The best books about Mayan history and civilization 📚

Browse the best books on Mayan history and civilization as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Maya and the Robot

Maya and the Robot

By Eve L. Ewing, Christine Almeda

Why this book?

Maya shows us readers why so many successful creative and science-loving people tend towards introversion. Maya notices what’s going on around her, and what’s going on inside of her. She absorbs. She ponders. She interprets. Then she acts. Then she repeats the process. I love, love, love how Maya gets support from those around her who see her clearly for who she is and let her know that she’s awesome. “Always remember, Maya,” says her mom, “being yourself is a gift to others around you.” So true.

From the list:

The best middle grade books with powerful introverts

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Book cover of Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

By Bethany Hegedus, Tonya Engel

Why this book?

Soaring words honor the phenomenal wordsmith, Maya Angelou. Tough topics are tackled with compassion. The broad range of colors in the illustrations echo the broad range of emotions in this beautiful tribute to a national treasure. A forward by Ms. Angelou’s grandson and helpful backmatter cradle the text (like the cover art cradles).

From the list:

The best picture books about women who shaped history

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Book cover of What We Carry: A Memoir

What We Carry: A Memoir

By Maya Shanbhag Lang

Why this book?

While I found this memoir to be beautiful in language and story, I connected most with the author’s stark revelations. She writes from the perspective of a daughter, then a new mother, and finally a caregiver for both her child and her ailing mother. As she navigates life in these varied roles, she begins to see the truth about her mother with compelling clarity. In the end, I felt a deep sense of understanding and was able to remind myself that while I have been naive in my own relationships, it was love that compelled me to cling to my…

From the list:

The best books for daughters with toxic or complicated mothers

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Book cover of The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise

The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise

By Martín Prechtel

Why this book?

Because my art is impermanent, I write and think about that subject a lot. And IMHO, no one speaks as beautifully and powerfully to the subjects of impermanence, life, loss, and beauty better than Prechtel. Prechtel's book is a well of indigenous wisdom on the living relationship between grief and praise. He says, "When you’re grieving for the thing you got, it's called praise. When you're praising for the thing you lost, it's called grief.” If the Earth is speaking her wisdom, this author is delivering it faithfully and beautifully to us.

From the list:

The best nature, art, and ritual books you’ll ever read

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Book cover of The Ruins

The Ruins

By Scott Smith

Why this book?

Have you ever visited a place with a different language and/or culture, and then gotten in trouble for not knowing the rules? Well, after reading The Ruins you will live in fear of this on every vacation you take, including the short ones to your own garden. In this novel, some tourists step on a vine-covered hill they should have left alone, and that’s it. The locals will kill them if they try to leave. Smith has created a simple horror out of being (seemingly) wrongfully imprisoned. Virulent vines and a weakening grip on reality make you question what your…

From the list:

The best books featuring plagues

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Book cover of The Tutankhamun Prophecies: The Sacred Secret of the Maya, Egyptians, and Freemasons

The Tutankhamun Prophecies: The Sacred Secret of the Maya, Egyptians, and Freemasons

By Maurice Cotterell

Why this book?

What has ancient Egypt got to do with Freemasonry? Quite a lot as it turns out. The author of The Tutankhamun Prophecies, scientist and mathematician Maurice Cotterell, weaves together the esoteric knowledge of modern secret societies with Egyptian religion and the ancient Mayan people. I’m chuffed to have a signed hardback copy of this book, which I seem to recall I found in a charity shop. Actually, now I come to think of it, the bloke that sold it to me gave me a rather funny handshake… Hm…

From the list:

The best books that will make you rethink ancient Egypt

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