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Read & Spin

CD | Rahael Bas fuses New Orleans jazz and Old World “gypsy” styling in his latest record, Harmonouche, applying liberal doses of harmonica and also the pandeiro, a Portuguese instrument similar to – but more versatile than – the tambourine. Besides harmonica and guitar, Bas also employs a musical tactic that could seem contrived if he didn’t use it so subtly and effectively: he whistles. The tracks are generally peppy and upbeat, meandering through clarinet-laden polka beats and jazz progressions.

HISTORY | Novice historian Daniel Rasmussen brings to light the deadliest and least-reported slave revolt in American history in his new book American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt. The book dwells briefly on plantation culture and the peculiarities of the American slave trade before diving into a rich narrative of the origins of the mutiny, its brutal execution and the vicious retaliation from planters and militia, as well as the epic cover-up perpetrated by the victors.

CHILDREN’S | Myron Uhlberg opens A Storm Called Katrina with a mother warning her son “Hurricane’s coming, baby.” The family stays in their home as long as they can before moving to the Superdome. The story follows mother, father and son as they try to hold on to each other in the tumultuous days that follow. Colin Bootman illustrates, drawing occasionally from photographs taken in New Orleans immediately after the storm.

COOKBOOK | Pornography being defined by Webster’s as “writings, pictures, etc. intended primarily to arouse sexual desire,” Amanda Simpson’s compilation Food Porn Daily: The Cookbook just barely escapes wandering into the literal. The book is divided into four seasons with five sections: openers, main, breakfast, dessert and drinks. The recipes tend toward being equipment-intensive – at the very least, you need a decent double boiler or rolling pin for a lot of the good stuff – but relatively straightforward. The real draw of this cookbook, however, is the photography … rich, sensuous, tumescent photography … all over the pages. Mmm.

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