Best books on Barcelona
Before travelling to Barcelona, you should read about it.
The following books will help you understand different times in the History of Barcelona. These novels are definitely worth reading to make the most of your stay.
1. Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones
Cathedral of the Sea is a historical novel by Spanish author Ildefonso Falcones. The action takes place in 14th century Barcelona at the height of theInquisition, with the construction of Santa Maria del Mar serving as background to the story.
2. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The novel, set in post–war Barcelona, concerns a young boy, Daniel Sempere. Just after the war, Daniel’s father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, forgotten titles lovingly preserved by a select few initiates. According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it and must protect it for life. Daniel selects a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. That night he takes the book home and reads it, completely engrossed. Daniel then attempts to look for other books by this unknown author but can find none. All he comes across are stories of a strange man – calling himself Laín Coubert, after a character in the book who happens to be the Devil – who has been seeking out Carax’s books for decades, buying them all and burning them.
3. The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
‘The Angel’s Game is a prequel to 2001′s The Shadow of the Wind by Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Like The Shadow of the Wind, it was translated into English by Lucia Graves, daughter of the poet Robert Graves, and published in 2009.
4. The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
he internationally acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Carlos Ruiz Zafon takes us into a dark, gothic Barcelona and creates a rich, labyrinthine tale of love, literature, passion, and revenge …
5. The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza
In 1886 Onofre Bouvila arrives in Barcelona to begin his career as anarchist, salesman, burglar, filmmaker, and commercial-political deal maker, a career that parallels Barcelona’s growth into a World’s Fair city.
6. In Diamond Square by Mercè Rodoreda
Barcelona, early 1930s: Natalia, a pretty shop-girl from the working-class quarter of Gracia, is hesitant when a stranger asks her to dance at the fiesta in Diamond Square. But Joe is charming and forceful, and she takes his hand.
They marry and soon have two children; for Natalia it is an awakening, both good and bad. When Joe decides to breed pigeons, the birds delight his son and daughter – and infuriate his wife. Then the Spanish Civil War erupts, and lays waste to the city and to their simple existence. Natalia remains in Barcelona, struggling to feed her family, while Joe goes to fight the fascists, and one by one his beloved birds fly away.
7. Southern seas by Manuel Vazquez Montalban
In search of the spirit of Paul Gauguin, Stuart Pedrell—eccentric Barcelona businessman, construction magnate, dreamer, and patron of poets and painters—disappeared not long after announcing plans to travel to the South Pacific.
8. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
Homage to Catalonia is political journalist and novelist George Orwell’s personal account of his experiences and observations in the Spanish Civil War. The first edition was published in 1938.
9. Last afternoons with Teresa by Juan Marsé
Last Afternoons with Teresa is appealing especially to the fans of Barcelona, the hometown of Marse, who walks the readerthrough its magical little streets. ”Last Afternoons with Teresa” tells about the love between Manolo, an attractive young man, andTeresa, a girl from a wealthy family. The political and economic issues pertaining the country at that historical moment, deepen the difficulties which this searing passion faces.