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The Reading Life with Sheryl St. Germain


  • This week on The Reading Life:  Louisiana Writer Award winner, poet and essayist Sheryl St. Germain, who will receive her award at the Louisiana Book Festival, Saturday, November 10, at the State Capital in Baton Rouge. A New Orleans native, her most recent book is the poetry collection, "The Small Door of Your Death."
  • Poet Anne Boyer , author of “The Romance of Happy Workers” and “Garments Against Women,” presents a reading Monday, November 5 at 7 p.m. at Freeman Auditorium at Tulane University.  This year, Anne Boyer won the inaugural Cy Twombly Award for Poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, as well as a Whiting Award in nonfiction and poetry.
  • Bryan Batt and Katy Danos discuss and sign “Pontchartrain Beach: A Family Affair,” 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.
  • 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.
  • James Nolan reads from and signs “Nasty Water: selected Poems” Thursday, November 8, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Beth D’Addono talks about “100 Things to Do in New Orleans Before You Die!” Thursday, November 8, at 6 p.m. at the Alvar Branch Library.
  • Poppy Tooker discusses and signs “Pascal’s Manale Cookbook: A Family Tradition,” Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.
  • 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 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 improvconference
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.