Madrid/Spanish-related books

I am just preparing my summer break – we’re off to Avila for a couple of weeks – and was thinking about what books I could take with me to read. Here are some of the books that I’m currently leafing through:
Captain Alatriste
Captain Alatriste – Arturo Pérez-Reverte.
This is the first in the series of the Alatriste novels, which are set in 17th century Spain and focus on the swashbuclkling adventures of soldier Captain Alatriste. Madrid features quite prominently in them. Watch out for the film which comes out in September.

Visit Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

A Load Of BullA Load of Bull (An Englishman’s Adventures in Madrid) – Tim Parfitt
I’m looking forward to reading this book and hopefully Tim will soon be participating in the ‘My Madrid’ section of the site. Reviews from what I’ve seen have been favourable for this book and it is finding it’s way into a number of bookshops (I’ve even seen a few in Waterstones in Swansea, Wales!).

Visit Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

 

Almond_blossom

Almond Blossom Appreciation Society – Chris Stewart

This is not actually related to Madrid but will no doubt prove to be a damn good read like his previous books: Driving Over Lemons and A Parrot in the Pepper Tree. It continues the story of Chris Stewart who gave up life in the UK to go and buy a farm in Southern Spain. You probably won’t be able to put it down!

Visit Amazon.co.uk (not yet out in the States)

Ghostsofspain
Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through a Country’s Hidden Past – Giles Tremlett

Giles Tremlett is the Guardian’s Madrid correspondent and has lived in Spain for around 20 years. The book focuses on, amongst other things, Franco and the Civil War, and asks why the Spanish have chosen to forget the horrors of this period. However, i’s not just about the civil war and includes chapters on Spanish corruption, tourism industry , flamenco and the Basque problem. From what I’ve read so far, it’s proving to be a very good book.

Visit Amazon.co.uk (not yet available in the US)

New York Times Guide to Madrid

Newyorktimesguide
The New York Times has a simple, yet very good multimedia guide to Madrid. Alan Riding of the New York Times provides the commentary (probably wrote it, too!) to an interactive slide show on the city. It looks at Madrid’s food, culture, shopping, nightlife and getting around. Just click on the buttons to get started and don’t forget to turn the volume on! In addition to this, the New York Times also has a decent selction of articles written about Madrid:


FRUGAL TRAVELER: MADRID; Pinching Euros, by Day and All Night Long
(December 18, 2005)
SURFACING: MADRID; For Madrileños Chic and Cheap(November 6, 2005)
Foraging: MADRID: ESPADRILLES (June 5, 2005)

You need to register (for free) to access the articles

Travel Telegraph Guide to Madrid

Travel_telegraph
In a bid to offer visitors to this blg as balanced and informed a view of Madrid as possible, I have inlcuded below some links to articles on madrid from another newspaper, The Daily Telegraph. For those who are unfamilar with this newspaper, it is generally aimed at the more affluent, conservative-voting public.

My kind of town

Annie Bennett believes that the Madrid food markets, though baffling at first, are worth mastering.
26 Oct 2005



Madrid: Art in action

Simon Horsford combines a visit to watch Real Madrid with a tour of the Spanish capital’s top galleries.
28 Feb 2005



Madrid: A fight to keep  the tradition alive

Paul Mansfield warms to Madrid’s ancient themes.
09 Oct 2004



Madrid: Art and soul

As the summer heat cools and the terrorist attacks of last March recede, now is the time to visit the Spanish capital, reports Annie Bennett.
09 Oct 2004



Madrid: New ideas for old hands

Real Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
The most impressive of Madrid’s convents – although, like the others,
it is now woefully short of nuns. It was built originally as a palace
but converted into a convent in 1556, when Philip II’s widowed sister
decided to become a nun. Although the exterior is austere, the interior
is a lavish baroque treasure-house of paintings, sculptures and
tapestries.
19 Jun 2004



Madrid: Big break

At the end of the day, Madrileños know how to have a good time. John Graham-Hart tells you where to go to join them.
19 Jun 2004



Madrid: All the essential stops for first-timers

El Prado One of the world’s great museums and the capital’s
top cultural attraction. The core of the Prado is the Spanish Royal
collection with its magnificent range of works by Velázquez, Goya and
El Greco. There is a wealth, too, of Italian Renaissance masterpieces
by Botticelli, Caravaggio, Rafael and Titian, plus the greatest
collection anywhere of work by Hieronymus Bosch.
19 Jun 2004



Madrid: City basics

Getting there
John Graham-Hart
travelled with Iberia Airlines, which
offers direct flights to Madrid from Heathrow and Manchester from £90
return. A taxi from the airport to the city centre will cost about €20.
19 Jun 2004



Madrid: Smart jacket required

Discouraged by the price and quality of leather for sale in the UK this season, Annie Bennett widened her search to Madrid
22 Dec 2003



Madrid: How to visit the Prado museum

Nick Trend suggests the best way to see hundreds of Old Masters in Madrid – unimpeded by crowds and for just a couple of pounds
08 Nov 2003