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Read & Spin

CD  What does a British actor who plays a New Jersey physician know about New Orleans music? Maybe nothing, but of his detractors, Hugh Laurie would just say, Let Them Talk. Laurie rasps through more than a dozen classic Big Easy ballads with contributions from Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John. He performs without mimicry, singing each song in his own fashion. He may not be from here, or have the accent, but he definitely “Gets It.”

MEMOIR  Carolyn Perry is a woman from whom we can learn a few things about not knowing – not knowing how quickly her husband’s cancer had progressed, not knowing how they would escape a flooded hospital, not knowing how to find each other after they evacuated separately. In For Better, For Worse: Patient in the Maelstrom, Perry recalls the odyssey she shared with her husband, the late Bob Perry, in the days and weeks following Hurricane Katrina, from his admission to Memorial Medical Center, through their evacuation to Atlanta and Thibodaux, their reunion and the days they spent together afterward.

HISTORY  In the Sportsman’s Paradise, game wardens are the archangels of the outdoors. In Louisiana Wildlife Agents: In Their Own Words, editor Jerald Horst compiles personal essays penned by dozens of agents of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. In four sections, the agents recall careers that are by turns hilarious and harrowing, from an agent who has to cite his own uncle for accidentally hunting over quota to agents who talk down crazed gunmen.

CARTOONS  “Bec Doux et Ses Amis” first appeared in The Kaplan Herald in 1969 and went on to run for over two decades. In Tout Bec Doux: The Complete Cajun Comics of Ken Meaux and Earl Comeaux, Bec Doux’s bilingual antics are brought together in one massive tome. It may be a heavy book, but at least it’s light reading.

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