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Books — México

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Colonial Architecture

Exploring Colonial Oaxaca

by Richard D. Perry

Richard D. Perry is the author of several books on the architecture and art of colonial México. With Exploring Colonial Oaxaca, he offers an in-depth look at the colonial architecture of the state of Oaxaca, unpacking for readers the centuries-long history of the state’s colonial churches, monasteries, and mansions, along with the artistic and architectural styles that influenced them.

Extremely well organized, the book begins with a brief introduction to the Dominican style of architecture and ornamentation that predominated in the state during the first wave of church construction in the 16th century, before discussing the economic, political, religious, and even geological forces driving the evolution in styles of later periods of church construction in the 17th and 18th centuries. The book then goes on to review over sixty of the state’s most important colonial-era buildings. Organized geographically, the reviews begin with the city of Oaxaca, the site of the largest concentration and variety of colonial buildings in the state, before venturing out of the city and into the three long and narrow valleys protruding from it, then turning north and meandering up and into the mountains of the northern Sierra and the Mixteca Alta.

A short 222 pages in length, with dozens of drawings by the author and color photographs by Felipe Falcón, the book strikes the right balance between the too brief and often unsatisfying descriptions found in most travel guidebooks and the too much background and detail of academic tomes. That said, by necessity, the book uses a lot of architectural and artistic jargon that will be lost on many of its readers (this writer included). Expanding the short glossary in the back of the book by just a few pages would go a long way towards making it more self contained, which is important in this kind of guidebook. For anyone getting lost in the jargon, the website www.mexicanarchitecture.org has an excellent glossary of terms relating to the colonial architecture of México, along with clarifying photographs.

The Amate bookstore in the city of Oaxaca (Alcalá 307) usually has a large stack of this book for sale, or it can be purchased online at Amazon.com.

The Colonial Architecture of Mexico

by James Early

James Early’s The Colonial Architecture of Mexico charts the architectural history of Mexico from the time of the Spanish conquest, through the early and late baroque periods, before concluding with the Neo-classical period, which overlapped with Independence. Available online at Amazon.com.

Nature & Outdoors

Mexico Adventures in Nature
Out of print
Ron Mader

Paperback: 321 pages Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; New edition edition (October 1, 1998) Language: English ISBN-10: 1562613405 ISBN-13: 978-1562613402 Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces

Travel Guides

Lonely Planet

Mexico Travel Guide

US $26.99

11th Edition / September 2008 ISBN: 9781741048049 1056 pp / 32 pp colour / 187 maps Next edition due: September 2011 John Noble , Ray Bartlett , Josephine Quintero , Tom Masters , Michael Read , Kate Armstrong , Daniel C. Schechter , Tim Bewer , Beth Kohn , Kevin Raub , Adam Skolnick , Greg Benchwick , Cesar G. Soriano

Mexico City, City Guide

US $19.99

3rd Edition / September 2008 ISBN: 9781740591829 288 pp / 8 pp colour / 41 maps Next edition due: September 2010 Daniel C. Schechter , Josephine Quintero



The Rough Guide to Mexico

Author(s): Paul Whitfield, John Fisher, Daniel Jacobs, Zora O'Neill ISBN: 1843538431 960 pages – 75 maps (24-page full-colour introduction) Seventh Edition Published: UK: July 2007 US: August 2007 U.K. £15.99 U.S. $26.99 CAN $34.99

Let's Go Mexico


DK Guide to Mexico

People's Guide to Mexico

Travel Writing

On Mexican Time: A New Life In San Miguel

by Tony Cohan

Burnt out on LA, needing a break, novelist Tony Cohan and his wife Masako take some friends' advice and visit the colonial city of San Miguel de Allende, México. The story that unfolds is a meditation on life and community in México as an alternative to the frenetic pace of LA. This book is a must read for anyone interested in México. If you have time to read only one book on México, make this the one.

This book's sequel Mexican Days: Journeys into the Heart of Mexico is also recommended.

Mexican Days: Journeys into the Heart of Mexico

by Tony Cohan

Further ruminations on life in Mexico from the writer Tony Cohan.

This book's prequel, On Mexican Time: A New Life In San Miguel, is also recommended.

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