Friday, October 30, 2015

Reef Libre

Reef Libre is the a new book by Robert Winter. When I was offered the opportunity to review this book I really excited. The complete title of the book is Reef Libre Cuba The Last Best Reefs in the World . The book is non-fiction and it comes along with a dvd about Cuba's coral reefs.

The Story

This book is the story of Robert Winter's visit to Cuba in order to see the coral reef's of the area. Cuba is an unusual area because it's reefs have been protected due to a lack of commercialization. Yes, politics have played in favor of the reefs of Cuba. Since there has been little development and little industrial activity, the negative effects of these two activities have not been felt in the reef area. The result Cuba has some of the greatest remaining reefs in the world.
The book begins at the beginning of the authors journey and he explains the challenges an American can face entering Cuba. He leads us through his experience as a tourist in a country that has few tourists. And he explains the challenges that Cuba's reefs may face in the future. The book has beautiful pictures, and they don't only show what the reefs look like. The pictures also show what life in Cuba is like.
The dvd that accompanies the book is also well shot, and it highlights many points from the book. But of course it is mostly undersea. It's a chance for those of us who won't get to visit Cuba to view the beauty of their reefs.

What I Liked

I absolutely loved the pictures in this book. Like I said they are beautiful. I also liked that the author took us through the entire journey of visiting Cuba. I've always believed that good books take us to places we may never have the chance to visit. And this book does that. And the video really does this. I also liked that the book brought out one of those Oh, yeah moments in my life. While I knew before that the tropical aquarium trade was harmful to the world's coral reefs, it was while I was reading this book that I really understood just how it has devastated many reefs. I also learned just how important sharks are to the health of reefs. I liked how that the dvd used showed so many of the fish in the reef. And it was done professionally. This isn't a regular tourist shooting photos. This was someone who actually knew what reefs should look like.

What I Didn't Like

Actually, while I loved that there were photos from the authors entire experience in Cuba. I wish that there had been more pictures of the fish. There were loads of them, but you can never get enough of a good thing right? Overall, I really liked reading this book. The author is knowledgeable and the book is wonderful to look at.

Who Will Like This Book?

The first group of people that will enjoy this book are individuals who are concerned about environmental issues. The author explains some of the issues that revolve around the coral reefs in the world today. And his visiting Cuba shows just how successful eliminating the tropical fish trade can be in maintaining a healthy reef system. This isn't the only issue he addresses though. The next group of people who might enjoy this book are those who enjoy diving and visiting areas under water. The photos are beautiful, and I'm sure that many individuals will add Cuba to their dream dive destinations after they read this book.
 You can watch the video to learn more about the book and dvd.

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for completing a review of the book. But the opinions are mine all mine.


  1. Thanks, Heidi, for the compelling review--and thanks especially for highlighting the most important point of this outing. Reefs around the world will fade away, or we can step up to save them. Robert WintNer

  2. Oh I bet this is so beautiful!!!


  3. Thanks for the great review, I would want lots of fish photos too. I bet they were just beautiful.
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