50 Spain Books
A list of Spain Books for all those who love Spanish food, history and culture. I am often asked for reading recommendations about Spain themes. As I read quite a lot myself, I thought I´ve created a list of Spain Books that I are worth reading.
In this selection there is something for everyone. Civil war stories, romantic novels, cooking books and humorous expat tales. It´s not a definitive list. There are hundreds of titles out there. These are some of my personal favourites and books that may not be as well known too.
One of them, Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada, I have even met the author.
Spanish Civil War Books
- Albi – Hilary Shepherd
- Daughters of Spain – Joan Fallon
- Doves of War – Paul Preston
- Ghosts of Spain – Giles Tremlett
- The Seamstress – Maria Dueñas
- Waiting for Robert Capa – Susana Fortes
- Soldiers of Salamina – Javier Cercas
- As I Walked Out Through Spain in Search of Laurie Lee – Paul Murphy
- The Red Gene – Barbara Lamplugh
Practical Spain Books
- How To Buy Spanish Property and Move To Spain …safely – Nick Snelling
- The Best places to buy a property in Spain – Joanna Styles
- Spain: the Expat Survival guide – Yolanda Solo
- Coastal Walks in Andalucia – Cicerone Press
- Back Roads Spain (Eyewitness Travel)
- 100 Spanish Short Stories for Beginners – Learn Spanish with Stories Christian Stahl (Including Audiobook)
- The Sierras of Extremadura: 32 half and full-day walks Cicerone Press
Flamenco Themed Books
- Duende: A journey in search of Flamenco – Jason Webster
- City of Sorrows- Susan Nadathur
- Falling for Flamenco – Barry O Leary
- Flamenco Academy by Sarah Bird.
- Flamenco Baby – Cherry Radford
- Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
- As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – Laurie Lee
- Death in the afternoon – Ernest Hemingway
- Homage to Catalonia – George Orwell
Food & Cooking in Spain Books
- Spanish Cooking Uncovered: Farmhouse Favourites – Deborah Jenkins
- Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain’s Food Culture – Matt Goulding
- Cooking with Languages – Lisa Sadleir.
Granada Themed Books
- Driving over Lemons – Chris Stewart
- Granada, City of my dreams – Lorenzo Boheme
- South From Granada – Gerard Brenan
- Tales of the Alhambra – Washington Irving
- Secrets of the Pomegranate – Barbara Lamplugh
Books set in Southern Spain
- The Hand of Fatima – Idlefons Falcones
- The Return – Victoria Hislop An excellent novel written at the time of Spanish Civil War. Set in Granada and Andalusia.
- Lorca: A A Dream of Life by Leslie Stainton
- Lorca’s Granada by Ian Gibson
- Walking & Trekking the Sierra Nevada – Richard Hartley – Best option for hikers in Granada province.
- Andalus: Unlocking the Secrets of Moorish Spain – Jason Webster
- A Hoopoe on the Nispero Tree by
Barcelona & Catalonia Themed Books
- Barcelona Plates – Alexie Sayle
- The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon Set in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, it makes you feel as though you are there.
- Stone in a Landslide – Maria Barbal
- Nada – Carmen LaForet
Spain Books by British Writers
- Fear and Loathing in La Liga – Sid Lowe Best pick for Football fans
- More Salsa than ketchup – Joe Cawley
- Tapas and Tinto – Pete Wolstencroft
- Bitten by Spain – Deborah Fletcher
- Chicken, mules and two Old fools – Victoria Twead
- Donkey on my doorstep – Anna Nicholas
- Going local in Gran Canaria – Matthew Hirtes
- Vino Tinto Villas and Sailing – Eugenie C Smith
- Washing Amethysts in the Bidet –Fiona Pitt Kethley . A book about the collecting minerals around Spain & the Sierra Minera. There are also some good poetry collections too.
- Zanussi and Jack – Edna Clyne-Rekhy *Profits from the sale of this book will be donated to ALZHEIMERS SCOTLAND.
Page Turners with Spanish Themes
- Passion India – Javier Moro One of my all time favourite reads. (Spain and India mixed into one novel)
- The Winemaker by Noah Gordon
- Vengeance in the Valencian Water by Caroline Baker. A prolific writer with many titles available on Spanish themes.
- The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coehlo
- Winter in Madrid – C.J Samson
- Voices of Angels – Hannah M Davies A great book for younger or adolescent readers
- Coffee Castanets and Don Quixote – Robert Graham Noble
- Roads to Santiago – Cees Nooteboom
- Your Face Tomorrow – Javier Marias
- The Reign in Spain – W. Kristjan Arnold. An entertaining historical novel which examines Spain’s turbulent 20th century
- Death & the Sun by Edward Lewine
I´m sure that in this Spain books list yet one of your favourite titles could have been missed.
Let me know in the comments below as I may need to add it to my reading list…
I’m currently enjoying “The Fountains of Silence” by Ruta Sepetys. Set in Madrid during the 1950s. Full of local colour and captures the ambiance of the oppression of the time. Should evoke memories for anyone who visited the Dpanish cities in the 50s and 60s. Should be on one’s bookshelf beside C.J. Sansom’s “Winter in Madrid”.
I enjoy all of Jason Websters books – whether the Travelogues like Duende or his Max Camara crime fiction novels
Ive also read and enjoyed Spanish Steps: Travels With My Donkey by Tim Moore and The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho.
As walking books go Gisela Radant Wood has had two Extremadura based books released;
Walking in Extremadura
The Sierras of Extremadura
Both very useful
Think I’ve also got Guy Hunter Watts Walking In Andalucia, though i still need to attempt one or two of those!
Another one i really enjoy is Back Roads Spain (DK Eyewitness) – gets me quite excited before i ever come back out!
Extremadura is just wonderful.. I have just returned from a 5 day break in the region.
Great suggestions… Will add them now
Best wishes Keith
How about my two novels:
‘Secrets of the Pomegranate’ set in Granada
‘The Red Gene’ (Civil War, Franco dictatorship, stolen babies)
The more the merrier. Thanks for suggesting them Barbara
My Andalusian Mystery Series will consist of four books about four separate crimes linked by shared darkness. The first two books Darkness in Málaga and Darkness in Ronda are already on Amazon.
The third Darkness in Velez-Malaga is a WIP to be followed by the finale Darkness in Nerja.
More details are available on my website. http://www.paulbradley.eu
Molly, te falta incluir los libros de Mark Oldfield
Thanks for that https://www.fantasticfiction.com/o/mark-oldfield/sentinel.htm
There are three titles, The Sentinel The Exile and The Dead which Spain titles
Yes I did include Chris Stewarts first book in this list as its the most enchanting one, however I have read them all.
Giles Tremletts book on Granada is a true personal favourite.
Thanks for your additions!!
Gerald Brennan ‘s books on life in the Alpujarras after he left the military are very good.
Jan Morris “Spain” – Just reading this; originally written in 1975, reprinted 2008. Well written.
Chris Stewart’s trilogy (although there are FOUR books in the series) about his life as a farmer in the Alpujarras. He was in a pop group and was also a sheep shearer. Very amusing.
Any books by Giles Tremlett, Paul Preston, Tim Pickett.
Great updated list Molly!
Thanks for including ‘The Reign in Spain’. This historical novel examining Spain’s turbulent 20th century is indeed a page turner! An honor to be mentioned among so many other wonderful books. Best wishes to you and your blog for continued success. Tom
How about adding a Malaga section? My latest ‘Connectedness’ is set in the city and surrounding countryside, and has a strong art theme [more info at my website or I’m happy to email pic, mobi etc]
I enjoyed the Robert Wilson series set in Seville and the Jason Webster series set in Valencia.
Just been looking for some new novels set in Spain, so thanks.
I’ve just published a novel set in Seville actually. It’s called Falling for Flamenco. Would you be interested in adding it to your list?
Thanks for letting me know, I´ll take a look Barry
Thank you Molly for including me on your list. Readers who live in Andalusia might like to consider my books on al-Andalus in the time of the Moors, ‘The al-Andalus Series’. And I’m not alone in writing about this period. There are some fine novels from Lisa Yarde, David Penny and Dr John D Cressler. I know you are particularly interested in Granada and its history, so you may have come across them already. You can find us all on Amazon or on our new joint FB page al-Andalus Authors.
Thanks for checking out the list Joan, taking note of some of those recommendations too
A few suggestions:
DEATH AND THE SUN by Edward Lewine (bullfighting, but not for or against)
Two more by Jason Webster that are essential hispanophile reading: GUERRA and ANDALUS.
FLAMENCO ACADEMY by Sarah Bird.
FLAMENCO BABY by… me! (Cherry Radford).
Oh, and THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER, takes place in Madrid among flamencos – check it out!
Thanks for mentioning my ‘Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada” guidebook Molly. Appreciated.
My pleasure, its such a detailed and practical guide!
Very honoured to feature in this list of some of my favourite writers, Molly. Thanks for including me. And some top tips, although I would add some Paul Read aka The Gazpachomonk titles.
Great list. Thanks for that. I’m reading Duende, by Jason Webster, for the 3rd time, but I think it’s time to explore your list a bit more. I’m writing a novel too based on Sevilla, so the above will prove interesting reading. Thanks.
What a good list and some great comments
I rather liked Mr Lynch’s Holiday by Catherine O’Flynn (Algeria/Andalusia)
The Calligraphy of Dreams by Juan Marsé (Barcelona)
Bay of Secrets by Rosanna Ley (Barcelona, Fuerteventura and West Dorset)
As you say, lots of books set in Spain out there. Happy Reading everyone!
Guernica the most moving book I have ever read, and Guernia is a place I feel I will have to visit one day.
Thanks for mentioning Guernica, John! I hope you can get to the Basque country. I’ve had a number of readers tell me they took trips there and visited the sites and villages mentioned in the book. All have given very positive feedback on their trips!
What a great list!
I published my memoir about Spain on Amazon Kindle in May of this year, 2015. It’s called, “Aventuras in Spain” and deals with my experiences living in Spain from 1972-1976, and from 1980-1984.
Thanks very much for mentioning “Chickens”, Molly. When I wrote it, I had no idea my love of living in a Spanish village would make me write four more. Somebody should confiscate my laptop maybe.
The Return by Victoria Hislop is worth a read. It’s set in Granada.
Yes, I love that book, fabulous read and makes you want to walk around the city to retrace the places in the novel.
Thanks for the early promo Molly. Although we are not actually cooking our kids, we do plan to make language learning more fun for others 🙂
I suggest “Between the Fires” by David Beard, an excellent history of the Guerrilla War in the mountains above Frigiliana after the end of the Second World War. The book tells the story of the Resistance to Franco in mountains boarding Malaga and Grenada provinces. The author includes the oral histories of many involved on both sides of the little known conflict. I also suggest “Ornament of the World, How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain”, a very readable history written by Maria Rosa Menocal. It’s a must read full of interesting background around the nearly 800 years of Moorish life in Spain.
Wow, thanks for those great suggestions!
The Ornament of the World certainly will go onto my Reading list.
The David Beard book I will recommend to a friend of mine who lives in Frigiliana.
Very useful information here, but it’s David Baird – not Beard. Happy to help x
Thanks… indeed that book is here https://amzn.to/2UmGPCy
Between Two Fires- Guerrilla War in the Spanish Sierras
by David Baird
[…] traveling to Spain and would like to read a book set in this fascinating country, check out this list by the awesome Spain blogger Molly Piccavey. I cannot believe how many books Molly found to include […]
thanks for the inclusion Molly x
Thanks to you for a fabulous Foodie Spain book
This has highlighted how few books to do with Spain I’ve read since being here. Think I’ll start with Ghosts of Spain, since that one is on the coffee table next to me as I type.
Thanks for this Molly!
It was fun to write this list, some of the books I have read but lots of them are still to read….
[…] Fifty Spain books. A mixture of Cooking, recipes, football, history, romantic novels, politics and expat anecdotes. How many have you read so far? Spanish c […]
I loved The Winemaker by Noah Gordon. Which you can also read in Spanish under the title La Bodega.
Noah Gordon is famous for ´El médico´ too. As I´d duplicated one line on the list I have replaced it with your suggestion as I think Noah Gordon should be on my list. Thanks Tim!
Really interested in your list. I’d like to add: Guernica by David Boilng; Guerra by Jason Webster and The Carpenter’s Pencil by Manuel Rivas. Thanks for creating the list.
I was waiting for someone to add Guernica! One of my favorite novels on Spain!
Thanks, Jill! So glad you liked Guernica!
I was looking through to see if anyone had added Guernica. It must be one of the most moving books I’ve ever read – full of the spirit of Spain.
Thanks, Sandra! So glad you liked Guernica!
I was also asked on Twitter by @cherryrad to add: Death and the Sun by EdwardLewine, Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner, Flamenco Academy by SarahBird & Flamenco Baby by Cherry Radford
So Many lovely Spain books!
Oooh, all good choices there. See how many great books there are. I could have probably done 100 rather than 50!
Thanks for including me in your list. Daughters of Spain was written quite some time ago now and I have written quite a few more books on or set in Spain since then that might interest your readers.
I added Daughters of Spain as it´s a theme that particularly interests me, although your new book about the Madinat al Azahara in Cordoba also sounds fascinating too.
Ooooh, what a great list. We have recently read Mr Lynch’s Holiday by Catherine O’Flynn, which is a gentle exploration of a Father/Son relationship set on an urbanisation in Almeria/Andalusia. It was a delight both for the story and setting.
I love spending time in Almeria, this book was quite a bestseller if I recall, will look into this one too.
Wonderful list! I’ve read abut 20 – have a long way to go!
Me too, my bookshelves creak under the weight of the ´to read´ books
Have read many of these but a brilliant one I picked up recently is Encarnitas Journey. Couldnt put it down. ! Have leant it out at the mo and cant recall the Author.
That book is by Joan Lingard and set in Yegen, Granada. The same setting as Gerard Brenan´s South of Granada. I didn´t know about that one either..
That book is by Joan Lingard and set in Yegen, Granada. The same setting as Gerard Brenan´s South of Granada. I didn´t know about that one either..
The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown – Set in modern day Valencia and the Spanish Civil War, an easy read. Thanks for the list Molly. I will try and work my way down it!
Easy read. They are the kind of books I love for hazy Summer days. I hadn´t Heard of that so I will take a look at it. Thanks Emily
You have Sid Lowe in your list, so for anyone interested in Spanish football I would add:
“Barca” and “Spain: The inside story of La Roja‘s historic treble” both by Graham Hunter
“La Roja” by Jimmy Burns
“Pep Guardiola” and “Messi” both by Guillem Balague
“Morbo” by Phil Ball
And on the subject of sport, of course there‘s John Carlin‘s book “Rafa: My Story”!
Great suggestions there – and we have most of them at OffsideBoooks. For those who can’t get to our Madrid store (calle Torija 8 ) we do also sell via Amazon.es (I know, I know…) http://www.amazon.es/gp/browse.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceID=A1RKKUPIHCS9HS&me=A1LS4RYXX1T6Z1
Can´t think of a nicer place to browse through a book list..
Great, thanks for those suggestions, I´m not a big sport reader so good to know these titles for my sporty blog readers
The New Spaniards would be in my Top Ten.
In a Top 50, I’d also find room for Fear and Loathing in La Liga and Spain: The Inside Story of La Roja. Both are far more than just football books.
Thankfully, you left out 501 Spanish verbs. I fear I spent more time with my head in that than most of our 50s put together!
Molly, great list, lots of new ones for me to look at. Thanks for the mention of my book.
You did ask so here are a few of my favourites:
1. Homage to Catalonia-Colm Toibin
2.The Angel of the Stories- John Simmons
3. The Forging of a Rebel-Arturo Barea
4. Death on a Galician Shore -Domingo Villar
5. The Telling Room -Michael Paterniti
I now have a great library, to write a book, I realize now you have to read a lot of books
I greatly enjoyed the Telling Room. Just re-read Iberia, a James Michener classic, after a decade in Spain. It’s about his travels in Spain in the 60s and enjoyable (though long). Devouring Grape, Olive, Pig at the moment, which is a food writer’s love letter to Spanish cuisine.
Some interesting titles to look into there. Thanks Paul!
Thanks Molly! How lovely to be included in your list. Some interesting choices there and a few I haven’t yet read. Have a great weekend. Annax
This is actually most of my Reading list! I have read about 18 of these books so far