Recommended books

Looking for the next novel to read? Here is a selection of best-sellers that can be easily found in major on-line bookstores and duty-free shops.

Enjoy your reading!

 

The Cathedral of the Sea

Cathedral of the Sea (By Ildefonso Falcones): In the 14th century, Catalonia's ships dominated the western Mediterranean. Barcelona's Santa Maria del Mar church was built in 54 years in this century, so quickly as cathedrals go that it is all in one style, a high, spacious, unadorned Gothic.

Arnau, the main character in this novel, sees the cathedral start and lives to celebrate its completion. Born a serf, he survives perils, saves Barcelona from Pedro the Cruel of Castile, and is made a baron. His evil enemies plot to have him away from the city's political life. His lifelong goodness to his fellow-workers, to clients and to outcasts such as the Moors and Jews will make things change for the good.

Front cover of The Shadow of the Wind (By Carlos Ruiz Zafón): The novel, set in post- Spanish Civil War Barcelona, concerns a young boy, Daniel. Just after the war, Daniel's father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, forgotten titles lovingly preserved by a select few initiates. According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it, and must protect it for life. Daniel selects a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. That night he takes the book home and reads it, completely engrossed. Daniel then attempts to look for other books by this unknown author, but can find none. All he comes across are stories of a strange man - calling himself Laín Coubert, after a character in the book who happens to be the Devil - who has been seeking out Carax' books for decades, buying them all and burning them. Terrified, Daniel returns the book to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books but continues to seek out the story of the elusive author. In doing so Daniel becomes entangled in an age old conflict that began with the author himself.
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The Time of the Doves (By Mercè Rodoreda): Set during the Second Spanish Republic and the Spanish Civil War, the novel is set in Barcelona before, during and after the war and pictures a young woman's struggles in life as well as her conflictive relationships with two men, and her progression from nearly complete submission until she develops a full-fledged outlook in life, personal maturity and independence. The novel has been translated into more than twenty languages and is regarded as one of the most important pieces of fiction in contemporary Catalan literature.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Front cover of

The enormity of the Tragedy by (Quim Monzó): Quim Monzó (born 1952) is today's best-known writer in Catalan. He is also, no exaggeration, one of the world's great short-story writers. This 1989 novel, his first book published in the UK (after translation to over 20 other languages), shows all his idiosyncrasy (comic lists, names and juxtapositions; maniacal explanations of how household gadgets work; an eye for the surreal) and his originality.

The first reaction to reading Monzó is uproarious laughter. He is colloquial, sarcastic and outrageous. He examines with X-ray precision his disoriented urban characters. Without settled ties or families, these spin in a maelstrom of emotions and instincts. The plot hangs on the plight of a man who suddenly finds he has a permanent erection. The consequences are both hilarious and tragic.

(Source: monzo.info)

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