The Reading Life with Bryan Batt and Katy Danos

Oct 28, 2018

This week on The Reading Life:  At the beach, at the beach! Bryan Batt and Katy Danos take a walk down memory lane with “Pontchartrain Beach: A Family Affair.”

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

  • Brian Kilmeade discusses “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans” with historian Ron Drez, Sunday, October 28, at 1 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave. Tickets are available at Octavia Books.
  • There will be a Not So Spooky Halloween costume party and story time for ages 10 and under, Sunday, October 28, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Main Library, 219 Loyola, in New Orleans. The East New Orleans Regional Library will also hold a Family Halloween party Sunday, October 28, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Pulitzer Prize winner Annette Gordon-Reed, an American historian and legal scholar, will be the featured speaker in the next Tulane-Aspen Institute Values in Amera Speaker Series event, “When America’s Values are Tested: Lessons from Jefferson, Lincoln and other great leaders in the Age of Trump,” on Monday, October 29 from 1-2 p.m. in Rogers Memorial Chapel on the Tulane University campus.
  • Folwell Dunbar signs “He Falls Well: A Memoir of Survival,” Wednesday, October 30, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Webb Hubbell signs his new Jack Patterson thriller, “The Eighteenth Green, “Thursday, November 1, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Tyler Bridges, author the updated edition of “The Rise and Fall of David Duke,” and Robert W. Fieseler, author of “Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation,” discuss their work Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.
  • There will be a Sacred Talk with YeYe Luisah Teish, author of "Carnival of the Spirits" and "Jambalaya," Friday, November 2, at 6 p.m. at the Neighborhood Story Project, 2202 Lapeyrouse St.
  • Bryan Batt and Katy Danos discuss and sign “Pontchartrain Beach: A Family Affair,” Friday, November 2, from 4-7 at Hazelnut, 5525 Magazine St., Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop, and Saturday, November 17, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble/Metairie.
  • Blanche Wiesen Cook (historian and notably the author of the 3-vol Eleanor Roosevelt biography) and Clare Coss (playwright, librettist for “Emmett Till, the Opera”) will speak on the many forms and aspects of biography for our Chapter's National Reading Group Month event, November 3, at 6 p.m. at Xavier University Library. 
  • New York Times best-selling author Laura Lippman and award-winning illustrator Kate Samworth, sign their children’s book, "Liza Jane and the Dragon," Saturday, November 3, at 6 p.m. at LeMieux Galleries, 332 Julia St.
  • Tracey Duncan will be teaching a six-week course, Writing as Becoming, November 5-December 10, Mondays from 6:30-9 at the Dragonfly, 3921 St. Claude Ave. For registration and fees, email
  • Octavia Books present New York Times bestselling novelist Marissa Meyer and her second installment in the YA series, called “Renegades,” the follow-up to “Archenemies.” This is a ticketed event; tickets are available at Octavia Books. Meyer appears Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m. at the Academy of the Sacred Heart’s Nims Fine Arts Center, 4301 St. Charles Ave. Doors open at 5.
  •  The Louisiana Book Festival is coming up Saturday, November 10, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on the grounds of the State Capital in Baton Rouge. More than 250 authors will appear at more than 100 programs. The Young Readers Pavilion presents children’s authors, storytelling performances, crafts, and face paintings; A Teen Headquarters will feature YA authors. There will be musical performances and cooking demonstrations and a huge book tent. Some of the authors attending include Pulitzer Prize winner Jack E. Davis discussing his book The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea; recipient of the first ever Louisiana Writer Award Ernest J. Gaines; and, New Orleans chef and Top Chef season 13 fan favorite Isaac Toups doing cooking demos from his cookbook, Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking, and many more. Also on hand will be poet GennaRose Nethercott whose book The Lumberjack’s Dove was selected as a winner of the National Poetry Series. GennaRose will be available during the festival to compose personalized, custom “poetry-to-order” which she creates on a 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter on any topic of an attendee’s choice. In its tenth year, the One Book, One Festival program, led by Dr. Katie Henninger, will focus on  E. P. O'Donnell's 1941 classic novel “The Great Big Doorstep.”
  • Also coming up: Words and Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans, takes place November 15-18, headquartered at the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel. Among the authors appearing are Leah Chase, Justin Nystrom, Jason Berry in conversation with TR Johnson, Kelly Harris DeBerry in conversation with Melissa Weber, DJ Soul Sister; Kim Vaz DeVille, Alison Pelegrin, James Nolan, Peter Cooley, Nicole Cooley, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin. For more information, check out the Facebook page.
  • And get ready for Improvisation: New Orleans’ Gift to the Modern World: A Tricentennial Conference, November 30-December 3, at various locations throughout the city. The conference is an outgrowth of Randy Fertel’s book, “A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation,” and will gather together writers, musicians, theaters and storytellers for workshops and master classes as well as other performances. For complete info and tickets, go to