Reading list inspiration for travel
City and island specific
Books & eBooks
- A Continent of Islands: Search for the Caribbean DestinyView on Amazon Jumping from island to island, the author covers a diverse range of compelling cultural subjects, painting an intimate picture of life in the Caribbean. By Mark Kurlansky.
- As Flies to Whatless BoysView on Amazon A tragic historical novel, accented with West Indian cadence and captivating humor, provides an unforgettable glimpse into 19th century Trinidad & Tobago. By Robert Antoni.
- Birds of the West IndiesView on Amazon The undisputed leading field guide. By Herbert A Raffaele, James Wiley, Orlando H Garrido, Allan Keith and Janis I Raffaele; illustrated by Tracy Pedersen and Kristin Williams.
- Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to ReggaeView on Amazon Covers the historical development and current forms of music throughout the islands. By Peter Manuel, Kenneth Bilby and Michael Largey.
- Caribbean RumView on Amazon Sparked by Christopher Columbus delivery of sugarcane to the New World, full-scale commercial sugar production and rum production followed soon after. The author explains how this industry has shaped the region and its people. By David Cordingly.
- Caribbean: Art at the Crossroads of the WorldView on Amazon. Produced in conjunction with NYC's el Museo del Barrio's exhibition, the illustrations and essays offer an authoritative examination of the modern history of the Caribbean through its artistic culture. Edited by Elvis Fuentes.
- Cruising Guide to the Abacos, BahamasView on Amazon Designed for bareboat sailors (with navigational charts and marina maps), this guide is packed with useful information for any active traveler. While we have chosen the Bahamas version, they are available for locations throughout the Caribbean. By Steve Dodge, John Dodge and Jeff Dodge.
- Land of Love and Drowning: A NovelView on Amazon The story of six decades and three generations living in the Virgin Islands. By Tiphanie Yanique.
- Oxford Book of Caribbean Short StoriesView on Amazon Featuring fifty-two short stories by 20th century Caribbean writers, the anthology presents the region's diverse views on history, race, social justice, identity and migration. Edited by Stewart Brown and John Wickham.
- Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, BahamasView on Amazon A great resource for the snorkeler or scuba diver, the easy-to-use, quick reference format makes it easy to identify the hundreds of fishes sighted on the reefs, sand flats, grass beds and surf zones. By Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach.
- Tar BabyView on Amazon Set on a Caribbean island, Morrison tells the gripping story of a group impacted by the arrival of intruder at dinner. By Toni Morrison.
- The Middle PassageView on Amazon A portrait of Trinidad and four adjacent Caribbean societies, all haunted by the legacies of slavery and colonialism and so thoroughly defined by the norms of Empire that they can scarcely believe that the world is changing. By VS Naipaul.
- The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire, and War in the West IndiesView on Amazon For some two hundred years after 1650, the West Indies were the strategic center of trade in sugar — a commodity so lucrative it became known as "white gold." The author chronicles how the wealth of her island colonies became the foundation and focus of England's commercial and imperial greatness, supported by the cruelty, corruption and decadence of plantation culture. By Matthew Parker.
- The TainosView on Amazon A noted archaeologist and anthropologist tells the story of the Tainos of the northern Caribbean islands, from their ancestry on the South American continent to their rapid decline after contact with the Spanish explorers. By Irving Rouse.
- Under the Black FlagView on Amazon The best of the Caribbean pirate books. The former head of exhibitions at England's National Maritime Museum has combed original documents and records to produce a most authoritative and definitive account of piracy's "Golden Age" in the early 18th century. By David Cordingly.
- Wide Sargasso SeaView on Amazon The Dominican-born Creole author tells the tale of a woman like herself, a "madwoman" struggling against the confines of society and her relationships. By Jean Rhys.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “Destination Whatever: Touring the Cruise Industry of the Caribbean”View on HarvardDesignMagazine.org The impact of cruise tourism on the Caribbean. By Martin Delgado, Zuzanna Koltowska, Félix Madrazo & Sofia Saavedra.
- “Man vs Fish”View on RoadsandKingdoms.com. Invasive in Caribbean waters, the lionfish is gobbling up native reef fish and mollusks with gruesome relentlessness. By Darrin Duford.
- “Sargassum Fact Sheet”View on the noaa.gov A quick scientific review of the seaweed that is becoming increasingly prevalent in Caribbean waters (and on beaches). By E Doyle and J Franks.
- “Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012”View on IUCN.org An academic summary, it traces the degradation in Caribbean coral reefs. By Jeremy Jackson.
- “Tourism is Forever”View on the LAReviewofBooks.org A look at the role Ian Fleming's home in Jamaica, Goldeneye, played not only in the creation of James Bond, but also in Fleming’s own relationship to his British identity at the sunset of Empire. By Sheri-Marie Harrison.
- “Where Does He Come From?”View on the London Review of Books website. Insight into the Trinidadian writer, VS Naipaul. By Sanjay Subrahmanyam.
- “Why Cruises Start and Stop Where They Do”View on the CityLab.com What it takes to become a port city of a major cruise line. By Eric Jaffe.
Online Sources & Blogs
- Reef Base | US CaribbeanVisit reefbase.org An excellent resource for detailed information on the region's coral reefs and reef fish.
- WindfinderVisit windfinder.com The best resource we've found for detailed on-the-water conditions, including wind speed, wind direction, wave height, cloud cover. Great for sailors, surfers, fisherman and scuba divers.
- World Bank | CaribbeanVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
- The Caribbean’s History is the Key to its FreedomListen on TheTakeaway.org In the United States, the politics of identity and immigration is filled with a complex narrative. But head south, and you'll find identity politics are much more complicated in the Caribbean.
- The Sounds of the CaribbeanListen to the Spotify playlist Listen to a personal collection of Caribbean tracks compiled by Trip Reads founder Jennifer Raezer. The perfect pre-trip soundtrack.
Just for Kids
- Caribbean DreamView on Amazon Story depicting island life in simple verses and sun-drenched images. By Rachel Isadora
- My 1st Spanish Word Book / Mi Primer Libro De PalabrasView on Amazon A bilingual word book that presents pictures labeled in both Spanish and English. By Angela Wilkes.
- Parrots Over Puerto RicoView on Amazon History of the parrots of Puerto Rico and the story of the events that led to their near extension and eventual recovery. By Cindy Trumbore
Who to Follow
- Twitter: ARC MagazineFollow @arcthemagazine ARC Magazine is a non profit Caribbean Art & Culture magazine and platform dedicated to highlighting the importance of visual culture in the region and diaspora.
- Twitter: Caribbean JournalFollow @CaribJournal Caribbean Journal: The world's most-read website covering the Caribbean.
- Twitter: Caribbean Review of BooksFollow @FrancesRobles The Caribbean Review of Books, a magazine covering Caribbean literature, art, and culture.
- Twitter: Frances RoblesFollow @FrancesRobles New York Times correspondent for Florida, the Caribbean and Central America.
- Twitter: Jacqueline CharlesFollow @Jacquiecharles Caribbean Correspondent Miami Herald.
- Twitter: LargeUpFollow @largeupdotcom A global platform for Caribbean music, arts and culture.