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: Tom Piazza, who will be receiving the Louisiana Writer Award at this year's Louisiana Book Festival October 31 in Baton Rouge; his new novel is A Free State. And Michael Murphy talks about Fear Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Voodoo, Vampires, Graveyards and Ghosts of the Crescent City.

This week on The Reading Life: Blaine Lourd, whose new memoir is Born on the Bayou; and novelist Hester Young, who's making her debut with the thriller The Gates of Evangeline.

This week on The Reading Life: reading and writing opportunities coming up this fall.

Susan's guests are Greg Herren, who’s bringing the Mystery Writers of America one-day university to New Orleans. He has a new book – The Orion Mask, and he’s included in a wonderful new cookbook, The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For.

We’ll also hear from Megan Holt, of One Book One New Orleans, and Susan Blalock of Read Big Fat Books for Fun.

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on the Reading Life:  Katherine E. Browne, author of Standing in the Need: Culture, Comfort and Coming Home After Katrina, and bestselling author Libba Bray, whose new book in The Diviners series for young adults is Lair of Dreams. And Susan has a few thoughts about summer reading.

New books about Katrina in 2015:

We’re Still Here, Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City, by Roberta Brandes Gratz

Katrina: After the Flood, by Gary Rivlin            

In this episode of The Reading Life:  Gary Rivlin, author of one of this summer's must-reads, Katrina: After The Flood, and Fatima Shaik, author of the new story collection, What Went Missing and What Got Found.

This week on The Reading Life: Cynthia Joyce, editor of Please Forward: How Blogging Reconnected New Orleans After Katrina, a terrific collection of writing that appeared online between 2005 and 2007. And Tony Dunbar talks about his new Tubby Dubonnet mystery, Night Watchman.

This week on The Reading Life: Bestselling author Alex Kershaw, whose new book about World War II is Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Occupied Paris.

We’ll also hear from J. Ryan Stradal, author of the debut novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest. And Chris Smith of the Jefferson Parish Public Library talks about the library's first literary festival August 8 at East Bank Regional Library.

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on The Reading Life:  Novelist Jamie Attenberg, whose sensational summer novel is Saint Mazie, and novelist Mary Helen Lagasse, author of The Navel of the Moon.

This week on The Reading Life: Harrison Scott Key, author of The World's Largest Man: A Memoir, and lawyer-turned-novelist Webb Hubbell, author of Ginger Snaps. And Susan shares a few thoughts on Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on The Reading Life: Photographer David Spielman, whose new book is The Katrina Decade: Images of an Altered City.  And Julie Reiner, author of The Craft Cocktail Party.