Literary Louisiana: Reads for Revelry
Our suggestions to enjoy Carnival on and off the parade route
MARDI GRAS INDIANS
Jockomo: The Native Roots of Mardi Gras Indians
by Shane Lief and John McCusker
Language historian and musician Shane Lief and former Times-Picayune and New Orleans Advocate photojournalist John McCusker take a deep dive into the colorful culture of the Mardi Gras Indians, their evolving celebrations in the city and their impacts on the New Orleans community. “Jockomo” is a visual celebration, chock full of a collection of both historical and contemporary photographs that illustrate the Indians’ powerful costume traditions that have transformed throughout the generations.
University Press of Mississippi, 192 pages, $40.
Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion
Get the Mardi party started with this collection of cocktails that are perfect for open house celebrations, enjoying along the parade route or after the festivities to keep the fun flowing. Each fun yet sophisticated recipe is designed to be mixed up in large pitcherfuls and in advance, and go way beyond the electric-hued daiquiri and plastic cup mixes that abound.
Ten Speed Press, 160 Pages, $19.99.
CARNIVAL QUEENS AND TEAMS
Cherchez la Femme: New Orleans Women
by Cheryl Gerber
New Orleans photojournalist Cheryl Gerber explores the faces that make New Orleans and Mardi Gras magic with a raucous, moving, studied collection of portraits and moments. Additionally, Gerber has included essays penned by some of the area’s top female writers and journalists, (including Louisiana Life’s own managing editor Melanie Spencer), with a colorful line-up of chapters exploring women in culinary, music, business, philanthropy, entertainment and Mardi Gras krewes that keep the city rocking and rolling throughout the year.
University Press of Mississippi, 272 pages, $40.
Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Celebrations
by Chef Kevin Belton with Rhonda K. Findley
One-pot cooking with dishes that soak up the celebrations are essential during the festivities, and PBS Chef Kevin Belton has you covered in “New Orleans Celebrations.” Check out the “Jammin’ on Jambalaya” chapter for a wide range of rice and pasta-laya recipes to cook up for a crowd, or ways to incorporate boudin, crawfish and a festival of oysters throughout your celebration menu.
Gibbs Smith, 176 pages, $24.99.