The best books about Louisiana 📚

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

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Book cover of Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Fire Shut Up in My Bones

By Charles M. Blow

Why this book?

With polished language and measured pace, Blow tells a fascinating coming-of-age story of growing up in a small Louisiana town. As the youngest in a family of five boys raised by a schoolteacher mother, with the help of her extended family, he unveils his struggles with sexual identity and masculinity.
From the list:

The best memoirs on Black family life in America

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Book cover of Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark

By Charlaine Harris

Why this book?

A telepathic waitress begins a relationship with a vampire while a serial killer stalks their small Louisiana town. Tell me with a straight face that that blurb didn’t hook you! While this one is technically an adult book, it’s campy and fun and reads like a young adult novel, full of mystery, adventure, and supernatural creatures. This is the first novel in the Sookie Stackhouse books, which later became the inspiration for the True Blood TV series. Needless to say, vampire books = inappropriate age gap romances, but what can I say, I’m here for it! 

From the list:

The best YA fantasy romances featuring a teenage girl and an ancient dude

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Book cover of Doll

Doll

By Miracle Austin

Why this book?

I’m a big fan of young adult fiction and I’m also a big fan of supernatural stories that take place in the “real” world. Doll follows a trio of high school students, who, tired of being bullied, seek out the assistance of Tomie’s cousin… who just happens to be a witch. As far as young adult horror goes, Miracle Austin is the best of the best. 

From the list:

The best supernatural books to read all year long

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Book cover of Louisiana Longshot

Louisiana Longshot

By Jana DeLeon

Why this book?

This laugh-out-loud mystery drops a CIA assassin on ice in a Louisiana town packed with quirky characters. The handsome sheriff plays the straight man against an avalanche of small-town insanity. This bestselling cozy mystery is fast-paced and witty, and the sidekicks are as hilarious as the heroine. As the first book in the Miss Fortune Mysteries, Louisiana Longshot is a great place to start. (If you’re like me, you’ll have trouble stopping at just one book in the series.)

From the list:

The best funny cozy mystery novels

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Book cover of Historical Memoir of the War: In West Florida and Louisiana in 1814-15

Historical Memoir of the War: In West Florida and Louisiana in 1814-15

By Arsène Lacarrière Latour

Why this book?

Originally published in 1816, this contemporary account of the battle by Jackson’s chief engineer is rich in detail and includes a valuable appendix of original documents. Although perhaps too favorable to Jackson, an account like this by someone who was there and in the know cannot be ignored.  In the new edition, Gene Smith has made some minor changes in Latour’s text and, more importantly, added some new documents. He also includes in a separate envelop the maps that accompanied the original edition

From the list:

The best books to understand the Battle of New Orleans

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Book cover of Mothers of the South: Portraiture of the White Tenant Farm Woman

Mothers of the South: Portraiture of the White Tenant Farm Woman

By Margaret Jarman Hagood

Why this book?

Strictly speaking, this is not a first-person account, but it includes dozens of detailed case studies drawn from interviews with white tenant farm women in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It was written in the 1930s by the pioneering sociologist Margaret Jarman Hagood, one of a group of practitioners at University of North Carolina who sought to produce academic studies that advanced solutions to the socio-economic problems that plagued the rural South. Although Hagood feared that “it is impossible for me to do justice to it either in observing or recording,” her study paints a vivid picture of…

From the list:

The best books for first-person accounts of life in the twentieth century South

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