City Tales: New Orleans

new orleans mon amour
Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead

The Crescent City. The Big Easy.  Jazz, beignets and vampires.  Hurricane Katrina.

What comes to mind when you think of New Orleans? These days it's hard not to think of the ravage left behind by Hurricane Katrina. Nearly six years later, Nola has still not fully recovered. The hurricane and its aftermath has forever altered this beloved Louisiana city, a fact evident in each one of these titles.

My New Orleans: The Cookbook by John Besh

Full of lush,colorful pictures, My New Orleans is more than just a cookbook. Besh, who has appeared on Food Network's Iron Chef America, begins each chapter by  sharing a little bit of history, tips and insider's know-how. Sure, some of the recipes will seem out of reach for those of us without access to fresh crawfish, for example, but the rest of these mouth-watering recipes will more than make up for it. 

Not Left Behind: Rescuing the Pets of New Orleans

I stumbled across this one day as I was roaming the stacks and I knew I had to include it in this list. Told mainly through pictures, this is the story of the folks who worked to rescue the pets many were forced to leave behind as they fled the hurricane. Each of these pictures is truly worth a thousand words.

Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story by Mat Johnson & Simon Gane

Two ex-cons decide the chaos of Katrina is the perfect time to rob a bank. The problem is one of them wants to help those left behind while the other only has dollar signs in his eyes. Meanwhile, someone else has his sights on the same bank and he's not concerned about anyone but himself and the fortune waiting in the vaults. Dark Rain is a graphic novel and the images illuminate the craziness of what happened after the levees broke.

New Orleans, Mon Amour by Andrei Codrescu

This books gathers all of NPR commentator Codrescu's writings on his adopted hometown in one place. Organized by year, most of the essays in this collection were written about New Orleans before Katrina. It's interesting to compare those that came before Katrina with the four essays written afterwards.

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran

Claire DeWitt is a PI called to New Orleans to search for a local DA who has gone missing during Katrina.  Funky, offbeat and captivating are some of the adjectives used to describe this first novel in a projected series from author Sara Gran.

 

 

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