Suggested Reading List
A Concise History of Hungary
Author: Miklos Molnar, Anna Magyar (Translator)
Description: The author, a Hungarian historian, narrates the history of Hungary from little-known origins to 1988, encompassing the Magyars, the Austro-Hungarian empire and the Soviet era.
A History of Slovakia, The Struggle for Survival
Author: Stanislav K. Kirschbaum
Description: A historian from Bratislava traces his nation's roots from the first arrival on the Danubian Plain to Slovakia's declaration of independence in 1993. A particularly solid discussion of the Communist period and the nation's relationship with the Czechs and Hungary.
Author: Milos Forman
Description: The Oscar-winning account of Mozart's life, death and downfall, starring F. Murray Abraham as the cruel and mediocre Salieri.
Beyond the Chestnut Trees
Author: Maria Bauer
Description: Bauer interweaves recollections of her youth in Prague with an account of a return visit 40 years later in this affectionate, classic memoir.
Author: John Lukacs
Description: Written by a distinguished historian and native son, this richly detailed portrait of the city at its zenith includes hundreds of illustrations.
Budapest Exit, A Memoir of Fascism, Communism and Freedom
Author: Csaba Teglas
Description: A tale of life in Budapest from the Nazi invasion to the 1956 Hungarian revolution.
Author: Berndtson & Berndtson
Description: A convenient map of the city center at a scale of 1:11,000.
Bury Me Standing
Author: Isabel Fonseca
Description: This marvelous portrait of the Roma, also known as the Gypsies, offers insight into their music, foods, religions and folk traditions, and also examines their influential but complex relationship with Eastern Europe.
Central Europe Map
Author: Freytag & Berndt
Description: This colorful regional European map, like the sister map Europe Grand Tour (EUR185), covers from Paris and Amsterdam to Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Rome and Dubrovnik.
Author: Claudio Magris
Description: A new edition of the gifted novelist's classic account of a Danube journey from its source in the heart of the late Austro-Hungarian Empire through the Balkans to the Black Sea. It's an intellectually charged, evocative portrait of the places and personalities of Central Europe.
Author: Imre Kertesz, Tim Wilkinson
Description: Drawn from Kertesz's own experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald, this powerful novel by a Pulitzer Prize-winner tells the story of a teenage boy deported from Budapest to the Nazi death camps in 1944.
Great Country Houses of Central Europe: The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland
Author: Lord Michael Pratt, Gerhard Trumler (Illustrator)
Description: An illustrated history of the palaces, villas, and castles of Central Europe, as well as the families that built them and the surrounding gardens, grounds, art and interiors. With 380 illustrations, 350 in full color.
I Served the King of England
Author: Bohumil Hrabal
Description: A rollicking trip through the history of 20th century Czechoslovakia, Hrabal's comic masterpiece follows the misadventures of a simple but hugely ambitious waiter in pre-World War II Prague, who rises to wealth only to lose everything with the onset of Communism,
Life with a Star
Author: Jiri Weil, Philip Roth (Introduction)
Description: A fictional account of the Holocaust told through the story of a young Czech Jew.
Lonely Planet Central Europe
Author: Lonely Planet
Description: With dozens of maps, color photographs and sections on history and culture, this practical guide introduces Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and their neighbors.
Lonely Planet Czech Phrasebook
Author: Lonely Planet
Description: A palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary.
Author: Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel (Translator)
Description: An moving account of a Jewish boy's terrifying experience during the Holocaust.
Open Letters, Selected Writings: 1965 - 1990
Author: Vaclav Havel, Paul Wilson (Editor)
Description: This inspired anthology of writings by the Czech poet-president Vaclav Havel collects 25 essays, letters and speeches written between 1965 and 1990, including those that directly influenced the Polish Solidarity movement.
Author: Arthur Phillips
Description: Don't be fooled by the title -- this engaging novel is set in Budapest. Five young American expats have settled themselves in what they consider the "second-best" eastern European city, where chance encounters and interactions determine how their lives will -- or won't -- be changed.
Author: Berndtson & Berndtson
Description: A laminated, detailed map of the center of Prague at a scale of 1:10,000.
Prague in Black and Gold, Scenes from Life in a European City
Author: Peter Demetz
Description: Both a history and accessible guide to the neighborhoods and architecture of the city.
Prague, A Cultural History
Author: Richard Burton
Description: A marvelous, intellectually stimulating portrait of Prague, and especially of its role as an inspiration for writers and artists, in the series Cities of the Imagination.
Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Paul Wilson (Editor)
Description: This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history history, spirit and people to life and includes a helpful map for the traveler.
Author: Isaac Bashevis Singer
Description: A powerful novel of love set in the Jewish quarter of Warsaw as World War II erupts around the protagonists.
The Complete Stories
Author: Franz Kafka
Description: All of Kafka's stories, including The Metamorphosis, A Hunger Artist, and In The Penal Colony.
The Glance of Countess Hahn-Hahn (Down the Danube)
Author: Peter Esterhazy
Description: A confounding, postmodern novel, this meditation on travel, the Danube, and its history is great fun for those with an appreciation for wordplay and intellectual games.
The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War
Author: Jaroslav Hasek, Cecil Parrott (Translator)
Description: The deeply funny story of a hapless Czech soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army, dismissed for incompetence only to be pressed into service by the Russians in World War I, then captured by his own troops.
The Haunted Land, Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism
Author: Tina Rosenberg
Description: In this groundbreaking book, a journalist reports on how the newly democratized people of East Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic have confronted the horrors of their former governments.
The Hungarians, A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat
Author: Paul Lendvai, Ann Major (Translator)
Description: A journalist who fled Hungary in 1957, Lendvai combines history, scholarship and anecdote in this uncommonly engaging account. With verve and authority, he covers the struggle of the Magyars' against the Tartars, Turks and Russians over the past millennium.
Author: Milan Kundera
Description: The tale of a Communist student, who is imprisoned and stigmatized for a mere joke.
The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague
Author: Timothy Garton Ash
Description: With a chapter each on Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague, this eyewitness account by an astute journalist and historian shows these vibrant cities during a time of great change.
The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe
Author: Dennis Hupchick, Harold Cox
Description: The changing borders and complex history of Eastern Europe as told through 52 maps and accompanying essays, organized chronologically. An excellent reference, the book shows the rise of Poland, changing borders of the Ottoman Empire, Hapsburgs and fate of Yugoslavia in admirable clarity.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Author: Milan Kundera
Description: Kundera's intriguing novel, praised for its meditations on the nature of men and women, and on the fearful emptiness of life in Prague under Communist rule. We also carry Kundera’s collection of short stories The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.
Under the Frog
Author: Tibor Fischer
Description: Irony and wit pervade this novel set against the backdrop of the short-lived Hungarian revolution of 1956. The author's own experiences are played out by a cast of Kafkaesque characters all looking for a way though the turbulent days before the Russian tanks roll into Budapest.