Reading and What Movies To Watch: Brazil

February 14, 2020

Jason Lamb

Are you a traveler looking for destinations, attractions or new vacation ideas? Have you ever been to Brazil? Before I travel to a country I’ve never visited, I try to do some research. You might have read some of my fun facts posts about countries. I think it is important to learn some things about the country, its history and culture before arrival. So, we put together a selection of what books to read. If you are looking for what movies to watch, I even have some DVD recommendation for you. Here are some books and movies about Brazil that I think you would enjoy.

And in case you were wondering, the picture above is Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Travel Guides

Lonely Planet: Brazil

We've purchased plenty of Lonely Planet guides when we travel. This book on Brazil ranks among the best for information not just on where to stay and attractions but art, culture and history, too.

The Rough Guide to Brazil

Rough Guide is another excellent series we highly recommend for any travel. Their guide to Brazil rivals that of Lonely Planet.

DK Eyewitness Travel: Brazil

DK Eyewitness books use photographs and illustrations to show you as well as tell you about Brazil. A great option for those that prefer a more graphic approach to nonfiction books.

Fodor's Rio de Janeiro & São Paulo

If your travels to Brazil include only Rio or São Paulo, try this Fodor's guide on for size. More focused, it will give you all you need to visit one of these beautiful and exciting cities.

Insight Guides Brazil with Free eBook

Full color with rich photography and maps, this guide will give in-depth knowledge of Brazil, it's people, places and food. Throw in a healthy dose of travel and it's a prescription for a great experience in Brazil.


by Michael Palin

You might know Michael Palin from his Monty Python days. Later, he started traveling the world and documenting his adventures. His travelogue serves as a great introduction to Brazil. As you might expect, Michael's humor makes his commentary enjoyable and informative.

History and Culture

A Concise History of Brazil

by Boris Fausto and Sergio Fausto

The title says it all. Boris Fausto, in the 2nd edition, describes Brazil's long march to independence. His son, Sergio, updated it and wrote his own chapter on politics and economy.

The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics

by James N. GreenVictoria Langland, et al.

We enjoy and learn from the Latin America Readers series. This volume on Brazil is no exception.

Brazil: A Biography

by Lilia M. Schwarcz and Heloisa M. Starling

An in-depth look at not only the history of Brazil but how that history affects the Brazilian people, their beliefs and actions and the art and culture of the country as a whole.

Run For It: Stories of Slaves who Fought for Their Freedom

by Marcelo D'Salete

If you read our post on slavery in Brazil, you will find this book fascinating. Most people would never have known that Brazil used a large number of slaves. An estimated 4.9 million slaves from Africa were brought to Brazil during the period from 1501 to 1866. This is a very educational book.

Diaspora and Identity: Japanese Brazilians in Brazil and Japan

by Mieko Nishida

We wrote a post on the Japanese immigration to Brazil. We were quite surprised to find that São Paulo, Brazil has the largest number of Japanese descendants outside of Japan. Many families have been in Brazil for six generations.

Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City

by Greg Grandin

I never heard of this story until we researched more about Brazil. This is the story of Henry Ford who purchased a huge tract of land in Brazil during the 1920s and attempted to create an American culture called Fordlandia. This is a great book - very entertaining.

Brazil: The Fortunes of War

by Neill Lochery

An interesting history covering Brazil before, during and after World War II. Brazil was highly sought after by both the West and Germany. This book shows how Brazilian politicians accepting their money but kept both world powers in the dark while .


Brazil: An Inconvenient History

We wrote a post on the Japanese immigration to Brazil. We were quite surprised to find that São Paulo, Brazil has the largest number of Japanese descendants outside of Japan. Many families have been in Brazil for six generations.

Brazil with Michael Palin

This is the documentary of Michael Palin's travels in Brazil. The DVD contains special features you don't want to miss.

American Experience: Into the Amazon

This excellent PBS American Experience documentary tells the story of President Theodore Roosevelt and legendary Brazilian explorer, Candido Rondon. Who knew that Teddy was in Brazil at all? He almost lost his life exploring the Amazon with his son.

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