You do know that Cervantes is to the Spanish tongue what Shakespeare is to English, whom I assume you also think that it's overrated.
Anyways if you want a good read in Spanish I would recommend Lorca, Borges and Allende. You really can't go wrong with those guys, I'm particularly fond of Borges, from lunatic to lunatic.
I haven't actually read Shakespeare, so I wouldn't know. I have,
however, tried getting into El Quijote. Several times, in fact. Found it unnecessarily dense and generally unenjoyable to read. Maybe the theme didn't really appeal to me or the narrative rythm was too slow. Whatever. I just didn't find it to be the timeless, universal masterpiece it's purported as.
What do you recommend? I'm after a gradient of difficulty levels, so easy is fine.
Thing is, I don't like Golden Age prose very much. I prefer drama better. El Burlador de Sevilla
, for instance. Generally, I just like the Generación del 98
better. I remember liking Don Juan Tenorio
quite a bit, and after watching the play, I actually came out of the theatre moved. I'm not much into poetry but my favorite piece is probably Manuel Machado's Castilla
For lighter, more contemporary reading, you could give some of Arturo Pérez-Reverte's work a shot, though it's not for everyone.
Flicking through it the vocab looks pretty familiar, although that doesn't say much about things like idioms. I'm certainly going to give it a go. While I'm sure there are books out there you might prefer, I like what I've heard about this one. I can try Novelas Ejemplares after.
Modernized ortography and punctuation should help, no doubt. Still, phrasing and a good deal of the lexicon is going to be... unconventional. But by all means, give it a go. I wouldn't expect you to just take my word for it, anyway. Different tastes, and all.
And as for Harry Potter, whatever works for you. As long as it's not Twilight... D: