books about spain

7 great books about Spain you need to read

If you’re missing being able to travel to Spain at the moment, or want to learn more about the country before moving there, there are so many great books about Spain that you can read.

I’m a big reader and love to read novels set in foreign countries. I’ve read a lot of books about Spain, after all it is one of my favourite countries!

If you want to be transported to a country with rich cultures, a sad history, beautiful architecture, and amazing people, take a look at this list of books about Spain…

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The Return by Victoria Hislop

One of my absolute favourites, The Return is a love story set in Andalucia during the Spanish Civil War. A British woman travels to Granada for a weekend and gets to know a Spanish family and the history of the Civil War that brought Franco to power. We’ve been to Granada a few times, and this book perfectly describes the architecture, the streets, the love of flamenco, and the atmospehre. If you haven’t already visited Granada, you’ll want to after reading this book!

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Guernica by Dave Boling

Another of my all time favourite books and one of the very few books I’ve read more than once, Guernica is a historical novel set in the Basque Country in the North of Spain. Guernica is a town that was heavily bombed by the Germans in the Second World War and inspired one of Picasso’s most famous and moving paintings. The book is a tale of love, family, and war, as well as Basque culture and tradition, through the early twentieth century that you won’t be able to put down.

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Driving over Lemons: An optimist in Spain by Chris Stewart

The only non-fiction book on this list, though at times it does read like a tale of fiction! Chris Stewart visited the Andalucia region of Spain and ended up buying an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains . This is an amusing account of their experience moving to a remote part of Spain, meeting their Spanish neighbours, and living in a house with no electricity or running water.

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The Snow Gypsy

The tale of an English woman who goes to Spain soon after World War II in search of her missing brother. There she meets a Spanish woman who fled her village when her family was massacred during the Civil War. The two women’s lives intertwine as they become friends and learn more about each other’s histories and secrets. If you like flamenco and Spanish history, this is the perfect read for you.

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Winter in Madrid by CJ Sansom

This novel takes place in Madrid in 1940, when the Spanish Civil War is over and Franco is considering joining World War II. It follows the journey of three Brits as Madrid lies in ruin and the Germans march through Europe. Harry Brett is a soldier turned spy sent to track an old school friend, who has gone missing on the battlefield and is being searched for by his girlfriend.

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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

A classic set in Barcelona during the 1940s, following the Spanish Civil War. This story follows a young boy Daniel, the son of an antique book dealer, who discovers a book by a mysterious author. After finishing the book he spends the next decade trying to find more books by the author, only to find that someone has destroyed every copy of every book this author has ever written. Daniel’s quest for books turns into a journey into Barcelona’s secrets, murder, and doomed love. If you love Barcelona, like I do, you will enjoy this book!

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Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones

Set in Barcelona in the 14th century, during the inquisition and the building of the cathedral Santa Maria del Mar, this tale follows the life of the main character Arnau through love, war, treason, plague, famine, and the Inquisition. Arnau is the son of a peasant family who helps to build the cathedral, before becoming a baron and fighting jealousy from friends who plot his downfall.

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I hope you’ve found some new suggestions for books about Spain on this list. If you have any other recommendations for books about Spanish culture and history I’d love to hear them!

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