Susan Larson

Host of The Reading Life

The Reading Life in 2010, Susan Larson was the book editor for The New Orleans Times-Picayune from 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, Thinking Outside the Book visits with New Orleans painter/illustrator Michael Deas, who has illustrated books, created book jackets, and is the artist behind postage stamps of such literary luminaries as Tennessee Williams, Edgar Allan Poe, Katharine Anne Porter, Thornton Wilder, and Thomas Wolfe, as well as Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart. Deas has a particular passion for Edgar Allan Poe.

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with University of New Orleans emeritus professor of English Kris Lackey, author of “Greasy Bend,” the latest in the police procedural series featuring Hannah Bond and Bill Maytubby. We’ll also hear from Agnes Gomillion, author of the Afro-futurist dystopian novel, “The Record Keeper.”

This week: Producer George Ingmire and I begin a new series, Thinking Outside the Book, about the unusual uses and pleasures of books in readers' lives. First up: A visit with Eli Boyne, library associate at Tulane University's Howard-Tilton Rare Book Department, who shows us a Noble Fragment of a Gutenberg Bible.

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Melody Golding, whose beautiful new book is “Life Between the Levees: America’s Riverboat Pilots," and Josh Levin, author of “The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth,” a biography of Linda Taylor, who inspired the epithet "welfare queen."

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Southern University English professor Robert Azzarello about his new book, "Three Hundred Years of Decadence: New Orleans Literature and the Transatlantic World."

We’ll also revisit Robert Fieseler’s “Tinderbox: The Upstairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation.”

This week on The Reading Life: Daniel Brook, whose new book is “The Accident of Color: A Story of Race and Reconstruction," and poet Kelly Harris, the New Orleans literary outreach coordinator for Poets & Writers, Inc.

This week on The Reading Life: We take you out to the ball game! Susan talks with Ron Swoboda, author of “Here’s the Catch: A Memoir of the Miracle Mets and More,” and Derby Gisclair, author of The Olympic Club of New Orleans: Epicenter of Professional Boxing, 1883-1897” and “Early Baseball in New Orleans.”

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Louisiana State University history professors Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein, authors of "The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality.”

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with bestselling author Tony Horwitz, author of “Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide.” And fantasy novelist Bryan Camp previews his new Crescent City Novel,  “Gather the Fortunes.”

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with singer / songwriter / poet / activist / New Orleanian Ani DiFranco, whose new memoir is “No Walls and the Recurring Dream.” And novelist Mary Miller talks about her new book, “Biloxi.”

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