World Travel Guides


Cook Islands - Further reading


Further reading on Cook Islands

  • Richard Walter's Prehistory of Mauke: An Ethnoarchaeological Report weaves together traditional stories about sites on the island with archaeological observations.
  • Years of the Pooh-Bah: A Cook Islands History, by Dick Scott, is a recent and readable book, lavishly illustrated with historical photographs.
  • Alphons MJ Kloosterman's Discoverers of the Cook Islands & the Names They Gave gives a brief history of each island, the early legends of each and a record of its European contact.
  • History of Rarotonga, up to 1853, by Taira Rere, is a concise account of the arrival of Christianity in the Cook Islands, particularly in Rarotonga, with sketches of the various participants in the islands' history.
  • If you can get past the pro-missionary slant, books like the Reverend William Gill's Gems of the Coral Islands and William Wyatt Gill's (no relation) Cook Islands Custom are interesting 19th century accounts island life.
  • Paul Theroux's The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific has a chapter on a trip to Aitutaki.
  • Robert Dean Frisbie wrote about living and trading in the Cooks in The Book of Puka-Puka and The Island of Desire.
  • One of the best known residents has to be Tom Neale, who wrote of his life as the hermit of Suwarrow in An Island to Oneself.
  • Cook Island Politics: The Inside Story anthologises 22 writers and their takes on the islands' intrigues and shenanigans up to the late 1970s.
  • Local tales are recounted in Cook Island Legends and The Ghost at Tokatarava and Other Stories from the Cook Islands, both by local writer Jon Jonassen.
  • The islands' famous quilts are examined in Lynnsay Rongokea's Tivaevae: Portraits of Cook Islands Quilting.


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