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Cuba recommended reading

Here is a selection of books we recommend relating to Cuba:

Birds of Cuba, Orlando H. Garrido and Arturo Kirkconnell

Birds of CubaBirds of Cuba

Last published in 2008, this very complete book is a must-have guide for all birders visiting Cuba. This relatively recent guide book published by Helm field guides is the best (and only!) guide available for the birds of Cuba. It includes detailed information on habitats, range, status and nesting as well as geographical information about Cuba. There are also 51 colour plates with illustrations of all the 354 species of birds found in Cuba and maps and checklists.

Eat Cuban, Andy Rose and Judy Bastyra

Eat CubanEat Cuban

This stylish recipe book comes packed with recipes for Cuban dishes and cocktails, as well as interesting facts and information about the country's history and culture. The whole lot is tied together with wonderful colour photographs to whet the appetite for Cuban food and travel!

Our Man in Havana, Graham Greene

Our Man in HavanaOur Man in Havana

This 1958 novel is written by British author Graeme Green and set in Havana. It is a black comedy telling the story of a fictional British protagonist who works for the Britsh Secret Service in Cuba. Green, who himself was in MI6, pokes fun at inteligence services and their willingness to believe their local informants. The book was made into a film starring Alec Guinness in 1959.

The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the SeaThe Old Man and the Sea

This pulitzer prize-winning novel was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. The book tells the story of an ageing fisherman, Santiago who travels far out into the Gulf Stream north of Cuba and catches a giant Marlin fish. Hemmingway also wrote Islands in the Stream, a novel made up of three 'acts' set in Cuba and the Bahamas that was published after his death.


Some other books worth looking out for are:

  • Poetry by Jose Martí - 19th century freedom fighter
  • Dreaming in Cuban - C Garcia (Flamingo, 1992)
  • Trading with the Enemy - A Yankee travels through Castro’s Cuba - T Miller (1996)
  • Havana Bay - Martin Cruz Smith (author of Gorky Park)
  • The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics edited by Aviva Chomsky, Barry Carr and Pamela Maria Smorkaloff (2003).
  • Cuba with Pen & Pencil - Samuel Hazard (2007) - first published in 1870 giving an extraordinary insight into colonial Cuba with superb illustrations from the time.
  • Havana Red by Leonardo Padura (2005)

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