Spanish Literature in 2020

Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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What Spanish books are you reading or hope to read this year?


I have a few in mind that I hope to read which I will post later on. However, there is one children’s book that I am curious about. It’s Amelia Vega’s new release. It’s based on the daily life of her oldest son. The book is not available online but I am interested in reading it.





I find children’s literature great to read. It is important to encourage children to read at an early age. Most of the renowned authors of Spanish literature don’t have a children’s collection so it’s good to see Amelia Vega produce a children’s book.


I am reading a book right now and once I finish it I will make a list of what I hope to read in 2020. It will include one book by Mario Vargas Llosa and one by Isabel Allende.



-MP.
 

Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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What are people reading in Santo Domingo:


http://www.cuestalibros.com/más-vendidos-ficción-2


Two books on that list that interest me:




Maybe this one or one of his classics. I read El héroe discreto in 2017 and I really liked it. The writing was top notch.




I don’t think I will read this one this year unless I read her three previous releases. I am behind with Isabel Allende and I like her books.



-MP.
 

Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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These two books I will read for sure. In fact Estoico y frugal is what I will read next.




This author tells it like it is about Cuba. Color de rosa- no.






I came across this author while browsing in the bookstore in the Miami airport. What a find. I read her book Piel de lobo and enjoyed it. I am looking forward to reading more of her work.


-MP.
 
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Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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I finally finished the book I was reading. It took me longer than I would have liked but with limited time one has to be patient. The book title is El búfalo de la noche by Guillermo Arriaga. I discovered this author while browsing on Amazon. I decided to buy two books based on the comments. I bought the one above and Un dulce olor muerte. Both are good and this author is talented. His style is very intriguing and he builds mystery in his themes until the very end. You will want to finish the book.

One key note about his writing is even if you didn’t know he is Mexican, you will notice that very soon once you start to read his books. I feel like my knowledge of Mexican words and expressions has improved tremendously.

Now I am going switch gears totally and read the first book in the post above Estoico y frugal by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez. I have read many of his books so I know what to expect regarding his style. He is raw and even crude at times when he describes his life and situation in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. In the 90’s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union Cuba’s already fragile economy took a nosedive and the misery living in a poverty-ridden country can only be best described by those who live in it or experienced it.


I will start this book today. I am looking forward to the very vivid and rich descriptions of life in Cuba for the average Cuban and the episodes that will be described in the story told in a way that I have never read from any other author with an ultra Caribbean flavour and expressions that characterize his writing.



-MP.
 
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Fulano2

Nomen nescio.
Jun 5, 2011
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La sombra del viento, Zafon.
We, my wife and I like this novel so much.
We have it in spanish and dutch. I first read it in spanish, a challenge I must admit.
 

Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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La sombra del viento, Zafon.
We, my wife and I like this novel so much.
We have it in spanish and dutch. I first read it in spanish, a challenge I must admit.

Good choice.

I purchased the book years ago but I have not had the chance to even consider reading it yet due to lack of time. It is over 500 pages. However, it’s interesting that you mention it because now with the world pandemic, I have a little more time and I am considering reading it in 2020. Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a good writer. He is definitely in the top ten best writers from Spain today.

Yes, you definitely have to a very good to excellent command of Spanish to read Zafón’s books and other writers in his rank like:

1) Arturo Pérez Reverte

2) Luis Leante- I love his work. Excellent Spanish literature. He is from Murcia.

3) Rosa Montero

4) Ana María Matute

5) Lara Moreno - mentioned in this thread

Just to name a few. All are from Spain and great writers.



-MP.
 

Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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Yesterday was International book day 2020. As an avid reader of Spanish literature, I look forward to reading information on the internet about the importance of reading and a suggested book list for the year. As well, it gives me insight to authors I don’t know. In my experience, Spain is one of the best countries for Spanish literature. If you go back fifty years and look at the output it is incredible.

Here is the book list for 2020:



This is the first book listed. The summary sounds intriguing. Here is an example of an author I have never heard of before and I enjoy discovering new literature.


-MP.
 
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Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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Isabel Allende will have a new book out in November as per this article in Listín Diario. This Chilean author is the most read female author of Spanish literature. The new title is Mujeres del alma mía.


Once I started reading her books I enjoyed what I read so far. However, I have fallen behind and I look forward to when I am reading her work yearly but my literature collection is so big that I can’t say when I will catch up. The last book I read from Isabel was El cuaderno de Maya. I thought it was very good but you have to be strong because she presents some harsh realities about youth and drug abuse that is an eye-opener.

I will be on the look out for this one come November and my goal this year is to read at least one of her books either from 2015, 2017 or 2019.




-MP.
 
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Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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These two books I will read for sure. In fact Estoico y frugal is what I will read next.




This author tells it like it is about Cuba. Color de rosa- no.



-MP.

I finished reading this book and I must say the author is consistent with his message. Cuba especially after the the collapse of the Soviet Union went into a deep repression....poverty and hunger best define his experience and that of many Cubans. To relate to Pedro Juan reading his trilogy first has really helped me to understand the psychology behind his writings. Although this book is not as intriguing as his other books, it is a satisfactory read.


On to my next book. The question is what book will I read next.......but I am looking forward to whatever I choose.


If anyone is reading a good Spanish book or is planning to read one please share your perspective in this thread.


-MP.
 

NanSanPedro

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Apr 12, 2019
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In general, do you think reading a junior high level Spanish book is a good way to learn Spanish? I still have major troubles understanding people and am thinking that reading a book in Spanish would help. It won't be easy, I will live with Google Translate, but I'm thinking it could speed stuff along.
 

Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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In general, do you think reading a junior high level Spanish book is a good way to learn Spanish? I still have major troubles understanding people and am thinking that reading a book in Spanish would help. It won't be easy, I will live with Google Translate, but I'm thinking it could speed stuff along.
The key aspect is to read at your level. Adults tend to forget this. If you are an adult and a beginner in any language you need to start from the beginning which means reading junior level books and slowly progress through the different levels of language.

Absolutely start to read as you learn. You need exposure to all areas which include reading, writing, listening and speaking. Use and practice all four components even if you don’t understand everything.


Here is a reader I recommend that I have used with beginners. I think the reading level is perfect.

upload image site
 
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Africaida

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Where do you buy novels in Spanish (for those of us in North America) ? I tend to only find classics when I look on Amazon; where would I look for contemporary novels ?
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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I've just finished listening to the audiobook of Isabel Allende's Largo pétalo de mar, but unfortunately in its English version. It was annoying because the narrator could not pronounce some of the Spanish names properly. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book and would rate it among her better works.
 

Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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Where do you buy novels in Spanish (for those of us in North America) ? I tend to only find classics when I look on Amazon; where would I look for contemporary novels ?
You live in a city with a large Latin population. As a result you will find a good selection at Barnes & Noble. Go to the section Libros en español and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Is there still a Barnes & Noble around 5th and 48th? I used to go to that one and they had a great selection of Spanish novels and reference books.
 
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Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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I've just finished listening to the audiobook of Isabel Allende's Largo pétalo de mar, but unfortunately in its English version. It was annoying because the narrator could not pronounce some of the Spanish names properly. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book and would rate it among her better works.
Great. You are up to date. I am behind with this author. I need to start from El amante japonés onwards.


Any chance of you reading the actual novel?
 

Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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@NanSanPedro

There are some excerpts on the web of the Spanish reader I posted above. Here is a sample so you can get a feel for the texts. This is a page from chapter six. As I said it is a beginner level reader and one of the best I have seen consistently for years.


 
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Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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Great. You are up to date. I am behind with this author. I need to start from El amante japonés onwards.
El amante japonés was good. Más allá del invierno felt too contrived. She picked the issue of the day - immigration - and wrote a story around it.

Any chance of you reading the actual novel?
Probably not. I'm a very fast reader and find it difficult to slow down my pace, which I have to do when reading Spanish.
 

Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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I have such a large collection of Spanish books that I call it my personal library or bookstore. I never pass on an opportunity to buy a novel. I also have rare finds.

I am starting a new book today. I don’t remember where or when I bought it. I opened the middle of the book read three lines and recognized right away that the author is Puerto Rican just from the writing style in those three lines that I read. I did a google search about the author and I was right. She is Puerto Rican.


The topic is about mental illness of the main character. I think it will be interesting and I can tell the book has that unique Caribbean nuance.

Title: Porque hay silencio

Author: Alma Ambert

 

Marianopolita

Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
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Here are some contemporary Puerto Rican authors.

I am very familiar with the work of Esmeralda Santiago. I have read all her books, actually memoirs. I enjoyed them especially Cuando era puertorriqueña.

I have get to know the others on the list. Very intriguing.




 
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