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Best books from Argentina to read once in a lifetime

In this article I will introduce to you some amazing books, written by Argentinian writers. Latin America always seemed to me as an undiscovered world, it is far away from Europe and I never traveled there. So I decided to take a look on the country of Argentina and their world of books. I tried to choose some best writings from this area so I hope you`ll find some ideas what to read.

Kiss Of The Spider Woman (Manuel Puig)

Category: Contemporary Fiction.
This is a graceful and compelling novel about victimization and love. The book story is about two cellmates Molina and Valentin, who are stuck in one Argentinian prison.

Molina is a gay window dresser who is very self-centered, self-denigrating and charming. Valentin is an articulate, dogmatic revolutionary haunted by memories of the woman he left for the cause. Molina is in prison because for `corruption of a minor`, while Valentin is a political prisoner who is a member of a revolutionary group which is trying to overthrow the government.

If we look at both characters, they seemingly opposites in every way, but through the life in jail cell, they form a relationship which changes them both and slowly creates a friendship. Molina recounts many movies she has seen to Valentin, so they can somehow forget the situation in which they are at the moment.

Link to a Paper Book and to an eBook.

The Oxford Murders (Guillermo Martinez)

Category: Thriller, Crime Fiction.

This book is one of the best known book thrillers from an Argentinian author. A bestseller which was a paperback sensation in Argentina, Spain and UK.

The story plot is about two mathematicians who need to join forces to stop a serial killer. It begins on a summer day in Oxford, when young Argentine graduate student finds one elderly woman murdered in cold blood. He realizes that this lady was actually his landlady and the woman who helped crack the Enigma code during the Second World War.

Meanwhile, a renowned Oxford logician receives an anonymous note in which there is written a circle and the words `first of the series`. As the murders begin to pile up, there are more symbols revealed and it becomes clear that it is up to this unlikely pair, to decipher the pattern before the killer strike again.

Link to a Paper Book and to an eBook.

The Library at Night (Alberto Manguel)

Category: Library & Information Sciences, Literary Studies.
The author of this book Alberto Manguel was inspired by the process of creating a library for his 15th century home near the Loire in France, connected with that he has taken up a subject of libraries. This book is very personal, deliberately, unsystematic, and wide-ranging, the author offers to us a captivating meditation on the meaning of libraries.

Manguel is known as a guide irrepressible enthusiasm. In book, he conducts a unique library tour which extents from his childhood bookshelves to the `complete` libraries on internet, from Ancient Egypt to Arab World, from China to Rome. He recounts stories of people who have struggled against tyranny to preserve freedom of thought; a Polish librarian who smuggled books to safe place when Nazis start to destroy Jewish libraries; the Afghani bookseller who kept his store open through decades of unrest.

The Library at Night is an amazing voyage through Manguel`s mind, memory and knowledge about books and civilizations.

Link to a Paper Book and to an eBook.

Dreamtigers (Jorge Luis Borges)

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Poetry By Individual Poets.
The book Dreamtigers has been heralded as one of the literary masterpieces of the 20th century by Mortimer J. Adler, editor of Great Books of the Western World. It is acknowledged as the most personal work by Jorge Luis Borges.

Dreamtigers are actually a collection of poems, parables, short essays and literary sketches. At first glance it appears to be a sampler-albeit a dazzling one-of the masters work but after closer examination a reader discovers that book is a subtly and organically unified self-revelation.

The book discovers mysterious are between the dreams of creative artist and the real world. The main vision of this book is that of a recluse in the `enveloping serenity` of a library, looking ahead to the time he will disappear but in timeless world of his books will continue his dialogue with the immortal of the past (Homer, Don Quixote, Shakespeare).

Link to a Paper Book.

Traveler of the Century (Andres Neuman)

Category: Contemporary Fiction.

This book was shortlisted for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The Traveler of the Century is a novel of philosophy and love, politics and waltzes, history and the here and now. It`s a journey to Europe from one of the most exciting South-American writers.

A traveler named Hans, stops off for the night in the mysterious city of Wandernburg. He is planning to leave the city next day but the city ensnare him with its strange, shifting geography. When he befriends an old organ grinder and falls in love with a daughter of a local merchant named Sophie, he finds it really impossible to leave. Both, Hans and Sophie are translators and between dictionaries and bed, they gradually build up their own fragile common language.

Through a series of memorable encounters with different characters, the author takes the reader on a hypothetical journey back into post Napoleonic Europe, shows us some parallels with our modern era.

Link to a Paper Book and to an eBook.

Hopscotch (Julio Cortazar)

Category: Contemporary Fiction.

The book story is about Horacio Oliveira, an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of Bohemian friends who called themselves `The Club`.

A child`s death and La Maga disappearance means the end of his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics. Those circumstances forced Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat who can truly count and an attendant in an insane asylum.

Hopscotch is the dazzling, freewheeling account of an Oliveira`s astonishing adventures.

Link to a Paper Book and to an eBook.

Fever Dream (Samantha Schweblin)

Category: Contemporary Fiction.
This book is shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017. It is a first novel of this Argentinian author which was translated to English. Samantha Schweblin creates an aura of strange and deeply unsettling psychological menace in this tale of maternal love, broken souls and desperation of family.

A young woman named Amanda lies dying in rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She is not his mother and he is not her son. The two seems anxious and at David`s ever more insistent prompting, Amanda recounts a series of events from her past. When David pushes her to recall whatever trauma has landed her into a terminal state, he unintendedly opens a chest of horrors. Suddenly the terrifying nature of their reality is brought into shocking focus.

Link to a Paper Book and to an eBook.

Image credits: BookDepository.

Luka

26 Comments

  1. It is very interesting to find someone that will give a review outside of the usual famous english writers that are always so popular. Thank you for showing us a little of the Argentinian culture, the books appear to be very interesting and i am alwasy eager to read something thati snot main stream and ultrapopular. Sometimes just becasue we live on the other side of the world, we tend to forget how valuable and how good some other writers from some other countries can be and we do not given them enough credit.

    Thank you for reminindg us.

    • Hey Barbara, I agree with your opinion, sometimes it`s worth to try to look outside of our borders. Thank you for your comment!

  2. I really love reading books. I read about twenty four books last year and I have been hoping to read more than that this year. Going through article the books here are really captivating and I will make a purchase and read. Thanks for bringing me the best choice of goods.

    • It looks like you really like books and reading and I think that`s really good, thank you for your comment!

  3. i could remember when i laid hand on kiss of the spider women; i read it over and over because its captivating and intriguing. There is no doubt its one of the best books manuel pugs has ever published.

    although i haven’t lay hand or read other book but i have a ppsitive conviction they would surely deliver. Thanks for sharing this lovely post. it is well appreciated

  4. I love to read but never thought about reaching outside of what I know.  Looking at another countries literature is very interesting and something that I would like to take a look at.  The Oxford Murders seems like a good book to try out.  I really like how you gave a summary of the books and offered a variety to choose from.

    I found this article to be easy to read and kept my attention.  Thank you for introducing me to a new way of looking at reading and expanding my mind to look around the globe for books.

    • Hey, I really appreciate that you like my article and that you find some ideas what to read, the book you mentioned is really great I can tell you. Thank you for taking your time and leave a comment.

  5. I enjoyed your short review on this south American books. Iv’e never liked ebooks because it doesn’t give me the old feeling of being caught up in the writer’s imagination. The Oxford murders particular caught my because I like thrillers with a mix of crime. More importantly, I’m a mathematician so I think I can place myself in their world.

    Really would live to get the paperback of this.

    Thanks for sharing

    • I`m glad you like my article, and I agree with you about book format; I also still prefer paper books, for now. Enjoy in reading and thank you for your comment!

  6. Greetings to youYour website looks pretty and the theme is beautifulI liked your posting for your book too, and I used to read the books and I like that you have chosen books for my books in the books that I read a few books seem to have scary themes to read there were also beautiful themesmuch success in the future and congratulationscheers Bajram

  7. What does it mean to be a window dresser? Is that someone who dresses the window mannequins?

    The Oxford Murders reminds me of Criminal Minds. I don’t read thrillers much, but it sounds interesting and I’d watch it if it became a movie.

    A lot of these books sound like they have interesting plots and are great pieces of work. I’m more of a fantasy reader myself, so none of them really match my preferred genre.

    • A window dresser I think it was meant as a job (decoration of store windows). Thank you for your comment!

  8. Great review. Very interesting. You made me feel like buying every book you recommended. Each story is very captivating and enlightening.

    It seems like I’ve read the Oxford Murder, but I’m not quite sure. The way you explained it kind of bringing some images of a book I’ve read in the past that have similar story. Maybe it just a different book.

    Honestly, I like those books and you did such a great job with the review.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Thank you very much for your positive opinion and for a comment. If you`ll read some of them I really hope you`ll enjoy in reading!

  9. Hi,

    I have read the whole review about this information.This is really an amazing information about Best books from Argentina.I got to know about many beautiful books after reading your article. Which I liked a lot.I will share this article with my friends.I believed they will  also like this article.Thanksharing this informative article with us.

    • Hi, thank you very much for taking your time and leave a comment. If you will read some of these books I really hope you`ll enjoy it!

  10. Interesting books you shared here, I mean we have the spider woman here. But I must say, Argentina is a great place so I just have to transfer the impression to those books. Wish I could get my hand on the real book, am old fashioned that way especially when it comes to novels

  11. Thanks a lot for such a detailed list, I used to be a big reader in the past and I still read when I have time, but now it’s harder. I don’t think I ever read a book written by an Argentinian writer, so your list is more than welcome.

    Out of these books, I think I would start with Traveler of the Century by Andres Neuman. I’m a languages lover so it really seems to suit me, based on your description. But hey, you didn’t mention which is your personal favorite. You must have one that you like most out of these, I’d love to know. It’s probably your recommendation as well 🙂

    • Ashley thank you for taking your time and leave a comment. I understand you cause I know how is with reading, sometimes it is difficult to find a time, but if it is your priority then you usually find it 😉

      The Traveler of the Century is also for me the best of these books if you believe me or not. Enjoy in reading 🙂

  12. hello Luka,  greetings from Spain, Slovenia beutiful country , i have been to Tolmin, lubjana and Maribor, it is so amazing. 

    your web is very cool. I like reading books and this is very good for the personal grow. I personally love books for self inmpovement, and books about sales))) but good novel is also very interesting. Please recommend me some book about Slovenia 

    • Hey Viktoria, thank you for your comment and for your positive opinion about Slovenia, I really appreciate that you like it, I would also like to travel to Spain one day.

      Anyway…I hope you got some ideas what to read, those novels are very good to try 😉 I can recommend you some book from our country of course but please be more specific, did you mean a book specifically about Slovenia or just some book from slovenian author?

  13. Hi Luka:

    I’ve never heard of these books until now. I know books that are out there to change lives. Based off your brief overview, I really believe that the Dreamtigers could actually help me with some of my own personal struggles and some of my fears as well. Thank you for revealing this to me, your review is powerful and uplifting. I will be sure to read few of these books in the very near future. Thank you for this great article and my wife is also a true believer in the power or reading books.. 

    Tony

    • Hi Tony, thank you very much for taking your time and leave a comment. The book Dreamtigers should be very good, you don`t read it like a thriller, it`s the book which you read slow and makes you think about it. That`s my opinion. Enjoy in reading!

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