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The Reading Life with Rich Cohen and Nick Courage

George Ingmire

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Rich Cohen about “The Last Pirate of New York: A Ghost Ship, A Killer, and the Birth of a Gangster Nation.” And New Orleans native Nick Courage takes us into the world of his new young adult novel, “Storm Blown.”

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

Here in New Orleans:

  • Andrew Feldman discusses and signs “Ernesto: The Untold Story of Hemingway in Revolutionary Cuba,” Tuesday, August 13, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books. 
  • Kevin Gilheany discusses and signs “Minding the Helm: An Unlikely Career in the U.S. Coast Guard,” Tuesday, August 13, at 6:30 at the Hubbell Library in Algiers.
  • Octavia Books presents Daniel Brook, discussing “The Accident of Color: A Story of Race in Reconstruction” with archivist Greg Osborn, Wednesday, August 14, at 6 p.m. at the New Orleans Public Library Main Library, 219 Loyola Ave.
  • The Garden District Book Shop Book Club discusses “White Houses,” by Amy Bloom, Wednesday, August 14, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Deb Jannerson reads from and signs her book, “The Women of Dauphine,” Thursday, August 15, at 6 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books.
  • The deadline for entries for the 13th annual Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence is Thursday, August 15. This prize honors outstanding fiction – novels or short stories --published in 2019. Information on criteria and entrance forms can be found at The award, which includes a $15,000 cash prize, will be presented Thursday, January 30, 2020 at the Manship Theatre in downtown Baton Rouge.
  • Two writers – M. A. Harper and R. J. Lee – will speak about their experiences Saturday, Aug. 17, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. M.A. Harper, author of “The Worst Day of My Life So Far,” discusses “Autobiographical Fiction? Not Recommended. Fiction Colored by Your Own Back Story? Absolutely” at 9:30 a.m. Then, at 11 a.m., R. J. Lee, author of “Grand Slam Murders,” presents “How to Navigate Today’s Publishing Market.”
  • The Octavia Books Book Club discusses “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers, Saturday, August 17, at 10:30 a.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Former WWL anchor Lisa Shumate discusses and signs Always and Never: 20 Truths for a Happy Heart” and “Always and Never: The Companion Journal,” Saturday, August 17 at 2 p.m.  at Barnes & Noble/Metairie.
  • Coming up: The members of the East Bank Regional Great Books Discussion Group have announced their reading schedule through the second half of 2019 and into the new year. They will discuss, “The Reivers,” by William Faulkner, August 20 at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. The group is moderated by librarian Gwen Kelley.  
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.