Studying Spanish doesn´t have to be a chore, but quite the opposite. The most important thing to do in order to make effective progress is to take advantage of every opportunity to practice your Spanish. The ideal thing to do would be to travel and spend a period of time immersing yourself in the language by taking a Spanish course in Spain. But if this opportunity is unavailable to you, you can choose to watch films or series in Spanish, listen to the radio and, above all, read Spanish books. If you´ve already been learning Spanish for a while, it´s a good idea to start with books by Spanish-speaking authors in their original language. We´ve made a list of the best books to read in Spanish for you.
Best books to read in Spanish: Manolito Gafotas by Elvira Lindo
In a way, this book is like the Spanish equivalent to Harry Potter. Not in the sense that the main character has some kind of magic power, in fact it´s the opposite. He´s a normal boy but, like his English counterpart, his adventures unravel in a series of novels (eight to be exact), and they have achieved huge success in Spain, comparable to the success of Harry Potter. The saga tells the story of Manolito, a boy from Madrid who lives in Carabanchel Alto, a modest neighbourhood in the capital. It reflects the day-to-day life in the neighbourhood well, but through the eyes of a boy with a wild imagination. The situations that Manolito lives through and the way that they are told are full of humour and irony, so if you´re already at a B1-B2 level in Spanish, you´re sure to find this book a fun read. In addition to this, you will come across many colloquial expressions that, thanks to this book, have become popular in Spain.
Best books to read in Spanish: ´Sin noticias de Gurb´ by Eduardo Mendoza
Another book full of satire and irony is “Sin noticias de Gurb” by Eduardo Mendoza. The story takes place in Barcelona in 1991, when the city was preparing to host the Olympic Games. Gurb is an alien that disappears in the city, appearing in disguise as the famous Spanish singer Marta Sanchez. His friend goes out in search of him, using the guises of different celebrities as the plot progresses. Through his diary, we follow the incredible adventures of an alien in Barcelona, experiencing our planet. The author himself confessed that this book is the most eccentric one he has written, “without a hint of tragedy or censorship”
Best books to read in Spanish: La sombra del viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Another book set in Barcelona, but with a totally different plot is “La sombra del viento”, the first book in the series that became a total phenomenon. It has been translated into 36 languages and more than 10 million copies have been sold worldwide. The protagonist of the book is a boy called Daniel, whose father is the owner of a small bookshop. One day, Daniel discovers a mysterious place, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, where he finds a book that is going to change his life. Adventures, mysteries and, of course, love await him.
Best books to read in Spanish: Falcó by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
The protagonist of the book is Lorenzo Falcó, a spy, an ex-gun smuggler and secret service agent. He is commanded to infiltrate a mission that could change the course of Spain´s history. The book is set in the era of the Spanish Civil War, and mixes real life with fiction, which makes it a good way of learning about this period in Spanish history. If you´re interested in cunning schemes and adventures, you are surely going to like reading this book in Spanish, which was last year´s bestseller.
Best books to read in Spanish: Sangre y arena by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
This novel, written at the beginning of the 20th Century, tells the story of Juan Gallardo, a bullfighter from Seville, who has everything going for him. He has it all: fame, money, a family… but everything changes when he meets Mrs Sol. Blood, passion and death…It is an easy book to read and quite interesting since it allows us to get a closer look into the Spanish culture of the time.
So what are you waiting for? Start reading in Spanish – the perfect way to improve your language skills, expand your vocabulary and learn about Spanish culture. Of course, if you know of any other books that are good to read in Spanish, write it down in the comments. Let´s expand our community´s library!