Suggested Reading List
A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889
Author: Frederic Morton
Description: A portrait of Vienna at the end of the 19th century, this book focuses on Crown Prince Rudolph, his devastating suicide and the rich texture of gossip and daily life at the Habsburg Court. It captures the political ferment, intellectual creativity, gaiety and despair of fin-de-siecle Austria.
A Time of Gifts
Author: Patrick Leigh Fermor
Description: Fermor effortlessly interweaves anecdote, history and culture in this exuberant account of a walk from Holland, up the Rhine and down the Danube, through Germany, Prague and Austria in 1933. Written not in the moment, but 40 years later, the accumulation of time and experience give the book particular poignancy.
A Worldly Art
Author: Mariet Westermann
Description: This appreciative analysis of Dutch art in its Golden Age (1585-1718) features 100 exemplary illustrations by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Frans Hals and other masters.
All Along the Rhine: Recipes, Wine and Lore from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Holland
Author: Kay Shaw Nelson
Description: A tribute to the Rhine Valley, its history, culture and especially its food in 130 authentic recipes.
Amsterdam, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Manfred Wolf (Editor)
Description: Organized by district, these 17 contemporary short stories by modern Dutch writers, including Cees Nooteboom and Geert Mak, are set among the canals, cafes and neighborhoods of Amsterdam.
Between the Woods and the Water
Author: Patrick Leigh Fermor
Description: Fermor continues with youthful adventures in Hungary and Romania, culminating with his arrival at the Iron Gates on the Danube.
Birds of Europe
Author: Lars Svensson
Description: Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second revised edition of this exquisite guide has been brought up to date with revised text and maps.
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.
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: Mixing history, personalities and literature, Magris traces the course of the Danube from its source in the heart of the Austro-Hungarian empire through the Balkans to the Black Sea in this anything but conventional travelogue, first published in 1986.
Fodor's Amsterdam's 25 Best
Description: This slim guide to essential highlights includes an excellent map of the city center and can easily be slipped in your pocket.
Frommer's Budapest Day by Day
Author: Robert Smyth
Description: This illustrated pocket guide, ideal for a short visit, features excellent suggestions for everything from food and hotels to sightseeing and shopping. With a separate foldout map of the city center.
Frommer's Vienna Day by Day
Author: Teresa Fisher
Description: With hand-picked recommendations and highlights, this compact guide offers the "must see" attractions of Vienna for a shorter visit.
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.
Author: Peter Gay
Description: This concise, entertaining portrait delves into Mozart's complex relationship with his father, his daunting role as a child prodigy and his exploration of new musical territory.
My 'Dam Life, Three Years in Holland
Author: Sean Condon
Description: A hilarious account of making do in Amsterdam. Sean and wife Sally relocate to the land of clogs and orange for a job that soon evaporates, leaving the duo scrambling for housing and work in a strange land. Condon is as edgy, sarcastic and insightful as ever.
Prost! The Story of German Beer
Author: Horst D. Dornbusch
Description: The Munich-based aficionado weaves history and culture with the marvels and mysteries of German beer in this brief, authoritative guide.
The Danube, A Cultural History
Author: Andrew Beattie
Description: Beattie gives a comprehensive overview of the Danube’s role as a vital shipping artery and a uniting thread through the region’s turbulent history.
The Diary of a Young Girl, The Definitive Edition
Author: Anne Frank
Description: The classic story of an adolescent Jewish girl's life and thoughts while in hiding with her family in Nazi-occupied Holland. A new edition with added material.
The German Way
Author: Hyde Flippo
Description: This clever A-to-Z guide to quirks, attitudes, behavior and customs is a terrific resource for travelers seeking insight into why the Germans, Austrians and Swiss do what they do.
Author: Gordon A. Craig
Description: A gifted historian, Craig explores the complex paradoxes of German identity in this masterly portrait of German life, past and present, with chapters on religion, money, Jews, women, literature and society, Berlin and language.
The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire
Author: Andrew Wheatcroft
Description: The Habsburgs ruled over more diverse peoples and cultures than any other European dynasty since the Roman period. With skillful scholarship and engaging style, Wheatcroft reveals the history of this family of eccentric monarchs.
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.
The Improbable Voyage
Author: Tristan Jones
Description: Jones, an inveterate Welsh sailor, adventurer and storyteller, channels Eastern Europe circa 1985 in his tale of a tough voyage along the Rhine and Danube to the Black Sea.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World
Author: Andrew Jotischky
Description: Richly illustrated with photographs, illustrations and full-color maps, this compact atlas explores the empires, people, cultures and religions of the Middle Ages, providing an excellent introduction to European history.
The Radetzky March
Author: Joseph Roth, Joachim Neugroschel (Translator)
Description: Magnificently set against the backdrop of the twilight of the Habsburg empire, Roth's family saga takes in the sweep of history and empire in Central Europe. The richly textured novel opens at the battle of Solferino, when young Lieutenant Trotta saves the life of the Emperor.
The Rhine, Culture and Landscape at the Heart of Europe
Author: Roland Recht
Description: This beautifully illustrated, oversized survey of the history, geography and culture of the Rhine shows cities, villages and sights along the river from its source in the Alps to the North Sea.
The Third Man and the Fallen Idol
Author: Graham Greene
Description: A haunting tale and penetrating portrait of Vienna after World War II, "The Third Man" is the result of Greene's collaboration with Carol Reed on the classic movie. "The Fallen Idol" is a separate tale of intrigue set in Britain.
Author: Colin White
Description: A laugh-out-loud, irreverent guide to Dutch character and habits, including how to drink coffee and why you shouldn't even think about haggling over prices.
Twilight of the Habsburgs, The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph
Author: Alan Palmer
Description: A vivid tale of the emperor of Austria-Hungary and king of Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia who ruled until the fall of the empire during World War I.
Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Donald Daviau
Description: Organized by neighborhood, these 15 alluring tales introduce both the city and its writers, including Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil, Stefan Zweig and even Franz Kafka, who had a long and complicated association with the city.
When in Germany, Do as the Germans Do
Author: Hyde Flippo
Description: A humorous and helpful guide to getting along in Germany, informing travelers on everything from proper restaurant etiquette to how to behave in social situations and how best to appear like a local.