Book Can Take You Places: Rio de Janeiro

Already this year, we’ve taken a trip 9 different cities and our journey around the world is far from over!  This month let’s explore all that Rio de Janeiro has to offer.

RioRio de Janeiro is the back drop for the 2016 Olympic Games. I’ve always been kind of fascinated by the grandeur of it all when it comes to The Olympics. The ceremonies, the stories behind the competing athletes and the unique locations. Rio is an exciting city with no shortage of culture and flair.

Spectacular beaches and mountain peaks aren’t the only reasons this tropical metropolis is called Cidade Maravilhosa (The Marvelous City). Rio is Brazil’s vibrant cultural center, known for Carnival and bossa nova, the fusion of samba and jazz that swept the world in the 60s. There’s a long moviemaking tradition and an evolving body of literature reflective of Brazil’s multicultural makeup.



slate_film-512 Black Orpheus slate_film-512 Blame it on Rio music-note-21 Chega de Saudade, João Gilberto • slate_film-512 City of Godmusic-note-21 Courage, Milton Nascimento • book A Death in Brazil: A Book of Omissions, Peter Robb • slate_film-512 Flying Down to Rio music-note-21 Getz/Gilberto, Antônio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, Stan Getz • bookHigh Art, Rubem Fonseca • music-note-21 Lado B Lado A, O Rappa • slate_film-512 Moonraker book Philosopher or Dog?, Machado de Assis • book Rio de Janeiro: Carnival Under Fire, Ruy Castro • book The Silence of the Rain, Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza • music-note-21 Wave, Antônio Carlos Jobim


  • The Girl From Ipanema,” as performed by João Gilberto and Stan Getz (and sung by Gilberto’s wife Astrud), won the Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. The lyrics were inspired by an actual young woman the songwriters observed in Ipanema, an upscale seaside neighborhood in Rio.
  • Machado de Assis, born in Rio in 1839, is largely considered the greatest writer of Brazilian literature. His works have been championed by Salman Rushdie, Woody Allen, Harold Bloom and others.
  • Rio’s iconic Cristo Redentor statue is situated at the peak of the Corcovado mountain. “Corcovado” is also the name of a popular bossa nova song written by Antônio Carlos Jobim. Incidentally, jazz musician Duke Pearson was so inspired by the statue while on tour in Brazil that he wrote a tune named “Cristo Redentor.”
  • Rio’s Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil is the largest library in Latin America and one of the largest libraries in the world.

If you don’t want to miss a stop on this journey, join the Half Price Books Booklovers Survey Club and we’ll send you an email each month with a new city alongside a quick survey. Plus, you’ll receive coupons to save throughout the year when you travel to your favorite Half Price Books.

Jason is the Email Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.



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