IT’S that time of year again when everyone is heading to the beach.
Whether you’re a beach bookworm, a poolside peruser or just like to while away the afternoon in a shady cafe, the Olive Press’ top 10 summer reads will offer some inspiration.
Despite a diverse mix of cultures, characters and eras, all our favourites are united by their Spanish subject matter.
Andalucia has inspired a huge number of British and American authors over the years, and whether your heading to Mallorca, Barcelona or just up the road in Tarifa or Almeria a bit of Spanish lit would be a perfect travelling companion.
In no particular order here are our favourite 10 of the moment.
The Drifters – James Michener
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, six very different young people find themselves drawn to Torremolinos in the 60s, when the town was in its heyday
Last Days of the Bus Club – Chris Stewart, former Genesis drummer
Fourth (and most recent) in a series, starting with Driving Over Lemons, chronicling rural life in the Alpujarras mountains, south of Granada
The Telling Room – Michael Paterniti, an American journalist
Real-life tale of a master cheesemaker and love, friendship and betrayal set in Seville
Blood Med – Jason Webster
Fourth in a series of detective stories set in Valencia. Set in recession-hit Spain
Red Sky at Sunrise – Laurie Lee
Special collection of Lee’s books ‘Cider with Rosie’, ‘As I walked out one midsummer morning’, and ‘A moment of war’
Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
Written more than 400 years ago, still Spain’s must-read classic, even if bound to baffle a few people.
South from Granada – Gerald Brenan
Charts a seven-year stay in an Alpujarran village, with some members of the Bloomsbury group
Ghosts of Spain – Giles Tremlett
Fantastic recent tome by the Guardian’s Iberian correspondent about Spain trying to come to terms with the legacy of the Civil War
The Basque History of the World – Mark Kurlansky
A good place to start for Basque Country beginners
The Queen of the South – Arturo Perez-Reverte
A rip-roaring page turner about drug cartels and trafficking in southern Spain, Mexico and Morocco