Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands: travel books to read before you go

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This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands guide provides a selection of literature to get you in the mood for your trip.

Beyond the Coral SeaMichael Moran’s excellent Beyond the Coral Sea sees the author retrace the steps of some of the colourful characters and empire-builders who were so influential in forming the country you see today.

Solomon TimeSolomon Time: An Unlikely Quest in the South Pacific, by Will Randall, is an unassuming and well-written tale of a naive Englishman who finds himself on a remote Solomons island, breeding chickens.

Four CornersFour Corners: Into the Heart of New Guinea, by Kira Salak, retraces the 1927 journey of British explorer Ivan Champion by foot and canoe, and his meetings with missionaries, cannibals and incredible landscapes.

My WickedLegendary swashbuckler Errol Flynn’s autobiography, My Wicked, Wicked Ways, covers the actor’s six formative years in New Guinea. It’s engaging and relevant, and almost single-handedly informed the worldview of New Guinea at the time.

Into the Crocodiles NestInto the Crocodile Nest keeps you turning the pages as author and masochist-traveller Benedict Allen becomes the first white man initiated into an obscure crocodile cult on the Sepik River.

Master PipMister Pip, by New Zealander Lloyd Jones, was shortlisted for the 2007 Booker Prize. It tells the story of an inspirational white schoolteacher in Bougainville in the 1990s during the blockade and war.

More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.