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The Reading Life with Nathaniel Rich

This week on The Reading Life: Journalist, novelist, and New Orleanian Nathaniel Rich talks about his new book, “Losing Earth: A Recent History.”

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

Here in New Orleans:

  • Lydia Fitzpatrick signs her novel  “Lights All Night Long,” Monday, April 8, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • The Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans meets Tuesday, April 9 at 5:30 at Howard Tilton Library, room 603, at Tulane University for a presentation by Jane Pinzino, Coordinator for Scholarly Resources for the Humanities at the library, which will feature rare books in the library’s collection. All are welcome.
  • Amor Towles discusses and signs the paperback of “A Gentleman in Moscow,” Tuesday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave.. Tickets available at and
  • The Garden District Book Shop presents Dr. Neil Baum discussing and signing “How's It Hanging: Expert Answers to the Questions Men Don't Always Ask,” Tuesday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Jamie Bernstein discusses and signs “Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing up Bernstein,” Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave.
  • The Blood Jet Poetry series presents poetry night with Cate Root and Taylor Murrow, Wednesday, April 10, at The Dragonfly, 3921 St. Claude Ave.
  • Toril Moi of Duke University presents the 30th annual Josephine Ferguson Lecture, “ ‘Never Treat Characters As If They Were Real People’: On the Origins and Future of a Taboo,” Thursday, April 11, at 6 p.m. at Freeman Auditorium, Woldenberg Art Center, Tulane University.
  • e.E. Charlton Trujillo discusses and signs “Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution,” Thursday, April 11, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • David Sedaris appears Friday, April 12, at 8 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater, and will sign his books after the performance. Tickets available at Ticketmaster.

In Baton Rouge:

  • Authors Diane Rowland, Em Shotwell, Eden Butler and Cherie Claire appear on a panel, "Bump in the Night: Magic and Monsters in the Deep South," Sunday, April 14, at 3 p.m. at the East Baton Rouge Public Library Main Library at Goodwood.

And coming up in the future:

  • Get ready for The New Orleans Poetry Festival and Small Press Book Fair, which takes place Thursday-Sunday, April 18-21 at the New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave. and the Dragonfly, 3921 St. Claude, as well as many other venues. The Festival opens Thursday, April 18, with a poetry reading at the Dogfish Reading series, 2448 N. Villere.  Barristers Gallery, 231 St. Claude Ave., will host a visual poetry exhibition. International poets appear Friday night at Café Istanbul at 7. And Saturday night at Siberia at 7, there will be reading featuring Kalamu ya Salaam, poet Anne Waldman and her musical group Fast Speaking Music, followed by the poets with bands show featuring Skin Verb and The Call Girls. And throughout the weekend, you can browse the bookfair at the New Orleans Healing Center. You’ll see beautiful books you’ve never seen before. Check out for the complete schedule and tickets.
  • The West Feliciana Parish Children’s Book Festival takes place all day Saturday, May 4, at St. Francisville. Check out the complete schedule at
  • And mark your calendar for the sixth annual Walker Percy Weekend in St. Francisville, starting Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2, with panels, an exhibition of Walker Percy photos, and other events throughout the town’s historic district, with of course, lots of bourbon on hand. Watch for the complete schedule at
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.