Report from Louisiana: #AmReading

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Sick of politics?  Tired of reading about the coronavirus?  There are some great new book releases coming out this month that you should check out. One’s a mystery, one is chick-lit, and one is a classic collection of essays: something for everyone!

First, Michael Connelly is back with his Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey Haller. The Law of Innocence is Haller at his best as he is apparently framed for a murder and then must defend himself in court….from jail. We have all the familiar characters that we’ve come to know and love in a Haller story: Lorna, Cisco, and even Harry Bosch lends a hand. The frame against Haller looks pretty airtight and Connelly keeps you guessing all the way to the end.

I love Michael Connelly because as prolific as he is, his stories never get stale or predictable. The Law of Innocence comes out November 10.

Also coming out on the tenth is a chick-lit romp in The First Time We Met by Jo Lovett. Sometimes you just need something light and meaningless and while I don’t read a lot of chick-lit, I did review this one for NetGalley and enjoyed it. Izzy is our protagonist; she meets Sam on his wedding day and of course he is the one and only for her. The novel covers decades and is set on two continents, but Izzy and Sam remain linked. There are the obligatory best-friend characters that add to the mix. Predictable? Sometimes. Fun? Yep.  If chick-lit is your thing, check this one out.

On a more serious note, The Glorious American Essay comes out November 17, and is edited by Phillip Lopate. This is truly one I have got to have on my shelves in my personal collection. It includes essays from Colonial times to the present. Here you can find essays from the Founding Fathers, Thoreau, John Muir, Rachel Carson, Annie Dillard, to name a few. It’s a beautiful collection and is perhaps the definitive collection of the American essay. I absolutely loved this one and will probably give it for Christmas to several people on my list.

I recently finished reading Kerri Arsenault’s Mill Town and I highly recommend it as well. It is part memoir and part investigation into what is causing high cancer rates in her Maine hometown. The obvious culprit is the paper mill and the dioxin it produces. Arsenault has a quiet, gentle “voice” and her diligent, prodding investigation runs from local interviews with townsfolk to the DEQ basement archives. I was engrossed in this one from beginning to end.

What are you reading? I need recommendations! Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

One thought on “Report from Louisiana: #AmReading

  1. I am 80 percent done with the complete works of Mark Twain on my Kindle. A few more months and I should have it done. Took me about a year and a half to get through the complete works of G. K. Chesterton. By the way, on Kindle the classic literature is dirt cheap, like 99 cents for the complete works of Shakespeare, or 2.99 for the Harvard Classics collection.

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