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 Biguenet, author of a fascinating meditation on Silence; his trilogy of plays, Rising Water, has also been published recently by Louisiana State University Press.

This week on The Reading Life: Louisiana native Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City On Fire, this season’s biggest debut novel. Chelsea Clinton talks about her new book for young readers who want to make a difference, It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going.

This week on the Reading Life: New Orleans journalist John Pope, author of Getting Off at Elysian Fields: Obituaries from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and photographer C.C. Lockwood, author of Louisiana Wild: The Protected and Restored Lands of the Nature Conservancy.

This week on The Reading Life: Former New Orleans First Lady Sybil Haydel Morial, whose new memoir is Witness to Change: From Jim Crow to Political Empowerment, an up-close and personal tale of the Civil Rights movement. Michael Allen Zell talks about his new noir novel, Run Baby Run, featuring detective Bobby Delery. And we check in with award-winning Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer, the guest of honor at Contraflow October 2-4.

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on the Reading Life: Actor and New Orleans native Wendell Pierce, whose new memoir is The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play, and the City that Would Not Be Broken. And novelist Elise Blackwell, author of The Lower Quarter.

This week on The Reading Life: Tom Piazza, who will be receiving the Louisiana Writer Award at this year's Louisiana Book Festival October 31 in Baton Rouge; his new novel is A Free State. And Michael Murphy talks about Fear Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Voodoo, Vampires, Graveyards and Ghosts of the Crescent City.

This week on The Reading Life: Blaine Lourd, whose new memoir is Born on the Bayou; and novelist Hester Young, who's making her debut with the thriller The Gates of Evangeline.

This week on The Reading Life: reading and writing opportunities coming up this fall.

Susan's guests are Greg Herren, who’s bringing the Mystery Writers of America one-day university to New Orleans. He has a new book – The Orion Mask, and he’s included in a wonderful new cookbook, The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For.

We’ll also hear from Megan Holt, of One Book One New Orleans, and Susan Blalock of Read Big Fat Books for Fun.

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on the Reading Life:  Katherine E. Browne, author of Standing in the Need: Culture, Comfort and Coming Home After Katrina, and bestselling author Libba Bray, whose new book in The Diviners series for young adults is Lair of Dreams. And Susan has a few thoughts about summer reading.

New books about Katrina in 2015:

We’re Still Here, Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City, by Roberta Brandes Gratz

Katrina: After the Flood, by Gary Rivlin            

In this episode of The Reading Life:  Gary Rivlin, author of one of this summer's must-reads, Katrina: After The Flood, and Fatima Shaik, author of the new story collection, What Went Missing and What Got Found.