International House Madrid is celebrating Book Day (I)

Given that Monday the 23rd of April is Día del Libro we thought it would be nice to pass on some book recommendations for students, staff, young and old alike. Read these to practice English , Spanish, or French ; or read them simply to enjoy.

Also make sure to visit the book collection boxes either in our centre at Nuevos MInisterios or Alonso Martinez. Here you can drop off a book and exchange it for something in the box. This will be available until the end of April.


Catch-22, by Joseph Heller (IH levels C1.1 and above)

“I’m not running from my responsibilities, I’m running towards them.” Or, what counts as heroism and cowardice, really? A classic satire by American author Joseph Heller. The protagonist, Yossarian, is a bombardier who feels that his life is threatened alternately by enemy soldiers trying to kill him and commanders sending him off to risk his life. His goal? To avoid being killed even if it kills him. The 500 page bombardment of subversive dialogue where people often talk at cross purposes takes the reader into an inverted world which mirrors many of the inherent contradictions and frustrations most of us face in various forms daily. One gets the sensation early on that there is something horrible informing the comedy and that the comedy itself is a form of rebellion.

Matt Rueter has been working at IH since 2009



The Tipping Point

Levels: B2-C2 Age:18+

What made Hush Puppies, suddenly become popular and fashionable in the 1990s? How can the simple act of fixing a broken window reduce the crime rate dramatically?

In his book ‘The Tipping Point’, Malcolm Gladwell sets out to explain how ideas, behaviour and “mysterious sociological changes that mark everyday life’ spread like a wildfire to become popular.

In order for a virus to reproduce and spread, the conditions and the environment need to be just right. The same is true for the spread of ideas and behaviour. What’s needed are the ‘three rules of epidemics’ (or the three ‘agents of change’): The Law of the Few, The Stickiness Factor and the Power of Context. Key personal traits are also essential and are present in those he names as: Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen…


Los Fernández es una familia española contemporánea, divertida y muy viajera. Una colección de lecturas graduadas publicadas por SGEL con notas explicativas y ejercicios para los niveles: A1, A2 y B1 que encanta a mis alumnos. No os los perdáis! Berta; Profesora de español IH Madrid

La serie incluye lo siguientes títulos:

Nochevieja en Madrid

El 31 de diciembre es tradición en España comer doce uvas a las doce de la noche para dar la bienvenida al Año Nuevo. Marina Fernández tiene diecisiete años y esta Nochevieja quiere ir por primera vez a la Puerta del Sol de Madrid con sus amigos para comer las uvas y celebrar la fiesta. (nivel A1)

Fiesta sorpresa en Chinchón A1

Salsa en La Habana A1+

Fin de semana en Barcelona A1+

Vacaciones en Mallorca A2

Boda en Buenos Aires B1





One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey (IH levels C1.1 and above)

“An attack on all forms of authority and a celebration of the free spirit.” (The Guardian) A very irreverent book and worth reading. Also a film worth watching if you haven’t yet.

Matt Rueter has been working at IH since 2009






Julio Cortazar’s Las Armas Secretas y Bestiario (Students of Spanish C1 and above)

Cortázar has a talent for telling an atmospheric story with a realistic backdrop which begins to crack at the seams exposing a surrealist edge. A girl spends a summer in another family’s home where they have to keep track of which room the tiger is in. A photographer becomes obsessed with what the subjects of his photograph were really up to and becomes increasingly unnerved and, perhaps, unhinged. A letter from a young man suggests, in increments, that he is mad.


If not a native Spanish speaker best to have a level of C1. Or, Blow Up; Stories is a mixed collection of Cortázar’s stories translated into English.

Matt Rueter has been working at IH since 2009


Curso Intensivo Español
Subscribe to the newsletter!
Related posts

Benefits and advantages of being multilingual  

learn spanish

How can I achieve fluency in Spanish? Best ways to learn Spanish fluently   

How can I teach English

How to become a Spanish teacher