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Our Picks for the Best Books about Living in Spain

A book can be inspirational, which is why we’ve selected a few favourites written by foreigners who moved to Spain. Although their focus is on entertainment value rather than practical information, you will undoubtedly get a feel for the challenges these newcomers faced, whether it is getting access to utilities or complying with bureaucracy, they also highlight the many positives of living in Spain.




Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia

Written by Chris Stewart, the former Genesis drummer, this is one of the best known accounts of the expat moving to Spain’s Las Alpujarras region and a remote farm in the mountains.

Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools

Victoria Twead and her husband relocated to a tiny village where they become reluctant chicken farmers. Vicky and Joe’s story is packed with irreverent humour, animals, eccentric characters and sunshine, and lots of recipes as well.

Dog days in Andalucia: Tails from Spain

A book for animal lovers. Jackie Todd and her husband moved to Frigiliana and this is the heart-warming and inspirational story of an ordinary British couple who made a mighty impression on the village, its people and its surrounding animal population along the well!

South from Granada

Gerald Brenan’s classic autobiography and travelogue recounts his life in the village of Yegen between 1920 and 1934. He portrays the landscapes, festivals and folk-lore of the Sierra Nevada, the rivalries, romances and courtship rituals, village customs, superstitions and characters. Fascinating details emerge, from cheap brothels to archaeological remains, along with visits from Brenan’s friends from the Bloomsbury group – Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf among them. Knowledgeable, elegant and sympathetic, this is a rich account of Spain’s vanished past. a book as well!

Snowball Oranges: One Mallorcan Winter

Peter Kerr and his family were farmers in Scotland, but left to grow oranges in a secluded valley on the island of Mallorca they are surprised to be greeted by the same freezing weather they have left behind. Laughter, finds Peter Kerr, is the best medicine when faced with a local dish of rats and the live-chicken-down-a-chimney technique of household maintenance. But their Mallorcan neighbours help them adapt to their new life.

A Late Dinner: Discovering the Food of Spain

Paul Richardson’s book takes us on a vivid and humorous journey past the cliches of paella and gazpacho to tell the real story of Spain’s mouth-watering food, from the typical coastal cuisine to the shepherd cooking of the interior and the chic ‘urban’ food of Madrid and Barcelona. Along the way he gets caught up in a fish auction and the annual pig slaughter, spends a day at El Bulli restaurant and makes a never-ending stream of new friends.

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