The Rio Olympics are finally here! When does the speed reading event start? Have you all bought your tickets to the book marathon? HOW MANY BOOKS CAN YOU LIFT AT ONCE?
If you’re like us, chances are you’ll spend the olympics doing the usual: reading on the couch (or balcony… or bed… or any space, really). If you’re looking for great themed reads related to the Rio Summer Olympics, look no further — here are three recommended reads from Anansi:
Nemesis by Misha Glenny
Now available in Paperback!
An explosive vision of contemporary Brazil’s underbelly by one of our greatest investigative reporters.
This is a book about a man known as Nem; about Rocinha, the slum or “favela” he grew up in and came to run as a private fiefdom; about Rio, the beautiful but damned city that Rocinha exists in; and about the battle for Brazil. Nemesis pans in and out from the arc of Nem’s individual, astonishing trajectory to the wider story of the country that he exists in.
It’s about drugs and gangs and violence and poverty. It’s about a man who made a terribly dangerous and life-altering decision for the best and most understandable of reasons. And it’s about the wider forces at work in a country that is in the world’s spotlight as never before and is set to stay there. Those forces include the evangelical church, bent police and straight police, drug lords, farmers, TV magnates, crusading politicians, and corrupt politicians.
And what they are engaged in is nothing less than the battle for Brazil’s soul.
Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder
Girl Runner is the story of Aganetha Smart, a former Olympic athlete who was famous in the 1920s, but now, at age 104, lives in a nursing home, alone and forgotten by history. For Aganetha, a competitive and ambitious woman, her life remains present and unfinished in her mind.
When her quiet life is disturbed by the unexpected arrival of two young strangers, Aganetha begins to reflect on her childhood in rural Ontario and her struggles to make an independent life for herself in the city.
Without revealing who they are, or what they may want from her, the visitors take Aganetha on an outing from the nursing home. As ready as ever for adventure, Aganetha’s memories are stirred when the pair return her to the family farm where she was raised. The devastation of WWI and the Spanish flu epidemic, the optimism of the 1920s and the sacrifices of the 1930s play out in Aganetha’s mind, as she wrestles with the confusion and displacement of the present.
Part historical page-turner, part contemporary mystery, Girl Runner is an engaging and endearing story about family, ambition, athletics and the dedicated pursuit of one’s passions. It is also, ultimately, about a woman who follows the singular, heart-breaking and inspiring course of her life until the very end.
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and selected as a New York Times Notable Book, Swimming Home is a sexy psychological thriller from a highly acclaimed writer.
Poet Joe and his war-correspondent wife Isabel arrive with their daughter and another couple to a rented villa in the south of France to discover a body floating face down in the swimming pool. But the girl is very much alive. She is Kitty Finch: a sexy, mysterious young woman who walks naked out of the water and straight into the heart of their holiday. But why is she there? What does she want from them all? And why does Joe’s enigmatic wife invite her to stay?
Taking place over a single week, Swimming Home reveals how a group of beautiful, flawed tourists in the French Riviera come loose at the seams. Both profound and thrilling, Deborah Levy explores what it means to be alive and how the most devastating secrets are the ones we keep from ourselves.