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The Reading Life With Karen Kingsley And Lake Douglas

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. 

And we'll have a review of Sloane Crosley's wonderful new essay collection, "Look Alive Out There." 

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

  • CS. Harris signs “Why Kill the Innocent,” the 13th in her Sebastian St. Cyr series, Tuesday, April 3, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Seamus McGraw discusses and signs “A Thirsty Land: The Making of an American Water Crisis,” Tuesday, April 3, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas discuss and sign “Buildings of New Orleans,” Tuesday, April 3, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, at the Louisiana Humanities Center, 938 Lafayette Street, New Orleans, and again Wednesday, April 4 from 6-7 p.m. at the Hill Memorial Library at the Hill Memorial Library at LSU in Baton Rouge. They also appear Saturday, April 7, from 1-3 at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Historian Winston Ho presents discussions of Chinese history on four consecutive Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. in April at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. First up is “Chinese American History in New Orleans: 150 Years, Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m.
  • Alan G. Gauthreaux discusses “Bloodstained Louisiana: Twelve Murder Cases, 1896-1934,” Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.
  • Jake Black signs “World Wrestling Federation Superstar Guide,” Friday, April 6, at 3 p.m. at Barnes & Noble/Metairie.
  • Sloane Crosley, whose new book of essays is “Look Alive Out There”, discusses her work with Nathaniel Rich, whose new book is “King Zeno, “Friday, April 6, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.  
  • And coming up soon: The Big Book Sale, sponsored by the friends of the Jefferson Public Library, takes place April 5-8 at the Pontchartrain Center, Williams Blvd. at the Lake, in Kenner. Hours are Thursday through Saturday (April 5-7) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday (April 8) from noon to 5 p.m. Free admission and free parking. The sale includes more than 65,000 items. Auction items include Georgia O'Keeffe's
  • “One Hundred Flowers,” a copy of “The History of the Vietnam War,” and the book “Quadrupeds of North America,”by James Audubon.
  • The Delta Mouth Literary Festival takes place at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge Friday, April 6- Sunday, April 8, which features Anne Gisleson, Dylan Krieger, Kiese Laymon, and many others. Check out the Facebook page or for complete schedule.
  • Books Along the Teche is also coming up next weekend in New Iberia, April 6-8. The featured author this year is Ernest Gaines. Events include symposia, storytelling, James Lee Burke tours, and movie screenings. Check out for information and tickets.
  • Coming up: Poet Laura Mullen, is the 2017-2018 Arons Poet at Newcomb College Institute. She will be reading Monday, April 9, at 7 p.m. at Freeman Auditorium, Woldenberg Art Center, Tulane University.
  • Also coming up: Start thinking about what you’d like to bake for Edible Book Day – a cake inspired by your favorite book, perhaps? It all takes place Saturday, April 21, from 10-3 at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Check out the events calendar at for details. New Orleans Public Library director Charles Brown and Susan Larson will be on hand to judge all the deliciousness.
  • And here at The Reading Life we’re celebrating New Orleans Tricentennial by putting together a list of 300 great books about New Orleans. Send us your favorites to and see if they make the list!
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.