Books in Spanish to Read this Summer!

If your idea of a perfect summer day consists of laying in the sun, sipping iced tea while enjoying a great book, keep reading as this post is for you!

Below you will find a carefully curated list of amazing reads that will captivate you — while also allowing you to brush up on your Spanish. Thus, without further ado, here are my ‘top 6’ Spanish page-turners for the summer:

Como Agua Para Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

It might seem odd at first, but this is actually one of my favorite books. Como Agua Para Chocolate translated to ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ is a wonderful light read, filled with emotional cliffhangers.

Written by the Mexican author Laura Esquivel, the story follows a young girl who longs to marry the love of her life. But as expected, she is unable to do so, given that Tita (the main character) is destined to take care of her aging mother. Like Water for Chocolate is a great ‘coming of age’ story and the perfect mix between cultural heritage, romance, and tragedy.

Oh, and did I mention that each chapter starts with a delicious recipe that is seamlessly tied into the story?

Required Spanish Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel García Marquez

You probably have heard of this book before as it has been translated into 49 different languages and sold over 80 countries across the globe. So, if you have not read it, you definitely should!

Cien Años de Soledad translated to ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ is a book like no other. It was written by Gabriel García Marquez, better known as ‘Gabo’, an award-winning Colombian author whose books have inspired millions of people from all corners of the globe.

The novel is set in the utopian town of Macondo and narrates the story of seven generations of the Buendía family. It is a classic magic realism story where reality and fantasy are so deliciously combined that one cannot tell the difference! Cien Años de Soledad is seen by most people as a surreal interpretation of historical facts of the most turbulent century in the history of Latin America: 1820-1920.

It is very tough to explain, as the story itself is so rich and dense. But trust me, it is an addictive novel that will transport you to a whole different world!

Required Spanish Level: Advanced

El Misterio de la Llave by Elena Moreno

El Misterio de la Llave translated to ‘The Mystery of the Key’ was published by the University of Salamanca and written by Elena Moreno. It was specially designed for students wanting to learn Spanish as you only need to know essential vocabulary words. Thus, if you are just starting to learn the language, I strongly suggest you pick up this book — it even comes with a glossary of terms for those trickier words.

El Misterio de la Llave narrates the story of an archeologist who travels to Toledo (one of Spain’s most culturally rich cities). The purpose of his visit is to make sense of a recently discovered ancient key and a mysterious package that falls into his hands. The plot is filled with mystery, conspiracy, and enigmas.

I vastly recommend it, as it is effortless to read as well as really entertaining. You will not even realize how caught up with the story you are until it ends!

Required Spanish Level: Beginner

La Casa de los Espíritus by Isabel Allende

La Casa de los Espíritus translated to ‘The House of Spirits’ is another excellent book filled with magic realism. It is an international best-seller written by the Chilean author Isabel Allende.

The story mixes everyday life elements with those from a fantasy world in a beautifully crafted tale. It tells the story of a traditional family through four generations, recounting the trials of the political movement in post-colonial Chile.

I am not going to lie — the plot is not always easy to follow as it is filled with intense conflicts and tumultuous scenes. But, if you focus, I am sure that you can work through it and appreciate Allende’s writing.

Required Spanish Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

This list would not be complete without including Don Quijote de la Mancha, one of the most recognized novels of all time. Written by Miguel de Cervantes is thought of as the most influential literary piece of the Spanish Golden Age. It was published in two parts, the first in 1605 and the other ten years later in 1615.

Yes, I am aware that over 400 hundred years have passed, but this specific story has proven to be timeless.

The plot revolves around the adventures of Alonso Quixano a ‘hidalgo’ from La Mancha, who is obsessed with chivalric romances and decides to revive them by setting out to serve his nation. The other two constant characters in the story are Rocinante (an old horse) and his loyal friend Sancho Panza (an ordinary farmer). Together they embark on an adventure-filled tale that is both heartwarming and entertaining.

Required Spanish Level: Advanced

La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruíz Zafon

Like many other books on this list, this one is also an international best-seller. However, La Sombra del Viento translated into ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ is a relatively new addition as it was only published in 2001. Written by Spanish author Carlos Ruíz Zafon, the novel has a prequel titled The Angel’s Game.

La Sombra del Viento narrates the story of Daniel Sempere, a boy living in Barcelona, Spain, right after the Spanish Civil War. The plot includes a secret book buried in the ‘Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ and characters from all walks of life. It is a story within a story, and I would not want to spoil it for anyone who wants to read it.

Thus, if you are intrigued and love intensity-filled reads, I recommend you pack it before leaving for vacation this summer!

Required Spanish Level: Advanced

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.