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The Reading Life With Jessica Peterson And Yuka Petz - And Whitney Stewart

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with book artists Jessica Peterson and Yuka Petz about the upcoming opening of the Artist Book Collection at Paper Machine, 6330 St. Claude. It's a wonderful collection of rare and gorgeous books that opens to the public May 19 from 1-3:30. 

We’ll also talk with children’s book author Whitney Stewart, author of “What’s On Your Plate? Exploring the World of Food,” and “Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids,” who's part of  the Raising Kind Kids in Today’s World One-Day seminar, Wednesday, May 16, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Ace Hotel,

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

  • Whitney Stewart, author of “What’s On Your Plate? Exploring the World of Food,” and “Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids,” will be part of the Raising Kind Kids in Today’s World One-Day seminar, Wednesday, May 16, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Ace Hotel, 600 Carondelet St. It’s for parents, educators, therapists, grandparents and caring adults. Speakers include Mariana Shephard of the Contemporary Arts Center, Dan Storper of Putumayo World Music, Vera Warren Williams of Community Book Center, Amy Kirk Duvoisin of the Louisiana Children’s Museum, Echo Olander of KidSmart, and others. Go to for ticket information.
  • Pableaux Johnson moderates a discussion with Edward Lee and local chef, Justin Devillier (La Petite Grocery & Balise), then Edward signs his book, “Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef's Journey to Discover America's New Melting-Pot Cuisine.” That’s Wednesday, May 16, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Rita Bullwinkel discusses and signs “Belly Up,” her new collection of short stories, with Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Wednesday, May 16, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • One Book One New Orleans, inspired by the 2018 selection, “New Orleans: A Food Biography, “by Elizabeth Williams, presents a Food Spelling Bee, Thursday, May 17, at from 6-8 at Second Line Brewing, 433 N. Bernadotte St. Come spell out roux or pain perdu or meuniere for the win!
  • Louis Maistros signs the new and expanded edition of his novel, “The Sound of Building Coffins,” Friday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Crescent city Books.
  • Jessica Peterson, Yuka Petz and others unveil the Artist Book Collection at Paper Machine, Saturday, May 19, from 1-3:30 at Paper Machine, 6330 St. Claude Ave. Jeff Weddle will be on hand to discuss the work of Jon Edgar Webb and Gypsy Lou Webb and LouJon Press, as well as collector Carla Williams of Material Life.
  • NBA player and general manager Elgin Baylor discusses and signs “Hang Time: My Life in Basketball”Saturday, May 19 at 2 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Bryan Camp signs “The City of Lost Fortunes,” Saturday, Mary 19, at 2 p.m. at Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Bookshop, 631 N. Carrollton Ave.
  • If you’re a Walker Percy fan, you want to see photographer Jared Ragland ‘s exhibit, called “Everything Is Going to Be All Right,” inspired by “The Moviegoer.” It’s on view at the Front, 4100 St. Claude Ave. until early June.
  • One Book One New Orleans hosts its annual fundraiser, Juleps in June, June 1 at 6 p.m. at 1413 Philip St. to support One Book and Words and Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans. For ticket info, go to; you can buy tickets at Eventbrite.
  • Also getting close: June 1-3 is the annual Walker Percy Weekend in West Feliciana Parish, with an additional emphasis this year on the work of Shelby Foote. Check out to buy tickets; the event is headquartered at Conundrum Books in St. Francisville.
  • The Symphony Book Fair is coming up June 1-3 at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. Hours are 9-8 Friday-Saturday, June 1-2, and 9-4 Sunday, June 3. There is an admission fee for a first look, Friday from 9-3. This is the largest book fair in the South and includes art and music as well.
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.