Around the World: A Literary Map Reading List

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:54pm -- baglio

With cold winds of February keeping us inside, lets take a trip around the world through the books of this reading list. These books feature locations around the world with a twist... Rather than focus on the background of the location, or simple history of the area, these tales will feature the city or country in the title, and will take place in these different locations. You will be taken to far off places without having to leave your seat!

 

 

Stopover: Tokyo

By John P. Marquand

Excerpt from Stopover: Tokyo

However, I am, as it were, talking out of school. You'll understand our aims better after we have lunch and spend an afternoon together on any day you name next week. And on your travels, you'll find out, too, what a swell, alert team of truly dedicated folks we have in Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Saigon and Thailand.

 

Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia, and Zion

By, John Bierman and Colin Smith

Winston Churchill thought he was a military genius; others considered him greatly overrated; a few even thought him mad. Almost sixty years after his death at age forty-four in an airplane crash, Orde Wingate remains perhaps the most controversial of all World War II commanders.

Born into a fundamentalist Christian sect and raised in the Cromwellian tradition of Sword and Bible, Wingate was an odd mixture of religious mystic and idealist, combining an unshakable belief in an Old Testament God with an insatiable interest in music, literature, history, philosophy, and the politics of his day. But his overriding and enduring passion was for Zionism, a cause that--although he had no Jewish blood--he embraced when posted to British-ruled Palestine in 1936. There he raised the Special Night Squads, an irregular force that decimated Arab rebel bands and taught a future generation of Israeli generals how to fight. In 1941, Wingate led another guerrilla-style force, this time into Italian-occupied Ethiopia, where he was instrumental in restoring Emperor Haile Selassie to his throne. But the campaign that was to bring him world fame was conducted behind enemy lines in Burma, where his Chindits shattered the myth of Japanese invincibility in jungle fighting, giving Allied morale a much-needed boost at a crucial point in World War II. Throughout his career, Wingate's unconventionality and disdain for the superiors he dismissed as "military apes" marked him as a difficult if not impossible subordinate. He was that, but also, as this vigorous new study reveals, an inspiring leader.


Night Train to Lisbon

By, Pascal Mercier

Raimund Gregorius teaches classical languages at a Swiss lycée, and lives a life governed by routine. One day, a chance encounter with a Portuguese woman inspires him to question his life—and leads him to an extraordinary book that will open the possibility of changing it. Inspired by the words of Amadeu de Prado, a doctor whose intelligence and magnetism left a mark on everyone who met him and whose principles led him into a confrontation with Salazar’s dictatorship, Gergorius boards a train to Lisbon. As Gregorius becomes fascinated with unlocking the mystery of who Prado was, an extraordinary tale unfolds. 


Galapagos 

By, Kurt Vonnegut

 Galápagos takes the reader back one million years, to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galápagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave, new, and totally different human race. In this inimitable novel, America’ s master satirist looks at our world and shows us all that is sadly, madly awry–and all that is worth saving.


Montana 

By, Gwen Florio

Foreign correspondent Lola Wicks is livid. She's been downsized from her Kabul posting. Her editor reassigns her to a stateside suburban beat formerly the province of interns. When she arrives in Montana for some R&R at a friend's cabin, her friend is nowhere in sight.

Anger turns to terror when Lola discovers her friend shot dead. She can't get out of Montana fast enough, until she finds that she can't get out at all. She's held as a potential witness, thwarting her plan to return on her own to Afghanistan to write the stories she's sure will persuade her editors to change their minds.

Her best hope lies in solving the case herself. But the surefooted journalist who deftly negotiated Afghanistan's deadly terrain finds herself frighteningly off-balance in this forgotten corner of her own country, plagued by tensions between the locals and citizens of the nearby Blackfeet Nation.


Death in the Caribbean 

By, John R.L. Anderson

The island of Nueva is rocked by an earthquake. But is it really a quake or an awesome new weapon?


A Death in Brazil: A Book of Omissions

By, Peter Robb

Delving into Brazil's baroque past, Peter Robb writes about its history of slavery and the richly multicultural but disturbed society that was left in its wake when the practice was abolished in the late nineteenth century. Even today, Brazil is a nation of almost unimaginable distance between its wealthy and its poor, a place of extraordinary levels of crime and violence. It is also one of the most beautiful and seductive places on earth. Using the art, food and the books of its great nineteenth-century writer, Machado de Assis, Robb takes us on a journey into a world like Conrad's "Nostromo". A world so absurdly dramatic, like the current president Lula's fight for power, that it could have come from one of the country's immensely popular TV soap operas, a world where resolution is often only provided by death. Like all the best travel writing, "A Death in Brazil" immerses you deep into the heart of a fascinating country.


Bleeding Kansas

By, Sara Paretsky

The pious late-twentieth-century descendants of anti-slavery emigrants worry about maintaining religious superiority over a rival family while launching an active harassment campaign against a Wiccan newcomer, an effort that is challenged by a young man's military service and the birth of a promising cow.

 

Paris: The Novel

By, Edward Rutherfurd

From Edward Rutherfurd, the grand master of the historical novel, comes a dazzling epic about the magnificent city of Paris. Moving back and forth in time, the story unfolds through intimate and thrilling tales of self-discovery, divided loyalty, and long-kept secrets. As various characters come of age, seek their fortunes, and fall in and out of love, the novel follows nobles who claim descent from the hero of the celebrated poem The Song of Roland; a humble family that embodies the ideals of the French Revolution; a pair of brothers from the slums behind Montmartre, one of whom works on the Eiffel Tower as the other joins the underworld near the Moulin Rouge; and merchants who lose everything during the reign of Louis XV, rise again in the age of Napoleon, and help establish Paris as the great center of art and culture that it is today. With Rutherfurd’s unrivaled blend of impeccable research and narrative verve, this bold novel brings the sights, scents, and tastes of the City of Light to brilliant life.

 

Devil in the White City (Audio Version)

By, Erik Larson

Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction. 

 

From Russia With Love

By, Ian Fleming

James Bond is marked for death by the Soviet counterintelligence agency SMERSH in Ian Fleming’s masterful spy thriller, and the novel that President John F. Kennedy named one of his favorite books of all time.

SMERSH stands for “Death to Spies” and there’s no secret agent they’d like to disgrace and destroy more than 007, James Bond. But ensnaring the British Secret Service’s most lethal operative will require a lure so tempting even he can’t resist. Enter Tatiana Romanova, a ravishing Russian spy whose “defection” springs a trap designed with clockwork precision. Her mission: seduce Bond, then flee to the West on the Orient Express. Waiting in the shadows are two of Ian Fleming’s most vividly drawn villains: Red Grant, SMERSH’s deadliest assassin, and the sinister operations chief Rosa Klebb—five feet four inches of pure killing power.

Bursting with action and intrigue, From Russia with Love is one of the best-loved books in the Bond canon—an instant classic that set the standard for sophisticated literary spycraft for decades to come.


Private Berlin 

By, James Patterson and Mark Sullivan 

IN EUROPE'S MOST DANGEROUS CITY

Chris Schneider is a superstar agent at Private Berlin, Germany headquarters for the world's most powerful investigation firm. He keeps his methods secret as he tackles Private's most high-profile cases-and when Chris suddenly disappears, he becomes Private Berlin's most dangerous investigation yet.

AN INVESTIGATOR IS SEARCHING

Mattie Engel is another top agent at Private Berlin, gorgeous and ruthlessly determined-and she's also Chris's ex. Mattie throws herself headfirst into finding Chris, following leads to the three people Chris was investigating when he vanished: a billionaire suspected of cheating on his wife, a soccer star accused of throwing games, and a nightclub owner with ties to the Russian mob. Any one of them would surely want Chris gone-and one of them is evil enough to want him dead.

AND SHE'S AFTER MORE THAN THE TRUTH

Mattie's chase takes her into Berlin's most guarded, hidden, and treacherous places, revealing secrets from Chris's past that she'd never dreamed of in the time they were lovers. On the brink of a terrifying discovery, Mattie holds on to her belief in Chris-in the face of a horror that could force all of Europe to the edge of destruction and chaos. 

James Patterson has taken the European thriller to a masterful new level with Private Berlin, an adrenaline-charged and sexy novel with unforgettable characters of dark and complex depths. Private Berlin proves why Patterson is truly the world's #1 bestselling author.

 

Chile Death

By, Susan Witig Albert

Ex-lawyer turned herbalist and amateur sleuth China Bayles attends a chili cookoff where a womanizing judge dies of an allergic reaction to peanuts. And since everyone knows peanuts don't belong in a bowl of Texas chili, China knows something suspicious is afoot...

High Country

By, Nevada Barr

It's fall in the Sierra Mountains, and Anna Pigeon is slinging hash in Yosemite National Park's historic Ahwahnee Hotel. Four young people, all seasonal park employees, have disappeared, and two weeks of work by crack search-and-rescue teams have failed to turn up a single clue; investigators are unsure as to whether the four went AWOL for reasons of their own - or died in the park. Needing an out-of-park ranger to work undercover, Anna is detailed to dining room duty; but after a week of waiting tables, she knows the missing employees are only the first indication of a sickness threatening the park. Her twenty-something roommates give up their party-girl ways and panic; her new restaurant colleagues regard her with suspicion and fear. Yet when Anna's life if threatened and her temporary supervisor turns a deaf ear, she follows the scent of evil, taking a solo hike up a snowy trial to the high country, seeking answers. What awaits her is a nightmare of death and greed - and perhaps her final adventure.

Brooklyn

By, Colm Toibin

Colm Tóibín’s New York Times bestselling novel—now an acclaimed film starring Saoirse Ronan and Jim Broadbent nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture—is “a moving, deeply satisfying read” (Entertainment Weekly) about a young Irish immigrant in Brooklyn in the early 1950s.

“One of the most unforgettable characters in contemporary literature” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

 
By, W.P. Kinsella
 
Bearing W.P. Kinsella's trademark combination of "sweet-natured prose and a richly imagined world" (Philadelphia Inquirer), The Iowa Baseball Confederacy tells the story of Gideon Clark, a man on a quest. He is out to prove to the world that the indomitable Chicago Cubs traveled to Iowa in the summer of 1908 for an exhibition game against an amateur league, the Iowa Baseball Confederacy. But a simple game somehow turned into a titanic battle of more than two thousand innings, and Gideon Clark struggles to set the record straight on this infamous game that no one else believes ever happened.