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There is a diverse range of genres on the reading lists in Brazil this spring. From detailed accounts that explore the workings of the human mind to the novels that inspired recent films, there is a solid mix of fiction and non-fiction, providing great inspiration when it comes to updating your reading list. Here are some of the most-read books at the moment in Brazil.
O Homem Mais Inteligente da História is a book that marks a significant moment in the career of Brazilian physician, psychiatrist, and writer, Augusto Cury. In this first volume, the book explores a connection between Jesus Christ and the human sciences, found by a psychologist and an atheist researcher during a trip to Jerusalem. It tells the story of how two theologians, a neurosurgeon and his assistant helped the pair to decipher a famous text from the New Testament, linking it to the way we think, perceive and feel. Cury is an immensely popular author in Brazil, having sold more than 28 million copies of his books throughout the country.
Although first published in 2010, Quatro Vidas de um Cachorro is only now making waves on the literature scene in Brazil. The book tells the humorous yet heart-warming story of a dog that keeps being reborn a puppy before realising that he must have a special purpose. Narrated by the dog, the book explores the question that most of us have pondered on at some point – why are we here? It also shows the remarkable relationships that man and dog have.
Rita Lee – Uma Autobiografia is one of the most-sold books at the moment in Brazil and serves to show the affection felt for Rita Lee, a woman who is nationally considered the Queen of Brazilian rock and roll. In her autobiography, she begins her life journey from her childhood, before moving on to her beginnings as a music artist, giving birth to her sons and her most popular music. Rita Lee was completely involved in every aspect of her autobiography, from choosing the front cover to selecting all the photos and writing. Rita Lee, now approaching 70 years old, played an important role in Brazilian pop culture in the last few decades, making this book a source of fascination for anyone interested in music or Brazil.
Ransom Riggs’s debut novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, was made famous last year through the popular film of the same name. The book, originally written in English, has been translated into Portuguese (to O Lar da Srta. Peregrine Para Criancas Peculiares) and is currently one of the best-sellers in Brazil. The book tells the story of the life of Jacob, who was brought up listening to his grandfather’s unusual stories. Abe, the grandfather, had lived in an orphanage on an island where a girl could levitate, another child could make fire with their hands, and another was invisible. After Abe passes away, Jacob is riddled with doubts about these stories and decides to visit the island once and for all. There, he meets the children and discovers the answers to his uncertainties.
Red Queen was Aveyard’s first novel and the first volume of a three-part series. This young adult fantasy describes a world that is divided by red and silver – the reds are the commoners, often stricken by poverty, whereas the silvers are the supreme elite with extraordinary superpowers. Mare Barrow is a 17-year-old red who starts working in the palace of the silvers when she discovers that she has her own superpower, one that is deadly and capable of disrupting the current status quo. The silvers attempt to disguise her powers by announcing her as a long-lost silver princess. Yet Mare secretly works with the red militant resistance, entering into a dangerous game of immense risk.
The film of the same name – Me Before You – was one of the most popular films of 2016, and this year, Como Eu Era Antes de Voce has become one of the most-read books in Brazil. The story explores the life of Louisa Clark, who lives a simple yet happy life working in a café. In her free time, she takes care of her family and sees her boyfriend Patrick who, despite seeming to be more interested in training for triathlons than her, makes her content. One day, the café closes, and Louisa is forced to search for new work. She becomes the care-assistant of Will Traynor, an incredibly wealthy and intelligent 35-year-old. Once a sporty, outgoing man, he is paralysed after a motorbike accident, which has left him bitter and bad-tempered. After the initial meeting, Louisa and Will face remarkable differences and obstacles working together, but within time, they begin to slowly change each other’s lives.
Although the novel – in Portuguese, Cidades de Papel – was first published in 2008, the film adaptation thrust the story back into the spotlight. The story focuses on Quentin Jacobsen – Q – who has spent his life in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman, although the love is a distant one. So when Margo ropes Q in for a plan of revenge against her old high school peers, he readily agrees and spends the night running around with her whilst she fulfils her tasks. The next morning, she disappears, leaving behind only a set of clues for Q to unravel. He begins his exciting quest, yet the more he uncovers, the more he realises that Margo may not be exactly who he thought she was.