Book Recommendations

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Travel Guides

The Surfer’s Guide to Baja This guide has maps and descriptions of enough spots to keep you exploring Baja for years to come!

If you are going on an adventure to the mainland, we also recommend The Surfer’s Guide to Mainland Mexico, which covers surf spots in Colima and Michoacan.

Traveler’s Guide to Mexican Camping: Explore Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize with Your RV or Tent Sometimes I find it amazing that we crossed the border without this camping guide, an atlas, or any pesos. As luck would have it, we were able to buy this book from another RV-ing couple who were headed back to the states. An essential guide for campers, this book has been a great help in figuring out where to sleep at night, fill up with water and dump our tanks.

Lonely Planet Mexico Very useful for all types of information on cities as well as smaller towns. We have the 2006 edition, but this is the newer one from 2008.

Note: We give Frommer’s Mexico 2010 Edition the un-recommendation.

Travel Reads

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. We laughed out loud at the misadventures of this group of friends on a mission to save their hometown. Characters include Mexican goth bimbos, trash-dump ninjas and missionary surfers. If you have traveled in Mexico it will be even funnier.

On The Road – Jack Kerouac Read it when you want to feel like you’re on uppers and the everyone around you is nuts.
The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac Get nostalgic for Northern California, redwoods, orgies, potlucks and getting stoned.

God’s Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre – Richard Grant One man’s rather idiotic but highly entertaining journey into the narco-trafficante headquarters of the Sierra Madre. Since the Sierra Madre is probably the only part of Mexico we’re not planning to visit, we were glad to learn more about the area and let Mr. Grant handle the risk-taking.

Queer – William S. Burroughs A painfully raw tale of desire and unrequited love set in Mexico City. Burroughs wrote this book as he awaited trial for accidentally shooting his wife Joan Vollmer during a game of “William Tell.”

John Steinbeck: We both really, really, love reading his books.

The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck If you have not read this book, you must order it right now. It is a classic for a reason.
Travels with Charley in Search of America – John Steinbeck Steinbeck’s personal story of his cross-country trip with a poodle named Charley.
Tortilla Flat – John Steinbeck Tales of the drunken adventures of the original slackers of Carmel, California.
East of Eden – John Steinbeck A wonderful and creepy story set in Salinas, California.

The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo A simply written parable about pursuing your dreams and listening to your heart. Some (new-age) people REALLY love this book, others find it cliched, shallow and materialistic. In any case, there’s a journey in the book, so it’s on our travel list!

Daughter of Fortune – Isabelle Allende
Follows the adventures (and mishaps) of a Chilean woman who flees from home only to be swept into the gold rush of 1850’s California.

The Smoke Jumper – Nicholas Evans
Forest fires, troubled teens, civil wars, surrogate fatherhood and a love story spanning two continents. What more could you want from a novel?!


Beach Trash

Books for entertainment purposes only. Carl Hiassen takes you to the sticky, sandy underbelly of Florida on a joyride with eco-warriors, strippers and more!

Sick Puppy – Carl Hiassen
Strip Tease – Carl Hiassen
Tourist Season – Carl Hiassen

Mayan History and Ruins

A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya An accessible text with a timeline of Mayan history and information on many ruins site.

Mexican Authors

Where the Air Is Clear – Carlos Fuentes A disjointed but beautifully written (and translated) tour of post-revolutionary urban Mexican society. Fuentes brings you right into the hearts and darkest recesses of his characters’ minds, and his writing really evokes the sights, sounds and smells of being in Mexico.

Spanish Language

Barron’s 501 Spanish Verbs with CD-ROM and Audio CD Sometimes you need a little help with the FOURTEEN different Spanish verb tenses.

We’d love to hear your recommendations too!

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