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Old 10-30-2007, 08:10 AM
TheMetetron TheMetetron is offline
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Default Spanish Speakers: Recommend me some good Spanish-language books

So, I've got quite a lot of traveling coming up between now and January and I'd like to pick up around 10 books to read during that time. Since I'm leaving Argentina in a bit over a month and won't be able to practice my Spanish with natives until I move to Barcelona in May, I'd like the books to be Spanish-language ones that I can read to help improve my vocabulary and grammar.

I prefer books by Argentine authors or about Argentina, but I imagine I'll have to branch out to other countries as well. I'm currently in Argentina so hopefully anything remotely well-known will be easy to find. I'd obviously like something by Borges, but really have no idea where to start.

Also, aside from Borges, I'd like to keep the books as modern as possible to both better understand the current cultural climate as well as the modern language currently in use. Of course exceptions will be made for classics that are excellent reads.

I realize this post is very selfish and asking for something without giving anything in return, but I couldn't find a way to add content about something I know very little about. Sorry mods [img]/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

FWIW, my Spanish speaking/listening is around an intermediate level where I can use every tense and understand the majority of the grammar but am limited in real-life conversations by a vocabularly that isn't as vast as it should be (really my fault for having too many conversations in English with Argentine friends). I do, however, read better than I speak and can read the daily newspaper in Spanish, though I do have to look up words several times per article.

Edit: Bonus if anyone can name some good Italian books as well. I'm currently just starting to learn the language in preparation for a move to Florence in 2009. It will be some time before I am at a level where I can read books, but I'll be more likely to find some here in Argentina than in Australia where I'm going next. Many more Italian speakers here.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:33 AM
TheMetetron TheMetetron is offline
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Default Re: Spanish Speakers: Recommend me some good Spanish-language books

Book 1: Diarios de motocicleta by Che Guevara
Book 2: Yo soy el Diego by Diego Maradona
Book 3: El Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges

Doing some research these three came across as interesting. Hopefully that will make amends for my OP w/o content [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Any thoughts on these books?

All three are related to Argentina so anyone coming to live/visit here might be interested in them for some background. A spanish-language biography of Evita (there are many) would also be interesting. Anyone recommend the best one?
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:46 PM
ematz ematz is offline
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Default Re: Spanish Speakers: Recommend me some good Spanish-language books

Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Columbia, Mexico)

Cien aņos de soledad
Cronica de una muerte anunciada



Octavio Paz
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:44 PM
spentrent spentrent is offline
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Default Re: Spanish Speakers: Recommend me some good Spanish-language books

Consider learning Catalan. You're in Barcelona man!
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:48 PM
TheMetetron TheMetetron is offline
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Default Re: Spanish Speakers: Recommend me some good Spanish-language books

[ QUOTE ]
Consider learning Catalan. You're in Barcelona man!

[/ QUOTE ]

Not going to happen. Concentrating on Spanish and Italian at the moment. Barcelona and my Spanish will get along just fine.

Oh forgot to mention another obvious choice which is obviously included: Don Quixote de la mancha
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:02 PM
Jon1000 Jon1000 is offline
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Default Re: Spanish Speakers: Recommend me some good Spanish-language books

Borges - Ficciones if you like El Aleph

Also, I was in a really similar spot compared to you when I took some classes in college. I could read and write better than most, and my vocab was great in written work, but when I had to speak in conversation, I would always revert back to safe vocabulary b/c otherwise I would stumble over certain conjugations, relatively unused vocab, etc. The thing that got me over the hump wasn't even speaking with a language partner. It was the mandatory tape recorder. Everyday we had to talk about something uninterrupted for 3-8 min, transcribe our errors, then roughly repeat what we said, making sure to correct the errors we caught. It might not help you as much as me, but something about it just clicked.
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:05 PM
tarheeljks tarheeljks is offline
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Default Re: Spanish Speakers: Recommend me some good Spanish-language books

[ QUOTE ]
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Columbia, Mexico)

Cien aņos de soledad
Cronica de una muerte anunciada



Octavio Paz

[/ QUOTE ]

i was also going to recommend garcia-marquez, but your spanish needs to be very, very good to read it untranslated.
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:25 PM
Jon1000 Jon1000 is offline
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Default Re: Spanish Speakers: Recommend me some good Spanish-language books

[ QUOTE ]
i was also going to recommend garcia-marquez, but your spanish needs to be very, very good to read it untranslated.

[/ QUOTE ]

probably, but if he's reading borges, then it's not like it's much farther. and stretches are good for vocab and comprehension

Matute - Primera Memoria
Unamuno - San Manuel Bueno Martir
Federica Garcia Lorca - Bodas de Sangre/La Casa de Bernarda Alba
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2007, 03:36 PM
TheMetetron TheMetetron is offline
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Default Re: Spanish Speakers: Recommend me some good Spanish-language books

Difficult texts are fine. That's where I'm going to learn even if I have to spend the 50% of my time reading a dictionary to figure out what the hell it means. Definitely don't hold things back because they are too difficult.
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:47 PM
lennytheduck lennytheduck is offline
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Default Re: Spanish Speakers: Recommend me some good Spanish-language books

Don Quijote de la Mancha.
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