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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.