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: Start your summer off with some poetry, featuring former state poet laureate Peter Cooley, author of “World Without Finishing," and poet Valentine Pierce, author of “Up Decatur.”

Audio Extra:

Here’s what’s on tap in the literary life this week:

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with historian Craig L. Symonds, author of “World War II at Sea: A Global History,” who will be making a visit to the National World War II Museum. Megan Holt of One Book One New Orleans, talks about what's coming up in the citywide reading initiative; this year the selection is "New Orleans: A Food Biography," by Elizabeth Williams.

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Victor Harris, Rachel Breunlin, and JeffreyEhrenreich, creators of the beautiful book, “Fire in the Hole: The Spirit Work of Fi-Yi-Yi and the Mandingo Warriors.”

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with book artists Jessica Peterson and Yuka Petz about the upcoming opening of the Artist Book Collection at Paper Machine, 6330 St. Claude. It's a wonderful collection of rare and gorgeous books that opens to the public May 19 from 1-3:30. 

This week on The Reading Life: Jon Michael Varese, whose gorgeous debut novel is “The Spirit Photographer," and Renee Hodges, author of “Saving Bobby: Heroes and Heroin in One Small Community.”

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Rick Bragg, whose new memoir and cookbook is "The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table.” Delicious! And WWL news anchor Sheba Turk previews her new memoir," Off Air: My Journey to the Anchor Desk.”

This week on The Reading Life:  Historian Erin Greenwald talks about the Tricentennial exhibit and book, “New Orleans, The Founding Era.” We’ll also hear from poets Brett Evans and Christopher Shipman about their new collaborative work, “Keats Is Not the Problem.”

This week on The Reading Life: Debut novelists make a splash with two very different books. Bryan Camp creates a fantastic version of the Crescent City with a magician named Jude Dubuisson in “The City of Lost Fortunes," and Iris Cohen, author of “The Little Clan,” takes on high and low literary culture in her New York-set story of a bookish young woman's coming of age.

This week on The Reading Life: Bill Lavender and Megan Burns talk about the upcoming New Orleans Poetry Festival, April 20-22 at the New Orleans Healing Center. The Fest is three years old this year and features approximately 200 poets! And scholar Jeroen DeWulf talks about "From the Kingdom of Kongo to Congo Square: Kongo Dances and the Origins of the Mardi Gras Indians."

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with architectural historians Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas about their new book, "Buildings of New Orleans," the most recent volume in the series of the Society of Architectural Historians Buildings of the U.S. City Guides. 

Pages