s class showing how to use an eReader and the library’s databases, which contain free audio and ebooks and how to access them. Bring your eReader (iPad, Nook, Kindle, smartphone) to class. A script for various eReaders… Continue reading →