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The Reading Life: Barry Ancelet, Ken and Hillary Wells

Susan Larson talks with Barry Ancelet about his new book, From Behind the Mask: Essays on South Louisiana Mardi Gras Runs, and Ken and Hillary Wells, collaborators on a new Young Adult novel, Swamped!

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

Shannon Kelley Atwater reads from and signs “Goodnight Pothole,” Friday, February 24, at 5 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books and again Saturday, February 25, at 11 a.m. at Garden District Book Shop.

Ken Wells reads from and signs “Swamped!,” Thursday, March 2, 2-4 p.m. at Talbot Hall, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux; Friday, March 3, at 2 p.m. at Southdown Museum Gift Shop, Houma; Saturday, March 4 at noon at Inside & Out Gift Shop, Houma; and Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m. at Bayou Terrebonne Distillery, Houma.

And start planning your visits to upcoming festivals in March:

The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University takes place March 9-11 on the Tulane campus. There are a lot of Special guests including last minute addition Bill Gates, including Carl Bernstein, Doug Brinkley, Geraldine Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Richard Ford, Eddie Glaude Jr. , Nikole Hannah- Jones, Kiese Laymon, Michael Lewis, Heather McGehee, John Meacham, Michelle Miller, Marc Morial, Imani Perry, Annette Gordon Reed, David Rubenstein, April Ryan, Clint Smith, Kara Swisher, Ali Vitale, and many more. Check out for complete schedule, and remember Saturday, April 11, is family day, with children’s authors and activities for the whole family.

The Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival takes place March 22-26, headquartered at the Hotel Monteleone. Guests this year include Morgan Babst, Charles Baxter, Douglas Brinkley, Rien Fertel, Stephanie Grace, Miles Harvey, Cheryl Head, Cammie McGovern, Michael Paterniti, Tom Piazza, Nathaniel Rich, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Katy Simpson Smith and many more. Check out tennesseewilliams. Net for info. Also that weekend at the Hotel Monteleone is the Saints and Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival. Check our for that complete line-up.

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.