The People's Guide To Mexico

For More Information: Mexico Books

Book Reviews

page 2

Book Reviews for the Mayan World

Guidebooks & Places: YucatanThe Mayans GuatemalaBelize

Recommended Reading Bookshelves:

The Maya
Mexico City
Healthy Living in Mexico
Copper Canyon & Northern Mexico
Speaking Spanish
Gulf of Mexico
Live & Retire in Mexico
¡Viva Mexico!
Highlands: & Chapala
RV & Camping
For the armchair traveler
Natural Mexico
Introduction to Our Favorite Mexico Books
For Out-of-Print Books try Powell's in Portland
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The Mayans


•Adventure Guide to the Yucatan

By Bruce & June Conord, 1998, Hunter Travel Guides, Hunter Publishing, Inc. This attractive, well-researched book is definitely a "cut above" the usual, all-too-familiar guidebooks. Order Adventure Guide to the Yucatan

•Guatemala: A Natural Destination,

Focus on the outdoors. General travel information plus information on parks, rain forests, nature tours, plus Mayan sites.$16.95. Order Guatemala: A Natural Destination from Powell's in Portland

The Lost World of Quintana Roo

By Michel Peissel, 1963, E.P. Dutton and Co. Just a few years before my own introduction to the Yucatán Peninsula, Peissel set off on a risky one-man jungle-bashing expedition down the Caribbean coast of Quintana Roo. His story is now a cult classic among Mexico travelers and do-it-yourself explorers.(out of Print) Order The Lost World of Quintana Roo from Powell's in Portland

See Guatemala, Belize &Yucatán: La Ruta Maya below

•See Newspapers: Diario de Yucatan

The Maya

•Sacred Monkey River: A Canoe Trip with the Gods

I was just on your site and didn't see my favorite new book about Mexico. Sacred Monkey River: A Canoe Trip with the Gods is the real thing. In 1997, Christopher Shaw, an ex-river guide and writer from the Adironadacks of northern New York put two canoes and all his gear in and on a beat-up Nissan Sentra and drove to Chiapas. Shaw paddled from the headwaters of the Jatate River, through the heart of Zapatista country to the ruins at Yaxchilan on the Usumacinta River, looking not for a first descent.... but rather to understand the place from the perspective of a paddler, to see the country at "canoe speed," as the people of the place do and have for thousands of years. Full Review by Walter Martin Order Sacred Monkey River

•Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan

by John L. Stephens, 1843, Dover Publications, Inc. Don’t be put off by this book’s age—it remains one of the best adventure travel sagas ever written. Exploration and archaeology at their finest, with incredible drawings by Frederick Catherwood. Order Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan

•The Last Lords of Palenque: the Lacandon Mayas of the Mexican Rain Forest

Robert Bruce is an acknowledged expert on this group of Lacandon Indians, often called the last true Maya, living in the rainforest of Southern Mexico. Their lives and traditions have remained relatively unchanged for the past several hundred years....However, noted Mayanist Robert Bruce became embroiled in scandal when his nephew Leo was charged with murdering his Lacandon wife. Freed in the Zapatista uprising, Leo immediately vanished, leaving his uncle to explain reports of alcoholism, pornography and human rights abuses to his fellow anthropologists. Remember: this is not a novel....(Full review by Dr. Linda Nyquist) Order The Last Lords of Palenque

Place of Mirrors

by Jeenie Criscenzo. Place of Mirrors is told from the perspective of Christina Rossi who knew almost nothing about the ancient Maya. Then one day something happened that would make learning about this little-known civilization an obsession. She traveled through Mexico in search of the reason behind the dreams that were haunting her…Christina would discover that reason in Palenque. (Novel) (Visit Jeenie Criscenzo website for what's happening in Chiapas today.) Order Place of Mirrors

•The Heart of the Sky: Travels Among the Maya

By Peter Canby, 1992, Harper Collins. Order The Heart of the Sky

Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico:

by Wright, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1989. Order Time Among the Maya

•A Forest of Kings

by Linda Schele and David Freidel, William Morrow. The authors are leading scholars in the deciphering and interpretation of Mayan hieroglyphic texts. As dry and intimidating as that may sound, this book brings ancient cities back to life for archaeology buffs and Ruta Maya travelers. Order A Forest of Kings

The Maya

by Michael Coe. Archaeologist Coe has a rare talent for explaining pre-Columbian history in terms that even I can understand. His overviews of the Mayan world are especially good. Order The Maya

The Caste War of the Yucatan

by Nelson Reed. This book might change your view of the “peaceful” Maya. Illuminating history and good reading on this bloody, forgotten war. Order The Caste War of the Yucatan


Guidebooks to Guatemala

On our last trip to Guatemala, I field tested three major guidebooks: Paul Glassman’s Guatemala Guide, Tom Brosnahan’s La Ruta Maya Travel Survival Kit (Lonely Planet) and the budget-oriented, Real Guide (now known as The Rough Guide) to Guatemala and Belize by Whatmore and Eltringham.... (Full Reviews)

Guatemala Guide

Paul Glassman's popular Guatemala Guide is now updated by Nicole O'Hay (May 2000). Open Road Publications. Order Guatemala Guide

The Rough Guide to Guatemala

By Mark Whatmore and Peter Eltringham, Rough Guides Ltd. Having used this book from one remote corner of Guatemala to another, I don’t think you'll find anything better for offbeat, budget travel. The full text is also available on HotWired, <>. Order The Rough Guide to Guatemala

Guatemala, Belize & Yucatán: La Ruta Maya

By Tom Brosnahan & Nancy Keller, Lonely Planet Publications. Brosnahan is a veteran travel writer who seldom takes a wrong turn. His sharp eye for bargains and no-nonsense reporting make this a very popular book. Order Guatemala, Belize &Yucatán: La Ruta Maya

•Henry’s Hint$ On Guatemala

By Henry Gall, 1993. Between clichés (Huehuetenango is “a sleepy town.” yawn....), Henry’s terse travel information can be quite thorough and useful. Whereas one author describes Lake Atitlan as “a gem in its natural beauty," Henry flatly declares, “It would be a crime not to see it.” This mildly cranky approach appeals to me. Order Henry’s Hint$ On Guatemala, from Powell's in Portland

Guatemala: A Natural Destination

(John Muir Publications P.O. Box 619, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87503) $16.95. Focus on the outdoors. General travel information plus information on parks, rain forests, nature tours, plus Mayan sites. Order Guatemala: A Natural Destination from Powell's in Portland

•I...Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala,

A very disturbing biography of the Nobel Prize winning Mayan activist. The editor, Elizabeth Burgas-Debray, conducted a series of interviews with Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan Indian woman. She provides an understanding of everyday life in her community, plus gives insights into cultural discrimination, political struggles, customs beliefs and more. Rigoberta Menchu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. (Reviewed by Kathy Widing) Order I...Rigoberta Menchu

•Sweet Waist of America: Journeys around Guatemala

by Anthony Daniels, 1990, Hutchinson. Daniels approaches a very difficult topic -- making sense of modern Guatemala -- with remarkable clarity and objectivity. Order Sweet Waist of America

•Guatemalan Journey

by Stephen Benz, University of Texas Press. Our friend Gary Bevington says, "Benz is a writer and English professor who speaks Spanish and obviously devoted himself to exploring Guatemala and writing about it in a way different from but reminiscent of what you did." Order Guatemalan Journey

•See Newsletters: "Guatemala Living and Retirement Newsletter


See Guatemala, Belize & Yucatán: La Ruta Maya above

•Rough Guide Belize

by Peter Eltringham, Iain Stewart, Dominique Young (1999) Order Rough Guide Belize

•Belize: A Natural Destination

by Richard Mahler and Steele Wotkyns, John Muir Publications. Everything you need to know about Belize and its natural attractions, from bus travel and jungle lodges to birdwatching and waterfalls. Order Belize: A Natural Destination

Belize Retirement Guide: How to live in a Tropical Paradise on $450 a Month,

4th Edition 1998 by Bill and Claire Gray, Preview Publishing, Box 107, Corozal, Belize. $19.95. Email: A nice place to vacation, but would you want to actually live there? As the authors warn, Belize is not for everyone and an exploratory trip is an absolute must. I was impressed by the Gray's frank, down-to-earth assessment of Belize, “warts” and all. The authors obviously take a positive view of the country, but there’s no feeling that they’re trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. All in all, Belize Retirement Guide nicely fulfills the Grays’ purpose of informing their friends of the exciting discovery they’ve made, while sharing the down-to-earth details of their enviable new life..... (more) Order Belize Retirement Guide

•Open Road's Belize Guide

by Paul Glassman. Order Belize Guide

•See Newsletters: "Belize First

Would you like to write a book review and send it to us? Email: Carl & Lorena

Found any good websites on Mexico that we ought to include? Send us an email so we can check it out!

Index to Reviews of our Favorite Mexico Books

•1) Guides, People & Places: Mexico General • Mexico City • Copper CanyonBajaGulf of Mexico • Highlands • Oaxaca
•2) Guides, People & Places of the Mayan World • Yucatan • The Maya • Guatemala • Belize
•3) Live & RetireWomen
•4) Driving • RV & Camping • Adventures • Natural Mexico
•5) Food • Healthy Living • Shopping • Speaking Spanish
•6) Viva Mexico • History • Armchair Travelers • Novels

Would you like to write a book review and send it to us?

email to Carl & Lorena

Found any good websites on Mexico that we ought to include? Send us an email so we can check it out!

he People's Guide to Mexico
13th edition
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©1972-2011 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens