So You Want to Read… (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)

Posted 17 August, 2016 by Lianne in Lists / 14 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a new monthly feature here on in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! šŸ™‚

So summer’s winding down a bit, and so for this month’s So You Want to Read… I’m going to be featuring books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Hands down he is one of my favourite authors, he really writes Gothic novels well and has written quite a number of books for both adults and children. It’s hard to describe, but he really sets the atmosphere up for his novels that it really feels like you’re there in the streets of Barcelona. There’s a splash of magical realism, of the supernatural, but it feels so rooted in our world.

So while we’re waiting for his next novel to come out (please please please let this be soon!), here’s some books by him to check out from him if you’re interested in reading his books for the first time:

  • The Shadow of the Wind (commentary) — The book that started it all for me. It’s his most popular title, and with good reason: it’s mysterious, it’s absorbing, it’s absolutely atmospheric. There’s plenty of intrigue and danger and drama and humourous moments to go around. Book lovers and avid readers will especially enjoy this (the Cemetery of Forgotten Books? I wish such a place existed!) and can relate to Daniel and his love of reading. I love how Zafon brought Barcelona to life in this novel, it will leave you wanting to go there! (which I ended up doing haha)
  • The Angel’s Game (review) — This books gets a bit of flack for not being TSOTW despite it having been released after it. It’s a prequel of sorts, but it also works like a standalone. If The Shadow of the Wind focuses on the reader, The Angel’s Game focuses on the writer and the writer’s craft. The supernatural/Gothic elements are also much more to the fore in this novel than in TSOTW, but it’s still a fascinating read and definitely worth checking out (especially as it ties in afterwards to The Prisoner of Heaven (review).
  • Marina (review) — Of all of Zafon’s young adult titles, this book stands out as my favourite. It’s also a standalone (unlike the other three books in his Niebla series), which is great. It reminds me a lot of TSOTW with the Gothic undertones and its setting in old Barcelona. There’s a lot in this novel–mystery, action, drama, a coming-of-age story, themes of death and memory. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you checked out TSOTW and loved it.

I hope this list helps if you’re interested in reading something by Carlos Ruiz Zafon for the first time! If you’ve read his books, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! šŸ™‚

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14 Responses to “So You Want to Read… (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)”

    • You should! His books are so intriguing and atmospheric–and The Shadow of the Wind is also such a treat for book lovers šŸ™‚ I hope you enjoy his books when you get to them!

      • Actually, I’ve started La sombra del viento three or four times and never managed to make it through. I also read The Prince of Mist, but wasn’t too captivated. I don’t know what I’m missing; everyone seems to love these books.

    • Oh, most definitely! And thanks for the correction šŸ™‚ –and to think I posted the book cover and still typed it as “Mariana” xD

  1. I’ve still only read The Shadow of the Wind which I LOVED. I don’t know why I haven’t read any of his other stuff yet! I mean, I own a few of them, so I have no excuse.

    • Ooh, you better get on that lol! šŸ˜‰ The Shadow of the Wind is still by far my favourite but he still weaves some Gothic magic in his other books too šŸ™‚ Happy reading!

  2. I also haven’t read any of his works, but for some reason (can’t remember why) I added TSOTW to my TBR a few years ago. From what you’ve written here, it does sound like the best book for me to start with! I actually just picked it up from a secondhand shop where I had some credit so maybe I’ll get around to it this year.

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