Best Spain Books: Books to Read to Virtually Send You to Spain

spain-books

I’ve spent much of this year with Spain on my heart and mind. I’ve also spent it with some of the best books set in Spain filling my shelves. Here are a few spain books to transport you there before you travel to Spain yourself.

I’ve been to Spain three times now. The first time was a whirlwind trip to Spain’s most loved cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and Sevilla. The second time, I walked across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. My most recent trip to Spain was a slow ride through Spain’s southern Andalusia region, visiting cities like Cordoba, Sevilla, and Granada.

Best Books Set in Spain

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This book is for anyone who dreams of buying up an old house in a foreign country and building a life. In other words, it's A Year in Provence or Under the Tuscan Sun, but set in southern Spain.

The author and his wife move onto a farm lush with olive and lemon groves, but lacking in almost all else. The book follows their journey to domestic bliss in Spain, alongside a uplifting cast of characters. 

It is no secret that I have a soft spot for this Hemingway classic. Starting in Paris, the characters in this book traverse to the Basque country in Spain for the bullfighting festival. Typical drunken Hemingway chaos ensues.

My connection to this book has only grown over time. I've traveled the same route as Hemingway's characters do and while I didn't see a bullfight itself, I did see children pretending to be bulls outside of Pamplona's bullfighting ring (a much more adorable alternative). 

If you're in the mood for a mystical read, pick up The Alchemist. I'm not the first one to call this traveler's fable a life-changing book. It follows a shepherd from the andalusian region of Spain who chases a dream.

The terrors of the Spanish Civil War and General Franco's dictatorship in Spain have largely gone undiscussed. Tremlett explores the so-called “pact of forgetting" in this deep look at the Spanish psyche. 

Spain is a rapidly changing country and it's people aren't as staunchly traditional as they once were. The Spaniards have held tight to some traditions and bucked others with gusto. This read is perfect for anyone who wants to get a glimpse at the complex changes facing ordinary Spaniards. Fair warning: the book was published in 2007 so it's not exactly “new." 

If you're looking for a read on the beach in Spain, look no further. When two families are double booked at a friend's villa, old histories and passions resurface in a sunny, Spanish locale. Sophie Kinsella reportedly wrote this novel under the pen name of Madeliene Wickham while listening to Spanish guitar music. 

A spy novel set in post-Civil War Spain. This book is an action-packed game of intrigue that imparts a tangible sense of Spanish history in an entertaining way. 

I can recommend an entire reading list on the Camino de Santiago alone, and I have, but this memoir is more than just another account of a pilgrimage. It weaves the history, culture and people of Spain into every step. 

If you plan to find yourself in Sevilla or Granada and want to know the history of the region, give this book a chance. It investigates the 500-year era of peace and tolerance between Muslims, Jews and Christians in southern Spain. 

This book, by a well-known Spanish cookbook author, is part foodie memoir and part history lesson. 

Consider this the classic pick of these Spain books. Published in 1910, Irving's account is a collection of short stories of his time spent as a guest in Granada's alhambra palace. 

The Iberian peninsula is the second home of Pulitzer Prize winning author James Michener. He turns his pen towards the country he came to know, while wading through the dark history of Spain.

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1 Comments

  1. startminer review
    June 19, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    I like this site because so much useful stuff on here : D.

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