The best books to improve your Spanish

Patricia Lorente Author Of 100 Entertaining Short Stories to Practice Your Spanish in Present Tense
By Patricia Lorente

Who am I?

I’m a writer and a Spanish teacher. Creative and a little crazy. I love teaching people who arrive in my city (Madrid) to live for a while. I love writing fiction, specially novels, but also poetry and little stories. Sometimes I mix both skills and create texts as the one below. I dream about winning the lottery but I never buy tickets, and I also love to sing with my guitar when I’m alone. Pleased to meet you.


I wrote...

100 Entertaining Short Stories to Practice Your Spanish in Present Tense

By Patricia Lorente,

Book cover of 100 Entertaining Short Stories to Practice Your Spanish in Present Tense

What is my book about?

This is a book to learn Spanish language. To read little silly stories. To learn vocabulary having fun. To fix words in your mind. To practice structure and be more confident with present tenses before starting with the past. To feel ready to keep learning.

On my journey as a teacher I detected a lack of texts in present tense with students of basic levels. It’s not common to just talk or write in simple present, but it’s not impossible. A hundred short texts are enough to have a wide vocabulary review on different topics, with the help of highlighted key words and a preface with grammar, basic verbs, and essential words to be as fluent as you can be, being a beginner. 

The books I picked & why

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Aprender Español Con Canciones: Learn Spanish With Songs

By Ramón Díez Galán,

Book cover of Aprender Español Con Canciones: Learn Spanish With Songs

Why this book?

I used a lot of songs to learn English when I was young, and it worked!

This book consists of several songs from Spain and Latin America, with a wide range of styles rock, pop, hip hop, ska, flamenco, romantic, classic, modern… It also contains nice exercises of reading and listening comprehension. In my opinion, this method is a perfect way to memorize, improve and practice vocabulary, grammar and even pronunciation (and fluency).

If you are a music lover, or a folk soul, this is your method!


Rápido, Rápido

By Lourdes Miquel López, Neus Sans,

Book cover of Rápido, Rápido

Why this book?

This is a classic whole year (or semester) method to learn Spanish. I recommend it both for teachers and students since it is so complete and so well structured, that it can be well profited from both sides. 

The method is designed to fast forward and the new versions have been improved with the help of teachers who already used it, which is so interesting. It’s well organized: 18 units divided in 5 points each (goals; texts-oral and written; grammar; activities for grammar and lexic practice; and a final task to be ideally prepared in group: a script for a radio show).

The pack is completed with audios that show the differences between Spanish language all over the world.


Lola Lago, Detective: Lejos de Casa

By Lourdes Miquel López, Neus Sans,

Book cover of Lola Lago, Detective: Lejos de Casa

Why this book?

I guess I’s not a coincidence that this series of fiction books are written by the same writers as the previous one, since both of them have the same high quality in their content and are grammatically so well focused. 

The protagonist is Lola Lago, a detective who will solve a case per book.

The books range from level A1 to level B1 and come with an audiobook. The length of the stores is perfect (45-60 pages) and the format light enough to feel that you can do it. Every one of them is well focused on its level, and you can find, at the end, lovely explanation notes and light and fun comprehension exercises.


Dificultades del Español para Hablantes de Inglés

By Manuela Gil, María Luisa Capón,

Book cover of Dificultades del Español para Hablantes de Inglés

Why this book?

I would never recommend this book to a student who doesn’t have a good level of Spanish, and who doesn’t have enough confidence. Nevertheless, it’s perfect for intermediate to high level students, who are already well trained, to go deep in their acknowledgement and mend mistakes.  

Reading this book can even help you discover mistakes that you didn’t know you were doing and polish aspects of the use of the Spanish language that you ignored. It’s oriented to the difficulties of English speakers, but you can find other versions for speakers of other languages (German, Italian, Brazilian).

Another very good aspect of this little book is its price. Really affordable for its good quality content.


Español Correcto para Dummies

By Fernando Ávila,

Book cover of Español Correcto para Dummies

Why this book?

It says it’s “for dummies, but the truth is, this book is for people with a high level of Spanish who want to complete their learning. 

The book is an extensive review of the Spanish grammar, all explained in Spanish, with more than 400 pages. I see it as a fun and entertaining encyclopedia of this language, because you can find almost every aspect of Spanish grammar in it. If you are a beginner, you can also use it as a reference book which can accompany you through the journey of learning.


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