These are our 10 best books to read set in Barcelona.
1. THE SHADOW OF THE WIND
Written by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and published on 2001, our favourite , together with the Cathedral of the Sea. With The Shadow of the wind you will meet the Barcelona after the Spanish Civil War. This wonderful gothic literary thriller is an amazing promenade through the streets and squares of the city center and also the avenues on the north of the city. The rest you have to discover youself!
ICONO services offers a literary tour about this book.
2. THE CATHEDRAL OF THE SEA
This bestseller was written by Ildefonso Falcones on 2006. The action takes on the 14th century , at the height of Inquisition, Jewish persecuccions, slavery, comercial port trades and freedom. The construction of Santa Maria del Mar church by the sailors of Barcelona runs parallel to the life of Arnau, the main character of the book.
Santa Maria del Mar is 5 minutes walk from our hotel , the Duquesa de Cardona, and is , in our opinion, one of the nicest cathedrals of the city. Literary tours are also organized with ICONO services
3. THE CITY OF MARVELS
Written by Eduardo Mendoza on 1986. This extraordinary novel fictionalises the teeming life of the city between the Universal Expositions of 1888 and 1929
4. THE TIME OF THE DOVES
By Mercé Rodoreda, one of the big names of the contemporary catalan literature of the 20th century. Written on 1962, the TV created a successful film show about “La plaça del Diamant”, the original name of the book in catalan . This novel is regarded by many as the greatest novel written about the Spanish civil war. Natalia ( La Colometa ) personal history is also the history of many locals in the city of Barcelona.
The story takes place in one of the most beloved quarters for locals in the city: el “Barri de Gracia”, a quarter full of lively narrow streets and squares .
5. BARÇA: A PEOPLE’S PASSION
Everyone knows what FC Barcelona footbal team means for the citizens of this city . Known as “més que un club” – “more than a club”, this books reflects the story of Barça, the city’s legendary football club founded in 1898, and also the epic story of Barcelona and the Catalan nationalism.
After the Spanish Civil War, football at the stadium of the locals teams was a meeting point of “semi-freedom” to express themselves with the company and on the language of Catalunya.
This book was written by Jimmy Burns and published on 2000
6. HOMAGE TO CATALONIA
George Orwell published this book on 1938. The classic account of Barelona and Catalonia during the Spanish civil war, as Orwell describes the hopes and betrayal of the Spanish revolution, his experiences and observations.
7. MARKS OF IDENTITY
Many were the people who exiled from Spain during and after the Spanish Civil War, and this book is about these people. Obviously, this novel was banned in the country until after Franco died. By Juan Goytisolo, 1966
Robert Hughes published this book on 1992, scrolling through Barcelona violent history , with kings, poets, revolutionaries and magnates . The novel is also history, travel guide and labour of love from the well-known art critic, using proportion , humor and “seny”, the Catalan world for common sense law of behaviour.
9. THE ANGST-RIDDEN EXECUTIVE
Written by Manuel Vázquel Montalbán on 1977. A director of a multinational conglomerate is murdered , and his widow seeks out private investigator Pepe Carvalho, who had met and forgotten the playboy executive after their single chance encounter
10. HOMAGE TO BARCELONA
Colm Tóibín , 2002. The booker prize-shortlisted novelist has lived on and off in the city since the 1970s and here offers his own highly readable account of its culture and history.