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HISTORY Graphic artist Phillip Collier has made a book of New Orleans’ most famous brands in Making New Orleans: Products Past & Present. The book highlights New Orleans companies from the past, like Blue Plate Foods Inc. and Jax Beer, and the present, like Zatarain’s and PJ’s Coffee. The book will make any New Orleanian proud of the celebrated products that have come out of the city. (Full disclosure: Renaissance Publishing, the company bringing you this magazine, is also included in the book.)

COUNTRY In a time when many country artists are slanting towards pop music, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue present a clear country sound in their latest album Last To Leave. Led by front woman Vanessa Niemann, the album is full of original music, but also includes a cover of Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield,” which will please both rock and country fans.

COOKBOOK There are lots of cookbooks with a Louisiana angle, but The Pot & The Palette Cookbook is a true celebration of the state. The book features recipes from popular Louisiana restaurants such as Commander’s Palace and The Shreveport Club, and it’s illustrated by Louisiana high school students. Proceeds from the book go to the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation and the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts. The book is an example of how Louisianians like to come together for a cause, especially if food is involved.

PLACES Kermit Ruffins ended his run at Vaughan’s Lounge in September 2013, but Jay Mazza celebrates the standing gig in his new book Not Just Another Thursday Night: Kermit Ruffins and Vaughan’s Lounge. Mazza, who was the music writer at Louisiana Weekly for 12 years, provides history of the bar and the musician and explains how Ruffins’ run at Vaughan’s became a popular New Orleans attraction.

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