Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

When it comes to business, we all agree on one thing: we all want to succeed. Typically we measure success numerically — the more profit we make, the better we're doing. Sure, we'd all like to make billions, but the reality is most of us are not going to turn our businesses into Facebook or Apple. For many people in business, just keeping the doors open and the lights on is succeeding.

Peter Ricchiuti's guests on Out to Lunch take whatever your definition of success is — whether it's making a fortune or just making it 'till Friday — and help you get there.

This week on The Reading Life: Rachel Breunlin and Bruce Sunpie Barnes, co-editors of Talk That Music Talk: Passing on Brass Band Music in New Orleans the Traditional Way.

And Candice Huber of Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop has some recommendations for the science fiction and fantasy lover in your life.

Candice Huber's Book Recommendations:

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Early childhood education got a boost last week. The federal government pledged $32 million to fund Louisiana pre-schools. 

In this month's Voices of Educators series, we look at an early childhood teacher. 

Kwanza Wells teaches at Catholic Charities St. John the Baptist Head Start, one of more than 30 Head Start centers in New Orleans. She helps students develop critical skills to succeed in kindergarten and the world.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

New Orleans is a beautiful city. But very little of that beauty is natural. Even our magnificent parks and tree lined avenues are planned and planted. Mostly, when we talk about the beauty of New Orleans, we're talking about buildings.

Almost every commercial building has some sort of artwork on it. We don't typically refer to it as "art" — we more often call it a "sign" — and many commercial buildings have branding artwork inside too. Peter Ricchiuti's guests on Out to Lunch are responsible for some of the city's notable pieces of graphic art.

This week on The Reading Life: Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Ford, whose new book about Frank Bascombe is Let Me Be Frank With You. We’ll also hear from performance poet Jose Torres-Tama, author of Immigrant Dreams and Alien Nightmares. And Emilie Lamy of May Books, a new shop on Royal St., offers art book recommendations for holiday giving.

Holiday gift suggestions from Emilie Lamy of May Books:

Title: Holy Bible
Authors: Oliver Chanarin & Adam Broomberg.
Published by MACK BOOKS.

flickr/Seattle Municial Archives

With so much to do during the holidays and so little time to do it, they often don't feel like "the most wonderful time of the year." But if you pocket a word of wisdom from our guests, perhaps you'll be able to go about the next couple weeks breathing easier. 

Music Inside Out

The name that our musical guests have most consistently mentioned is Professor Longhair. It began, well, at the beginning. Longhair, whose friends call him Fess, figured into the very first answer from the very first guest on the very first Music Inside Out.

Since then, others have conjured his name when describing the best of New Orleans music. As it turns out, Longhair — who died in 1980 — remains a guiding spirit to musicians and music lovers everywhere. So as a matter of duty and privilege, we’re spreading the joy.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

Back in the 20th Century, when you wanted to fly somewhere you had two choices: you could call the airline and buy a ticket, or you could call a travel agent, who for some magical reason could get you the same ticket for less money.

Then along came the online travel site revolution. Now, instead of making a two minute phone call, we can spend hours, even days, comparing prices and airline schedules before buying a plane ticket.

This week on The Reading Life: Mamie Gasperecz, executive director of the Hermann Grima and Gallier Historic Houses, talks about a beautiful new book, Luxury, Inequity and Yellow Fever; Living Legacies and the Stories of Old New Orleans.

We’ll also hear from poet Andy Young, whose new collection is All Night It Is Morning.

And bookseller Judith Lafitte gives her favorite picks for holiday giving for the young folks in your life.

Judith Lafitte's book choices:

This week, The Reading Life celebrates four years of being on the air. Our guests: Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, and Laura Kelley, author of The Irish in New Orleans.

**Lagniappe Audio**