Welcome To Garden District Book Shop

Book Events 
Saturday, September 12th
at the Historic Carver Theater

From acclaimed actor and producer Wendell Pierce, an insightful and poignant portrait of family, New Orleans and the transforming power of art.


On the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina barreled into New Orleans, devastating many of the city's neighborhoods, including Pontchartrain Park, the home of Wendell Pierce's family and the first African American middle-class subdivision in New Orleans. The hurricane breached many of the city's levees, and the resulting flooding submerged Pontchartrain Park under as much as 20 feet of water. Katrina left New Orleans later that day, but for the next three days the water kept relentlessly gushing into the city, plunging eighty percent of New Orleans under water. Nearly 1,500 people were killed. Half the houses in the city had four feet of water in them--or more. There was no electricity or clean water in the city; looting and the breakdown of civil order soon followed. Tens of thousands of New Orleanians were stranded in the city, with no way out; many more evacuees were displaced, with no way back in.


Pierce and his family were some of the lucky ones: They survived and were able to ride out the storm at a relative's house 70 miles away. When they were finally allowed to return, they found their family home in tatters, their neighborhood decimated. Heartbroken but resilient, Pierce vowed to help rebuild, and not just his family's home, but all of Pontchartrain Park.


In this powerful and redemptive narrative, Pierce brings together the stories of his family, his city, and his history, why they are all worth saving and the critical importance art played in reuniting and revitalizing this unique American city.


Please join us for a discussion with Wendell Pierce. Copies of his new book, The Wind in the Reeds, will be available for sale courtesy of Garden District Book Shop. Phyllis Montana-Leblanc, known for her stellar performance in Treme, will be interviewing Wendell on stage.  Doors open at 6:00, discussion begins at 7:00. No smoking anywhere in the venue. Please contact The Carver Theater at 504-304-0460 with any questions. Limited seating available on a first come, first serve basis. 

VIP tickets are now available.  Limited to 50, These tickets can be purchased for $25.00 and include a meet and greet with Wendell Pierce, beginning at 6:00PM. 


General admission tickets are on sale!  Tickets are $5.00 in advance and $7.00 at the door.


Presented by Garden District Book Shop, the Pontchartrain Park Neighborhood Association, and the Historic Carver Theater.

A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Pontchartrain Park Neighborhood Association.

Tuesday, September 15th



Somewhere…down in the forgotten reaches of the Louisiana marshes, a community clings tenaciously to what remains of its homeland. Isle de Jean Charles, is a fragile, finger-like Island, attached to the mainland by a narrow 2 mile-long road. A good steady wind could leave you trapped on the Island for days.


Enter the hurricanes...vicious storms with sweet sounding names like Katrina and Rita swallow up this Island again and again, each time ripping up more lives and eroding away more of the Island’s land mass. “Oh we’re use to hurricanes alright,” says Chris Brunet, who is raising his orphaned niece and nephew from a wheel chair. “But since the '50s, our barrier Islands have been eroding away…and now the salt water rushes right in and kills just about everything.”


Chris is one of 40 remaining Islanders, all descendants of the Choctaw- Chitimacha Indian tribes. These Native Americans have inhabited a once-thriving gulf community for more than a Century. The elders share stories of a once-lush prairie land textured with a variety of trees, including fig, pecan and persimmons. Today the horizon is left to tend the hauntingly beautiful remains of mighty oaks and bald cypress, their lonely bleached-out bones rising defiantly out of the soggy marshes.


The people of this battered and broken Island are living on borrowed time. And, as if they haven’t suffered enough, the massive BP oil disaster managed to strip all of the Island’s commercial fishermen of the only livelihood they’ve ever known.


Yet, somehow, these gritty and determined people of Isle de Jean Charles continue to live out their lives. The children frolic and play on the new levee. The men take their boats out on the Gulf. Families of three generations come together on a swelteringly hot Sunday afternoon. And life goes on…for now.

This book is available in paperback ($14.95).


Melinda Rose discusses and signs her book, Of The Rising Tide: A Photo Essay of the Vanishing Bayou Community of Isle de Jean Charles.


If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books.


Wednesday, September 16th


Twenty-three years after the fateful summer of 1990, Trevor Riddell recalls the events surrounding his fourteenth birthday, when he gets his first glimpse of the infamous Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant whole trees and is set on a huge estate overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have separated, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with Aunt Serena, dispatch the ailing and elderly Grandpa Samuel to a nursing home, sell off the house and property for development, and divide up the profits.

But as young Trevor explores the house’s hidden stairways and forgotten rooms, he discovers secrets that convince him that the family plan may be at odds with the land’s true destiny. Only Trevor’s willingness to face the dark past of his forefathers will reveal the key to his family’s future.

This book is available in paperback ($15.99).

Garth Stein discusses and signs his book, A Sudden Light.

If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books.


Thursday, September 17th


The year is 1855. Blackface minstrelsy is the most popular form of entertainment in a nation about to be torn apart by the battle over slavery. Henry Sims, a fugitive slave and a brilliant musician, has escaped to Philadelphia, where he earns money living by his wits and performing on the street. He is befriended by James Douglass, leader of a popular minstrel troupe struggling to compete with dozens of similar ensembles, who imagines that Henry's skill and magnetism might restore his troupe's sagging fortunes.


The problem is that black and white performers are not allowed to appear together onstage. Together, the two concoct a masquerade to protect Henry s identity, and Henry creates a sensation in his first appearances with the troupe. Yet even as their plan begins to reverse the troupe s decline, a brutal slave hunter named Tull Burton has been employed by Henry s former master to track down the runaway and retrieve him, by any means necessary.


Bursting with narrative tension and unforgettable characters, shot through with unexpected turns and insight, A Free State is a thrilling reimagining of the American story by a novelist at the height of his powers.


This book is available in hardcover ($25.99).


If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books.