Reading books is a direct and intelligent way to access history and culture, to form an opinion about any subject, as well as enjoy literature written by excellent writers. At Sevilla GreenSuites, we’ve put together a list of 7 books from varying genres, subjects and periods, for you to enjoy, learn and laugh in your free time. There are different options to choose from including history, novels, humour and poetry. We guarantee you won’t regret reading a single one of them!
1. Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar
Translated into sixteen languages and considered by critics to be one of the most unique and beautiful works of 20th century literature, Memoirs of Hadrian continues to attract readers interested in the life of this emperor, one of the last free spirits of antiquity. The Belgian author states that she found this mythical sentence in a letter from the writer Gustave Flaubert: “The gods no longer existed, Christ didn’t exist yet, and there was, from Cicero to Marcus Aurelius, a unique moment in which man was alone.”
2. The Prince Dethroned by Miguel Delibes
This novel shares a fragment of the life of Quico, a four-year-old boy from a well-off family who sees that in a few months a new member of the family will be born —his sister Cristina. For Quico, this produces what is known as “the syndrome of the dethroned prince” in child psychology, since he feels jealousy that pushes him to commit numerous mischievous acts. Through his character, the writer gives us an insight into the little boy’s vision of his fears and the world, as well as the family relationships that exist in an era marked by the confrontation of the Spanish civil war.
3. The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargas Llosa
The story of two lives and reflection. The first, that of Flora Tristan, who fights for the rights of women and workers, and the second, that of Paul Gauguin, who discovers his passion for painting and abandons his bourgeois life by travelling to Tahiti in search of a world free of conventional living. This poses an important question: “Where is paradise, in an egalitarian society or in the primitive world?”
4. The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
By way of a selection of pagan myths with elements of Christian culture, this literary work includes all kinds of characters from both the 15th and 20th centuries. All of these characters include the adventures of the knights in a world of enchanted creatures, the prophecies of the Wizard Merlin as well as the love between Queen Guinevere with Lancelot. Not to mention, the book is all written in plain language, for the young and the not so young.
5. Completely Friday by Luis García Montero
This compilation is a true gift for the reader through a selection of poems, where the feeling of love is taken on with a new approach. This work includes any moment within every day activities linked with the other person: routines, work, urban chaos or bad thoughts reflect the days of the lover. Above the shadows or faults, the poet makes the plenitude of love and the totality of his experience clear.
6. Memoirs of a Mangy Lover by Groucho Marx
For humour lovers, this book is a reflection of one’s ingenuity and ability to laugh at oneself, like Groucho Marx himself. Impertinent and scathing, Memoirs of a Mangy Lover reflects his desire for women with the most indiscreet impudence. This book also tells us about some of the adventures of the lover, all of them finally condemned to failure, and shows us a hilarious universal story of love, where there are no infallible recipes for conquest. Undoubtedly, a story that will make you laugh.
7. Heroes and Beasts of Spain by Manuel Chaves Nogales
A must-read, this book brings together nine stories about the Spanish Civil War. The Sevillian chronicler, impartial in his narrative, later confessed that “I could have been shot by either of the two opposing sides”. It is an exhaustive portrait of some common citizens in a suicidal and sick Spain with a wide catalogue of human profiles.