The best books about Hurricane Katrina 📚

Browse the best books on Hurricane Katrina as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Zeitoun

Zeitoun

By Dave Eggers

Why this book?

Zeitoun reads like a novel, but it's not. Dave Eggers tells the true story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun and his family in New Orleans after Katrina. Known simply as "Zeitoun," Abdulrahman is a Syrian-born American citizen; his wife, Kathy, is a white Louisianan who converted to Islam before meeting her future husband. Zeitoun stayed in New Orleans after the storm, rescuing neighbors and bringing them supplies, until the authorities mistakenly arrested him as a potential terrorist. In this book, the Zeitouns and other ordinary New Orleans residents are the heroes; the villains are the police and especially the feds (FEMA and…
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Book cover of Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster: Life-Changing Stories and Practical Suggestions

Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster: Life-Changing Stories and Practical Suggestions

By Allen Anderson, Linda Anderson

Why this book?

Hurricane Katrina was one of the most transformative events in our relationship with cats and dogs. This book charts some of the incredible rescues that took place in the aftermath of this epic disaster. Heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure, it will inspire those who care about animals to care even more—and perhaps even volunteer themselves.

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Book cover of Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays

Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays

By Eula Biss

Why this book?

This essay collection isn’t exclusively about New York, but the four essays that open the collection are, and they are excellent. Biss writes personally about race relations in the city, and the United States. Her insights still feel relevant more than a decade later. She also refreshingly tackles the myth of New York, and the way that it is, as she says, overimagined. 

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Book cover of Orleans

Orleans

By Sherri L. Smith

Why this book?

In the wake of super-hurricanes and the deadly pandemic that follows, New Orleans has been quarantined from the rest of the United States, and those who seek to cross the border wall are killed. Narrator Fen, a member of the clan-based culture that has developed behind the wall, tells the story of her people and her personal quest for freedom in a dialect voice that is both beautifully rendered and brutally honest.

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Book cover of Jesus Out to Sea

Jesus Out to Sea

By James Lee Burke

Why this book?

The book is a collection of short stories by my favorite mystery novel writer. Burke’s series detective, Dave Robicheaux, who is both a Louisiana cop and a moral philosopher, repeatedly strives to overcome his own flaws and set right the cruel catastrophes wrought by human ignorance, stupidity, and cruelty. Jesus Out to Sea is infused with the same narrative and poetic ferocity, but without Robicheaux this time. The collection is set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and probes the human costs of the devastation wrought by nature and exacerbated by administrative corruption and bad faith. 

A surprising and powerful…

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