By Nancy Todd and Regina Winkle-Bryan
GUIDE BOOKS: LONELY PLANET SPAIN. Lonely Planet authors continue to tell the truth. Funny, frank, and full of info. From sleeping in a palace to a hostel, this Guide covers all wallets.
THE ROUGH GUIDE TO SPAIN – Nancy’s favorite guide book with unusual photos, honest info, quotes from artists about towns accompanied with little drawings. Transports you right there-your sofa to Spain.
LIVING ABROAD IN SPAIN – Nikki Weinstein left New York City to make her home in Spain. Info on jobs, housing, health, culture, etc. Some info on visas, jobs, etc. may be dated. Email your Spain Scoop authors for the latest info.
HISTORIC WALKING GUIDES – MADRID – This book takes you on a journey through centuries of Madrid’s history via a series of eight walks. Each is themed from medieval buildings to where artists gathered. Maps, times and distances included. To purchases check out Destin World Publishing Co. on line store.
HISTORIC WALKING TOURS – GIBRALTAR – Across the border in Southern Spain is the small British colony of Gibraltar. The compact size of Gibraltar allows the visitor to see all areas with spectacular scenery along the way. Eight themed walks are oulined including the Upper Rock Nature Reserve and the history of the Royal Navy. Visit Destin World Publishing Co.’s on line store.
HISTORY: BARCELONA – Robert Hughes, writer extraordinaire, writes again with intelligence and wit. History books usually put Nancy to sleep. This one is a well researched page turner. If you don’t want to read cover to cover, the excellent index will allow you to read in random snatches and have it make sense at the same time. Enticing read for lovers of Barcelona.
HOMAGE TO CATALONIA – By George Orwell, this is THE book to read on the civil war in Spain. Excellent. One of Regina’s top picks.
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. One of Regina’s top picks for fiction.
BARCELONA, THE GREAT ENCHANTRESS - 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. Nancy loves a book where she has to look up new words.
HOMAGE TO BARCELONA - Colm Toibin. As witness to the Franco Era and the heart breaking Civil War, Tolbin writes with authority and passion. Picasso, Miro, and the boys are covered and their impact on art. Nancy found the section on the expansion of the city limits of Barcelona in the late 1800′s especially intriguing.
SPAIN IN MIND – 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.
A DAY WITH PICASSO – by Susanne Pfleger. The man, Picasso, got around. He was born in Spain and there is one of his retrospectives in The Picasso Museum in Barcelona. Spain influenced his art in politics, bulls, women, women, and in women. A great read about a great artist.
TRAVELER’S TALES:http://www.travelerstales.com/links.html - Traveler’s Tales are publishers of stories, wit, and wisdom from travel writers around the world. Nancy’s favorite books are the ‘Best American Series’ which is a collection of travel stories for each year starting in 2000. Editors include Tim Cahill, Jamaica Kincaid, etc, and our hero Bill Bryson. Transporting you to different niches on the planet including Spain, you can always be on the move with a Traveler’s Tale book in hand.
LANGUAGE: LAROUSSE POCKET STUDENT GUIDE TO SPANISH-ENGLISH, ENGLISH-SPANISH - Whatever dictionary you buy, make sure it is Spanish-English, English-Spanish. For really bizarre words, go to www.spanishdic.com . No, it is not a porn site. It has saved Nancy’s booty many a time when struggling with a Taco Bell level of Spanish. Larousse dictionaries also come in pocket size.
NOVELS: CATHEDRAL OF THE SEA - Ildefonso Falcones. This book is the big Spain 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 cathedral 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. Regina got so into the book while reading it on the metro she missed several stops for several weeks!
SHADOW OF THE WIND - Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Translated from Spanish, Shadow Of The Wind is a buzz book among our friends in Barcelona. 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.Regina recommends reading this one before your trip to BCN, or while in the city.
THE ANGEL’S GAME - Carols Ruiz Zafon. Eagerly awaited by Zafon fans, the author explores the world of writing by taking the reader on a literary trip of romance and mystery. Takes place in Barcelona.
OUR LADY OF THE SEWERS AND OTHER ADVENTURES IN DEEP SPAIN – Paul Richardson. Witty, eccentric, with sharp view of people and places. Will adds idiosyncratic info to the sights and sounds of surprising Spain!
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