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The Reading Life with Ani DiFranco and Mary Miller


This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with singer / songwriter / poet / activist / New Orleanian Ani DiFranco, whose new memoir is “No Walls and the Recurring Dream.” And novelist Mary Miller talks about her new book, “Biloxi.”

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

Here in New Orleans:

  • Editors Catharine Savage Brosman and Olivia McNeely Pass and contributing poets Ralph Adamo, Darrell Bourque, Ava Leavell Haymon, Julie Kane, William Lavender, and Mona Lisa Saloy discuss and sign the book, “Louisiana Poets: A Literary Guide,” Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Rosary Hartel O’Neill, who, with her daughter Rory O’Neill Schmitt, is the author of “New Orleans Voodoo: A Cultural History," appears May 21, at 4 p.m. at The Roosevelt Hotel Gift Shop,130 Roosevelt Way, in New Orleans, and again May 22, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie.
  • Kris Waldherr discusses and signs “The Lost History of Dreams,” in conversation with Terry Lynn Thomas, Tuesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Barry Gifford reads from and signs his Southern Nights trilogy – “Night People,” “Arise and Walk,” and “Baby Cat Face” -- Tuesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Today’s guest Ani DiFranco discusses and signs her memoir “No Walls and the Recurring Dream,” in  conversation with Gwendolyn Thompkins, Wednesday, May 22, at 7 p.m. at the Uptown Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave. Tickets available at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Mary Miller reads from and signs her novel, “Biloxi,” Thursday, May 23, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Joanna Guest discusses and signs her book, “Folded Wisdom: Notes from Dad on Life, Love, and Growing Up,” Thursday, May 23, at 6 p.m. at Garden District book Shop.
  • The Symphony Book Fair is coming up soon. This annual event takes place at the Lakefront Arena and begins Friday, May 31, from 9-8 p.m. (there is an admission fee from 9 am.-3 Friday only), and continues Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, June 2, from 9 am.-4 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Special collections for sale this year include:
A collection of books on Josip Tito and Yugoslavian history
A large collection of Agatha Christie mysteries
An exceptionally large inventory of children’s books
A personal collection of meteorology
And opera and classical music on DVD and vinyl

Elsewhere in Louisiana:

There are only a few tickets left 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.