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SpanishDict’s Book Club - September

SpanishDict’s Book Club - September

Quick Answer

Reading in a foreign language is a great way to pick up new vocabulary, improve your grammar, and be exposed to new ways of thinking and seeing the world. We know you’re always looking for new ways to practice your Spanish, so we thought we’d create a Book Club for you to join!

We’ll post new book lists each month, along with reading comprehension and discussion questions each week. Happy reading!

SpanishDict's Book List for September

If You’re Just Starting to Learn Spanish:

  • Short Stories in Spanish: New Penguin Parallel Text (Spanish and English Edition), Edited by John R. King

Parallel readers (books with side-by-side Spanish and English text) are a great way to dive into Spanish literature without feeling overly intimidated. This particular reader is packed with stories by some of the biggest names in modern Spanish literature, including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, Carlos Fuentes, and Julio Cortazar.

If You’re an Intermediate Speaker:

  • Un viejo que leía novelas de amor  by Luis Sepulveda

This novel has a very strong sense of place and is full of descriptions of the South American jungle. The novel’s protagonist is an avid reader who is forced to hunt an ocelot accused of being a mankiller. More than just a simple take on the “man vs. beast” trope, Un viejo que leía novelas de amor questions what man’s relationship with nature ought to be.

If You’re a Fluent Speaker:

  • La sombra del viento  by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The first in a trilogy, this novel is set in post-Spanish Civil War Barcelona. A book about books, it tells the story of an impossible romance in the 1920s and a young reader searching for the unknown author of a captivating book. What he discovers is more than he could have ever imagined, and throws him into a world of otherworldly characters and dangers. It’s full of vivid descriptions and plenty of twists to keep you on the edge of your seat!


Discussion Questions

Beginner:

  • ¿Cuál fue tu cuento favorito? ¿Por qué?  / What was your favorite story? Why?
  • ¿Cuáles son las ventajas y desventajas de leer un cuento en texto paralelo?  / What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of reading a story in parallel text?
  • ¿Cuáles son algunas maneras para diferenciar el estilo de cada autor?  / What are some ways to differentiate between the styles of different authors?

Intermediate:

  • ¿Por qué crees que al viejo le gusta tanto leer novelas de amor?  / Why do you think the old man likes to read love stories so much?
  • ¿Qué opinas de la relación del viejo con la naturaleza?  / What do you think of the relationship the old man has with nature?
  • El escenario de esta novela (la selva) funciona como un personaje. ¿Cómo crees que logró el autor que fuera así?  / The setting of this novel (the jungle) is like a character. How do you think the author achieves this?

Fluent:

  • ¿Qué papel juega el Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados en la novela?  / What role does the Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados play in the novel?
  • ¿Qué añade la Guerra Civil Española como telón de fondo a la novela?  / What does the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War add to the novel?
  • ¿Qué crees que simboliza el personaje de Julián Carax?  / What do you think the character of Julian Carax symbolizes?
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