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The Reading Life: Mary Gauthier

Susan Larson talks with singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier about her new memoir, "Saved by a Song: The Art and Healing Power of Songwriting." Gauthier was born in New Orleans and was adopted and raised by a Louisiana family. The book beautifully chronicles her recovery from trauma and addiction through hard personal work and making music.

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

Here in New Orleans:

The Octavia Books Book Club discusses “The Vanishing Half,” by Brit Bennett, Saturday, July 17 at 10:30 a.m. at Octavia Books.

Gene Fields discusses his new book “Cops and Characters in The Big Easy: True Stories Involving Celebrities, Criminals and Everyday People,” Monday, July 19, at 6 p.m. via video conference online sponsored by the Jefferson Parish Library. See it on the library’s Facebook page or visit for more details.

Katie Bowler Young discusses and signs “Enrique Alférez: Sculptor,” Wednesday, July 21, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.

Kate Moore discusses “The Woman They Could Not Silence,” Thursday, July 22, at 6 p.m. in a virtual event sponsored by Octavia Books.

One Book One New Orleans has narrowed down the short list for 2022, and readers are invited to vote for their selections by July 25. The choices are "I Am New Orleans" edited by Kalamu ya Salaam; "The Big Door Prize" by M.O. Walsh; and "I Feel to Believe" by Jarvis DeBerry. Check out the One Book One New Orleans Facebook page.

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.