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-Picayune from 1988-2009. She is the vice president for literary programming of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, she serves on the board of directors of the New Orleans Public Library, and she is the founder of the New Orleans chapter of the Women's National Book Association. In 2007, she received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the literary community.

A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Larson is the author of The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans. You'll probably run into her in a local bookstore or library, and 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: Love and Valentines! Morgan Molthrop talks about his new book, LOVE New Orleans, book artist Amelia Bird talks about making handmade Valentines at Baskerville, and Dan Reinhold talks about teaching a course in writing love poems.

This week on the Reading Life:  Novelist Tom Cooper, whose first book is The Marauders, and whose new book is The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing But You Don’t Have to Be.

This week on the Reading Life:  Brian Boyles, author of New Orleans Boom and Blackout: 100 Days in America’s Coolest Hotspot, and novelist Barry Gifford, whose Sailor and Lula saga (remember Wild at Heart?) culminates in The Up-Down.


This week on The Reading Life: We’ll be looking back at two local authors who achieved international acclaim in 2014.

We’ll hear from Joseph Boyden, whose novel, The Orenda, was the winner of the Canada Reads competition in March of 2014. We’ll also hear from Niyi Osundare, whom we interviewed in 2011 on the publication of his poems, City Without People: The Katrina Poems. Niyi Osundare received the National Order of Merit from his native Nigeria in 2014.

This week on The Reading Life: Miki Pfeffer, whose new book is Southern Ladies and Suffragists: Julia Ward Howe and Women’s Rights at the 1884 New Orleans World’s Fair.

And editor David Johnson talks about about 100 issues of great reading in Louisiana Cultural Vistas, the publication of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

This week on the Reading Life: Historian Ronald Drez, author of The War of 1812: Conflict and Deception: The British Attempt to Seize New Orleans and Nullify the Louisiana Purchase, and crime novelist Bill Loehfelm, whose new book featuring New Orleans detective Maureen Coughlin is Doing the Devil’s Work.

Also, Sara Woodard talks about STAIR.

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on the Reading Life: We talk with a true Louisiana treasure, Louisiana Writer Award-winner of 2014, former poet laureate Darrell Bourque.

And author escort Ted O’Brien talks about his year of driving authors around.

This week on The Reading Life: Bonnie Warren talks about New Orleans Homes at Christmas and Whitney Stewart and Stephanie Stokes talk about the return of cherished family bibles via the internet. And Gladin Scott of Maple Street Book Shop offers cookbook recommendations.

Gladin Scott's cookbook picks:

This week on The Reading Life: Rachel Breunlin and Bruce Sunpie Barnes, co-editors of Talk That Music Talk: Passing on Brass Band Music in New Orleans the Traditional Way.

And Candice Huber of Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop has some recommendations for the science fiction and fantasy lover in your life.

Candice Huber's Book Recommendations:

This week on The Reading Life: Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Ford, whose new book about Frank Bascombe is Let Me Be Frank With You. We’ll also hear from performance poet Jose Torres-Tama, author of Immigrant Dreams and Alien Nightmares. And Emilie Lamy of May Books, a new shop on Royal St., offers art book recommendations for holiday giving.

Holiday gift suggestions from Emilie Lamy of May Books:

Title: Holy Bible
Authors: Oliver Chanarin & Adam Broomberg.
Published by MACK BOOKS.