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New Orleans: Bayous & The Big Easy

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXUSS171. Buy these 5 items as a set for $68 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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Fabulous New Orleans

Fabulous New Orleans

by Lyle Saxon

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

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. (USS01, $16.99)

Bayou, Farewell

Bayou, Farewell

by Mike Tidwell

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

Tidwell introduces us to the food and the language, the shrimp fisherman, the Houma Indians, and the rich cultural history that make Louisiana's Cajun Coast unlike any other place. (USS491, $16.00)

Why New Orleans Matters

Why New Orleans Matters

by Tom Piazza

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 197 PAGES

Piazza (City of Refuge) celebrates the vivid culture and resilient people of New Orleans while examining its dark undercurrents of corruption and racism to create a lively portrait of the city. (USS472, $10.95)

Eyewitness Guide New Orleans

Eyewitness Guide New Orleans

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

This thorough, gorgeously illustrated guidebook provides a terrific introduction to the city and its many highlights. (USS305, $20.00)

New Orleans Map

New Orleans Map

by Borch Maps

  • 2008
  • MAP

A folded, laminated map of the city center of New Orleans. (USS207, $7.95)

 
DK Eyewitness Travel Top 10 New Orleans

DK Eyewitness Travel Top 10 New Orleans


by Inc. Dorling Kindersley

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions and a handy pullout map. (USM270, $14.00)

Lonely Planet New Orleans

Lonely Planet New Orleans


by Lonely Planet

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 255 PAGES

This comprehensive practical guide in the hallmark Lonely Planet style includes local and regional color maps, a section of photographs, and chapters on history, culture and attractions. (USS442, $19.99)

New Orleans Streets

New Orleans Streets


by Stephanie Bruno

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • PAPER

The best of the New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Stephanie Bruno's City Streets. (USS486, $15.95)

Obituary Cocktail, The Great Saloons of New Orleans

Obituary Cocktail, The Great Saloons of New Orleans


by Kerri McCaffety

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 144 PAGES

A photographic tribute and history of some of the most historic saloons in the country with more than 200 photos. (USS516, $35.00)

The National Trust Guide to New Orleans

The National Trust Guide to New Orleans


by Roulhac Toledano

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 236 PAGES

An in-depth guide to the architectural heritage, culture and history of beloved New Orleans. With chapters on historic preservation, neighborhood profiles and an introduction to the city's distinctive architectural styles. (USS98, $32.95)

Very New Orleans, A Celebration of History, Culture, And Cajun Country Charm

Very New Orleans, A Celebration of History, Culture, And Cajun Country Charm


by Diana Hollingsworth Gessler

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2005
  • HARD COVER
  • 160 PAGES

This quirky guide, illustrated with the author's charming watercolors, captures the charm and allure of New Orleans. (USS428, $16.95)

Bienville's Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans

Bienville's Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans


by Richard Campanella

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 429 PAGES

A member of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, Campanella sketches why New Orleans looks the way it does today its location, neighborhoods, demographics, flood protection and more in 68 short articles. (USA507, $25.00)

Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City

Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City


by Jed Horne

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 440 PAGES

Editor of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Horne weaves eyewitness accounts and on-the-spot reporting into an unforgettable chronicle of disaster. (USS474, $16.00)

Coming Back, New Orleans Resurgent

Coming Back, New Orleans Resurgent


by Mario Tama

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • HARD COVER
  • 128 PAGES

Tama documents the city's struggle to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina in striking color photographs. With a forward by news anchor Anderson Cooper, who has devoted much time and energy to the Gulf Coast region. (USS496, $45.00)

New Orleans, A Cultural History

New Orleans, A Cultural History


by Louise Mckinney

  • HISTORY
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

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. (USA158, $26.95)

The Civil War, An Illustrated History

The Civil War, An Illustrated History


by Geoffrey C. Ward | Ken Burns

  • HISTORY
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

An illustrated, comprehensive social history of the Civil War by the now-famous team of Ward and Burns. With 500 photographs and maps, extensive text and original essays by contributing experts. (USS27, $29.95)

The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast

The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast


by Douglas Brinkley

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 718 PAGES

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. (USS469, $17.95)

The Inevitable City, The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America

The Inevitable City, The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America


by Scott Cowen

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

Wearing his heart on his sleeve, Tulane University's president Scott Cowen tells how he helped empower ordinary citizens to rescue their own city after politicians and government officials failed them. A vivid look at New Orleans' resurgence after Hurricane Katrina. (USM262, $27.00)

The World That Made New Orleans

The World That Made New Orleans


by Ned Sublette

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 360 PAGES

Sublette charts the remarkable story of New Orleans's first century from European colonization through the Haitian Revolution (crucial to French and American negotiations over Louisiana). (USS498, $16.95)

Historic Buildings of the French Quarter

Historic Buildings of the French Quarter


by Lloyd Vogt

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2002
  • HARD COVER

Architect Vogt documents New Orleans's 66-block Vieux Carre, highlighting 60 noteworthy buildings from the French colonial, Spanish, Federal, Antebellum and Victorian periods. (USS468, $24.95)

Jazz, A History of America's Music

Jazz, A History of America's Music


by Geoffrey C. Ward | Ken Burns

  • MUSIC
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 512 PAGES

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. (MUS79, $45.00)

Mark Twain, An Illustrated Biography

Mark Twain, An Illustrated Biography


by Geoffrey C. Ward | Dayton Duncan | Ken Burns

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2001
  • HARD COVER
  • 269 PAGES

This illustrated companion to the PBS series follows the arc of Twain's celebrated career. (USA440, $40.00)

My New Orleans, Gone Away

My New Orleans, Gone Away


by Peter M. Wolf

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2013
  • HARD COVER
  • 322 PAGES

Historian Wolf reminisces about childhood in New Orleans during the 1950s and 1960s, with insight on the region's culture and dying cotton infrastructure. (USM219, $24.95)

New Orleans, Mon Amour:  Twenty Years of Writings from the City

New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City


by Andrei Codrescu

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 273 PAGES

Well-known NPR commentator and raconteur Codrescu provides an articulate, observant, and intimate portrait of his adopted home. (USA506, $14.95)

Satchmo, My Life in New Orleans

Satchmo, My Life in New Orleans


by Louis Armstrong | Dan Morgenstern

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1986
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Jazz great Louis Armstrong regales with tales of his youth in Louisiana. (USS230, $16.95)

The House on First Street, My New Orleans Story

The House on First Street, My New Orleans Story


by Julia Reed

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 199 PAGES

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. (USS429, $14.99)

A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces


by John Kennedy Toole

  • LITERATURE
  • 1987
  • PAPER
  • 405 PAGES

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. (USS02, $15.00)

Cajun and Creole Folktales, The French Oral Tradition of South Louisiana

Cajun and Creole Folktales, The French Oral Tradition of South Louisiana


by Barry Jean Ancelet

  • LITERATURE
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 296 PAGES

An excellent, wide-ranging compilation of Cajun and Creole folktales, presented side-by-side in French and English. It includes magic tales, jokes, animal tales, tall tales and legends. (USS152, $25.00)

Flash for Freedom

Flash for Freedom


by George MacDonald Fraser

  • LITERATURE
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 287 PAGES

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 the Underground Railroad. (USS372, $16.00)

Gumbo Ya-Ya, A Collection of Louisiana Folk Tales

Gumbo Ya-Ya, A Collection of Louisiana Folk Tales


by Lyle Saxon | Edward Dreyer | Robert Tallant

  • LITERATURE
  • 1987
  • PAPER
  • 581 PAGES

A wonderful collection of charming, outrageous, time-honored, common, obscure, exotic and famous folk tales of Louisiana -- and especially of New Orleans. (USS208, $22.00)

Island Beneath the Sea

Island Beneath the Sea


by Isabel Allende

  • LITERATURE
  • 2010
  • HARD COVER
  • 457 PAGES

Isabel Allende turns to Haiti (then called Saint-Domonigue) in the tumultuous years surrounding the 1791 slave revolt, and New Orleans at the time of the Louisiana Purchase, in this richly atmospheric novel. She places a strong-willed woman, the slave and concubine Zarite, at the center of her multi-generational saga, which among its many pleasures, includes marvelous descriptions of Creole life in New Orleans. (USS464, $26.99)

Lives of the Saints, A Novel


by Nancy Lemann

  • LITERATURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 143 PAGES

A native of New Orleans, Lemann chronicles the lives and loves of the city's eccentric -- and gin-soaked -- bluebloods in this hilarious debut novel. (USS466, $17.95)

Saratoga Trunk


by Edna Ferber

  • LITERATURE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

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. (USS122, $13.99)

The Keepers of the House

The Keepers of the House


by Shirley Ann Grau

  • LITERATURE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 309 PAGES

Winner of the 1965 Pulitzer Prize, Gau's searing novel exposes the hypocrisy and racism of New Orleans society. (USS465, $16.00)

The Moviegoer

The Moviegoer


by Walker Percy

  • LITERATURE
  • 1961
  • PAPER
  • 241 PAGES

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. (USS249, $15.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.