The most recommended Caribbean books

Who picked these books? Meet our 150 experts.

150 authors created a book list connected to the Caribbean, and here are their favorite Caribbean books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of Caribbean book?


The Traveller's Tree

By Patrick Leigh Fermor,

Book cover of The Traveller's Tree: A Journey Through the Caribbean Islands

Raymond A. Saraceni Author Of Off the Beach in the Caribbean: Travels in the Little Leeward Islands

From the list on accompaning your Caribbean Sojourn.

Who am I?

Over the years, I have had the good fortune to visit various ports of call through the eastern Caribbean and have been struck repeatedly not by the sameness but by the diversity of things and people. I also began to lament that those who visit the islands are encouraged to do so as vacationers rather than as travelers – to borrow a binary from the great Paul Bowles. Encountering a place with any sense of generosity necessitates reading about it, and while the titles I have included here represent some of those that I have found most rewarding and exciting, the full list is as long and varied as the archipelago of islands itself.           

Raymond's book list on accompaning your Caribbean Sojourn

Why did Raymond love this book?

Patrick Leigh Fermor is without question one of the greatest travel writers in the pantheon, and this early work clarifies that reputation. Providing a glimpse of the West Indies in the years immediately following the Second World War, Fermor’s book is rich in description, profound in understanding, exuberant in its overall moods and textures. The author is evocative without being effusive, providing a rich sense of cultural and historical context – island after island – without overloading the reader with a mere density of fact. As is not always the case with travel writers (and even very good travel writers), Fermor himself is never the subject. We see things alongside him, as he sees them – grateful at every moment for his learned, humane, and passionate sensibility. This is one of the first travel books about the West Indies to take the islands and their inhabitants seriously.

By Patrick Leigh Fermor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Traveller's Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the late 1940s Patrick Leigh Fermor, now widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s greatest travel writers, set out to explore the then relatively little-visited islands of the Caribbean. Rather than a comprehensive political or historical study of the region, The Traveller’s Tree, Leigh Fermor’s first book, gives us his own vivid, idiosyncratic impressions of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Haiti, among other islands. Here we watch Leigh Fermor walk the dusty roads of the countryside and the broad avenues of former colonial capitals, equally at home among the peasant and the elite, the laborer and the…

Far Tortuga

By Peter Matthiessen,

Book cover of Far Tortuga

Sharika Crawford Author Of The Last Turtlemen of the Caribbean: Waterscapes of Labor, Conservation, and Boundary Making

From the list on the maritime Caribbean.

Who am I?

Although my Midwestern roots in southwest Michigan situated me far away from the sea, I am now an expert on small islands and remote communities in the greater Caribbean. As a result, I grew to understand that much of the everyday lived experiences of island people must contend with the sea. As a result, I have spent the last two decades studying topics such as migration, fishing, and even conservation as related to small islands from the better-known Cayman Islands to the lesser-known San Andrés and Providencia Islands. I am a history professor at the US Naval Academy.

Sharika's book list on the maritime Caribbean

Why did Sharika love this book?

Peter Matthiessen was considered one of America’s great wilderness writers. Yet in an interview, before he died in 2014, Matthiessen identified Far Tortuga as his personal favorite of all the books he had written. In this novel, Matthiessen offers a fictional account of his participation on one of the last turtle hunting voyages in the Caribbean. Drawing on his experience on the said voyage in the 1960s, Matthiessen vividly displays his keen observation skills with his depictions of the Caymanian turtle hunters and the challenges of this last generation of turtlemen. 

By Peter Matthiessen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This adventure story is set in the Caribbean and describes the last voyage of the "Lillias Eden", an old wooden schooner employed in the turtle trade. The author's previous books include "The Snow Leopard", "Men's Lives", "The Cloud Forest" and "Under the Mountain Wall".

A House for Mr. Biswas

By V.S. Naipaul,

Book cover of A House for Mr. Biswas

Joy Sheridan Author Of No Gentle Bondage: A Tale of Historic Jamaica

From the list on Caribbean history on piracy and the slave trade.

Who am I?

I have always had a lifelong passion for all things maritime. In the early 1980s, I crossed the Atlantic Ocean as a crew companion to the late famous Captain Ted Falcon Barker, author of The Devil’s Gold. The expedition made landfall in the Bahamas, so this area became a focus of fascination. I also have a very strong historical sense, reflected in my poetry and two of my other works of fiction, the novels Charity Amour and No Gentle Bondage

Joy's book list on Caribbean history on piracy and the slave trade

Why did Joy love this book?

Shiva Naipaul is a truly major Caribbean writer. He captures the volatile essence of that extremely unstable society. One added bonus is his inter-racial perspective, to which his Indian origins contributes decisively. This work ‘views a colonial world sharply with postcolonial perspectives.’ Any reader of West Indies fiction should combine a sense of history with some grasp of contemporary conditions. Although the novel was written in the 1960s, it still has a sense of contemporary relevance. Obviously, readers must keep their eyes open for younger writers in this mode. Naipaul’s works have rightly been integrated into the Educational System.      

By V.S. Naipaul,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A House for Mr. Biswas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Heart-rending and darkly comic, V. S. Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas has been hailed as one of the twentieth century's finest novels, a classic that evokes a man's quest for autonomy against the backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library, a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold-foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition features an introduction by writer Teju Cole.

Mr Biswas has been told since the day of his birth that…

Book cover of How to Escape from a Leper Colony: A Novella and Stories

Dwight Okita Author Of The Hope Store

From the list on weird wonderful books to read in one weekend.

Who am I?

A Chicago writer, I've always been drawn to quirky books. My first novel, The Prospect of My Arrival, was a finalist in Amazon's novel contest and centers on a human embryo that is allowed to preview the world. My current work-in-progress is nonfiction. The Invention of Fireflies is a memoir of the magical and monstrous moments of my life. Varied day jobs have included being a professional cuddler, web designer, and caregiver. Affirmative Entertainment represents me for possible movie/TV projects. My work was selected for inclusion in the HBO New Writers Project, The Norton Introduction to Literature, many textbooks, and anthologies.

Dwight's book list on weird wonderful books to read in one weekend

Why did Dwight love this book?

I love the unexpected beauty and horror of this book which is a collection of stories and a novella. The title also made me wonder, how do you escape a leper colony? Author Tiphanie Yanique is a Caribbean writer whose stunningly poetic voice haunted me long after I finished reading her book. As I read it, I imagined the narrator's Caribbean accent soaking into every syllable. In the key short story, Yanique sets us down in a leper colony on a deserted island for the dying and yet manages to leave room for the miraculous as well. Describing one leper she says, "And when a man with no hands claims that he can fly, you listen."

By Tiphanie Yanique,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Escape from a Leper Colony as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lyrical, lush and haunting, the prose shimmers in this nuanced debut, set primarily in the US Virgin Islands. Part oral history, part postcolonial narrative, How to Escape from a Leper Colony is ultimately a lovely portrait of a wholly unique place. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edwidge Danticat and Maryse Cond before her, Yanique has crafted a heartbreaking, hilarious, magical and mesmerisingly unforgettable collection of stories.

Bankers and Empire

By Peter James Hudson,

Book cover of Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean

Marc-William Palen Author Of The 'Conspiracy' of Free Trade: The Anglo-American Struggle over Empire and Economic Globalisation, 1846-1896

From the list on late-19th-century American capitalism and empire.

Who am I?

I am a historian based in England, raised in Texas. While undertaking a summertime spoken Latin course at the Vatican in 2001 I found myself in the midst of Italian protests against that year’s G8 summit in Genoa. The strength of the anti-globalization movement, and the violent response from the Carabinieri, sparked an early interest in the historical controversies surrounding globalization and US foreign policy. Ten years later, I had a PhD in History from the University of Texas at Austin and the first draft of what would become my book, The “Conspiracy” of Free Trade

Marc-William's book list on late-19th-century American capitalism and empire

Why did Marc-William love this book?

Recovering histories nearly erased from the archival record is no easy task.

Hudson takes this daunting challenge on here as he traces the hidden ties binding the Gilded Age’s exploitative racial capitalist system with Wall Street’s subsequent imperial practices in the Caribbean. It’s a sordid tale that still resonates today; some of these same financial colonizers of the Caribbean still exist in the guise of Citigroup and Chase. 

By Peter James Hudson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the end of the nineteenth century until the onset of the Great Depression, Wall Street embarked on a stunning, unprecedented, and often bloody period of international expansion in the Caribbean. A host of financial entities sought to control banking, trade, and finance in the region. In the process, they not only trampled local sovereignty, grappled with domestic banking regulation, and backed US imperialism-but they also set the model for bad behavior by banks, visible still today. In Bankers and Empire, Peter James Hudson tells the provocative story of this period, taking a close look at both the institutions and…


By Leonardo Padura, Anna Kushner (translator),

Book cover of Heretics

Stephen Fredman Author Of A Menorah for Athena: Charles Reznikoff and the Jewish Dilemmas of Objectivist Poetry

From the list on blending Jewish history with a personal quest.

Who am I?

As an enthusiastic and eclectic reader, one of my great joys is recommending books to others. I was able to indulge this joy consistently while teaching at a university, introducing students to authors and books and topics they otherwise might never have encountered. I find this same excitement in my own writing, searching for ways to reveal to others the magnificent wealth I find in modern poetry and in the brilliant concepts of poetic thinking.

Stephen's book list on blending Jewish history with a personal quest

Why did Stephen love this book?

The Cuban mystery writer Leonardo Padura offers an amazing presentation of Jewish history and the art of painting as they collide in modern Havana.

He weaves together three stories: the attempted escape from Hitler by Jews aboard a ship that is turned back from the Havana harbor in 1939; the aborted career of an imaginary Jewish disciple of Rembrandt, who defies the biblical prohibition against creating human likenesses; and a contemporary attempt by a Cuban Jew to track down his exterminated family’s Rembrandt masterpiece.

I love how the vastly different worlds of modern Havana and 17th-century Amsterdam embark on a conversation that reveals so much about Jewish history and art.

By Leonardo Padura, Anna Kushner (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Padura’s Heretics spans and defies literary categories . . . ingenious." ―Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

A sweeping novel of art theft, anti-Semitism, contemporary Cuba, and crime from a renowned Cuban author, Heretics is Leonardo Padura's greatest detective work yet.

In 1939, the Saint Louis sails from Hamburg into Havana’s port with hundreds of Jewish refugees seeking asylum from the Nazi regime. From the docks, nine-year-old Daniel Kaminsky watches as the passengers, including his mother, father, and sister, become embroiled in a fiasco of Cuban corruption. But the Kaminskys have a treasure that they hope will save them: a small Rembrandt…

Lady Vivian Hastings

By Xavier Dorison, Mathieu Lauffray (illustrator),

Book cover of Lady Vivian Hastings

Set Sytes Author Of India Muerte And The Ship Of The Dead

From the list on making you want to be a pirate of the Caribbean.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved pirates and fantasy – combining the two is just wonderful in my eyes, cemented with my first watch of The Curse of the Black Pearl. It’s a struggle to identify exactly why these things appeal so much – I suppose my imagination and sense of free-wheeling roguish adventure runs wild. I’ve loved action-adventure and exploration since growing up watching the Indiana Jones films and playing Tomb Raider. The beloved genre of pirate fantasy seemed absurdly scarce within literature. I couldn’t find the books I wanted to read – so I had to write them, filling them with all the pirate fantasy staples I adored, twisting them, and adding entirely new creations.

Set's book list on making you want to be a pirate of the Caribbean

Why did Set love this book?

Long John Silver isn’t a novel but a graphic novel series.

Set twenty years after Treasure Island, and featuring the man himself, what follows is a dark, adventurous tale, an expedition to find a lost city of riches deep in the Amazon. For a series with relatively brief entries, the story takes its time, setting up sharp characters, a moody, tense atmosphere, and laying the seeds for future rivalries and betrayals.

The artwork follows these moods, rich or muted, sparse or dense as needs be, and some of the larger panels are truly impressive.
For an ominous, well-paced adventure, focused on its character work and simmering tensions, look no further than Long John Silver. Particularly recommended for fans of the superlative pirate show Black Sails (itself a pseudo-prequel to Treasure Island).

By Xavier Dorison, Mathieu Lauffray (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Twenty years after the events of Treasure Island, Lady Vivian Hastings knocks on Dr Livesey's door. Her hated husband has sent word from the Amazon: He has found the fabled city of Guiana-Capac, and his brother is to sell the entire domain to pay for an expedition, dispossessing Vivian in the process. So the lady has come to seek the one man who can help her: Long John Silver -

Her Stranded Billionaire Mix-Up

By Bree Livingston, Christina Schrunk (editor),

Book cover of Her Stranded Billionaire Mix-Up

Laura Wolf Author Of The Billionaire's Regret

From the list on sweet romances to make you swoon.

Who am I?

Known for my sweet billionaire romance novels, I am a purveyor of book boyfriends and happy endings. I absolutely love romance stories as you know exactly what you’re in for when you pick them up. You know there will be a Happily Ever After no matter how dire things get at any given point in the story so you can really just sit back and enjoy the ride. As an author I always write epilogues and I’ve built up a growing universe where characters pop in and out of each other’s books. It’s my happy place and as an author I love sharing that world with others.

Laura's book list on sweet romances to make you swoon

Why did Laura love this book?

A woman left at the altar. A billionaire who bristles at love. Trapped together on a deserted island, can romance find them where rescue planes can’t? This desert island story is a gorgeous story of hope, healing, and love as Harley Wilson and Zachary Wolf find themselves relying on each other for survival. Their relationship changes a lot as they grow to truly care about each other, and once they are rescued it is impossible for them to go back to how things were before.

I absolutely love desert island stories as they strip away a lot of the hierarchy that people would have back in their old lives. Suddenly cash is not worth as much as firewood or food.

By Bree Livingston, Christina Schrunk (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Her Stranded Billionaire Mix-Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A woman left at the altar. A billionaire who bristles at love. Trapped together on a deserted island, can romance find them where rescue planes can’t?

Just two months ago, life was perfect for Harley Wilson. She was planning her wedding to the love of her life and quickly establishing herself as one of Houston’s most sought-after event coordinators. Then, without warning, her situation nosedived, leaving her single and jobless. Jumping at the first offer she received, she took an assistant position and packed a bag for Jamaica.

Since taking over the family business, Zachary Wolf has devoted himself to…

The Coolie Speaks

By Lisa Yun,

Book cover of The Coolie Speaks: Chinese Indentured Laborers and African Slaves in Cuba

Julia Schiavone Camacho Author Of Chinese Mexicans: Transpacific Migration and the Search for a Homeland, 1910-1960

From the list on Asian diasporas in the Americas with personal stories.

Who am I?

Raised in a Mexican-Italian family, I grew up traveling across the Arizona-Sonora borderlands to visit my extended family. As a kid, I took for granted movement across boundaries and cultural and racial mixture, but eventually, I came to see it framed my experience and outlook. In researching the Chinese in northern Mexico, I learned that Mexican women and Chinese-Mexican children followed their expelled men, whether by force or choice, and I became enthralled. I had to find out how these families fared after crossing not just borders but oceans. My passion for reading about how the long presence of Asians in the Americas complicates our understanding of history has only deepened.

Julia's book list on Asian diasporas in the Americas with personal stories

Why did Julia love this book?

Drawing on vivid “coolie” testimonies and slave narratives, this book shows how Chinese contract laborers worked alongside African slaves in the final decades of slavery in the nineteenth century, forming cross-cultural ties and engaging in bitter rivalries as well as other experiences in between. The book features the voices of both sets of groups, including complicated commentary by slaves on the lot of so-called coolies. A powerful read, it brings to life the personal experiences of members of these groups of people during a brutal era of history.

By Lisa Yun,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A remarkable examination of bondage in Cuba that probes questions of slavery, freedom and race

Sweetness and Power

By Sidney W. Mintz,

Book cover of Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History

Brian Cowan Author Of The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse

From the list on the history of coffee and coffeehouses.

Who am I?

I went to college in Portland, Oregon when the Pacific northwest’s coffee boom was just getting started. My love of coffee turned academic as I began to research and write what would turn out to be a prize-winning book on the early history of coffee and coffeehouses in Great Britain: The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse (2005). I’ve continued to publish articles on coffee history and the history of sociability ever since, and I regularly teach a research seminar on the history of coffee at McGill University. Now I serve as president of the board of directors for an international research group on the history of sociability.

Brian's book list on the history of coffee and coffeehouses

Why did Brian love this book?

Mintz’s book is about sugar, but it is still a key work in the history of coffee. It served as one of the major inspirations for my own study of the reception of coffee in early modern Britain. Sugar was a key ingredient in coffee by the later seventeenth century and would become a staple in the hot drinks consumed by the English working class. Mintz shows us how this symbiotic relationship between sugar and coffee developed, and he places the construction of an Atlantic slave system and the industrial revolution at the heart of his story. This is a classic work of both anthropology and history; it inspired a whole new way of thinking about the Atlantic world and the history of consumption at a time when both of those fields were still newborn. 

By Sidney W. Mintz,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sweetness and Power as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fascinating persuasive history of how sugar has shaped the world, from European colonies to our modern diets

In this eye-opening study, Sidney Mintz shows how Europeans and Americans transformed sugar from a rare foreign luxury to a commonplace necessity of modern life, and how it changed the history of capitalism and industry. He discusses the production and consumption of sugar, and reveals how closely interwoven are sugar's origins as a "slave" crop grown in Europe's tropical colonies with is use first as an extravagant luxury for the aristocracy, then as a staple of the diet of the new industrial…

The Big Truck That Went by

By Jonathan M. Katz,

Book cover of The Big Truck That Went by: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster

Madison Smartt Bell Author Of Master of the Crossroads

From the list on Haitian history and Haiti today.

Who am I?

I was drawn to Haiti for two reasons; the Haitian Revolution is the only one of the three 18th century upheavals to fulfill the declared ideology of the French and American Revolutions by extending basic human rights to all people, not just white people. Secondly, or maybe I should put it first, the practice of Vodou makes Haiti one of the few places where one can meet divinity in the flesh, an experience I coveted, although (as it is written) it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.

Madison's book list on Haitian history and Haiti today

Why did Madison love this book?

Katz was in Haiti as an AP stringer at the time of the 2010 earthquake that devastated Port au Prince and was the only non-Haitian reporter to experience that event directly. He went on to do investigative reporting in the aftermath of the quake and was the one to discover that one of the UN deployments had introduced cholera into Haiti by building latrines that drained into the Artibonite River. Katz’s book is sharp and thorough on the damage done to Haiti by both well- and ill-intentioned foreign interference, and also includes a short, clear, efficient, and accurate history of the country from its eighteenth-century founding to the present.

By Jonathan M. Katz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Truck That Went by as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the aftermath of the devastating 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, there was an outpouring of support and aid from countries around the world. Yet, two years after the quake, seemingly little has changed as the country continues to suffer from widespread poverty, crippled infrastructure, and a cholera epidemic. Acommon Haitian street slang refers to"the big truck," the half-hearted efforts by the "blancs" who arrive to help but wind up bypassing the victims. In The Big Truck That Went By, award-winning author Jonathan Katz ties together the two crises that continue to cripple Haiti: the aftermath of the…

Book cover of Wild Bells to the Wild Sky

Regan Walker Author Of Summer Warrior

From the list on pirate sea stories.

Who am I?

I am an author of romantic historical fiction and a book reviewer of more than 1,000 books. I also have a blog: Historical Romance Review. I love deep historicals—both my own and those written by others--that bring history and realistic love stories to life. Adventure and love on the high seas is my favorite setting.

Regan's book list on pirate sea stories

Why did Regan love this book?

This is an enthralling tale of Queen Elizabeth’s Sea Dogs and a great love story. Few authors can come close to the masterful storytelling of Laurie McBain, which is why I am one of her fans. With an amazingly complex plot, this one features prejudice, treachery, threats to the queen, spies, gypsies, and high seas adventure making it one of her best. 

By Laurie McBain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wild Bells to the Wild Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She thought her love for him was unrequited, but when they meet again, she may just find that she's the one he can't forget

West Indies, 1571. Shipwrecked on an island for most of her young life, Lily Christian is rescued by the dashing sea captain, Valentine Whitelaw. On the voyage back to England, Lily falls hard for the sun-bronzed man, but her love is not returned.

Back among the glittering halls of court, Valentine tries to forget the young beauty he plucked from the Caribbean. But when he discovers innocent Lily is caught up in a treacherous plot to…

Castro's Secrets

By Brian Latell,

Book cover of Castro's Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, The CIA, and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy

Lachlan Page Author Of Magical Disinformation

From the list on spy books set in Latin America.

Who am I?

I lived in Latin America for six years, working as a red cross volunteer, a volcano hiking guide, a teacher, and an extra in a Russian TV series (in Panama). Having travelled throughout the region and returning regularly, I’m endlessly fascinated by the culture, history, politics, languages, and geography. Parallel to this, I enjoy reading and writing about the world of international espionage. Combining the two, and based on my own experience, I wrote my novel, Magical Disinformation, a spy novel set in Colombia. While there is not a huge depth of spy novels set in Latin America, I’ve chosen five of my favourites spy books set in the region.

Lachlan's book list on spy books set in Latin America

Why did Lachlan love this book?

Intelligence expert, professor, and former National Intelligence Officer for Latin America, Dr. Brian Latell, offers insight into Cuban Intelligence and their—largely—successful infiltration of the US security apparatus. Based on interviews with high-level defectors, the book delves into Castro’s mindset with assassination plots and uncover operations emanating from both sides of the Florida Straits as well as a behind-the-scenes look at some key events of the Cold War.

It’s very interesting to learn more about Castro’s mindset beyond the news headlines and how he managed to maintain power after the revolution. However, the real bombshell is an anecdote given by a former Cuban radio operator during the 1960s. I won’t give anything away, but it certainly adds fodder to the JFK assassination, giving one something to think about without falling into a deluge of conspiracy theories. Compelling reading from a true expert in the area.

By Brian Latell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Castro's Secrets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published to glowing reviews, thisriveting narrative takes us back to when the Cuban Revolution was young and offers a new and surprising look at Fidel Castro. Drawing on interviews with high-level defectors from Cuban intelligence, Cuba expert Brian Latell creates a vivid narrative that chronicles Castro's crimes from his university days through nearly 50 years in power. As Cuba's supreme spymaster Fidel built up an intelligence system that became one of best and most aggressive anywhere. Latell argues that the CIA grossly underestimated the Cubans' extraordinary abilities to run moles and double agents and to penetrate the highest levels of…

The Sea Rover's Practice

By Benerson Little,

Book cover of The Sea Rover's Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730

Wendy K. Perriman Author Of Fire on Dark Water

From the list on the real Pirates of the Caribbean.

Who am I?

My fascination with pirates began as a student in Bristol (UK) – the legendary hometown of Edward Teach a.k.a. Blackbeard. Later, I visited the Pirates of Nassau Museum in the Bahamas and was amazed to learn there had been women buccaneers too. I wanted to discover more about these daring females and find out what might have enticed them to brave a tenuous life on the account. As fate would have it, I now live in North Carolina near the Outer Banks where Blackbeard met his fate. These experiences inspired me to write a different kind of adventure story about the real pirates of the Caribbean featuring a strong, resilient, swashbuckling female.

Wendy's book list on the real Pirates of the Caribbean

Why did Wendy love this book?

Although I captain my own lake boat, I knew very little about ancient nautical sailing and warfare when I began writing Fire on Dark Water. Benerson Little’s book, The Sea Rover’s Practice, taught me about different types of crafts, weapons, battle tactics, sea villains, ship routines, sailor superstitions, methods of stealth attack, treatment of prisoners, and even the types of food eaten on board ship throughout 1630 – 1730. It was a very valuable resource.

By Benerson Little,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sea Rover's Practice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To read of sea roving's various incarnations - piracy, privateering, buccaneering, la flibuste, la course - is to bring forth romantic, and often violent, imagery. Indeed, much of this imagery has become a literary and cinematic cliche?. And what an image it is!

But its truth is by halves, and paradoxically it is the picaresque imagery of Pyle, Wyeth, Sabatini, and Hollywood that is often closer to the reality, while the historical details of arms, tactics, and language are often inaccurate or entirely anachronistic.

Successful sea rovers were careful practitioners of a complex profession that sought wealth by stratagem and…

From Columbus to Castro

By Eric Williams,

Book cover of From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean 1492-1969

Scott B. Macdonald Author Of The New Cold War, China, and the Caribbean: Economic Statecraft, China and Strategic Realignments

From the list on beach reads in an international relations hurricane.

Who am I?

My expertise in Caribbean and Chinese affairs derives from having an interest in the two regions since college, which was then pursued through a MA in Asian Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut. On the employment front, I worked for 3 regional banks (as an international economist), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Credit Suisse, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, KWR International, and Aladdin Capital Management (as head of Credit and Economics Research) and Mitsubishi Corporation. Since I left Mitsubishi I returned to my two favorite interests, Asia and the Caribbean. 

Scott's book list on beach reads in an international relations hurricane

Why did Scott love this book?

This is one of the seminal books in Caribbean history, by one of the region’s foremost historians and long-time Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Eric Williams. For me, the book was a wonderful introduction to Caribbean history as it opened up doors to peoples and places that had been neglected during much of my education in the United States. The chapters concerning colonial plantation agriculture, its dependence on the enslavement of Africans, and the geopolitics around King Sugar are memorable.

By Eric Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From Columbus to Castro as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first of its kind, From Columbus to Castro is a definitive work about a profoundly important but neglected and misrepresented area of the world. Quite simply it's about millions of people scattered across an arc of islands -- Jamaica, Haiti, Barbados, Antigua, Martinique, Trinidad, among others -- separated by the languages and cultures of their colonizers, but joined together, nevertheless, by a common heritage.

Whisked Away

By Melanie Summers,

Book cover of Whisked Away

Tracie Banister Author Of Straight from the Hart

From the list on heroines who make a love connection on the job.

Who am I?

As an author, I run my own business and have a hand in all aspects of my product, from creation to promotion. My work is my passion, so I love to write (and read!) books about women who have that same dedication to their careers. I enjoy seeing these ladies strive for success and how they handle challenges along the way. And, of course, since RomComs are my genre, those challenges often involve a man because where else is a workaholic going to find her soulmate? The witty banter, sizzling sexual tension, snort-laugh moments, and surprising plot twists on the pages of all these books, including mine, are guaranteed to entertain you.

Tracie's book list on heroines who make a love connection on the job

Why did Tracie love this book?

I can always count on Melanie Summers to make me laugh, and she did that repeatedly with this delightful story about a newly minted chef who gets stuck cooking for an author on a private Caribbean island.

There’s friction between Emma and Pierce from the get-go as he’s on a deadline and doesn’t appreciate her high-end cuisine. When he has a comical accident that renders his typing hand unusable, Emma steps in to help Pierce complete the final installment of his fantasy series (an affectionate spoof of Game of Thrones with expert world-building!).

I thoroughly enjoyed the organic development of Emma and Pierce’s relationship and was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how they’d overcome the obstacles in their path and achieve their happily ever after!

By Melanie Summers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

***All books in the Paradise Bay Series are Stand-alone novels.***

From best-selling author Melanie Summers comes an irresistibly romantic, delightfully funny tale of love, passion, books, and food…

I’m Emma Banks and I have big plans. I just graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, and I’m ready to take my place as head chef at one of my family’s resort restaurants.

But upon arrival at Paradise Bay, I’m immediately shuffled off to the resort’s new private island getaway, where I’ll be stuck catering to the rich and shameless. My first soul-sucking assignment is to serve Pierce Davenport, an…

The Golden Rendezvous

By Alistair MacLean,

Book cover of The Golden Rendezvous

Carmen Radtke Author Of The Case of the Missing Bride

From the list on mysteries set on ships and trains.

Who am I?

After years dedicated to the hard facts of a newspaper reporter’s life, including a sting covering the police beat, Carmen Radtke has changed her focus to fiction. She’s been fascinated by both history and mystery as long as she can remember and stays dedicated to the truth behind the lie, and the joys of in-depth research. As a repeated emigrant, she is enthralled by voyages into the unknown and the courage (or madness) that takes.

Carmen's book list on mysteries set on ships and trains

Why did Carmen love this book?

Fast-paced, exciting, with enough twists to keep me reading without a single break – this is one of my all-time favourites by prolific author Alistair MacLean. I found myself chuckling and, in the next instant, holding my breath as the First Officer has to outwit terrorists who have taken over the tramp carrier cum cruise ship “Campari.” But what I enjoy most is the mix of humour and lightheartedness that balance the high octane thrills which are grounded in meticulous research.

By Alistair MacLean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A timeless classic of modern-day piracy from the acclaimed master of action and suspense.

Aboard the SS Campari, all is not well.

For Johnny Carter, the Chief Officer, the voyage has already begun badly; but it's only when the Campari sails that evening, after a succession of delays that he realises something is seriously wrong.

A member of the crew is suddenly missing and the stern-to-stern search only serves to increase tension. Then violence erupts and suddenly the whole ship is in danger. Is the Campari a victim of modern day piracy? And what of the strange cargo hidden below…

The Quality of Home Runs

By Thomas F. Carter,

Book cover of The Quality of Home Runs: The Passion, Politics, and Language of Cuban Baseball

Gregg Bocketti Author Of The Invention of the Beautiful Game: Football and the Making of Modern Brazil

From the list on sports in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Who am I?

For almost thirty years, I have studied and tried to understand Latin America and the Caribbean. As a historian I have worked with manuscripts and newspapers and books, in archives and libraries and private collections, but I’ve learned my most important lessons elsewhere: on the baseball diamond in Holguín, Cuba, at pick-up cricket matches in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and in soccer stadiums in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Buenos Aires. These books help give us a sense of the power of such places, the power of sports to reveal the region, and as such they’re a great place to start to understand it. 

Gregg's book list on sports in Latin America and the Caribbean

Why did Gregg love this book?

Naturally, when we think of sports in Latin America we first think of the region’s great athletes, from Pelé to Roberto Clemente, from Lionel Messi to Albert Pujols. But baseball and soccer players do not make sports meaningful on their own; many others – owners, sponsors, politicians, fans – make them what they are. This is the essential insight that guides Thomas Carter’s anthropology of Cuban baseball. He acknowledges the important role of the Communist regime in shaping the game, but he shows convincingly that the game belongs to its fans, for it is their passion that makes baseball important to Cuba, and it is their arguments about the game which make it a site for the negotiation of what it means to be Cuban.

By Thomas F. Carter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In parks and cafes, homes and stadium stands, Cubans talk baseball. Thomas F. Carter contends that when they are analyzing and debating plays, games, teams, and athletes, Cubans are exchanging ideas not just about baseball but also about Cuba and cubanidad, or what it means to be Cuban. The Quality of Home Runs is Carter's lively ethnographic exploration of the interconnections between baseball and Cuban identity. Suggesting that baseball is in many ways an apt metaphor for cubanidad, Carter points out aspects of the sport that resonate with Cuban social and political life: the perpetual tension between risk and security,…

Fallen Out

By Wayne Stinnett,

Book cover of Fallen Out

Armand Rosamilia Author Of Shake Down

From the list on tropical author thrillers.

Who am I?

I am such a huge fan of Thrillers. Always have been, since I started reading Dean Koontz at 12. The Tropical Authors listed are some of my favorites, but they are a stepping stone to other great authors who write unique thrillers as well. I hope you’ll check them out, and let me know if you find a new favorite. I also love suggestions as well. (Of other authors, please don’t be tacky and suggest your own book!) 

Armand's book list on tropical author thrillers

Why did Armand love this book?

Jesse McDermitt is the star of over twenty books in this series, and Wayne is still full of stories for his main character. This book sets the pacing and the storytelling for the entire series, and it takes you on a rollercoaster ride. Reading it, you can smell the fresh Florida Keys air and hear the waves crashing on the beach and against the side of a boat. A fantastic start to this series, which continues to impress me as well as a lot of other readers. Once you start the first one, you’ll dive into the rest. Guaranteed. 

By Wayne Stinnett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book in USA Today Bestselling Author, Wayne Stinnett's exciting Caribbean Adventure Series.

When Jesse McDermitt leaves the Marine Corps, he has no idea what he will do for the rest of his life. He only knows he doesn't want to spend the coming winter anywhere cold. His greatest skill is killing people from up to a mile away and he knows there aren't many job opportunities in the civilian world for that.

Jesse also knows his way around boats and has an old friend living free and easy in the Florida Keys. Being an experienced diver and angler,…

Black Gold

By Antony Wild,

Book cover of Black Gold: The Dark History of Coffee

Annabel Townsend Author Of It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Ten Years of Misadventures in Coffee

From the list on wannabe coffee shop owners.

Who am I?

I've been going by the handle ‘Dr. Coffee’ online for over a decade now. I really do have a PhD. in coffee! In 2007 I embarked on a doctorate and wrote my thesis on ideas of quality in the coffee industry. The inevitable question is then, ‘what do you do with a PhD in coffee?’ and my answer was to open coffee shops, first in the UK and then in Canada. In recent years, I've switched from owning a coffee shop with books in it to a bookshop with coffee in it, but it still manages to satisfy both passions. I firmly believe there is no better combination than hot coffee and good books.  

Annabel's book list on wannabe coffee shop owners

Why did Annabel love this book?

Another book that served my research well, this one is both compelling, disturbing, and thought-provoking but still compulsively readable. It covers virtually every aspect of coffee’s 500-year history in Europe while also drawing on even older information from coffee-producing countries. The sections that captured my attention most were about the marketing of coffee—fascinating stuff! This book makes it possible to enjoy your favourite drink even more, all the while being aware of its history of exploitation and colonialism and often unsustainable means of production. It will make you seek out ethical, environmentally-friendly coffee without being preachy. Thoroughly worth reading. 

By Antony Wild,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Your morning flat-white helped shape the modern world

'Elegantly written, witty and so wide in scope, so rich in detail and so thought provoking' Joanna Blythman

It may seem like just a drink, but coffee's dark journey from the highlands of Ethiopia to the highstreets of every town in the country links alchemy and anthropology, poetry and politics, science and slavery. Plots have been hatched, blood spilled and governments toppled to keep your mug filled with fresh espresso.

In this thought-provoking expose, Antony Wild, coffee trader and historian, explores coffee's dismal colonial past, its perilous corporate present, and the environmental…