The Belize.com editors have compiled this recommended reading list on Belize based on the original Belize Book List put together by long-time contributing editor, historian and raconteur Emory King. Emory, a well known author on Belize, has published dozens of books on history, fiction, current affairs and Belize culture.
by Lan Sluder. Discover the spirit of Belize. Exceptional restaurants, hotels, and sights selected to help you make the best choices. Simple pleasures. Embrace the local scene as you snorkel Shark-Ray Alley, hike through Maya ruins, or burrow underground at Actun Tunichil Muknal cave. The author shoots from the hip and was and is financially successful in his own right before taking up writing about Belize first as a hobby, then as a passion. He has no need to regurgitate the fluff put out by the local tourism authorities, hotel comps and government of Belize propaganda. Lan is the grand old man of Belize travel guides and still the best at telling it how it really is. Paperback: 368 pages Publisher: Fodor’s; 6th edition (February 11, 2014) Language: English ISBN-10: 080414169X
The Rough Guide to Belize Paperback by Rough Guides (Author) September 29, 2014 Authored by British RAF pilot stationed in Belize Peter Eltringham, The Rough Guide to Belize” is the ultimate travel guide to this unique country, with clear maps and detailed coverage of all the best attractions, from the beautiful, sun-washed cayes to the soaring Mayan pyramids. Discover Belize’s highlights with stunning photography and extensive information on everything from the country’s magnificent Barrier Reef to its mist-shrouded jungles. Find detailed practical advice on what to see and do in Belize, relying on up-to-date descriptions of the best resorts, hotels, spas, and restaurants for all budgets. He’s been just about everywhere in Belize and knows it inside out. Turn to any section, and his recommendations on hotels, restaurants and what to do are almost always spot on. Although he’s generous — occasionally to a fault — with hotels he likes, Peter can be blunt: He’s willing to call a hotel overpriced when it is or to point out the illegal cutting of mangroves by resort developers. Paperback: 304 pages Publisher: Rough Guides; 6 edition (September 29, 2014) Language: English ISBN-10: 1409349608
Lonely Planet Belize is a great guide to Belize, our third choice for Belize travel books. Not as in depth as Lan’s book, but still well written if a bit dated and has extensive information not usually found in other travel books. Publisher: Lonely Planet; 5 edition (September 1, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 1742204449
Moon Belize (Moon Handbooks) Paperback – November 26, 2013. Is our fourth and final pick in the pantheon of Belize Travel Guides. Lamely taking over from Josua Berman, Lebawit Girma is an African immigrant to the U.S. and a budding photographer. Her first attempt at writing a travel guide does not hold a candle to Fodors or Moon or the Rough Guide to Belize. If you like nice photo snapshots and a tome approaching a coffee table book (almost 500 pages) we highly recommend this book. If you dislike haphazard information that appears laid out more to feature expensive resorts, well, it’s your choice. Mrs. Girma’s writing reads more like that of a P.R. official for the Belize Tourism Board. Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; Tenth Edition (November 26, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 1612386385
Travellers’ Wildlife Guides Belize & Northern Guatemala D. Beletsky (Author), Most travelers to Belize and Guatemala want to experience lush tropical forests and catch glimpses of exotic wildlife. This guide provides all the information you need to find, identify, and learn about the region’s magnificent animal life. Beletsky selected approximately 500 of the animals you are most likely to see, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Also pictured are some of the highly endangered species of the area. You will want to have this easy-to-carry, entertaining, and beautifully illustrated book as a constant companion on your journey. Paperback: 477 pages Publisher: Interlink Pub Group Inc (November 30, 2004) Language: English ISBN-10: 1566565685
Sociology, Culture and Politics In Belize
Maya Christians and Their Churches in Sixteenth-Century Belize (Maya Studies), Elizabeth Graham (Author). Based on her analysis of archaeological evidence from the excavations of Maya churches at Tipu and Lamanai, Elizabeth Graham seeks to understand why the Maya sometimes actively embraced Catholicism during the period of European conquest and continued to worship in this way even after the end of Spanish occupation. “An important and innovative study that brings a good number of fascinating archaeological findings to bear on the process of Christian conversion in the colonial Maya world. Seldom has the archaeological material culture of an evangelized society been brought to light so thoroughly and engagingly.”–Fernando Cervantes, coauthor of Angels, Demons, and the New World. Hardcover: 416 pages Publisher: University Press of Florida; First edition (August 28, 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 0813036666
Belize (Cultures of the World) Leslie Jermyn (Author), Yong Jui Lin (Author). Offers up-to-date information on the geography, history, government, lifestyles, religion, festivals, arts, and contemporary life of Belize. The concise writing offers enough material for report writers without overwhelming them. Numerous full-color and black-and-white photos of interest, a clean layout, and use of pastels to highlight headings and sidebars contribute to the attractiveness of these presentations. The color map and page of notes at the end of each volume will aid those in search of quick facts while detailed tables of contents and solid indexes provide easy access to the text. Laura Younkin, Ballard High School, Louisville, KY. Reading level: Ages 8 and up Library Binding: 144 pages Publisher: Benchmark Books; 2 edition (September 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 1608704521
How To Live, Work or Retire To Belize – by the Belize.com Editors. Digital eBook. Good on the ground research and personal stories from expats living here. Those who like it and accounts from those who think otherwise.
Belize Natural Healing
Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer Rosita Arvigo with Nadine Epstein and Marilyn Yaquinto, Harper San Francisco. Trained in naprapathy (the treatment of disease using natural healing processes), American-born Arvigo and her husband opened a natural healing practice in San Ignacio, Belize. The encroaching jungle threatened their homestead and resolve, but life took an unexpected turn after they met Elijio Panti, a respected Maya healer. Believing that his vast knowledge of medicinal plants would be their salvation, Arvigo set out to learn Elijio’s dying art of natural healing. This enjoyable story is one of cross-cultural friendship and commitment to preserving native plants and traditional Mayan healing remedies. In the same vein Mark Plotkin, who detailed his work with Conservation International in Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice ( LJ 7/93), Arvigo created the Ix Chel Tropical Research Foundation to send plants to research laboratories for further study. Both narratives remind one that the destruction of native cultures and rain forest vegetation, with its unknown healing potential, is a loss to all humankind. Recommended for all libraries. –Teresa Elberson, Lafayette P.L., La. Paperback: 208 pages Publisher: HarperOne (February 3, 1995) Language: English ISBN-10: 006250259X. Link here to read about Dr. Rosita Arvigo, the Panti Trail and Ix Chel Farms.
Rainforest Remedies: One Hundred Healing Herbs of Belize, Rosita Arvigo and Michael Balick, Lotus Press, Tin Lakes, Wisconsin. 1993, 221 pp. ISBN 0-914955-13-6. US $9.95 (paperback).
Belize Flora And Fauna
Jaguar, Alan Rabinowitz, Arbor House, New York. 1986.
A Belizean Rain Forest: The Community Baboon Sanctuary, Robert Horwich and Jon Lyon, Orangutan Press, Gay Mills, Wisconsin, 1990.
Belize History and Politics
George Price: A Life Revealed – The Authorized Biography Paperback – November 4, 2011 An ascetic and failed priest, a stoic, father of the nation, prime minister and first national hero of the Central American nation of Belize, George Price remains one of the most enigmatic leaders of the 20th century. Nothing in the early years of Price’s life gave any indication that he would become the most uncompromising adversary of the British government in the struggle, first for self-government and later for Belizean independence, and in the process dominate Belizean politics for over 40 years. This flawed biography by the son of Johnny Smith who was exiled to the U.S.A. following a failed attempt to overthrow Mr. Price as leader of the P.U.P. is lacking much information by actors of the time who refused to collaborate with Godfrey Smith. But it serves as a starting point to gain a glimpse of the Father of Belize. Mr. Smith has complained that Mr. Price was near senile when he, Smith, managed to get to him for interviews, but the Prime Minister’s confididants suggest that Mr.Price was enigmatic to the end and fed his biographer the minimum needed to rush through publication of the book before he passed away.
“Thirteen Chapters of A History of Belize,” by Assad Shoman, Angelus Press, 1st Ed. December, 1994, Second Printing, January 1995.
Colonialism and Resistance in Belize: Essays in Historical Sociology, O. Nigel Bolland, Cubola Productions, 1988.
Party Politics in Belize: 1950-1986, Assad Shoman, Cubola Productions, 1987.
The Constitution as Supreme Law: A Manual on the Constitution and Your Rights, Campbell Smith and Charlie Chavannes, Society for the Promotion of Education and Research. 1992.
Belize 1798, The road To Glory The Battle Of St. George’s Caye : a novel history of Belize by Emory King. A riveting story based on the great battle of Belize that repelled an invasion from Spain against all odds. Published 1991 by Tropical Books Library of Congress PR9289.9.K56 B45 1991
Belize Novels and Short Stories
Under The Shade, Kathleen Levy Esquivel, 1994. Novel about a young Belizean woman who infiltrates a ring of drug traffickers to find her missing brother (author is First Lady of Belize).
Beka Lamb, Zee Edgell. Novel about a young Creole girl growing up in Belize.
In Times Like These, Zee Edgell. Novel about a young woman who gets caught up in political turmoil in pre-Independence Belize.
On Heroes, Lizards and Passion, Zoila Ellis. Poetry. Cubola Productions, Belize City.
Shots From the Heart: Three Young Belizean Poets. Cubola Productions, Belize City.