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New Orleans Books to Add To Your Reading List

Here is a list of books set in New Orleans, from mystery and historical fiction to romance.

Last Updated on December 2, 2022 by BiblioLifestyle

Books Set in New Orleans to Add To Your Reading List

If you’re looking for a new book to read, why not check out some New Orleans books?  This city is known for its history, culture, and food, making it an excellent backdrop for a novel.  From mysteries to romances to historical fiction and nonfiction, we’ve got a list of books set in this fascinating city that is sure to keep you entertained.  So curl up with a good book and let the Crescent City sweep you away!

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

A brilliant, haunting and unforgettable memoir from a stunning new talent about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Set in late nineteenth-century New Orleans, The Awakening tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a woman who begins to question the societal norms that have been imposed on her. This classic novel is a must-read for anyone interested in women’s rights or the history of New Orleans.

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward, two-time National Book Award winner and author of Sing, Unburied, Sing, delivers a gritty but tender novel about family and poverty in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina.

A Kind Of Freedom By Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

A Kind Of Freedom By Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. In 1982, Evelyn’s daughter, Jackie, is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent husband’s drug addiction. Jackie’s son, T.C., loves the creative process of growing marijuana more than the weed itself. He was a square before Hurricane Katrina, but the New Orleans he knew didn’t survive the storm. For Evelyn, Jim Crow is an ongoing reality, and in its wake new threats spring up to haunt her descendants.

A novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history.

The Beautiful By Renée Ahdieh

The Beautiful By Renée Ahdieh

New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight.

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel follows the exploits of Ignatius J. Reilly, a man who is utterly incapable of functioning in the real world. Set against the backdrop of New Orleans in the 1960s, this book is equal parts hilarious and tragic, and it’s sure to stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.

The Thread Collectors by Shaunna J. Edwards, Alyson Richman

The Thread Collectors by Shaunna J. Edwards, Alyson Richman

Two women risk everything for love and freedom during the brutal Civil War, and their paths converge in New Orleans, where an unexpected encounter leads them to discover that even the most delicate threads have the capacity to save us.

Quarter to Midnight by Karen Rose

Quarter to Midnight by Karen Rose

Discover New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Rose’s brand-new series set in the sultry city of New Orleans and featuring a tough team of high-end private investigators who are after justice–no matter what they have to do to get it.

Turkey and the Wolf : Flavor Trippin' in New Orleans by Mason Hereford, JJ Goode

Turkey and the Wolf by Mason Hereford, JJ Goode

A fun, flavorful cookbook with more than 95 recipes and Power-Ups featuring chef Mason Hereford’s irreverent take on Southern food, from his awarding-winning New Orleans restaurant Turkey and the Wolf.
The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings

The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings

Music is magic in this vibrant and imaginative debut novel set in a fantastical version of New Orleans where a battle for the city’s soul brews between two young mages, a vengeful wraith, and one powerful song.
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

The story famously recounts how the faded and promiscuous Blanche DuBois is pushed over the edge by her sexy and brutal brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski.

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen

A captivating novel about an immigrant Vietnamese family who settles in New Orleans and struggles to remain connected to one another as their lives are inextricably reshaped.

The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

This collection of stories are intimate invitations to hear, witness, and imagine lives at once regional but largely universal, and undeniably New Orleanian, written by a lifelong resident of New Orleans.

The House on First Street by Julia Reed

The House on First Street by Julia Reed

The Last Madam by Christine Wiltz

The Last Madam by Christine Wiltz

In 1916, at age fifteen, Norma Wallace arrived in New Orleans. Sexy and shrewd, she quickly went from streetwalker to madam and by 1920 had opened what became a legendary house of prostitution. There she entertained a steady stream of governors, gangsters, and movie stars until she was arrested at last in 1962. Shortly before she died in 1974, she tape-recorded her memories-the scandalous stories of a powerful woman who had the city’s politicians in her pocket and whose lovers included the twenty-five-year-old boy next door, whom she married when she was sixty-four. Combining those tapes with original research, Christine Wiltz chronicles not just Norma’s rise and fall but also the social history of New Orleans, thick with the vice and corruption that flourished there-and, like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Philistines at the Hedgerow, resurrects a vanished secret world.

The House Uptown by Melissa Ginsburg

The House Uptown by Melissa Ginsburg

Melissa Ginsburg’s The House Uptown is an emotional coming-of-age novel about a young girl who goes to live with her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her mother.

Across the River by Kent Babb

Across the River by Kent Babb

On the west bank of the Mississippi lies the New Orleans neighborhood of Algiers. Short on hope but big on dreams, its mostly poor and marginalized residents find joy on Friday nights when the Cougars of Edna Karr High School take the field. In Across the River, award-winning sports journalist Kent Babb follows the Karr football team through its 2019 season as Brown and his team–perhaps the scrappiest and most rebellious group in the program’s history–vie to again succeed on and off the field.

The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata

The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata

The mesmerizing story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans.

What do you think about these New Orleans books?

Have you read any of New Orleans books?  Are any of these books on your TBR?  What books set in New Orleans would you add to this list?  Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

Book List - Books Set in New Orleans

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  1. Suzanne Anderson says:

    I love the list and am excited to read several of the books. There is a good variety on the list

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