80 books like Buveurs de Kava

By Patricia Siméoni, Vincent Lebot,

Here are 80 books that Buveurs de Kava fans have personally recommended if you like Buveurs de Kava. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Kava: The Pacific Elixir: The Definitive Guide to Its Ethnobotany, History, and Chemistry

Lamont Lindstrom Author Of Tanna Times: Islanders in the World

From my list on kava (piper methysticum).

Why am I passionate about this?

I first tasted kava in the colonial New Hebrides (Vanuatu today) in early 1978. Since then, I have returned to Vanuatu many times to carry out ethnographic and linguistic research on Tanna Island on a range of issues. Although firmly incorporated within global systems since explorer James Cook visited in 1774, Islanders have fiercely maintained their island culture and languages. In addition to kava and other traditional drug substances, I have published books and articles about local knowledge systems, “cargo cults,” contemporary chiefs, Islander experience in the Pacific War, urban migration, and early Pacific photography. Currently, I am Kendall Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. 

Lamont's book list on kava (piper methysticum)

Lamont Lindstrom Why did Lamont love this book?

This is the kava Bible. Kava expert Vincent Lebot shares his comparative analysis of 247 kava cultivars collected from 55 Pacific islands to identify their morphological, chemical, and genetic characteristics—including the six major kavalactones responsible for kava’s physiological effects. Lebot’s research pinpointed kava’s origins in northern Vanuatu as a domesticated form of “wild kava” (Piper wichmannii). The book provides ethnographic information about the religious and social significance of kava across the Pacific, including origin myths, ceremonial and recreation uses, its ethnomedical applications, and growing importance as a cash crop. The authors predicted, successfully, that kava will become the next world drug.

By Vincent Lebot, Mark Merlin, Lamont Lindstrom

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kava as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

• The most comprehensive book ever written on nature's most effective stress-relieving plant.

• First paperback edition of the classic comprehensive text originally published by Yale University Press.

This complete guide to kava summarizes the literature and research on a plant that is now considered comparable or superior to anti-stress prescription drugs, and describes its use in the religious, political, and economic life of the Pacific islands for centuries. Beyond its soporific qualities kava is also used throughout the the Pacific as an analgesic, a diuretic, and an anesthetic. There is even evidence suggesting it is effective in the treatment…


Book cover of The Abandoned Narcotic: Kava and Cultural Instability in Melanesia

Lamont Lindstrom Author Of Tanna Times: Islanders in the World

From my list on kava (piper methysticum).

Why am I passionate about this?

I first tasted kava in the colonial New Hebrides (Vanuatu today) in early 1978. Since then, I have returned to Vanuatu many times to carry out ethnographic and linguistic research on Tanna Island on a range of issues. Although firmly incorporated within global systems since explorer James Cook visited in 1774, Islanders have fiercely maintained their island culture and languages. In addition to kava and other traditional drug substances, I have published books and articles about local knowledge systems, “cargo cults,” contemporary chiefs, Islander experience in the Pacific War, urban migration, and early Pacific photography. Currently, I am Kendall Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. 

Lamont's book list on kava (piper methysticum)

Lamont Lindstrom Why did Lamont love this book?

Anthropologist Ron Brunton delves back into 19th-century theory that proposed two waves of Pacific immigrants, one that chewed betelnut (Areca catechu kernels mixed with Piper betle vine and lime), and the other that preferred kava. He wonders why kava is mostly absent in the Solomon Islands despite its presence in scattered communities in New Guinea to the west, and then in Vanuatu, Fiji, and much of Polynesia to the east. He proposes that kava originated in the Bismarck Archipelago and that Solomon Islanders subsequently abandoned kava consumption, perhaps as an element of some religious innovation. We now know that kava originated in northern Vanuatu and found its way back west into New Guinea, north to Micronesian Pohnpei and Kosrae, and east to Fiji and much of Polynesia. Brunton, though, offers good ethnographic information about kava’s place in Pacific cultures, including on Tanna.

By Ron Brunton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Abandoned Narcotic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ron Brunton revives a problem posed by the great anthropologist W. H. R. Rivers in History of Melanesian Society (1914): how to explain the strange geographical distribution of kava, a narcotic drink once widely consumed by south-west Pacific islanders. Rivers believed that it was abandoned by many people even before European contact in favour of another drug, betel, drawing his speculations from the ideas of the diffusionist school of anthropology. However, Dr Brunton disagrees. Taking the varying fortunes of kava on the island of Tanna, Vanauta, as his starting point, he suggests that kava's abandonment can best be explained in…


Book cover of Kava: Medicine Hunting in Paradise: The Pursuit of a Natural Alternative to Anti-Anxiety Drugs and Sleeping Pills

Lamont Lindstrom Author Of Tanna Times: Islanders in the World

From my list on kava (piper methysticum).

Why am I passionate about this?

I first tasted kava in the colonial New Hebrides (Vanuatu today) in early 1978. Since then, I have returned to Vanuatu many times to carry out ethnographic and linguistic research on Tanna Island on a range of issues. Although firmly incorporated within global systems since explorer James Cook visited in 1774, Islanders have fiercely maintained their island culture and languages. In addition to kava and other traditional drug substances, I have published books and articles about local knowledge systems, “cargo cults,” contemporary chiefs, Islander experience in the Pacific War, urban migration, and early Pacific photography. Currently, I am Kendall Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. 

Lamont's book list on kava (piper methysticum)

Lamont Lindstrom Why did Lamont love this book?

Kilham was an early promoter of kava as an herbal treatment for anxiety and other disorders. Kava, in fact, has proven therapeutic benefits and, along with anxiety and insomnia, treats depression, stress, muscle pain, urinary problems, and much more. It also has an emotional leveling effect, promoting temporary feelings of happiness and peace. Kilham brings readers along to Vanuatu and other Pacific Islands as he investigated kava’s local uses and its potential for consumers everywhere. Readers will appreciate the description of his first kava taste of kava that sparked his passionate promotion of the plant.

By Christopher S. Kilham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kava as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kava, Piper Methysticum, is the most effective relaxing and stress-relieving plant in all of nature. This book is the tale of plant researcher Chris Kilham's investigations into this plant and his far-ranging explorations deep in the South Pacific in search of a source of kava. Kilham takes the reader on an adventurous journey through the mystical native legends, outlandish history, and exciting science surrounding this potent plant. A story replete with pulpit-pounding missionaries, kava-drinking natives, sorcerers, a mysterious Tahitian prince, and the author's own humorous outlook amidst difficult and perilous circumstances, Kava is a must-read for those who love tales…


Book cover of The Ethnology of Vanuatu:  An Early Twentieth Century Study

Brian D. Hayden Author Of The Power of Ritual in Prehistory: Secret Societies and Origins of Social Complexity

From my list on secret societies in traditional cultures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first became intrigued by secret societies when a student who I worked with suggested that the French Upper Paleolithic painted caves might have been decorated and used by secret societies. I subsequently enlisted another student to study the spatial use of the paintings from this perspective. Combined with the observations of Robert Hare on the motivations of psychopaths and sociopaths to control others, I realized that secret societies plausibly constituted powerful forces promoting certain cultural changes that appeared later and continued into our own modern societies. I found the prospects for understanding our own cultures fascinating and wanted to document how this all came about in my own book.

Brian's book list on secret societies in traditional cultures

Brian D. Hayden Why did Brian love this book?

This remarkable work was first printed in German in 1923 and was only translated and published in English in 1996. It is largely concerned with the secret societies in the New Hebrides Islands of Southeast Asia. Speiser documents the lavish initiation rituals, the megalithic constructions that were part of the secret society ritual locations, the power of the ritual organizations and their leaders, the special burials of secret society leaders, the plastering of their skulls, and many other fascinating aspects of these secret societies. It is just one outstanding example among other ethnographies that document the special nature of secret societies including Philip Drucker's Kwakiutl Dancing Societies, Walter Hoffman's The Midewiwinor 'Grand Medicine Society' of the Ojibwa, and Amaury Talbot's In the Shadow of the Bush.

By Felix Speiser, D. Q. Stephenson (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ethnology of Vanuatu as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in German in 1923, this work records much of Vanuatu's early material culture. It was the result of two years of field work by Swiss anthropologist Felix Speiser between 1920 and 1912.


Book cover of The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters with Strangers

Mike Nixon Author Of Life Travel And The People In Between

From my list on travel lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ultimately, I’m someone who enjoys a good adventure. Prior to the age of twenty, I had never gone on a vacation or been camping, and the only place I saw Mickey Mouse was on television. Determined to experience a more fulfilling life, I set my sights on becoming a world traveler. I’ve done almost everything to transform the dream into a reality. I’ve studied abroad, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, worked for an international NGO, served in the U.S. Navy, and done some off-the-grid exploring. After spending nine years abroad and visiting thirty countries, I’m finally a published author. Life Travel And The People In Between is my debut memoir.

Mike's book list on travel lovers

Mike Nixon Why did Mike love this book?

For me, it’s the stories that make The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer one of the best travel books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Some are powerful and heartful while others are strange and hilarious. The stories take place in different parts of the world, and somehow Eric Hansen finds himself in the middle of all of them. From cooking lessons with an elderly Russian lady who lives in a dangerous Manhattan project to bird-watching field trips with strippers, Eric’s stories are adventurous, inspiring, and deeply human. This is a must-read for all those who love travel reads!

By Eric Hansen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eric Hansen survives a cyclone on a boat off the Australian coast, cradles a dying man in Calcutta, and drinks mind-altering kava in Vanuatu. He helps a widower search for his wife's wedding ring amid plane-crash wreckage in Borneo and accompanies topless dancers on a bird-watching expedition in California. From the Maldives to Sacramento, from Cannes to Washington Heights, Eric Hansen has a way of getting himself into the most sacred ceremonies and the most candid conversations.


Book cover of Transit of Venus: Travels in the Pacific

Simon Michael Prior Author Of The Coconut Wireless

From my list on remote tropical islands.

Why am I passionate about this?

Simon Michael Prior loves small islands, and has travelled to remote countries in search of unique island experiences. He inflicts all aspects of life on himself so that readers can enjoy learning about his latest exploits. During his forty-year adolescence, he’s lived on two boats, sunk one of them; sold houses, street signs, Indian food, and paper bags; visited fifty countries, lived in three; qualified as a scuba diving instructor; learnt to wakeboard; trained as a Marine Rescue skipper, and built his own house without the benefit of an instruction manual.

Simon's book list on remote tropical islands

Simon Michael Prior Why did Simon love this book?

Julian Evans takes us on a personal tour through the islands of the South Pacific, a region for which I have my own fondness. As well as places I know and love such as Tonga and Vanuatu, Evans visits harder to reach places: The Marshall islands and the Gilbert and Ellis group. Encountering natives, visitors, political and geographical challenges, his story is told with good humour and adventure.

By Julian Evans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Transit of Venus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Pacific Ocean calls to mind a world of fabulous kingdoms and noble savages, guilt free sex and gin-clear lagoons, and a perfect idleness fed by lush fruits and fish-rich seas. Ever since Captain Cook first went to Tahiti in 1769 to observe the transit of Venus across the sun, this dream of the Pacific has not lost its force. But Julian Evans's journey through the island archipelagos of the Great Ocean was also informed by a quest into our more modern myths - such as Peacekeeper missiles and nuclear bombs being tested by the US Army. With humour and…


Book cover of The New Wildcrafted Cuisine: Exploring the Exotic Gastronomy of Local Terroir

Leda Meredith Author Of The Skillful Forager: Essential Techniques for Responsible Foraging and Making the Most of Your Wild Edibles

From my list on foraging free wild edible plants and mushrooms.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started foraging when I was a toddler and my Greek great-grandmother took me to a park to gather dandelion leaves. I read foraging field guides almost incessantly (still do). Eventually, I got a certification in Ethnobotany and went professional. I love teaching and sharing my passion for wild foods through my books, workshops, and videos. One of the most rewarding moments for me is when a student realizes that something I’ve just identified as a safe and delicious edible is a plant that grows all around them. It’s a game-changer. They can’t go back to seeing any plant as “just a weed."

Leda's book list on foraging free wild edible plants and mushrooms

Leda Meredith Why did Leda love this book?

Rather than focusing on survival food or a fun outdoor activity, this book zooms in on foraging as a source of unique flavors that cannot be purchased. From salts mixed with wild herbs to pine needle vinegar to homemade beers infused with the tastes of the forest, Pascal is interested in much more than “Is it edible?” He wants to know what each wild ingredient is going to do for his (and our) taste buds.

By Pascal Baudar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Wildcrafted Cuisine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A gorgeous book . . . . [Baudar's] methods, ideas, and aesthetics . . . are truly inspirational."-Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation

"A beautiful book, loaded with recipes and techniques for preserving and eating wild plants."-Saveur

With detailed recipes for ferments, infusions, spices, and more!

The New Wildcrafted Cuisine explores the flavors of local terroir, combining the research and knowledge of plants and landscape with the fascinating and innovative techniques of a master food preserver and self-described "culinary alchemist."

Author Pascal Baudar views his home terrain of southern California (mountain, desert, chaparral, and seashore) as a…


Book cover of The Terroir of Whiskey: A Distiller's Journey Into the Flavor of Place

Mike Gerrard Author Of Cask Strength: The Story of the Barrel, the Secret Ingredient in Your Drink

From my list on cocktail lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning travel and drinks writer and have worked for National Geographic, The Times, BBC Travel, American Express, AAA, Waitrose Drinks, and many more. My love of spirits and travel led to me starting the Travel Distilled website and I'm the author of Cask Strength, which tells the story of the barrel, and of the travel guides Islay Distilled and Cognac Distilled. I've visited numerous distilleries in the UK, Ireland, USA, France, Greece, Iceland, Sweden, Mexico, and elsewhere. I was persuaded to try drinking vodka for breakfast while touring Siberia. It seemed a good idea at the time but it's not a habit I've kept up.

Mike's book list on cocktail lovers

Mike Gerrard Why did Mike love this book?

Can spirits have terroir, or does it only apply to wine? Texas distiller Rob Arnold travels around the world's whiskey distilleries to investigate - well, not having bottomless pockets or time, he goes to distilleries in the USA, Ireland, and Scotland.

As well as being the master distiller at the TX Distillery, he's also doing a PhD in plant breeding and genetics at Texas A&M University. He approaches this as a scientist - first you have to know what you mean by terroir before you can decide whether whiskey has it or not.

I found the first half of the book - the scientific half - a bit heavy-going, but it was worth persevering to get to the distillery visits and read his conclusions on whether whiskey has terroir or not.

By Rob Arnold,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Terroir of Whiskey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Look at the back label of a bottle of wine and you may well see a reference to its terroir, the total local environment of the vineyard that grew the grapes, from its soil to the climate. Winemakers universally accept that where a grape is grown influences its chemistry, which in turn changes the flavor of the wine. A detailed system has codified the idea that place matters to wine. So why don't we feel the same way about whiskey?

In this book, the master distiller Rob Arnold reveals how innovative whiskey producers are recapturing a sense of place to…


Book cover of Essential Winetasting: The Complete Practical Winetasting Course

Kathleen Burk Author Of Is This Bottle Corked? The Secret Life of Wine

From my list on for those who like wine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the daughter of a Californian grape farmer, and have driven tractor, picked grapes, and tied vines. Whilst at Berkeley, I travelled around Napa Valley tasting wines whilst riding pillion on a 750 cc motorcycle; at Oxford I discovered European wines. Thereafter, I was a professor of modern and contemporary history in London, writing nearly a dozen books, and continuing to explore wines with my husband. I have wine in my bones. I now travel around the world tasting it, writing about it, judging it, and leading tasting tours, all the while continuing to drink it. I am currently writing a book on the global history of wine.

Kathleen's book list on for those who like wine

Kathleen Burk Why did Kathleen love this book?

I began my education in wine in small classes run by Michael Schuster; this book is the next best thing. The title makes it sound a bit tedious, but it’s not. Inside is the key – ‘Taste with your head, and drink with your heart.' It is a bit depressing to hear someone say that ‘I don’t know about wine, but I know what I like’ – it sounds as though the speaker is embracing ignorance. Rather, it should be ‘this is a wine that I like and this is why.’ Besides, what could be more fun than learning about wine: it’s both intellectually interesting and tastes so good! Using this book, you can do it alone or – even more fun - with friends. 

By Michael Schuster,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Essential Winetasting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An authoritative and inspirational winetasting course, from one of the world's leading wine educators.

'Explains the mechanics of taste and tasting better than any book I've seen.' - Richard Ehrlich, Independent on Sunday

Learn how to taste wine, with one of the world's leading wine educators.

This book offers a particularly clear and precise means of teaching yourself how to taste and how to get more out of your wine, whatever your level. All the major grape varieties are explored, and their key characteristics in different regions. Ten practical tastings then cover core tasting techniques. Do you want to explore…


Book cover of Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties

Jane Pettigrew Author Of Jane Pettigrew's World of Tea: Discovering Producing Regions and Their Teas

From my list on tea and tea history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into the world of tea by chance in the 1980s when I gave up a career in higher education to open a 1930s style tearoom in southwest London. I grew up in the 1950s in a typical British family that drank tea throughout the day but little did I know, as I baked endless supplies of scones and cakes for the tearoom at 4 am every day, that I would end up writing books and magazine articles, editing a tea magazine for the UK Tea Council, speaking at world tea conferences, training staff in hotels, travelling to almost every major tea producing country, and eventually working today as Director of Studies at the UK Tea Academy.

Jane's book list on tea and tea history

Jane Pettigrew Why did Jane love this book?

I dip into this must-have book all the time – for pleasure but also to learn and check facts. The four authors own the wonderful tea store, Camellia Sinensis in Montreal, Canada. They are extremely experienced in tasting and selecting teas from around the world for their business and just love sharing their infectious passion for tea and their extensive knowledge of the growing regions, growers, and manufacturers. As well as discussing the most important tea origins, they highlight some of the personalities and industry specialists they have met on their tea journey and whose insights help us understand the day-to-day work of tea gardens and factories. The book also includes invaluable advice on brewing and tasting tea, and the section on tea and gastronomy offers some absolutely stunning recipes for cooking with tea.

By Kevin Gascoyne, François Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais , Hugo Americi

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An updated edition of the "World's Best Tea Book" acclaimed by the 2014 World Tea Awards.

This widely praised bestseller has been updated to incorporate the changing tastes of tea drinkers, developments in production, the impact of climate change and an expanded and more highly developed tea market. This third edition improves Tea with this revised and extended content plus new photographs.

TeaTime Magazine called Tea "the reference work we've been waiting for", noting its value to students. Library Journal praised it as a "definitive guide to tea (that) will appeal to die-hard tea enthusiasts." Tea House Times found it…


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