Music l Wyclef Jean’s Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant is a lyrically moving sequel to his hit 1997 album featuring the Fugees.
This new album features myriad artists, including Paul Simon on “Fast Car,” Mary J. Blige on “What about the Baby,” and New Orleans’ own Lil Wayne on “Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill).”
The powerfully written collection blends influences from Wyclef’s own life with large-scale issues like finance and broken homes. “Rouge et Bleu,” the center section of the album’s three-piece finale song, highlights Wyclef’s strong Haitian roots, setting French/Creole lyrics over a haunting melody.
Carnivalia l ’Tis the season y’all, and just in time Arthur Hardy, noted Carnival historian, gives us his updated Mardi Gras in New Orleans: An Illustrated History.
This book has all the history, fun facts and photos the well-read reveler will need to prepare for Carnival Season. The updated re-release includes an informative Q&A section, a Mardi Gras dictionary and extensive lists of facts and figures about the different krewes, including lists of past kings, queens and celebrity riders.
Fiction l Ladies, if you’re looking for something to keep you warm while your man’s out of town, this just might do it.
The racy Between the Sheets, by southern Louisiana author Robin Wells, tells the story of Emma Jamison, a girl dishonored by false accusations that her horizontal pyrotechnics led the president to a fatal heart attack.
Slandered and alone, she flees the big city to small-town southern Louisiana to hide out with her granny. Jamison takes a job at a retirement home and hijinks ensue (including subplots that involve Granny Jamison getting busy). And of course, protagonist Jamison gets a sexy love interest to stick by her until the (mostly) happy ending.
Cookbook l Who better to teach the fine art of crafting a cocktail than two genteel Southern ladies?
Cousins Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan of the illustrious Commander’s Palace are up to the task, leading a how-to tutorial with their new book In the Land of Cocktails.
This book is filled with recipes and cute stories from the ladies, including bits of New Orleans history. Martin and Brennan include recipes for some of New Orleans most famous cocktails, including the Ramos Gin Fizz and the Sazerac.
Calendar l Okay, so this one’s an easy read and you probably already know how it ends, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a little lagniappe along the way.
Mitchel Osborne has been creating Mardi Gras calendars for over a decade, adding this year’s Mardi Gras 2008 to his list of credits. The calendar features over 50 of Osborne’s photos of floats, beads and the ever-amusing costumed revelers.
In addition to a bevy of festive photos, the calendar labels dates of national and local significance, including Louis Armstrong’s birthday.
Please send submissions for consideration, attention Morgan Packard, to 110 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, LA 70005.