Holiday books,Taha’s favorite Spanish writers and books, reading tips from our staff, we are happy to give you some ideas for holiday books.
You may already know the name Carlos Ruiz Zafon, he is the author of the well-known four-part The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a series of stories set in Barcelona in the middle of the last century. In the series we follow the antihero Daniel Sempere. We think Carlos writes the ultimate holiday books!
All four books can be read separately, in addition to following each other in stories. The first part of the quartet impressed us the most: “The Shadow of the Wind”
“The Cemetery of the Forgotten Books is located in the old center of Barcelona. Daniel Sempere is taken by his father, a widower and bookseller, to this mysterious, hidden world of stories. From that moment on, Daniel’s life takes a turn he could not have anticipated.
Daniel is allowed to choose a book and chooses The Shadow of the Wind, written by a certain Julián Carax. The book ‘takes hold of him and does not let him go’, even though the world shakes to its foundations during the Franco regime. He wants to know everything about the book and the author, and curiously all the people he meets, including the women he falls in love with, seem to be part of a big game of which the book is the centerpiece.”
Ildefonso Falcones is actually a lawyer in Barcelona, but he achieved world fame writing epic novels. His debut The Cathedral of the Sea was a huge international success, with more than six million copies sold in nearly fifty countries. Our favorite Ildefonso novel, however, is his third: The Barefoot Queen.
When you read this book during a holiday in Andalusia, it will seem as if you are living in the book, Falcones takes you through the entire region in his story, as it were.
“January 1748. A black woman wanders through Seville. She has nowhere to go after her long boat trip from Cuba and is close to despair – until she meets Milagros, a rebellious young gypsy woman. The two women become inseparable. Seville is buzzing: theaters are everywhere and a new dance is born, flamenco. The two friends have plenty of work. But their joy is short-lived. Will fate ever bring them together again?”
Of course, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra cannot be missing from this list. Known to the general public for his story about Don Quixote, a classic that has the most translations ever except for the Bible. However, we would like to point out a story that is slightly less well-known, ‘La gitanilla,’ or the gypsy girl.
“A story in which the clichés about the gypsies are mixed in with an identity game. Little by little, the plot reveals that everything said about the “gypsy girl” is unfounded and a spiral of entanglements and confusions unfolds in a closed and caustic plot. “La gitanilla” is also a portrait of the ethnic differences of the Cervantes era.”
In our view a fascinating insight into the 16th century through the eyes of a gifted and very intelligent writer.
Have fun reading your holiday books!