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-Picayunefrom 1988-2009. She has served on the boards of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival and the New Orleans Public Library. She is the founder of the New Orleans chapter of the Women's National Book Association, which presents the annual Diana Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction.. In 2007, she received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the literary community. She is also the author of The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans. If you run into her in a local bookstore or library, 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:  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.

This week on The Reading Life: Vivian Swift, author of Gardens of Awe and Folly: A Traveler’s Journal on the Meaning of Life and Gardening, and Bill Lavender talks about the first New Orleans Poetry Festival, coming up April 15-17.

This week on The Reading Life: Bestselling author Erik Larson, author of Isaac's Storm, The Devil in the White City, In the Garden of Beasts, and Thunderstruck. He's coming to New Orleans April 12 to talk about his most recent book is Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, which is new in paperback.We’ll also talk with Lydia Pyne, whose most recent book is Bookshelf.

This week on The Reading Life: Two of this year’s guests at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival — Mary Badham, who portrayed Scout in the 1962 film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, and novelist Cynthia Bond, author of Ruby, the first selection for the Oprah Book Club 2.0.

This week on The Reading Life: Alexander Chee, a featured guest at the upcoming Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. His new book is the stunning historical novel, The Queen of the Night. Well also talk with Claudia Baumgarten, who’s doing her one-woman show, Wit and Wrath: The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker, at the Festival.