Read & Spin
• COOKBOOK While it’s mostly a book of recipes, Lolis Eric Elie’s Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans is much more than something to store in your cookbook cabinet. As a staff writer and story editor for HBO’s New Orleans series “Treme,” Elie meshes stories from the show’s characters with recipes from real celebrity chefs such as John Besh and Emeril Lagasse. The book features quintessential New Orleans recipes plus lots of photos from the show.
• DESIGN There are many New Orleans-centric books to choose from these days, but Love Letters from New Orleans is one of the most striking. Put together by designer Nessim Higson, photographer Daymon Gardner and writer Anthony Vachris, the book reminds you of the titles you read as a kid that assigned a different word to every letter of the alphabet. This book does the same thing about New Orleans – “J” is for jazz, “L” is for Louis Armstrong – and while there isn’t a lot of text, the beautiful designs and photographs make you think of the alphabet in a whole new way.
• SPORTS In Fight, Grin & Squarely Play the Game, author Ramon A. Vargas tells the story of the 1945 Loyola University New Orleans basketball team, the city’s only basketball team to win a national championship. While the book most likely appeals to local sports fans, it’s also interesting to read about how World War II affected sports and life in New Orleans.
• JAZZ Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s latest album, That’s It!, is a milestone for the band as it’s the first album of completely original music. The group has been receiving positive reviews for the 11-track album, which was produced by the band’s Ben Jaffe and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. Preservation Hall Jazz Band also recently performed a much-talked about set on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” showing this New Orleans institution will remain one of the city’s mainstays for the years to come.