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Happy Sant Jordi 2021! The ICMAB staff recommends you a book (again!)

One more year, we want to focus on what the ICMAB staff has been reading. Your next favorite book might be here!

23 April 2021
Sant Jordi 2021 ICMAB
Sant Jordi 2021 ICMAB

Sant Jordi is finally here! For the uninitiated:

"Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Catalunya and the Diada de Sant Jordi is a festive occasion that has become a celebration of Catalan culture. It is a celebration of culture and love, represented by books and roses. The main meeting point in Barcelona is the Rambla, which is packed from end to end with book and flower stalls."

As writers and bookstores get ready for a festivity closer to the real deal, we asked our staff to tell us what they have been reading and would like to recommend to someone else. We received many interesting recommendations, from different genres and formats.

Take a look at the list! One of these books might be perfect for you:

2021 St. Jordi Recommendationsstjordi agentlemaninmoscow

A Gentleman  in Moscow / Amor Towles /  2016

A novel about the state of the URSS from Lenin to Kruschev, recommended by Susagna Ricart:

"És una visió diferent de l'URSS dels anys que van des de la revolució comunista amb Lenin, passant per Stalin i acaben amb Kruschev. Fàcil de llegir i ben escrit." 


The Voice of the Dolphins / Leo Szilard / 1947

A science book that brings together a few tales written by one of the scientists who developed the atomic bomb. Recommended by Nieves Casañ-Pastor:

"Leo Szilard fue uno de los participantes principales en USA en el plan Manhattan para desarrollar la bomba atómica, y se dio cuenta de lo tremendo que era eso. Probablemente era el más rebelde y el más inteligente. Tras la guerra lo dejó y se pasó a la Biofísica en Canadá. Y empezó a escribir una serie de cuentos que se han recopilado en este libro. Fue publicado originalmente en los años 40, y ¡sigue vigente!

En uno de ellos, "The Mark Gable Foundation" la sociedad se asusta de los grandes avances de la ciencia, sin criterio humano. Y piden consejo a un sabio cuyo cuerpo se había congelado siglos antes a la espera de una cura para su enfermedad. Lo descongelan y lo reviven, y su consejo es claro. Poner a los mejores en comités de evaluación y pagar al resto según cuanto publiquen. Pero la ciencia acelerará y sacará más resultados le dicen..... A lo que él contesta "lo parecerá", pero no será así. Tremendo ver que es lo que pasa hoy. ¡Una lectura muy necesaria!"

stjordi livro sexto
Livro Sexto (sixth book) / Sophia de Mello /  2020

A poetry book, recommended by Felip Sandiumenge:

"I was impressed, sometimes overwhelmed, by its sensitivity and profoundness in tackling the essence of life. A lesson on the profoundness of simplicity..." 

stjordi pedradetartera

Pedra de tartera (Scree stone) / Maria Barbal /  1985

A novel about a woman who moves from the countryside to Barcelona, recommended by Pietat Sierra:

"La vida de la Conxa, una dona de camp que acaba en Barcelona."

stjordi persepolis

Persépolis / Marjane Satrapi /  2000

A graphic novel, recommended by Anna Roig:

"Graphic novel with a humorous and sharp personal account of a young woman growing in Iran in the 80's."

stjordi napalmalcor

Napalm al cor (Napalm on the heart) / Pol Guasch /  2021

A novel about a couple of young men who run away in search of hope, recommended by Carles Miravitlles:

"Clar exemple de la nova literatura catalana. Molt poètica i social."stjordi lamusicaquesonaquanacabalacanco

La música que sona quan acaba la cançó (The music that plays when the song is over) / Marta Grau /  2020

A novel that trascends generations, recommended by Mar Tristany:

"És d'aquells llibres que no pots parar de llegir-los, però que no vols que mai s'acabin. Una història corprenedora de tres generacions de dones amb una narrativa extraordinària. Molt emocionant!" 

stjordi theremainsofaday

The remains of the day / Kazuo Ishiguro /  1989

A novel about reminiscence and history, recommended by Anna Roig:

"Exquisitely written, it describes a world that doesn't exist anymore. Also a tribute to loyalty, high professional standards and restrained emotions. The novel was adapted to real good film."

stjordi thegirlsofatomiccity

The girls of atomic city / Denise Kiernan 2013

An essay book about the Manhattan project, recommended by M. Rosa Palacín:

"I enjoyed having an insight into the Manhattan project from a dual angle on, in words of the author, "those who knew and those who didn't". It describes personal stories of women who worked at Oak Ridge which are nicely coupled to a more global perspective on politics and scientific progresses."

stjordi howtogrowahuman

How to grow a Human: Adventures in Who We Are and How We Are Made / Philip Ball 2019

science book about the potential of human tissue, recommended by Francesco Silvestri:

"It's an extraordinary trip through humanity's evolutionary past, from single-celled life to complex creatures like us. It leads us to the newest and most advanced biotechnologies that aim to cheat death and circumvent reproduction, forcing us to reassess what being human actually means. In an age when we start regarding the self as an abstract sequence of genetic information or as a pattern of neural activity that might be downloaded to a computer, the author returns us to the body, to flesh and blood, and anchors a conception of personhood in this unique and ephemeral mortal coil."

stjordi inferior

 Inferior / Angela Saini /  2017

An essay book about the effects of sexism in research, recommended by Pietat Sierra:

"Gènere, sexisme en la Ciència."

stjordi becomingmichelleobama

Becoming Michelle Obama / Michelle Obama /  2018

biography, recommended by Sohini Sinha:

"This is an autobiography of the former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama. The book has been mainly divided in three sections: becoming me, becoming us and becoming more. The author has mentioned quite briefly about her childhood struggles along with her parents and her brother. Her life journey from South Side Chicago to Princeton University. Later, she talks about her relationship with Barack Obama and duties at the White House as a first lady of the USA. She has proved to be the role model of strength and grace for all the ages and written other self-help books as well."

stjordi missperegrine

 Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children / Ransom Riggs /  2011

A young adult fantasy novel, recommended by Pietat Sierra:

"Novel·la de misteri d'uns nens i nenes especials."

stjordi lecturafacil

Lectura Fácil (An easy read) / Cristina Morales /  2018

novel with a powerful social message that covers uncomfortable topics, recommended by Laura Cabana:

"És un llibre molt radical, una novel·la molt realista en el discurs social. La Cristina fa servir la ironia, els fanzines i les assemblees anarkistes, entre d'altres, per fer-te riure alhora que et porta a la tristor. Heteropatriarcat, feixisme, discapacitat, retòrica institucional... les temàtiques que tracta aquesta novel·la són incòmodes i així et farà sentir en molts moments. Tot i això, independentment de la teva ideologia, és una lectura obligada."

stjordi paralosmios

Para los míos (To my people) / Juanjo Sáez /  2021

A touching and thoughtful graphic novel, recommended by Anna Laromaine:

"It's a comic book, I was not in a mood for a long and complicated history. A friend recommended this book, I was hesitant I like it a lot. It is not an easy topic, it is tough, but you can leave it at any time. Sketches are self-explanatory and right to the point, it touches you. Maybe some of you know the author, he has also drawn "Arròs Covat" a miniseries on TV3, also in comic-like."


stjordi critical mass

Critical Mass: How one thing leads to another / Philip Ball /  2005

A science book, recommended by Felip Sandiumenge:

"Very lucid, very interesting perspective of human collective behavior from the point of view of physics. Surprising."

stjordi recollectionsofmynonexistence

Recollections of my Nonexistence / Rebecca Solnit /  2020

A biography with feminist themes, recommended by Carles Miravitlles:

"És una obra de referència pel feminisme."

 stjordi lenigmedelachambre622

L'Énigme de la Chambre 622 (The Enigma of Room 622) / Jöel Dicker /  2020

A gripping thriller, recommended by Andrea Stephany:

"You won't be able to stop reading it. Joël Dicker is an amazing author when it comes to thrillers, but this book exceeded all of my expectations. You will thank me later."

stjordi unmonenundia

Un món en un dia. Contes diversos, històries quotidianes. (A world in one day. Diverse tales, quotidian stories.) / Aida Rivas-Moreno & Gus Bas 2021

A children's story, recommended by Mar Tristany:

"Un recull de 9 històries amb mirada de gènere i acompanyament respectuós. Un MUST que tota família amb infants hauria de tenir a casa!"

stjordi verdebrillante

Verde brillante. Sensibilità e intelligenza del mondo vegetale (Bright green, sensitivity and intelligence of the plant world) / Stefano Mancuso & Alessandra Viola /  2015

A science book that brings a new perspective to the relationship between humans and plants, recommended by Oriol Sabater Dalmau:

"Contràriament a tot el que ens han ensenyat, basat en l'antropocentrisme, els éssers vius més desenvolupats poden no ser els humans i ni tan sols formar part del regne animal. Aquest llibre pot ser una via introductòria a veure el regne vegetal amb uns altres ulls. I alhora incentivar-te a reflexionar sobre el concepte d'intel·ligència, vida i existència."

stjordi gina

Gina / Maria Climent /  2019

A novel about a young woman, who has to start taking decisions in her life, recommended by Anna May Masnou:

"Em va encantar la història de la protagonista, en primera persona, potser perquè m'hi vaig sentir identificada, i perquè és dolç, punyent, té humor, i té tragèdia. Està escrit en català del Delta. Una preciositat."

stjordi relampagos

Des éclairs (Lightnings) / Jean Echenoz /  2012

A short novel based on the life of Nikola Tesla, recommended by Alejandro Santos Botana:

"Es una pseudo-mini-biografía novelada sobre Nikola Tesla, un personaje insólito, fascinante, que lo hizo todo bien y, a la vez, todo mal, un genio maldito encarnado en el cine por David Bowie y ahora viajando en el capó de coches de lujo. El libro es muy corto pero muy preciso e incisivo, donde no sobra ni falta una palabra, como en un buen "paper"".

stjordi nosfreresinattendus

Nos frères inattendus (Our unexpected brothers) / Amin Maalouf /  2019

A distopic novel that reflects reality, recommended by Lourdes Fàbrega:

"Es tracta d'una distopia que transmet alhora crítica i esperança pel devanir de la humanitat; una reflexió sobre el nostre món i sobre què temem. És una novel·la que t'enganxa i no pots deixar. M'ha recordat grans obres anteriors del mateix autor, com "El primer segle després de Beatriu". L'original és francès, però està traduït a català i castellà".

If you are still hungry for more books, check the interactive guide we created last year!

We want to thank everyone who has contributed with a recommendation, and wish all of you a happy Sant Jordi.

Happy Sant Jordi, Everyone!





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