Monthly Archives: September 2010

New Spanish Books for Autumn 2010 (in which the book I gave a thumbs-down to does not appear)

How do publishers decide which of the hundreds of thousands of available foreign language books to translate and publish? The  Spanish Publishers’ Association (FGEE) – the people who provide all the wonderful information that underpins my research on Spanish bestsellers –  have a solution to help UK publishers find Spanish books to translate and publish. Twice a […]

Bodice-rippers for boys? and a geographical review of ‘Sharpe’s Rifles’ by Bernard Cornwell

Here’s a question: is military-historical fiction the masculine equivalent of the bodice ripper? Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m an enthusiastic reader of decent and sometimes not-so-decent historical fiction,  but a look back over the novels I’ve read recently in Spanish and English suggests an overwhelming bias towards female-authored stories of women’s lives (confession: I am 100 pages […]

Why I need to read something other than Twilight: Spain’s bestselling books for July

A few weeks back I wrote about the summer reading lists published by pretty much every newspaper under the sun (and speaking of which … does The Sun publish one?). Here’s another piece of the puzzle – the Spanish literary magazine Qué Leer (What to Read)  published Spain’s bestselling books for the month of July, a list […]

Revista de Libros: “«Ispanistas y hanglófilos»” by Dolores Payás

We’re all used to dealing in national stereotypes, but what happens when an Englishman turns his lens on himself, only in a foreign language? Revista de Libros has a delicious review of a recent book called El viajero impertinente: Andanzas por España de un excéntrico inglés (The Impertinent Traveller: the Spanish Wanderings of an English Eccentric, 2010) by ‘Percy […]

Hooked by history? Children’s literature and the value of historical fiction

Are there any great children’s books on Spain? I was a massive bookworm as a child, but I can’t remember ever reading a book set in Spain, until I got into historical fiction and discovered Jean Plaidy’s Katharine of Aragon on my mum’s bookshelf. So I was excited to find the Guardian’s recent interview with Theresa Breslin, […]