The most recommended books about Colombia

Who picked these books? Meet our 59 experts.

59 authors created a book list connected to Colombia, and here are their favorite Colombia books.
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What type of Colombia book?


Book cover of Virus Tropical

Camilo Aguirre Author Of What Remains: Personal and Political Histories of Colombia

From my list on international documentary comics about the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Documentary Comics are this genre of comics in which you can make a community visible, denounce a crime or expose yourself to the world. Being able to dialogue with the world while dialoguing with the reader is amazing. The elements you have to take into account the things you can hide in the silence of a drawing, compelling the reader to read again, to find the easter egg about that thing you really want to talk about. The ways of telling the truth in drawings. All those things are the things that I love about documentary comics.

Camilo's book list on international documentary comics about the world

Camilo Aguirre Why did Camilo love this book?

Virus Tropical is a Latin American Book, a Colombian book, an Argentinian Book, an Ecuadorian Book. Virus tropical talks about the nineties, if you are from Colombia you recognize the towns, the T-shirts, the music, the buses. So many peripheries mixed up and telling you about the coming of age of the main character. So many important things touched while touching on the most vapid-everyday things. The accents, the way the characters interact, I was able to identify with all of this while reading this graphic novel. Virus Tropical is a great book, I’m glad it was translated into English.

By Power Paola,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Vírus Tropical é uma saga familiar divertida e descolada, repleta de personagens cômicas e alopradas: um pai sacerdote que dá missas clandestinas em casa, uma mãe que lê o futuro nos dominós, uma irmã mais velha depravada, outra totalmente beata…

No meio dessa trupe, a caçula Paola tenta encontrar seu espaço e sua identidade. Com um traço fino, expressivo e cheio de detalhes, Power Paola nos mergulha no âmago dessa singular família colombiana.

Dividido em capítulos curtos e temáticos, e escrito num estilo ritmado e com muitos diálogos, Vírus Tropical consegue emocionar e entreter associando o melodrama ao humor.

Book cover of Colombian Betrayal

Bobbie R. Byrd Author Of Lady Silver: Warlock Chronicles, Book I

From my list on adult sci-fi/fantasy with no sparkling vampires.

Why am I passionate about this?

My expertise in things adult stems from my 65 years of life on this earth. I have a passion for adult-level writing (not “adult” as in “erotica”) because I was a junior high teacher during the Twilight craze. It didn’t take long to get my fill of sparkling vampires. I had to retire from teaching because of a disability, which left me with time on my hands. I turned to writing, something I had wanted to do since I was a high school student. I now do freelance non-fiction writing (gotta pay the bills) and writing novels. One is never too old to chase a dream.

Bobbie's book list on adult sci-fi/fantasy with no sparkling vampires

Bobbie R. Byrd Why did Bobbie love this book?

Sci-fi, fantasy, and horror are my genres of choice but every now and then I venture into other genres for a change of scenery. That’s how I found this book.

An author friend actually suggested it and I was not disappointed. If you’re into action thrillers with an undercoating of real-life, this is a good book for you. It demonstrates well the underworkings of drug cartels and those who fight against them.

What I found most intriguing was the way family is treated among the drug cartel members. They say blood is thicker than water, but it obviously isn’t thicker than money. Human greed is well and truly on display in this book, which makes it easy to root for the good guys.

By Randall Krzak,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Colombian Betrayal tears the cover off the drug trade and exposes the death, and violence behind the twisted connections between governments, revolutionaries, terrorists, and drug lords.Watch as an unholy alliance is formed when the profits of a Columbian drug lord Olivia Moreno, begin disappearing and deadly new international competitors appear on the horizon.Moreno, head of the Barranquilla Cartel, strikes a deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Little does she know she is signing her own death warrant! FARC has a group wanting a foothold in South America—the Islamic State, and she is in the way.On the run,…

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

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

From my list on improving your Spanish.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Patricia's book list on improving your Spanish

Patricia Lorente Why did Patricia love 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!

By Ramón Díez Galán,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aprender Español Con Canciones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Aprender español con canciones es un libro para disfrutar del estudio. Tiene canciones y ejercicios con diferentes niveles de dificultad para que pueda ser usado tanto por principiantes como por estudiantes de nivel avanzado. Lo importante es que el alumno descubre una gran cantidad de artistas de diferentes países que cantan en español.

El libro incluye:

· historias de cantantes de España y Latinoamérica;

· ejercicios de comprensión de lectura;

· ejercicios de comprensión auditiva;

· ejercicios con canciones;

· voces de nativos de diferentes países;

· horas y horas de diversión.

Aprende español de un modo diferente, descubriendo canciones…

Book cover of Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built

Laura Resau Author Of Stand as Tall as the Trees: How an Amazonian Community Protected the Rain Forest

From my list on children’s pictures set in South America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I feel passionate about spreading the word about all the fantastic children’s literature set in South America. As an author and a multilingual mom whose son enjoys learning about his Latin American heritage, I’ve always brought home stacks of picture books—in Spanish and English—that celebrate Latin American cultures and settings. I’ve loved traveling to the Andes mountains and the Amazon rain forest as part of my children’s book collaborations with Indigenous women in those regions. Most of all, I love transporting young readers to these inspiring places through story.

Laura's book list on children’s pictures set in South America

Laura Resau Why did Laura love this book?

I love that this book is based on the true story of a former garbage collector who became famous for building his own library… starting with a discarded copy of Anna Karenina that he’d found on his route.

The story tells of “two Josés” who lived in Bogotá, Colombia—a young one and an old one. We follow them throughout the week, until their favorite day—library day, when the older José welcomes the younger one and other children into his hand-collected library.

As someone who loves thrifted, upcycled, and re-used treasures, I felt delighted by this heart-warming and inspiring story for book-lovers of all ages.

By Angela Burke Kunkel, Paola Escobar,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Digging for Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gorgeous and inspiring picture book based on the life of José Alberto Gutiérrez, a garbage collector in Bogotá, Colombia who started a library with a single discarded book found on his route.

In the city of Bogata, in the barrio of La Nueva Gloria, there live two Joses. One is a boy who dreams of Saturdays-- that's the day he gets to visit Paradise, the library. The second Jose is a garbage collector. From dusk until dawn, he scans the sidewalks as he drives, squinting in the dim light, searching household trash for hidden treasure . . . books!…

Book cover of The Man Who Could Move Clouds

Bethanie Deeney Murguia

From Bethanie's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Graphic novelist Creature adorer Illustrator

Bethanie's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Bethanie Deeney Murguia Why did Bethanie love this book?

I love magical realism, and I would say that this book is filled with it, but the author makes the point that what some people call magical realism is just realism for her family.

She delves into colonization and trauma and how conquerors try to impose their ways of thinking on the conquered. Yet, a lineage of healers who didn’t adopt those viewpoints has persisted in the author’s family and culture.

The characters in this story are richly rendered, at times funny, and more compelling than any fictional characters I’ve come across recently. It’s one of those rare books that has stayed with me months after reading it.

By Ingrid Rojas Contreras,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Man Who Could Move Clouds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • From the bestselling author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree, comes a dazzling, kaleidoscopic memoir reclaiming her family's otherworldly legacy.


“Rojas Contreras reacquaints herself with her family’s past, weaving their stories with personal narrative, unraveling legacies of violence, machismo and colonialism… In the process, she has written a spellbinding and genre-defying ancestral history.”—New York Times Book Review 

For Ingrid Rojas Contreras, magic runs in the family. Raised amid the political violence of 1980s and…

Book cover of Second Best Men

Sophia Soames Author Of In this Bed of Snowflakes we Lie

From my list on holiday romance you’ll want to read every year.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having grown up in snowy Scandinavia, my passion for Christmas has always been with me. Nothing beats a good romantic holiday novel, and especially one containing all those themes we know and love. A little bit of loneliness. A pinch of festive fun. Add that special meet-cute. Sprinkle magic over the pages and a comfort-read for years to come is born. As an author I hope my readers enjoy my festive romps, and that perhaps even they, can become a well-read yearly comfort read.

Sophia's book list on holiday romance you’ll want to read every year

Sophia Soames Why did Sophia love this book?

Not everyone loves a festive romance, when it involves everything we ourselves may neither want or need.

For Rob and Evan, their Christmas has been mostly hell, and as Evan crashes his car outside Rob’s remote farm? Well, it’s a classic opener. Add a snowstorm, a bull named Watermelon and a dislocated shoulder? You have the setup for a very happy end of the festive season indeed.

Fearne Hill writes stories full of warmth and British charm, and if you feel hungover on the festive season already? This might just be the book for you.

By Fearne Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Second Best Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two snowed-in men. 300 cows. And a mangy dog.
Tucked away down a rutted dirt track lives a grumpy dairy farmer.

He’s firmly in the closet. And he’s desperately lonely.

That farmer is me—Rob Langford. I have more meaningful conversations with my prize bull than people. Except, one snowy night, I stumble across a fancy car wedged into a ditch.

The driver needs my help.

He’s injured. Stranded. The snow lies two feet deep.

And over the next few days, I discover this quiet, thoughtful man doesn’t mind my run-down cottage and my lumpy old sofa. He's even quite tolerant…

Book cover of Infinite Country

Roxana Arama Author Of Extreme Vetting

From my list on voices of immigrants.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Romanian American author who arrived in the US with a job in software development. In more than twenty years as an immigrant, I’ve struggled with the same problems these novels explore: how to build a home in a new land, away from my family; how to fit in or make my peace with not belonging; how to be the parent of American-born children whose culture is different from my native one. I’m familiar with the US immigration system from my yearslong citizenship application, and I also interviewed an immigration lawyer extensively for my thriller.

Roxana's book list on voices of immigrants

Roxana Arama Why did Roxana love this book?

This story spoke to my frustration with harsh immigration policies separating families. Talia is American-born, but her Columbian parents, Elena and Mauro, are undocumented. Her sister is also undocumented, while her brother is an American citizen who hopes to secure his family’s future—somehow—when he's 21. Mauro’s life was destroyed when he was deported away from Elena and the children. Talia, who lives with her grandmother in Colombia, ends up in a correctional facility. She escapes, hoping to return to the US. This family belongs together, but for now their dream is kept alive by Andean myths of condors flying free. A moving story of love and danger about parents and children struggling to build normal lives that are always just out of reach.

By Patricia Engel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A knockout of a novel...we predict [Infinite Country] will be viewed as one of 2021's best." --O, The Oprah Magazine

"An exquisitely told story of family, war, and migration, this is a novel our increasingly divided country wants and needs to read." --R.O. Kwon, Electric Literature

I often wonder if we are living the wrong life in the wrong country.

Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the forested mountains of Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence that may or may not have been warranted. She urgently needs to get out and get…

Book cover of The Single Plane Golf Swing: Play Better Golf the Moe Norman Way

Andrew Stelmack Author Of Send in the Clown

From my list on what sets the greatest golfers apart.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a very successful professional stage actor and visual artist I have learned that perfection is boring. A person or thing without flaws loses my interest very quickly. There's nothing more boring for an actor to play than someone who does no wrong. Since I have so much experience in putting myself in another person’s shoes with my acting and finding different ways to express emotion in my art, I find great pleasure in finding the flawed people in the world and telling their emotional stories. Their challenges, their obstacles and their success and failures – both self-imposed and that which is thrust upon them by society.

Andrew's book list on what sets the greatest golfers apart

Andrew Stelmack Why did Andrew love this book?

Unlike the other books here that predominantly hone in on Moe as a person and on his accomplishments; Todd focuses on Moe's swing and mechanics. If you are interested in Moe, you know his swing was quite different and here you find out specifically how and why in complexity. And who knows? Some of what you learn may even improve your game! The author is also involved in a new documentary to be coming soon on Moe.

By Todd Graves, Tim O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Through this wonderful book, frustrated golfers can learn to swing like Moe [Norman] and improve their games.” —Anthony Robbins, #1 New York Times–bestselling author

The mysterious and reclusive genius Moe Norman is acknowledged as the best ball-striker in the history of golf by many of the game’s greats. The Single Plane Golf Swing: Play Better Golf the Moe Norman Way reveals the secrets of the swing that enabled him to hit the ball solidly with unerring accuracy and consistency—every time. Norman’s simple, efficient, and easily understood Single Plane Swing has improved the games of thousands of golfers.

Golf professional Todd…

Book cover of The Bitch

Laura Jean Baker Author Of The Motherhood Affidavits: A Memoir

From my list on the dark complexities of motherhood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I wear many aprons. I am a writer; a professor of creative writing and literature; a mother to five children – daughters and sons; the wife of a criminal defense attorney; and the daughter of therapists. I read and write at the intersection of these influences: crime, motherhood, and psychology. When I teach children’s literature, I lean toward the Brothers Grimm. Childhood is grittier – more suspenseful – when we darken the stories. The same is true of motherhood. Nobody wants to read about a perfect mother, especially when mothers spend so much of our psychic energy worried about our children in the forms of violence, illness, and death. I prefer to seek out books that complicate the otherwise pristine stories of our lives we pretend to tell.

Laura's book list on the dark complexities of motherhood

Laura Jean Baker Why did Laura love this book?

So much of this book is filled with folklore and magic, but the provocative and devastating ending, which raises important questions about motherhood and the fine line between animal and human consciousness, guts the reader as any honest book should. I’ve always been fascinated by the wide range of strong opinions people feel in response to a simple question: Are pets equal to children in the hierarchy of living things? I was fully transported into this surprising exploration of violence and motherhood.

By Pilar Quintana, Lisa Dillman (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*Finalist for the US National Book Award for Translated Literature 2020*

In Colombia's brutal jungle, childless Damaris develops an intense and ultimately doomed relationship with an orphaned puppy.

Colombia's Pacific coast, where everyday life entails warding off the brutal forces of nature. In this constant struggle, nothing is taken for granted.

Damaris lives with her fisherman husband in a shack on a bluff overlooking the sea. Childless and at that age 'when women dry up,' as her uncle puts it, she is eager to adopt an orphaned puppy. But this act may bring more than just affection into her home.…

Book cover of Kings of Cocaine: Inside the Medellín Cartel, an Astonishing True Story of Murder, Money, and International Corruption

Russell C. Crandall Author Of Drugs and Thugs: The History and Future of America's War on Drugs

From my list on what the war on drugs is really about.

Why am I passionate about this?

Over my two decades as a scholar of American foreign policy and international politics, I had multiple opportunities to serve as a Latin America foreign policy aide. Given that Latin America plays a central role in the U.S.-hatched modern war on drugs, much of my policymaking was directly or indirectly tied to drug policy. I thus wrote Drugs and Thugs above all to make sure that I had a good sense of the history of this seemingly eternal conflict, one that is “fought” as much at home as abroad. 

Russell's book list on what the war on drugs is really about

Russell C. Crandall Why did Russell love this book?

Decades before Netflix’s hit series Narcos, Gugliotta and Leen turned their prize-winning series of articles in The Miami Herald into a highly original book, Kings of Cocaine. What astounds me is how well the author’s uncovering the psychopathic violence, unimaginable profits, and political and social corruption of the Colombian cocaine trade. And this rot and bloodshed were not just occurring in the less developed Colombia but right inside Ronald Reagan’s America. 

By Guy Gugliotta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the story of the most successful cocaine dealers in the world: Pablo Escobar Gaviria, Jorge Luis Ochoa Vasquez, Carlos Lehder Rivas and Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha. In the 1980s they controlled more than fifty percent of the cocaine flowing into the United States. The cocaine trade is capitalism on overdrive -- supply meeting demand on exponential levels. Here you'll find the story of how the modern cocaine business started and how it turned a rag tag group of hippies and sociopaths into regal kings as they stumbled from small-time suitcase smuggling to levels of unimaginable sophistication and daring.…