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: John Kemp, author of the gorgeous book, "Expressions of Place: The Contemporary Louisiana Landscape," and poet Andrea Panzeca, whose new collection is "Rusted Bells and Daisy Baskets."

This week on The Reading Life: John DeSantis, author,  and James Loiselle, photographer, talk about The Thibodaux Massacre, Racial Violence and the 1887 Sugar Cane Strike. And novelist Chris Tusa, talks about his post-Katrina tale, City of Falling Stars.

This week on The Reading Life:  Peggy Scott Laborde, author of "The Fairgrounds Through the Lens: Photographs and Memories of Horse Racing in New Orleans," has some great racetrack tales, followed by Dan Bright and Justin Nobel, author of the compelling chronicle, "The Story of Dan Bright: Crime, Corruption and Injustice in the Crescent City."

This week on The Reading Life: Philip Gould and Herman Fuselier, photographer and writer of Ghosts of Good Times: Louisiana Dance Halls Past and Present. We'll also hear from bestselling novelist Maria Semple, whose new book is Today Will Be Different, and Nick Mainieri, whose debut novel is The Infinite.

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on The Reading Life: Nicholson Baker, whose new book is Substitute: Going to School with a Thousand Kids, and Hortensia Calvo, the director of the Latin American Library at Tulane University.

This week on The Reading Life: The Louisiana Book Festival takes place Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the State Capitol Grounds in Baton Rouge. We feature two of the Festival guests who have new books: Robert Hicks, whose new novel is "The Orphan Mother," which continues the story of characters in "Queen of the South," and Matthew Griffin, whose marvelous debut novel is "Hide."

This week The Reading Life is all about crime fiction. Susan talks with two bestselling authors: Tana French chronicles the adventures of the Dublin Murder Squad; her new book is The Trespasser. James Lee Burke, creator of Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux, writes about his native Houston in The Jealous Kind.

This week on The Reading Life: National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward talks about editing the important new anthology, "The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race," and New Orleans native Clint Smith, one of the poets in that anthology, talks about his new book, "Counting Descent."

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler, whose new novel is "Perfume River." We'll also hear from Michael Allen Zell, whose new novel in the New Orleans-set Bobby Delery  series is "Law & Desire."

This week on The Reading Life:  Whitney Stewart talks about tracking her family's history through World War II for "Feldpost: The War Letters of Reiner Niemann." We’ll also hear from Raymond Boudreau, who’s the guest coordinator of Contraflow VI, the fantasy and science fiction convention coming up this weekend with featured guest Ben Bova. And Susan reviews Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad."

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