41 Books Set in + About Spain

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Ready to travel to Spain with a great book? From historical fiction to memoirs, we’ve got a full list here of books about Spain for you to enjoy. Whether you are planning a trip to Spain or just want a bit of armchair travel, these books will transport you to the cities of Spain and help you learn more about the country’s history and culture.

Novels Set in Spain

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Set in Barcelona in 1945, this best-selling mystery centers around a mysterious book and a boy named Daniel who finds it. But when he tries to find out about the author of this book, he discovers someone has been destroying every copy of this author’s books. This is the first book in Zafón’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. For fans of mysteries and books about books.

The Time of the Doves by Mercé Rodoreda

During the Spanish Civil War, a young mother must learn how to survive the hardships that come when her husband goes off to fight and she must stay in Barcelona to care for her family, struggling to survive. For fans of quiet, reflective books.

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Sofia has spent her life trying to understand her mother’s mysterious illness. As a last hope, they travel to the southern coast of Spain to get treatment from a famous doctor. But her mother’s illness gets worse, and Sofia must also confront her own inner-life while trying to unravel what is ailing her mother. This Man Booker Prize Finalist is for fans literary fiction and mother-daughter stories.

The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra

This autobiographical novel reflects on two major events: the kidnapping and murder of the narrator’s grandfather by Basque terrorists and her mother’s cancer illness. This book juxtaposes private pain with public tragedy. The title comes from the idea that every dinner has an invisible guest: death, who will eventually erase each member of a family. For fans of quiet, literary fiction with a dark edge.

The Time in Between by María Dueñas

A young seamstress’s life is changed by war, both the Spanish Civil War and WWII. After a heartbreak in Morocco, she re-creates herself in Madrid and becomes a sought after seamstress for the wives of Nazi officers in order to gain access to inside information. This book has political intrigue, espionage, and romance. For fans of WWII and historical fiction.

The Wonders by Elena Medel, Translated by Lizzie Davis and Thomas Bunstead

In Madrid, two women are driven by class and sex into the decisions they make for themselves and their families. In 1969, Maria is looking for a better life for herself. Years later, in 2018, Alicia is caught up in a protest she doesn’t have time to care about, which Maria is part of. For fans of feminist fiction.

The Winterlings by Cristina Sánchez-Andrade, Translated by Samuel Rutter

After the Spanish Civil War and their grandfather’s murder, two sisters return to his cottage in Galicia. But secrets begin to come out, both in their own lives and in the community around them. For fans of gothic, historical fiction.

The Yellow Rain by Julio Llamazares, Translated by Margaret Jull Costa

In a small village in the Spanish Pyrenees, an old man approaches death. He is the last resident there, and on his deathbed he reflects on his life and the friends he used to have in the remote village. For fans of quiet and reflective books.

Homeland by Fernando Aramburu, Translated by Alfred J. MacAdam

This novel focuses on two women, Miren and Bittori, who are friends. But their families become enemies in the midst of terrorist violence from the ETA, the Basque separatist group. This novel is told in short, non-linear sections from multiple narrators. For fans of true crime in the political sphere. It’s also the basis for the HBO show Patria.

Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton

This novel set in Spain is told in two timelines. In 1964, Isabel, who has been living in exile in Cuba, is searching for her sister in Barcelona, and finds herself in a world of secrets. Decades earlier, in 1936, Alicia, Isabel’s mother, is arriving in Barcelona from Cuba, just as Spain is on the cusp of Civil War. For fans of historical fiction.

The Girl from Guernica by Karen Robards

Sibi is a girl living in Guernica when bombs devastate her city during WWII. Griff, a US soldier, saves her life. But then she becomes entwined in politics, lying to the gestapo and doing what she can to save herself and her family. For fans of historical and WWII fiction.

The Queen’s Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile by C.W. Gortner

This a novel based on Queen Isabella, who begins her life in exile before she becomes heiress of Castile. It’s a historical novel about her marriage to Fernando, Prince of Aragon and how they bring Spain together despite the troubles the country faces. For fans of historical fiction.

Alberto’s Lost Birthday by Diana Rosie

Alberto has never had a birthday because he doesn’t know when it is. He was in an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War, and he has never had a party or presents; he doesn’t even know the date he was born. When his seven-year old grandson finds this out, he is determined to change this for his grandfather and the two set out on a journey through Alberto’s, and Spain’s, history to find Alberto’s birthday. For fans of stories full of heart.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Set on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the Post family is all ready for a vacation. That is, until secrets start to come out from every member of the family. This book is the perfect beach read. It’s sunny and witty and full of dysfunctional family drama but still lighthearted. Perfect for fans of quirky books and dysfunctional family stories about families who still like each other.

Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan

Set on the coast of Southern Spain, people from all over the world cross paths when they move into a brand new apartment complex. They are all dealing with their own issues, and their lives become entwined as they discover that maybe the coastal paradise isn’t all they want it to be. For fans of heartwarming stories and contemporary fiction.

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

This classic novel is set during the years after WWI and centers around a group of ex-pats. Jake Barnes, a wounded journalist, is in love with Lady Brett Ashley, who was his nurse during the war and is engaged to be married to someone else. And the drama all converges in the midst of Spanish bullfighting. For fans of classic literature.

Don Quixote by Cervantes, Translated by Edith Grossman

We couldn’t have a list of books about Spain without including the classic Don Quixote. Don Quixote becomes fascinated by tales of knights and decides to become one himself, embarking on foolhardy adventures with Sancho Panza. For fans of classics.

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Non-Fiction Books About Spain

Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past by Giles Tremlett

A travel memoir about the lingering trauma of the Spanish Civil War. Giles Tremlett travels through Spain examining and questioning the history of the war after mass graves were uncovered, trying to understand why so many people kept silent about what happened for so long. For fans of travel memoir with some political intrigue and history.

The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by María Rosa Menocal

The history of Spain is fascinating, and here we get a little known insight into medieval Spain and how a multi-religious city flourished peacefully. For fans of history and religion books.

Chris Stewart and his wife become owners of a sheep farm in the mountains of Southern Spain. This memoir is about their adventures in farm life and the village around them as they build a life they love, all anchored in Stewart’s consistent optimism. For fans of ex-pat travel memoirs.

The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho, Translated by Julia Sanches

Coelho’s journey on the famous road to Santiago is full of reflection and self-discovery. He makes meaning of his journey and this is a great read for travelers thinking of planning a Camino journey themselves. For fans of travel and adventure memoirs with meaningful reflection.

Walking with Sam: A Father, A Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain by Andrew McCarthy

In this memoir, actor Andrew McCarthy sets off on a journey on the Camino de Santiago with his son. Through their walk, they discuss things they’ve never talked about at home and form a new bond. For fans of memoirs.

Roads to Santiago: A Modern-Day Pilgrimage Through Spain by Cees Nooteboom

A travelogue through Spain from a Dutch author who has adopted Spain as his second-home. Blending travel with history, culture, and art, this book will give you a complete picture of the captivating country of Spain. For fans of travelogues and history.

Pilgrimage to the End of the World: The Road to Santiago de Compostela by Conrad Rudolph

The Camino de Santiago is a popular pilgrimage, both for serious trekkers and religious seekers. Here, Rudolph blends history with memoir to tell the story of one of the most famous pilgrimages in the world. For fans of lyrical memoirs blended with a bit of history.

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the Worlds Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti

Weaving a winding tale though the dry countryside of central Spain, this is the story of a man and his family who have been obsessively making the world’s greatest cheese until one day their work is taken from them. This book is meandering, and that’s kind of the point — it’s meant replicate the feeling of hearing the story told in a cave with a big glass of wine and a hunk of cheese. This book is fascinating and fun, if a little long-winded. For foodies and lovers of long campfire stories.

Only in Spain: A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir about Food, Flamenco, and Falling in Love by Nellie Bennett

When Nellie Bennett wants something more for her life than her department store job, she decides to take Flamenco lessons. It seems simple, but she discovers the world of Flamenco goes so much deeper than she expected and ends up flying halfway across the world to immerse herself in the authentic Spanish Flamenco experience. For fans of travel light-hearted travel memoirs.

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

This is Orwell’s memoir of fighting in the Spanish Civil War and it doesn’t shy away from the atrocities he saw. He signed up to fight with the Republican army, and he becomes embroiled in the political struggles and eventually faces an internal struggle (and danger) as the Republican army faces its own internal conflict. For fans of thoughtful war memoirs and history.

Iberia by James A. Michener

This doorstop of a book might be the most complete book about Spain there is. While it was written in the 1960s and is therefore a bit dated, it still gives a complete history of the country and examines what has made Spain the country it is today. For fans of long and comprehensive histories.

Voices of the Old Sea by Norman Lewis

After WWII, Norman Lewis settled on the coast of Spain. This is his memoir about three summers in a small fishing village when life is simple and quaint. It’s a look at Spain before it was hit by tourism. For fans of quiet memoirs.

Children’s Books Set in Spain

The Three Golden Oranges by Alma Flor Ada, Illustrated by Reg Cartwright

A Spanish folktale about three brothers who must pick oranges from an enchanted tree and journey with them so they can each find a wife. Recommended ages: 5-8 years.

The Little Matador by Julian Hector

According to family tradition, the Little Matador is supposed to become a bullfighter. But it he much more interested in drawing bulls and spends his days in the meadows with the animals. But one day his father has had enough and puts him in the bullfighting ring. Can the Little Matador win over both the bull and his father? Recommended ages: 4-8 years.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, Illustrated by Robert Lawson

This is a classic children’s story about a bull who doesn’t want to fight. But what happens when he is picked to go into the ring in Madrid? Recommended ages: 3-5 years.

Katie and the Spanish Princess by James Mayhew

Katie is looking for a costume idea. When she sees a painting of a princess in a museum, she steps into the painting and discovers a historical world. This book features the art of Velazquez, Goya, and Murillo. Recommended ages: 5-8 years.

Lola’s Fandango by Anna Witte, Illustrated by Micha Archer

Lola looks up to her big sister, but feels like she’ll never be as amazing. So she starts taking secret Flamenco lessons. But will she be brave enough to share her dancing? Recommended ages: 5-6 years.

Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudí by Rachel Victoria Rodríguez, Illustrated by Julie Paschkis

Set in Catalonia, this children’s book examines how nature impacted the famous Spanish architecture of Gaudí. This is a perfect book if you’re planning a trip with kids to Barcelona. Recommended ages: 5-8 years.

Middle Grade and YA Books About Spain

All You Knead is Love by Tanya Guerrero

When 12-year-old Alba is sent to Barcelona to spend the summer with her grandmother, she really wishes she could stay at home, even though things are rough. But in Barcelona she gets close to her grandmother, discovers a new kind of family, and gains a passion for baking, all leading to a new confidence. Recommended ages: 8-12 years.

Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska

Manolo was three when his father, a great bullfighter, died. While many expect him to follow in his father’s footsteps, he doesn’t want to become a bullfighter. Will he go into the ring or follow his own path? Either way, he must be brave. Recommended ages: 8-12 years.

Adventures of Don Quixote by Argentina Palacios

Don Quixote de la Mancha is one of the most famous figures in literature. This is an abridged version of Don Quixote and his adventure through Spain for young readers, as he sets out as a self-identified knight and seems to misunderstand everything. Recommended ages: 8-14 years.

Isabel, Jewel of Castilla: Spain, 1466 by Carolyn Meyer

An installment in the Royal Diaries series, this is a fictionalized version of Isabel of Castilla’s life told in diary format. This is a story about her teenage life—keeping her brothers, both claiming the throne, happy while resisting their marriage suggestions. Recommended ages: 9-12 years.

Bird With the Heart of a Mountain by Barbara Maríconda

Set during the Spanish Civil War, 16-year-old Drina wants to learn to dance Flamenco. Her mother forbids it. But her mother is also holding a secret, which sets Drina on a journey to find out who she is. Recommended ages: 12-18 years.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

In 1957 Madrid, tourism is booming. But the dark side of the country’s history still lurks. Daniel, a tourist, meets Ana, a local, whose family still holds on the pains of the Spanish Civil War. Recommended ages: 12-17 years.

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