The Gift of Books
Books to buy this holiday season for the Louisiana literary lovers in your life
For Saints Fans
Be in that Number
Author Sheldon Mickles has gathered the greatest Saints players, from #9 Drew Brees to #26 Deuce McAllister, and everyone in between and beyond, in one big, limited-edition book. With stats, stories, historic photos and more, “Saints by the Numbers: The Greatest Players in New Orleans Saints History” compiles years of sports writing and reporting from the The Times Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate for a touchdown of a coffee table book for any Saints fanatic.
Hardcover, 160 pages, $39.95.
Light my Fire
Winter holidays are a great time to serve up New Orleans classic cocktails, and none may be more iconic than the flaming Café Brûlot. A dazzling combination of coffee, liquor, spices and fire, Café Brûlot has been wowing drinkers and diners since its historic creation in France, and then in the finest dining halls of New Orleans. Author Sue Strachan follows the history and tradition of this boozy beverage in “The Café Brûlot,” a dramatic treat for those with discerning culinary tastebuds.
Hardcover, 124 pages, $19.95.
Popular local television cook and personality Chef Kevin Belton explores the rich menu of food and flavors from across the state in his latest cookbook, “Kevin Belton’s Cookin’ Louisiana: Flavors from the Parishes of the Pelican State.” With more than 78 recipes, plus Belton’s stories, humor, tips and tricks, all 64 parishes are highlighted featuring regional, home cook favorites, such as “Smoked Meat Loaf with Sweet Glaze,” “Crab Beignets,” “Cane Syrup Cake,” “Kolaches,” and more. Belton brings a table full of ideas and recipes to cook up throughout the year. Just be sure to bring your appetite.
Hardcover, 208 pages, $28.
Baby on Board
Whether you like yours plain or filled, sugar-dusted or iced, king cake lovers have strong opinions on their favorite flavors, bakeries and traditions surrounding that oval-shaped Carnival creation. Author Matt Haines has had his fill, and then some, eating his way through more than 80 varieties. In his new book “The Big Book of King Cakes,” Haines explores king cake history, culture and the bakers that make them, along with colorful photos from food photographer Randy Krause Schmidt. And unlike the king cake, this is one Carnival treat you don’t have to wait until Twelfth Night to enjoy.
Hardcover, 304 pages, $38.
For the Nature Lover
Louisiana foragers, nature enthusiasts and herbal medicine users will enjoy this colorful guide to wild plants across the state and the Southeast from West Virginia to Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. “Southeast Medicinal Plants” provides a compendium of the most powerful herbs, wildflowers and more than can be used to make teas, tinctures and other preparations at home. Safety tips, sustainability practices and ethical harvesting guides are also included.
Paperback, 304 pages, $27.96.
For Kids and Families
“Rougarou Stew” is surely to become a spooky story time favorite for kids ages 5 to 8 as they follow the not-too-scary Rougarou on a mysterious adventure in the swamp. What is “Rougarou Stew,” you ask? It’s a dash of this and a sprinkle of that, but to really find out, you will have to read to find out. Springfield, Louisiana children’s author Kat Pigott, and up-and-coming Ponchatoula illustrator Mason Sibley, team up to delight and give a friendly fright.
Hardcover, 32 pages, $17.99.
Leading by Example
An award-winning author and book publisher with a passion for creating positive content for the Black community, Wade Hudson brings his own childhood to life in a new memoir, “Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South.” Hudson recounts his youth in Mansfield, Louisiana during the pivotal Civil Rights, womens’ rights and immigrant rights eras, including schoolyard tussles and troubles, playing baseball and learning how to find his own voice through writing, the community and fighting for change and representation. Recommended for readers ages 10 to 17, “Defiant,” is a coming-of-age story that will entertain, inform and inspire a new generation of readers and leaders.
Hardcover, 272 pages, $17.99.