2017/10/04

Some suggestions to improve your Spanish skills

Maribel Orgaz - info@leerenmadrid.com / Translated by Isabel González 
Time to time I like to check the selection of recommended books for Spanish students and sometimes I miss more easy-to-read books.  For example,  El  Quijote  is a difficult book for native Spanish speakers and even more for a foreign language student.  Other suggestions may not be so difficult but I find them boring. Photography: Miguel Delibes Foundation

In Madrid, I coordinate several  Book Clubs for adults and there are two books that have been selected repeatedly by the participants as the best lecture.  I have always thought they are excellent choices to improve the Spanish language skills and they present very interesting topics for the readers who enjoy the Spanish culture.  Through their pages you will be immerse in a very well recreated rural Spain from the early XX century and  the early days of the II Republic.

The first one is El Camino from Miguel Delibes. The book tells the story of an 8 year old rural boy who has to leave his village to go to study in the big city. The story goes by in a small village around 1940 and it is full of tenderness and love.

"... if you can read Spanish at all you TOTALLY have to read this. Although I'm not exactly fluent in Spanish, I found myself crying. What a beautiful language. What a beautiful book. Waiting for a quiet time to read it again".
" A touching portrait of childhood and growing up in rural Spain, this book surprised me by its beautiful ending which comes along gradually and gently. It makes one reflect on our own journey through life and the road that we all wish to take and the decisions we want to make about our lives".    Goodreads

The second one is Historia de una maestra and it is set in the previous days of the Spanish Civil War. The author, Josefina Aldecoa  was herself a teacher. She has been the founder of one of the most progressive and prestigious schools even today in Madrid, el Colegio Estilo.

"I was overwhelmed with how modern some of the protagonists’ ideas were (even for today’s standards), and how starkly they contrasted with the backwardness of the surroundings. It was engaging and very pleasant to read, and I definitely want to read the other two books at some point. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to have been translated, maybe because the story is so quintessentially Spanish.  Goodreads

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