There are 4 main guide books: Lonely Planet, Frommer's, the Moon Guide and The Panama Planner.
The Panama Planner
An award winning Panama travel guide with over 80 high quality color photos and information about what to do and see in Panama City, nightlife, nearby Panama City, beach and mountain destinations, retire in Panama and about Panama for business. The only Panama guide that is updated every six months. People call The Panama Planner "my bible for getting to know Panama". It also has an attractive 8 and half by 11 size which lays flat like a magazine.
Frommer's Panama Guide
An excellent guide book written especially for the more upscale traveler.
Lonely Planet Panama
A thorough, informative and fun guidebook for all. This is must if you are backpacking or on a budget- but it's also a good general guide for all.
Moon Guide to Panama
Another excellent Panama guide. which was written by an American who knows Panama well- he grew up here in the former American Canal Zone.
A Guide to Living in Panama
The Moon Living Abroad Panama Guide is an invaluable, very complete resource for anyone interested in living in Panama, newly arrived or relocating for business.
The Guide to the Birds of Panama, by Robert Ridgely and John Gwynn Jr.
Panama is more bird dense than just about anywhere and this is the guide to Panama's amazing bird population-944 recorded bird species, more than the USA and Canada combined.
The Path Between the Seas The Creation of the Panama Canal, by Pulitzer-prize winning historian David McCullough
Reads like an historical novel too good to put down and too incredible to be true, but it all is. It will give you a feel for Panama the country - people, culture, weather, fauna, terrain, politics, history and geological destiny. It is also a moving and at times awesome description of the American know-how that made the impossible dream of the Panama Canal come true.
Don't Kill The Cow Too Quick, by Malcolm Henderson
This book is a great read for all Panamaphiles. The author manages to catch so much of what we love and what sometimes frustrates us about life in Panama. A readable sometimes hilarious account of the first six years of an Englishman's experiences living in Bocas del Toro.
Taking on the twin projects of building an unconventional house in Bocas town and establishing an organic farm on the shores of a distant lagoon, the author reveals many of the challenges facing ex pats as they settle in Panama.
The Panama Cruising Guide, by Eric Bauhaus/Sailors Publications
This book is written by a young Dutch sea captain who was sailing around the world in his yacht when he happened upon Panama. Like many yacht folks before him, he fell head over heels in love with the incomparably picturesque Atlantic archipelago of San Blas and its 365 perfect islands and colorful Kuna indian villages. Finding Panama a safe, interesting and beautiful yachting destination, he saw the need for a Panama sailing guide Complete with detailed instructions on how to cross the Panama Canal.