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Spanish Novels For Beginners, Suggestions?


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I've recently started learning Spanish, and aside from watching Spanish series, I would like to read some Spanish novels.

I have a basic understanding of Spanish (I did a Spanish evening course for a year, 10 years ago), but I'd like a challenge. Even if it means looking up every other word in the book :)

Can anyone recommend novels, which are an easy read for beginners?

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I would recommend you any book of Carlos Ruiz Zafon. He's my favourite spanish author.

Try to read those books:

1. The Shadow of the Wind

2. The Angel's Game

3. Marina

4. The Prisoner Heaven

I'm really in love with his stories and characters :)

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I feel a good starting point to exploring Spanish literature is through the work of Colombian writer,  Andres Caicedo (Luis Andrés Caicedo Estela), who describes different facets of society and social problems that surrounded him back in the 1970's. His style is simple and original.

Unfortunately he died at the age of 25.

I would especially recommend "Angelitos Empantanados o Historias Para Jovencitos" and "¡Que viva la música!"

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  • 1 month later...

If you are a beginner, I think the best novels are ones that are written for young adults. They are essentially in the same boat you are, language comprehension-wise, and the concepts/language will be simpler to understand. I have read this short novel called Sin Noticias de Gurb. It's about an alien who has landed in Barcelona, Spain, and trying to find his partner (Gurb) while exploring the city and its strange human inhabitants. It's funny, sweet and interesting. You will most likely have to look up a bunch of words, but you will pick up the gist of the book pretty easily, and learn some great new vocabulary.

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  • 5 months later...

I think you should read ''El Esclavo'' by Francisco J. Angel. It's a very easy to read novel, but also comes with some really important life lessons.  It's not so long either, I actually finished reading it after just two nights.  I loved it, it's a must read, it teaches you to see life from a different angle, specially useful if you are in a very dark time in your life and having really dark thoughts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While not exactly a novel, I highly recommend "Cuentos de la Selva" (Jungle Tales) from Horacio Quiroga. One of my favorite writers, he wrote these kids stories and dedicated them to his own children, as he had a house in the jungle where he would spend a lot of time with them.

It's basically a collection of short stories. The names of some locations and animals might be a little confusing or unknown, since Quiroga used names that are primarily from Uruguay's lexicon. But apart from that, the language is very simple. And the stories are fun to read, my favorite ones are "El paso del Yabebirí" y "La guerra de los yacarés".

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  • 1 month later...

I wasn't the one who asked but thanks for this! I was looking for some just to test how much I can understand without needing to read my notes and get my dictionary so this is perfect timing.

Thanks! I'll watch it in case other people recommend some more.

Thanks again! :D

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  • 11 months later...

I would start with any book that is from the collection/editorial EL BARCO DE VAPOR.  There are hundreds of books to choose from. You will find a lot of children’s and young adult books but they are in your level of Spanish. I still bet that you will have to look up a lot of words. Two books I love that are very interesting and easy reads are POR TODOS LOS DIOSES – Greek mythology stories written in an easy and fantastic way. LA HIJA DE LA MAÑANA – Young adult novel with challenging vocabulary and interesting plot.

Now if you want to be a bit more challenged but still want to be able to read without stopping every two words try EL DIABLO GUARDIAN of the Mexican writer Xavier Velasco. It’s a decent novel with a lot of awards, interesting plot and as plus you’ll also learn Latin American slang and idioms.

When you feel you have improved move on to CIEN AÑOS DE SOLEDAD (A Hundred Years of Solitude) by the master and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’ve read this masterpiece in English and Spanish and let me tell you there’s a lot lost in translation. You have to read this book in Spanish, you’ll forever be in love with it.

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  • 9 months later...

I like the suggestion someone made earlier of the Greek mythology collection written in Spanish. As a forever-beginner, I'll have to check it out at some point. Unfortunately, the only suggestions I can give are English books that have been translated into Spanish or a halfway textbook about a haunted house. There seems to be an Un Casa Embrujada book or series that might work for this but I know little about it. 

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