Reading, and Tasting, Gumbo

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New Orleans writer and former Gambit restaurant critic Sara Roahen's memoir "Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table" was selected earlier this year as the 2009 pick for One Book One New Orleans, the citywide reading event from the Young Leadership Council (YLC).

The program officially begins Sept. 1, and to get things rolling the YLC hosts a free party today, Aug. 26, so people can buy books, have theirs autographed by Roahen and hear about the YLC's related literacy advocacy efforts.

Naturally, an event for this book about New Orleans food will feature plenty of its namesake dish, including free gumbo samples from Dooky Chase Restaurant, Mr. B's Bistro, Red Fish Grill and Bourbon House. There will be free wine and NOLA Brewing beers.

Created in 2004, One Book One New Orleans aims to build a sense of community by urging people around the metro area to read the same selected book at the same time. The official reading period for Roahen's book is Sept. 1 through Oct. 29, and the YLC plans to hold other events this fall as readers progress through the book.

Octavia Books will have books for sale at today's event, and will donate 20 percent of proceeds to the YLC's program.

The event is Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Milton H. Latter Memorial Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave. in New Orleans.

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