Essential Reading List -- Spain

Old Oct 16th, 2003, 11:38 AM
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Essential Reading List -- Spain

I've enjoyed this thread about Italy, and since I'd like to start planning my family's first foray into Spain, am curious what books all you experts recommend (beyond the basic guide books) to start learning about Spanish history and culture and the ever-illusive "flavor" of the country. Fiction and non-fiction recommendations are all welcome!
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Old Oct 17th, 2003, 04:11 AM
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Search the Spain forum using the word "fiction" and you will have lots of responses.

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Old Oct 17th, 2003, 04:26 AM
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Maria is right-- great info has been posted on this topic. One of my favorites is the Spain edition of the Travelers' Tales Guides; superb compilation of narratives and anecdotes by different authors. Highly recommend it. Enjoy Spain!
Old Oct 17th, 2003, 05:34 AM
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Thanks -- I thought I had seen all the posts over the past 6 months, and didn't recall such a thread. It just goes to show that Fodorites have probably discussed just about everything there is to discuss!
Off to the library!
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Old Oct 18th, 2003, 07:47 AM
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I'vejust finished a new one, based on a UK documentary called "No Going Back".

Not the best story of its type; but very very well written. I loved it.
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Old Oct 18th, 2003, 07:02 PM
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Iberia by Mitchner...a bit dated but a fun gossipy book by a man who loved the country. Agree about the Travelers Tales....but read it while you are there....adds flavor to your trip!! Actually all the Traveler Tales are remarkable and I read each one in the country Im in at the time!! Great series!!
Read some Hemingway...just cuz!!! Also Jean Plaidy has a couple of good historical fiction...based on history about Isabella & Ferdy.....which are easy and fun. Find your nearest library....and type in Spain and just start....I do this for each country and read away happily for 6 months before each trip. Right now I"m working on Turkey!!!
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Old Oct 19th, 2003, 06:05 AM
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I learned a great deal about Spain from a book called "Off the Road" by Jack Hitt: He walked the way of St. James (Camino de Santiago) and his narrative includes a lot of historical reference.

Go to your local Video store and rent same Spanish (from Spain) movies like Belle Epoque, All About my Mother, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and whatever else you can find ...

But Spain is so diverse ... You might want to limit your family's first Spain foray to one geographical area: If it is 2004 (an Anho Jubilar Xacobeo - Holy Year for Santiago - Apostol), northwest Spain will be where the action is: the Principality of Asturias and Autonomous Communities of Cantabria and Galicia. Many thousands of Pilgrims will be making their way along the Camino Frances to celebrate the Apostle's feast day in Santiago de Compostela.
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