Suggested Reading List
A Confederacy of Dunces
Author: John Kennedy Toole
Description: The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, drenched in New Orleans color and culture. Its sharp humor, combined with vivid local detail, makes it great reading for any visitor to New Orleans.
Author: Beverly Mount-Douds
Description: Once the third-largest port on the Gulf of Mexico, Apalachicola's historic homes and eras of industry (seafood, lumber, cotton, turpentine) come to life through restored photographs and historical anecdote in this volume in the Images of America series.
Author: Mike Tidwell
Description: Tidwell introduces us to the food and the language, the shrimp fisherman, the Houma Indians, and the rich cultural history that makes Louisian's Cajun Coast unlike any other place.
Deep South, Mississippi Valley, Gulf of Mexico Map
Description: A map of the southern Mississippi Valley region.
Eyewitness Guide New Orleans
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: This thorough, gorgeously illustrated guidebook provides a terrific introduction to the city and its many highlights
Fabulous New Orleans
Author: Lyle Saxon
Description: First published in the 1920s, this charming book by local journalist and literary personality Lyle Saxon is a lovely, impressionistic chronicle of the city, its people and its culture.
Flash for Freedom
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Description: In this fifth installment in the rollicking series, set largely in New Orleans, our self-serving, cowardly Victorian hero meets up with Abraham Lincoln (who saves his neck), runs a slave plantation, cheats at cards, escapes on a slave ship and helps out in Underground Railroad.
Jazz, A History of America's Music
Author: Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns
Description: Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns vividly bring to life the story of the quintessential American music -- jazz. Born in the black community of turn-of-the-century New Orleans and quickly embraced in urban centers throughout the nation, jazz celebrates American individualism and creativity at its best.
Life on the Mississippi
Author: Mark Twain
Description: Twains return to the days of his youth spent on the Mississippi in this classic. Full of historical information, anecdotes, character sketches and fond memories, it's at once a romantic history of a mighty river and an autobiographical account of Twain's early steamboat days.
Lonely Planet New Orleans Encounter
Author: Lonely Planet
Description: With a section of not-to-missed highlights and a calendar of annual events, this lively pocket guide organized by neighborhood includes suggested side trips, along what to see and where to shop, eat, drink and play. With a double-sided pullout map.
New Orleans Streets
Author: Stephanie Bruno
Description: The best of the New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Stephanie Bruno's City Streets.
New Orleans, A Cultural History
Author: Louise Mckinney
Description: One in a growing series of well-informed histories, this book, organized by neighborhood, is perfect for travelers interested in the social and cultural foundation of the Big Easy.
Author: Edna Ferber
Description: Set during the 1880s, this is the story of the scheming vixen Clio Dulaine who returns to New Orleans to blackmail her father's aristocratic family.
Satchmo, My Life in New Orleans
Author: Louis Armstrong, Dan Morgenstern (Illustrator)
Description: Jazz great Louis Armstrong regales with tales of his youth in Louisiana.
Author: Kate Chopin, Marilynne Robinson (Introduction)
Description: The 1899 novel that forever vanquished "feminine propriety." Chopin's exhilarating, tragic feminist novella sings with the Cajun and Creole cadences of her native New Orleans.
The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Author: Douglas Brinkley
Description: In his New York Time Bestseller, Brinkley allows the survivors of Hurricane Katrina to tell their story in compelling detail. He documents the tragedy and its aftermath for the city and surrounding 150 miles of coastline, government mismanagement and the heroes who emerged.
The Heaven of Mercury
Author: Brad Watson
Description: Set in the fictional town of Mercury, Mississippi native Watson's compelling first novel follows the life and unrequited love of local newspaper editor Finus Bates, evoking changes along the Gulf Coast over the course of the 20th century.
The House on First Street, My New Orleans Story
Author: Julia Reed
Description: Reed describes with self-deprecating wit her return to New Orleans and a Garden District home just prior to Katrina and her shared efforts with locals to recover and rebuild.
The Keepers of the House
Author: Shirley Ann Grau
Description: Winner of the 1965 Pulitzer Prize, Gau's searing novel exposes the hypocrisy and racism of New Orleans society.
The Majesty of Natchez
Author: Steven Brooke (Photographer)
Description: This lively introduction to Natchez's well-preserved antebellum architecture includes a useful map, anecdotal histories and a number of excellent color photographs.
Author: Walker Percy
Description: Walker Percy won the 1961 National Book Award for this novel, his masterpiece, which unfolds in New Orleans during a momentous Carnival week. It's a great book that we can recommend as much for its sheer readability as for its palpable sense of place.
Wicked River, The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild
Author: Lee Sandlin
Description: Sandlin composes a lively portrait of the Mississippi River before it was domesticated as a shipping channel. He draws on firsthand accounts to depict a 19th century society that gave rise to presidents and river pirates.