Suggested Reading List
A Neotropical Companion
Author: J.C. Kricher, Mark Plotkin (Introduction)
Description: From plants and animals to birds and bugs, it's all here in this wonderfully written overview of the ecology, habitats, plants and animals of Central and South America.
A Small Place
Author: Jamaica Kincaid
Description: Antigua-born Kincaid meditates on the politics, history and culture of the islands in these remarkable short es-says. A useful antidote to the usual fun-in-the-sun ap-proach of the local tourist office, she shines a light on the poverty, corruption and startling beauty of the Caribbean.
A Traveller's History of the Caribbean
Author: James Ferguson
Description: A concise history of the Caribbean Islands, beginning with a description of their formation and geologic attrib-utes and carrying through to the first civilizations in the region, right the way up to the modern tourism boom.
Bossa Nova, The Story of the Brazilian Music That Seduced the World
Author: Ruy Castro
Description: Journalist Ruy Castro interviewed everyone who had anything to do with Boss Nova for this animated history, capturing not only the personalities of pioneers like Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto but also the spirit of Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s.
Brazil on the Rise, The Story of a Country Transformed
Author: Larry Rohter
Description: Former New York Times bureau chief in Rio de Janeiro, Rohter explores the history, economy, culture and contradictions of Brazil, delivering an insightful portrait of this increasingly powerful -- and endlessly fascinating -- country.
Brazil, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Alexis Levitin (Editor)
Description: The latest in the excellent series, the diverse stories in this enticing anthology edited by Alexis Levitin introduce Brazil and a host of contemporary writers, including not just Jorge Amado, Machado de Assis and other greats but also newcomers.
Caribbean by Cruise Ship
Author: Anne Vipond
Description: An excellent guide to the region with detailed port maps, suggested excursions, color photographs and a pull-out map of all the Caribbean.
Concise History of Brazil
Author: Boris Fausto, Arthur Brakel
Description: A well-paced and readable narrative history of Brazil, from Portugese colonization in 1500 to centuries of slave economy to 20th century dictatorship.
Constructing Democratic Governance in Latin America
Author: Jorge I. Dominguez (Editor), Michael Shifter (Editor)
Description: A scholarly examination of the development, impact and challenges of building market-oriented democracies in Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and Peru.
Darwin Slept Here: Discovery, Adventure, and Swimming Iguanas in Charles Darwin's South America
Author: Eric Simons
Description: Simons captures the exuberance and wide-eyed wonder of Darwin's adventures in South America in this refreshingly irreverent account.
Fishwatcher's Field Guide Caribbean
Author: I Greenberg
Description: A convenient double-sided plastic card showing 75 reef fish of the Caribbean.
Author: Michael Reid
Description: Economist editor Reid draws on his years in the cities, presidential palaces and shantytowns of Central and South America in this portrait of a region rich in oil, farmland and culture, and its prospects in the face of globalization.
Insight Guide South America
Author: Insight Guides
Description: This profusely illustrated, comprehensive guide features hundreds of color photographs, excellent maps and insightful essays on history, art, architecture and attractions.
Liberators, Latin America's Struggle for Independence 1810-1830
Author: Robert Harvey
Description: Focused on the heroism and derring-do of seven legendary men, Harvey tells the story of Simon Bolivar, General Jose de San Martin and other greats in the fight for independence.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to Tropical Marine Fishes
Author: C. Lavett Smith
Description: A photographic guide to coral reef fishes found in the Caribbean, Florida, the Bahamas and Bermuda.
Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A Field Guide
Author: L.H. Emmons
Description: Compact enough to slip into your daypack, this field guide to the mammals of the New World tropics features 29 color plates of more than 200 species.
Author: Derek Walcott
Description: This epic poem in 5 parts by Nobel Prize winner Walcott is an inventive and ambitious retelling of the Odyssey set on the island of St. Lucia.
Author: Joseph Page
Description: A clear, comprehensive and compelling introduction to Brazil, covering politics, history, economics, ecology, conservation and culture.
The Penguin History of Latin America
Author: Edwin Williamson
Description: Beginning with the Spanish conquest, this brisk history covers questions of empire, colonialism and nationalism through the 1980s.
The Spice Necklace, My Adventures in Caribbean Cooking, Eating, and Island Life
Author: Ann Vanderhoof
Description: Vanderhoof (An Embarrassment of Mangoes) is back aboard her sailboat in the Caribbean in these latest encounters with the characters and cuisine of the islands. She pairs lively accounts with 71 recipes she learned along the way.
Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata
Description: A lucid portrait of the tropics as seen by two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists. Its 17 marvelous essays introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforest.
Voyage of the Beagle
Author: Charles Darwin
Description: The wide-eyed tale of a young man on a five-year voyage that changed his life -- and our way of thinking about the world. First published in 1839, it's still a marvelous introduction to the wildlife, nature and allure of South America.