Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Your crucial donation during the Fall Drive provides content across platforms and across the world: 844-790-1094 or click here now!

The Reading Life with Douglas Brinkley


This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with historian Douglas Brinkley about his new book, “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.”

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

Here in New Orleans:

  • Sunday is the final day of the 33rd annual Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival and the 16th annual Saints and Sinners Literary Festival at the Hotel Monteleone. Don’t forget the Stanley and Stella shouting contest in Jackson Square that closes the event.
  • Award-winning Afro-futurist writer and bestselling author NK Jemisin reads and discusses her work with Lauren Wethers, including her “How Long Til Black Future Month?” Monday, April 1, at 7 p.m. in the Kendall Cram room at Lavin-Bernick Center, Tulane University.
  • Daniel Jose Older appears in conversation with Veronica Roth, the author of the Divergent series, to celebrate the paperback publication of “The Fates Divide,” Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop. This is a ticketed event, tickets available at
  • Rachel Kadish discusses and signs her novel, “The Weight of Ink,” Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • John Biguenet and Mark Yakich appear at a launch event for “Interviews from the Edge: 50 Years of Conversations about Writing and Resistance,” drawn from interviews with the New Orleans Review, April 2, at 7 p.m. at the Columns Hotel, as part of the 1718 Reading Series.
  • Flint Taylor discusses and signs “The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago,” Wednesday, April 3, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • C.S. Harris signs the newest entry in her Sebastian St. Cyr series, “Who Slays the Wicked,” Wednesday, April 3, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Poets Shaina Monet and Monica Mankin read their work in the Delgado Reading series, Thursday, April 4, at 2 p.m. Isaac Delgado Hall, Building 1, Room 201E at Delgado Community College's City Park Campus.  
  • Nathaniel Rich signs his new book, "Losing Earth: A Recent History," after a discussion with WWNO’s Tegan Wendland, Thursday, April 4, at 6 p.m. at Tulane River and Coastal Center, 1370 Port of New Orleans Place.
  • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities will honor outstanding achievements in the humanities Thursday, April 4, at the 2019 LEH Bright Lights Awards Dinner in Lafayette at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Student Union on Thursday, April 4, at 6 p.m. For more information, visit Among those being recognized is Darrell Bourque, who is the Humanist of the Year. Bourque served as Louisiana’s second peer-selected poet laureate from 2007–2011, and he has published twelve books of poetry. The Humanities Book of the Year is A Cajun Girl’s Sharecropping Years, by Viola Fontenot.
  • Whitney Stewart signs her new children’s book, “What Do You Celebrate?”, Saturday, April 6, at 10:30 a.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Bestselling novelist Amor Towles discusses and signs the paperback of “A Gentleman in Moscow,” Tuesday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave.. Tickets available at and

In Baton Rouge:

  • Delta Mouth Literary Festival, a partnership with the Louisiana State University Department of English, The Southern ReviewNew Delta Review, and the English Graduate School Association, takes place April 5-7 at Louisiana State University. free and open to the public, the festival this year will be held April 5-7. The lineup of writers includes Jos Charles, Tia Clark, Jerika Marchan, Megan McDowell, Carrie Messenger, Thirii Myint, Dennis James Sweeney and Jeannie Vanasco. Check out deltamouth.comfor the complete schedule.

And coming up in the future:

  • Get ready for The New Orleans Poetry Festival and Small Press Book Fair, which takes place Thursday-Sunday, April 18-21 at the New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave. and the Dragonfly, 3921 St. Claude, as well as many other venues. The Festival opens Thursday, April 18, with a poetry reading at the Dogfish Reading series, 2448 N. Villere.  Barristers Gallery, 231 St. Claude Ave., will host a visual poetry exhibition. International poets appear Friday night at Café Istanbul at 7. And Saturday night at Siberia at 7, there will be reading featuring Kalamu ya Salaam, poet Anne Waldman and her musical group Fast Speaking Music, followed by the poets with bands show featuring Skin Verb and The Call Girls. And throughout the weekend, you can browse the book fair at the New Orleans Healing Center. You’ll see beautiful books you’ve never seen before. Check out for the complete schedule and tickets.
  • The West Feliciana Parish Children’s Book Festival takes place all day Saturday, May 4, in St. Francisville. Check out the complete schedule at
  • And mark your calendar for the sixth annual Walker Percy Weekend in St. Francisville, starting Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2, with panels, an exhibition of Walker Percy photos, and other events throughout the town’s historic district, with of course, lots of bourbon on hand. Watch for the complete schedule at
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.