NEW ORLEANS — Many local authors are putting out amazing works and there are a ton of great books to check out.

That is why every month I will highlight five authors that you should check out, focusing on local reads.

If you have a book that you would like me to feature, send me an email at sturk@wwltv.com.

Momma I Should Have Listened: A Voice of Pain and Power

by Tosha Smith Mills

Coming in at number five on our list is an inspirational memoir from a New Orleans mother whose teenage son was sentenced to 40 years in prison for aggravated robbery.

"This story is not just for the low-class or African-Americans. It's for everyone and it can happen to each and every one of us," Tosha Smith Mills said.

In "Momma I Should Have Listened: A Voice of Pain and Power," Mills takes reads inside this mother-son relationship.

"There's a stigma that when a child goes to prison, it is always the parents' fault. And here we are, my son had the best of everything. He was a St. Aug student and made the wrong choice," Mills said.

Mill's book is a page-turner that captivates readers with its raw and emotional look at a mother's grief.

100 Things To Do in New Orleans Before You Die

by Beth D'Addono

If you are looking for a lighter read, grab a copy of "100 Things To Do in New Orleans Before You Die."

"One of my favorite places to go for a cocktail is the Sazerac Bar. It's so atmospheric. Again, it feels like you are in a mysterious bubble of glamour," 

Coming in at number four on our list is Beth D'Addono's book. She has some great recommendations for tourists and locals when it comes to enjoying the magic in New Orleans.

Beth has been writing about New Orleans for nearly three decades. From great drinks to ideas for a daytime adventure, she's got you covered.

Short Stories & Essays

by Arnold Burks

Up next is a collection of short stories and essays that tackle a lot of issues that young people in New Orleans can relate to.

Arnold C.J. Burks writes about racism, illiteracy and violence in his book which is simply titled "Short Stories and Essays."

"I wrote it because I remember wanting books that talked about things I was dealing with," Burks said. "They have you reading about the Odyssey and things that had nothing to do with me."

Burks said he hopes the book gives teens in New Orleans an opportunity to connect with what they are reading.

Mally in the Middle

by Jordan Sullen

And, of course, we need a good read for the little ones.

"Mally in the Middle," tells the story of two friends from another planet who hit the wrong button on their spaceship and end up in New Orleans.

The author, Jordan Sullen, is a Tulane University graduate and former NFL player who has worked with kids through several non-profit organizations.

Sullen says this read is a summertime tale of two curious friends.

Things My Grandma Told Me, Things My Grandma Showed Me

by Mia X

And coming in at number one is Mia X. The legendary rapper was the first woman on Master P's No Limit record label.

These days, she's spent a lot of time in the kitchen. And she's put her recipes together in a cookbook memoir titled "Things My Grandma Told Me, Things My Grandma Showed me." The book is filled with great recipes like Mama Mia's Jambalaya and cheesy yummy biscuits. There's also a lot of old school New Orleans wisdom that Mia passes down through stories about her grandma who was quite the character.