Was wondering if anyone can recommend (a) book(s) on the exploration of the (south) Pacific islands (Polynesia, Micronesia all the way to Hawai’i … ) — for example the exploration of James Cook or some of the other explorers of the Pacific Islands. Looking for just well executed book(s) with beautiful writing, maps, photos, illustrations …
Something I've found on the topic
Pacific Exploration: Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook's Endeavour to the Beagle (looks to be exactly what I'm looking for (maybe use it as a reference for recommendations?), but appears to be only available in paperback — looking only at hardcovers)
Captain Cook and the Pacific: Art, Exploration and Empire (another book from the same author, but offers no sample pages, so can't tell if it's what I'm looking for)
Now it doesn't have to be a book about James Cook (the way I understand it, he was a pioneer and maybe the most famous explorer of the area), I'm just not too familiar with the topic/era in general, so don't know anyone else off the top of my head (hence this post — trying to learn more!).
Looking forward to reading book recommendations and maybe even "just" reading posts from someone who knows a lot about/is passionate about this subject. Info and recommendations about anything else about this area and it's history is appreciated.
Source: reddit post