Want to learn more from books about South America?
Here I’m going to show you some of the best books about South America that consist of both fiction and non-fiction.
Quick Answer: Books About South America
- 500-years of Latin American – Read with a Passion for Latin America
- Historical takes on each Country – Coverage of Guayana
- Learn All About Afro Latinos – 200 years of History
- Turn Right at Machu Picchu – Education on Incan history
- Books About South America- Buyers Guide
You can guarantee that these books, set in Latin America, will bring you up to speed with life, culture and the history of the Latin world.
Latin literature is the expression some of the finest art and cultures from the old world. Not to mention, reading it will make you a wiser human being.
I prefer to buy the paperbacks to add to my ever-growing library at home.
When on the road I like to have one in my packing list to read. You can usually get the digital book version if need be and sometimes at a fraction of the cost.
South American Books
Throughout the years traveling back and forth to South America I have found getting my hands on a great book is the best way to prepare for a trip.
So, here I present to you some of the best books about South America that you can add to your reading list for 2019.
- ✓ Amazing places to visit
- ✓ Unheard Locations
- ✓ Hilarious travel observation
This is one of the books about South America that show you that traveling around the world can be a tough thing to get right. But, falling off the Map makes it easy for you to do so. It’s a fun and engaging book put together by an eccentric expert of travel in Pico Iyer.
Definitely a book worth reading if you need some inspiration for your next and new trip to South America.
- ✓ An ancient pre-war story
- ✓ Education on Incan history
- ✓ Engaging content on archaeology
Part of learning about the world of Peru comes from reading about ancient Incans. This book will give you the perfect way to learn about these incredible people. A must-read for anyone who is coming to Machu Picchu and wants to know more about what lies in wait.
- ✓ Travelling through rural Paraguay
- ✓ Historical takes on Paraguayan life
- ✓ Feedback on locals
As a nation that many people will never see or take the time to visit, Paraguay often goes under-appreciated as a South American paradise.
At The Tomb of the Inflatable Pig, though, removes this veil of mystery and makes it much easier to appreciate everything Paraguay is about.
A book you must read if you are serious about making the most of your time in Paraguay culturally and educationally.
- ✓ The life of a legend
- ✓ His polarising life
- ✓ Separating fact from fiction
As a deeply polarising man for many reasons, Che Guevara changed the world in many ways. However, Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life explains in clear detail why ‘Che’ was one of the most important men of his – or any – era.
A must-read for anyone serious about really enjoying the contrast in the life experiences of a revolutionary legend.
- ✓ Information about cocaine addiction
- ✓ South America’s cocaine relationship
- ✓ Story of Thomas McFadden
The term ‘marching powder’ has long been associated with cocaine and by extension South America. Marching Powder, though, looks to put a new light on the polarising relationship that South America shares with this plant.
It’s a very interesting story, told from inside the cells of the San Pedro prison in Bolivia. A must-read for fans of in-depth reading.
- ✓ 200 years of history
- ✓ The end of slavery
- ✓ The impact of diaspora
Not every book about South America has to be about the chaos and drugs, though.
Afro-Latin America looks to share the story of the immense change culturally that took place when the African diaspora reached Latin and Central America. A must-read for all fans of American history.
- ✓ A unique worldwide mystery
- ✓ An adventure through Patagonia
- ✓ Information about Butch Cassidy
Probably one of the best books about Patagonia. From finding an old cabin from the infamous Butch Cassidy to working his way through this amazing and often unheralded piece of South America.
Bruce Chatwin makes it easier to truly understand the various reasons why so many see this idyllic location as a place we should all visit.
Add this to your list of books on Chilean history. It’s A fantastic story built around old legends and discoveries of ancient ancestry.
- ✓ Trips to ‘other’ nations
- ✓ Coverage of Guayana, Suriname and French Guiana
- ✓ Historical takes on each nation
Through the visceral and in-depth writing of John Gimlette, we can enjoy a unique take on three nations that often fall outside the talking points of South America Guayana, French Guiana, and Suriname.
One of those crucial books set in South America that you should read. It’s well written and for those who want to know about the more unhinged and exciting elements that South American often hides.
- ✓ A history of America.
- ✓ A story worth reading
- ✓ An essential history lesson
If you’re looking for novels set in South America, this could be one of the best and most important stories of the century. The House of the Spirits is a must-read for all people passionate about going to and/or seeing South America.
An epic book that covers decades of time, delivering a stunning story that covers both personal challenge and political tragedy in South America as few books can.
- ✓ Historical readings of Latin America
- ✓ Political context and cultural details
- ✓ 500-years of Latin American
This book, Open Veins of Latin America, is the perfect way to showcase knowledge and a passion for Latin America that goes far beyond the norm. be sure to add it to the collection of your best books on South American history.
A fantastic ode to a special part of the world, this covers over 500-years of a history of conflict, strife, war, and madness to help us better understand why ‘loco’ culture dominates across the continent.
- ✓ Racism in Uruguayan culture
- ✓ How Uruguay transformed itself
- ✓ How racism was defeated
Like a plague of our species, racism has played a role in the ruination of many lives and countries.
Uruguay, though, tells a far less fractious tale. Through many changes across centuries, Uruguay became a hotbed for multi-cultural thinking that simply has not spread to other parts of the continent: George Reid Andrews simply asks “Why?” in this thrilling read.
- ✓ The story of a lost city
- ✓ A path across the Andes
- ✓ Re-tracing old Incan pathways
This book is a fine read for any fans of a lasting and incredible journey. Follow alongside Hugh Thomson as he undergoes a special journey to find the ancient lost city of Llactapat. Is he successful?
Read the book to discover an incredible journey that will inspire you to follow in his footsteps like never before.
- ✓ Interesting moral questions posed
- ✓ Diplomacy in South America
- ✓ Challenges in social contexts
A must-read for anyone who enjoys taking in a book about political transformation across the most volatile continent on the planet.
The Honorary Consul covers the challenge of being involved in diplomacy in a group of nations that never knew peace.
One to read for any fans of literary works that pose interesting moral questions and investigates interesting, unique grey areas.
- ✓ The story of the Barcardi family
- ✓ How rum and Cuba combined
- ✓ The story of a revolution
If you’re interested in some of the best books on Latin American history, you can’t forget Cuba. Admittedly not a part of South America however, despite Cuban history often being long and confusing. This book, Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba helps to make sense of a deeply challenging and unique part of the world.
It tells the story of a 150-year-long struggle to make Cuba a nation of strength, and how the Bacardi family has played such a huge role in their transformation and rebellion against the ruling political class.
A must-read to help explain the struggle, strain, and success of one of the most important families in Cuban history.
Best Books about South America
So now you’ve got your hands on some of the great books about South America you have no excuse to start reading.
I hope you can choose at least one of these books to take with you on the road. If not you can always get the audio version of the books.
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Want More Latin America Inspiration?
Hopefully, you’ve found these books about South America useful.
Do you require more book ideas for your reading pleasure?
- Books About Brazil – Learn all about Brazilian culture.
- Books About Colombia – Read more about Colombia.
- Books About Guatemala – Learn all about Guatemala’s history.
- Books About Ecuador – Books about Ecuadorian culture.
- Books About Mexico – Learn all about Mexican culture.
Maybe you’re traveling soon and in need of some gear for your trip? Check out this best travel gear page for ideas on what to carry.
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