Australia and the Islands of the Pacific: Myths and Wonders of the Southern Seas by Marco Moretti. ISBN0-7858-1289-X. Published by Chartwell Books Inc. Recommended retail price $X.
Stories and magnificent images trace the routes of the first European navigators among the wonders of the Southern Seas. Visit atolls sheltering brilliant blue lagoons, volcanic islands covered with steaming jungles, strips of white sand nestled between banks of coral. Investigate the Maori culture from Hawaii to Tahiti, by way of Easter Island, Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, and New Zealand, and take in the myth of Polynesia, celebrated by some of the world's most famous writers. Follow the Ring of Fire, the range of volcanoes that surrounds the Pacific. Land among the Melanesian peoples of Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia and venture into the Highlands of New Guinea, virgin treasure trove of Paleolithic customs, traced back to their roots. Explore the islands of Micronesia, Emerald-green mountains adrift at sea, before crossing the deserts, mountains and coastlines of Australia, amidst bizarre animals, futuristic cities and the Aboriginal Dream Time mysteries. Hard cover (large format!), 224 pages. Published in 2000.
New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands: A Traveller's History of by John Chambers. Published by Interlink Books. ISBN 1566565065.Recommended retail price $14.95.
South Pacific, The by Ron Crocombe. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 982-02-0154-3. Recommended retail price $60.
All you ever need to know about the South Pacific written by the acknowledged expert in the field. If you want to learn about Pacific island cultures, economies, politics and their interactions with the wider world, then this is the only book you'll need. The back cover blurb, reproduced below, does not hint at the riches within.
The South Pacific is about the 28 island nations and territories of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Indigenous and external influences are creating new and unique arts, cultures, identities, societies, economies and polities of extreme diversity. Future trends are explored, but the main focus is on the present. After 100 years or more of control by mainly European nations, but also Japan and Indonesia, Pacific people's are working out their destinies in a complex environment in which East Asia plays an escalating role. The book is an important contribution to understanding the Pacific, the third world and the development debate. Because of the wealth of issues covered, the fascinating truths revealed and the simplicity of style, it will be welcomed by general readers as well as by serious scholars of the Pacific. Hard Cover, 790 pages. Published in 2001. Highly recommended.
South Pacific Islands
by Joan Beard. Published by Little Hills Press. ISBN1-86315-103-6. Recommended
retail price $16.95.
Books dealing with a bunch of South Pacific Islands are relatively few and far between but we stock most of them. South Pacific Islands is a useful addition because it covers the Wallis and Futuna Islands in addition to all the usual (Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Vanuatu, Western Samoa and American Samoa).
The usual information on where to stay, what to see and where to go is included. Soft cover, 239 pages. Published in 1996.
South Pacific Islands:
Special maps of all major islands. Recommended retail price $8.95.
This 1:13,000,000 scale map includes the individual island groups on a much smaller scale (typically 1:200,00). If you want an over-view of this region then this map would be an excellent choice.
South Pacific Islands,
Nelles Guide by Michael Brillat. Published by Nelles Guide. ISBN 3-88618-104-9.
Recommended retail price $15.95.
An alternative to the ubiquitous Lonely Planet Guides but obviously not as comprehensive. But 144 color photos and 21 color maps add to this guide book's appeal. As usual in these general guides some of the biology is just plain wrong but that shouldn't detract from an otherwise useful volume (Fiji is listed as having two bat species ... it has six, 450 plant species when there is in excess
of 6000). In my opinion a very useful "universal" South Pacific travel guide and highly recommended.
History and culture: Melanesia and Polynesia were originally discovered by fearless seafarers in small boats. Over the millennia various peoples settled the islands and created a brilliant cultural mosaic. The European arrival introduced harsh times and new cultural elements. As a result of this long history each island state has developed its own special character.
Travel destinations: The Nelles Guide South Seas takes you to the beautiful islands in the South Pacific. It's a world of mysterious volcanic isles, great coral reefs, lagoons bathed in clear turquoise waters, solitary beaches under shady palms (who writes this stuff?). Visit rain forests, small and lively towns, colorful markets, busy ports and meet with the friendly islanders.
Features: These thoughtful essays inform you about the handicrafts in the South Seas, the culture of the islands and how meals are prepared in earth ovens and where the blue-black dye used in tattoos comes from. One feature is devoted to the long roster of literary and artistic figures inspired by the South Seas, and to the islands' own creative spirits.
Travel Information: The carefully researched Guideposts at the end of each chapter offer a wealth of information on where to stay, where to eat, what to see, car rentals, excursions, and much more. At the end of the book are the Guidelines, with practical tips from A to Z and a manual of South Seas etiquette that will help you avoid embarrassing social pitfalls.
Places covered include the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island.
Soft cover, 256 pages. Published in 1999.
South Pacific Phrasebook
by Hadrien Dhont et al. Recommended retail price $6.95.
South Pacific Phrasebook provides useful phrases and words in Fijian, Hawaiian, Kanak languages, Maori, Niuean, Rapanui, Rarotongan Maori, Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, a little Fijian Hindi and some Pacific French. While it won’t turn you into a linguistic expert overnight, it will help you win a few friends when you visit the places where these languages are spoken. Fano ti malolo. Soft cover, 316 pages.
Click below for books on related topics
Policies and Perceptions of France in the South Pacific: New Caledonia and Vanuatu by Peter Myriam Dornoy-Vurobaravu
South Pacific Literature From Myth to Fabulation by Subramani
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Last modified on Thursday, July 10, 2003