Suggested Reading List
A Concise History of Germany
Author: Mary Fulbrook
Description: This essential short history of Germany -- a whirlwind survey in less than 300 pages -- explores the relationships between social, political and cultural factors in this land located in the center of Europe.
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.
Adventures on the Wine Route, A Wine Buyer's Tour of France
Author: Kermit Lynch
Description: A delightful and warmly anecdotal book, highly recommended for anyone touring the wine regions of France. Lynch brings the domains and appellations of French wine to full-blown life, and his portraits of the grand personalities who make the wine are priceless.
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.
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.
Cathedrals and Castles, The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages
Author: Alain Erlande-Brandenburg
Description: This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology.
Cuisines of the Alps
Author: Kay Shaw Nelson
Description: Subtitled "Recipes, Drinks, and Lore from France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia," this colorful tour of the region's rustic cuisine offers more than 140 recipes, a section on regional wines and historical information.
Author: Michelin Travel Publications
Description: A one-sided map of all of Europe, as far east as Russia and western Turkey, at a scale of 1:3,000,000.
Eyewitness Guide Austria
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: This superb guide to all of Austria features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.
In a German Pension
Author: Katherine Mansfield
Description: Mansfield's first published work, which pierces the bourgeoisie at a Bavarian spa town in 13 interconnected stories. Frau Fischer, the narrator, is wonderful -- and entertaining.
Author: David Nicolle
Description: This slim history of the Teutonic Knights (1190-1561) includes an excellent overview of towers, castles and settlements from this period scattered throughout the Baltic. With paintings of the knights and their daily life in the region.
The Blue Flower
Author: Penelope Fitzgerald
Description: Set in the Age of Goethe, this exquisitely written short novel is a fictional account of the life of the Romantic poet Novalis. It paints a vivid picture of German intellectual and mercantile life in the late 1700s.
The Burgermeister's Daughter, Scandal in a Sixteenth-Century German Town
Author: Steven Ozment
Description: Meticulously researched and absorbing, this narrative by a Harvard historian traces the legal battle of the daughter of a well-to-do family who was thrown out of her home and disinherited in 1525.
The Food of France
Author: Waverly Root
Description: An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south).
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 Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral
Author: Robert A. Scott
Description: An enthusiast, Scott delves into the history, design, architecture and wonder of Europe's medieval cathedrals and great Abbey churches.
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 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 Thirty Years' War
Author: Geoffrey Parker (Editor)
Description: A scholarly history of the major European conflict of the 17th century. Among the outcomes were the annexation of Alsace by France, the annexation of Pomerania by Sweden and the legalization of Calvinism in Germany.
Traveller's Wine Guide to France
Author: Christopher Fielden
Description: A slim but very informative, lavishly illustrated vineyard-by-vineyard guide to the wines and wine-producing regions of France.
Wine and War, The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure
Author: Donald Kladstrup
Description: This thrilling account of how the vinters of France saved their crops -- and their bottles -- as the Nazis approached shows that to be French is not just to fight for your country but also for your wine. Kladtsrub, who writes for Wine Spectator, and his wife Peatie, the authors focus on the activities of five winemaking families in Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley.