New Orleans for Book Lovers

New Orleans Images, from Creative Commons
New Orleans Images, from Creative Commons

Destination: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Book: The Booklovers Guide to New Orleans by Susan Larson

Ahh, New Orleans is on my mind, as I start to pack for a trip there later this week.  I can’t resist the opportunity to talk a little bit about New Orleans in books–and there are plenty of them. Today, I depart from my usual types of literature and give you a book about books. Tomorrow a book about a restaurant, and Wednesday, some early stories by Faulkner.

Then you are in for a treat as we hit the mark of 100 posts at A Traveler’s Library. Guest post about India on Thursday, and then something quite different–two posts on music to get you in the mood to travel (Scotland and Ireland).

But first, today’s recommendation for travelers to New Orleans. The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans (1999) by Susan Larson holds more treats than just a simple list of books to read. The author knows whereof she speaks, as she is book editor at the Times-Picayune newspaper. Nowadays she blogs about books for the paper, so you can get updated book and events information.

The guide includes bios of New Orleans authors, locations of New Orleans bookstores (this book was pre-Katrina, so check on the web before heading out to the stores), and my favorite section Lagniappe.  The wonderful word is New Orleans-speak for the little extra–the thirteenth doughnut in a dozen, for example. In this case it is writers of New Orleans talking about their favorite things. What fun! And best of all, because it is an aging book (but just as valuable as ever), you can get it for a couple of bucks from Amazon and other sellers on the Internet.

Here’s a book that is not in The Booklovers Guide to New Orleans, because it is brand new.  I’ve ordered it and will be reading on the plane, so get back to you later about Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans by Dan Baum. Reviewed in the Colorado Springs Independent.

Please share your favorite New Orleans books. Have you read some of the wonderful mystery books set in NOLA? Share in the comment section. Your fellow readers will thank you.

Don’t miss our other articles about New Orleans:

Surviving in New Orleans

Literary Hotel

New Orleans as Seen by Faulkner

Classic New Orleans Restaurant

Book Stores

Faulkner and Williams

Writers from Faulkner to Ford

About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

7 thoughts on “New Orleans for Book Lovers

  1. Two enjoyable books of short essays:

    New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty years of writing from the city
    By Andrei Codrescu

    The essays are uneven, but there’s no question that Codrescu “gets” the city. A few of these essays are really wonderful.

    Letters from New Orleans
    By Rob Walker

  2. Kenneth Holditch…..a Crescent City original, if ever there was one! A walking tour with the good doctor must be endlessly entertaining.

    Dr. Holditch co-authored a book on Galatoire’s, and one day I’ll get up the nerve to invite him to one of those infamous Friday lunches. That would be an experience!

    Have a great trip.


  3. I love to explore cities on foot, and can highly recommended this out-of-print book of New Orleans city strolls:

    Available for a ridiculously low price from Amazon, Randolph Delahanty’s Ultimate Guide To New Orleans is the most comprehensive book of New Orleans walking tours I know of. Although written before Katrina, it’s still an excellent guide to undamaged parts of the city, including the Garden District, Uptown, the French Quarter, and Esplanade Ridge.

  4. Vera,
    you might want to check out Barbara Hambly’s series of mysteries set in New Orleans in the 1830s. Whether or not you care for mystery as a genre, the main character is an educated free man of color — a musician–so that gives a unique and vivid perspective of the city and the times. My favorites are the first in the series, which is actually called Free Man of Color, the second one, Fever Season, and Sold Down the River (Hambly has written many other books, mainly science fiction, I think, which I have not read).

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