Throughout the year Maple Street Book Shop hosts authors for book signings, readings and other events. We provide drinks and refreshments at book signings for the comfort of our authors and customers. If you can’t make it to a book signing, but would like a signed copy of the book, we’ll be happy to take your order over the phone or via our new online service, have the book signed, and ship it to you.

And if you’re interested, watch for our story times and other kids events listed on New Orleans Macaroni Kid.

Story Time with Miss Maureen

March 28th, 2015

We’ll read Home by Carson Ellis.

Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist’s own studio. A meditation on the concept of home and a visual treat that invites many return visits, this loving look at the places where people live marks the picture-book debut of Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of the Wildwood series and artist for the indie band the Decemberists.

April Toole's Day - The Irish House

April 1st, 2015

Please join us April 1st, 7:30 PM, upstairs at The Irish House for a celebration of the life and work of John Kennedy Toole.

from Gambit:

“Public displays of affection for literary heroes are not unfamiliar in New Orleans, from the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival’s Stella! shouting contest to the annual Bloomsday celebration for James Joyce’s Ullyses.

But on April 1, it’s April Toole’s Day upstairs at The Irish House. A half-dozen readers will flesh out John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, with excerpts that introduce key characters and dramatic tension in the novel.

“We’re going to be onstage for about two and a half hours,” says Chris Lane, the event’s organizer. “We’re going to be breaking it up in a number ways. I’d like to read excerpts where the main characters are introduced. They start to interact with each other toward the end of the novel, they start overlapping and these different threads start to come together.”

Lane, along with Andy Vaught of Cripple Creek Theatre Company, the writer and teacher Anne Gisleson and Mary-Devon Dupuy, a local comedian, will read from the text. Lane says there will also be a “Wheel of Fortuna” (“When fortuna spins you downward,” says Ignatius J. Reilly, the novel’s protagonist, “go out to a movie and get more out of life”), and audience members will be able to spin for a chance to read a chapter or section of the book.

The reading won’t just be done by actors and writers, Lane says, because he wants a variety of voices that can bring the text to life, particularly the local Yat dialogue that Toole so deliberately wrote into the text. “When I was choosing readers I was trying to get as many people who were from here. That wasn’t based on any chauvinism,” Lane says. “Or, people who have lived here enough time that they can kind of understand a lot of there references and they can really understand the language. A lot of times what happens is they’ll bring in writers and actors. But I was trying to bring in some people from other disciplines.”

The reading will have musical breaks and libations in between. Lane is working with The Irish House chef and owner Matt Murphy to come up with some Ignatius-themed dishes (think hotddogs, but, for the sake of all our constitutions and “valves,” non-neon ones), though nothing has been confirmed just yet.

It all kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Lane is trying to make it an annual thing, like Bloomsday, which is also at The Irish House, but rights issues might make April Toole’s Day a one time thing.”

Dale Curry - Gumbo - Maple Street Book Shop

April 4th, 2015

Dale Curry will be signing and serving samples from her newest cookbook, Gumbo (University North Carolina Press, $18) at Maple Street Book Shop, Saturday, April 4th, at 11:30AM.

Recalling childhood visits to her grandmother’s house in New Orleans, where she would feast on shrimp and okra gumbo, Dale Curry offers fifty recipes—for gumbos, jambalayas, and those little something extras known as lagniappe—that will put Louisiana taste and hospitality on your table. “Gumbo” calls to mind the diverse culinary traditions of Louisiana that, like gumbo itself, are simmered from elements of the many cultures circulating in the state. Drawing historically from French, African, Caribbean, Native American, Spanish, Italian, and other culinary sources, the Creole and Cajun cooking featured in Gumbo embraces the best of local shellfish, sausages, poultry, and game.

This book is part of the latest batch of releases in UNC Press’s acclaimed and popular Savor the South® cookbook series.

Dale Curry is a cookbook author and veteran journalist who was The Times-Picayune food editor for 20 years, a former president of the Association of Food Journalists, and a judge for the James Beard Foundation Book Awards, most recently in 2012. 2012. She is currently a free-lance food columnist for New Orleans Magazine.

Alexander McConduit & Melissa Wallace - Snoballs For All & It's Great To Be A NOLA Kid - Maple Street Book Shop

April 4th, 2015

Please join us in April 4th, when Alexander McConduit will be reading from his book Snoballs For All, and Melissa Wallace from her book It’s Great To Be A NOLA Kid.. Plum Street Snowballs will be here with snoballs for all!

Snoballs For All:
It’s spring in New Orleans, and that means it’s snoball season Paul is sitting in school when he hears the magical call “Snoballs for all “ He embarks on an adventure through the city, hoping for just a few of those icy treats. But where are the snoballs? On foot and by streetcar, Paul searches high and low. He thinks of all the flavors he could have: grape, strawberry, wedding cake, spearmint, apricot pear . . . but where is that call coming from? If there are snoballs for all, can’t someone spare just one for Paul?

Everyone who’s tasted the syrupy-sweet, cold, refreshing concoction that is the beloved New Orleans snoball will slurp up this spunky story. Bright illustrations in every color of the snoball rainbow fill the pages with triple-extra-large fun.

It’s Great To Be A NOLA Kid:
Bringing up children in New Orleans carries a unique responsibility: making sure they know the iconic images of the city. This adorable coloring book from New Orleans native Melissa Maloney Wallace illustrates the most familiar ones. From the aquarium, beignets, the City Park carousel, and the Superdome to fleur de lis, king cakes, streetcars, second-line umbrellas, and the zoo, classic New Orleans icons can be found in simple line drawings waiting to be colored by a child’s imagination. Created by a graphic artist and mom to celebrate the culture and traditions of New Orleans, this coloring book allows every child to share in the Crescent-City experience-no matter where they live Perfect for locals and tourists alike, these stylized outlines of childhood memories will be treasured for years to come.

First Tuesday Book Club (April) - An Unnecessary Woman - Maple Street Book Shop

April 7th, 2015

The First Tuesday Book Club will meet at Maple Street Book Shop, Tuesday, April 7th, at 5:45PM to discuss An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine. Newcomers are always welcome!

An Unnecessary Woman is a breathtaking portrait of one reclusive woman’s late-life crisis, which garnered a wave of rave reviews and love letters to Alameddine’s cranky yet charming septuagenarian protagonist, Aaliya, a character you “can’t help but love” (NPR). Aaliya’s insightful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and her volatile past. As she tries to overcome her aging body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left. Here, the gifted Rabih Alameddine has given us a nuanced rendering of one woman’s life in the Middle East and an enduring ode to literature and its power to define who we are.

1718 Society - Katy Simpson Smith - The Columns Hotel

April 7th, 2015

The 1718 Society’s featured reader for April is Katy Simpson Smith. She will read from her book, The Story of Land and Sea, at 7PM, April 7th, at the Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Ave.).

Set in a small coastal town in North Carolina during the waning years of the American Revolution, this incandescent debut novel follows three generations of family—fathers and daughters, mother and son, master and slave—characters who yearn for redemption amid a heady brew of war, kidnapping, slavery, and love.

Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She attended Mount Holyoke College and received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has been working as an Adjunct Professor at Tulane University and is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835. She lives in New Orleans.

Carolyn Brown - Song of My Life: A Biography of Margaret Walker & A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty - Maple Street Book Shop

April 8th, 2015

Carolyn Brown will sign and discuss her books, Song of My Life:A Biography of Margaret Walker ($20, University Press of Mississippi) and A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty ($20, University Press of Mississippi), at Maple Street Book Shop, Wednesday, April 8th, at 6PM.

Song of My Life: Margaret Walker (1915-1998) has been described as “the most famous person nobody knows.” This is a shocking oversight of an award-winning poet, novelist, essayist, educator, and activist as well as friend and mentor to many prominent African American writers. Song of My Life reintroduces Margaret Walker to readers by telling her story, one that many can relate to as she overcame certain obstacles related to race, gender, and poverty.

This biography opens with her family and those who inspired her—her parents, her grandmother, her most important teachers and mentors—all significant influences on her reading and writing life. Chapters trace her path over the course of the twentieth century as she travels to Chicago and becomes a member of the South Side Writers’ Group with Richard Wright. Then she is accepted into the newly created Masters of Fine Arts Program at the University of Iowa. Back in the South, she pursued and achieved her dream of becoming a writer and college educator as well as wife and mother. Walker struggled to support herself, her sister, and later her husband and children, but she overcame financial hardships, prejudice, and gender bias and achieved great success. She penned the acclaimed novel Jubilee, received numerous lifetime achievement awards, and was a beloved faculty member for three decades at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.

A Daring Life: Mississippi author Eudora Welty—winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and the first living writer to be published in the Library of America series—mentored many of today’s greatest fiction writers. This fascinating woman observed and wrote brilliantly throughout the majority of the twentieth century (1909-2001). Her life reflects a century of rapid change and is closely entwined with many events that mark our recent history. This biography tells Welty’s story, beginning with her parents and their important influence on her reading and writing life. The chapters that follow focus on her education and her most important teachers as well as her life during the Depression and how her new career, just getting started, was interrupted by World War II. Throughout she shows independence and courage in her writing, especially during the turbulent civil rights period of the 1950s and 1960s.

Story Time with Miss Maureen - Saturdays at 11:30 at Maple Street Book Shop

April 11th, 2015

We’ll read Second Banana by Keith Graves.

“Think of us as bananas. Obviously, I am Top Banana. The Big Banana. Numero Uno Banana. You are Second Banana,” says the Amazing Bubbles, the star of the circus.

And what does Oop, the Second Banana, do? A Second Banana helps fill the pool so Top Bananas can dive. They hold the music so Top Bananas can entertain the crowd. They keep the tires full of air so Top Bananas can drive. In short, they are not the stars of the circus.

But what happens when a Top Banana gets hurt and an eager Second Banana has to stand in his place?