We loved our list of 6 books from Spain, but we also found a variety of other great books that didn’t make it into that final list. From travel books to beautiful literature to intense sci fi & a variety of other genres, these 11 great reads related to Spain are bound to delight you whether you choose one written by a Spanish author or a novel which simply takes place in Spain.
“A provocative literary thriller that playfully pays tribute to classic tales of mystery and adventure
Lucas Corso is a book detective, a middle-aged mercenary hired to hunt down rare editions for wealthy and unscrupulous clients. When a well-known bibliophile is found dead, leaving behind part of the original manuscript of Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers, Corso is brought in to authenticate the fragment. He is soon drawn into a swirling plot involving devil worship, occult practices, and swashbuckling derring-do among a cast of characters bearing a suspicious resemblance to those of Dumas's masterpiece. Aided by a mysterious beauty named for a Conan Doyle heroine, Corso travels from Madrid to Toledo to Paris on the killer's trail in this twisty intellectual romp through the book world.”
The internationally acclaimed author returns to his magnificent universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. (These bestselling novels can be read in any order. We also recommend The Shadow of the Wind which the club just read this past month.)
“Nine-year-old Alicia lost her parents during the Spanish Civil War. 20 years later, she still carries the emotional and physical scars of that violent and terrifying time. Weary of her work as an investigator for Spain’s secret police in Madrid, a job she has held for more than a decade, the 29-year old plans to move on. At the insistence of her boss, she remains to solve one last case: the mysterious disappearance of the Minister of Culture, Mauricio Valls.
With her partner, the intimidating policeman Juan Manuel Vargas, Alicia discovers a possible clue—a rare book by the author Victor Mataix hidden in Valls’ office. Valls was the director of the notorious Montjuic Prison in Barcelona during WW II where several writers were imprisoned, including Victor Mataix. Traveling to Barcelona on the trail of these writers, Alicia and Vargas meet with several booksellers, including Juan Sempere, who knew her parents.
As Alicia and Vargas come closer to finding Valls, they uncover a tangled web of kidnappings and murders tied to the Franco regime, whose corruption is more widespread and horrifying than anyone imagined.
In this haunting new novel, the author proves yet again that he is a masterful storyteller and pays homage to the world of books, to his ingenious creation of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, and to that magical bridge between literature and our lives.
“The great, vivid warmth of this book is just what readers have been longing for.” - Ursula K. Le Guin
“Death is inevitable. Especially when you have an expiration date.
As a replicant, or ‘techno-human,’ Detective Bruna Husky knows two things: humans bioengineered her to perform dangerous, undesirable tasks; and she has just ten years on the United States of Earth before her body automatically self-destructs. But with ‘anti-techno’ rage on the rise and a rash of premature deaths striking her fellow replicants, she may have even less time than she originally thought.
Investigating the mysterious deaths, Bruna delves into the fractious, violent history shared by humans and replicants, and struggles to engage the society that fails to understand her—yet created her. The deeper she gets, the deadlier her work becomes as she uncovers a vast, terrifying conspiracy bent on changing the very course of the world. But even as the darkness of her reality closes in, Bruna clings fiercely to life.”
“From bestselling Spanish author Paul Pen comes a haunting and hopeful tale of discovering light in even the darkest of places.
For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother. Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire. His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns.
He spends his hours with his cactus, reading his book on insects, or touching the one ray of sunlight that filters in through a crack in the ceiling. Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone’s been acting strangely. The boy begins to wonder why they never say who the father is, what happened before his own birth, about why they’re shut away.
A few days ago, some fireflies arrived in the basement. His grandma said, There’s no creature more amazing than one that can make its own light. That light makes the boy want to escape, to know the outside world. Problem is, all the doors are locked. And he doesn’t know how to get out…”
“Meet the most exciting Spanish steampunk voices in this 1st English-language anthology showcasing the best practitioners of a genre that has found fertile ground in the Spanish-speaking world.
The Best of Spanish Steampunk features stories from Spain, Mexico, Venezuela and Chile, as well as from Spanish writers living in Germany, Dubai and the UK. They are authors who write from the margins, using steampunk to investigate themes such as the ethical questions posed by scientific and technical developments in our globalised culture of rapid change, and how that leaves countries not from the dominant culture behind. Through steampunk these authors are offering alternative re-tellings of their countries’ histories, critically reimagining key moments such as the North-American-Spanish Cuban war, the Mexican war, or the Anarchist revolts of the 1930s in Andalusia. But alternative histories, dystopia and ‘punk’ are not the only focus. Still, the stories set in Asturias, Cataluña, Andalusia, or the Imperial reign of Felipe II are high points in a collection of stories that finds a place for itself in the ever-growing world of multicultural Steampunk, while sharing an engagement with the steampunk canon that, ultimately, moves them beyond their chosen setting.”
"Is this Bill Bryson with a pen name? Funny, well written, and informative."
”When Rich Bradwell was told he had to give his best man’s speech in Spanish, he did the only thing he could think of: he went to Spain. Despite a near-zero knowledge of the language, he had three months to learn. No problem, or so Rich kept telling himself.
Rich dives in at the deep end by moving in with an unintelligible Spanish landlady, and a German roommate, Nils, who insists on being called by his Spanish name, ‘Miguel.’ Unsurprisingly, Miguel can only take Rich’s Spanish so far. Instead, Rich takes his chances on a journey across Spain.
Follow Rich on a hilarious, life-changing trip as he learns about the history, traditions, and culture of this fascinating country. He travels through the vineyards of La Rioja, surfs in the Basque Country, and frantically tries to speak Spanish at anyone he can find. In Granada, the last outpost of the Muslim Moors in Spain, Rich’s moment finally arrives. The microphone is on and the audience is ready, but is he?”
Winner of the Crime Writers’ Association’s International Dagger
For fans of Alan Furst & Carlos Ruiz Zafón comes a haunting and layered thriller filled with history, adventure, suspense, and an unforgettable love story.
”Cádiz, 1811: The Spanish port city has been surrounded by Napoleon’s army for a year. Their backs to the sea, its residents endure routine bombardments and live in constant fear of a French invasion. And now the bodies of random women have begun to turn up throughout the city—victims of a shadowy killer. Police Comisario Rogelio Tizón has been assigned the case.
In a city pushed to the brink, violence and desperation weave together the lives of a group of unlikely people: the Spanish taxidermist who doubles as a French spy; the young woman who uses her father’s mercantile business to run the enemy blockade; the rough-edged corsair who tries to resist her charms; and the brilliant academic furiously trying to perfect the French army’s artillery and bring Cádiz to its knees once and for all. And as Napoleon presses closer, Tizón must make his next move on the bomb-scarred chessboard before the killer claims another pawn.
Combining fast-paced narrative with scrupulous historical accuracy, this smart, suspenseful tale of human resilience is the author at the height of his talents.”
“The People's Covenant and God's Hammer have raged a cold war that has lasted for over twenty years. A war without armies, where battles are fought in the dark and information is the most dangerous weapon.
In this world lives Yáxtor Brandan, empirical adept at the service of the Queen of Alboné. A relentless, amoral and unscrupulous character, Yáxtor fights to recover his own past as he tries to prevent a new player in the espionage game to end the world, as he knows it.
”A fascinating fast-moving and complex plot, full of tension and surprises, and excellently paced. A main character for whom it should be impossible to feel the slightest sympathy, and yet somehow we do, even as his cruelty disturbs us more and more. Powerful secondary actors and a pervading atmosphere of tragedy, especially in a final unexpected and shocking, yet on reflection almost inevitable, scene. In short, a totally addictive and highly original novel set in a world that is at once both strangely familiar and disturbingly alien.” - Steve Redwood, Fisher of Devils
"An illuminating and even inspiring work… By showing us what was lost, Menocal reminds us of what might be.” - LA Times
“In the 8th century, the Abbasids took control of the Islamic empire from the once-powerful Umayyads. Abd al-Rahman, an Umayyad, fled to Spain and founded al-Andalus. There Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived together in relative peace and equality for centuries. The Andalusian kingdom has been largely ignored by Western and Eastern historians alike, but Menocal argues persuasively that to see the Middle Ages through an Andalusian lens reveals no dark ages among them but instead ‘a whole series of golden ages.’ Indeed, from the rediscovery of Hebrew by Jews to translations of Plato and Aristotle, the Andalusians laid the groundwork for the Renaissance. The culture of tolerance slowly fell apart, of course, and has never really returned. Menocal displays a lavish sense of place that should be the envy of many novelists, telling an engaging story in detail without ever alienating the general reader. Her seductively written history serves as both a testament to past tolerance and the hope of a peaceful future. The lessons of Andalusian history surely have never been more timely.”
"Take a 1/2 cup of Bill Bryson, mix with 3 TBSP of Peter Mayle, then add just a pinch of Monty Python, & what you get is Driving Over Lemons." - Chicago Tribune
“No sooner had Chris Stewart set eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check. Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain. That was the easy part.
Lush with olive, lemon, and almond groves, the farm lacks a few essentials—running water, electricity, an access road. And then there's the problem of rapacious Pedro Romero, the previous owner who refuses to leave. A perpetual optimist, whose skill as a sheepshearer provides an ideal entrée into his new community, Stewart also possesses an unflappable spirit that, we soon learn, nothing can diminish. Wholly enchanted by the rugged terrain of the hillside and the people they meet along the way—among them farmers, including the ever-resourceful Domingo, other expatriates and artists—Chris and Ana Stewart build an enviable life, complete with a child and dogs, in a country far from home.”
“A #1 international bestseller reminiscent of the works of Roberto Bolaño, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and Edward Rutherford—a page-turning historical epic, set in early 18th-century Spain, about a military mastermind whose betrayal ultimately leads to the conquest of Barcelona.
Why do the weak fight against the strong? At 98, Martí Zuviría ponders this question as he begins to tell the extraordinary tale of Catalonia and its annexation in 1714. No one knows the truth of the story better, for Martí was the very villain who betrayed the city he was commended to keep.
The story of Catalonia and Barcelona is also Martí’s story. A prestigious military engineer in the early 1700s, he fought on both sides of the long War of the Spanish Succession between the Two Crowns—France and Spain—and aided an Allied enemy in resisting the consolidation of those two powers. Politically ambitious yet morally weak, Martí carefully navigates a sea of Machiavellian intrigue, eventually rising to a position of power that he will use for his own mercenary ends.
A sweeping tale of heroism, treason, war, love, pride, and regret that culminates in the tragic fall of a legendary city, illustrated with battle diagrams, portraits of political figures, and priceless maps of the old city of Barcelona, Victus is a magnificent literary achievement that is sure to be hailed as an instant classic.”