Ooooh you brilliant, festive, reading fiends. Have you launched the twelve days of Christmas with a nice dry champagne chilling for the next festive toast? Or perhaps you’re resting up from the happy busyness of Chanukah with a nicely warmed Armagnac? You might have a lovely, gentle prosecco in the fridge to share with friends and family? Whatever your holiday pleasure, my gift to you is our January reading selection—all wrapped up and ready for your perusal.
I am very much looking forward to seeing you all again throughout 2013. I thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your lively, intelligent, un-stuffy love of fellowship and literature. You enrich my life and I am grateful that you choose to spend an evening with us, when you can. I wish you all the very best of everything and I hope the new year brings you joy, health, love, laughter, peace and good reading. See you soon!
Assuming none of you have been “too” naughty—here’s an invitation to explore the naughtiness of times past…
The Last Madam: A Life In The New Orleans Underworld by Christine Wiltz 1999, 288 pages
“In 1916, at age fifteen, Norma Wallace arrived in New Orleans. Sexy and shrewd, she quickly went from streetwalker to madam and by 1920 had opened what became a legendary house of prostitution. There she entertained a steady stream of governors, gangsters, and movie stars until she was arrested at last in 1962. Shortly before she died in 1974, she tape-recorded her memories—the scandalous stories of a powerful woman who had the city's politicians in her pocket and whose lovers included the twenty-five-year-old boy next door, whom she married when she was sixty-four. Combining those tapes with original research, Christine Wiltz chronicles not just Norma's rise and fall but also the social history of New Orleans, thick with the vice and corruption that flourished there—and, like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Philistines at the Hedgerow, resurrects a vanished secret world.”
The book is available in the Jefferson and New Orleans public libraries, on Kindle for $2.99 and for $.01 plus $3.99 shipping from Amazon.
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