Susan Larson

Host of The Reading Life

Before becoming the host of The Reading Life in 2010, Susan Larson was the book editor for The New Orleans Times-Picayune from 1988-2009. She is the vice president for literary programming of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, she serves on the board of directors of the New Orleans Public Library, and she is the founder of the New Orleans chapter of the Women's National Book Association. In 2007, she received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the literary community.

A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Larson is the author of The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans. You'll probably run into her in a local bookstore or library, and she'll be happy to suggest something you should read. She thinks New Orleans is the best literary town in the world, and she reads about a book a day.

Ways to Connect

This week on The Reading Life:  Historian Nigel Hamilton talks about Commander in Chief: FDR’s Battle with Churchill, 1943. Nigel divides his time between Boston and New Orleans. And Susan reviews two historical novels, The Noise of Time, by novelist Julian Barnes, about composer Dimitri Shostakovich, and The Summer Guest, by novelist and translator Alison Anderson, an homage to Anton Chekhov, for beach book reading.

This week on The Reading Life: It's all history, all the time! Patrick Maney, formerly of Tulane, now of Boston College, talks about Bill Clinton: New Gilded Age President, and Erin Greenwald of the Historic New Orleans Collection discusses Marc Antoine Caillot and the Company of the Indies in Louisiana: Trade in the French Atlantic World. And Susan offers some debut thrillers -- Under the Harrow, by Flynn Berry, and The Second Girl, by Donald Swinson -- for your beach reading.

This week on The Reading Life:  Rich Cohen, author of The Sun & the Moon & the Rolling Stones. And Susan kicks off beach book season with Terry McMillan's I Almost Forgot about You.

This week on The Reading Life:  Susan Tucker, author of City of Remembering: A History of Genealogy in New Orleans, and Margo Orlando Littell, author of Each Vagabond by Name, along with her publisher, Abram Himelstein, of the University of New Orleans Press.

This week on The Reading Life:  Mystery writer Nevada Barr, author of Boar Island, her 20th novel set in our national parks, and Peter Finney, Jr., who wrote the introduction to a collection of his father's work, The Best of Peter Finney: Legendary New Orleans Sportswriter.

This week on The Reading Life: Former Louisiana poet laureate Brenda Marie Osbey, whose new collection is All Souls: Essential Poems, along with James B. Borders IV, author of Marking Time, Making Place: An Essential Chronology of Blacks in New Orleans Since 1718.

This week on The Reading Life: Historian Pamela Tyler explores 200 years of history in her new book, New Orleans Women and the Poydras Home: More Durable than Marble. Also Novelist, short story writer and essayist Ellen Gilchrist talks about hard won wisdom in Things Like the Truth:Out Of My Later Years.

photo provided by Tulane University

This week on The Reading Life: Mike Kuczynski, chair of the Tulane University English department, about the celebration of First Folio: The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, and how you can see one of the world’s rarest books in New Orleans in an exhibit that opens with a jazz funeral for Shakespeare May 9 at the Newcomb Art Museum. We’ll also hear from University of New Orleans creative writing professor Richard Goodman about The Electric Pencil: Drawings from Inside State Hospital No. 3, by James Edward Deeds Jr.

This week on The Reading Life: William Geroux, author of  The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-Boats. And celebrating Jazzfest, we’ll also hear from Michael Murphy, the author of Hear Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Rich Musical Heritage and Lively Current Scene.

This week on The Reading Life: Adrian Van Young, who conjures the Spiritualists in his debut novel, Shadows in Summerland. And we celebrate Poetry Month with Loyola's Mark Yakich, author of Poetry: A Survivor’s Manual, and UNO's Carolyn Hembree, author of Rigging a Chevy into a Time Machine and Other Ways to Escape a Plague.

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