Happy World cup literature day!
Well if you don’t like football, today might mean nothing to you, but we at the booktrail say – ‘There is always a book to save the day!’. Feeling that you’ll be missing out on not just the football but the atmosphere of Brazil, the parties? the food or the stifling heat?
Then pick up a book and recreate it via fiction. A lot cheaper than even the cheapest ticket to Brazil. And why limit your journey to Brazil? Everyone seems to be going there – why not go somewhere unique and recreate the same feelings?
Recreate the heat –
The Separation by Dinah Jefferies – set in 1950s Malaya
With no wind to stir the air, Lydia felt damp beneath her clothes. She walked quickly, glancing up. Only distant specks of cloud littered the clear horizon, with not a sign of rain. She hoped on the local bus back to Malacca, and made her way through noisy streets, where, trapped within narrow alleyways, their air was already thickening with the smell of saltfish frying and open latrines.
Recreate the atmosphere on the beaches – and a few steamy moments too 😉 oh er…
Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh – set in Deia Mallorca
The sun drops low on the horizon and, with it, the distant hum of life starts up again. Families and couples weighed down with parasols and brightly patterned bags begin the trudge back up the hill road from the beach. A couple of mopeds weave in and out of the slow tide of bodies.
He moves through the water in slow, strong strokes. Jenn takes off her sunglasses, wipes them on her shirt and puts them back on. He pulls himself up onto a little plateau with effortless grace. He has his back to her. There’s no performance – he’s exhilarated out there.
Sample the streets of Brazil and stand in awe of the statute of Christ –
The Invisibles by Ed Siegle – set in Brazil
He walked through dark, thin streets which sloped into the beginnings of the hills, where the mansions of Santa Teresa stood silent, their shutters clammed, hoping not to be spotted by the million-eyed beast of the favelas. Beyond the mansions and favelas slept the forest. and above the forest stood the giant statue of Cristo Redentor, arms spread on the highest point, staring down on all of Rio.
Fancy a party? Gatsby’s party must be the ultimate literary party –
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald – set in Long Island New York
I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited – they went there. They got into automobiles which bored then out to Long Island , and some how they ended up at Gatsby‘s door. Once there they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with an amusement park..
The party gets underway –
By midnight the hilarity had increased. A celebrated tenor had sung in Italian, and a notorious contralto had sung in jazz, and between the numbers people were doing stunts all over the garden, while happy, vacuous burst of laughter rose towards the summer sky.
Finally some ‘foreign food’ –
The vacationers by Emma Straub – set in Pigpen (Puigpunyent) Mallorca
The grocery store in Palma was heavenly. Franny and Charles clutched each other at the head of every isle. The packaging was sublime, even on canned sardines and tubes of tomato paste. Being in a foreign country made even the smallest differences seem like art.
With so much fiction set in foreign lands, hot and sticky situations to get into, sand to feel between your toes, food to taste and parties to attend to all via the pages of a book, you don’t need to go to Brazil to see and feel the action!
Take a ticket – a library ticket and you can go anywhere you like and do anything you like without feeling like rubbish the next day.
Then take another book and go someplace else – far away from the TV, deep into your imagination.
Believe us, there is no place quite like it.