79 books like Storyville, New Orleans

By Al Rose,

Here are 79 books that Storyville, New Orleans fans have personally recommended if you like Storyville, New Orleans. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Life on the Mississippi

Peter B. Dedek Author Of The Cemeteries of New Orleans: A Cultural History

From my list on the history of life, death, and magic in New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being from Upstate New York I went to college at Cornell University but headed off to New Orleans as soon as I could. By and by I became an instructor at Delgado Community College. Always a big fan of the city’s amazing historic cemeteries, when teaching a world architectural history class, I took the class to the Metairie Cemetery where I could show the students real examples of every style from Ancient Egyptian to Modern American. After coming to Texas State University, San Marcos (30 miles from Austin), I went back to New Orleans on sabbatical in 2013 and wrote The Cemeteries of New Orleans. 

Peter's book list on the history of life, death, and magic in New Orleans

Peter B. Dedek Why did Peter love this book?

Life on the Mississippi is the autobiographical story of Mark Twain’s career as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River in the mid-1800s.

I first read this book when living in the French Quarter in the 1990s and could hear ship horns out on the river as I took in Twain’s fascinating, often silly and sarcastic narrative about his life and the river.

When describing New Orleans cemeteries, Twain writes, “Many of the cemeteries are beautiful, and are kept in perfect order. When one goes from the levee or the business streets near it, to a cemetery, he observes to himself that if those people down there would live as neatly while they are alive as they do after they are dead, they would find many advantages in it.

By Mark Twain,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Life on the Mississippi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Life on the Mississippi (1883) is a memoir by Mark Twain of his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War. It is also a travel book, recounting his trip up the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Saint Paul many years after the war.


Book cover of Necropolis: Disease, Power, and Capitalism in the Cotton Kingdom

Peter B. Dedek Author Of The Cemeteries of New Orleans: A Cultural History

From my list on the history of life, death, and magic in New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being from Upstate New York I went to college at Cornell University but headed off to New Orleans as soon as I could. By and by I became an instructor at Delgado Community College. Always a big fan of the city’s amazing historic cemeteries, when teaching a world architectural history class, I took the class to the Metairie Cemetery where I could show the students real examples of every style from Ancient Egyptian to Modern American. After coming to Texas State University, San Marcos (30 miles from Austin), I went back to New Orleans on sabbatical in 2013 and wrote The Cemeteries of New Orleans. 

Peter's book list on the history of life, death, and magic in New Orleans

Peter B. Dedek Why did Peter love this book?

Necropolis describes how the yellow fever shaped New Orleans society in the 1800s.

While the fever was killing tens of thousands of people for almost two centuries from the founding of the city in 1718 until the last yellow fever epidemic in 1905, giving its victims horrible deaths in which they cried blood and vomited tar-like bile in the process, the disease helped preserve the city’s Creole culture by killing off a large proportion of immigrants to the city who were more susceptible than native-born New Orleans.

Before reading this book, I had no idea that being “acclimated” to yellow fever by surviving a case of this horrible disease was what made white transplants into bonafide citizens of the city. 

By Kathryn Olivarius,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Necropolis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Disease is thought to be a great leveler of humanity, but in antebellum New Orleans acquiring immunity from the scourge of yellow fever magnified the brutal inequities of slave-powered capitalism.

Antebellum New Orleans sat at the heart of America's slave and cotton kingdoms. It was also where yellow fever epidemics killed as many as 150,000 people during the nineteenth century. With little understanding of mosquito-borne viruses-and meager public health infrastructure-a person's only protection against the scourge was to "get acclimated" by surviving the disease. About half of those who contracted yellow fever died.

Repeated epidemics bolstered New Orleans's strict racial…


Book cover of A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau

Peter B. Dedek Author Of The Cemeteries of New Orleans: A Cultural History

From my list on the history of life, death, and magic in New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being from Upstate New York I went to college at Cornell University but headed off to New Orleans as soon as I could. By and by I became an instructor at Delgado Community College. Always a big fan of the city’s amazing historic cemeteries, when teaching a world architectural history class, I took the class to the Metairie Cemetery where I could show the students real examples of every style from Ancient Egyptian to Modern American. After coming to Texas State University, San Marcos (30 miles from Austin), I went back to New Orleans on sabbatical in 2013 and wrote The Cemeteries of New Orleans. 

Peter's book list on the history of life, death, and magic in New Orleans

Peter B. Dedek Why did Peter love this book?

Written by accomplished historian Carolyn Morrow Long, A New Orleans Voudou Priestess tells the true story of Voodoo queen Marie Laveau based on extensive archival research.

In telling her readers about this Creole woman of color who was deeply embedded in the culture of New Orleans in the 1800s, we learn the real story of a woman who was often glorified and denigrated by the press and by local authors who wrote many fantastical tales about her life misleading many about her character and her religion. 

By Carolyn Morrow Long,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A New Orleans Voudou Priestess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Legendary for an unusual combination of spiritual power, beauty, charisma, showmanship, intimidation, and shrewd business sense, Marie Leveau also was known for her kindness and charity, nursing yellow fever victims and ministering to condemned prisoners, and her devotion to the Roman Catholic Church. In separating verifiable fact from semi-truths and complete fabrication, Carolyn Morrow Long explores the unique social, political, and legal setting in which the lives of Laveau's African and European ancestors became intertwined in nineteenth-century New Orleans.


Book cover of The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square

Peter B. Dedek Author Of The Cemeteries of New Orleans: A Cultural History

From my list on the history of life, death, and magic in New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being from Upstate New York I went to college at Cornell University but headed off to New Orleans as soon as I could. By and by I became an instructor at Delgado Community College. Always a big fan of the city’s amazing historic cemeteries, when teaching a world architectural history class, I took the class to the Metairie Cemetery where I could show the students real examples of every style from Ancient Egyptian to Modern American. After coming to Texas State University, San Marcos (30 miles from Austin), I went back to New Orleans on sabbatical in 2013 and wrote The Cemeteries of New Orleans. 

Peter's book list on the history of life, death, and magic in New Orleans

Peter B. Dedek Why did Peter love this book?

I discovered and used The World That Made New Orleans as a source for my book.

Upon opening the book, I was gleefully surprised to discover what an informative, interesting, and fun read it is. Sublette describes the French origins of the city in the early 1700s which involved wild parties, debauchery, tragic exploratory expeditions, and a massive Ponzi scheme that used Louisiana and the fictional gold mines there to defraud most every rich person in France, eventually crashing the entire French economy.

He then took me on a thrilling journey through the Spanish and early American periods to quadroon balls, Congo Square, and so many other fascinating places. I knew the city’s history was interesting, but reading The World That Made New Orleans blew me away. 

By Ned Sublette,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The World That Made New Orleans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named one of the Top 10 Books of 2008 by The Times-Picayune.  Winner of the 2009 Humanities Book of the Year award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Awarded the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for 2008. 

New Orleans is the most elusive of American cities. The product of the centuries-long struggle among three mighty empires--France, Spain, and England--and among their respective American colonies and enslaved African peoples, it has always seemed like a foreign port to most Americans, baffled as they are by its complex cultural inheritance.

 

The World That Made New…


Book cover of The French Quarter

Jennifer Blake Author Of Challenge to Honor

From my list on exploring the fascination of Old New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Early in my career, I attended a writer’s conference in southern Louisiana. During a discussion of the best-selling Louisiana-based novels of Vermont-born author Francis Parkinson Keyes, a local historian said with great ire, “That woman came down here and picked our brains for her books!” As a follower of my state’s incredible past, I immediately saw the attraction. Since then, I’ve written more than 65 historical and contemporary novels, most set in New Orleans and broader Louisiana. Hours have been spent at the famed Historic New Orleans Collection, talking to people and walking the streets of the French Quarter—and, of course, collecting a library of famous Louisiana histories.

Jennifer's book list on exploring the fascination of Old New Orleans

Jennifer Blake Why did Jennifer love this book?

It was in Asbury’s social history of the French Quarter that I first read about the deadly yet intriguing fencing masters of old New Orleans that swagger through my own series.

I was also fascinated by the richly painted French and Spanish culture from the colonial period, the daily life among the French Creole elite in the city, the unique courting and marriage customs, male and female amusements, education, religious observances, and much more.

In addition, the book is famous, or infamous, for its gritty details of the city's underworld at that time, from cutthroat barrel houses and gambling dens to the names of famous madams and the locations of their brothels in the red-light district known as Storyville.

By Herbert Asbury,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The French Quarter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Home to the notorious "Blue Book," which listed the names and addresses of every prostitute living in the city, New Orleans's infamous red-light district gained a reputation as one of the most raucous in the world. But the New Orleans underworld consisted of much more than the local bordellos. It was also well known as the early gambling capital of the United States, and sported one of the most violent records of street crime in the country. In The French Quarter, Herbert Asbury, author of The Gangs of New York, chronicles this rather immense underbelly of "The Big Easy." From…


Book cover of Longstreet: The Confederate General Who Defied the South

John Poniske Author Of Snakebit: Prelude to War

From my list on reflecting on our current cultural impasse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was raised in Springfield, Illinois, what is considered Lincoln’s backyard. I grew up fascinated by history, and the Civil War in particular. The trouble was, its racial overtones always bothered me. Later in life, I became a high school history and journalism teacher and turned my interest in historical-based board gaming into a business I called Indulgent Wife Enterprises (because my wife is so incredibly supportive). To date, I have published 30 board games based mostly on American conflicts. When I retired, I began the ambitious project of writing a strongly researched account of the divisions leading up to the Civil War and through to the Reconstruction period that followed. 

John's book list on reflecting on our current cultural impasse

John Poniske Why did John love this book?

I love biographies, and I particularly loved this one because it portrayed a brilliant, accomplished, but complicated soul. Here was a man, a rebel hardliner who was once Robert E. Lee’s sounding board and deeply respected throughout the defeated Confederacy.

I wanted to know why he defied the South, became good friends with President Grant, joined the Republican Party (Lincoln’s party), and became a supporter of Radical Reconstruction. As I read, I learned, and the learning fascinated me.

By Elizabeth Varon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Longstreet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography
American Battlefield Trust Prize for History Finalist

A "compelling portrait" (Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize -winning author) of the controversial Confederate general who later embraced Reconstruction and became an outcast in the South.

It was the most remarkable political about-face in American history. During the Civil War, General James Longstreet fought tenaciously for the Confederacy. He was alongside Lee at Gettysburg (and counseled him not to order the ill-fated attacks on entrenched Union forces there). He won a major Confederate victory at Chickamauga and was seriously wounded during a later battle.

After the…


Book cover of The Yellow House: A Memoir

Christy Cashman Author Of The Truth About Horses

From my list on coming of age YA books with strong voices.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books were a way to navigate life, my love for my horse, and just being an awkward feeling person. For me, the most powerful thing that stories provide is revealing that everyone is awkward. No one really feels like they fit in, have everything figured out, and know what this whole, crazy existence is about. A book offers a perspective that makes me see my world just a little more clearly. When I find relatable characters in books, I feel comforted because it makes me realize that no one is all good and no one is all bad. We are flawed and beautiful all at once, just like the characters that draw me into their worlds.

Christy's book list on coming of age YA books with strong voices

Christy Cashman Why did Christy love this book?

I always love a strong voice. The fact that there was this horrific past in her family, and it hung like a dark cloud over them, gave such an interesting juxtaposition to the sweet, innocent voice of Sarah.

I felt the strain of the relationships with her brothers, her dad, and her mother. I felt her pain around her relationship with her brother, Cassie. I was filled with that sense of love and loss you can only have for a sibling that you’re fighting with one minute and having the best time of your life the next. 

By Sarah M Broom,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Yellow House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION

'A major book that I suspect will come to be considered among the essential memoirs of this vexing decade' New York Times Book Review

In 1961, Sarah M. Broom's mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant - the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah's father Simon Broom; their combined family would…


Book cover of On The Trail of Delusion: Jim Garrison: The Great Accuser

Gerald Posner Author Of Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK

From my list on who killed JFK.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was in the fourth grade when JFK was assassinated. I grew up in the late 1960s as conspiracy theories about ‘who killed Kennedy’ flourished. Jack Ruby’s murder of Oswald made me suspect the mafia played a role. After Oliver Stone’s controversial 1991 JFK film, I convinced a publisher to allow me to reexamine the assassination. I did not expect to solve the case. Halfway through my research, however, I realized there was an answer to ‘who killed Kennedy.’ It was not what I had expected. I discovered that the story of how a 24-year-old sociopath armed with a $12 rifle managed to kill the president was a far more fascinating one than I could have ever envisioned.

Gerald's book list on who killed JFK

Gerald Posner Why did Gerald love this book?

In a similar vein to False Witness, Litwin not only exposes the shortcomings of the Garrison investigation into the JFK murder but in the process uncovers the fraud and false information that are cited to support some of the currently popular conspiracy theories about the assassination. It is filled with new information from Litwin’s own extensive research.

By Fred Litwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On The Trail of Delusion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fred Litwin exposes the truth about Jim Garrison, the New Orleans District Attorney, who ‘solved’ the JFK assassination in 1967.

On the Trail of Delusion shows how Garrison persecuted an innocent gay man in order to spout his crazy conspiracy theories. There is also a touch of bribery and intimidation, the story of his attempt to charge a dead man with being a grassy knoll assassin, the former Marine he believed was a ‘second Oswald,’ several con men who turned the tables and fooled Garrison, the use of truth serum and hypnosis to recover memories, the ugly story of Oliver…


Book cover of Fabulous New Orleans

Jennifer Blake Author Of Challenge to Honor

From my list on exploring the fascination of Old New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Early in my career, I attended a writer’s conference in southern Louisiana. During a discussion of the best-selling Louisiana-based novels of Vermont-born author Francis Parkinson Keyes, a local historian said with great ire, “That woman came down here and picked our brains for her books!” As a follower of my state’s incredible past, I immediately saw the attraction. Since then, I’ve written more than 65 historical and contemporary novels, most set in New Orleans and broader Louisiana. Hours have been spent at the famed Historic New Orleans Collection, talking to people and walking the streets of the French Quarter—and, of course, collecting a library of famous Louisiana histories.

Jennifer's book list on exploring the fascination of Old New Orleans

Jennifer Blake Why did Jennifer love this book?

Though a seventh-generation Louisianian, I was born and raised in the northern portion of the state. When I decided to write about early New Orleans, I realized deep research would be required. The first book my local librarian recommended was Saxon’s Fabulous New Orleans.

I was enthralled, not least because I discovered he was also not a native of the city, though he lived in the French Quarter for many years and was instrumental in preserving many of its historic buildings from demolition.

With a style that immediately draws you in, this book is filled with pageantry and grandeur, personality, and rich detail, which makes researching the Vieux Carré a pleasure rather than a chore. 

By Lyle Saxon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fabulous New Orleans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic reprint evokes a city steeped in the traditions and idiosyncrasies of three cultures--French, Spanish, andAmerican. Known widely as one of Louisiana's great writers, Lyle Saxon documented many of the quirks and mysteries of New Orleans. His narratives include a vivid picture of Mardi Gras as seen through the eyes of a young boy, a brief history of the city, and accounts of strange and remarkable events, including the great Mississippi flood of 1927, the year of the great plague, and a voodoo cult ceremony.

By any standards, New Orleans is a unique city, and Saxon depicts it unadorned,…


Book cover of French Quarter Fiction: The Newest Stories of America's Oldest Bohemia

Jen Pitts Author Of The Key to Murder

From my list on getting to know mysterious New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love of mysteries began with Nancy Drew books. As I read more mysteries over the years, I finally decided it was time for me to write my own. A setting came to me immediately—New Orleans. I fell in love with the city through the Anne Rice and Julie Smith’s books. To write my cozy mystery series, I read all kinds of books. I read them for pleasure, but to make sure the details are correct in my books, The French Quarter Mysteries. I’m able to enjoy New Orleans through my sleuth, Samantha. It’s the next best thing to being there myself.

Jen's book list on getting to know mysterious New Orleans

Jen Pitts Why did Jen love this book?

No matter where I visit, I always try to buy a book about the town.

I never come home from a trip to New Orleans with one. It doesn’t matter whether it’s non-fiction or fiction, novels or short stories. French Quarter Fiction is a collection of short stories featuring my favorite part of the city, The French Quarter.

The variety of authors and stories is incredible and features such different views and aspects of this amazing neighborhood.

By Joshua Clark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked French Quarter Fiction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Branching across every genre, from mystery and romance to flash fiction and prose poetry, this anthology of works by preeminent writers on the heart of New Orleans features a previously unpublished story by Tennessee Williams, as well as stories by Richard Ford, Ellen Gilchrist, Robert Olen Butler, Andrei Codrescu, Barry Gifford, Poppy Z. Brite, Julie Smith, John Biguenet, Nancy Lemann, and Valerie Martin, among others. The characters in these works find themselves everywhere from Sarajevo on the eve of the First World War to Algiers Point just across the Mississippi River, but their stories are all anchored in the French…


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