Experience & Essays
from Granada (Kodansha Globe Series)
Known most recently in Spain by the name Al Sur de Granada,
a great movie was just made from the book. Based on
the formative years of Gerald Brennan's life in a small
village in the Sierra Nevadas, it's an interesting look
at pueblo life in Andalucia in the 1920's. Aside from the
autobiographical nature of the book it offers many cultural,
historical and geographical observations. I highly recommend
the movie as well as the book, something you can't often
over Lemons: An Optimist in Spain - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
One of the first books I read once I decided I was heading
back to Spain. While certainly a different life than what
I planned to lead it was thoroughly entertaining. The author
decides to move himself and his wife to a small farm cut-off
from much of civilization in the Alpujarras. His adjustment
to life, from making friends to learning basic customs of
a rural people, show it's not an easy transition. Having
hiked through the same mountains it was interesting to read
more about the places and people I saw along the way.
Another first person account of moving to Spain, this time
on the eastern coast. From finding a house and fixing it
up as well as settling in it provides some interesting perspectives
on moving to Spain. While I enjoyed parts of the book I
kept comparing it to Driving Over Lemons, which
I thought was a much more interesting tale of adjusting
to life in a new country. Still, the stories are different
and each provides a unique look at distinct options of moving
Spanish Recognitions: The Road from the Past
At the age of 82 Mary Lee Settle left Virginia to explore
Spain, looking to confirm stories from friends and guidebooks.
Instead she followed two historic routes, often avoiding
the tourist destinations on her way to discovering the identity
of the Spaniard. Going south to north she retraced the path
of the Moorish conquest of Spain. Traveling North to South
she followed the footsteps of the Christian Reconquest.
A great read by an author know for her fiction, it delves
into the nature and character of Spain and the Spaniard.
Travelers' Tales Spain: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides)
in Spain through the eyes of some of the world's well-known
authors, from Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Penelope Casas.
Bullfights, flamenco, Don Quijote and simple voyages bring
Spain to life as each short story offers a unique perspective.
I've enjoyed reading this book little by little, picking
a new story every couple of weeks.
& Working in Spain
Live & Work in Spain and Portugal (Live and Work Abroad
Important to note that this book is focused on those from
the EU, mainly the UK. It's last update was in 1998, so
it does not cover the further integration of Spain with
the EU or it's adoption of the Euro. It does cover many
of the little details about constructing a new life in Spain
and offers some insight into the change in culture, although
from more of a Europe to Spain standpoint.
Living and Working in Spain: Survival Handbook (AVAILABLE
USED - hard to find)
thorough and up to date handbook by David Hampshire for
the move to Spain than the book above. Unfortunately it's
only available used at this time. While it is more
up to date reader complaints suggest that the section on
immigration laws and work permits perhaps need to be updated,
as well as some of the observations on Spanish bureaucracy,
which is becoming easier to get through now. Notice I say
"easier" and not "easy"...
Buying a Home in Spain 2003-2004
Now this book is more recent! Unfortunately it doesn't cover
much on working or living and so there remains a need for
a good book out there on the subject. But is proves to be
very helpful in sorting through the maze of permits, legal
jargon and general disorder one feels when purchasing a
house in Spain.
Buying a Property: Spain
An all-inclusive guide to buying a new home in Spain. Covering
just about everything you need to know for planning and
executing your purchase, you'll get the details on paper
work and contracts, permits, estate agents, renovating,
building, legal help, renting for income, profiles of regions
and cities and more. Also included are many personal experiences
including problems and successes, adjusting to cultural
differences, a number of maps and a list of contacts to
help you get started.
New Spaniards - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Probably the best book you can read to understand where
the Spanish as a people have been and are going in the future.
Topics such as women in spain, ETA, regionalism, work, real
estate and social and economic policy are well written and
without the dry commentary you'd expect on such subjects.
Television, radio, eating, drinking and other topics show
give you insight into daily, individual life in Spain. I
would recommend this as the first book you should read before
studying or living here.
White Wall of Spain: The Mysteries of Andalusian Culture
A well-written account of three thousand years of Andalusian
culture, covering the influences of the Phoenicians and
Moors up to more modern figures such as Franco and Picasso.
Understand what makes Andalucia a unique province in Spain
through analysis of culture, art, religion and commerce.
Andalucian cultural influences on Hispanic culture in general
are viewed through analysis of writings by historians, poets,
writers and archaeologists.
Spain: A Quick Guide to Culture and Etiquette (Culture Smart)
A pocket guide to help you understand Spanish society and
culture. This comes from a series of guides on many countries,
all in a similar format. Topics covered include: how to
avoid culture shock (as best you can), Spanish values, historical,
cultural and political backgrounds, religion, traditions
and customs, spanish home life, dos, don'ts and taboos,
body language, food, drink, hospitality and gifts, business
etiquette as well as
language and communication. I've yet to get my hands on
this book, but hear it is quite helpful.
Discovering Spain: An Uncommon Guide (Discovering Spain)
A different guide geared towards the American traveler in
Spain. Get some interesting cultural, historical and of
course culinary background of places as well as some often
missed sites. Casas has offers a unique insider's view of
Spain infused with the American point of view. Beware that
her recommendations, while good, are often on the expensive
Another book which is part of a series of books on culture
shock in many countries. There are some valuable lessons
to be learned although the book is just starting to become
out of date, and I don't know if it was just my printing
of the book but the photos seem old as well.. It provides
a good basic background on the history, economy, geography
and cultural regionalism of Spain. Many topics are geared
toward the future expat or traveling businessman but it
is also a valuable resource for tourists and students. Some
have criticized the book for some inaccurate stereotypes
and the condescending tone. I can understand their points
for some sections but it still has some valuable information
and points of view you don't see in other books.
Spain: Your Pocket Guide to Spanish Business, Customs &
As the title suggests this book is aimed at the businessmen.
As the Amazon description suggests you should learn about
"Filipino culture and values"! Ok, so they got
the Spain version confused with another book in the series.
This comes from yet another one of those culture series
books, but it touches on some important topics of communication
which is often left out of the others. General business
and everyday etiquette, culture and values are covered,
while negotiating and business tactics are helpful when
in the business world.
Spain: A Handbook
A fairly thorough account of Spain with a focus on politics,
economy and institutions written in an easy to digest format.
Billed as a "valuable book for English-speaking students
of Spanish", the book provides a lot of tools that
others don't. Each chapter contains a Spanish-English glossary
with relevant words as well as suggested readings for those
who want more information on specific topics. I haven't
read this one yet, but am waiting for a copy, so I'll have
more on this one soon.