“Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels” by Brian Michael Bendis. Watson-Guptill, 2014. $24.99.

Writers, do you want to break into the comic book industry? “Words for Pictures” can help you. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, one of Marvel’s best selling writers, the book provides insight into his workflow and methods.

It also features tips from some of the modern comic book greats, Mark Bagley, Ed Brubaker, Klaus Janson, Walter Simonson, and Jill Thompson. Learn how to pitch your story, how to write for the artist, and how to sell your work. Bendis gives great insights into the creation of many of his stories and helps with an FAQ chapter. Whether you are looking for guidance or just starting out, this book will help anyone who is interested in the art of writing for comic books.

Phillip Dequeant, pdequeant@theadvocate.com

“Lucky Us” by Amy Bloom. Random House, 2014. $26.

Told over a decade-long span, “Lucky Us” is an engaging story of two half-sisters who embody resilience, redemption and reinvention.

In early 1940s Ohio, 12-year-old Eva is left by her mother on the doorstep of her ne’er-do-well father. Eva seeks solace and companionship in Iris, her wild 16-year-old half-sister. Iris, however, dreams of fame and fortune and whisks Eva off to Hollywood. But just as Iris gains stardom, she finds herself embroiled in an old-fashioned scandal.

What follows are adventures, misfortunes and surprises as the sisters, along with some interesting characters, including their father who seeks forgiveness, head to Long Island and, eventually for Iris, London, to find peace, stability and a sense of family.

Bloom manages to weave historical events and serious side notes into this quirky and entertaining novel which has an unexpected, but satisfying, ending.

Laura Acosta, Baton Rouge

“The New Orleans Jazz Scene 1970-2000: A Personal Retrospective” by Thomas W. Jacobsen. LSU Press, 2014. $25.

Thomas W. Jacobsen has published extensively on New Orleans jazz music in a number of jazz periodicals including The Mississippi Rag and The Clarinet, and he is also the author of “Traditional New Orleans Jazz: Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music.”

Jacobsen’s book takes the history of jazz as it fits within the historical perspective of New Orleans itself. Each chapter is broken down into a decade with information about what was happening in the city at the time, along with information about the popular bands, bars and events taking place during that time frame and its impact on jazz music and its influences. There are also great pictures and tidbits of information not widely known offered to the reader based on his personal experiences.

Jacobsen’s book leaves the reader reflecting as to the future of New Orleans. Widely known as “The Birthplace of Jazz,” what does the future hold for the music in New Orleans? With many types of festivals and music events coming to town, and growing generational differences, does this diminish that history? What can we do to ensure its place not only in New Orleans, but in New Orleans’ history as well?

Anna Guerra, Denham Springs