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Guide Retiring to Spain - Book List Spain

There is a fantastic range of books on Spain and all things Spanish available in the English language.Book list about retiring to Spain all are available at

This list has been compiled by

Accordingly, no book list could ever claim or even hope to be complete. This list is intended for those who want an overview of Spain and the Spanish and is particularly directed at those who are considering moving to the country. I would be very grateful for any suggestions and amendments.


You and the Law in Spain: Incorporating "The Spanish Property Guide" Santana Books, 84-89954-22-4 This book should be mandatory reading for everyone thinking about moving to Spain and absolutely essential if you live here. It is revised almost every year and is the most accurate and up to date book available. The latest edition even covers the new traffic laws introduced in 2002. Live and Work in Spain by Jonathan Packer, Vacation Work 1-85458-186-4 Not as good as Hampshire’s book and 7 years between editions means that it is not so up to date. Nevertheless a worthwhile general guide. Living and Working in Spain by David Hampshire, Survival Books Ltd, 0-9519804-2-4 A more general book than “You and the Law in Spain” but equally valuable. It covers the legal side but is much better for the nitty-gritty of living in Spain. For instance it even explains the format of a Bullfight and describes all the major lotteries! Again absolutely indispensable. Buying a Home in Spain by David Hampshire, ISBN 0-9519804-4-0 Survival Books Limited

Buying a Property Spain (Buying a Property)is essential reading for anyone planning to purchase property in Spain and is the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of information available. Whether you're seeking a castillo, villa, farmhouse, townhouse or an apartment, a holiday or a permanent home, this book will help make your dreams come true.

Spain (Buying a Property) by Norman Renouf 

Cadogan Guides; ISBN: 186011878X

Whether you’re looking for a castle or an apartment, a holiday home or a place to relocate to for good, the guides offer all the latest information on buying property. They cover all the regions that are popular with home-buyers and provide in-depth information on what to expect from each area: its climate, economy, facilities and even levels of English speaking among the local population.

Living and Working in Spain: How to Prepare for a Successful Stay, Be It Short, Long-Term or Forever

How To Books; ISBN: 1857032780

Spain has been popular as a holiday and retirement destination and has become important as a focus for commercial life. This second edition has been updated and revised to provide information for anyone planning to live in Spain, either on a temporary or permanent basis and whether for business, professional purposes, study, leisure or retirement. The book offers an account of Spain's variegated lifestyles and how to cope.

The Best Places to Buy a Home in Spain

Survival Books Limited; ISBN: 1901130967

This guide is essential reading for anyone planning to buy property in Spain. It covers all the popular destinations including the Balearics, Canaries, Costa Blanca, Costa Del Sol, other Costas, the major cities and other popular areas

Buying a Property in Spain by Harry King  How To Books; ISBN: 185703791X

This guide to buying a property in Spain offers first-hand advice on where to stay, dealing with estate agents and builders and the types of properties available. It covers building your own home, renovating a ruin and renting a cosy cottage.

The Complete Guide to Buying Property in Spain by Anthony I Foster,

Property Search Spain, 0-9523639-1-7

Written by an Englishman who has lived in Spain for 19 years and worked in the Estate Agency business there. It covers the mechanics of buying or building a property in Spain with considerable detail on what should be included in any contract you sign. For those wishing to build their property or even extend their existing one it covers building licences in detail and even gives the fines for non-compliance!

Costa Blanca (Sunflower Landscapes series) Walks, Car Tours and

Picnics by John and Christine Oldfield.

Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay in Spain and Portugal

Publishing 1-901970-03-5

Not just another hotel guide! This has some really lovely little places(and some big ones) to stay at if you fancy a bit of touring when you get fed up with your personal “Costa”. They are often in out of the way places and you are unlikely to come across them by accident. Most are privately run and the book gives very good details with prices and directions. They have all been selected by the author.

Expand Your Spanish by Linda Hall de González, Santana, 84-921229-6-X
This is different from the hundreds of run of the mill “teach yourself Spanish” books. It concentrates on Spanish as it is “spoke”. It covers all the difficult words that can mean very different things if put in the wrong context. As the author appears from her name to be an Englishwoman married to a Spaniard it gives her the ability to explain what these words and phrases mean in colloquial English – not easy fora Spaniard. She has a regular column in SUR, the major English language weekly newspaper on the Costa del Sol.

"The Daily Telegraph" Guide to Living Abroad (Daily Telegraph) ISBN 0-7494-2790-6

 Costa Blanca Insight Pocket Guide (Pocket Guides) ISBN 9-62421-528-6

Lonely Planet Spain (Spain, 3rd Ed) ISBN: 1864501928

Damien Simonis

This monster guide to Spain provides details on getting around, places to stay, places to eat and entertainment options. Whether you're keen to sip sangria on a palm-lined Balearic beach or snow-ski down the Sierra Nevada, this practical guide will show you why Spain is a número uno destination.

This is just one of over 30 Lonely Planet guides to Spain and its regions. Whilst more

directed at tourists and visitors Lonely Planet knows Spain in great detail.


A Season in Spain by Andrew and Lesley Grant-Adamson, Pavilion, ISBN:1-85793-305-2.
An English couple who fulfilled a dream by spending a year in
Spain in a rented house in the Alpujarras south of Granada, the same area as covered in “Driving over Lemons”. An equally good read if you are interested in the “real” Spain.

Snowball Oranges: A Winter in Mallorca (Summersdale Travel) by Peter Kerr. ISBN:1840241128

Manana, Manana: One Mallorcan Summer by Peter Kerr. ISBN:1585746371

Driving over Lemons: An Optimist in Spain (Vintage Departures) by Chris Stewart. ISBN:0375709150

A Parrot in the Pepper Tree (A sort of Sequel to D.O.Ls) by Chris Stewart. Penguin ISBN:0754018989

Spanish Lessons : Beginning a New Life in Spain by Derek Lambert.Broadway Books 0-09-187924-8


 Mediterranean Gardening: A Waterwise Approach

Mediterranean Gardening – A waterwise approach by Heidi Gildemeister, Editorial Moll, 84-273-0749-7

An excellent book with good photos. It concentrates on which plants are suited for which conditions, particularly those that require little water.

The Mediterranean Gardener(in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) 0-7112-1828-5 A good all round guide again with some good photos.

Gardening in Spain by Marcelle Pitt, Lookout Publications
A basic “How to do it” guide – drawings rather than photos but well priced.

 Wild Flowers of the Mediterranean (Eyewitness Handbooks S.)0-7513-2671-1An excellent paperback guide. Very easy to locate the plant you arelooking for and really nice coloured drawings

The Tio Pepe Guide to the Seafood of Spain and Portugal

Alan Davidson,Santana, ISBN 8489954216 Alan has written many fishy books. This one concentrates on fish we are likely to find on the Iberian peninsular (or to be more exact, swimming around it!). It’s not a recipe book butif you see a strange fish in the market, this book will tell you what it is. It has good drawings of the various species and gives all the likely Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan and Gallego names.

Spanish Food and Cooking A Spanish woman’s Kitchen by Pepita Aris, Cassell 0-304-34308-0 Good Spanish cookbook, the recipes are quite authentic and each chaptercovers a different region of Spain.

Cooking In Spain by Janet Mendel, Mirador Books, 84-88127-02-2 Written specially for those of us who come to Spain and want to recreate someof the local dishes. The recipes are authentic and easy to follow. There is also an absolutely invaluable introduction that describes all the raw materials with their names in Spanish.


Recuerdo del vapor en la vía estrecha española =: Spanish narrow gauge steam rememberedby Lawrence Marshall. ISBN 84-95178-46-X

Photography in Franco's Spain Publio López Mondéjar ISBN 3-8290-2223-9They say a picture paints a thousand words. Perhaps this book filled with many previously unpublished photos explains a little of what happened in the Franco years.

Homage to Catalonia (Harvest Book) by George Orwell. About the Spanish Civil War.

Mi Guerra Civil Espanola/Homage to Catalonia Orwell in Spain (containing ‘Homage to Catalonia’) by George Orwell.  Unbiased(?) and independent view of Spain  at the time of the Civil War, circa 1936.

DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON, by Ernest Hemingway. Bullfighting, pre 1931.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Civil war fiction.

South from Granada (Kodansha Globe Series) by Gerald Brenan. Classic about village life in Spain before the civil war.


Spain is a country with a rich literary tradition. If you don't speak Spanish there are fortunately many excellent translations and reference books.

Anthology. Modern Spanish Theatre, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1968. Edited by Michael Benedikt and George E. Wellwarth.

Spain - Drama Contemporary, Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1985. Edited by Marion Peter Holt.

Anthology. Spanish & Portuguese Short Stories, Senate Press, 1995.

Anthology. Introduction to Spanish Poetry, Dover Press, 1965. Edited by Eugenio Florit.

Anthology. Great Spanish Plays in English Translation, Dover Publications, 1991. Edited by Angel Flores.

Anthology. Spanish Stories/Cuentos Españoles, Dover Publications, 1987. Edited by Angel Flores.

Ayala, Francisco. Usurpers, Penguin Classics, 1996. Translated by Carolyn Richmond.

Baroja, Pio. Zalacaín the Adventurer, Lost Coast Press, 1997. Translated by James Diendl.

Bazan, Emilia Pardo. Torn Lace And Other Stories, The Modern Language Association of
America, 1996. Translated by Maria Cristina Urruela.

Galdós, Benito Peréz. Miau, Penguin Books, 1963. Translated by J.M. Cohen.

Galdós, Benito Peréz. Misericordia, Dedalus European Classics, 1995. Translated by Charles de Salis.

Galdós, Benito Peréz. That Bringas Woman, Everyman, 1996. Translated by Catherine Jagoe.

Galdós, Benito Peréz. Nazarin, Oxford Press, 1993. Translated by Jo Labanyi.

Galdós, Benito Peréz. Fortunata and Jacinta, Penguin Classics, 1988. Translated by Agnes Moncy Gullón.

Galdós, Benito Peréz. Dona Perfecta, Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1960.

Ibáñez, Vicente Blasco. The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, E.P. Dutton, 1941. Translated by Charlotte Brewster Jordan.

Ibáñez, Vicente Blasco. Reeds and Mud, Branden Press, 1966. Translated by Lester Beberfall.

Jiménez, Juan Ramón. Platero and I, University Of Texas Press, 1990. Translated by Eloïse Roach.

Jiménez, Juan Ramón. Stories of Life and Death, toExcel, 2000. Translated by Antonio de Nicolás.

Machado, Antonio. Selected Poems, Harvard Press, 1982. Translated by Alan S. Trueblood.

Spanish Literature, The Oxford Companion to. Oxford
University Press, 1978. Edited by Philip Ward.

Unamuno, Miguel de. Abel Sanchez and Other Stories (includes The Madness of Doctor Montarco and San Manuel Bueno, Martyr), Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1996. Translated by Anthony Kerrigan.

Unamuno, Miguel de. Mist, University of Illinois Press, 2000. Translated by Warner Fite.

Unamuno, Miguel de. Three Exemplary Novels (Two Mothers, The Marquis of Lumbria, Nothing Less Than A Man), Grove Press, 1956. Translated by Angel Flores.

Valle-Inclán, Ramón del. Spring And
Sumer Sonatas, Dedalus, 1997. Translated by Margaret Jull Costa.jan

Steve Hall

March 2  2003

PS: As a footnote my favourite Spanish novel which won the first ever

Premio De Novela Ciudad de Torrevieja.
Javier Reverte “La Noche Detenida”
ISBN 84-01-32913-2

These books should be avaialble from Bargain Books in Torrevieja Libreria Europa in Calpe or via the internet at

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