For anyone that is interested in Islay and in particular the whiskies of the island, Peat Smoke and Spirit: A Portrait of Islay and Its Whiskies
by Andrew Jefford is recommended. For those not interested in the whiskies they can skip every second chapter, each of which deals with a separate distillery, and instead concentrate on the rest of the book that deals with the island, its history and the people... although, be warned, they tend to mention whisky too
Anyway, here's the synopsis for the book (which is available from Amazon
Those who discover malt whisky quickly learn that the malts made on the Isle of Islay are some of the wildest and most characterful in the malt-whisky spectrum. In PEAT SMOKE AND SPIRIT, Islay's fascinating story is uncovered: from its history and stories of the many shipwrecks which litter its shores, to intimate descriptions of the beautiful wildlife, landscape and topography of the island. Interwoven through these different narrative strands comes the story of the whiskies themselves, traced from a distant past of bothies and illegal stills to present-day legality and prosperity. The flavour of each spirit is analysed and the differences between them teased out, as are the stories of the notable men and women who have played such a integral part in their creation. PEAT SMOKE AND SPIRIT is the last word on Islay and its whiskies.