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.

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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!).

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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!

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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.

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One thought on “Madrid/Spanish-related books”

  1. Hi Alun,
    A couple more recommendations for you :-
    – Duende by Jason Webster. He starts off with simple guitar lessons and graduates to become a fully fledged member of a travelling gypsy flamenco troupe, with all the associated trials and tribulations.
    – Our Lady of the Sewers by Paul Richardson
    The author’s mission in Spain was to “sieve out the ancient, perverse and eccentric from the new, nice and normal”. And he achieves it!
    – Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Thriller-cum-love story set in pre- and post-Civil War Barcelona.
    – Winter in Madrid by C J Sansom was also been recommended to me so I bought it but haven’t read it yet.

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