By Nancy Todd
HOMAGE TO CATALONIA – By George Orwell, this is THE book to read on the civil war in Spain. Excellent.
PAGAN SPAIN – By Richard Wright, this book gives interesting insight into what Spain was like not that long ago, and shows just how much the country has changed in the last 30 years. A stimulating read in true Wright style.
BARCELONA, THE GREAT ENCHANTRESS – By Robert Hughes. The author has been coming to Barcelona since 1966 and creates a fascinating painting of this Catalan capital. His commentaries on architecture, people he knows, and people he wants to know like, Wilfred the Hairy, makes it a passionate read. Today, you could meet Wilfred the Hairy at a singles bar. No index.
HOMAGE TO BARCELONA – By Colm Toibin. As witness to the Franco Era and the heartbreaking Civil War, Tolbin writes with authority and passion. Miró, Picasso, Dalí, Gaudí and the boys are covered and their impact on art. The section on the expansion of the city limits of Barcelona in the late 1800s is especially intriguing.
SPAIN IN MIND – By Alice Leccese Powers. This anthology is a great read for the metro, a cafe, or snuggling in front of your fireplace for armchair travel. Alice Leccese Powers weaves Wharton, Hemingway, Orwell, etc. in a diverse collection.
CATHEDRAL OF THE SEA – By Ildefonso Falcones. This book is the big scoop on life during the middle ages. As historical fiction, it takes place on streets you can stroll today. Centered around Santa Maria del Mar, a grand church well worth the visit in Barcelona, is a story of a family’s transcendence from serfdom to wealth. One of our top favs! Our friend Dana stayed up three nights in a row to read this book.
SHADOW OF THE WIND – By Carlos Ruiz Zafon. A thriller without blood and gore, the story takes place, in part, in a bookstore in Barcelona. Today, you can meander the late-1800 streets that the author describes.
OUR LADY OF THE SEWERS AND OTHER ADVENTURES IN DEEP SPAIN – By Paul Richardson. Witty, eccentric, with sharp view of people and places. Will adds idiosyncratic info to the sights and sounds of surprising Spain!
Have some more suggestions for our list? Leave your comments below.