Allison Alsup, Elizabeth Pearce and Richard Read have published what I feel is a great idea long overdue, “The French Quarter Drinking Companion.” The book, published by Pelican Publishing of New Orleans, examines 100 notable bars of the Vieux Carré and lists information on each, from signature drinks and dress codes to the type of clientele you’ll find sitting beside you. It’s more than a tourist guide, although it works well as one too. Readers will discover unique facts, learn about French Quarter regulars and get an insider’s view of America’s most interesting neighborhood.
A really fun book on food that’s a treat for the senses is “Big Appetites: Tiny People in a World of Big Food” by Christopher Boffoli. The Seattle author and artist mixes vivid photos of food with tiny people miniatures in humorous situations, such as thugs stealing Cracker Jack prizes and a man mowing the side of an orange. A tiny man with a gun holds up a woman atop figs in “Fig Robbery” with the accompanying text reading, “The Fig District used to be one of the safest neighborhoods. But lately things had taken a turn for the worse.” Or a large little man facing a hamburger with a barricade of French fries and tiny men in riot gear in “Barricade Challenger.” The caption reads: “It was the exact moment when Larry knew that those advanced judo lessons were really going to pay off.”
Cheré Coen is the author of “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana,” both from The History Press, and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She teaches writing at UL-Lafayette’s Continuing Education. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.