Portugal Reading List
The first and only birdwatching guide to cover all of Portugal, this book features several new sites (44 in all) and includes the Azores and Madeira archipelagos.
Conquerors, How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire | by Roger Crowley
This epic narrative history by bestselling author Crowley chronicles the rise of Portugal in the 16th century as the small nation fought for a dominant share in the global spice trade.
Baltasar and Blimunda | by José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero (Translator)
This tale of two unlikely lovers in Inquisition-era Portugal is arguably Saramago’s masterwork: a philosophically charged, intellectually rigorous historical drama which is also a captivating read. Saramago expertly evokes the Portuguese notion of melancholy (known as “saudade").
This Gulf of Fire | by Mark Molesky
Drawing on a wealth of new sources, Molesky's highly readable history of the Lisbon Earthquake goes well beyond the city's destruction and weighs its toll on Portuguese history and the Enlightenment. He explains how the 1755 earthquake killed 53,000 people, destroyed the empire's libraries, priceless paintings and manuscripts documenting world exploration, sparked the first international aid effort and moved Portugal into a dictatorship. Very rewarding.
Queen of the Sea, A History of Lisbon | by Barry Hatton
A contemporary ""unearthing"" of Lisbon's 2,000-year history, from its Roman foundations to the present day. Hatton's coverage includes the 1755 earthquake, the siege of 1147, the deaths of kings, rising dictatorships and much more.
The Mais | by Jose Eca de Queiros
This sprawling family epic is worthy of comparison to the greatest accomplishments of Proust and Tolstoy. It’s the atmospheric story of the decline of an affluent 19th-century Lisbon family.
Lisbon, A Cultural and Literary Companion | Paul Buck
One in the excellent series, both a walking guide and a history of the city. Buck puts the cosmopolitan on display, full of the sounds and tastes of Portugal's former colonies.
Small Memories | José Saramago
In this contemplative memoir, the Portuguese Nobel laureate recalls a childhood both dark and magical, split between the growing city of Lisbon and the tiny village of Azinhaga.