classics, dystopian, fantasy, Fiction, history, Nonfiction, young adult fiction

Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?

And miss it each night and day
I know I’m not wrong, this feeling’s gettin’ stronger
The longer, I stay away

Those lyrics, first heard in the movie New Orleans, were sung by Billie Holiday and performed by Louis Armstrong. They capture the feelings of the people who are enchanted by the unique spirit of the Crescent City. Explore the city in the books and music available at the library. Recommended by Jessica Schiefelbein, Carrie Goodall, and Ashley Lee.

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke 
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As James Lee Burke’s new novel begins, Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. The power grid of the city has been destroyed, New Orleans reduced to the level of a medieval society. There is no law, no order, no sanctuary for the infirm, the helpless, and the innocent. Bodies float in the streets and lie impaled on the branches of flooded trees. In the midst of an apocalyptical nightmare, Robicheaux must find two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who may be more dangerous than the criminals looting the city. 

In a singular style that defies genre, James Lee Burke has created a hauntingly bleak picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina. Filled with complex characters and depictions of people at both their best and worst. 


A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole 
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book
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hoopla ebook
A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece. John Kennedy Toole’s hero, one Ignatius J. Reilly, is “huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans’ lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures.” 


Title details for The Chef by James Patterson - Available

The Chef by James Patterson 
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In the Carnival days leading up Mardi Gras, Detective Caleb Rooney comes under investigation for a murder he is accused of committing in the line of duty — as a Major Crimes detective for the New Orleans Police Department. Has his sideline at the Killer Chef food truck given him a taste for murder? 

While fighting the charges against him, Rooney makes a pair of unthinkable discoveries: His beloved city is under threat of attack . . . and these would-be terrorists may be local. 

As crowds of revelers gather, Rooney follows a fearsome trail of clues, racing from outlying districts into city center. He has no idea what — or whom — he’ll face in defense of his beloved hometown, only that innocent lives are at stake. 


Chasing the Devil’s Tail by David Fulmer 
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In the raucous, bloody, red-light district of Storyville, New Orleans in 1907, where two thousand scarlet women practice their trade in grand mansions and filthy dime-a-trick cribs, where cocaine and opium are sold over the counter, and where rye whiskey flows like an amber river, there’s a killer loose. Someone is murdering Storyville prostitutes and marking each killing with a black rose. 

As Creole detective Valentin St. Cyr begins to investigate, he encounters a cast of characters drawn from history: Tom Anderson, the political boss who runs Storyville like a private kingdom; Lulu White, the district’s most notorious madam; a young piano player who would come to be known as Jelly Roll Morton; and Buddy Bolden, the man who all but invented jazz and is now losing his mind. 

No ordinary mystery, Chasing the Devil’s Tail is a chilling portrait of musical genius and self-destruction, set at the moment when jazz was born. 


The Casquette Girls

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden
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After the Storm of the Century rips apart New Orleans, Adele Le Moyne and her father are among the first to return to the city following the mandatory evacuation. Adele wants nothing more than for life to return to normal, but with the silent city resembling a mold-infested war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal will have to be redefined. The Storm has passed, but as the flood waters recede, the body count continues to rise – Mother Nature couldn’t drain the joie de vivre from New Orleans, but someone or something is draining life from its residents. Amidst the mayhem, strange events – too unnatural even for New Orleans – lead Adele to an attic where she accidentally opens a Pandora’s box – one that has been sealed for three hundred years. The chaos she unleashes threatens not only her life but everyone she knows. Caught suddenly in a hurricane of eighteenth-century myths and monsters, Adele must quickly untangle a web of magic and follow the threads back to the source. But who can you trust in a city where everyone has a secret, and where keeping them can be a matter of life and death – unless you’re immortal.


The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh 
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In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans is a safe haven after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent in the middle of the carnival season, Celine is quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its fancy soirées and even its danger. She becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain. 
When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in Sébastien’s own lair—the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks—Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. 
After a third murder, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one who has now set Celine in his sights. As the murderer stalks her, Celine finally takes matters into her own hands, only to find herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life. 
At once a sultry romance and a decadent, thrilling mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet. 


The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom 
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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 eventually number twelve children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah’s birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae’s thirteenth and most unruly child. 

A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America’s most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house’s entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. Located in the gap between the “Big Easy” of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power. 


Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
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First came the storms. Then came the Fever. And the Wall.

After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct…but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.  


Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans.  In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.


Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. 


Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans by Brian Kilmeade 
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The War of 1812 saw America threatened on every side. Encouraged by the British, Indian tribes attacked settlers in the West, while the Royal Navy terrorized the coasts. By mid-1814, President James Madison’s generals had lost control of the war in the North, losing battles in Canada. Then British troops set the White House ablaze, and a feeling of hopelessness spread across the country. 
Into this dire situation stepped Major General Andrew Jackson. A native of Tennessee who had witnessed the horrors of the Revolutionary War and Indian attacks, he was glad America had finally decided to confront repeated British aggression. But he feared that President Madison’s men were overlooking the most important target of all: New Orleans. 
If the British conquered New Orleans, they would control the mouth of the Mississippi River, cutting Americans off from that essential trade route and threatening the previous decade’s Louisiana Purchase. The new nation’s dreams of western expansion would be crushed before they really got off the ground. 

So Jackson had to convince President Madison and his War Department to take him seriously, even though he wasn’t one of the Virginians and New Englanders who dominated the government. He had to assemble a coalition of frontier militiamen, French-speaking Louisianans,Cherokee and Choctaw Indians, freed slaves, and even some pirates. And he had to defeat the most powerful military force in the world—in the confusing terrain of the Louisiana bayous. 

In short, Jackson needed a miracle. The local Ursuline nuns set to work praying for his outnumbered troops. And so the Americans, driven by patriotism and protected by prayer, began the battle that would shape our young nation’s destiny. 


Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans

Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?
hoopla music


The Complete Billie Holiday

The Complete Billie Holiday
hoopla music


Louis Armstrong - The Ultimate Collection

Louis Armstrong – The Ultimate Collection
hoopla music

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