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Read & Spin

New Orleans Jazz Hall of Fame member Leroy Jones has released Sweeter Than A Summer Breeze, a collection of slightly heartbreaking romantic ballads.

The album features three original compositions (“Katrina,” “Life Is Not Always Fair” and the title track) by Jones as well as standards including “In a Sentimental Mood” and “Stars Fell on Alabama.” Jones’ album is beautiful, expressive and a little sad. Jones arranged strings, bass and drums for the album too, which are reflected in the harmony of each track.

Nonfiction l Made famous by Lafcadio Hearn in Chita, Last Island, or L’isle Derniere, was amongst our state’s countless former barrier islands now washed beneath the sea.

Because the Hurricane of 1856 shredded the island so intensely, there were few survivors and thus few accurate accounts of the events that transpired on the island during and after the storm. Last Days of Last Island: The Hurricane of 1856, Louisiana’s First Great Storm is Bill Dixon’s effort to separate fact from myth. Dixon writes in the prologue that he spent 10 years researching the story, evident in the engaging narrative connecting those that survived and those that died during the storm.

Cookbook l Dam Good Sweet by pastry chef David Guas and food writer Raquel Pelzel, due to hit stores Nov. 1., is a collection of recipes and histories of New Orleans desserts including King Cake, doberge, beignets, red velvet cake, and chocolate turtles.

The book also includes amped-up versions of certain recipes, such as Lemon Icebox Pie, Watermelon Granita-Topped Sno-Balls, Ponchatoula Strawberry and Brown Butter Shortcake, giving the desserts a touch of elegance with a nod to home.

Anthology l Back in the good ole days of journalism, ca. 1840-’48, journalist C.M. Haile penned letters to the New Orleans Picayune editor under the guise of a rural character named Pardon Jones. Editor Ed Piacentino’s collection C.M. Haile’s “Pardon Jones” Letters: Old Southwest Humor from Antebellum Louisiana is a comprehensive collection of the old-timey letters, providing an interesting window into the humor of the mid-19th century South. 

– Leigh Ann Stuart

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