Day Drinking, 50 Cocktails for a Mellow Buzz
by Kat Odell

In a city like New Orleans, where the phrase “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” takes on new meaning, refreshment is essential. For many, refreshment takes the form of a cocktail, and may be enjoyed any time of day. Perfect for fall festival season, Day Drinking is a cocktail cookbook for those that enjoy easy-drinking, sophisticated adult beverages, but don’t want to get hammered before the sun goes down. Author Kat Odell combines low-alcohol beverages and liquors, such as beer, wine, sake, sherry, vermouth and more, along with fresh fruit juices, simple syrups and herbs for unique combinations to wet your whistle.

Odell provides a primer on the ins and outs of some of the more unusual and exotic ingredients like Lillet, Calvados, yuzu and Aquavit. Helpful sidebars will make hosting duties easier, with demos on simple syrup making, unusual serving vessels and the ever-important ice cube. For designated drivers or those who can’t or don’t drink alcohol, a dedicated menu of mocktails that tease the tastebuds is included as well.

Fun, bright photography and easy to follow recipes will have you mixing up a big batch of punch or pitcher of “Spiked Ice Tea” in no time.

Be sure to check out the “U.S.S. Wondrich” from local drink expert Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, owner of NOLA tiki bar Latitude 29, and his definition of “intermission drinks.” 

In Other WordsAn Organized Panic
by Patty Friedmann

Sibling rivalry takes on new meaning in Patty Friedmann’s dark comedy An Organized Panic. Add in religion, a holiday feast, and an untimely death, and the recipe for family disaster is complete. Friedmann’s unique, touching and hilarious voice takes readers on a wild ride. New Orleanians will certainly recognize and appreciate all of the local details and shout-outs, from the classic “I bet I can tell you where you got them shoes” bit to Katrina, Lake Lawn and Five Happiness.

In Other WordsThe Cemeteries of New Orleans, A Cultural History
by Peter B. Dedek

Author Peter Dedak takes a thorough, scholarly look at the history of New Orleans’ unique cemeteries in the aptly named The Cemeteries of New Orleans. From the city’s humble burial fields to the elaborately designed cities of the dead, Dedek’s research provides an in-depth look at cemetery architecture, culture and tradition. He also provides a close examination of proper restoration and appreciation of tombs across the area. An excellent primer on some of our city’s most important cultural treasures.

★ = Did not finish ★★= Sort of ok, but kind of meh ★★★ = Enjoyable ★★★★ = Really, really liked it ★★★★★ = Loved it; a new favorite!