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The Reading Life with Melody Golding and Josh Levin

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Melody Golding, whose beautiful new book is “Life Between the Levees: America’s Riverboat Pilots," and Josh Levin, author of “The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth,” a biography of Linda Taylor, who inspired the epithet "welfare queen."

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

Here in New Orleans:

Tubby and Coo’s Mic-City Book Shop presents Chef Carla Hall discussing and signing her cookbook, “Carla Hall’s Soul Food,” Saturday July 6 at Cafe Istanbul from 11a.m.-2 p.m.  at Café Istanbul. This is a ticketed event, tickets available at the shop or online.

In Baton Rouge:

Baton Rouge Community College presents The Bayou Soul Youth Literary Conference (BSYLC). The 6th annual conference will be held on Tuesday, July 2 in the Magnolia Theatre, 201 Community College Drive, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature master class and empowerment breakout sessions, a preview of the forthcoming stage play, “Voices from the Bayou,” an oratorical contest, and celebrity authors and guest speakers, including Lance Gross and Toya Wright, among others. WAFB Channel 9 News’ Donovan “Action” Jackson will serve as the host. The event is free and open to Louisiana high school students and BRCC students, although registration is required 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.