Beaver, Paul. Diary of an Amazon Guide: Amazing Encounters with Tropical Nature and Culture. New York: AE Publications, 2001. Paul Beaver, owner of the Tahuayo Lodge  near Iquitos , holds a PhD from the University of Chicago and has spent two decades exploring the upper Amazon . He provides a fast-moving, insightful, and humorous glimpse into both the nature and people of the area.
Forsyth, Adrian, and Ken Miyata. Tropical Nature, Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987. This well-written and at times humorous book lays out the principles of rainforest ecology in easy-to-read, entertaining prose. First-time jungle visitors will understand much more of what they see in the Amazon  after reading this book.
Kricher, John. A Neotropical Companion, 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999. Compared to Tropical Nature, this book offers a more detailed, scientific look at rainforest ecology, though it is still designed for nonbiologists. This is the bible for the Amazon enthusiast, with a good listing of animals, plants, and ecosystems and theoretical discussions of evolutionary biology and other advanced topics.
MacQuarrie, Kim, and André Bärtschi, photographer. Peru’s Amazonian Eden: Manu National Park and Biosphere Reserve, 2nd ed. Barcelona, Spain: Francis O. Patthe, 1998. This book of stunning photos is more than just a coffee-table book. Kim MacQuarrie spent six months living with a previously uncontacted tribe in the Manu  and writes an eloquent evocation of the people and wildlife of Peru’s most pristine patch of Amazon .
MacQuarrie, Kim, with Jorge Flores Ochoa and Javier Portós. Photos by Jaume and Jordi Blassi. Gold of the Andes: The Llamas, Alpacas, Vicuñas, and Guanacos of South America. Barcelona, Spain: Francis O. Patthe, 1994. This is another well-written book with large-format pictures of Peru’s highlanders and the animals on which they depend.
Stap, Don. A Parrot Without a Name. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1991. Poet-naturalist Don Stap accompanied two of Latin America’s more renowned ornithologists, Ted Parker and John O’Neil, on birding expeditions into unexplored corners of the Amazon . The book blends Amazon adventure with a close look at the odd, obsessive life of ornithologists.