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The Reading Life with Daniel José Older


This week on The Reading Life: Award-winning author Daniel José Older, whose new book for middle grade readers is “Dactyl Hill Squad.” He is also the creator of the urban fantasy series, "Bone Street Rumba," as well as the "Shadowshaper" series for young adults.

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

Here in New Orleans:

  • There will be a release party for Alys Arden’s third book in The Casquette Girls series, “Cities of the Dead,” Tuesday, January 22, at 7 p.m. at One-Eyed Jacks. Tickets available at
  • Daniel José Older reads from and discusses “Dactyl Hill Squad” and his other books, Thursday, January 24, at 7 p.m. at Dogfish, 2448 N. Villere.
  • Jeff O’Hara discusses and signs “Have Fun, Fight Back and Keep the Party Going: Lessons from a New Orleans Entrepreneur’s Journey to the Inc. 5000,” Thursday, January 24, from 6-7:30 at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Jason Comboy discusses “Lost Settlements of Southeast Louisiana,” at 7 Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, as part of the regularly scheduled meeting of the Jefferson Parish Historical Society. 
  • Floyd Clown Sr., a descendant of Crazy Horse, and author/filmmaker William Matson, discuss “Crazy Horse: The Lakota Warrior’s Life and Legacy,” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.
  • Lincoln Peirce signs his newest book for young readers, “Max and the Midknights,” Friday, January 25, at 5 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • There will be a launch party for the new issue of Bayou Magazine, Saturday, January 26, at 7 p.m. at Vaughn’s Lounge, 4229 Dauphine St.
  • Ashley Young facilitates a workshop, “Writing Memoir Through Ancestral Narratives,” Mondays in February from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Dragonfly, St. Claude Ave. For registration and tuition information email
  • The Friends of the New Orleans Public Library are sponsoring the Inaugural Alvar Zine Contest. 2019's theme is Mardi Gras. Make a zine about Carnival history, a story taking place during Mardi Gras, a personal memory, or a reflection on how the season makes you feel. To enter, submit a print copy of your zine to any New Orleans Public Library location. Electronic submissions, including your name, e-mail or phone number, and an attachment of your zine, may be submitted to  The winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card and will have 100 copies of their zine printed and distributed at the New Orleans Comics and Zine Festival in April. All entries received will be added to the Alvar Zine Library.  The winner will be notified on Monday, April 1. 
  • The French Literature Discussion Group will read Alexandre Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo,” beginning Monday, January 28 at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie. The reading for the first meeting is chapters 1-27.
  • The Jefferson Parish Library presents its first “Digital Expo” Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon, Metairie. The Digital Expo is designed to explain how to enjoy the library’s free digital content. Content includes eBooks, audiobooks, music, movies, magazines, and comics delivered directly to a patron’s device – smartphones, laptops, smart TVs, tablets, etc.
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.