Author IAN MCNULTY mixes humor and pathos in his observations of the harrowing initial months after a historic hurricane in A Season of Night: New Orleans Life After Katrina (University Press of Mississippi). McNulty became a regular food contributor for alternative newsweekly Gambit Weekly after the storm, and wrote passionately about the city's defiant attempts at recovery – which matched his own. McNulty takes the reader through the darkened streets, the flooded-out neighborhoods and piles of debris as well as the seminal seasonal and festival markings (Halloween, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest) that helped renew the city's spirit. He spent much of the time chronicling his adventures while holed up in the second floor of his flooded Mid-City house, often without electricity. Considering the close call that was Hurricane Gustav, McNulty's Atlanta appearance Thurs., SEPT. 11, couldn't be better timed. Free. 7:30 p.m. Wordsmiths Books, 545 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-378-7166. www.wordsmithsbooks.com.