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The Reading Life with Jules Feiffer and Michael Pollan


This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with authors who’ll be appearing at Improv NOLA: A Festival of Ideas. Jules Feiffer is known for his cartoons, novels, plays and screenplays, as well as his most recent graphic novel, “The Ghost Script.” He appears Saturday, November 9. And Michael Pollan, who has written so widely and beautifully about food and nature, talks about his most recent bestseller, “How to Change Your Mind.” He appears Friday, November 8. For more info, check out


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

Here in New Orleans:

  • Steven Landry discusses and signs “Beatles Day in New Orleans,” Tuesday, October 22, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie.
  • Sonia Purnell presents her book, “A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II,” Wednesday, October 23 at the National World War II Museum. Reception at 5, presentation at 6, book signing at 7.
  • Steven Weisman discusses his new book, “The Chosen Wars: How Judaism Became an American Religion,” with Walter Isaacson, Wednesday, October 24, at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave.
  • T.R. Johnson appears in conversation with Gwen Thompkins to discuss “New Orleans: A Literary History,” Thursday, October 24, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Dan Raphael, Wendi Carlisle and Jeff Weddle reads from their work Thursday, October 24, at 8 p.m. at Bar Redux, 801 Poland.
  • Octavia Books presents Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton discussing their new book, “Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience,” Saturday, October 26 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church. Tickets are available at Octavia Books.
  • Four poets – Paul Benton, Michael True, Caroline Rowe and Jonathan Warren—perform their work Saturday, October 26, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books.
  • Todd Eliott discusses and signs his novel, "The Lowerline," Sunday, October 27, at 2 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.

    And coming up:

  • Octavia Books presents Ta-nehisi Coates reading and discussing his first novel, “Water Dancer,” in conversation with novelist Jesmyn Ward, Wednesday, October 30 at 6 p.m. at Temple Sinai, 6227 St. Charles Ave. Tickets are available at Octavia Books.
  • And get ready for the Louisiana Book Festival November 2 at the State Capital in Baton Rouge. This year’s winner of the Louisiana Writer Award is Tulane University’s Richard Campanella. Get ready for a full day of activities for both young and adult readers, and it’s all free.
  • And soon after that, it’s time for Improv NOLA: A Festival of Ideas, which takes place November 3, then picks up again November 8-10. Today’s guests, Jules Feiffer and Michael Pollan, are the headliners. Check out for tickets and the complete schedule.
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.