* Indicates a book that appears in our feature "Around the World in 80+ Books" published in the April 2002 issue of National Geographic Traveler.
Don't Stop the Carnival, by Herman Wouk (1965). For anyone who has ever vacationed in the Caribbean and contemplated moving there permanently, Wouk's satirical novel of a New-Yorker-turned-island-hotelier will make you think twice. Still, it's a work bathed in the kind of tropical charm that makes the Caribbean so enticing in the first place.
An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude, by Ann Vanderhoof (2004). In the mid-1990s, magazine and book editor Vanderhoof and her husband took a two-year voyage on a 42-foot (13-meter) sailboat, visiting 16 countries in the Caribbean while traveling more than 7,000 nautical miles. From the stillness of untouched beaches to the scent of fresh produce in marketplaces, Vanderhoof's rich, descriptive prose brings the laid-back Caribbean culture to life. Also includes recipes for Caribbean dishes.
The Last Pink Bits: Travels Through the Remnants of the British Empire, by Harry Ritchie (1998). Ritchie island-hops his way through seven British island territories, including Bermuda and Turks and Caicos, in this observant, witty travelogue about Britain's faltering grip on its empire abroad. From golf to drugs to Margaret Thatcher, Ritchie offers readers an intelligent, quirky view of what the rest of us view as a winter getaway.