10 books like Cantares Gallegos

By Rosalia de Castro,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Cantares Gallegos. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Wonders of Galicia (Maravillas de Galicia)

By Katherine Williams, Amandine Demarteau, Jose Lourido

Book cover of Wonders of Galicia (Maravillas de Galicia)

If there is one book that will make you want to jump on a plane or get in your car and travel to this unique and beautiful corner of Spain, then it’s this one. A sumptuous coffee table book, Maravillas de Galicia introduces the reader to the wonders of Galicia with stunning photography by José Lourido, a Galego himself. More than simply a guide book, Maravillas is a book to be pored over and savoured again and again. 

The book is well laid out in both Spanish and English: There are chapters covering the major Galician cities as well as national parks and bio-reserves, ancient Celtic ruins and Roman monuments, stunning beaches, and picturesque villages. There are maps for each entry and a list of other must see places nearby making this book the perfect starting point to discover everything which Galicia has to offer. And if you can’t get…

Wonders of Galicia (Maravillas de Galicia)

By Katherine Williams, Amandine Demarteau, Jose Lourido

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wonders of Galicia (Maravillas de Galicia) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Death of a Pilgrim

By A.D. Thorne,

Book cover of The Death of a Pilgrim

This series of murder mysteries set along the pilgrim’s way, El Camino de Santiago ought to do for Galicia what Montalbano did for Sicily, with beautiful scenery, Galician food, intrigue, and of course, suspicious death.

The stories are interesting and clever but for me it’s the sense of place which really draws me to these books. The author writes with a love for the area which comes alive through her descriptive prose so I can see the places clearly in my mind as I read. Thankfully there are far less murders in Galicia than in A D Thorne’s books but I don’t mind a body or two when the setting is so beautiful.

The Death of a Pilgrim

By A.D. Thorne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Death of a Pilgrim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two years previously Richard's quick thinking and brave action had prevented a bomb blast which would have killed schoolchildren and politicians. A second blast injured him and caused the death of his wife. Unable, physically and emotionally, to continue his police career, he retreated to a cottage in rural Galicia and opened up a small gallery to sell his watercolour paintings, putting his past life firmly behind him. One morning, he finds an English pilgrim murdered in front of his gallery. Once her identity becomes known he is forced to face his past and the truth he has been running…


Everything But the Squeal

By John Barlow,

Book cover of Everything But the Squeal: A Year of Pigging Out in Northern Spain

A Yorkshireman married to a Galega, John Barlow has a unique perspective on Galicia and Galician people. Add to that a wild idea to travel throughout Galicia over the course of a year trying to eat every part of a pig (except the squeal), and you have a book which beautifully evokes the people, the landscape, and especially the gastronomic fiestas of this area. Galicia has traditionally had a heavy reliance on the pig, often grown at home on scraps: Barlow writes with humour and a love of Galician food but he missed out the most famous of all the piggy fiestas… around our own town of Taboada anyway, A Festa do Caldo de ósos. Yum!

Everything But the Squeal

By John Barlow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everything But the Squeal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Barlow, self-confessed glutton, found himself in a tricky situation: living in one of the most meat-loving places on earth, married to a vegetarian.  The Barlows live in Galicia, the misty-green northwest corner of Spain, and home to a population that reveres and consumes every part of the pig. This gets Barlow thinking about the nature of our relationship with food—what’s delicious, what’s nasty, and what sort of obligation we have to the animals we eat. Over the course of one glorious, bilious year, Barlow vows to eat everything but the squeal.  In his travels, Barlow takes part in the…


Galicia, the Switzerland of Spain

By Annette M. B. Meakin,

Book cover of Galicia, the Switzerland of Spain

Meakin was one of those wonderfully well-travelled Victorian ladies, the early forerunners of the travel writer genre. She visited Galicia in 1907, almost exactly one hundred years before we moved here, yet her descriptions of the Galicia which I love are instantly recognisable. The furze (gorse), still shines from the hillsides; the granite cottages are still there; as are the washing tubs, though less frequently used than in Meakin’s day. The singing cartwheels may be all but gone but the maize fields, the cherry and apple blossoms, and the Gallegans, still remain. One hundred and twenty years on, Meakin would still recognise the Switzerland of Spain.

Galicia, the Switzerland of Spain

By Annette M. B. Meakin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Galicia, the Switzerland of Spain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book has been considered by academicians and scholars of great significance and value to literature. This forms a part of the knowledge base for future generations. So that the book is never forgotten we have represented this book in a print format as the same form as it was originally first published. Hence any marks or annotations seen are left intentionally to preserve its true nature.


Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain

By Allyson M. Poska,

Book cover of Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain: The Peasants of Galicia

This book centers the experience of global empire on the ordinary women left behind in northwest Spain. In many parts of the peninsula, the empire was felt most acutely and at the day-to-day level through absence: Galicia, in particular, had extremely high levels of male migration, creating communities dominated by women. Drawing upon court cases, marriage contracts, testaments, and Inquisition records, Allyson Poska shows how peasant women seized legal and social power in the sometimes-permanent absence of their spouses, eschewing norms on sexuality, property, and family.

Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain

By Allyson M. Poska,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While scholars have marvelled at how accused witches, mystical nuns, and aristocratic women understood and used their wealth, power, and authority to manipulate both men and institutions, most early modern women were not privileged by money or supernatural contacts. They led the routine and often difficult lives of peasant women and wives of soldiers and tradesmen. However, a lack of connections to the typical sources of authority did not mean that the majority of
early modern women were completely disempowered.

Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain explores how peasant women in Galicia in north-western Spain came to have significant…


The Camino Ingles

By Susan Jagannath,

Book cover of The Camino Ingles: 6 days (or less) to Santiago

For anyone who would like to walk the Camino Ingles (the 'Short Camino' - or the 'Road less traveled by'), Susan Jagannath's book is the ideal companion.

I liked the way she began each chapter with an apt quotation. In addition to encouraging and motivating the reader to undertake this journey, she provides much practical advice about planning and preparation, and then proceeds to describe her own journey along this ‘One Week Camino’ together with a lot of useful information about places to stay and things to see as well as addresses, phone numbers, and webpages. The e-book is regularly updated – which makes it essential reading for the prospective pilgrim

The Camino Ingles

By Susan Jagannath,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Camino Ingles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE 2022 UPDATE

Are you thinking of walking a Camino? But a bit overwhelmed by the thought of the Camino Frances? Walk the Ingles, the shorter, sweeter, safer, and just as authentic hike in a post-pandemic world.

Get checklists, printables and fully updated information sheets on the "new normal" from the reader bonuses.

The Camino Inglés is a smart choice if you want to walk in 2022.

The Camino Inglés spans one province, Galicia, and its capital is Santiago de Compostela, the hallowed goal of the centuries-old pilgrimage. The Cathedral is now open to visitors and pilgrims.

Did you want…


The Bible in Spain; or, the journeys, adventures, and imprisonments of an Englishman, in an attempt to circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula

By George Henry Borrow,

Book cover of The Bible in Spain; or, the journeys, adventures, and imprisonments of an Englishman, in an attempt to circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula

On the face of it, this classic 19th-century travelogue is about one man travelling through Spain and Portugal in the 1830s distributing Bibles… which is not exactly a page-turning idea. And indeed the first section – set in Portugal – is unbearably tedious (in fact, just skip it altogether). But once Borrow crosses the border into Spain it becomes a whole other book. It’s as if he can finally cast off his dour, pious disguise and write about what really excites him: Spanish Gypsies. Already speaking their language (the man was a machine when it came to picking up foreign tongues), he falls in with them almost immediately, leading to numerous colourful adventures as he wends his way in Quixotic fashion across the country. The tales he tells are exotic and Romantic (with a capital ‘R’) and capture something of the ineffable essence of the country: a playful, mysterious and…


The Dream of the Poem

By Peter Cole,

Book cover of The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492

Among the wonders of medieval Spain is the appearance of the first Hebrew secular poetry since Biblical times. In this masterful and unparalleled set of translations by Peter Cole, we witness the profound, pious, chauvinistic, and indeed, sensual traditions of secular poetry over centuries. A fusion of Arabic and Hebrew traditions, in and of themselves, these poems stand as a metaphor for the Jewish community itself as well as its dynamism and endurance under Muslim and then, Christian rule. 

The Dream of the Poem

By Peter Cole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dream of the Poem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hebrew culture experienced a renewal in medieval Spain that produced what is arguably the most powerful body of Jewish poetry written since the Bible. Fusing elements of East and West, Arabic and Hebrew, and the particular and the universal, this verse embodies an extraordinary sensuality and intense faith that transcend the limits of language, place, and time. Peter Cole's translations reveal this remarkable poetic world to English readers in all of its richness, humor, grace, gravity, and wisdom. The Dream of the Poem traces the arc of the entire period, presenting some four hundred poems by fifty-four poets, and including…


From Muslim Fortress to Christian Castle

By Thomas F. Glick,

Book cover of From Muslim Fortress to Christian Castle: Social and Cultural Change in Medieval Spain

When visiting the spectacular medieval monuments of Spain and Portugal that emblematize centuries of Islamic and Christian rule, it is impossible to ignore their surrounding landscapes, often dramatic, always thought-provoking. They remain powerful inspirations for my own work, and Thomas Glick’s wide-ranging book, which spans the entirety of the Iberian Middle Ages, stands out as a landmark of Anglophone scholarship on medieval Spain which uses the landscape as a fundamental lens on cultural change. He elegantly blends archaeological and geographic evidence with written sources to place the transformation of the landscapes of al-Andalus at the heart of understanding the implications of Christian ‘feudal’ rule. Whilst our knowledge of both Islamic and Christian cultural landscapes has advanced since this book was published, it remains a bold and thoughtful overview.

From Muslim Fortress to Christian Castle

By Thomas F. Glick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From Muslim Fortress to Christian Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This analysis of early Spanish history draws on a wide range of sources, archaeological as well as written. Thomas F. Glick explores the history of Spain from the Roman province, through the Visigothic and Arab Conquests, to the Christian Reconquest and reorganization of society in the 13th century. The author argues that three key transitions took place in culture and landscape: the development of castles which marked the move from the Spanish "dark" to "middle" age, the transition to feudalism, and finally the transition from Islamic to Christian Spain as a result of the Reconquest. He shows how these transitions…


The Ornament of the World

By María Rosa Menocal,

Book cover of The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain

If there’s only one that I could recommend, it’s this brilliant, beautiful, and vexing book by María Rosa Menocal, Sterling Professor at Yale University. In a compelling and artful manner, Menocal tells the story of medieval Spain from the arrival of the first Umayyad rulers to Cervantes. Beyond being a useful introduction to the fascinating history, Menocal makes the argument that a culture of tolerance existed in medieval Spain, one that transcended religious and ethnic differences. The principal engine of this culture, she suggests, was the Arabic language. Menocal’s book has received as much praise as criticism, a testament to its enduring power and the contentious quality of medieval Spain.

The Ornament of the World

By María Rosa Menocal,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Ornament of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A rich and thriving culture where literature, science and religious tolerance flourished for 700 years is the subject of this enthralling history of medieval Spain.

Living side by side in the Andalusian kingdoms, the 'peoples of the book' produced statesmen, poets and philosophers who influenced the rest of Europe in dramatic ways, giving it the first translations of Plato and Aristotle, love songs and secular poetry plus remarkable feats of architecture and technology. This evocative account explores the lost history whose legacy and lessons have a powerful resonance in today's world.


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