NOLA JCC Book Festival features range of events

This year’s JCC Book Festival in New Orleans will feature three major programs the week of Nov. 4.

The festival, held in conjunction with Jewish Book Month, includes a JCC Bookstore, which is open weekdays from Nov. 5 to 9, and during the Book Fair events. All events are at the Uptown JCC.

The week begins with children’s author Anne-Marie Asner, who founded Matzah Ball Books. The Nov. 4 program at 10 a.m. is free, and children will be able to nosh on mini-bagels and decorate pillowcases.

Asner began the book series in 2004 upon realizing how little Yiddish is still known. Each book is written in English but is named for a character that has a Yiddish word describing part of his or her personality. Kvetchy Boy learns when to complain and when not to, Shluffy Girl learns how to schedule around naps, and Noshy Boy learns about healthy snacks.

The sixth book, “Hanukkah with Noshy Boy,” was just published, and will be turned into an animated TV special next year, featuring Ed Asner.

The annual Booklovers Luncheon on Nov. 8 at noon features Amy Ephron, presenting her latest collection of essays, “Loose Diamonds… and other things I’ve lost (and found) along the way.” Admission is $10 for the presentation, $30 for the presentation and lunch. Lunch reservations are required by Nov. 5.

A bestselling author, Ephron’s pieces have appeared in Vogue; Saveur; House Beautiful; the National Lampoon; the Los Angeles Times; the Huffington Post; Defamer; her own online magazine, One for the Table; and various other print and online publications. She recently directed a short film, “Chloe@3AM,” which was featured at the American Cinematheque’s Focus on Female Directors Short Film Showcase in January 2011.

The week concludes with humorist Dan Zevin, author of “Dan Gets a Minivan.” He has been described as a “master of Seinfeldian nothingness.” Zevin has been a comic correspondent for National Public Radio’s WBUR, the humor columnist for Boston Magazine and the Boston Phoenix, and a contributor to national publications including Rolling Stone, Maxim, Details,, and Parents. He also wrote an original sitcom pilot for CBS and Warner Brothers.

His Nov. 10 appearance is at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes a reception with wine, light hors d’oeuvres and sushi.