10 books like Living in Portugal

By Anne de Stoop,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Living in Portugal. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Rick Steves Portugal

By Rick Steves,

Book cover of Rick Steves Portugal

Alyson Sheldrake Author Of Living the Dream: in the Algarve, Portugal

From the list on moving to Portugal.

Who am I?

Alyson Sheldrake is the author of the award-winning Algarve Blog, and she is also a feature writer for the Tomorrow Magazine in the Algarve. She is an accomplished and sought-after artist working alongside her husband Dave, a professional photographer. She has published three books about their Algarve Adventures: Living the Dream – in the Algarve, Portugal, Living the Quieter Algarve Dream, and her latest book is a new anthology of expat stories entitled A New Life in the Algarve, Portugal. When she is not painting or writing, you can find her walking their rescued Spanish Water Dog called Kat along the riverbank in Aljezur.

Alyson's book list on moving to Portugal

Discover why each book is one of Alyson's favorite books.

Why did Alyson love this book?

I am often asked for recommendations on where to go and what to see for visitors to Portugal, and I always recommend Rick Steve’s book. He doesn’t just cover the major attractions, he takes you into the small towns and villages, the remote beaches, and the local restaurants and cafés that will introduce you to the ‘real’ Portugal. Top tips, must-see destinations and clever itineraries will help you to pick out the best spots and the most memorable locations of this beautiful place I am proud to call home.

Rick Steves Portugal

By Rick Steves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rick Steves Portugal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stroll Lisbon's cobbled lanes, cruise the Douro River, and soak up the sun on Algarve beaches: experience Portugal with Rick Steves! Inside Rick Steves Portugal you'll find:

* Comprehensive coverage for spending a week or more exploring Portugal
* Rick's strategic advice on how to get the most out of your time and money, with rankings of his must-see favorites
* Top sights and hidden gems, from the bone chapel of Evora and the palaces of Sintra to seaside street food and lush vineyards
* How to connect with culture: Chat with friendly locals over a glass of vinho verde,…


My Portugal

By Genevieve Ko, George Mendes,

Book cover of My Portugal: Recipes and Stories

Alyson Sheldrake Author Of Living the Dream: in the Algarve, Portugal

From the list on moving to Portugal.

Who am I?

Alyson Sheldrake is the author of the award-winning Algarve Blog, and she is also a feature writer for the Tomorrow Magazine in the Algarve. She is an accomplished and sought-after artist working alongside her husband Dave, a professional photographer. She has published three books about their Algarve Adventures: Living the Dream – in the Algarve, Portugal, Living the Quieter Algarve Dream, and her latest book is a new anthology of expat stories entitled A New Life in the Algarve, Portugal. When she is not painting or writing, you can find her walking their rescued Spanish Water Dog called Kat along the riverbank in Aljezur.

Alyson's book list on moving to Portugal

Discover why each book is one of Alyson's favorite books.

Why did Alyson love this book?

One of the things I love most about living here in Portugal is the wonderful local food. You can enjoy hearty meals sat around the table with family, or spend time at a local restaurant sat outside in the sun, enjoying freshly cooked and delicious fish or meat dishes. The Portuguese are proud of their food, and their historic love of travel and exploration has imbibed their food with exotic spices and flavours that can often surprise you. This book, by renowned chef George Mendes, is full of recipes and stories to inspire you or remind you of your favourite holiday in the sun.

My Portugal

By Genevieve Ko, George Mendes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Portugal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In My Portugal, George Mendes, chef and owner of Michelin-starred Aldea, introduces us to the world of Portuguese cuisine, offering 125 mouthwater ing recipes that showcase the wide range of dishes that come from this coastal country. The collection balances Mendes's popular restaurant recipes, such as his signature Duck Rice and Garlic Seared Shrimp, with his takes on classic Portuguese dishes, such as Salt, Cod, Potato, and Egg Casserole; Mozambique Shrimp and Okra with Piri Piri; Eggs Baked with Peas, Linguica, and Bacon; Butter Cookies; and more. His stories illustrate the wealth of culinary resources in Portugal-fresh seafood, savory meats,…


Book cover of First Thousand Words in Portuguese

Alyson Sheldrake Author Of Living the Dream: in the Algarve, Portugal

From the list on moving to Portugal.

Who am I?

Alyson Sheldrake is the author of the award-winning Algarve Blog, and she is also a feature writer for the Tomorrow Magazine in the Algarve. She is an accomplished and sought-after artist working alongside her husband Dave, a professional photographer. She has published three books about their Algarve Adventures: Living the Dream – in the Algarve, Portugal, Living the Quieter Algarve Dream, and her latest book is a new anthology of expat stories entitled A New Life in the Algarve, Portugal. When she is not painting or writing, you can find her walking their rescued Spanish Water Dog called Kat along the riverbank in Aljezur.

Alyson's book list on moving to Portugal

Discover why each book is one of Alyson's favorite books.

Why did Alyson love this book?

This is a great book to help you learn some basic Portuguese words quickly. It is also in European Portuguese, unlike many other books that cover the Brazilian language (always something to watch out for when you are looking to learn Portuguese). This is a nicely illustrated book with labelled pictures and scenes that help you start to construct basic sentences – and you have the fun of trying to spot the hidden duck on every page too! I have struggled with learning and recalling Portuguese words, but the basics in this book are easy to remember and cover most everyday situations.

First Thousand Words in Portuguese

By Heather Amery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First Thousand Words in Portuguese as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are 1000 Portuguese words to learn in this classic word book, great for sharing with young language learners. Each busy scene features the wonderful illustrations of Stephen Cartwright, alongside items to spot, each labelled with their Portuguese name. A fun way to build key Portuguese vocubulary, specially revised and updated to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Usborne Publishing in 2013. Readers can listen to every word read by a native Portuguese speaker at the Usborne Quicklinks Website. Don't forget to spot the Little Yellow Duck on every page!


Practical Portuguese

By Sheila Watts,

Book cover of Practical Portuguese: Language for Living in Portugal

Alyson Sheldrake Author Of Living the Dream: in the Algarve, Portugal

From the list on moving to Portugal.

Who am I?

Alyson Sheldrake is the author of the award-winning Algarve Blog, and she is also a feature writer for the Tomorrow Magazine in the Algarve. She is an accomplished and sought-after artist working alongside her husband Dave, a professional photographer. She has published three books about their Algarve Adventures: Living the Dream – in the Algarve, Portugal, Living the Quieter Algarve Dream, and her latest book is a new anthology of expat stories entitled A New Life in the Algarve, Portugal. When she is not painting or writing, you can find her walking their rescued Spanish Water Dog called Kat along the riverbank in Aljezur.

Alyson's book list on moving to Portugal

Discover why each book is one of Alyson's favorite books.

Why did Alyson love this book?

This is a hard book to get hold of, but worth hunting down if you want to begin to speak the Portuguese language with some fluency. Sheila moved to live in Portugal in 1987 and found most of the language guidebooks were of little use to her as she tried to navigate her way around the day-to-day reality of living in the Algarve. This is a book for people who live and work here, rather than a phrasebook that would help you book a taxi or order food at a restaurant while you are on holiday. I have found Portuguese to be a difficult language, but it is worth persevering with, and the locals are friendly and will always help you.

Practical Portuguese

By Sheila Watts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Practical Portuguese as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The History Of The Siege Of Lisbon

Michael David Lukas Author Of The Last Watchman of Old Cairo: A Novel

From the list on magical historical.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by history, by the way that the past informs the present, how it makes us who we are. And I’ve found myself drawn, as a reader and as a writer, towards those stories that incorporate some element of magic into the past. I’ve written two magical historical novels. And my third book, which I hope to be finished with soon, is a fabulist tale set in the future, which I like to say is history that hasn’t happened yet. 

Michael's book list on magical historical

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

I first read this book nearly twenty years ago and have been thinking about it ever since. It’s a relatively simple story, about a bored proofreader who literally rewrites the history of his hometown. But in the hands of a master storyteller like Saramago, the topic takes on a raft of existential questions about history, place, and our relationship to the past.

The History Of The Siege Of Lisbon

By José Saramago,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The History Of The Siege Of Lisbon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An editor at a Portuguese publishing house, Raimundo Silva, undertakes to rewrite a crucial episode in Portuguese history as a romantic saga, with the amorous encouragement of his supervisor.


Book cover of The Last Kabbalist in Lisbon

Louise Ross Author Of Women Who Walk: How 20 Women From 16 Countries Came To Live In Portugal

From the list on historically accurate books about Portugal.

Who am I?

Louise Ross is a non-fiction and fiction writer, speaker, and podcaster. Originally from Australia, she moved abroad in the mid-'80s, living in the UK, France, the US, and since 2014, Portugal. Her book, Women Who Walk: How 20 women from 16 countries came to live in Portugal, (2019), is a collection of mini-memoirs. In 2020, she released the sequel and comparative read, The Winding Road to Portugal: 20 Men from 11 Countries Share Their Stories. Louise lives on the Estoril coastline where she continues to interview women living in Portugal, and around the world, for her podcast, Women Who Walk

Louise's book list on historically accurate books about Portugal

Discover why each book is one of Louise's favorite books.

Why did Louise love this book?

Zimler is an award-winning American writer who has lived in Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, since 1990. I admire Zimler’s historical fiction for its fact-based accuracy, and The Last Kabbalist is a beauty for that reason. His acclaimed novel details the Portuguese inquisition and the massacre of its Jews in 1506. Via his incisive research and great storytelling, Zimler sheds light on this period of history unknown to many Portuguese; as a result, there is now a Jewish Memorial Plaque in Rossio Square in Lisbon’s city center, honouring the two to five thousand Jews who were massacred. 

The Last Kabbalist in Lisbon

By Richard Zimler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Kabbalist in Lisbon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Berekiah Zarco, a young manuscript illustrator, searches for the killer of his uncle Abraham, a renowned kabbalist discovered murdered in a secret synagogue, in a historical mystery set in sixteenthcentury Lisbon, Portugal. Reprint.


Estoril

By Dejan Tiago-Stankovic, Christina Pribichevich-Zoric (translator),

Book cover of Estoril

Louise Ross Author Of Women Who Walk: How 20 Women From 16 Countries Came To Live In Portugal

From the list on historically accurate books about Portugal.

Who am I?

Louise Ross is a non-fiction and fiction writer, speaker, and podcaster. Originally from Australia, she moved abroad in the mid-'80s, living in the UK, France, the US, and since 2014, Portugal. Her book, Women Who Walk: How 20 women from 16 countries came to live in Portugal, (2019), is a collection of mini-memoirs. In 2020, she released the sequel and comparative read, The Winding Road to Portugal: 20 Men from 11 Countries Share Their Stories. Louise lives on the Estoril coastline where she continues to interview women living in Portugal, and around the world, for her podcast, Women Who Walk

Louise's book list on historically accurate books about Portugal

Discover why each book is one of Louise's favorite books.

Why did Louise love this book?

Part spy novel, part historical fiction, this book tells the tale of a young Jewish boy who’s been deposited by his parents at the Hotel Palacio in Estoril for safekeeping during WWII, when the hotel was home to exiled European nobles and royalty, British and German spies. We meet the Polish pianist, Yan Paderewski; Ian Fleming, the British spy novelist and creator of James Bond; French writer and flyer Antoine de St. Exupery; the ex-king of Romania, Carol II, and his mistress Elena Lupescu, the woman for whom he renounced the crown. We’re privy to the goings-on at the Hotel via the lives of this cast of colourful characters in a way that’s reminiscent of the quirky movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Estoril

By Dejan Tiago-Stankovic, Christina Pribichevich-Zoric (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Estoril as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in a luxurious grand hotel just outside Lisbon, at the height of the Second World War, Estoril is a delightful and poignant novel about exile, divided loyalties, fear and survival. The hotel's guests include spies, fallen kings, refugees from the Balkans, Nazis, American diplomats and stateless Jews. The Portuguese secret police broodingly observe the visitors, terrified that their country's neutrality will be compromised. The novel seamlessly fuses the stories of its invented characters with appearances by historical figures like the ex-King Carol of Romania, the great Polish pianist Jan Paderewski, the British agent Ian Fleming, the Russian chess grandmaster…


Book cover of The Lost Library of the King of Portugal

Arthur der Weduwen Author Of The Library: A Fragile History

From the list on the history of the library.

Who am I?

I am a historian at the University of St Andrews, and an expert in the history of books, media, and communication. My working life has revolved around libraries: I stacked shelves at my local university library while I was an undergraduate, and have since worked as a researcher in some hundred reading rooms in twenty countries (and I am therefore the proud owner of many library cards, expired and current). I am also an avid book collector, and have a growing collection of seventeenth and eighteenth-century books, mostly printed in my native Netherlands. Writing a history of libraries was an enjoyable tribute to those fine institutions, historic and present.

Arthur's book list on the history of the library

Discover why each book is one of Arthur's favorite books.

Why did Arthur love this book?

This is the most recently published book on my list of recommendations, and also the most beautiful. Books on libraries are often lavish, but few offer as striking and sad a history as this. This is the first in-depth examination of one of the greatest lost libraries in the world, that of King John V of Portugal (1689-1750). John was a true bibliophile, and arguably the greatest librarian-king. Although he rarely travelled, he amassed one of the most magnificent court libraries in Enlightenment Europe. This book tells its story, which also dips into a broader history of elite collecting, and of the devastating earthquake that struck Lisbon in 1755 and wiped the library off the face of the earth. Knowing the haunting fate of the library makes this a mesmerizing read.

The Lost Library of the King of Portugal

By Angela Delaforce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lost Library of the King of Portugal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The destruction on the morning of All Saints Day 1755 of the heart of the city of Lisbon by an earthquake, tidal wave and the urban fires that followed was a tragedy that divides the 18th century in Portugal. One casualty on that fatal morning was the Royal Library, one of the most magnificent libraries in Europe at the time. The Lost Library of the King of Portugal tells the story of the lost library – its creation, collection and significance.

This 18th-century library was founded by the Bragança monarch Dom João V shortly after he came to the throne…


Portugal

By Phil Mailer,

Book cover of Portugal: The Impossible Revolution?

Wendy Lee Hermance Author Of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

From the list on why Portugal is weird.

Who am I?

Wendy Lee Hermance was heard on National Public Radio (NPR) stations with her Missouri Folklore series in the 1980s. She earned a journalism degree from Stephens College, served as Editor and Features Writer for Midwestern and Southern university and regional publications, then settled into writing real estate contracts. In 2012 she attended University of Sydney, earning a master’s degree by research thesis. Her books include Where I’m Going with this Poem, a memoir in poetry and prose. Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat marks her return to feature writing as collections of narrative non-fiction stories.

Wendy's book list on why Portugal is weird

Discover why each book is one of Wendy's favorite books.

Why did Wendy love this book?

One of few books I could get my hands on to decide whether I wanted to live in Portugal was this diary written by a young Canadian observer of the 1974 revolution that toppled Salazar´s regime. Cookbooks and tour guides were not going to help, and have you tried reading Saramago? Published in 1976 by Black Rose Books the reportage as it was unfolding has a breathless quality. The glossary of stakeholders´ acronyms is helpful. I learned 1) revolutions are probably never linear, 2) they require “strange bedfellows” to set aside differences, and 3) the Portuguese might be a peaceful, amenable, cohesive bunch. They are. 

Portugal

By Phil Mailer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Portugal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After the military coup in Portugal on April 25th, 1974, the overthrow of almost fifty years of Fascist rule, and the end of three colonial wars, there followed eighteen months of intense, democratic social transformation which challenged every aspect of Portuguese society. What started as a military coup turned into a profound attempt at social change from the bottom up and became headlines on a daily basis in the world media. This was due to the intensity of the struggle as well as the fact that in 1974–75 the right-wing moribund Francoist regime was still in power in neighboring Spain…


Baltasar and Blimunda

By José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero (translator),

Book cover of Baltasar and Blimunda

Jessica Dall Author Of The Stars of Heaven

From the list on historical fiction in lesser-known settings.

Who am I?

I’ve been a history nerd all my life. Historical fiction chap books were my entrance to reading, and my copy of Little Women fell apart from excessive re-reads. (It also taught me the word “abridged.” I was very upset to find out I hadn’t been given the full book!) I love how novels can pull you into a time on such a personal level. That immersion is part of what made me so interested in books set in lesser-known eras. I mean, I love a good Tudor court drama or WWII novel as much as the next reader. There is just something extra special about learning about a brand-new time. 

Jessica's book list on historical fiction in lesser-known settings

Discover why each book is one of Jessica's favorite books.

Why did Jessica love this book?

I admit, Baltasar and Blimunda is not the type of historical fiction I generally pick up (a more distanced narrative voice plus magical realism doesn’t tend to be my normal pick for pleasure reading) but I felt I needed to read at least one novel set in 18th century Portugal before trying to write my own set there. Something by a Portuguese author as well seemed entirely the way to go. So, I picked this up, and am really glad I did. 

Baltasar and Blimunda

By José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Baltasar and Blimunda as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In eighteenth-century Portugal, fifty thousand laborers carry stones on their backs across mountains to build the king's convent, a heretical priest devises a magic flying machine--the Passarola--and two lovers' dream of flight sets them apart.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Portugal, Lisbon, and Spain?

8,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Portugal, Lisbon, and Spain.

Portugal Explore 32 books about Portugal
Lisbon Explore 9 books about Lisbon
Spain Explore 158 books about Spain