The 5 Best Spanish Books For Beginners: Fiction
Reading is a fundamental part of learning, even if you’re not consciously aware that you’re learning Spanish while you do it! Literature has a lasting impact on both language and culture, many things that have become ‘popular culture’ find their origin in books!
For example, did you know that before there was ‘Big Brother’, the popular TV series, this idea was explored in the work 1984 by George Orwell? This Big Brother was a government surveillance system that kept a close – often tyrannical – eye on its citizens!
Whether you’re a beginner who’s eager to develop your skills in the colourful and vibrant Spanish language, or you’re a fluent speaker looking for some recommendations, we’ve got you covered!
Here are our favourite 5 of the best Spanish books to get involved with this gorgeous language. This time, we’ve collated the best Spanish fiction books that make learning easy, and enjoyable!
“Aura” by Carlos Fuentes (Bilingual Edition)
If you’re a little worried about diving into a book that’s completely in Spanish, then this is the perfect work of fiction for you!
Aura is a story that comes in a handy bilingual edition, with the English translation right next to the Spanish story as you read. This is very useful if you need a little extra help understanding the text, without having to constantly flip to a dictionary, or reach for another study book.
This is a mystery tale about a man called Felipe, who goes to work in a widow’s house to edit her late husband’s memoirs – there he meets her niece, Aura.
What makes this one of the best Spanish books for learners, aside from the translations sitting next to one another, is that much of the book itself is written in the present tense. Which is a great place to start if you’re getting to grips with Spanish vocabulary that you might not find in the typical beginner’s Spanish list.
(Though if you’re taking one of our Spanish courses for Beginners this book would be a great supplement to our amazing course content!)
“First Spanish Reader: A Beginner’s Dual-Language Book” by Angel Flores
This is another great book for Spanish speakers at a beginner level. A short collection of Spanish stories, this book has the Spanish story on one page and the English translation on the opposite page.
The vocabulary that’s used is relatively simple and not too complex, so it suits a variety of speaking levels; and what’s more these stories are interesting and thought-provoking.
Plus, many of the stories contain authentic and natural idioms, and ways of speaking, which will make you a master in no time!
“Papelucho” by Marcela Paz
Unlike other Spanish stories for children written during the 1940-1970s, this collection of tales written by Chilean author Marcela Paz focus on real-life situations rather than moralistic tales. These short stories are written from the perspective of an eight-year-old middle-class boy called Papelucho, and are based on the author’s own experiences.
This is one of the best Spanish books for younger learners and beginners to read because of the simplistic prose, which makes them very manageable. These stories are also quite short, and because they deal with real life, they’re packed with useful vocabulary!
“La Vida Imaginaria” by Mara Torres
This is a book if you want something a little more challenging. This has fairly adult themes, and the language reflects this. While it’s slightly more challenging, the language is still great for speakers of beginner or intermediate Spanish who want to learn.
This story follows a woman and her post-relationship recovery as she grapples with her past and present circumstances. It is simple enough that a beginner can pick up a lot of the phrases and colloquial words in this novel, which makes it one of the best Spanish books for learning!
“La Casa de los Espíritus” by Isabel Allende
This book is one of the best Spanish books for adult or more advanced readers. Isabel Allende is a renowned author, and this was her debut novel – and with a title like ‘The House of the Spirits’, this is immediately a novel with more adult themes than the previous books we have highlighted. It follows four generations of a family in Chile, and includes themes of life, love, death and magical realism.
Not only is it one of the best Spanish books for brushing up on more advanced sentence structure, grammar and vocabulary, it’s also an incredibly interesting read! It is for more confident readers due to its topic and structure, but we think this novel is worth it.
Reading is such an important part of learning, so even by reading one or two highly recommended titles for Spanish beginners or intermediate speakers, you’ll be taking on so many invaluable quirks and patterns in this language!
We hope this has given you some food for thought!