What to Read in Rio

SPT21Speculation, debate and excitement have built all summer leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Read up on the history, current events and culture of the controversial host country with our selection of books on Brazil. We've thrown a guidebook and map in as well for those adventuresome sports fans who may be on their way to the grandstand.

The Games: A Global History of the Olympics. In this history, acclaimed sports writer David Goldblatt explores the world's greatest sporting event. Moving chronologically, he uncovers the Olympics' ancient past, reinvention in 1896 and present-day status as a world phenomenon. Beyond medal counts and celebrity athletes, he explains how international conflicts shaped the games, how women fought to be included, the birth of the Paralympics and more.

BZL138The Rio de Janeiro Reader. With a mix of primary documents, many appearing here in English for the first time, this miscellany is the definitive resource on everything Rio de Janeiro. It covers over 450 years, from the fateful arrival of Europeans to the glitz and glamour of the Copacabana, with a range of sources -- government documents, lyrics, journalism, speeches, ephemera, poems, maps, engravings, photographs and much more. An in-depth look at all complexity, importance and intrigue of a modern, economic capital.

Brazil: The Troubled Rise of a Global Power. In this multi-faceted profile of Brazil, Michael Reid delves into history, geography, culture, economics, politics and much more. He presents Brazil as an emergent world leader that is struggling mightily against many forces, including corruption and a starkly divided populus. Reid is a columnist for The Economist and lived in Brazil for many years.

Birds of Brazil. An installment in the Wildlife Conservation Society's series, this field guide focuses on the Atlantic Forest area of southeast Brazil, including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It's one of the best places in Brazil to bird-watch. With illustrations, markings, range maps and threat-levels, the guide profiles 927 species.

BZL114Footprint Handbook Brazil. Footprint's informative guide to Brazil not only has accommodation, restaurant and nightlife guides but also listings of Mardi Gras celebrations in Rio to the traditional parades and hippy festivals in Cidade de Goias and Bahia. For the more adventurous travelers are suggestions on how to get off the beaten track and listings of caving, canoeing, scuba-diving, hang-gliding, para-gliding and dune-trekking.

Rio de Janeiro MapThis colorful National Geographic Destination Map (1:15,000) includes insets of Tijuca, Sao Crystal and Copacabana.