Advertisement

Beyond HBO's "Treme" -- great books on NOLA

I'm looking forward to Sunday's debut of "Treme," the new HBO series by Baltimore's David Simon -- though I worry about getting hooked on that and "The Pacific" at the same time. I've only visited New Orleans once, but I loved the place instantly for its architecture, food and music. It is the rare American city that has avoided the redevelopment formula so popular in the 1970s. (Waterfront -- check. Aquarium/Science center -- check. Chain stores and restaurants -- check.) "Treme" promises to take us well beyod the city's tourist quarters.

As an accompaniment, consider reaching for a good book about New Orleans or Louisiana. Here are a few I liked, As always, let me know about your favorites:

Advertisement

"A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole captures the city's quirkiness, and is one of the funniest books I've read.

"The Missing" is a mystery wrapped in a tale self-discovery, by Louisiana native Tim Gautreaux.

"Pops" by Terry Teachout is a compelling biography of New Orleans' own Louis Armstriong, a musical genius who took the city's unique sound and adapted it for the world.

"All the King's Men," a masterful novel that Robert Penn Warren modeled after the career of Louisiana governor Huey Long. For a readable history of the Southern boss, try the Pulitzer Prize-winning Huey Long by T. Harry Williams.

Advertisement
Advertisement