Five Classic Books about Mexico
(guest post by contributor Bonnie Way )
Many of the dreams I have about travel are inspired by the books I’ve read about other countries. While traveling lets us see a country, reading can take us into the heart and soul of a place in another way. Here are five books about Mexico, written by great authors of the past century, that are sure to delight and teach you about Mexico, whether you are an armchair traveler or fortunate enough to make it there in person.
Sea of Cortez, a Liesurely Journal of Travel and Research
by John Steinbeck is his account of a research trip to the Gulf of California with his friend, marine biologist Edward F. Ricketts. Steinbeck and Ricketts depict their journey from Cabo San Lucas north, sharing their discoveries, friendship, and insight into the world of the 1930s. This book offers a fascinating exploration that is both literary and scientific. Paperback. Penguin Books, 2009.
The Lawless Roads (Penguin Classics)
by Graham Greene is another travel narrative set in 1930s Mexico. Greene was commissioned to report on how the Mexican people had faced the brutal anti-clerical purges of President Calles. This trip inspired his novel, The Power and the Glory. Greene brings his rich, poetical language to descriptions of remote areas of Mexico. Paperback, Penguin Classics, 2006.
Mornings in Mexico
by D. H. Lawrence is a series of essays written about Mexico in the 1920s. Lawrence’s trademark poetic prose marks these essays, which describe Mexico in a sauntering, unhurried fashion perfect for a vacation reader. This is ranked as one of the best travel books about Mexico and one of Lawrence’s best books as well. Hardcover and paperback. Fredonia Books, 2003.
All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, Book 1)
by Cormac McCarthy has been made into a movie by the same name and is actually the first novel in a trilogy. This coming-of-age story follows 16-year-old John Grady Cole into Mexico with two companions on an adventure that ends in romance. Winner of the 1992 National Book Award, All the Pretty Horses is a mesmerizingly tragic story. Hardcover and paperback. Vintage, 1993.
by James A. Michener is the epic story of a country as only Michener can tell it. An American journalist travels to Mexico to report on a matador duel and discover the dramatic story of his own Mexican ancestry. From the ancient peoples to the Spaniards to the modern country, Michener takes readers through Mexico’s past and present. Paperback. Fawcett, 1994.
Bonnie Way is a reader, writer, and mom who visited Mexico for a few days in 2012.