The Greatest Arabic, Spanish "Contemporary" Books of All Time

Click to learn how this list is calculated.

This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

Filter by: Genres Dates Countries
Follow on:



Contemporary books are a genre that focuses on stories set in the present day, often exploring current social, cultural, and political issues. These books are typically written in a modern style and often feature relatable characters dealing with real-life situations. Contemporary books can cover a wide range of topics, from romance and family drama to coming-of-age stories and thrillers. The genre is constantly evolving to reflect the changing world we live in, making it a popular choice for readers who want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and issues.

Add additional genre filters




Add additional country filters

Date Range


Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

  1. 1. A Heart So White by Javier Marías

    The novel delves into the complexities of relationships, secrets, and communication as the protagonist, a translator and interpreter, grapples with the mysterious suicide of his father's first wife and the pervasive silence surrounding it. Through his own marriage and his observations of others', he contemplates the unsaid and the power of words, both spoken and unspoken. The narrative weaves through time and memory, exploring the impact of the past on the present and the intricate ways in which people understand and misunderstand each other.

    The 1538th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Time Of The Doves by Merce Rodoreda

    The novel is a poignant exploration of a woman's life set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and the early years of Franco's dictatorship. Through the eyes of the protagonist, a shopkeeper in Barcelona, readers experience her struggles with love, loss, and survival. Her personal journey is interwoven with the turbulent history of the era, as she endures the hardships of war, the complexities of her romantic relationships, and the challenges of raising her children alone. The narrative, rich with symbolic imagery, particularly the recurring motif of doves, offers a deeply emotional and intimate portrayal of resilience amidst the chaos of societal upheaval.

    The 1607th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Bartleby & Co by Enrique Vila-Matas

    "Bartleby & Co" is a metafictional work that explores the theme of "writers of the No," authors who cease to write or never start at all. The narrator, an office worker on sick leave, uses footnotes to a nonexistent text to delve into the stories of these authors, including famous real-life figures. The book serves as a meditation on silence, refusal, and the nature of literature itself.

    The 2468th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Journey to the Alcarria by Camilo José Cela

    "Journey to the Alcarria" is a travel literature piece that takes the reader on a journey through the Alcarria region in Spain. The protagonist, a solitary traveler, explores the landscape, culture, and people of this region, offering detailed descriptions and observations. The narrative captures the essence of Spain's post-war period, revealing the harsh realities of rural life and the resilience of its people. The book is both a physical journey through a specific place and a metaphorical journey into the human condition.

    The 2471st Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear by Javier Marías

    The novel explores the life of a Spanish expatriate in England who is recruited by a secretive organization due to his unique ability to interpret people's behavior. As he becomes entangled in a world of espionage, he grapples with moral and ethical dilemmas, questioning the validity of his work and the consequences of his actions. Through a blend of introspective musings and suspenseful narrative, the protagonist's life unravels, revealing a complex web of deceit, betrayal, and violence.

    The 2615th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Obabakoak by Bernardo Atxaga

    Obabakoak is a collection of interconnected stories that revolve around the inhabitants of a fictional Basque village named Obaba. The stories, which are a blend of the magical and the everyday, explore the complexities of human nature, as well as the rich history and culture of the Basque region. Themes of love, fear, tradition, and change are woven throughout, offering a nuanced and evocative portrait of a community and its people.

    The 3393rd Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. All Souls by Javier Marías

    "All Souls" is a novel that follows the experiences of a Spanish professor teaching at Oxford University. His life is filled with eccentric colleagues, a puzzling love affair, and a mysterious sense of intrigue. As the protagonist navigates through the academic world, he becomes entangled in a web of personal relationships and bureaucratic intricacies. The book is a blend of romance, suspense, and satire, with a poignant exploration of memory, longing, and the ephemeral nature of human relationships.

    The 3446th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas

    This novel revolves around a true event during the Spanish Civil War, where a nationalist soldier spares the life of a famous poet who was about to be executed. The story is told from the perspective of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the incident and embarks on a quest to uncover the truth about what happened. As he delves deeper, he discovers the complexities of heroism, history, and memory, and is forced to question his own understanding of these concepts.

    The 5084th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. The Infatuations by Javier Marías

    A young woman becomes obsessed with a seemingly perfect couple she often sees at a café. When the husband is brutally murdered, she gets entangled with the widow and a mysterious man who knew the couple, leading her to question everything she thought she knew about love, death, and fate. As she delves deeper into the circumstances surrounding the husband's death, she is forced to confront unsettling truths about the nature of human relationships.

    The 7893rd Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. Dark Back Of Time by Javier Marías

    "Dark Back of Time" is a reflective and metafictional narrative that blurs the lines between reality and fiction, weaving together personal anecdotes, literary criticism, and philosophical musings. The book explores the author's experiences following the publication of a previous novel, which unexpectedly affects the lives of individuals who see themselves reflected in its characters. As the author delves into the consequences of his writing, he examines the elusive nature of memory, the complex interplay between art and life, and the inevitable distortions that arise when reality is transmuted into literature. The work is a profound meditation on the power of storytelling and the enigmatic passage of time that alters perception and understanding.

    The 8158th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.