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The Reading Life: Marlene Trestman

Susan Larson talks with Marlene Trestman about her new book, “Most Fortunate Unfortunates: The Jewish Orphans’ Home of New Orleans.”

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

Author Johnette Downing and illustrator Heather Stanley read from and sign their new children’s book, “My Parrain Is the Loup Garou!,” Saturday, October 14, at 11 am at Garden District Book Shop.

Blue Cypress Books presents a Mummy-Themed Grown-Up Book Fair, Sunday, October 15 at The Domino, 3014 St. Claude Ave. from 5 pm – 8 pm with a book fair, mummy-themed trivia, and costume contest.

Wildlife rehabber Ally Burguieres discusses and signs “When in Doubt, Play Dead: Life Advice from an Unexpected Source,” Tuesday, October 17, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.

Teresa Tumminello Brader discusses her new book about her art forger uncle William Toye titled ‘Letting In Air and Light,” Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

Claudia Gray presents an evening of scary stories, Tuesday, October 17, at 7 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books.

Cleo Wade reads from and signs “Remember Love: Words for Tender Times,” Thursday, October 19, at 6 p.m. at Baldwin & Co., This is a ticketed event.

Joshua Weissman discusses and signs “Texture Over Taste: An Unapologetic Cookbook,” Friday, October 20, at 5 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.

The New Orleans Book Festival, with Octavia Books and Baldwin & Co. Books, presents an evening with Walter Isaacson, discussing his new biography “Elon Musk,” appearing along with Michael Lewis, discussing “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon,” Wednesday, October 18, at 6:30 at McAlister Auditorium, Tulane University. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.

One Book One New Orleans is currently in the process of choosing the 2024 reading selection. The three finalists are “All This Could Be Yours,” by Jami Attenberg; “I’m Always So Serious” by Karisma Price; and “Black Creole Chronicles,” by Mona Lisa Saloy. Vote on the group’s Facebook page.

Start saving those empty book bags to fill up at the Friends of the Jefferson Public Library Big Book Sale, October 20-22, at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner. Hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. There will be more than 65,000 used books, CD’s, DVD’s, videos and records. Credit cards only, no checks. Four books will be auctioned this time: The Civil War Wall Chart; a reprint of John James Audubon: The Birds of America; Harry Potter: Page to Screen The Complete, by Bob McCabe; and Botanica's Roses: The Encyclopedia of Roses, by David Austin.

The 19th Louisiana Book Festival is set for Saturday, October 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Baton Rouge's Capitol Park with events and programming in the State Capitol, State Library of Louisiana, Capitol Park Museum, and in tents on neighboring streets. Nearly 200 authors and presenters, ranging from award winners to self-published and debut authors, will discuss their books during more than 100 panels and programs locations throughout the day, followed by book signings.

A highlight of the day is the presentation of the Louisiana Writer Award (LWA), given this year to Maurice Carlos Ruffin at the opening ceremony. Past LWA recipients David Armand, Darrell Bourque, Richard Campanella, Johnette Downing, Fatima Shaik, and Tom Piazza will also participate in the festival.

Other highlights this year include:The return of the National Student Poets for the second year; a sports biographies panel on Louisiana Sports Hall of Famers Skip Bertman, Dale Brown, and Pat Browne, Jr., as well as a program on the legendary racehorse Lexington and its Louisiana connection; Hayley Arceneaux, a Baton Rouge native and cancer survivor who became the youngest American to orbit the earth and wrote “Wild Ride,” one version for young readers and one for grown-ups; and the “dean of southern studies” Charles Reagan Wilson, author of “The Southern Way of Life: Meanings of Culture & Civilization in the American South,” who will discuss the book with James G. Thomas, Jr., Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

The 2023 Louisiana Book Festival will also include the Young Readers Pavilion and Teen HQ with activities and award-winning authors. There will also be food vendors and a wide variety of book-related activities and exhibitors.

For more information about the 2023 Louisiana Book Festival, visit LouisianaBookFestival.org.

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.