Only in Spain is the modern-day memoir of an Australian woman who falls in love with flamenco and moves to Spain to continue dancing. It’s a fun, light, easy read.
The Shadow of the Wind is a grand, twisting novel set in Barcelona during the 1950s. It has a huge cast of characters and and a gritty, winding plot that touches on the impact of the fascist rule of Spain following the civil war.
Cathedral of the Sea is historical novel that follows the life of a fictional serf who eventually becomes a wealthy money lender. Occasionally (okay, often), I felt like the author was sprinkling unlikely social mobility on our main character so that he could describe yet another aspect of Barcelona life during the 14th century. But, in the end, I didn’t really mind so much, because I enjoyed the peeks into various social strata.
Homage to Catalonia is a memoir by George Orwell (yes, that George Orwell) that describes his experiences serving in the POUM militia during the Spanish Civil War. I loved this book for its gorgeous language, used to describe both the tedium of the battlefield and the violent rifts that grew between the various anarchist, socialist, and communist parties who were theoretically united in opposing the fascists.