100 books like The Spanish Holocaust

By Paul Preston,

Here are 100 books that The Spanish Holocaust fans have personally recommended if you like The Spanish Holocaust. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past

Gijs van Hensbergen Author Of Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon

From my list on essential Spain.

Who am I?

A lifetime of an obsession with Spain since a childhood spent on Miro’s farm in Montroig del Camp and just a short walk away from where Gaudi was born I have cooked, researched, battled, and fallen in love with this extraordinary country. Almost 40 years ago I bought a farmhouse in Arevalillo de Cega in the central mountains in Spain from where I have crisscrossed the country in the footsteps of Goya, the culinary genius Ferran Adria and in search of information for my biography on Gaudi – the God of Catalan architecture. Spain is an open book with a million pages, endlessly fascinating, contrary, unique, and 100% absorbing. I fell in deep.

Gijs' book list on essential Spain

Gijs van Hensbergen Why did Gijs love this book?

As the Guardian correspondent in Madrid, Giles Tremlett’s book is a no-holds-barred deep investigation into the Spanish psyche and recent history and its uncomfortable relationship to the trauma of the Spanish Civil War. It is brave, provocative, deeply-researched but above all immensely readable.

By Giles Tremlett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Spaniards are reputed to be amongst Europe's most forthright people. So why have they kept silent about the terrors of their Civil War and the rule of General Franco? This apparent 'pact of forgetting' inspired writer Giles Tremlett to embark on a journey around Spain and its history. He found the ghosts of Spain everywhere, almost always arguing. Who caused the Civil War? Why do Basque terrorists kill? Why do Catalans hate Madrid? Did the Islamist bombers who killed 190 people in 2004 dream of a return to Spain's Moorish past? Tremlett's curiosity led him down some strange and colourful…


Book cover of New Art of Cookery: A Spanish Friar's Kitchen Notebook by Juan Altamiras

Gijs van Hensbergen Author Of Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon

From my list on essential Spain.

Who am I?

A lifetime of an obsession with Spain since a childhood spent on Miro’s farm in Montroig del Camp and just a short walk away from where Gaudi was born I have cooked, researched, battled, and fallen in love with this extraordinary country. Almost 40 years ago I bought a farmhouse in Arevalillo de Cega in the central mountains in Spain from where I have crisscrossed the country in the footsteps of Goya, the culinary genius Ferran Adria and in search of information for my biography on Gaudi – the God of Catalan architecture. Spain is an open book with a million pages, endlessly fascinating, contrary, unique, and 100% absorbing. I fell in deep.

Gijs' book list on essential Spain

Gijs van Hensbergen Why did Gijs love this book?

Most books on cookery in Spain are little more than a mish-mash cobbled-together collection of other people’s recipes. Vicky Hayward’s visit to the 18thc via this Spanish Friar’s collection of recipes is an astonishing work of anthropology whose modernity and relevance to Spanish cooking today is extraordinarily prophetic.  If you want to see the future of Spanish cooking – the world’s most celebrated cuisine – go back to the past. To its roots.

By Vicky Hayward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked New Art of Cookery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Jane Grigson Trust Award 2017 and the Aragonese Academy of Gastronomy's 2017 Prize for Research

New Art of Cookery, Drawn from the School of Economic Experience, was an influential recipe book published in 1745 by Spanish friary cook Juan Altamiras. In it, he wrote up over 200 recipes for meat, poultry, game, salted and fresh fish, vegetables and sweet things in a chatty style aimed at readers who cooked on a modest budget. He showed that economic cookery could be delicious if flavors and aromas were blended with an appreciation for all sorts of ingredients, however humble,…


Book cover of The Disinherited: Exile and the Making of Spanish Culture, 1492-1975

Gijs van Hensbergen Author Of Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon

From my list on essential Spain.

Who am I?

A lifetime of an obsession with Spain since a childhood spent on Miro’s farm in Montroig del Camp and just a short walk away from where Gaudi was born I have cooked, researched, battled, and fallen in love with this extraordinary country. Almost 40 years ago I bought a farmhouse in Arevalillo de Cega in the central mountains in Spain from where I have crisscrossed the country in the footsteps of Goya, the culinary genius Ferran Adria and in search of information for my biography on Gaudi – the God of Catalan architecture. Spain is an open book with a million pages, endlessly fascinating, contrary, unique, and 100% absorbing. I fell in deep.

Gijs' book list on essential Spain

Gijs van Hensbergen Why did Gijs love this book?

With intellectual life almost completely closed down and censored by the Franco regime, the shaping of Spanish cultural life was led by its guardians in exile. From an exterior focus Kamen’s light is shone back on the brilliance and resilience of Spanish intellectual life.

By Henry Kamen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A provocative, brilliant, and groundbreaking historical reconsideration of the roots of Spanish culture.

We all carry in our heads a seductive picture of what Spain stands for: its music, painting, buildings, and history. But much of what we think of as Spanish culture is, in fact, the invention of a very specific group: the Spanish in exile.

Historian Henry Kamen creates a vivid portrait of a dysfunctional, violent country that, since the destruction of the last Muslim territories in Granada in 1492, has expelled wave after wave of its citizens in a brutal attempt to create religious and social conformity.…


Book cover of Pablo Picasso: His Life and Times

Gijs van Hensbergen Author Of Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon

From my list on essential Spain.

Who am I?

A lifetime of an obsession with Spain since a childhood spent on Miro’s farm in Montroig del Camp and just a short walk away from where Gaudi was born I have cooked, researched, battled, and fallen in love with this extraordinary country. Almost 40 years ago I bought a farmhouse in Arevalillo de Cega in the central mountains in Spain from where I have crisscrossed the country in the footsteps of Goya, the culinary genius Ferran Adria and in search of information for my biography on Gaudi – the God of Catalan architecture. Spain is an open book with a million pages, endlessly fascinating, contrary, unique, and 100% absorbing. I fell in deep.

Gijs' book list on essential Spain

Gijs van Hensbergen Why did Gijs love this book?

The world of Picasso's biography is a deeply contentious and well ploughed field. I should know as I worked for 5 years on the yet-to-be-published Volume 4 of John Richardson’s epic sex fest.  Hiding in the glare of the Picasso craze is Pierre Cabanne’s revelatory masterpiece. Cabanne knew him, knew his circle, and was not frightened to enter Picasso’s Spanish world in exile. This is the first step to a genuine understanding of Picasso’s genius.

By Pierre Cabanne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pablo Picasso as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vintage book


Book cover of The Arts of Intimacy: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Making of Castilian Culture

Steven Nightingale Author Of Granada: A Pomegranate in the Hand of God

From my list on the truth about Spanish history.

Who am I?

I am a writer who lived in the city of Granada for almost four years, in the uncanny barrio of the Albayzin. The daily blessings of life there are powerful and cumulative, and I wrote a book in honor of such luminosity; and I wrote it, as well, because most of us have been lied to about Spanish history. But the truth, like the poetry of Garcia Lorca, cannot be suppressed. In my sojourn in Spain, and in my visits over the years, I have found Granada to be a treasure-house of stories and poetry; and in flamenco singing, the home of one of the most powerful art-forms of music in the world.

Steven's book list on the truth about Spanish history

Steven Nightingale Why did Steven love this book?

These three women give us Al-Andalus in depth. They are scholars of prodigious learning. This book shows their gift for clear explanation and offers a rich selection of color illustrations that are not collected so cogently together in any other books about the period. It is a major achievement and a joy to read; indispensable for anyone who wants to understand the history of Spain.

By Jerrilynn D. Dodds, María Rosa Menocal, Abigail Krasner Balbale

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A dynamic vision of medieval Castilian culture and the Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin strands that are woven into its fabric

Named a Book of the Year by the Times Literary Supplement, this lavishly illustrated work explores the vibrant interaction among different and sometimes opposing cultures, and how their contacts with one another transformed them all. It chronicles the tumultuous history of Castile in the wake of the Christian capture of the Islamic city of Tulaytula, now Toledo, in the eleventh century and traces the development of Castilian culture as it was forged in the new intimacy of Christians with the…


Book cover of The Legacy of Muslim Spain Volume 1

Steven Nightingale Author Of Granada: A Pomegranate in the Hand of God

From my list on the truth about Spanish history.

Who am I?

I am a writer who lived in the city of Granada for almost four years, in the uncanny barrio of the Albayzin. The daily blessings of life there are powerful and cumulative, and I wrote a book in honor of such luminosity; and I wrote it, as well, because most of us have been lied to about Spanish history. But the truth, like the poetry of Garcia Lorca, cannot be suppressed. In my sojourn in Spain, and in my visits over the years, I have found Granada to be a treasure-house of stories and poetry; and in flamenco singing, the home of one of the most powerful art-forms of music in the world.

Steven's book list on the truth about Spanish history

Steven Nightingale Why did Steven love this book?

Incomparable. In the long effort by scholars to establish the facts about the brilliant period of Al-Andalus—711-1492—this book is a breakthrough and a marvel. Salma Khadra Jayyusi assembled the leading scholars in the field on a whole host of subjects, and the two volumes have everything from meditations on broad historical themes to detailed accounts of book-making, ceramics, and techniques of dyeing and weaving silk. No serious reader of the history of Spain should have to live without these two extraordinary volumes.

Book cover of God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215

Steven Nightingale Author Of Granada: A Pomegranate in the Hand of God

From my list on the truth about Spanish history.

Who am I?

I am a writer who lived in the city of Granada for almost four years, in the uncanny barrio of the Albayzin. The daily blessings of life there are powerful and cumulative, and I wrote a book in honor of such luminosity; and I wrote it, as well, because most of us have been lied to about Spanish history. But the truth, like the poetry of Garcia Lorca, cannot be suppressed. In my sojourn in Spain, and in my visits over the years, I have found Granada to be a treasure-house of stories and poetry; and in flamenco singing, the home of one of the most powerful art-forms of music in the world.

Steven's book list on the truth about Spanish history

Steven Nightingale Why did Steven love this book?

The perfect book, beautifully written, for anyone who wants to understand Spain and Al-Andalus in the context of medieval European history. Most of us are taught the history of Medieval Europe to the strange exclusion of the brilliant culture of Al-Andalus, but it remains the case that the whole history of Europe cannot be understood without knowing the contributions of the convivencia across a very wide spectrum of subjects—commerce, mathematics, agriculture, philosophy, and medicine, to name a few. 

By David Levering Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked God's Crucible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Resonating as profoundly today as when it was first published to widespread critical acclaim a decade ago, God's Crucible is a bold portrait of Islamic Spain and the birth of modern Europe from one of our greatest historians. David Levering Lewis's narrative, filled with accounts of some of the most epic battles in world history, reveals how cosmopolitan, Muslim al-Andalus flourished-a beacon of cooperation and tolerance-while proto-Europe floundered in opposition to Islam, making virtues out of hereditary aristocracy, religious intolerance, perpetual war and slavery. This masterful history begins with the fall of the Persian and Roman empires, followed by the…


Book cover of The Spanish Inquisition

Steven Nightingale Author Of Granada: A Pomegranate in the Hand of God

From my list on the truth about Spanish history.

Who am I?

I am a writer who lived in the city of Granada for almost four years, in the uncanny barrio of the Albayzin. The daily blessings of life there are powerful and cumulative, and I wrote a book in honor of such luminosity; and I wrote it, as well, because most of us have been lied to about Spanish history. But the truth, like the poetry of Garcia Lorca, cannot be suppressed. In my sojourn in Spain, and in my visits over the years, I have found Granada to be a treasure-house of stories and poetry; and in flamenco singing, the home of one of the most powerful art-forms of music in the world.

Steven's book list on the truth about Spanish history

Steven Nightingale Why did Steven love this book?

It is always good to have a close, thoughtful comprehensive examination of a mythical institution. This book corrects some of the legends and does us the important service of showing how the Inquisition was not merely dark and atrocious. With its violent and administrative mix of ideology and politics, it provided to the world a model for evil, and its influence is evident throughout subsequent history, from the show trials of Stalinist Russia to various totalitarian movements worldwide.

By Joseph Pérez, Janet Lloyd (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the story of 350 years of terror. Established by papal bull in 1478, the first task of the Spanish Inquisition was to question Jewish converts to Christianity and to expose and execute those found guilty of reversion. Authorities then turned on Spanish Jews in general, sending 300,000 into exile. Next in line were humanists and Lutherans. No rank was exempt. Children informed on their parents, merchants on their rivals, and priests upon their bishops. Those denounced were guilty unless they could prove their innocence. Nearly 32,000 people were publicly burned at the stake; the "fortunate" ones were flogged,…


Book cover of Prison of Women: Testimonies of War and Resistance in Spain, 1939-1975

Johana Gustawsson Author Of Blood Song

From my list on resistance during The Spanish Civil War.

Who am I?

I am a French writer of Spanish origin. My two grandfathers shared history with Spain’s darkest hours. My maternal grandfather was born in Barcelona and he was a teenager at the time of the war; just like Salvayre’s parents, he had to flee Spain as the bombs were hitting his city. My paternal grandfather, who was in his twenties at the time of the civil war, decided to fight for the “International Brigades” to defend Spain’s freedom. It is to honour their memory and one of the millions of men and women who suffered from those almost four decades of dictatorship that I wrote Blood Song, a historical thriller, the third installment in the Roy and Castell series.

Johana's book list on resistance during The Spanish Civil War

Johana Gustawsson Why did Johana love this book?

Tomasa Cuevas, who spent herself many years in jail during the Franco dictatorship, collected testimonies of women incarcerated following the Spanish civil war. Mary E. Giles brilliantly translated and edited those testimonies. Prison of women is a powerful book as it is an act of resistance by itself: Tomasa had to cross the country to interview those women at a time when Franco was still ruling and we cannot thank Mary E Giles enough for bringing these testimonies to us. She explains in a heart-warming introduction how she came to translate and edit this book.

By Tomas Cuevas, Mary E. Giles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prison of Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A translation of women's testimonies about their experiences in the prisons of Spain following the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 collected by Tomasa Cuevas, herself a surviving victim of the Francoist prison system.


Book cover of The Shadow of the Wind

Mark Stibbe Author Of A Book in Time

From my list on the magic of books, bookshops, and libraries.

Who am I?

When I was a boy, my adoptive father – a star pupil and friend of C.S. Lewis – heard I’d started reading the Sherlock Holmes stories. He bought every Sherlock Holmes book he could find. I remember lifting one to my nose and smelling the pages. I fell in love with books that day. I went on to earn a senior scholarship in English Literature at Cambridge University, and a PhD in storytelling. Since then, I have written over 50 books of my own and ghostwritten over 30 titles. I now host The Christian Storyteller Channel on YouTube, and I run BookLab, dedicated to helping emerging authors. My whole life is books.

Mark's book list on the magic of books, bookshops, and libraries

Mark Stibbe Why did Mark love this book?

I love the idea that books have souls, and I adore this quotation from Zafon’s classic novel: “Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it.”

I was thrilled to find this novel after I’d written my book because it shows that there are others who sense the soulful quality of old books. I also love it because it is written by a Spanish novelist, and it is in the Spanish-speaking world that we find the true literary origins of my most-loved genre of writing – magical realism.

By Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (translator),

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Shadow of the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller

"The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." -Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)

"One gorgeous read." -Stephen King

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer's son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julian Carax. But when he sets out to find the author's other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Spanish Civil War, Francoist Spain, and Spain?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Spanish Civil War, Francoist Spain, and Spain.

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