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.
Brazil: Amazon & Pantanal, Travellers' Wildlife Guides
Author: Les Beletsky, David Pearson
Description: A comprehensive handbook to the flora, fauna and habitats of Brazil. The 100 color plates feature 90 species of amphibians and reptiles, 310 birds, 70 mammals, 30 insects and 50 common trees and plants.
Author: James Kavanaugh
Description: A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered Caribbean birds.
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.
Don't Stop the Carnival
Author: Herman Wouk
Description: For a sense of life in the Caribbean, we recommend this humorous tale of Norman Paperman, a middle-aged American running a hotel on the fictional island of Amerigo.
Empire of Blue Water
Author: Stephan Talty
Description: Awash with bloody battles, political intrigue and an incredible epoch-ending natural disaster, this is the real-life story of Henry Morgan, the legendary pirate of the Caribbean.
Field Guide Birds of Brazil
Author: Ber Van Perlo
Description: This comprehensive field guide features 187 beautiful full-color plates with 1796 species accounts, including a distribution map for each.
From Columbus to Castro, The History of the Caribbean, 1492-1969
Author: Eric Williams
Description: A history of the Caribbean from first European contact to the turbulent 1960s.
Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories
Author: Stewart Brown (Editor)
Description: A strikingly diverse collection of contemporary tales, richly rewarding. The editors include Gabriel Garcia Marquez, V. S. Naipaul, Patrick Chamoiseau, and Edwidge Danticat alongside lesser known writers.
Running the Amazon
Author: Joe Kane
Description: A best-selling account of a 4,000-mile expedition from the high Andes to the Atlantic by foot, raft and kayak -- an expedition only four of the ten participants finished.
Author: Alma Guillermoprieto
Description: A memorable account of life and music on the coast of Brazil by the talented and wide-ranging Guillermoprieto. A dancer herself, she lived for a year in Manguiera, a favela near Rio known for its samba school. Nominated for a National Book Award.
State of Wonder, A Novel
Author: Ann Patchett
Description: Pharmacologist Marina Singh travels to the heart of the Amazon to investigate the reported death of her colleague, a field researcher for a top-secret fertility drug.
The Middle Passage, The Caribbean Revisited
Author: V.S. Naipaul
Description: Novelist and travel writer Naipaul tackles the history of the Caribbean and northern South America in this incisive portrait. With chapters on Trinidad, British Guiana (Guyana), Suriname, Martinique and Jamaica.
The Smithsonian Atlas of the Amazon
Author: Michael Goulding, Ronaldo Barthem, Efrem Ferreira
Description: This beautiful, profusely illustrated atlas of the river includes its major tributaries and 150 full-color maps. Goulding (Floods of Fortune) and Brazilian biologists Barthem and Ferreira provide the accompanying text.
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.
Tree of Rivers, The Story of the Amazon
Author: John Hemming
Description: Hemming captures the ambition, greed and awe of naturalists, explorers and missionaries -- and their devastating impact on native peoples -- in this absorbing human history.
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.