Welcome to Travel Readings
Melbourne: The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Books, Movies and Beyond…
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Washington, DC and New York
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Rome
Rio de Janeiro: Crimes of August (Agosto) by Rubem Fonseca
Istanbul: The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk
Liège (Belgium): Pedigree by Georges Simenon
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Lisbon
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Cambodia
Hyde Park, Chicago: Ravelstein by Saul Bellow
Paris: Flowers of Ruin and Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Naples
Books, Movies and Beyond…: Tanzania
Sri Lanka: Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje
Books, Movies and Beyond… : Venice
Dublin: The Dead by James Joyce
Books, Movies and Beyond: Iran
Santa Cruz, Bolivia: The Matter of Desire (Materia del Deseo) by Edmundo Paz Soldán
Books, Movies and Beyond: Syria
Djibouti: Passage of Tears (Passage des Larmes) by Abdourahman Waberi
Books, Movies and Beyond: Armenia
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: The Parachute Drop by Norbert Zongo
Bangkok: Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap
Périgord, France: The Caves of Périgord by Martin Walker
Books, Movies and Beyond: Brussels
Naples: The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
Books, Movies and Beyond: Rio de Janeiro
Tajikistan: Hurramabad by Andrei Volos
New-York: City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
Israel and Palestine: To the End of the Land by David Grossman and Wild Thorns by Sahar Khalifeh
Books, Movies and Beyond: Bavaria and Southern Germany
Cape Town: Boyhood, Youth and Summertime by J.M. Coetzee
Books, Movies and Beyond: India
Blue Ridge Mountains: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Books, Movies and Beyond: Algeria
Austrian Alps: A Whole Life (Ein ganzes Leben) by Robert Seethaler
Books, Movies and Beyond: Africans in America
Zimbabwe: The Last Resort by Douglas Rogers
Books, Movies and Beyond: Colombia
Belgian Ardennes: The All Saints’ Day Lovers by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Côte d’Ivoire: Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie
Japan: Haruki Murakami and Amélie Nothomb
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Rope and The Denial of Saint Peter by Charles Baudelaire
Books, Movies and Beyond: Cairo
Vancouver: What is Remembered by Alice Munro
Ghent (Belgium): War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans
Haiti: An Aroma of Coffee and Dining with the Dictator by Dany Laferrière and The Comedians by Graham Greene
Iceland: Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason
Siena and Tuscany : Il Palio delle contrade morte by Fruttero & Lucentini and The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
China : Wild Swans. Three Daughters of China, by Jung Chang
Amsterdam: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris
Former Soviet Union: The Unwomanly Face of War  by Svetlana Alexievich
Provence: The Horseman on the Roof by Jean Giono, La charrette bleue by René Barjavel, Madame de Sévigné and Ventoux by Bert Wagendorp
Moscow: The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and Limonov by Emmanuel Carrère
Books, Movies and Beyond: Vietnam
Books, Movies and Beyond: The Wars in Vietnam

Books, Movies and Beyond…: Lisbon

My parents recently made a short trip to Lisbon and asked me for book suggestions. I first suggested “Night Train to Lisbon” by the Swiss author, Pascal Mercier. I just finished it. It is a great novel mixing the sudden trip by an erudite from Bern to Lisbon, a city he completely ignores and memories from the time of the Salazar dictatorial regime and the resistance to it. The memories build up through his encounters in the Portuguese capital. It is a book that gave me the envy to learn Portuguese (I started two weeks ago) and to go back to Lisbon (my only trip dates from more than 20 years ago).



I thought about this book after having watched the movie “Night Train to Lisbon”, with Jeremy Irons as the main character. I liked very much the movie, inspired by the novel. It has great pictures of Lisbon. But I even preferred the novel. Here is the movie’s trailer.

Another book that I just read and which takes place mainly in Lisbon is “Baltasar and Blimunda” by Portuguese Nobel laureate, José Saramago. I also very much enjoyed this novel. Saramago has a great sense of humor. The book tells the story of Baltasar a one-armed soldier, and Blimunda, a seer, during the high days of the Kingdom of Portugal. They are involved with attempts to fly, pursued by the Holy Inquisition and have the chance to listen to Domenico Scarlatti playing the harpsichord.



The original Portuguese title of “Baltasar and Blimunda” is « Memorial do Convento ». The book tells the story of the construction of the Convent of Mafra, 16 miles from Lisbon. I did not visit it, but it looks interesting.

National Palace of Mafra

National Palace of Mafra

Fado is one of the traditional types of music in Lisbon. I found this video clip from the 1955 movie “The Lovers of Lisbon (Les Amants du Tage)” by French cineaste Henri Verneuil. It shows an interpretation of Barco Negro by the star of the Fado, Amália Rodrigues.

And here is a more modern version of the same fado “Barco Negro” by singer Mariza.



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