Best of Lists

Caribbean Dreaming


Baby it’s cold outside, and what’s better than curling up on your comfy couch with a warm blanket, a glass of amber liquid and a roaring fire. The perfect companion? A book that transports you to shimmering sun above turquoise water as a sultry breeze wafts over you. Start planning your next vacation with our Caribbean Dreaming book suggestions.

Pirate Latitudes

by Michael Crichton

Pirate Latitudes
Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

The bestselling author takes us on a wild adventure set in the New World when Jamaica was still a British colony. Swashbuckling is an understatement to describe the plot of this book. Pirate Latitude’s hero is a privateer hired by Jamaica’s governor as they scramble to take a galleon full of jewels before it is shipped off to Spain. Captain Charles Hunter races time as he competes against the notorious pirates to find the galleon. Theft and betrayal are the least of it.


by James A. Michener

The master storyteller takes us through 700 years of Caribbean history from its beginnings to modern times. Caribbean spans the life of Bakmu, a peaceful member of the Arawak people whose prowess in games still gets him eaten by cannibals. The book also covers the explorers Christopher Columbus, John Hawkins, and Sir Francis Drake, the rise of the Rastafarians, and Cuba under Fidel Castro. Michener’s patented blend of fiction and history provides a sweeping view of the islands and why we dream of them when we are not there.

A Sail of Two Idiots

by Renee Petrillo

We’ve all had moments where our imagination ditches life as we know it and sends us on a boat out to sea for good. Renee and Michael set sail without much boating experience and learn how to navigate the hard way. They sailed on a catamaran from Miami to Grenada eventually dropping anchor on an island that intrigued them. A Sail of Two Idiots offers boating lessons wrapped in a “get your cake and eat it too” humor.

Island People

by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Starting with Christopher Columbus, who set foot in the Caribbean while mistaking it for Asia, the author argues that the region has repeatedly been defined by a series of misconceptions and false assumptions. Jelly-Shapiro examines local politics, languages, religions, music and culture showcasing how its people contributed to the making of the modern Caribbean. The voyage takes us to Haiti, Barbados, Trinidad, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and multiple islands in between.

An Embarrassment of Mangoes

by Ann Vanderhoof

An Embarrassment of Mangoes
An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof

Who hasn’t dreamt about lying on the deck of a boat cruising the Caribbean, the only decision to make what color drink to have? Canadians Ann Vanderhoof and her husband, Steve, did just that in the mid-1990s, quitting their jobs and setting sail on a 42-foot sailboat called Receta (recipe). Their two-year adventure spanned 16 countries and 47 islands from the Bahamas to Trinidad and carries us to secluded beaches, local markets and specialties that just may convince you it’s time to do the same.

Island Dreams Caribbean

by Joan Tapper and Nik Wheeler

Dive into a book of photos and commentary surrounded by the seductive landscapes and dazzling blues of the Caribbean Sea. With Joan Tapper’s words and Nik Wheeler’s photography, this book offers something for everyone in their choices of places to visit and places to live. Featuring large islands such as Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico and smaller ones like Antigua and Martinique, the pair serves up a relaxed lifestyle: quaint harbors, winding streets, quirky bars, open-air markets, and local art. Enjoy more than 200 spectacular color photos.

Love for Sail

by Connie Barrera

Join Barrera as she makes her first ocean passage as captain of Diamantista, her new charter yacht. Connie’s friend Paul Russo cannot come on her maiden voyage, so she relies on a pick-up crew and trouble begins the moment her ship leaves port. Love for Sail is the first book in the Connie Barrera romantic thriller series.

National Geographic Traveler: The Caribbean, Third Edition

by Emma Stanford and Nick Hanna

National Geographic travel guides are requisite reading for boaters in need of an island fix and this book does not disappoint. While many travel books are filled with logistical specifics like where to stay, what it costs and must-see locations, this one takes you to islands with gorgeous photos and detailed descriptions of their history. Island exploration spans Dominica, St. Lucia and Barbados, as well as a number of lesser known, small paradises.

Our Man in Havana

by Graham Greene

What happens when an unsuccessful vacuum-cleaner salesman gets recruited by the secret service to gather intelligence on nuclear facilities during the Cold War? Greene’s classic novel is the tale of James Wormold, an everyman who files fake reports about spies and nuclear weapons. But when his reports start to turn into truth, they come back to haunt him.

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