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The Reading Life with Wayne Wiegand and Silas House

This week on The Reading Life: Wayne Wiegand, co-author with Shirley Wiegand, of “The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South: Civil Rights and Local Activism.” We’ll also hear from novelist Silas House, whose new book is “Southernmost.”

Audio extra:

Wayne Wiegand talks with Susan about Annie Waters helping a young Martin Luther King and efforts by present day library system to right the wrongs of the past.

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

  • Barbara Ewell and Teresa Toulouse discuss and sign their co-edited book of essays, “Sweet Spots—In-Between Spaces in New Orleans,” Sunday June 17, at 3:30 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania at the Rink, New Orleans.
  • Caleb Johnson discusses and signs his novel, “Treeborne,” with novelist Katy Simpson Smith, Tuesday, June 19, at 6 p.m. at Turkey and the Wolf, 739 Jackson Ave., dinner inspired by the book, sponsored by Garden District Book Shop.
  • Paul Kix discusses “The Saboteur: The Aristocrat Who Became France’s Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commander,” Tuesday, June 9 at the National World War II Museum’s Louisiana Memorial Pavilion. Reception at 5, presentation at 6, book signing at 7.
  • Curtis Manning discusses and signs “The History of Higher Education” in Louisiana, Tuesday, June 19, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, in Metairie.
  • Novelist Spencer Wise discusses and signs “The Emperor of Shoes” with novelist Kent Wascom, Wednesday, June 20, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Novelist Silas House discusses his new book, “Southernmost,” with Morgan Babst, Thursday, June 21, at 6 at Garden District book Shop.
  • Dogfish Reading Series presents Brett Martin and Jae Nichelle reading their work, Thursday, June 21, at 7 p.m. at 2448 N. Villere, New Orleans.

  • Children’s author and illustrator Corinna Luyken signs “The Book of Mistakes,” Thursday, June 21, at 11 a.m. at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St., New Orleans. Ruth Spiro signs her “Baby Loves Science” series at 1 p.m., followed by Leslie Helakowski, who signs her picture book, “Ready or Not! Woolbur Goes to School, “at 2:30 p.m.
  • The American Library Association meets here in New Orleans June 21-26. For information, check out ala.org. Featured speakers include former First Lady Michelle Obama at the opening ceremony, actress Viola Davis at the closing ceremony, poet laureate Tracy K. Smith and poet Jose Antonio Vargas, biographer Jonathan Eig, journalist Robert Fieseler, actress Sally Field, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden with National Archivist Richard Ferreiro.
  • Art Klub, 1941 Arts St., New Orleans, presents Pamela Des Barres, bestselling author of "I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie" and "Let It Bleed: How to Write a Rockin' Memoir." for writing workshops Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24, from 1-5 p.m. For registration information and fees, visit pameladesbarres.net./events.
  • The fourth annual Jefferson Parish Library Mystery Readers/ Writers Literary Festival takes place Saturday, June 23, at 9:30 a.m. at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie. The purpose of the seminar is to connect readers and writers of crime fiction with medical and crime prevention professionals who can add veracity and provide basic information about real life crime scenarios. Dr. William Hill of Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care discusses Suicide and PTSD at 9:30, Family Nurse Practitioner Anne Troy discusses Forensic Nursing at 11 a.m., retired police officer and sketch artist Michael Verrett, Homicide Investigation and Police Sketching at 12:30 , and at 2 p.m. memoirist Constance Adler presents a guided meditation for the creative process. Free, and no registration.
  • It’s another full day of programming with children’s book authors Saturday, June 23 at Octavia Books. Dr. Chris Ferrie signs his Baby University Books at 10:30 a.m., followed by picture Book Authors Josh Funk, Lisa Judge, Miranda Paul, Baptiste Paul, and Camille Andros signing their books, at 2 p.m. There will be a young adult author panel at 5 p.m. featuring Carolyn Mackler, Sarah Crossan, Brandy Colbert, Emily XI Pan, Jay Coles and Monica Hesse. All this, again, is Saturday at Octavia Books.

  • Elise Gravel signs “The Mushroom Fan Club” and leads a mushroom drawing session, Sunday, June 24, at 2 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • The New Orleans Public Library presents “Hidden Figures in American Library History: The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South: Civil Rights and Local Activism, with authors Wayne Wiegand, Shirley Wiegand, and library activists Ethel Sawyer Adolphe of the Tougaloo Nine, who integrated the Jackson, Miss., Library;  Joan Madison Daniel, one of the Greenville Eight, who conducted a sit-in at the Greenville, South Carolina, Public Library; Ibrahim Mumin (formerly Charley Porter) of the Columbus Georgia, library protests, and Robert A. Williams, one of 16 young people to conduct a sit-in at the Danville, Virginia Public Library This discussion takes place Sunday, June 24, at 2 p.m. at the Main Library of the New Orleans Public Library.
  • Alexis Marie Chute discusses and signs her new young adult fantasy, “Above the Star,” Sunday, June 24, at 6 p.m. at Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop.
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.