Friday, 5 April 2019

#WorldReads - Five Books From Colombia

If this is your first visit to my WorldReads blog series, the idea of the posts is to encourage and promote the reading of global literature. On the 5th of each month I highlight five books I have read from a particular country and you can see links to previous countries' posts at the end of this post as well as finding out how to join in the challenge.

Click the book titles or cover images to visit their Literary Flits book review pages.

This month we are going to Colombia!

Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza's impassioned advances and married Dr Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half-century, Florentino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina. Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the day when he can court her again.

When Fermina's husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree, Florentino seizes his chance to declare his enduring love. But can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives?

The Farm by Hector Abad

When the Angel family's beloved home in the Antioquian wilderness falls into danger, they manage to defend it against the guerrillas and, later, the paramilitaries - but at a high price. After their parents' death, Pilar, Eva and Tono have to decide the fate of their father's legacy. While Pilar and Tono want to keep La Oculta, Eva, who experienced something terrible at the old farm house, is determined to sell. As the siblings each struggle with their own problems, their inner conflicts threaten to tear apart not only their home but also their family.

The Shape Of The Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

The Shape of the Ruins is Vásquez's most ambitious, challenging and rewarding novel to date. His previous novel, The Sound of Things Falling, won Spain's Alfaguara Prize, Italy's Von Rezzori Prize and the 2014 Dublin IMPAC literary Award.

It takes the form of personal and formal investigations into two political assassinations - the murders of Rafael Uribe Uribe in 1914, the man who inspired García Márquez's General Buendia in One Hundred Years of Solitude, and of the charismatic Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, the man who might have been Colombia's J.F.K., gunned down on the brink of success in the presidential elections of 1948. Separated by more than 30 years, the two murders at first appear unconnected, but as the novel progresses Vásquez reveals how between them they contain the seeds of the violence that has bedevilled Colombia ever since.

The Storm by Tomas Gonzalez

From one of Colombia’s most acclaimed contemporary novelists, The Storm is an atmospheric, gripping portrait of the resentments that devastate one family. Twins Mario and Javier do not know how to cope with the hatred they feel for their father, an arrogant man whose pride corrodes everything he touches. Perched on the edge of the Caribbean Sea, the family is trapped in spiral of distrust, love, and fear that belies the lush, calm landscape about them and that explodes over the course of a fateful fishing trip straight into the maw of a brutal storm.

Spiral Of Silence by Elvira Sanchez-Blake

Elvira Sánchez-Blake's shattering testimonial novel, Spiral of Silence, breaks thirty-year silences about the traumatizing impact of Colombia's civil war, and centers on the experiences of women who move through hoplessness, loss, and grief during this volatile era in Latin American history.
A multigenerational epic, Spiral of Silence (Espiral de Silencios) opens in the early 1980s, as peace and amnesty agreements spark optimism and hope. We meet Norma, a privileged, upper-class woman who is married to an army general; Maria Teresa (Mariate), a young rebel who loves a guerrilla fighter and navigates commitments to motherhood and revolutionary activism; and Amparo, a woman who comes of age later, and carries the confusion and dislocation of a younger generation. Each contends with the consequences of war and violence on her life; each is empowered through community-building and working for change.

Few authors have considered the role of women in Colombia during this wartime period, and Sánchez-Blake's nuanced exploration of gender and sexism—framed by conflict and social upheaval—distinguishes the novel. Drawing on stories from women who have worked within organizations in Colombia to end state violence, Spiral of Silence celebrates resistance, reinvention, and how women create and protect their families and communities.

That's it for April's WorldReads from Colombia. I hope I have tempted you to try reading a book from this country and if you want more suggestions, click through to see all my Literary Flits reviews of Colombian-authored books! If you fancy buying any of the five I have suggested, clicking through the links from this blog to do so would mean I earn a small commission payment.

You can join in my WorldReads Challenge at any time! Simply read 1 or more books from a different country each month, write a post about it/them, grab the button below and add it to your post. Don't forget to pop back here and Comment your link so I can visit!

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

If you missed any earlier WorldReads posts, I have already 'visited'

Africa: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Jamaica, United States of America,

Asia: India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Turkey

Australasia: Australia, New Zealand,

Europe: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,

In May I will be highlighting five books by Welsh authors. See you on the 5th to find out which ones!


  1. Thanks for introducing me to all these books!

  2. One of my childhood Spanish teachers was from Colombia. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book from that country, though.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Colombia has produced some amazing authors :-)

  3. I've never read a book from Colombia.

  4. These all sound pretty intense. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie! :)

    1. Yes, there's some heavy themes in these five!

  5. I'd like to see some horror books set in Columbia!

    1. Spiral Of Silence is pretty horrific, though not horror in the sense you mean!