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5 Books to Read Before Going to Spain

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Spain is a beautiful and fascinating country which is why it is a tourist favorite. The sandy white beaches, gorgeous people, delicious food, and lovely language are some of the things people go to Spain to experience. 

A vacation or trip to Spain is definitely something everyone should do at least once. It helps to know something about the country, which you can do by reading books. 

The following are some helpful books to read before going to Spain:

  • The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho
  • Ghosts of Spain by Giles Tremlett
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • Discovering Spain: An Uncommon Guide by Penelope Casas

Let’s take a look at each in turn

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The Pilgrimage By Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian novelist who has written some of the most powerful stories in the past few decades. The pilgrimage is about the writer taking a pilgrimage from the South of France to the North of Spain, with the final destination being the city of Santiago de Compostela. 

The book has made the eight-day walk along the Camino de Santiago a much more popular tourist activity than it was during the book’s writing. The novel is about a mystical and spiritual pilgrimage that first-time visitors to Spain should consider. It makes your trip more than a typical vacation, adding mystery and excitement to it. 

Ghosts of Spain by Giles Tremlett

When traveling to a new location, it is a good idea to read a book about its history, and Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past by Giles Tremlett is the right book to read. The book will enlighten you about Spain’s rich but often dark history. To understand modern Spain, you have to understand its past. 

It would be best to understand its language too, which you can do by learning Spanish with an online course. The author paints a vivid picture of various aspects of Spanish history, including the Spanish civil war, The Moorish inquisition, and the various independence movements, including Basque and Catalan. 

The book will encourage you to visit certain places on your trip that will help you appreciate Spain’s history even more. 

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Shadow of the Wind is set in post-civil war Barcelona as the city is in recovery. Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in the country, and reading this gem of a book by Carlos Ruiz Zafon will make you appreciate it even more. The book is a story about a young lad who goes to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books with his father and selects one to take home. 

The Shadow of the Wind by Carax fascinates him, and he immediately tries to read other books by Carax but finds out someone is destroying them. When he tries to discover why, his search leads him on an adventure full of murder, love, and insanity. 

The Shadow of the Wind is a mystery novel that will make you fall in love with one of the most breathtaking travel destinations in the world. 

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway is one of the most famous writers of all time. His novel, The Sun Also Rises, takes place in France and the other half in Spain. Like the expert storyteller he is known to be, Hemingway transports you to a Europe that no one today would recognize. 

The novel is a sort of autobiography that tells of his travels from Paris, France, to Madrid, Spain. Like no other writer could, he tells of his journey and perfectly captures its beauty, passion, and violence. 

The Sun Also Rises is a classic novel that tells of Hemingway’s love of bullfighting and how he thought it captured Spain’s heroic and authentic culture. 

Discovering Spain: An Uncommon Guide by Penelope Casas

If you visit Spain, you have to experience the food, and the best book to take you on a culinary journey of the country is this one by Penelope Casas. She is an expert on Spanish cuisine, has written multiple cookbooks, and published many articles in world-famous newspapers & magazines. 

In the book, she takes the reader on a culinary trip like no other, presenting the best delicacies each Spanish region offers. She makes recommendations on places to visit, which makes it an excellent accompaniment for a tour of Spain. 

Books to Read Before Going to Spain

There are many great books about Spain, and the ones above are but a fraction of the great reads that will give you insight into the old country. However, they are a great starting point and fascinating books that will provide you with ideas of places to visit. 

They will also offer a hint of Spanish culture and spirit for you to go and explore, giving you impetus for your trip.

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