1682062883 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The 30 recommendations of ‘Babelia’ for World Book Day 2023

Book Day commemorates the deaths of Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Garcilaso de la Vega and coincides with the Sant Jordi Festival in Catalonia with its traditional exchange of roses and books. For those short of gift ideas (or gifts for yourself), here’s a selection of the titles that have graced the cover of Babelia so far this year, been highlighted as book of the week in the EL PAÍS culture supplement, or given special acclaim by our review team.

Spanish novel


Alia Trabucco Zerán Lumen, 2023. 232 pages. €18.90The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

This novel tells the life of a housekeeper and the seven years she spends working for a noble family in Santiago de Chile. A married couple in their forties, certainly unhappy, overwhelmed with work, whose little daughter is about to die, as announced in the opening lines of the book. Deliciously disturbing, addictive, the novel portrays everyday worlds that can become a storm for the weak. Interview with Alia Trabucco Zerán, by Rocío Montes.

Every summer is an end

Ray Loriga Alfaguara, 2023. 248 pages. €19.901682062836 605 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The protagonist of this novel was also operated on for a tumour: just like the author, who thought long and hard about writing about his experience until he said: Oh, what. “It would have been so stupid not to do it. It would have been like witnessing a plane crash and not telling it. When something this relevant happens to you, you have to write about it. But I had my doubts.” Interview with Ray Loriga, by Carmen Pérez-Lanzac.

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children of fable

Fernando Aramburu Tusquets, 2023. 320 pages, 20.90 euros1674961756 474 Fernando Aramburus pathetic ETA members Primo de Riveras populism and

The burlesque and even grotesque treatment of the two protagonists, Joseba and Ander, who joined ETA in their twenties just before the organization declared the definitive ceasefire (in October 2011), does not diminish the seriousness associated with the doctrinal frenzy of many young idealists . Review by Domingo Ródenas de Moya.

I just wanted to dance

Greta García Tránsito, 2023. 200 pages, 18 euros1682062839 422 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

A novel carried by the strength of the protagonist: her Andalusian dialect, her crazy humor and her cheekiness, her disillusioned amorality and her sudden anger. And also for García’s talent for short and somewhat orgiastic scenes or the wonderful dialogues between prisoners, virtues that refer to a dramaturgical dimension. And with a rhythm that is as euphoric as it is patient and intelligent. Criticism of Carlos Pardo.

The time of the flies

Claudia PiñeiroAlfaguara, 2022. 408 pages. €18.911682062840 454 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

In this novel, bodies fight for territory, people seek a place in a context of structural violence against the most disadvantaged, but above all it is a story of friendship. “Today the reader can read a friendship story between two women and it can be a man, a woman or whatever. It wasn’t like that for a long time. I think Elena Ferrante broke with that. This story can move a man. You are alone in the world, which is sad and hopeful at the same time,” explains Piñeiro. Article by Juan Carlos Galindo.

Santander, 1936

Álvaro PomboAnagrama, 2023. 329 pages. €19.901682062842 633 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

This novel can be read like a compendium in which all the basic features of a clairvoyant literature like that of the author crystallize. An atmosphere that ranges from the active ear of the street to the metaphysical roundness. With exquisite sensitivity he describes things as you walk through the house and then moves from there to the inspiration that combines his crystalline focus on the mundane with high philosophy. This is pombo. Someone who drinks without prejudice from Kierkegaard and Thomas Mann, but also from Concha Espina and Galdós. Interview with Álvaro Pombo, by Jesús Ruiz Mantilla.

in the lion’s den

Elvira LindoSeix Barral, 2023. 272 ​​pp. €19.90Cover of 'In the Wolf's Den' by Elvira LindoCover of ‘In the Wolf’s Den’ by Elvira Lindo

The plot is a girl’s struggle, Juliet, to understand and break free from the monsters that haunt her, even darker when her own mother is not her protector. “A lot of the feelings felt by the pre-adolescent girl in this novel are based on conversations with these two friends of mine who had very similar mother types, with a very strong irresponsibility. There is a very strong helplessness with dramatic consequences when a mother does not know what is happening.” Interview with Elvira Lindo, by Berna González Harbour.


Azahara Alonso Siruela, 2023. 226 pages. €15.951682062845 168 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

It is a very free essay and novel guided by ideas, a dialogue with the spaces where life takes place and with a wide collection of readings: from Georges Perec to Roland Barthes, Carmen Martín Gaite, Susan Sontag, Donna Stonecipher… And a book, too, said, written with a sort of accuracy. An anecdote serves as a starting point: the author and her partner decide to spend a gap year on an island in Malta, Gozo. Criticism of Carlos Pardo.


Manuel Calderón Tusquets, 2023. 288 pages. 19 euros1682062846 688 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The author has designed a mythical territory: the Spain of the desert. This untamed and moral territory of the periphery. A non-place for nothing, riddled with memories, ruins, working class and dreary Sunday afternoons. A lost paradise of childish freedom, in which bloomed poppies, ears of wheat and serial daisies, bricks and rubble, old mattresses, torn armchairs, half-sunken armchairs, a few syringes and a lot of condoms. Criticism of Paco Cerdà.

translated novel

love the sea

Pascal Quignard Translated by Ignacio Vidal-Folch. Gutenberg Galaxy, 2023. 272 ​​pp. €21.501682062848 235 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

It’s the story of an overflowing love between two imaginary musicians, a certain Hatten and the Nordic Thullyn. It is a story that, for Quignard, relates to its origins. His mother was depressed and the person who took care of him for the first few months was a young German woman named Cecilia Müller. It was post-war. Le Havre, where he grew up, was in ruins. The Germans were frowned upon and Cecilia Müller could not extend her residence permit in France and had to leave the country. Little Pascal was one and a half years old. For him it was a blow. Meeting Pascal Quignard, by Marc Bassets.


Hernán Díaz Translation by Javier Calvo. Anagram, 2023. 436 pages. 21.90 euros.1682062849 181 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The author cultivates a realism that allows him to conduct an effective analysis of American society 100 years ago and conduct a thorough examination of what happened during one of the most turbulent and problematic moments in capitalism’s historical vicissitudes, the crisis of the Years before the Great Depression of 1929. “I was surprised that there really weren’t any novels about money in the United States, a country where money has an almost mystical dimension,” he explains. Interview with Hernán Díaz, by Eduardo Lago.


Ottessa MoshfeghTranslation of Immaculate Conception Pérez Parra. Alfaguara, 2023. 320 pages. €18.911682062850 412 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

This novel was published in the United States last summer. It was received with divided opinions. Many critics are still dazzled by an imaginative universe that is neatly and neatly expressed. Those with more sensitive stomachs, on the other hand, didn’t have a good time between sides. Established worldwide with “My Year of Peace and Relaxation”, the American author explores the limits of political correctness in this work. Interview with Ottessa Moshfegh, by Luis Pablo Beauregard.

Victoria city

Salman Rushdie Translated by Luis Murillo Fort. Random House, 2023. 416 pp. €21.751682062852 360 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The novel tells of the nebulous origins, rise and fall of a fantasy universe whose original desire for happy coexistence – born from the efforts of its founder Pampa Kampana, a woman infused by a goddess with her magic – deteriorates until it is fulfilled. his unfortunate fate. In keeping with his well-known Cervantine fondness, the Anglo-Indian author traces the narrative based on the theme of the manuscript he found. Review by Javier Aparicio Maydeu.


Percival Everett Translation by Javier Calvo. From Conatus, 2023. 320 pages. 22.90 euros1682062854 936 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The African-American author, illustrious university professor, satirical writer and wild misfit – his novels are arrows against what racism and lack of culture have done in the minds of Americans and thus of all people – squeezes himself into the narrow disguise of the black novel and makes him explode from the inside out. An instant classic is highlighted here. He raises the dead to take revenge on the present, or to put a white trash in its place – the Graveyard – proud of its stupidity and ancestor hatred. Review by Laura Fernández.

empty closets

Maria Judite de Carvalho Translated by Regina López Muñoz. Errata Natuae, 2023. 168 pages. 18 euros1682062855 672 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

More than a character portrait, the Portuguese author wrote as if she were a neurosurgeon delving into the most hidden places of trauma and longing. His protagonists are almost always women, feeling old in their thirties, who help the men who want to leave them, without taking the plunge without scenes or explanations. They live trapped in the pacata morality of the long Portuguese dictatorship… Criticism by Tereixa Constenla.

A ghost in your throat

Doireann Ní Ghríofa Translated by Patricia Gonzalo de Jesús. Sixth Floor, 2023. 276 pages. €21.901682062856 428 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

Considered one of the great texts of Ireland and Britain, Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire transitioned from oral to written tradition in the 19th century. It was another woman, Norrie Singleton, also known as Nóra Ní Shíndile, who was responsible for transcribing the voices, which until then had been flying from mouth to mouth like birds. Today it is a woman again, the poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa, who returns to the powerful love lament, but this time in the guise of her author Eibhlín Dubh, as little known as her work famous. Review by Nuria Barrios.

The employees

Olga RavnTranslated by Victoria Alonso. Anagram, 2023. 144 pages. €17.901682062858 976 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

This novel is a cryptic reflection of a world, the present, in which the boundaries between what we are and what we do have disappeared. And what caused that? This alienation has widened their battlefield. In the age of omni-productivity, people will live alienated or they will not live, seems to say the author’s microcosm, not accidentally populated by people who do not even know if they are human, are their memories theirs? Review by Laura Fernández.

the storms

Gueorgui Gospodínov Translated by María Vútova and César Sánchez. Fulgencio Pimentel, 2022. 408 pages. 25 eurosCover of 'The Storms' by Gueorgui GospodinovCover of ‘The Storms’ by Gueorgui Gospodinov

This work tells the story of the friendship between the narrator and Gaustín, a Bulgarian psychiatrist like himself, who sets up clinics in Zurich to produce a past that acts as a “sanctuary” to alleviate the effects of Alzheimer’s. From there it is the countries that want to return to the past as history patients, for an intelligentsia like the Gospodinovs it is only a small step, and Europe is again split not only in territories but also in times. Review by Patricio Pron.

Essay, history and biographies

about the sublime

Longino translation by Haris Papoulias. Alliance, 2022. 432 pages, 15.95 euros1682062861 358 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The recent study of the concept of the sublime by the philosopher Haris Papoulias, in his recent edition and his commentary on Longino’s treatise, which forms the basis for this discussion, confirms how our neo-romantic postmodernism has since continued the curious drift of the sublime idealism that influenced cruise tourism replaced by the scenic and architectural viewing of The Grand Tour, and the sense of terror and danger evoked by Burke’s televised bombings of the Iraq and Ukraine wars. Article by David Hernández de la Fuente.

ocean planet

Javier PeláezCrítica, 2022. 504 pages 23.90 euros1682062862 495 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The story was generally told from the ground. Several recent books now agree to focus on the sea, from its relation to geopolitics to its role in the face of climate change. Article by Juan Arnau.

Writings on Art, Literature and Music (1845-1866)

Charles BaudelaireSelection, translation and notes by José Ramón Monreal. Foreword by Giovanni Macchia. Cliff, 2022. 1,040 pages. 49 eurosCharles Baudelaire From Despair to Hopelessness

The clarity and sharpness of the judgments of the author of Las flores del mal are no joke bubbles, but correspond to a congruent and closed aesthetic. They are a high point of the art criticism of their century. Criticism by Angel L. Prieto de Paula.

Cinema Meditations

Quentin Tarantino, translation by Carlos Milla. Reservoir Books, 2023. 418 pages. 21.90 euros.1682062865 986 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The director of Pulp Fiction and Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood analyzes the films that shaped his youth and career. And he does not hesitate to criticize and attack or praise his colleagues. Criticism by Gregorio Belinchón.

the creation of the self

Anil Seth translated by Albino Santos Mosquera. Sixth Floor, 2023. 398 pages, 23.90 euros1682062867 244 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

Consciousness, what we lose when we fall asleep and recover when we wake up, is a mental phenomenon. And like all mental phenomena, it must consist of the activity of certain neural circuits. But how does it work? The neuroscientist tries to explain it rigorously and clearly in his latest book. Review by Javier Sampedro.

red comet. Glowing Art and Fleeting Life by Sylvia Plath

Heather Clark. Translated by Julia Viejo and Gudrun Palomino. Bamba, 2023. 1,048 pages. €25.551682062868 289 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The author examines the poet’s literary legacy in order to distance her from the myth and bring her back to the place she should never have left: that of one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. Grandstand by Lucía Lijtmaer.

Antonio Gramsci, a biography

Andrew PearmainTranslated by Teresa Arijón. Twenty-first Century Publishers, 2022. 328 pages. 25 euros1682062870 697 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

In the period between the death of the old and the birth of the new, “monsters appear,” said the philosopher and founder of the Italian Communist Party. A biography and the publication of the notebooks he wrote in Mussolini’s prisons bring his thinking to the fore. Article by Joaquín Estefania.

The Patriotic King. Alfonso XIII and the nation

Javier Moreno LuzónGalaxia Gutenberg, 2023. 592 pages. 25 euros1673753652 906 Alfonso XIII moderno pero espanol

Destined to modernize Spain, Campechano, womanizer and accused of corruption, eventually became a conservative icon. He died in exile. The historian Javier Moreno Luzón looks at the career of Felipe VI’s great-grandfather. in the light of his national project. This year also marks a century since the Crown-backed coup of Miguel Primo de Rivera. Article by José Andrés Rojo.


Cross. German poetry of the 21st century

Various authorsTranslation by Teresa Ruiz Rosas and Cecilia Dreymüller. Tresmolins, 2022. 448 pages. 29 euros1682062873 368 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

The first anthology of German poetry in Spain for 40 years, without being a panorama, is full of congratulations and tips for reading further. Criticism by Martín López-Vega.

bodily poetry 2010-2022

Marta SanzLa Bella Warsaw, 2022. 410 pages. €19.901675593381 615 The failed Nadal Prize by Manuel Vilas the posthumous novel

Sanz is not in the canonical anthologies. It is so unique, counter-current and alive, intuitive and unpredictable that it defies categorization. He sucks in the reader, puts him in front of the mirror, even before the most secret intimate experiences, with an intelligent verb and an exuberant self-confidence, with apt metaphors and necessary prose. Criticism of Manuel Rico.


Mary the Spear

Miguel Ángel Giner and Cristina Durán Astiberri, 2023. 176 pages. 25 euros1682062876 347 The 30 recommendations of Babelia for World Book Day 2023

After illustrating the tragedy of the Valencia metro accident that earned them the National Prize, in their new graphic novel the authors tell the life of a militia officer who is accused of a crime she could not have committed. Article by Ferran Bono.

The young woman and the sea

Catherine Meurisse Impedimenta, 2022. 120 pages. €22.95cover of the book Cover of the book “The Young Woman and the Sea” by Catherine MeurisseMEURISSE

In this comic, the author narrates both her impressions of Japan and the history of this country in terms of artistic representation, and the result sounds like a micro-chronicle of travel with the aspect of a fable with a surprising and suitably real ending. Article by Laura Fernandez.

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