Read and SpinLisa Hilton, pianist, producer and composer of Sunny Day Theory, has created an album resonating cool jazz sounds popularized by Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck in the 1950s. Hilton’s composition highlights drums by Lewis Nash, tenor sax by Bruce Winston and Larry Grenadier on bass. “After the Fire,” inspired by devastation on the West Coast, expresses the weary sadness associated with natural disaster. Yet, the album remains upbeat overall. An advocate of charities for the visually impaired, Hilton will donate 2008 proceeds from digital download sales (e.g. iTunes) from her cover of Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” to the Carter Center, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter’s charity.

Fiction l Nicolas Bazan, M.D., is a name more often seen in the “Healthbeat” section of this magazine. Bazan, director of New Orleans’ LSU Neuroscience Center of Excellence, has already earned respect in the local medical community. Una Vida, the doctor’s first novel, features a protagonist suffering from mental deterioration (Alzheimer’s disease). Bazan’s real-world experience with such illnesses bolsters the realism of his characters, allowing him to successfully weave bizarre setting and characters into a believable tale.

Read and SpinNon-fiction l Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans by Richard Campanella comprises 68 articles on the formation of the city of New Orleans through factors including: topography; soil; climate; indigenous plants, animals and people; economy; and irrigation.
Campanella, associate director of the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research, includes an incredible amount of information in the book: There is an excellent timeline of important dates in New Orleans history, beginning in 1519, and a section of full-color maps of elevation and population information.

Read and SpinCookbook l Ti Adelaide Martin, Commander’s Palace co-owner, and executive chef Tori McPhail have authored a cookbook that marries Louisiana’s two great loves – cuisine and sportsmanship. Recipes collected in Commander’s Wild Side: Bold Flavors for Fresh Ingredients from the Great Outdoors are meant for outdoor preparation of dishes including fish, game and fresh produce.
For those who hunt only anonymous animals at the grocery store, try the Crackling-Crusted Soft-Shell Crab recipe – easy preparation and just a few key ingredients.