This band started out at as the “love-child” of two couples, Michael Stephens and Aubre Bauer, and Brittney Maddox and John Martin. The group added an electric bass (Jordan West) and drums (Jeremy Hayes) to the mix and the double-couple became the Peekers, who just released their sophomore album, Life in the Air.

The album showcases the Shreveport hipsters’ whimsical, minimalist songs and pretty, multi-part harmonies. Band members rotate the role of lead vocalist on the tracks, which each have a tinge of quirky sarcasm (i.e. “My First Surprise” and the lines, “My pet’s demise was a slow death/He muddled words on his last breath/Said lots of things about this and that/but people can’t understand cats”).

Fiction l Drink One to Me, Christian Bennett, author Vicki Allen’s fourth novel, is a real cautionary tale as to why you should never accept a cocktail from a stranger at a foreign bar. You might end up the kidnapped, knocked-up bride of a Mexican drug cartel leader, like poor Abigail Christensen, the novel’s protagonist. The story is alternately entertaining and infuriating, and definitely creepy, but it does keep the reader interested in finding out what happens next.

History/Cookbook l New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories
provides a nifty look at some classic New Orleans dishes through essays by a group of authors. The book’s editor, Susan Tucker, contributed essays on bread pudding and daube glacée, and co-wrote about Creole tomato salad and mirliton and shrimp.
Other contributing authors include Sara Roahen (author of Gumbo Tales), Sharon Nossiter, Cynthia Nobles, Michael Mizell-Nelson, Karen Leathem and Patricia Livingston. Some, but not all, chapters include recipes for the 14 classic dishes, including bread pudding, Creole cream cheese and shrimp remoulade.

Specialty l A new book by Tom Tierney and Schiffer Publishing has brought the paper doll trend back. Each single-sided page of Marie Laveau: Voodoo Priestess Paper Dolls features one or two color images of Marie (at various times in her life), her family members, Voodoo loas, many different outfits and a little information on each look or figure.