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The Reading Life: Heather Cox Richardson

Susan Larson talks with historian Heather Cox Richardson, about her newsletter and her new book, Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America

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

Shannon Kelley Atwater's presents a story time with her new book, "Five Little Termites," Saturday, March 2, at 11:00 AMat Garden District Book Shop.

Poets Chris Champagne, Caroline Rowe and David Rowe read from their work at the Poetry Buffet, Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m. at an-in person reading at the Rosa F. Keller Library.

MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid discusses her new book, “Medgar & Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story that Awakened America,” in conversation with Charisse Gibson, Saturday, March 2, at 4 p.m. at Baldwin & Co. This is a ticketed event.

Poets Peter Cooley, whose new book is “Accounting for the Dark,” and Carolyn Hembree, author of “For Today,” read from and sign their books Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m. to 3:30 pm at Octavia Books.

David Armand interviews Damien Echols of the West Memphis 3 and his partner Lorri Davis, Wednesday, March 6, at 10 am. in Southeastern Louisiana University’s Pottle Auditorium. They will discuss the criminal justice system, but also their books -- Damien's memoir, “Life After Death,” and a collection of letters, “Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row.”

Maurice Carlos Ruffin discusses and signs “The American Daughters,” Thursday, March 7, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.

Get ready for Festival month in March!

The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University opens March 14 with a session partnering with The Atlantic and runs through March 16.

The festival is free and open to the public, and attendees can register and find the complete schedule at bookfest.tulane.edu.

Additional authors, illustrators and panelists attending include Ken Auletta, Donna Brazile, Courtney Bryan, Liz Cheney, Ronan Farrow, Amy Gajda, Gary Hoover, Mike Jones, Kate Lacour, Terry McMillan, Kimbal Musk, Madeline Ostrander, Khadijah Queen, , Howell Raines, Walter Ramsey, Heather Cox Richardson, Nicole Richie, Mona Lisa Saloy, Jim Sciutto, David Shipley, Cleo Wade and Jesmyn Ward.

Family Day at the Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, in the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.

Then, coming up March 20, the 38th Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival gets underway through March 24. The famed shouting contest gets underway earlier this year, March 17 at 2 p.m. in Jackson Square, then opening night March 20, features a night of burlesque. Check out tennesseewilliams.net. And don’t forget Saints and Sinners, the LGBTQ Literary Festival that runs concurrently that weekend at the Hotel Monteleone. Check out Sasfest.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.