French Polynesia Reads
Reading list inspiration for travel
Books & eBooks
- Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone BeforeView on Amazon Two centuries after James Cook's epic voyages of discovery, the author takes readers on a wild ride across hemispheres and centuries to recapture the Captain's adventures and explore his embattled legacy in today's Pacific. By Tony Horwitz.
- How to Read Oceanic ArtView on Amazon The author, a Metropolitan Museum curator, analyzes the most illustrative Oceanic pieces from the museum's collection—including lively painted masks, powerful figurines, and intricately carved wooden poles—which together represent the extraordinary diversity of artistic traditions in the region. By Eric Kjellgren.
- Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a RaftView on Amazon Inspired by Polynesian folkore, the author records his astonishing adventure—a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean by raft. By Thor Heyerdahl.
- Myths and Legends of the PolynesiansView on Amazon A collection of Polynesian myths and legends with a lively commentary on life and culture. By Johannes C Andersen.
- Noa Noa: The Tahitian JournalView on Amazon Having fled "filthy Europe" in 1891, the famed artist records his keen observations of Tahiti and its people and his passionate struggle to achieve the inner harmony he expressed so profoundly on canvas. By Paul Gauguin; translated by OF Theis.
- Pacific Worlds: A History of Seas, Peoples and CulturesView on Amazon A single-volume history of the Pacific tracing the global interactions and remarkable peoples that have connected these regions with each other and with Europe and the Indian Ocean, for millennia. By Matt K Matsuda.
- Reef Fish Identification | Tropical PacificView on Amazon A comprehensive fish identification guide covering the fish-rich reefs of the Pacific. It contains 2,500 underwater photographs of 2,000 species from four of the best marine life authors/photographers in the business. By Gerald Allen, >Roger Steene, Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach.
- South Sea TalesDownload for free from Gutenberg.org Originally published in 1911, a collection of eight compelling stories drawn from the author's adventures sailing throughout the islands. By Jack London.
- The Fragile Edge: Diving and Other Adventures in the South PacificView on Amazon The author, a documentary filmmaker and deep-sea diver, paints a mesmerizing, scientifically rich portrait of teeming coral reefs and sea life in the South Pacific. By Julie Whitty.
- We, the Navigators: The Ancient Art of Landfinding in the PacificView on Amazon A scholarly investigation of how Polynesian mariners might have navigated hundreds of miles across open ocean without instruments. By David Lewis.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “A Fish Tale”View on laphamsquarterly.org Long before Moby Dick, Herman Melville set off on a Polynesian trip that became a famous literary hoax. By David Samuels.
- “France wants to remain a Pacific power. Is it wishful thinking?”View on TheGuardian.com The interplay between France, Australia and neighbouring Pacific island nations has improved since the days of French nuclear testing – but tensions remain. By Nic Maclellan.
- “Hotspot Concept: The French Polynesia Complexity”View on intechopen.com A scholarly exploration of the unique volcanic process underlying the formation of the French Polynesian islands. By Claudia Adam.
- “Know Any Good Snail Jokes?”View on Slate.com Mysterious extinctions in the South Pacific's Gambier Islands. By Brad Balukjian.
- “Last Tango on Brando Island”View on maxim.com Four years after his death, the ghost of the 20th century’s most iconic actor continues to haunt his island sanctuary, a place of history, beauty, debauchery, and family tragedy. Inside the twisted legacy and strange future of a paradise lost. By Julian Sancton.
- “The Polynesian Black Pearl Industry”View on sea.edu The history and practices of this traditional Polynesian business. By Nicholas Morrow.
Online Sources & Blogs
- Reef Base | French PolynesiaVisit reefbase.org An excellent resource for detailed information on the region's coral reefs and reef fish.
- Travelers’ Health | French PolynesiaVisit CDC.gov Get the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for vaccines and medicines.
- World Bank | French PolynesiaVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
- Gauguin in Tahiti | Modern Art Notes PodcastListen on soundcloud.com Art historian Elizabeth C Childs, author of "Vanishing Paradise: Art and Exoticism in Colonial Tahiti," sheds light on the experience of artists Paul Gauguin and John LaFarge.
- Settlement of the Pacific | Bishop MuseumListen on speaker.com Dr. Patrick Kirch, University of California, Berkeley, explains the current state of archaeologists' understanding of the settlement of the Pacific and of Hawaiʻi.