South Pacific Reading List

A reader asked me if I had any suggestions on contemporary books to read about cruisers voyages in the South Pacific and there must be a bunch out there but I drew a blank – anyone want to promote one here? Authors you know? Local authors? Please do – leave a comment with the book title.

A few weeks after the question, I checked out Headhunters on my Doorstep by Troost and low and behold more than half of the book is in French Polynesia. Troost is *not* a cruiser although he mentioned cruisers several times and has more than a passing acquaintance with the cruising community. He spends time in the Marquesas, Fakarava and Tahiti. I enjoy his writing although his style is not for everyone and this particular book delves into his recovery as well. I thought his remarks about the interaction between the French and Tahitian cultures were spot on and cracked up with his quips about the Frenchies. If you are headed this way, or just interested in this region, give it a spin.

Troost’s comments reminded me of a quote from my favorite comedian, Eddie Izzard:

“I love the French, but they are so very French.”


  1. As soon as I read the first paragraph of your post, I immediately thought of J. Maarten Troost. I love his books. If you liked Headhunters on My Doorstep, then you should definitely check out his first two books. They were written pre-recovery and are more about daily life in French Polynesia. I really liked Headhunters for a lot of reasons, but if somebody was just looking for a good read on French Polynesia, the first two books are probably a better starting point. Love your blog!

  2. kevin Patterson's The Water in Between

  3. Thanks for the recs!

    SV Ti'Punch (love the name). Thanks - As I understand it, Troosts first two books (which I've read) are about Kiribati, not French Polynesia. That said, I really enjoyed them.



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