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Are you looking for new Spanish reads and don’t know where to start? – Let´s talk about top contemporary Spanish books and writers.

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Travel Through Books

Reading = exploring the world from home

Whenever planning an actual trip to Spain and discovering new dream destinations from your Spain bucket list is not possible, traveling virtually as much as you can is the next best thing.

You can find the ultimate joy in wonderlust books, Spain virtual tours, Coffee table books, Children´s books set in Spain, or even Spanish travel blogs. But there´s no better way to stay in touch with any culture than reading the same bestsellers as locals do.

If you are a bookworm, subscribe and stay tuned for the updates – in the near future I´ll share more bookish articles: The Classy Spain Reading List and Cool Novels Set in Spain.

Even if you are not into reading that much – there´s something in this post for you as well, since many of these contemporary Spanish books were turned into popular local TV shows. You can even check out both and then compare.

best spanish books to read
Me book-shopping in Valencia, Spain

Where do I get the books

I shop most of the books in Spain at Casa del Libro bookstores, or via Amazon.

Best Contemporary Spanish Books and Writers

Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Arturo Pérez-Reverte is a popular Spanish novelist and journalist, born in the Spanish city of Cartagena / Murcia. He is often called the master of intellectual thriller. The author´s books have already been published in 50 countries.

One of his popular novels Queen of the South (or Reina del Sur in Spanish) was turned into a successful Netflix TV series. Other bestsellers of Arturo Pérez-Reverte include The Flanders Panel, The Club Dumas, The Fencing Master, The Seville Communion, The Nautical Chart, and What We Become.

Arturo Pérez-Reverte was the first contemporary Spanish writer I discovered after moving to Spain. I was obsessed with improving my Spanish and went shopping for popular Spanish novels (while my parents we looking for local food souvenirs). In one of the Spanish bookshops, they recommended the novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Currently, I plan to get Una Historia de España, one of the 2019 bestsellers in Spain. While focused on Spanish history, everyone insists that it is also fun and easy to read.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Carlos Ruiz Zafon is one of the most popular Modern Spanish writers from Barcelona. Unfortunately, he died in 2020. But Zafon´s most famous novel The Shadow of the Wind is still opening all the lists of best contemporary Spanish books across the country.

Other best-selling reads of the author are The Angels Game, The Prisoner of Heaven, The Labyrinth of the Spirits, Marina, The Watcher in the Shadows, and The Midnight Palace.

Below, I am leaving you a brief interview with Carlos Ruiz Zafon, so that you see whether his writing perspective actually sparks your interest.

Fernando Aramburu

Fernando Aramburu is a contemporary Spanish writer from San Sebastian. His most famous novel Homeland (or Patria in Spanish) has recently been turned into a successful HBO TV series. I have already suggested it in my post about the Basque Country while talking about the region´s tragic past.

I have not read the novel myself, because I binge-watched the Spanish TV show first. Only after the last episode, I discovered that it was actually all based on one of the top contemporary Spanish books.

Anyway, now I plan to get other Fernando Aramburu´s novels – either Hijos de la Fabula or Los Vencejos (I will let you know ASAP in my IG Highlight Books)

Elizabeth Benavent

Elizabeth Benavent is one of the top bestselling Spanish writers from Valencia.

If you love romance novels and enjoy holiday reads with a romantic twist – her books are definitely for you.

For now, you can only get top reads of Elizabeth Benavent in Spanish: Como no escribi nuestra historia, Mi isla, Toda la Verdad de mis Mentiras. However, one of her bestsellers, Valeria, has recently been turned into a popular Spanish TV show (so, I assume that her books will be available in English at some point).

spanish bestsellers now-2
The shelf of bestsellers in Spain: you can spot Javier Castillo and Arturo Perez-Reverte (but also Megan Maxwell, Carmen Mola, Susana Martin Gijon, and Maria Oruña – all available in Spanish only)

Maria Dueñas

Maria Dueñas is one of the most iconic Spanish female writers from Puertollano / Cuidad Real.

She gained international fame in 2009 with her novel The Time In Between. Ever since her works have been translated into more than 25 languages.

Top bestsellers of Maria Dueñas are The Time in Between, The Seamstress, The heart has its reasons, and The Vineyard. Two of her popular novels, The Time In Between and The Vineyard, were turned into successful Spanish TV series, available on Amazon Prime.

You can check below the YouTube video of Maria Dueñas discussing her international bestseller The Time In Between.

Idelfonso Falcones

Idelfonso Falcones is a Spanish writer and lawyer, who became famous for his historical thriller Cathedral of the Sea, set in the XIVth century Barcelona. So, alongside The Shadow of the Wind, it´s another must-read for those of you who prefer Barcelona to Madrid.

Other top contemporary Spanish books of Idelfonso Falcones are The Hand of Fatima and The Barefoot Queen.

By the way, his top bestselling novel Cathedral of the Sea was also turned into a Spanish TV series (available on Netflix).

Juan Gómez-Jurado

If you were to ask which modern novels are the Spaniards reading this year, I would have to name Red Queen by Juan Gómez-Jurado.

Juan Gómez-Jurado is a popular contemporary Spanish author and journalist from Madrid. His bestselling books currently form a thriller trilogy – Red Queen, Black Wolf, and Rey Blanco.

Santiago Posteguillo

Santiago Posteguillo is a popular Spanish writer from Valencia. He is the author of several contemporary Spanish books, where the action takes place in Ancient Rome: Scipio Africanus, Trajan ( available in Spanish), I am Rome (or Roma soy yo in Spanish). Therefore, his bestselling novels might be a perfect addition to exploring Roman ruins in Spain.

Below, I am leaving you a YouTube video in Spanish, where Santiago Posteguillo shows his reading corner, and endless book collection on Ancient Rome, and even suggests a few classy reads.

Alice Kellen

Alice Kellen is a bestselling writer of romantic fiction from Valencia. Not all of her books are available in English yet, but you can easily get All that we never were, All that we are together. One of her top-rated contemporary Spanish books is Nosotros en La Luna (not available in English yet).

In my opinion, the novels of Alice Kellen also make perfect holiday beach reads.

Javier Castillo

Javier Castillo is a popular Spanish author from Malaga. His novel La Chica de Nieve (or The Snow Girl in English) was the most-read book during the 2019-2020 strict lockdown in Spain. His other famous novels are currently available only in Spanish – El Cuco de Cristal, El Juego del Alma, El Dia que se perdio el amor.

The Snow Girl (2023) is also a trending Spanish TV show on Netflix, but I have not seen it yet.

More ideas

Are you still in need of more ideas for your next Spanish read?

If you’re interested in contemporary Spanish literature but don’t know where to start, the book Great Spanish Short Stories might be just what you need. This new dual-language edition by Penguin Random House UK includes 10 unique short stories from different regions of Spain (some originally written in Basque, Catalan, and Galician).

Personally, I found this collection of short stories to be very helpful in discovering new Spanish writers. In my case, it was Karmele Jaio. The author´s debut novel Her Mother’s Hand has been one of the best-selling books in the Basque Country for years. Yet, somehow I have missed it. So, now it will definitely be my next read.

Great Spanish Short Stories – one of my new favorite coffee table reads

Do you have favorite contemporary Spanish books or writers? – If so, leave me your suggestions in the comments.

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