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: Susan talks with Kalamu ya Salaam, whose new book of collected writings from his long career is “Be About Beauty.” We’ll also hear from Tena Clark, songwriter and music producer and author of the new memoir, “Southern Discomfort.”

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

This week on the Tricentennial Reading List - Susan Larson continues her look at 300 great New Orleans books with geographer and author Richard Campanella, as they talk about books on New Orleans geography.

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Alex Beard, whose new children’s book is “The Lying King.” We’ll also hear from essayist Josh Wheeler, who’s the author of “Acid West.”

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

  •  Hope & New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names, by Sally Asher
  • Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children, by John Churchill Chase
  • New Orleans Streets: A Walker’s Guide to Neighborhood Architecture, by R. Stephanie Bruno
  • Cityscapes, by Richard Campanella
  • Bourbon Street, by Richard Campanella
  • The Incomparable Magazine Street, by John Magill, photos by Margot Landen

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with novelist Bernice McFadden, author of “Praise Song for the Butterflies,” a searing account of ritual servitude in West Africa. We’ll also hear from poet Anne Babson, whose new collection is “Polite Occasions.”

**Lagniappe Audio**

In this edition of the Tricentennial Reading List, Susan Larson continues her look at 300 great New Orleans books with Frank Perez, author of "In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding New Orleans Gay Culture and Its Oldest Gay Bars", to talk about LGBTQ histories and anthologies.

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Frank Perez (2018 Southern Decadence Grand Marshal) and Howard Philips Smith about their new book, “Southern Decadence in New Orleans," a history of the long-running LGBTQ Labor Day celebration.

In this edition of the Tricentennial Reading List, Susan Larson continues her look at 300 great New Orleans books with Frank Perez, author of "In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding New Orleans Gay Culture and Its Oldest Gay Bars", to talk about LGBTQ histories and anthologies.

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with University of New Orleans English professor Anne Boyd Rioux, author of “Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters," as that venerable novel celebrates its 150th birthday - and Susan also talks with Chris Smith of the Jefferson Parish Library, about a self-publishing seminar on Saturday, August 25th. 

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