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 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. 

This week on The Reading Life: Novelist -- and actor -- Sean Penn sits down in his Garden District digs to talk about his first book, "Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff," writing, and New Orleans. Also, Susan talks about two of her recent favorite books on writers and literary places: "Rooms of One's Own" by Adrian Mourby and "Bookshops: A Reader's History" by Jorge Carrión. And finally, another Book Song, "Oscillate Wildly" by The Smiths. 

This week on The Reading Life: Time to celebrate the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival with Thomas Keith, co-editor with Peggy L. Fox of "The Luck of Friendship: The Letters of Tennessee Williams and James Laughlin." In addition to being author and publisher, the two men shared a 40-year friendship. 

This week on The Reading Life: NOMA curator of photographs Russell Lord talks about the gorgeous new book, "Looking Again: Photography at the New Orleans Museum of Art."And novelist Tiffany Quay Tyson crafts a great Mississippi novel in The Past Is Never.

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