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: Bestselling author James Rollins, whose new Sigma Force thriller is The Bone Labyrinth, and biographer Christina Vella, author of George Washington Carver: A Life.

This week on The Reading Life:  Susan travels to Oscar, Louisiana, for a visit with the great Louisiana writer Ernest Gaines, author of such landmark works as The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and A Lesson before Dying.

This week on The Reading Life: Sally Asher, whose new book is Stories from the St. Louis Cemeteries of New Orleans, and poet Laura Mullen, director of the creative writing program at Louisiana State University, whose new memoir is Complicated Grief.

This week on The Reading Life: The great James Lee Burke, whose most recent novel is The House of the Rising Sun. We’ll also hear from singer, songwriter and author Johnette Downing, whose new books are Louisiana: Jewel of the Deep South, The Fifolet, Ten Gators in the Bed, and Bugs on the Rug.

This week on The Reading Life: award-winning biographer Katherine Clark talks about her first novel, "The Headmaster's Darlings," Emily Bingham, author of "Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham," and John Freeman debuts his journal/anthology, "Freeman's: The Best New Writing on Arrival."

The Reading Life celebrates its fifth anniversary with photographer Judi Bottoni and writer Peggy Scott Laborde, whose new book is "New Orleans Mardi Gras Moments."

We'll also hear from performance artist Tim Youd, whose new project is retyping 100 Novels in 10 Years. He'll be in New Orleans to celebrate five of the novels on his list, retyping them at various locations and headquartered at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

This week on the Reading Life:  Loyola University historian Eberhard "Lo" Faber, author of Building the Land of Dreams: New Orleans and the Transformation of Early America.  And military historian Antony Beevor, author of Ardennes 1944: The Battle of the Bulge, who's coming to town for the National World War II Museum's International Conference on World War II: 1945: The Bitter End.

This week on The Reading Life: Ned and Constance Sublette, authors of The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry.  Debbie Lindsey and Philip LaMancusa, owners of Kitchen Witch, talk about the beloved cookbook store; they're moving out of the Quarter to Bayou Rd.

This week on The Reading Life: Cheryl Gerber talks about her carefully selected book of photographs, New Orleans: Life and Death in the Big Easy, and Kristin Hersh remembers the life of a good friend in Don't Suck, Don't Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt.

*Note: The New Orleans Book Festival on 11/7 has been canceled due to impending weather.  Also, the Suzanne Rheinstein book even on 11/9 has been canceled.

This week on The Reading Life: Rick Bragg, whose new collection of work is My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South. We’ll also hear from Richard Campanella about The Photojournalism of Del Hall 1950s-2000s—New Orleans and Beyond.  And Audrey Niffenegger gives us a spooky seasonal anthology—Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories.