The Path Between the Seas
A great story, admirably told in vivid, page-turning detail, this is the one book to read on the creation of the Panama Canal.
The Singapore Grip
One of a trio of remarkable historical novels by J.G. Farrell, its centerpiece is the Japanese invasion of British-ruled Singapore. Ranging all over the colony from the slums to posh clubs and cricket fields, it's an evocative portrait of the colonial city in peace and war.
Subtitled "Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision," Winchester's far-reaching history explores humanity’s relationship with the world’s largest body of water, the source of both great opportunity and terrifying natural disaster.
What the Buddha Taught
A classic introduction to Buddhism by a respected monk and scholar from Sri Lanka. Provides translations from original texts with explanations for Western readers. A good foundation for anyone interested in understanding the foundations of Buddhism.
All Good Things, From Paris to Tahiti
Her French husband posted to French Polynesia, the chipper Australian Turnbull, said husband and West Highland Terrier, Maddie, decamp from Paris to Moorea in this endearing memoir, which is about, among many things, her newborn son.
Asia's Cauldron, The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific
Vividly analyzing the nations where the Western Pacific meets the Indian Ocean, Robert Kaplan explains why this area of the world is an important and turbulent region that we should all be watching.
In this ode to the kangaroo, Flannery weaves his own coming of age as a scientist with tales of the strange marsupial, past and present.
Tales of the South Pacific
The first of the big Michener novels, set in World War II Polynesia. It's great fun, and the basis for the Rogers & Hammerstein musical "South Pacific."
A striking portfolio of 330 color photographs of the people, nature and landscape of the region, Hendrie's gorgeous book includes images from his many journeys to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, to Tahiti and the Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji, Easter Island and Hawaii over the last 20 years.
The Fatal Shore
In this celebrated social history, both scholarly and entertaining, Hughes traces the fate of those who were transported to the penal colonies of Australia between 1787 and 1868. It's an engaging popular account, drawn from the experiences of the colonists themselves.
Playing With Water: A Passion and Solitude on a Philippine Island
In this altogether wonderful memoir, Hamilton-Paterson writes with unusual warmth of his time among the villagers -- and under the water -- on a small Filipino island.
Running in the Family
Award-winning author Ondaatje returns to his native Sri Lanka in this hypnotic travelogue. His lovingly traced family memoirs are interspersed with poetry and ruminations on the island's post-colonial history.
The Bone People
Set on the South Island, this powerful novel brings together three troubled individuals who represent Maori and European traditions in contemporary New Zealand.
The Eaves of Heaven, A Life in Three Wars
Pham recounts the story of his father's life during the French occupation, Japanese invasion and the American War, weaving such momentous events with anecdotes from his childhood and details of family, friends, food and daily life.
Two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists offer a lucid portrait of the tropics through 17 marvelous essays that introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforests.
The Happy Isles of Oceania
The peripatetic author flies off to Australia and New Zealand with a kayak and ends up exploring much of Melanesia and Polynesia, including Tonga, Fiji and the Marquesas, in this wickedly funny, wide-ranging tale.
Island of Bali
First published in 1937, this classic portrait of Bali captures the life, traditional culture and customs of the Balinese people.
A Traveller's History of New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands
A brisk portrait of New Zealand and its culture, economy and society, this concise history also covers the settlement of the Pacific Islands.
30 Days in Sydney, A Wildly Distorted Account
An impressionistic account of Carey's native city, the result of his return visit (with a tape recorder) after an absence of 17 years.
The Trial of the Cannibal Dog
The remarkable story of Captain Cook's encounters in the South Seas, told with authority and verve by a leading historian.
Indonesia, Etc., Exploring the Improbable Nation
Though she traveled 26,000 miles around the 13,500 islands that comprise Indonesia, journalist Pisani goes far beyond the numbers to explore what holds the impossibly disparate nation together. Along her journey, she debates corruption and cannibalism, navigates impossibly strange traditions and sleeps in a volcano.
Lonely Planet Tahiti and French Polynesia
This practical guide to Tahiti and French Polynesia includes a good overview of history, culture and nature and helpful travel details for your journey.
Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All
Historian Thompson effortlessly alternates tales of mostly disastrous early encounters with the Maori and the story of the love of her life, Seven, the Maori she married, in this endearing memoir.