Recommended reading and books about Cuba


Traveling with insightCuba gives you a firsthand look at Cuban life. However, we recommend reading about the history, culture, and politics of Cuba before departing. It will enhance your experience and help you adjust to the cultural differences between the U.S. and Cuba.


Frank, Mark. Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana

Florida: University Press of Florida, 2013.

A real behind the scene look at Cuba through the eyes and words of an American journalist who has lived in Cuba for more than 20 years. A must read.


Sainsbury, Brendan. Cuba.

Victoria, Australia: Lonely Planet, 2011.

A great resource with a bounty of practical information about Cuban culture, history, and destinations. 


Garcia, Cristina. Dreaming in Cuban.

New York: Ballantine Books, 1993.

A novel chronicling three generations of Cuban women and the complexities between resident Cubans and Cubans who immigrated  to the U.S.


Infante, Guillermo C. Three Trapped Tigers.

Chicago: Dalkey Archive Press, 2004.

Based on the memories of a man torn from his country, Infante paints a colorful portrait of the characters found in Havana’s pre-Castro, cabaret society.


Miller, Tom. Trading with the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro’s Cuba

New York: Basic Books, 2008.

Told by Tom Miller, who became a Cuban expat for a year, this book looks at Cuban culture from a different perspective, given that it was penned during the worst of the “Special Period.”


Bran, Zoe. Enduring Cuba.

Victoria, Australia: Lonely Planet, 2008.

A travelogue by nature, Bran’s writing seeks the truth about Cuban socialism by interviewing a plethora of locals and traveling the length of Cuba.


Tatlin, Isadora. Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana.

New York: Broadway Books, 2003.

Organized as a collection of diary entries, Tatlin’s stories humorously regale the reader with daily hardships of family life in Cuba.


For a more in-depth approach to the Spanish language, we also recommend the following books:

Kendris, Christopher. 501 Spanish Verbs.

New York: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 2007.


Langenscheidt Spanish Pocket Dictionary.

New York: Langenscheidt Publishers, 2006.