The Reading Life

Sundays at noon, Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m.

Hear celebrated and up-and-coming authors read excerpts from new books and discuss their work with former Times-Picayune book editor Susan Larson.

The theme song for The Reading Life is "Sougouya" by Matt Perrine & Sunflower City, from the album Bayou Road Suite. The end theme is "Panama" by Matt Perrine, from his album Sunflower City. Both albums can be purchased at

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Major support for The Reading Life comes from:

Octavia Books and Christwood.

This week on The Reading Life: That great Louisiana chronicler Ken Wells talks about “Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou.” And Scott Ellis explores one of New Orleans' most beloved neighborhoods in “The Faubourg Marigny of New Orleans: A History.”

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with novelist Chris Castellani, author of “Leading Men,” which takes its inspiration from the 15-year love affair between Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo. We’ll also hear from Carnival historian Coleman Warner, who’s the author of “Tucks Makes Fifty: Legacies of an Irreverent, Joyful Carnival Krewe.”

This week on The Reading Life:  Susan talks with Steve Luxenberg, author of "Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation."

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Lisa Herrington, director of the Bayou Writer’s Club, which has more than 300 members. We’ll also hear from Brad Vogel of the Walt Whitman Initiative; he's coming to town as part of the Whitman Bicentennial to present a lecture on the poet's transformative time in Louisiana at the Louisiana Landmarks Society.

The Reading Life with Nancy Penrose

Feb 3, 2019

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Seattle-based writer and editor Nancy Penrose, the co-author, with Angela Gregory, of “A Dream and a Chisel: Louisiana Sculptor Angela Gregory in Paris, 1925-1928.”

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with New Orleans writer Maurice Carlos Ruffin, whose long-awaited new novel, “We Cast a Shadow," is on all the 2019 must-read lists.

This week on The Reading Life: Award-winning author Daniel José Older, whose new book for middle grade readers is “Dactyl Hill Squad.” He is also the creator of the urban fantasy series, "Bone Street Rumba," as well as the "Shadowshaper" series for young adults.

This week on The Reading Life: Susan Larson talks with bestselling author James Lee Burke, whose most recent Dave Robicheaux novel is “The New Iberia Blues.”

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Rodger Kamenetz -- memoirist (“The Jew in the Lotus,” “Stalking Elijah,” and “Terra Infirma: My Mother’s Life in Mine”), dream practitioner (“The History of Last Night’s Dream") and poet (“The Lowercase Jew,” “To Die Next to You"). He has a new poetry collection, “Yonder."

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

Here in New Orleans:

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Louisiana state poet laureate Jack Bedell, whose new book is “No Brother, This Storm," and we take a look back at 2018.