Andalucía is a second home to me, so much so that I set part of my second novel Connectedness there. As some of you will know, I have a second blog at Notes on a Spanish Valley where I write about our life in the Spanish countryside. When fellow Brit in Spain, Alastair Savage, reflected on his favourite books about Barcelona I decided to undertake the same exercise for Andalucía. This is my choice. I have avoided ‘general’ books about Spain such as Giles Tremlett’s excellent Ghosts of Spain, one of Alastair’s picks, and have concentrated on Andalucía. Four of the five are memoirs. If you read them, let me know what you think.
Read Alastair’s guide to Barcelona books here.
‘Two Middle-Aged Ladies in Andalucía’ by Penelope Chetwode
I love my secondhand copy of this slim book for its pale blue cover. Penelope Chetwode, wife of poet John Betjeman, takes a circular ride on her horse Marquesa, around the countryside between Granada and Úbeda in Andalucía in 1961. Charming, quirky.
Read my full review of Two Middle-Aged Ladies in Andalucía here.
‘Two Middle-Aged Ladies in Andalucía’ by Penelope Chetwode [UK: Eland]
‘South from Granada’ by Gerald Brenan
Decades before ex-Genesis drummer Chris Stewart bought a house in the Alpujarras, Gerald Brenan lived in Yegen. This is the Spain of the pre-Civil War, contrasting extreme rural poverty with the beauty of the surroundings in the mountains south of Granada. My old Penguin Classics copy is on the right.
Read my full review of South from Granada here.
‘South from Granada’ by Gerald Brenan [UK: Penguin Classics]
‘Andalus’ by Jason Webster
Part travel book, part memoir, Andalus tells how writer and journalist Jason Webster explored Spain looking for its Moorish heritage. After Andalus Jason Webster went onto write other travel books about Spain, each of which I enjoyed, before writing his Max Cámara crime novels set in Valencia.
Read my full review of Andalus here.
‘Andalus’ by Jason Webster [UK: Black Swan]
‘Driving over Lemons’ by Chris Stewart
This is the Big Daddy of living-in-Andalucía books, with Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence it invented a new genre. Now part of the ‘Lemons Trilogy’ comprising A Parrot in the Pepper Tree and The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society, this is the first and best about life on a remote, hill farm. True isolation.
Read my full review of Driving Over Lemons here.
‘Driving Over Lemons’ by Chris Stewart, #1 The Lemons Trilogy [UK: Sort of Books]
‘Death’s Other Kingdom’ by Gamel Woolsey
The American writer Gamel Woolsey was married to Gerald Brenan. This slim volume recounting their days at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War can be read in one day. She watches Málaga go up in flames from their villa at nearby Churriana, worrying for their safety and that of their neighbours, and what will happen to everyone. A very personal account.
Read my full review of Death’s Other Kingdom here.
‘Death’s Other Kingdom’ by Gamel Woolsey [UK: Eland]
‘Connectedness’ by Sandra Danby, [#2 Identity Detective series] [Beulah Press]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
My Top 5 #books about #Andalucia https://wp.me/p5gEM4-3nQ via @SandraDanby