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10 must-read Spanish books to add to your reading list in 2023


1. Corazón tan Blanco


Author: Javier Marías

Javier Marías is a Spanish author who has been hailed as one of the most important Spanish writers of his generation. One of his most famous works is Corazón tan Blanco, which has been translated into numerous languages and has won several prestigious awards. This book explores the themes of memory, love, and betrayal, and is known for its intricate narrative structure and Marías’ trademark prose style. In this post, we will be taking a closer look at Corazón tan Blanco and examining why it has earned such critical acclaim.

Corazón tan Blanco is a novel that centers around Juan, a translator who gets involved in a complex web of relationships when he marries his second wife, Luisa. As their relationship develops, Juan begins to uncover secrets about Luisa’s past, particularly about her first husband, Javier. The novel takes on a non-linear narrative structure, jumping back and forth through time as Juan tries to piece together the truth behind these secrets.


2. Don Quijote de La Mancha


Author:  Miguel de Cervantes

Whether you are an avid reader or a novice in literature, you have probably heard of the classic Spanish tale of Don Quixote. The story follows the adventures of a middle-aged knight-errant, Alonso Quixano, who, upon reading too many romantic novels, becomes convinced that he is a brave knight on a mission to rescue damsels in distress. Miguel de Cervantes, who authored this novel in the seventeenth century, created a masterpiece that has since become one of the most widely read and influential works of western literature.

Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote in 1605, the era of Spain’s imperial expansion in Europe and the New World. At the time, chivalry romances were popular literature in Spain. Cervantes transformed this era’s literature by introducing realism in a satirical way. He ridiculed the romantic heroes and described the hilarious and absurd mishaps of Don Quixote as he journeyed through Spain in search of adventure.


3. El viajero del siglo


Author:  Andrés Neuman

If you’re looking for a feel-good book with plenty of life lessons, look no further than Traveler of the Century by Andrés Neuman. Argentinian-Spanish author Andrés Neuman of this novel tells the story of a young man named Ulrich who, after growing up in a small town, sets out on a journey around the world. On his travels, Ulrich meets an array of fascinating characters and learns plenty about life and love.

One of the best things about this book is that it doesn’t shy away from difficult topics. It tackles big issues such as war and genocide, but does so in a way that’s respectful and informative. Neuman’s writing style is beautiful and thought-provoking, and you’ll find yourself quickly drawn into Ulrich’s story.

So if you’re looking for a book that will make you think, laugh, and cry, Traveler of the Century is definitely worth your time.

4.  Las Travesuras de la Niña Mala

Author:  Mario Vargas Llosa

Las Travesuras de la Niña Mala is a novel by Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, first published in 1990. The novel tells the story of a young girl, Patricia, and her troublesome escapades in the Peruvian highlands. Vargas Llosa has said that the book is based on his own experiences as a child, and that its title is taken from a Peruvian proverb.

The novel was well received by critics, who praised Vargas Llosa’s writing and the story’s humor. It was nominated for the prestigious Premio Biblioteca Breve award, and was later adapted into a play by Mexican director Luis Mandoki.


5.  La Casa de Bernarda Alba

Author:  García Lorca

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Spanish literature. García Lorca’s poetic and powerful writing transports readers to the heart of rural Spain and the lives of its women. La Casa de Bernarda Alba tells the story of a mother’s strict control over her daughters and the secrets that simmer beneath the surface. The characters are richly drawn and their stories are heartbreaking and unforgettable. This is a beautiful, timeless work that deserves to be read and studied by everyone.


6. El Alquimista

Author: Paulo Coelho

El Alquimista tells the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he sets out on a journey across the ancient world, encountering riches and peril, until he finally completes his quest – an inner transformation that makes him whole and allows him to return home fulfilled.

Since its first publication in 1988, El Alquimista has become one of the most-read and beloved books in the world. With more than 60 million copies sold worldwide, it has been translated into over 80 languages, and is now available in a beautiful new hardcover edition.

El Alquimista is a timeless fable about following your heart and finding your destiny.


7. Cien años de soledad


Author:  Gabriel García Márquez

Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel García Márquez is one of the most celebrated and widely read works of fiction in history. The novel tells the story of the Buendía family over the course of seven generations, and has been translated into over 30 languages. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece is a rich and textured exploration of the human condition, capturing both the tragedy and comedy of life.


8.  Ficciones


Author:  Luis Borges

An excellent read and a classic in Spanish literature. The book is a collection of short stories that is great for intermediate Spanish learners.


9.  Pedro Páramo


Author:  Juan Rulfo


This title is recommended for Spanish learners who want a quick read that is both excellent and engaging.


10.  La Ciudad y los Perros


Author: Mario Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa’s La Ciudad y los Perros is a stirring coming-of-age story set in a Peruvian military academy. The novel follows young protagonist, Fortunato, as he navigates the complex and brutal social hierarchy of the school, forging unlikely friendships and enduring the abuse of his sadistic classmates and teachers. In spite of the hardship, Fortunato is determined to find his place in this hostile world and eventually rises to become one of the academy’s most respected cadets.

La Ciudad y los Perros is an engrossing read and provides a unique perspective on the intensity and brutality of military life. Vargas Llosa’s prose is skillful and evocative, capturing the friendships, rivalries, and heartbreak of Fortunato’s journey with tremendous depth and emotion. This novel is sure to appeal to fans of coming-of-age stories as well as those interested in Latin American culture.


Let’s put your must-read books to good use by also learning Spanish better


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Time to put Spanish reading to practice!


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