January 5, 2013

Take Me Away...to Costa Rica!




Take Me Away showcases fiction, nonfiction, and children's books that take place in a specific country and/or within a specific culture.  Take a trip in books!  Look for where we are going next and places we've traveled at the bottom of the post.

This week we are visiting the country of Costa Rica.

Here are some pictures of Costa Rica:
Beautiful Waterfall in Costa Rica

Harvested Coffee

Traditional Costa Rican Dress

A toucan, one of many exotic bird species living
 in the rainforest of Costa Rica.



Now here are some books about Costa Rica and Costa Rican life, organized into a variety of fiction, nonfiction, and children's books.

(P.S. There is a list of  the countries and cultures visited in past Take Me Away posts at the bottom of this post. Check them out and discover some good books to read and recommend some, too!)


FICTION SELECTIONS:


William Deverell’s 11th novel is an adventure thriller layered with startling twists. All that Maggie Schneider, a romance writer from wintry Saskatoon, wants is a glorious holiday in the tropics and maybe a little real romance to reawaken her creative juices. What she gets instead, soon after she arrives in Costa Rica, is a nasty surprise. First she is robbed of most of her money. Then she is kidnapped and held for ransom somewhere in the steamy jungle by self-styled revolutionaries led by a charismatic man with a mysterious background. Kidnapped along with Maggie is the vivacious wife of a U.S. senator who has presidential ambitions.

While the two women learn to deal with their captors, Jacques Cardinal, a jaded eco-tour guide who is desperately seeking to free himself from the demons of his past, undertakes a daring undercover rescue mission.



With her half brother serving time in an American prison for a crime he didn't commit, Serena Morris-Vega returned to her childhood home of Costa Rica to help her influential stepfather obtain his son's freedom. But when a mysterious stranger shows up on the Vega estate, close to death, Serena discovers that the secrets surrounding his true identity not only strike very close to home, but also prove to be dangerously seductive….
Corporate CEO David Cole is struggling to remember what happened only a few days before. The only thing he is sure of is that the gratitude he feels toward Serena for saving his life is igniting an all-consuming passion. But soon, one man's vendetta could force David and Serena into a daring game of deception. And as they struggle to trust each other, they must go beyond the bounds of law and duty to save themselves—and a love that promises forever…. 



From TV writer Dee DeTarsio, a new novel, The Scent of Jade. When an ancient jade relic that holds secrets to global warming ends up in the hands of a not-so-perfect heroine, she is thrust in a fish-out-of-water adventure, lost in the Costa Rican rainforest.

“Romancing The Stone” meets “Survivor” for Julie Fraser, who was minding her own business, living her life as snug as a bug in a rut in San Diego, California. As the least adventurous person she knows, Julie finally whooped it up one day to jet off and surprise her husband, who was on a business trip in Costa Rica. Reeling from the discovery that her husband wasn’t who she thought he was, she accidentally steals an ancient artifact and is chased through the wilds of the rainforest, not knowing where to turn, literally, or whom to trust. She knew she should have stayed home.  Can a monkey, a blond Juan, a foreign scientist, a mysterious ‘love potion’ and the jade stone itself (that may hold secrets to global warming), help Julie on her mission to find and forgive her husband?

The stolen idol catapults her on a quest, as she discovers truths along the way about herself and her place in the universe. The Scent of Jade is creative and unique with surprising twists--in turn suspenseful and heartbreaking, combining humor and romance to reach the payoff ending. Original characters keep the pages turning. 
The Scent of Jade spins its story with wit and wisdom, drawing those who love mystery, suspense, romance and adventure. While there are no vampires, readers are invited to enjoy the intrigue... 



Chad Lett is a mute witness to an attempted murder. He suffers from total paralysis, locked within a prison of his own mind. After years of silence, he establishes contact with a young nurse's aid through a single blinking eye, but then she is abducted and a staff member begins to administer dropperfuls of cleaning solution into his communicating eye.

A heart-pounding thriller that will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned, the Devil's Deep is a top rated suspense that travels from the hell of a long-term care facility to the rain forest of Costa Rica. And a crime committed under tropical waters, the dive known as El Bajo del Diablo--the Devil's Deep.


NONFICTION SELECTIONS:



TWO PLANE TICKETS, NO PLAN, ONE DREAM 

A celebration of one couple's decision to risk it all and live in one of the happiest places on earth. 

In this humorous and witty account, Nadine Pisani shares what it is like to follow her dream of quitting her job and starting a new life under the sunny skies of Costa Rica. Along the way, she finds reliable utilities are not that reliable, quirky neighbors are unavoidable, and tackling red tape takes the strength of a linebacker. But with all its challenges, you'll learn why Costa Rica is ranked as one of the happiest places on earth--and you too may want to taste the Pura Vida lifestyle.



Discover the mysterious and fascinating ways in which animals and plants—and people—interact with one another in the rainforests of Costa Rica. Author and naturalist Jack Ewing shares a wealth of observations and experiences, gathered from more than three decades of living in southwestern Costa Rica, home to some of the most prolific and diverse ecosystems on Earth. More than just a simple collection of essays, Monkeys are Made of Chocolate is a testament to the wonder of life in all its countless guises, as seen through the eyes of a man with a gift for subtle discernment and a natural flair for storytelling. 


 This book is a hard cover coffee-table book that is prominently featured in the new motion picture "The Librarian" (to be released in 2013) starring Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden. It plays a key role in the movie's plot and appears in scenes filmed both in the US and in Costa Rica.

The book is a magnificent illustrated testimony to Costa Rica's fragile beauty and is packed with stunning photographs from Costa Rica that represent 13 years of field work by the author. 

This exquisite book, brilliant in color and enchanting in subject, takes readers on a personal journey through the jewelled treasure that is Costa Rica. Images of spacious beaches, muddy river banks, crystal clear waterfalls, and lush jungles adorned with tropical blooms and prehistoric plants will stay in the reader's mind for a long time to come.  



A collection of stirring essays from writers Adrian Colesberry and Brass McLean (both veteran travelers), "Costa Rica: The Last Country The Gods Made," tells the history of the country from the inside out, starting with its geological formation and ending with its status as the "Switzerland of Central America."
"The Last Country," highlighted by the stunning photos of international photographer Kimberly Parsons, showcases the strength of their collaborative and individual talents. Parson’s photos of sugar-processing plants, spider monkeys, oxen at work, cemetery angels, fishermen, school children, street musicians and volcanoes form a vivid rendering of life in Costa Rica. Colesberry and McLean match the more than 65 photos with passionate words, adding a human element to subjects ranging from coffee to indigenous peoples, from ants to women’s issues, from bananas to religion; their spirit is infectious. The essays are accompanied by sidebars, short, insightful thoughts on little-known facts about the country. 



CHILDREN'S BOOKS:


In English and in Spanish, Lynn Reiser presents the Central American companion book to her Cherry Pies and Lullabies. Again, four generations of mothers and daughters participate in family traditions-this time within a Costa Rican culture in which they share such things as tortilla making and flower gathering. Extraordinary folk-art painting by "Corazones Valientes," an organization of women artists in Costa Rica, accompany this universal and unforgettable story of family love.
 

Sibu creates a woman to be the wife of Thunder but when she asserts her independence from both of them, a spectacular tree and all the beautiful waters of the world spring forth from her. 



A walk through the Costa Rican cloud forest provides a wonderfully lush setting for Jan Brett's beloved animal illustrations. When Carlos drops his umbrella to climb a tree for a better view of the animals, they all cram into the banana-leaf umbrella as it floats by--from the little tree frog to the baby tapir to the big jaguar and more. It gets so crowded in the umbrella that there isn't even enough room for a little hummingbird! So over the umbrella tumbles, everyone falls out, and poor Carlos comes back wondering why he didn't see any animals all day.


Features include maps, country facts, fun facts, a book list, and beautiful illustrations.



This is, of course, just a sampling of books on Costa Rican life for you to read. Do you want to recommend/share books that are about or take place in Costa Rica? Or do you want to share other thoughts?  Please leave a note in the comments!

Be sure to check back for our next trip in books! :)

Here is what is coming up next:

The Distinct Cultures of the Creole and Cajun Peoples
The African country of Nigeria


Where we've been so far in our literary travels so far:
Australia, Pacific Islands
New Zealand
Fiji

8 comments:

  1. Quirky BookandFilmBuffJanuary 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    What a great list! I love your gorgeous photos, too.

    http://eclecticbooksandmovies.blogspot.com

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  2. Awesome list of books. Devil's Deep looks really enticing.

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  3. I agree! I really want to read it.

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  4. Thanks, though the photos are totally not mine. I would love to visit there someday, though!

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  5. Great list of books! I'd love to go to Costa Rica!

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  6. Me too. I hear it is exotically wonderful. I think I just made up that word, but it fits. :D

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  7. Costa Rica! I always wanted to go there, but I haven't read any books set there, weirdly.

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  8. Now is your chance! There is even a romance in there. ;)

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