“Hungry for Paris” by Alexander Lobrano. Random House, 2014. $18.

Food writer Alexander Lobrano takes the reader on a gourmet tour of Paris in this updated edition of his 2008 guide. Detailing his 109 favorite restaurants, grouped geographically, the chapters are interspersed with short essays on life in the City of Light. The helpful appendices include restaurant listings by type, price range and places open on weekends (when many Parisian restaurants are closed).

Lobrano covers only restaurants where you would be certain to have both a delicious meal and a warm welcome (no surly Parisian waiters here). He focuses on French food but includes a variety of cuisines and food trends such as locavore dining and gastrofusion. Unlike many restaurant guides, this one reads like a memoir, as he tells the story behind each restaurant, recounts his best meal at each and gives menu recommendations.

Lobrano is a true gourmand, his passion for great food coming across in sensual prose. Although I couldn’t quite shake the feeling he is a bit smug, I still say if you’re lucky enough to visit Paris, check out his book for an interesting and honest take on the restaurant scene. And if you’re simply armchair traveling, read it for the mouthwatering descriptions of dreamy food (and dreamy Paris).

— Louise Hilton, Baton Rouge

“Blood of a Stone” by Jeanne Lyet Gassman. Tuscany Press, 2015. $27.95.

This story of Jesus is a refreshing take — he’s not the main character. Instead, we follow Demetrios, sold into slavery by his father and who ultimately kills his Roman master and flees with the Jewish slave Elazar.

Gassman’s plot is compelling, though it tends to hop, making the timeline a little difficult to follow. It’s hard to nail down just how long Demetrios is a slave, is on the run or is leading his caravans. But the story is good enough to push the reader through. It’s a good read for this time of year.

— Beth Colvin, bcolvin@theadvocate.com

“Tell Me What to Dream About” by Giselle Potter. Random House, 2015. $10.99.

This eye-grabbing book is the tale of two sisters, one big and one little, and both needing to go to sleep.

The older sister spins fantastic tales of squeaky pets and tiny waffles and furry houses and mushroom hats while the little sister is, well, a little sister. Potter perfectly captures the sisterly dynamic at its best. It’s a sure-fire hit for bedtime.

— Beth Colvin, bcolvin@theadvocate.com