COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Book Recommendations - New Orleans and Cajun Country

Book Recommendations - New Orleans and Cajun Country

Old Jan 30th, 2007, 03:55 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Book Recommendations - New Orleans and Cajun Country

My trip to New Orleans and Cajun Country is still 4 months away, so in the mean time, I'd like to read some New Orleans and Cajun Country-themed books to get me in the spirit. Literature and fiction, historic or contemporary, classic or obscure, memoirs and biographies, family sagas, legends, mysteries and thrillers - I like them all Well, nothing too scary - still need to sleep at night - LOL. And I am not big on romances, although I did read Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts and it was ok.

So what are your recommedations?

I've read most of Anne Rice's books and recently reread Interview, The Witching Hour, and Merrick to go with my New Orleans themed reading. I have Feast of All Saints on my reread list too. I also have Uncle Tom's Cabin on my list - it is a classic that I have never read and also on the list of 100 most commonly banned books, so it seems like a good time to read it It is said that Beecher-Stowe got her inspiration for the book while staying at the Cornstalk. I recently read Doves and Morning by James Lee Burke and will probably read another couple of his books - any recommendations there? Several years ago I read Cane River by Lalita Tademy, which I know is further north than we will be going. I saw that she has a new book out, Red River, but all copies are currently out at our library, so I will have to wait on that one.

So any recommendations would be greatly appreciated
J_Correa is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2007, 05:04 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 263
Julie Smith wrote a series of mysteries based in NO - I liked the earlier ones best...I think "New Orleans Mourning" is the first one.
Also - Harry Connick Jr has 2 new cd's out - to set the background for you!
Non-fiction read: Bayou Farewell by Mike Tidwell...deals with some of the ecological changes from a first person perspective. Very readable.
ausc59 is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2007, 07:42 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 355
If you want to read something that will "explain" why Louisiana has so many problems...and all the inside dealings of corruption...then I highly recommend "Bad Bet on the Bayou" by Tyler Bridges. You will never come to N.O. again and look at it the sameway!

Second from a historical view...great book "Louisiana Purchase" by A.E. Hetchner.

Great book on the history of the first founders, and the events leading up to modern day New Orleans. I could not put this book down until I was done.
mark99 is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2007, 03:30 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,540
This is one of the best I've read about New Orleans. Enjoy your trip!

Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in New Orleans
ccolor is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2007, 03:54 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,319
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, aand All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren (not NO exactly, but Louisiana).
Devonmcj is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2007, 08:42 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Great recommendations - woohoo, time for a trip to the library

J_Correa is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2007, 08:54 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 447
John Grisham's Pelican Brief and Runaway Jury are good ones. All his novels are excellent and most take place in the South.
Tennessee William's A Streetcar Named Desire is also very good.
Kansan is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2007, 09:01 AM
  #8  
pat
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,471
This is a good one. People of the Bayou, Cajin life in Lost America, by Christopher Halloway.
pat is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2007, 11:06 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,112
Frances Parkinson Keyes wrote a lot of Louisiana books, several of them set in New Orleans, e.g., Crescent Carnival, Dinner at Antoine's, Madame Castel's Lodger. A couple of LA ones are River Road and Steamboat Gothic.

They will all be out of print, but I'm sure you can get them on abe.com or alibris or Amazon.
carolyn is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2007, 11:24 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,618

Barbara Hambly has written some great mysteries set in old-time New Orleans, featuring Benjamin January, a free man of color.

capxxx is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2007, 12:01 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
The Grandissimes by George Washington Cable. A classic.
Leely is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2007, 01:07 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 171

I'm not sure whether this link will work. However, you can search for fiction taking place in different parts of the world on Barnes & Noble. The link takes you to books set in New Orleans.


http://browse.barnesandnoble.com/bro...&Ne=334116&z=y
marigold is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 12:39 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4
James Lee Burke is without a doubt one of the best mystery writers in the world and his books are set in New Orleans and New Iberia (in Cajun Country). In fact, we went to New Iberia on our overnight trip into Cajun Country and actually saw many of the buildings, parks and locations he mentions in his novels. The first book in his detective series is Neon Rain. I highly recommend him.
currienc is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 12:44 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Great suggestions. I am putting them all down in a list.

Red River by Lalita Tademy became availible at my library, so I am currently reading that. I also have Dixie City Jam by Burke out from the library - next on the list.
J_Correa is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 05:11 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,380
Louisiana, A (WPA) Guide to the State. There's a used reprint copy available on Amazon for about five bucks.
bookhall is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 07:19 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,091
I'd recommend "Good Scent on a Strange Mountain" by Robert Olen Butler, a former McNeese professor and Pulitzer Prize winning author.

His stories focus on the Vietnamese community in Louisiana and are extremely interesting.

I have met Mr. Butler at the Prien Lake Mall in Lake Charles where he lived at the time (he now works for FSU). He lived in Vietnam for a while, fell in love with it, and even though he's originally from Illinois, he loves Louisiana and especially was intrigued by the Vietnamese community in Louisiana.

It is a great collection of short fictional stories, and they are based in either Lake Charles, New Orleans, the Gulf, with some other stories in Puerto Vallarta. Every character is a Vietnamese that moved to Louisiana, most at the fall of Saigon.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2007, 08:37 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Just wanted to follow up and let you all know I am having a great time with your suggestions

I just finished Dixie City Jam by James Lee Burke and Red River by Lalita Tademy. Red River was excellent and Dixie City Jam was pretty good.

Yesterday I picked up Louisiana Hotshot by Julie Smith and Confederacy of Dunces by John Kenedy Toole.

All of the suggestions look really great, so I have been going to my library with my list from everyone's suggestions and picking up what is on the shelf
J_Correa is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
lauramsgarden
United States
8
Nov 6th, 2011 04:34 PM
ladyelaine
United States
5
Nov 26th, 2008 04:41 PM
Marsan
United States
14
Apr 21st, 2007 12:24 PM
lovetotravel2
United States
21
Aug 21st, 2004 01:54 PM
Lily
United States
13
Mar 14th, 2004 10:38 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO