Smorbasbord Reblog – Lisbon – City of Books by Jessica Norrie

You might have noticed that there was no reblog for Jessica Norrie last week in her usual spot. That is because she was gallivanting in Lisbon. However, it is our gain because this week we get to enjoy some of the views and descriptions of this old city.

Not only that, Jessica also shares some of the books that have been set in Lisbon including one of the two books with the same title.. Night Train to Lisbon. One in particular captured Jessica’s attention, written by Swiss author Pascal Mercier, it would appear to capture the essence of this city and the Portuguese people.

Join Jessica on her exploration of the city and the literature….

Lisbon: City of Books by Jessica Norrie

I always thought the title “City of Books” belonged to Paris or Dublin, but now I’ve visited Lisbon. In four days I only scanned the first page but I sense volumes more beneath. Let me set the scene:

This is a city where the first time tourist needs a 3D map. Maybe our sense of direction is poor, or our orienteering skills have faded with satnavs and Google maps. Whatever the reason, we were pretty useless for the first two days, until we realised the roads we saw on the map as a simple left turn or clear right angle were just as likely to be a flight of steps, an alleyway, even an outdoor lift or funicular, possibly right above our heads or below our feet as they slithered on the shiny cobbles. “I’m sure we’ve already walked along here,” we heard a plaintive English voice say, and chuckled knowingly until our target eluded us yet again and we ceased to see the joke.


We climbed and we slipped, we clung by our fingernails to the back windowsills of trams with our belongings squeezed against our tummies to deter pickpockets, we gasped at stunning views, admired skilled graffiti and deplored senseless scrawls. We stepped over endless building sites and began to take Roman stones for granted. We encountered skilful fado buskers on anarchic exhibition sites.

We stood in queues for elevators where turning a simple corner would have brought us to the same spot, and we abandoned the laws of physics for we couldn’t understand how that could be.

Head over and enjoy the rest of this tour of Lisbon with Jessica:

©Jessica Norrie and Images.

About Jessica Norrie

Jessica Norrie studied French literature at Sussex University, and trained as a teacher at Sheffield. Then she wandered into parenthood, told her now grown up children stories, and heard theirs. A qualified translator, she worked on an eclectic mix of material, from health reports on racehorses to harrowing refugee tales. She taught, full time, part time, adults, children, co-authored a text book and ran teacher training. In 2008 she was inspired with the idea for “The Infinity Pool” and it appeared as a fully fledged novel in 2015. Meanwhile she sings soprano and plays the piano, walks in the forest and enjoys living in and using London. She looks forward to writing more in the future.

Jessica Norrie

About the Book.

In this thoughtful novel set on a sun-baked island, Adrian Hartman, the charismatic director of the Serendipity holiday community, is responsible for ensuring the perfect mindful break, with personal growth and inner peace guaranteed. People return year after year to bare their souls. For some, Adrian IS Serendipity. But Adrian disappears, and with him goes the serenity of his staff and guests, who are bewildered without their leader. The hostility of the local villagers is beginning to boil over. Is their anger justified or are the visitors, each in a different way, just paranoid?

As romance turns sour and conflict threatens the stability of both communities, everyone has to find their own way to survive. This evocative story explores the decisions of adults who still need to come of age, the effect of well-intentioned tourism on a traditional community, and the real meaning of getting away from it all.

The most recent review for the book

The book is written in a quiet manner, nothing is sweating anything other than calm, but it has something about it that made me want to read more and more, so I can say that I enjoyed reading it very much. My favorite scene was when Chris entered the pool. The reason I am mentioning this is because the novel is so well written, that even though there is nothing supernatural going on in the book, Jessica managed to give me the feeling of an almost evil ritual, like the pool is going to swallow the life out of the character.

Read some of the 53 reviews and buy the book:

and on Amazon US:

Find more reviews on Goodreads:

Thanks for popping in and I hope you will head over to Jessica’s blog and follow her wonderful posts. Thanks Sally