Books by "Mexico" Mike and Other Mexico Books
"Mexico" Mike's Books About Mexico
Reviews of "Mexico" Mike's Books About Mexico
Library Journal: "Nelson's writing is amusing and personal." ... Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Nelson didn't get the name "Mexico" Mike by sticking to the beaten track." ... New York Times: "He coaxes visitors onto roads less traveled." ... L.A. Times: "... he tells funny, sometimes outlandish stories ...." ... The Book Reader: "He's the expert. He covers Mexico from top to bottom. He loves it, but doesn't withhold its warts. ... You gotta like "Mexico" Mike."
Live Better South of the Border is an honest book about living and working in Mexico. There are lots of books about living in Mexico. I have been told that people like Live Better because it is entertaining and factual. Besides living in Mexico or retiring to Mexico, it has advice about working in Mexico. Live Better South of the Border is funny and straightforward. Whether you want to retire to Mexico, start a business in Mexico, learn about how to live in Mexico, you'll enjoy "Mexico" Mike's books.
NOTE: This book was published and updated from 1995-2006. Not a bad run. There are no more updates planned. Should you buy it? Yeah. The Big Picture advice is timeless. The dated stuff, like what does it cost to rent in San Miguel de Allende, is of course out-of-date. So what? That stuff changes monthly. The town-by-town percentage-based cost of living comparison (does it cost more to live in X than Y?) is just as true today as when it was written. The advice on how to choose a town to live in, how to tell if you will "fit" living in Mexico and how not to be an Ugly American or a mildly offensive Canadian is stuff you can't get from a Johnny-come-lately book printed last week. There are dozens of books about living in Mexico today. All claim to be insider's guides. I don't. I offer a skeptical, honest, historical view. Just because someone lives in Mexico does not mean he/she understands Mexico. I do (as well as an estadounidense can).
If you are already sold, buy Mexico Mike's book on living in Mexico here. Otherwise, read on.
If you want to know about Mexico's hot springs, this is the book for you. The spa information is useful only for historical purposes, but the hot springs info is pretty good. Click for a detailed description.
Does the world need another book about living in Mexico?
When I first wrote Live Better South of the Border the only other popular book about living in Mexico was John Howell's Choose Mexico. I knew John and we simply had different views of the subject and were not in competition. Today, there are literally dozens of books on living in Mexico. I want to emphasize that I am not in competition with anyone. Everyone has a right to express his life view in print. The more the merrier. I humbly suggest that I do not know everything and that my way is not the only way.
I have to admit that I once thought I had all the answers. With age, I've realized that I only have some of the answers. I do believe I give you the big picture. While knowing the cost of living in Pto. Vallarta seems important, knowing whether it is the right place for you or not is more important. People are always more important than places. I try to prepare you for integrating into Mexican society - if that is what you want to do. I introduce you to the Mexican culture as it is expressed by different classes of society in Mexico. You do not relate to your maid the same way as to your middle-class Mexican neighbors. Nor do you relate to bureaucrats the same way you relate to officials in the United States or Canada. I give you sound advice on starting a business - from my own experience and from that of others who were more successful. That's the kind of advice I give you in my book.
So read all web sites promoting living in Mexico books, including mine, with an eye to whether the author speaks to you, as a friend. Those books are the ones that will guide you to do the right thing for yourself. And you know what? It would not hurt to buy two or three books. After all, moving to Mexico is a big decision.
The newest (2005) edition of Live Better South of the Border is still relevant. Prices change, but the priceless advice about how to choose a place to live in Mexico, or to decide if you should even go, is what this book on living in Mexico is all about. You know moving to Mexico is not just about money or warm weather. It is about adapting to a new culture. That's the type of advice that does not go out of date.
Prices of course, have changed since the book was written, but the relative comparison of cost of living remains valid. Compared to the previous edition, there are a number of additions. Price ranges for living in towns have been added. New sections on working and doing business have been added. A cost of living chart has been added. New towns have been added like Cozumel, Merida, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. A much larger section of Baja has been added. Maps have also been added. The neatest feature is a cost of living comparison for all parts of Mexico. The actual prices are, of course, way off, but the percentage comparisons remain the same. It tells you how much more living in San Miguel de Allende costs versus Guanajuato or Lake Chapala and so on. Requirements for FM3 visas are essentially the same, but new regulations are set to be codified in 2013. Thus even if this book was published tomorrow, something would be out-of-date. \
There are plenty of expat blogs and discussion boards where nitty-gritty stuff like that can be obtained. What I offer is a broad view to help you understand what you might be getting into by moving to Mexico. I also offer advice for you to choose whether to live there or not. Mexico is great, but it is not for everyone.