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Caribbean

Caribbean

Before you set sail in the sky-blue waters of the Caribbean, we've got a treasury of reading to help you chart your course. Our collection of histories featuring warring armadas, slave-traders, rum and pirates, is nicely balanced with works on contemporary culture, plus wildlife guides to help you identify all the colorful fishes you'll be swimming with. Anchors away!

Follow the links below to see recommended reading for each destination.

The Longitude Blog – Caribbean
Havana

authorDue to recent changes in relations between Cuba and the United States, many books have been published about the island nation, but few have centered on its capital with the kaleidoscopic focus of award-winning author Mark Kurlansky’s Havana, A Subtropical Delirium. In accessible prose worthy of the elegant metropolis itself, Kurlansky, a longtime Caribbean correspondent, profiles Cuban music, literature, food and, of course, baseball. Kurlansky uses literary references to add color and context to his own experiences in Havana.

The Poetry of Place
CRB153In celebration of National Poetry Month, we're reading some of our favorite poets of place, including the renowned poet of the Caribbean, Derek Walcott, who passed away in March.   Collected Poems, 1948-1984. The St. Lucia-born Nobel laureate, who's been known to say he's "just an island boy," writes boggling, complicated, richly rhythmical poems -- which do, in fact, owe much to the oral traditions of Walcott's boyhood (but also to Homer, Aime Cesaire, Frantz Fanon and "The Wasteland"). Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. The Portable Romantics.
Belize Barrier Reef
Kindly contributed by Longitude Assistant Editor Ben Hankey who recently returned from Belize and Guatemala where he discovered this favorite spot.
coast We were a long way from Minnesota now, in the teal waters off the Belize Barrier Reef. Up at the lake where I spend many summer days, the water is usually forest green or slate blue. This shade of water, a lustrous, Caribbean hue, had to be savored. Under sail from Caye Caulker, we had ridden for over an hour above the sun-filled shallows, a bottom of sugar sand, in which the tails of whale sharks slipped beneath the hull. Now we were within sight of Ambergris Caye and about half a mile from the breaker that surged white over the hidden reef. The foam rushed over the head of the coral wall.