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The Reading Life with Nigel Hamilton and Casey Cep


This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with biographer Nigel Hamilton about the final volume in his trilogy about FDR, “War and Peace: FDR’s Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta, 1943-1945.” We'll also hear from New Yorker writer Casey Cep, author of “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee.”

Web audio extras:

Nigel Hamilton on FDR's love of his life, Lucy Rutherford.
Nigel Hamilton on conflicting wartime strategies between FDR and Churchill.
Casey Cep on how her affection grew for Harper Lee while writing the book.
Casey Cep on Harper Lee work with Truman Capote.

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

Here in New Orleans:

  • Georgia Hunter discusses and signs “We Were the Lucky Ones,” as part of the Jewish Community Center’s Community Wide Holocaust Memorial Program, Sunday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Uptown Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave.
  • Diane C. McPhail discusses and signs her novel, “The Abolitionist’s Daughter," Tuesday, May 7, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • S.A. Lelchuk discusses and signs her novel, “Save Me from Dangerous Men,” Tuesday, May 7, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Local authors Ingrid Green Adams, author of “Is There a Doctor in the House?,” Vivian Collins, author of “Why Not a Woman?,” and Hilda Miller, author of “Loving Someone Behind Bars,” will discuss their new inspirational books at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 9, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.
  • Lisa Shumate discusses and signs “Always and Never: 20 Truths for a Happy Heart” and “Always and Never: The Companion Journal,” Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble/Metairie.
  • G. Leighton Ciravolo discusses and signs “The Legacy of John McDonogh,” Friday, May 10, at 9:45 a.m. at McDonoghville Cemetery, 520 Hancock St., Gretna.
  • New Orleans indie bookstores celebrate Independent Bookstore Day all day Saturday, May 11.Garden District Book Shop, Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop, Blue Cypress Books and Octavia Books are celebrating Independent Bookstore Day with special activities, and together they are offering the chance to win gift certificates to book lovers who visit all four participating bookstores as part of a fun scavenger hunt.
  • Nigel Hamilton discusses and signs “War and Peace: FDR’s Final Odyssey: D:Day to Yalta, 1943-1945,” Saturday, May 11, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Casey Cep discusses and signs “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee,” Sunday, May 12, at 2 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
  • There are only a few tickets left 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.