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Ecuador - 10 books you need to read to improve your experience of Ecuador.

Updated on January 13, 2013

It is a dog's life in Ecuador! Give him a book to read and this could be my husband.

How did this dog get into this hammock?
How did this dog get into this hammock?

New Reading Habits

At 65 I surrendered my library and replaced it with an iPod Touch and a Kindle. Oh, I still carry a few books with me when I travel but most of my reading now accompanies me on one of these devices. I love it that I can lie in my bed in San Clemente in Ecuador and buy a book and begin reading it in the time it takes me to get a glass of water.

I would show you a nice picture of my books but it wouldn't be very impressive now because the volume of actual books is way down.  Most of what I read now is on my iPod or my Kindle.

(Oh, by the way, the second time I came to Ecuador I brought a Barnes and Nobel Nook with me. I was really disappointed when I couldn' t buy a book outside of the United States. I would have had to buy everything before I left the states and my reading pattern is much too eclectic for that to work for long. Fortunately I had the Kindle app on my iPod.)

If you travel do you want a Nook or a Kindle?

Kindle! hands down. What B & N doesn't tell you is that you can't purchase a book on your Nook while you are out of the country. For footloose types like me, my Kindle is essential.

My Favorites

  1. The Panama Hat Trail: A Journey from South America by Tom Miller –This was the first book I read about Ecuador and it is still my favorite.
  2. Culture Shock! Ecuador: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette by Nicholas Crowder –No matter where you go, if they have a Culture Shock! book about it you need it.
  3. Moon Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (Moon Handbooks) by Julian Smith and Jean BrownMy favorite guide book to Ecuador.
  4. The Ecuador Effect by David E. StuartFiction!I am breathlessly awaiting in Kindle format. I had a chance to begin this book in a borrowed copy, but alas, the owner of the book moved faster than I could read.

More to come!

Travellers’ Wildlife Guide Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands by David L. Pearson, Les Beletsky and Pricilla BarrettThis is one wonderful wildlife guide. Essential if you have any interest in the natural world.

Culture and Customs of Ecuador by Michael H. Handelsman –If you have an interest in the literature, religion, performing arts or art in Ecuador then this is your book. Not great, but quite good.

Fire From the Andes: Short Fiction by Women from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru by Susan E. Benner, Kathy S. Leonard and Marjorie Agosin – This is another book on my Kindle wishlist. When, oh when, can I get it on Kindle. I had the opportunity to read two stories from this book (borrowed from a fellow traveler) on a short bus ride from Quito to Banos. It was my first day in the country and I could not focus. I have heart the rhythms of these women’s voices in my head ever since.

Stories From Ecuador: A Collection by Tyrel Nelson by Tyrel Nelson This gave me a different perspective on Ecuador. I am a 65 year old retiree. He made me wish I weren’t. I would recommend this for the many young people who come to Ecuador to teach or volunteer at ecological works in Ecuador.

Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent by Eduardo Galeano – This seems to be a must read if you are going to South America. I found it whiney and poorly written and it overlooks, entirely, the pillage of the poor by the rich.

1491: New revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann – OK! It is not specifically about Ecuador but it does explain a lot about South America (and North America) that EVERYONE should know.

Townhouse FOR SALE in San Clemente

350 feet from the Pacific Ocean. Swimming pool just 300 steps away. 1290 sq. Ft, 2 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, 645 sq ft roof top terrace. Air conditioned, fully furnished, washer and dryer. Parking space and a car. 24 hour security.
350 feet from the Pacific Ocean. Swimming pool just 300 steps away. 1290 sq. Ft, 2 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, 645 sq ft roof top terrace. Air conditioned, fully furnished, washer and dryer. Parking space and a car. 24 hour security.

It wouldn't be fair to recommend books to you and not caution you to carry a map of Ecuador with you if you choose to visit. These are all good.

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