1. La Plaça del Diamant (The Time of the Doves/In Diamond Square) by Mercé Rodoreda, 1962. Probably the most famous novel ever written in Catalan, La Plaça del Diamant spans 25 years of Catalan history and is a compelling tale of life before, during and after the Spanish Civil War.
2. La sombra del viento (The Shadow of the Wind) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, 2001. Ruiz Zafón’s international bestseller is set in post-Civil War Barcelona. Atmospheric and exhilarating, it follows the story of a young boy, Daniel Sempere, as he is led into the dark, secretive world of writer Julián Carax.
3. Catedral del mar (Cathedral of the Sea) by Ildefonso Falcones, 2006. This classic adventure novel tells the story of a man who moves to Barcelona in the 14th century at the height of the Inquisition, with the construction of Santa Maria del Mar serving as a backdrop to the story.
4. La ciudad de los prodigios (The City of Marvels) by Eduardo Mendoza, 1986. Anarchy and technological advances coexist in a city that’s celebrating its first Universal Exhibition and is engaged in an ongoing competition with Madrid.
5. Los mares del Sur (Southern Seas) by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, 1979. Detective Pepe Carvalho is investigating the death of Stuart Pedrell. Set in the late Seventies during the country’s transition to democracy, Barcelona is portrayed as a society corroded by corruption, a lack of solidarity and moral bankruptcy.