Suggested novels for Spanish learners
OK, so, it's been like a week or so that I've finished my Spanish tree and I'm now in the process of searching for some interesting reading material. My level of understanding is really good (I already understood most of written spanish, even before starting here in DuoLingo - so you get my point...) and taking up on an interesting book would definitely help me broaden my vocabulary and improve my grasp of the language.
So far, I've read just the spanish translation of Saint-Exupéry's "The little prince" - which went fine, but I still find it rather silly to be reading a french book in spanish, given that I'm already speaking french. And, since I'm speaking/understanding various languages, I usually prefer reading book in their original language.
So, what would you suggest?
A few examples of what I know I like (books/authors/etc) :
- Everything by Fernando Pessoa (unfortunately he was Portuguese - I would say I consider him my alter-ego)
- Jose Saramago (pff... Portuguese again. lol)
- Milan Kundera
- George Orwell (I consider "1984" and "Animal Farm", two of the greatest literary achievements ever)
- Albert Camus
- Oscar Wilde's "Picture of Dorian Gray"
- Philosophical/Political books (Nietzsche, Stirner, Wittgenstein, Sartre)
- Mystery novels, especially Agatha Christie (I simply love her style)
- Lots of others, I can simply not remember right now :-)
What I don't think I like :
- Gabriel García Márquez (too boring and tiring for my taste)
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky (same as above)
- Jorge Luis Borges (tried his "Aleph" once, in greek, though I wouldn't say I actually understood what it was about... lol)
- John Steinbeck, and pseudo-political writing mixed up in fiction
- Franz Kafka (perhaps, except for "The Trial" -- I've read that his works are much more powerful in their original german version, but I'm neither fluent enough, nor I am wishing to ever become... lol)
- Must-read "classics", e.g. Shakespeare
Browse amazon.es and read reader reviews of books that seem interesting, look for favorites of yours translated into Spanish, look for books related to these, and browse categories (for examples libros acción y aventura). Also at this site http://clubensayos.com/ you can find book reviews, etc. There are other online book discussion/review sites.
For example, these are what I would like to read in Spanish, to begin with:
La sombra del viento, Carlos Ruiz Zafón
La ciudad de las bestias, Isabel Allende (adventure book for teenagers)
Sin familia, Hector Malot (an old favorite, for children)
something by Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jack London, and other favorite authors.
I love that you listed what you like and what you don't like. That is a big help. I don't have any specific suggestions, but I wanted to pass along these links to lists of books. I believe all were originally written in Spanish, so that will help you avoid the "Why am I reading this French book in Spanish?" thing. I agree, it's best to read a book in its original language if you can.
Sorry, but there's NO way to avoid Gabriel García Márquez :p
I enjoyed "Ojos de agua" by Villar. It was the first "authentic" novel that I read in Spanish. It's a modern police novel.
Reading on the Kindle using a bilingual dictionary is much easier than trying to read the paper book, by the way. I really like the Harper-Collins Spanish-English dictionary.
Yes yes yes, a thousand times yes to using the Kindle with a bilingual dictionary. I also use the Harper Collins and find it excellent.
One note - it has to be a Kindle Touch or a Kindle Paperwhite. In other words, it has to be a dedicated reader. The Kindle Fire and Kindle reading applications for PC etc. do not support the use of a bilingual dictionary.
Amazon has a lot of free Spanish books for the Kindle. They are mostly old classics that are in the public domain. If you have an Amazon Prime account then sometimes you will get other ones for free also.