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: Elda Rotor, vice president and publisher of Penguin Classics, and Paul Buckley, creative director for Penguin Classics. They’re celebrating the line's 70th anniversary with a gorgeous book, Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover.

This week on The Reading Life: Poet Nicole Eiden, whose new collection is I Am One of You. We’ll also hear from Chris Smith, who’s putting together the Second Annual Jefferson Parish Library Literary Festival, the Mystery Writers/ Readers Festival  August 6. And Susan has some historical fiction -  The Muse, by Jessie Burton and Leaving Lucy Pear, by Anna Solomon - for your beach bag.

This week on The Reading Life: LSU historian Nancy Isenberg, author of the bestseller,White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America, and Megan Abbott, whose novel about a young gymnast with Olympic hopes, You Will Know Me, is topping the list of summer must-reads. Also, Susan will review some cold books for the summer heat.

This week on The Reading Life: William Barnwell, whose new book is "Called to Heal the Broken-Hearted: Stories from Kairos Prison Ministry International." And we’ll hear about lawyer Tad Bartlett’s unusual path to publication with the novella, "Marchers’ Season."

This week on The Reading Life: New Orleans native John Gregory Brown talks about his new novel, "A Thousand Miles from Nowhere," about one man's post-Katrina journey to redemption and a new life. Mystery novelist Jean Redmann begins a new series, writing as R. Jean Reid; the first, set in a small Mississippi town, is "Roots of Murder."

This week on The Reading Life: Bill Loehfelm, whose new Maureen Coughlin thriller is Let the Devil Out. We’ll also hear from Bethanne Patrick, editor of The Books that Changed My Life: Reflections by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians, and Other Remarkable People. And Susan will have some recommended reading for dog lovers.

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.