Suggested Reading List
A Continent of Islands, Searching for the Caribbean Destiny
Author: Mark Kurlansky
Description: A wonderfully observed social history of the Caribbean by a far-ranging journalist and favorite author. Kurlansky has a knack for honing in on the small details that make the Caribbean culturally unique, offering frank insight on music, religion, healthcare and the influence of the United States.
A Small Place
Author: Jamaica Kincaid
Description: Antigua-born Kincaid meditates on the politics, history and culture of the islands in these remarkable short essays. A useful antidote to the usual fun-in-the-sun approach of the local tourist office, she exposes the poverty, corruption and startling beauty of the Caribbean.
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.
In Trouble Again
Author: Redmond O'Hanlon
Description: As funny as he is insightful, O'Hanlon starts his comic masterpiece of a journey between the Orinoco and the Amazon with a litany of the insects, protozoa, snakes and predators that can do you harm.
Insight Guide Brazil
Author: Insight Guides
Description: A profusely illustrated overview of the country, this guide features concise essays by well regarded authors on natural history, politics and culture. With hundreds of photos and maps.
Northern South America Map
Author: Reise & Verkehrsverlag
Description: A map of the northern half of South America, at a scale of 1:4,000,000.
Author: Henri Charriere
Description: Charriere recounts in heart-stopping detail his escape from the notorious French penal colony Devil's Island in this modern classic, originally published in 1968 in the New Yorker (and made into a memorable film).
Snorkeling Guide to Marine Life
Author: Paul Humann
Description: Humann's compact guide illustrates Caribbean fishes, corals, invertebrates and plants commonly encountered in shallower water.
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.
Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice
Author: Mark Plotkin
Description: In this marvelous book, Plotkin recounts his work documenting the use of medicinal plants among remote tribes in the Northwest Amazon of Suriname, Venezuela, Guyana and French Guiana. A portrait of people and their environment, a tale of adventure and, most of all, a moving example of science in the service of preservation.
The Sea and the Jungle
Author: H.M. Tomlinson
Description: First published in 1912, this is a thoroughly unromanticized, absorbing account of a 2,000-mile journey by steamship deep into the Amazon. Understated and often hilarious.
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 Traveller's Tree
Author: Patrick Leigh Fermor
Description: Flush from his adventures in the war -- and in the company of the Greek artist Costa and Joan (later his wife), Leigh Fermor set out from Southampton for the Caribbean in late 1947, hopping among scattered islands.
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.
Whales, Dolphins, and Other Marine Mammals of the World
Author: Hadoram Shirihai, Brett Jarrett (Illustrator)
Description: This eye-catching Princeton Field Guide by Shirihai and illustrator Jarrett is noteworthy for its 450 excellent color photographs, range maps and text, all bundled in a compact package.