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The Reading Life: Ruth Laney, Abram Himelstein & Chelsey Shannon


Susan Larson talks with Ruth Laney about her book, “Cherie Quarters: The Place and the People That Inspired Ernest J. Gaines” and Abram Himelstein & Chelsey Shannon about an upcoming self-publishing course.

Here’s what’s on tap in the literary life this week:

The Poetry Buffet presents Dubravka Djuric, John Gery, and Biljana Obradovic Saturday, December 3, at 2 p.m. This is an online event – check the Poetry Buffet Facebook page for the zoom link.

Christian Lee, Elizabeth Miki Brina, and M.O. Walsh read from their work Sunday, December 4 at 6 p.m. at the Allways Lounge and Cabaret.

Erin McDowell, will be at Levee Baking Co., 3138 Magazine St., Suite D, to share her new book, “Savory Baking: Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between”Monday, December 5, from 6-9. This is a ticketed hour event with a Q&A (just to moderate a crowd). Tickets available at

Bruce Spizer will discuss his latest installment in his Beatles Album Series, “The Beatles, Rubber Soul to Revolver," at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

The Willow School presents a student Creative Writing Showcase, Tuesday, December 6, at 6 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books.

“Writing Louisiana for Everyone” is the theme for the 2022 Holiday Children’s Book Festival that will occur from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. This event is free of charge and is open to the public. There is no registration. The theme, “Writing Louisiana for Everyone,’ reflects the growing diversification of characters and plots in children’s literature and there will be a panel discussion featuring three local children’s authors: Chris Clarkson, Marti Dumas and Johnette Downing.

Annell Lopez and Stacey Balkun present Poetry and Pie, Thursday, December 8, at 6 p.m. at Windowsill Pies, 4714 Freret St.

The Preservation Resource Center hosts the 47 th annual Holiday Home Tour and Boutique December 10 and 11. Book signings at the Boutique at Louise McGehee School (no tickets required to shop), 2343 Prytania St., from 11 a.m.- 3-3:30 each day, include the following:

Dec. 10

11-11:30 a.m.

• Molly Kimball, Melanie Warner Spencer: Craft: The Eat Fit Guide to Zero Proof Cocktails

Noon- 12:15 p.m.

• John Pope, Chris Granger, Danielle Del Sol: Building on the Past Saving Historic New Orleans

12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m.

• Rien Fertel: Brown Pelican

1:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

• David Rae Morris: Love, Daddy: Letters from My Father

2:30 p.m.- 3 p.m.

• Ruth Laney: Cherie Quarters: The Place and the People That Inspired Ernest Gaines

Dec. 11

Noon – 12:30 p.m.

• Mardi Gras Discussion. Doug MacCash: Mardi Gras Beads; Matt Haines: The Big Book of King Cake and The Little Book

of King Cake

1 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

• Liz Williams: Nana’s Creole Italian Table: Recipes and Stories from Sicilian New Orleans (The Southern Table)

2 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

• C.W. Cannon: I Want Magic: Essays on New Orleans, the South and Race

The Reading Life in 2010, Susan Larson was the book editor for The New Orleans Times-Picayune from 1988-2009. She has served on the boards of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival and the New Orleans Public Library. She is the founder of the New Orleans chapter of the Women's National Book Association, which presents the annual Diana Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction.. In 2007, she received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the literary community. She is also the author of The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans. If you run into her in a local bookstore or library, she'll be happy to suggest something you should read. She thinks New Orleans is the best literary town in the world, and she reads about a book a day.