Suggested Reading List
Author: Collins Maps
Description: This folded, full-color map shows the continent and surrounding islands, including the Arabian Peninsula, on a single sheet at 1:10,000.000.
Africa, A Biography of the Continent
Author: John Reader
Description: With the ease of a practiced journalist, Reader weaves a masterful and lively tale of the continent, from ancient cultures to modern times. Both authoritative and informal, this is a splendid introduction to all of Africa.
Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles
Author: Richard Dowden
Description: Africa editor of The Independent and The Economist, Richard Dowden draws on decades of experience in this multi-faceted, vivid portrait of contemporary Africa -- an Africa that, Dowden effectively argues, can only be developed by its own people.
African Art, An Introduction
Author: Frank Willett
Description: A concise, well illustrated overview of the art and culture of Africa, portraying the range of spectacular art produced throughout the ages.
Author: Peter Matthiessen
Description: In this narrative of Equatorial Africa, Matthiessen recounts several trips to The Gambia, Senegal, Zaire and the Congo Basin in search of rhinos, elephants and other endangered wildlife.
Cadogan Guide Marrakesh, Fez and Rabat
Author: Barnaby Rogerson
Description: This personal, comprehensive handbook combines Rogerson's insightful cultural and historical background with his savvy practical information and recommendations on what to see and where to stay and eat.
Journey Without Maps
Author: Graham Greene
Description: No one captures local personalities and complicated morality better than Graham Greene, who had a particular interest in West Africa. This account traces his trek to the Liberian coast.
Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals
Author: Jonathan Kingdon
Description: A convenient compact edition of Kingdon's gloriously illustrated Field Guide to African Mammals. With abbreviated information on identification, distribution, ecology and conservation status and the same 480 outstanding color illustrations and maps as its bigger cousin.
Lonely Planet West Africa
Author: Lonely Planet
Description: A comprehensive guide to all West Africa, this is the book to carry for travels from Mauritania to Niger, with both a good overview of culture and history and the usual Lonely Planet attention to practical travel information.
No Sweetness Here and Other Stories
Author: Ama Ata Aidoo
Description: A collection of eleven short stories about the lives of women and men in postcolonial Ghana and the tensions between traditional village and urban life; Aidoo's stories emphasize Ghana's prominent oral culture.
Radcliffe Bailey, Memory As Medicine
Author: Carol Thompson
Description: Carol Thompson, curator of African art at High Museum of Art in Atlanta contribues an essay to this celebration of the work of Radcliffe Bailey, whose paintings, sculptures, installations, and large mixed media works that draw inspiration from African and other sources of visual representation.
Sahara Unveiled, A Journey across the Desert
Author: William Langewiesche
Description: Traveling across the Sahara from Algiers to Dakar, Langeweische has written an uncommonly good memoir of the desert, with meditations on its history, inhabitants and allure.
The Caliph's House, A Year in Casablanca
Author: Tahir Shah
Description: Shah is a marvelous storyteller, weaving Moroccan customs and history with deft portraits of neighbors, craftsmen and others in this entertaining tale of the transformation of a crumbling palace in Casablanca.
The Scramble for Africa
Author: Thomas Pakenham
Description: Absorbing and meticulously researched, this in-depth history of the Victorian land grab in Africa includes excellent portraits of the egomaniacal personalities who overran the continent.
The Sheltering Sky
Author: Paul Bowles
Description: Bowles' most famous work, by turns stark and transcendent, is a tale of three people whose lives unravel in the desert of North Africa. Originally published in 1949.
The Slave Trade
Author: James Walvin
Description: Photographs, paintings and contemporary maps give insight into the reality and global impact of the transatlantic slave trade in this lively entry in the incisive History Files series.
The World and a Very Small Place in Africa
Author: Donald R. Wright
Description: In this fascinating uncovering of the impact of globalization, Wright studies the settlement of Niumi, located at the mouth of the Gambia River in West Africa, considering how global events and history have affected this apparently sleepy backwater.
Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa
Author: Mungo Park
Description: Park chronicles the culture, society and nature of West Africa before the colonial period in this classic account of a 24-year-old Scotsman exploring, often alone, in uncharted Africa. First published in 1799.
West African Folktales
Author: Jack Berry, Richard Spears
Description: These 123 unembellished tales reflect the rich oral tradition of cultures throughout West Africa, particularly Ghana and Nigeria, where the pioneering Berry did much of his field work.