Galapagos, Kurt Vonnegut, 1985
The late author’s darkly comic novel reviews the state of humankind from the skewed perspective of the survivors of an ill-fated cruise to the Galapagos.

The Evolution of Jane, Cathleen Schine, 1998
This novel by the author best-known for her book The Love Letter is a family saga that unfolds on a tour of the Galapagos so merges meditations on Darwin’s theories of evolution and family dynamics.


The Origin: A Biographical Novel of Charles Darwin, Irving Stone, 1980
No longer in print, this book is worth tracking down for its gripping telling of the life of Darwin.

The Encantadas, Herman Melville, 1856
Melville journeyed here almost a decade after Darwin and found the “enchanted islands” to be the most desolate place he’d ever encountered. His descriptions, while accurate and poetic, reveal the disenchantment that he felt on his journey.

Galapagos Wildlife: A Visitor’s Guide, David Horwell, 1999
Galapagos Wildlife focuses on the unique inhabitants of the Pacific islands west of Ecuador and covers every aspect of both land and marine wildlife.

Galapagos: World’s End, William Beebe, 1961
Account of a 1924 scientific expedition to the Galapagos.

On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin, 1859
In this influential work of scientific literature, Darwin introduced the controversial theory of evolution that contradicted the biblical story of how life began.

Teaching A Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters, Annie Dillard, 1982
This Pulitzer Prize-winning author has a wonderful essay, titled “Life on the Rocks,” on the islands’ natural history in this collection of writings.

The Voyage of the Beagle, Charles Darwin, 1845
The diary of the founder of evolutionary theory is a must for anyone visiting the islands that inspired him.

The Galapagos: A Natural History, Henry Nicholls, 2014
Henry Nicholls, fascinated by the remote allure of the Galapagos, delves into the islands’ development and history, the diversity of native species, and the current concerns about balancing conservation and ecotourism in his natural history narrative.

Lonesome George, Henry Nicholls, 2007
Henry Nicholls focuses on the study of enormous tortoise George, who had previously been considered extinct in the Galapagos, to discuss the issues of conservation, Darwin’s natural selection theory, the challenges of ecotourism, and the diversity of the Galapagos Islands.

For Children

Nilo and the Tortoise, Ted Lewin, 1999
The story of a boy who is stranded on an island in the Galapogos and his encounters with animals. For ages 4 to 8.

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